Sunday, May 30, 2010

LYS Tour 2010

Last weekend was the annual LYS Tour around here. The yarn stores band together, offer a free one skein pattern and a discount on the yarn to knit it, and us knitters run around crazily getting our passports stamped at the stores - 25 this year! It was my first year actually touring on the tour, since last year I attended every day at one store - the one where I worked. :)

Thursday night after work I headed to 4 of the stores that are more or less on my way home from work... Weaving Works, Bad Woman, Full Circle (this was a new one for me) and Fiber Gallery.

Friday I met up with a couple of friends and hit So Much Yarn on our way out to Bainbridge where we visited Churchmouse and had a lovely dinner at Cafe Nola.

We got to "ride" the scooter:




And then got totally soaked running to the ferry in the rain...


... while eating ice cream from Mora!


A lovely but very chilly evening.

The next day some of us joined a bunch of others for a trek northward to 11 yarn stores! One of the stores had some lovely knitfiti outside.


Amy knit most of Fay's socks on the drive:


After some dinner we took yet another ferry home.


Then on Sunday a few of us hit the remaining stores, where we found this hilarious Opal yarn:


An Austrian pop "singer", Antonia, wears a different slutty outfit on every ball band! We're not sure exactly who the target audience is for this yarn, but it was too hilarious to pass up, so a couple of us bought some:


(Click the first picture to enlarge for a view of more of the outfits!)

All in all an amazing weekend, now back to the secret knitting!

Listening to: The Outsider ~ A Perfect Circle, Reading In Bed ~ Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton, Digital Bath ~ Deftones

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Seriously Noro? SERIOUSLY?!?

OK, I wasn't going to blog today. And this doesn't even really count, but I just have to get this off my chest.

May 8

These 6 (yes, six!) balls of yarn come from about the last 1/3 of ONE 50g skein of Noro Kureyon. In which I already joined at least two other knots while knitting my sweater. And then after joining the turquoise - which was one of several colors knotted totally out of sequence - I knit not even a whole stripe before hitting another knot. Then I noticed a knot on the outside of the skein and decided I'd better rewind it.

Now, I know that knots are in yarn. That's the way it goes. And if I encounter one or two in a ball I'm slightly miffed but understanding. And Noro is notorious for having lots of knots, and often having knots with two totally different colors tied together. There's a section on the back of my other Noro sweater where the color sequence goes back two stripes and then repeats.

Yeah, it's annoying, but slightly less so when you can splice the yarn as you can with Kureyon. But this? This is not acceptable. And the yarn isn't cheap either! Beautiful, but not pretty enough to make this OK.

Ugh. Somebody remind me of this the next time I want to knit a Noro sweater.

(On a slightly happier note, progress is being made on the Kureyon Hoodie.)

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Friday, May 07, 2010

The WIPs

Every once in a while, I realize that I have a lot of WIPs (cough 19 cough!), and I try to do something about it.

I focused on finishing up my Twists and Turns socks from the last post, and then moved on to my special Blue Moon Cast On socks in STR Rare Gem yarn:

May 5

I initially cast on for the Braided Gem pattern from Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn, but it wasn't working out. I have this thing about patterns - I'm happy to do more "complicated" knitting if it ends up looking complicated - like Twisted Flower, for example. But honestly my preference, and what gets done the fastest, are relatively simple socks.

Not necessarily plain stockinette or ribbing, I think Monkey and Jaywalker are good examples of socks that look complicated but are actually really simple to knit. But if there's a lot of switching between knits and purls and paying attention to which row I'm on, or maneuvering stitches around each other... Well let's just say it had better look awesome. This pattern in this yarn didn't, so I changed to a 5x1 rib.

Then last night at knitting I started my Central Park Hoodie!

May 7

It doesn't look like much yet, but I have high hopes.

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Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Twists and Turns Twins

As some of you may remember, MJ and I have this twin sock thing. We get the same yarn, we knit the same socks (seriously, down to the number of repeats or rows of cuff ribbing!) and then we wear them 2002 miles away from each other. I Google mapped it. One time our twin socks even got to meet!

Well, here's the latest pair:

May 4

Pattern: Twists and Turns by me!
Yarn: ShibuiKnits Sock in Sky
Started: 11/16/09
Finished: 5/3/10

This is only the second time I've knit this pattern - the first one was, of course, for the sample in the book. I still like it. :)

I finished them at knitting group last night, which I think may be the first time I've ever finished a project there. I was forced to pull out my backup project - it was great!

So now that these poor neglected socks are done, it's time for the next pair of twin socks. These ones were unintentional, since I got the yarn from a club and MJ got it as a gift, but it is indeed the same yarn, so why not twin socks?

I think most knitters have had a yarn that just wouldn't work. You couldn't find a project, or when you did it never worked out, or maybe you just hated it... Well, I love this yarn. The color is lovely but the past two projects just haven't been right. First I tried to make Reversai for Sock Madness in April 2008 - the yarn and the pattern were just a bad match, so I frogged them.

Then they developed a new destiny... the Anastasia socks, which I still want to make... someday. They were just too big and I'm really not a fan of knitting socks toe-up.

But there's no motivation like MJ, so now they're going to begin a new life as twin socks, with a twisted 1x1 rib cuff and otherwise just stockinette. Hopefully this one will stick.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week - Day 7

Well, the blog week is coming to an end today, but I had fun. It definitely motivated me to post more than usual!

Day 7: What a Yarn

There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar. If it is a yarn you have used you could show the project that you used it for, perhaps writing a mini ‘review’. Perhaps, instead, you pine for the feel of the almost mythical qiviut? You could explore and research the raw material and manufacturing process if you were feeling investigative.

The vast majority of the yarn that I own is sock yarn, and I usually post a mini-review whenever I complete a pair of socks with a yarn I haven't used before. So today I'll talk about another yarn, a worsted weight yarn... Malabrigo.

I love this yarn. It's soft, the colors are gorgeous, and it's pretty affordable. I remember when Manos was all the rage and I discovered Malabrigo - it's a little more evenly spun but just as beautiful, softer, and less expensive!

The only thing I've knit in Malabrigo worsted so far was a hat and scarf set in January 2006:

Short Row Rib scarf and matching hat

It was knit with two balls of Indigo, and I even had a little bit left over! For a yarn I love so much, it's kind of weird that I've only used it once, and so long ago...

But I have a big upcoming project that I'm actually swatching for today:


I've been planning to make Central Park Hoodie for a while, and I even bought yarn for it a while back, but you know me and sweaters... Well a couple of weeks ago Aubriana and I were talking about knitting sweaters and the Central Park Hoodie and decided to do it together, starting this Thursday at knitting! So today while we're knitting and eating cupcakes, I'm going to swatch.

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

Knit & Crochet Blog Week - Day 6

Day 6: Revisit a past F/O
Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted, whether it is the hat your sister wears to school almost every day, or a pair of socks you wore until they were full of holes. Or maybe that jumper that your did just didn’t like that much…

For no particular reason, I decided on my Baudelaire socks.

Here they are just after being finished in September 2006:


And here they are now:


I'm pretty sure the difference in color is just due to lighting and my new camera. You might notice that the bottoms of the heels are a bit felted, but other than that the socks seem to be holding up really well. They did indeed turn my feet purple after the first wear, but they don't do that anymore.

They're in remarkably good shape for being 3 1/2 years old, but the truth is that each individual pair of socks doesn't get worn all that often - I have so many! So I'd say they're doing pretty well! They get worn about as much as any other pair of my socks, and they're still in wearable condition and looking pretty good, if I do say so myself. :)


Sock Yarn

    A quest to use sock yarns:

    Yarns I've had:
    * means I really liked it

    4-ply Soft
    A Piece of Vermont*
    Artyarns Supermerino*
    Austermann Step
    BMFA Sock Candy*
    Black Bunny Fibers*
    Brown Sheep Naturespun Sport
    Chinese Mystery sock yarn
    Claudia's Handpaints
    Conjoined Creations Flat Feet
    Crystal Palace Maizy
    CTH Supersock
    Dicentra Designs
    Dorchester Farms
    Fearless Fibers
    Gloss (KP)
    Interlacements Beibi Seda
    Interlacements Tiny Toes
    Interlacements Toasty Toes
    Jarbo Raggi
    Jojoland Melody
    Kona Superwash
    KP Essential
    KP Merino
    KP Palette
    Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock*
    Macek Designs
    Magic Stripes
    Mega Boots Stretch
    Nature's Palette
    Noro Kureyon Sock
    Panda Cotton
    Paton's Kroy*
    Peru DK
    Peruvian Quechua
    Regia Bamboo*
    Regia Cotton
    Regia Strato*
    Ruby Sapphire
    Socks That Rock*
    Star (Classic Elite)
    Stitch Jones
    Sunshine Yarns*
    Three Fates Cauldron Sock*
    Wool Ease
    Yarn Pirate*

    In Progress:

    Perchance to Knit
    Yarns in the stash:

    All Things Heather
    Ancient Threads
    Apple Laine
    Araucania Ranco
    Artyarns Ultramerino
    Autumn House Farm
    Baby Ull
    Ball and Skein
    Baywood Yarns
    Bearfoot (Mountain Colors)
    Briar Rose Fibers
    Brooklyn Handspun
    Cavyshops Handpaint
    C*eye*ber Fiber
    Cervinia Calzetteria
    CTH Superglitz
    Chasing Rainbows Dyeworks
    Chewy Spaghetti
    Classic Elite Alpaca Sox
    Colinette Cadenza
    Colinette Jitterbug
    Country Classic Yarn for Sox
    Crash Into Ewe
    Crown Mountain Farms Sock Hop
    Curious Yarns
    Done Roving
    Dream in Color
    Duet (A Swell Yarn Shop)
    Dye Dreams
    Ellen's Half Pint Farm
    End of the World Farm
    Fashion Trend Sportivo
    The Fiber Denn
    Fleece Artist
    The Flock Bransonas
    French Hill Farm
    Froehlich Blauband
    Gjestal Silja
    Great Adirondack Soxie
    Greenwood Fiberworks
    Jaeger Matchmaker
    Jarbo Mini Raggi
    Jawoll Cotton
    Just Our Yarn
    Knit Purl Natural Collection
    Kona Superwash
    KP Dancing
    KP Essential Tweed
    Lime & Violet
    Lisa Souza
    Louet Gems Pearl
    Mama Llama
    Merlin the Cat
    Meilenweit Cotton
    Meilenweit Trend
    Mind's Eye Merino/Tencel
    Mirasol Hacho
    Misty Mountain Farm
    The Natural Dye Studio
    Neighborhood Fiber Company
    Over the Rainbow Twinkletoes
    Pigeon Roof Studios
    Pine Woods
    Posh Yarn Lucia
    Prism Saki
    Pucker Brush Farm
    Regia Surf
    Reynolds Swizzle
    Reynolds Soft Sea Wool
    Rio De La Plata
    Royale Hare
    Roz Houseknecht
    Schaefer Anne
    Scout's Swag
    Sheep Shop Wensleydale
    Shelridge Farm
    Sockenwolle Unipo
    Spirit Trail Fiberworks
    Spunky Eclectic
    Steinbach Wolle Sockenwolle
    Sundara Yarn
    Tess Designer Yarns
    The Unique Sheep
    Universal Ditto
    Valley Yarns Franklin
    vanCalcar Acres
    White Oak Studio tvyarn
    Wisdom Yarns Marathon
    Wool in the Woods
    The Woolen Rabbit
    Yarn Botanika Radiance
    Ysolda Yarn
    Zen Yarn Garden

    To check out:

    Sophie's Toes
    The Spinning Bunny Yarns BFL

WIPs and FOs