Sunday, April 30, 2006

CT Fiber Festival and Knitblogger Meeting

I found out about the CT Fiber Festival in the middle of this past week, and waffled about going. Mentioned it to my family, and received a less than enthusiastic response involving much eye-rolling. So, with the usual load of weekend activities, and a church variety show to prepare for (me tap-dancing, DH cooking and DD emceeing) it didn't make sense. But Karen, of Musings of a (mostly) Self-Taught Knitter blog fame, asked if I wanted to meet her there. I waffled a little more, then decided to go. I called a knitting/quilting friend, Betty, who was willing to drop everything and take off at the last minute, and we were ready. Karen and I exchanged cell phone numbers, and I was to call her once we got there. It was an easy trip, and Betty and I rolled in at about 10:40 AM. Called Karen, leaving a message describing my coat, and we started walking towards the barns. Within a couple of minutes she returned my call, and I answer to find out we're about 10 feet apart. With a few minutes for introductions, Karen's DH and Jessy of JessaLu Knits, and a visit to the facilities, we hit the yarn.
P.S. I won't mention the name of Karen's DH because that would give away the answer to her contest.
P.P.S. I would have pictures of people at the Festival except I exceeded my monthly Flickr upload allowance, and the yarn pics are more important.

These little fellas were in the first barn. I had thought alpacas would be bigger. These look like pets:

We then hit all of the yarn displays, with the first find being the most reasonably priced birch needles. I now have DPNs in sizes 0 through 8.

The yarn selection was wonderful. Absolutely. Wonderful. My Scottish blood tends to kick in at moments like this, and I have difficulty prying the money out of my own fist. The selection and prices were so good that my Scottish blood said to buy more. So I came home with a decent, but not outrageous, addition to the stash. Enough stash enhancement has occured in the last month that I must reorganize.

So we have the blue mohair hand spun and dyed in Kenya, that will become a scarf. The camera (okay, camera operator) didn't capture the depth of the color.

Then we have the Times Remembered fingering weight alpaca. The Chocolate Truffle that may become the
P-word sock, if I get up the nerve to try the pattern.

While the Blackberry Rose will most likely become my first shawl. These both had to be taken into the sunlight to appreciate their true colors.

Then there is the Silk/Rayon chenille from Rockett Studios, which will be woven with the black tencel to become a scarf. There may be some challenges in the final finishing and blocking, so it will wait until I've done some more research.

We ended the day with sock yarn, from Dorchester Farms
. I love the green/gray, but only one skein is left. So now the search is on for a gray that can be the heel, toe and possibly sole of the foot. Pity, more shopping.

We were treated to lunch by the KnitBlogger gathering, who had the foresight to bring their own. The line was long at the concession stand, so we felt quite fortunate to have quiche and fruit and baked pita crisps. Pictures of knit bloggers will be added once I can upload them.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Knits for kids

The tiger hat for DS is almost done - decreases for the crown have started, a la Knitting Rules. Right now it seems a bit big, we'll see. Then fingerless gloves from the same yarn, Opal Rainforest, and hopefully the tiger stripe will show up better in a smaller diameter thing. Gloves and socks have similar circumferences, don't they?

The socks are done, and fit "okay" though a little warm for the summer weather. These are Gjestal Reggia. DD would prefer a stretchier sock, so next step is to find a stretchier, thinner yarn. Another entry on the "to be knitted" list. The field hockey stick cozy is next - can't wait to see how that yarn knits up. I'll bring that to the book discussion tomorrow night.

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

The Yarn Harlot, extended version

There's a little more time to ready the blog (is there a verb for this?) today, but not much. By the time I get access to the computer, I want to go to bed.

The Yarn Harlot blog has an extensive account of Friday evening, which may win the award for "most crowded". A SRO crowd gathered to hear Stephanie, and get books signed. Some of us in front (see me in the yellow sweater) sat down so those behind could see.

She even had the Knitting Olympics sweater, and showed off the exquisite finishing on the inside.

I recognized and chatted with a couple of bloggers that were familiar, Kate and Liz, and met some amazing knitters, Theresa who is about to start knitting sock #100, and SilverArrowKnits who is getting ahead on her Christmas projects.

Somehow we all ended up at the end of the line for the book signing, so chatted among the yarn inventory. All of the yarn inventory. Liz was extremely strongwilled (yes, a statue is in order) and didn't buy any yarn. I succumbed at the very end, and bought two skeins of the Plymouth Royal Bamboo in a lovely pale green shade. It will be a lacy, summer scarf very shortly. I am partial to green. I wish I had taken more pictures - too late now.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Yarn Harlot (the crowd goes wild!!)

A quick post because blogger will go down in 3 minutes. I was there, crowds of knitters were there, Stephanie took a picture of us with the sock. It is so very amazing to sit among 50 other people, all knitting away. I met some people whose blogs I read - more on that later, after the outage.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Stash Enhancement

I was enchanted with Grumperina's Mr. Stegs, and showed him to my son. Though a mature 12 1/2 years old, he still wants the Steg family. Thanks to the sale at WEBS, we have dad (purple), mom (pink) and offspring (variegated). I have no clue how to make the offspring, (okay, obviously in real life I do) so hopefully I'll figure it out by the time Mr. and Mrs. Stegs are complete.

Now, the Stegs family yarn is just a small part of what I bought from WEBS. Something about the word "SALE" rewired my brain. My total order is this:

Which doesn't look quite as scary as it did on the table. The Steg family yarn is accounted for, as is the white "bubble" yarn for Denise's knitting starter kit. Everything else, well, I had plans when I ordered it. Colors and quantities, each had a specific purpose. Now - no clue whatsoever. The cone is for weaving, but other than that, I don't know what I had planned. Now I'm drooling over the Knitpicks catalog, with even more potential projects. I need a lace shawl, and more socks, and I promised DH I'd knit him a knife carrier - for when he cooks elsewhere. His knives are sharpened to his specifications, so must be able to travel. I'm planning something with a leather lining.

Finally got the loom warped with the black Tencel, and started weaving with the Plymouth Chinchilla - this looks very promising, and completely different than if knit:

Off to work on DS's tiger hat (Opal sock yarn from the Rainforest collection) - if only he can be persuaded that the tiger hat doesn't need ears!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Miniature knitting

Today was for knitting tiny things. First is a bag for Jackie, from the Parrot Collection yarn we bought in Vermont. It looked like fun, but we couldn't figure out what to make from it. So when she needed a case for her headphones, I thought of the parrot yarn. Pictures can be deceiving:

It's really a tiny little thing; much smaller than the original picture would indicate. But the yarn didn't turn out as feathery as she feared, so it may have a future as a belt.

Then, in honor of Easter, I knit an egg from leftover sock yarn, courtesy of
Curly Purly:

The good thing about the egg is I practiced my matched increases - more challenging than I thought. I'll leave the rest of the egg production to the hens and bunnies.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Yarn Guide for Inspired Cable Knits

This is the new, improved version of my guide to the yarn required for Fiona Ellis' Inspired Cable Knits. Robknits requested that I add the recommended gauge to the list, so I incorporated that change. If When I get a chance, I'll add information on the actual yardage. One of the few criticisms of this book is that the yardage required is not listed, so if the designated yarn is taken off the market, the knitter is at a loss to know how much yarn to buy.

So, mostly for myself, so I can knit from this book for years to come, I looked up all the yarn and what the yardage per skein is.

Knitting projects with yarn and yardages
Project Name Yardage per Skein Yarn Recommended Gauge (for 4 inch/10 cm square)
Joining in Friendship 120 yds / 50g Alpaca/Merino by Sweaterkits 25 sts 30 rows, over cable
Open to Change 105 m / 50g Young Touch Cotton by Estelle Designs 26 sts 31 rows over body, 25 sts 29 rows, over sleeve
Practice Makes Perfect 109 yds / 50g Wings by Classic Elite 24 sts 28 rows, over cable
Gathering Intentions 85 yds / 50g 18/24 wool by Mission 23 sts 28 rows, over cable
Wrap Yourself in Nature 131 yds / 50g Sensation by Naturally 24 sts and 26 rows, over cable
Putting Down Roots 210 yds / 100g Naturelle DK by Naturally 25 sts 28 rows, over cable
Putting Down Roots 202 yds / 100g Tussock by Naturally 25 sts 28 rows, over cable
Knots & Bark 109 yds / 100g Lett-Lopi by Alafoss 21 sts 26 rows, over ss
Inspired by Surroundings 112 yds / 50g Skye Tweed by Classic Elite Yarns 15 sts 28 rows over seed st, 24 sts 28 rows over cable
Order & Chaos 118 yds / 100g Van Dyck by Needful Yarns 14 sts 18 rows over cable
Tree-pose yoga bag 200 yds / 113g Hemp Yarn from Infiknit 24 sts 28 rows over ss
Sounds like Fun 112 m / 100g Anti-tickle Merino Wool by King Cole 26 sts 30 rows over Fair Isle, 32 sts 30 rows over cable, 30 sts 30 rows over seed st
Beachcombing 100 yds / 50g Eco Knit by Infiknit 28 sts 30 rows over cable
Potential Energy 95 m / 50g 100% silk by Estelle Designs 20 sts 28 rows over cable, 16 sts 28 rows over ss
Power Cables Unplugged 118 yds / 50g Summer Tweed by Rowan Yarns 20 sts 26 rows over cable
Ripples in Time 180yds / 50g Baby Ull by Dale of Norway 36 sts 44 rows over cable
Evolving Traditions 120 yds / 50g Alpaca/Merino by Sweaterkits 25 sts 30 rows over cable w/ 4 mm needles, 20 sts 32 rows over yoke/sleeve w/ 3.75 mm needels
Metro Retro 85 yds / 50g 18/24 wool by Mission Falls 20 sts 26 rows over knit/purl body, 27 sts 26 rows over cable
Celtic Icon 260m / 100g Soft Touch Wool/cotton by Shelridge Farms 24 sts 32 rows over ss, 28 sts 32 rows over cable
Peek-a-boo 114 yds / 50g Svale by Dale of Norway 28 sts 32 rows over cable, 25 sts 32 rows over Rev St St

Thursday, April 06, 2006

If you squint, you can see the cables

I made it through one complete repeat, plus a few rows, of the back of the cable sweater. Compared with many scarves, and a couple of socks, there are a LOT of stitches in a sweater. I had forgotten how long it takes. I did figure out how to cable without a cable needle, which is quite convenient, especially since the cable are just two stitches wide.

There is a comment in Fiona Ellis' new book,
Inspired Cable Knits, about having a project that is like an old friend. You work on it a bit at a time, every day, so that working on it is like spending time with an old and dear friend. She wrote it much more eloquently, but I don't feel like going upstairs to find the book. So that's how I'm going to handle this - an inch or two at a time, every day.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Bad sock karma?

I really don't know how it happened, but somewhere, sometime, I must have done something to create bad sock karma. I'm not a newbie; I learned to knit before I was ten. I even knit TWO aran sweaters; one for my brother and one for DH. (side note: it's far too warm a sweater for him to ever wear, so, next winter, I'm taking it back) So knitting a pair of socks, even though I had never done it before, should have been an interesting challenge. Not overwhelming, but enough to make it fun.

This bad sock karma manifested itself in incredible stupidity on the knitter's part. I knit, realized the screw-up, frogged and reknit enough to have knit three socks. It's all worth it, though, because now I have these:

Sockotta yarn, color 6674
Extra knitting:

- 1 leg part - first time around was much too big, which I didn't realize until I got to the heel flap. (If DH would have worn these socks, I would have kept going. Not in this lifetime.)
- 1 heel flap - first time around forgot to slip the first stitch of every row.
- 2 toes - first sock was fine. Second sock (see post below) somehow I decided to start the decreases two inches too early. Frogged, reknit, then started the decreases 2 rows too early which messed up the identicalness of the socks (can't tell from the picture, but they are identical. My feet aren't) and would have made the second sock too short. So I went back, knit a few more rows and then did the decrease.

- Unfortunately, I had cut the yarn and was ready to graft before I discovered the problem. Hope the knot where I joined the yarn again isn't in a sensitive part of my foot.