Tag Archive | Nerd Girl Yarns

Nerd Girl Field Trip

I’m lucky enough to have a fantastic indie dyer only thirty minutes away: Nerd Girl Yarns. Her colorways are exactly what you’d expect (Doctor Who, Harry Potter, superheroes, and much more), the colors are gorgeous, and the yarn is always a treat to knit with. In the recent past, she’s been primarily an online seller, without a brick and mortar retail location, but she’s in a new space now and had a Grand Opening this weekend. Of course I had to go, and I haven’t gotten to hang out much with Knitting SIL lately, so she joined me. We weren’t disappointed: the new location was beautiful!

IMG_4778

The wood glass-fronted cabinets are stunning, especially filled with yarn. She also carries a bit of tea, so we saw tea accessories too. When you first go in, you see a cabinet full of crystal teacups and flasks, each holding yarn.

IMG_4777

But as pretty as it all was, we were there mainly for one thing: yarn!

fullsizeoutput_d35

Her selection of already-dyed yarn is limited, but it’s all tempting. There was pima cotton in bright pinks and oranges and yellows, plus plenty of merino in a variety of colors. There were also tie-dyed sock knitting bags, which I resisted (It was hard), and dyed wool for spinning. (Is that called roving? I don’t know.)

IMG_4780

There was plenty more bare yarn, and if I dyed my own yarn, this would be the place to go, since she had all different weights, plus some with sparkle!

IMG_4781

So what did I get?? This was my little impulse purchase, rainbow scissors up by the register. Love them!

IMG_4783

This is merino worsted in a color called Too English to Say Anything. I think I want to look for a solid or two to go with it.

IMG_4784

Originally my goal was to only buy one skein. But then I found this one, a fingering weight called Queen of the Amazons, and of course it had to come home with me.

IMG_4785

It was a fun little field trip in an otherwise busy weekend. I’m glad we were able to squeeze it in!

A Couple of Cowls

I have two cowls to share today, one older and one brand-new. Let’s start with the older one. A while back, I used my one and only skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted to make a Boomerang Cowl (pattern by MollyGirl Yarn). Here’s my Berry Cowl unblocked. IMG_5340I finally got around to blocking it yesterday. I blocked it pretty aggressively for a few reasons: the bind-off was really loose and I wanted both edges to be the same, I wanted it to be wider, and most importantly: I wanted to show off the pattern. I like the results! IMG_5706IMG_5707

I should be able to get a couple of wears out of it before it gets too warm. And now I need to do the same for my Take the Crown cowl, which I finished yesterday thanks to a few hours of outside knitting time.

IMG_5693

The puppies kept me company, one by my side and one in the sun.

IMG_5700IMG_5699

I decided to trust the pattern and finish it rather than frog it, and I think I made the right choice. IMG_5704Blocking should get it to a good width for a closer-fitting cowl. I found it fascinating to see how the colors pooled in the ribbing at the beginning (the bottom ribbing) but not at the end. This will be wonderful if I make it to any Royals night games this season!IMG_5705The pattern, which is a zigzag, does get a bit lost in the yarn, but I like it because in my mind, it represents the points of a crown. And again, blocking should open it up nicely. Details: the yarn is Nerd Girl Yarns Clever in color Take the Crown and it was heavenly to knit with. Soft but not limp, not splitty at all, just flowed wonderfully over the needles. This pattern is River Deep, Mountain High by MollyGirl Yarn and this makes my fourth.

What about you? What are your go-to patterns, the ones you knit over and over?

To Market: All the Yarn

Okay, are you ready for this? Maybe you are. Maybe you’ve been to markets at knitting events before. But this was my first, so I was a bit overwhelmed. Walking into the room, I saw yarn everywhere. Knitters were swarming certain booths, so I avoided those. Nerd Girl Yarns was the first booth I saw, but it was packed. I just walked for a while, absorbing and touching and admiring. The yarns were all gorgeous, hanging in long hanks or piled in neat skeins. Plus there was fiber for spinning (is that called roving? I’m not up on all my fiber vocabulary yet.) and there were project bags galore. There were shawl pins and tool kits and a few stitch markers, and one booth had a long table of books too. It was just SO MUCH.

Going into it, I’d thought I’d just buy a project bag, maybe stitch markers. I really didn’t think I’d buy yarn, or if I did, it would just be one skein. I know, I know. Are you done laughing now? I’m telling you, I didn’t know what I was getting into! The first time I got in trouble was at a fantastic booth called Supernatural Yarns. They had a long table with piles of project bags in all sorts of nerdy fabrics, like Doctor Who and Harry Potter and superheroes. I liked the Harry Potter ones; they were pretty tempting. But I was really on the lookout for Wonder Woman. Lo and behold, guess what I found: IMG_5674I admired her yarns too, which were gorgeous colors with fun pop culture names like Voldemort and Elsa and You Go, Glen Coco. IMG_5658All the pretties! All the happy knitters!IMG_5659But it was still early in the game, so I resisted. I needed to see what else was out there.

Around and around I went, and there was so much yarn calling my name. One booth had piles of bright primary-color skeins, deep reds and blues and vivid yellows and oranges, but the crowd at that table was so thick I couldn’t get close. I admired other project bags, touched more yarn, tried to make some sense out of it all. A couple of yarn stores were there, but I really wanted to support the indie dyers. By this point, I knew I’d be buying yarn, and I knew I wanted some Nerd Girl yarn, so I circled back to her booth. IMG_5660The crowd had thinned, thank goodness. I poked around and knew I’d found a winner when I saw this blue/white/gold skein named Take the Crown. A souvenir both of the event AND my Royals winning the World Series last year! Perfect! IMG_5667Wandering around more, I found myself going back to the TreasureGoddess Yarn booth a second time. She had a ton of pretty yarns, but I couldn’t get this one out of my mind. It had to go home with me too. It’s called Avast, Ye Wildcats, which I think has something to do with some Kansas university, but I don’t care about that. It’s purple, gorgeous purple.IMG_5670That was all I needed. That was plenty. One bag and two skeins? Sure, that was enough. But I couldn’t make myself leave. I kept circling the market, and realized I was still thinking about another project bag I’d spotted at Supernatural Yarns. It had classic Disney villains on it and was dark and purply. I found myself in that strange fugue that probably happens to most knitters in times like this: “Oh yes you NEED that it’s okay it’s a souvenir it’s a special event go ahead it’s all right just BUY IT.” And I had no one to talk me out of any of it! So yes, I bought the darn bag. IMG_5672As if that weren’t enough, here’s the other side: IMG_5671I mean, come ON! Perfect, right? Right. Sigh. Somehow, en route to pay for this, I ended up with another skein of yarn in my hand. IMG_5668It’s merino DK called Don’t Call Me Nymphadora! Love it. Love the colors, love the name, love the feel.

After that, I had to be done, right? I’d done more damage than I thought I would, definitely more than I should have done. But on my way out, I had to go by that one booth, that one with the rainbow skeins and thick crowd. And wouldn’t you know it, the crowd had thinned at that booth too. This was Show Me YarnIMG_5657Soon, even these people left, and it was just me petting all the yarns, the pretty pretty yarns. IMG_5661I wanted the pink, and the green. I liked the rainbows, but they were sock yarns. There was a lovely purple I was eyeing, but I kept coming back to this red, a color way called Purdy. Then somehow I was caressing a black and white skein called Elephant Rocks, and man, these girls were good. “Oh, those look gorgeous together!” they said. (They did.) “They’d make this gorgeous hat, let me show you the sample!” (Hat? My ears perked up. I do love hats. And having a reason to buy the yarn? I love that too.) They couldn’t find the sample but showed me the pattern on Ravelry, and it was indeed something I think I would like making. While they were writing up the sale, I found myself playing with the purple again, and one of the girls pointed out a cowl/mitten set on display, said I’d get one of the patterns for free with the purchase of the yarn. Gosh darn it. I asked if I could call her a bad name, and she said yes, if I bought the yarn. I bought the yarn. (But no, I didn’t call her a bad name…out loud. Seriously, all three ladies at that booth were marvelous. I had a great time chatting and joking with them.) So there I was, adding three more skeins to my KITH shopping bag. IMG_5666Sighhhh. Can you blame me? I was alone and defenseless.

The next day I made zipper pulls for my new project bags. IMG_5677IMG_5678And I wound two skeins of yarn. Today is opening day for the Royals, so in their honor, the Take The Crown yarn was the first to be cast on. IMG_5682I’m using my favorite cowl pattern, River Deep Mountain High, and it will be for me.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go figure out which child I need to sell to pay for all this yarn!

Two Knitted Hats and a Cute Puppy

Okay, shhhh, do you hear that? Yes, that! That, my friend, is silence. Something that has been hard to find in the last three weeks. The husband went back to to work on Monday and today the children went back to school. I have enjoyed having them all home with me (for the most part) but we had enough togetherness. Now it is time for the alone-ness. Okay, sure, the puppy is home and soon enough will be pestering me because I don’t want to take him for a walk in 5 degree weather with wind chills of 15 below. But right now he is sleeping and I am listening to just the wind blow outside and it’s delightful.

Right, so, knitting! Yesterday at this time I had two half-finished hats. This morning, I have two completed hats! Once we did our running around, I had nothing to do but knit. Of course, first I had to survive errands with two kids who were tired of each other and me. But we managed to get shoes at Target without ANY unplanned purchases. We went to Joann and left empty-handed because the yarn was all 25% off so I couldn’t use my coupons. I’m telling you, I was strong yesterday! It must have been because I was wearing my new “I Am Strong” necklace. I must wear that every time I go to Target.

Okay, seriously, hats. I am pleased as punch with them. First up, we have a Spring Beret knit in Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton & Silk.IMG_3606 IMG_3607This yarn was heavenly to knit with: soft but strong. It didn’t slip around while I was doing the lace bits, which was nice. And it’s the prettiest baby blue color, my photos don’t do it justice. I think it will be perfect for those April days when we’re all tired of the brisk wind and eager for the return of warmer temperatures. I used this Spring Beret pattern and followed it exactly (except for when I made mistakes and had to maybe k2tog or m1 to get my stitch counts right) for the less slouchy version.

Secondly, I finished the swirly beanie for the boy.IMG_3610 IMG_3612This was the easiest swirl pattern ever, and yet I made so many mistakes. I had to frog back several rows once, and then frog the whole thing and start over. But once I realized I had to work on it alone, it was fine. It’s called Odessa and written to include beads, but of course I left those off. My 11yo son might not appreciate beads. So he got some fantastic Nerd Girl Yarn in the Foxy line. The colorway is called #nofilter and the colors are so bright and vivid. I truly love this yarn and can’t wait to start knitting up more.

It felt good to get those done. I’m down to only 4 WIPs, which of course means I will be starting something new today. Our snow and cold, plus the peace and quiet, means I will be snuggling in with a blanket, yarn, tea, and some Grey’s Anatomy. I expect great progress today. For now, I will leave you with a photo of puppy, Captain Jack. He loves the cold and snow. He wants to smell all the smells and eat all the crunchy things.IMG_1097

No Willpower = Swirly Knitted Cowl

I failed. Those gorgeous skeins of yarn I wound yesterday? The ones that were supposed to be for after the holidays? I couldn’t wait to start playing with them. So I pulled out the Nerd Girl Yarns Foxy in #nofilter and cast on the Later, Gator! cowl. After maybe three hours’ knitting (super fast for me) I had a new cowl, and I love it.IMG_3409 IMG_3415 IMG_3416I made it with the girl in mind, and it looks lovely on her, but I was kind of sad to let it go. These aren’t colors I wear much, but I like how it turned out so much I kind of wanted to keep it. At least this way I’ll get to see it often, and even borrow it if I want. The blue reminds a bit of TARDIS blue, so I picked a pattern with a bit of wibbly-wobbly swirl to it. And the really cool thing is that this pattern only used around 95 yards, so I’ve still got around 180 yards left! So I’ve cast on a swirly hat, and the boy (also a Whovian) will get first crack at it. Merry Christmas Eve Eve, and happy knitting to all!

Yarn for the Nerd in all of us

Have you heard of Make magazine? Or maybe the Maker Faire? They’re parts of a larger Maker movement that encourages people to…well, to make stuff. They want people to interact with their environment, to open their minds enough to think about how to do something differently, or to create something fun and interesting and helpful. The magazine has all kinds of project ideas, and my husband has been reading it for ages. He loves to find fun things to do with the kids. I’m awfully glad he does too, because it led to a new yarn source for me.

So, the Maker Faire. It’s “the Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth—a family-friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement.” Sounds cool, doesn’t it? Kansas City hosted a Maker Faire last month, but unfortunately it fell on a weekend when we simply did not have time to go. But shortly after, the Make blog featured one of the KC vendors, Nerd Girl Yarns, and since Alex reads the blog, is a nerd, and has a wife who loves yarn, he watched the interview. (Watch her interviews here) And then he shared it with me, and I got all excited because guess what? NGY is in Odessa, Missouri which is only about 30 minutes from me!

IMG_2684

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of them before, but as I poked through the website I realized that it was because she focuses on the dyeing, and selling custom orders. She does have a small retail space, but it seems to be more of a sideline. And I’m okay with that, because the yarns she creates are awesome. Yesterday I got out to the studio for the first time to see some of the yarn in person. The retail section is small, with just one little bit of wall devoted to yarn. The other side has the hand-dyed clothing, and there were a couple of chairs for those inclined to stay and be crafty. I wasn’t there for that. I was there for the yarn.

A lot of the colors are inspired by Doctor Who, like a blue and brown named Tenth Doctor. There was a red named I Am the Cyber King, and a Gallifrey with oranges and reds. There was a TARDIS blue, of course, and a yellow/orange with a touch of blue Sunflower. I was really hoping for the Blue Box Exploding, which is mostly blue with some yellow/orange too. She has Don’t Blink, Doctor Donna, Fantastic, Raggedy Man, Regenerate, and Time Machine. Both my kids (and the husband) are Whovians so I’d love to get some of each to make them lots of Whovian presents. I can’t do it all at once, though. I know. Patience, grasshopper.

They’re not all Doctor Who, of course. There’s Windu, Nevermore, Resurrection Stone, Serenity Firefly Class, Forbidden Forest, Walking Dead, Girl on Fire and so much more. So many references that I don’t even get! I can’t list them all, so you really should check out her stuff yourself. Go to her website here.

The really cool thing is that you can order the colorway on any base you like. So if you adore fingering weight, you can get that. If you love bulky yarn, like me, you can get that. You can get exactly the yarn you want!

“What did you get??” I can hear you asking. My eye went first to a gorgeous purple sparkly yarn named Secretly Spiders. The site says it’s inspired by Night Vale, and sadly I have no idea what that means. All I know is that I love it. It’s on Smashing, which is a DK of 70% merino and 20% silk with 5% silver-toned stellina to make it shine.IMG_2677I kept picking skeins up and putting them back. I really needed to restrain myself to 2 or 3 skeins, but it was hard. I struggled with choosing based on the Whovian names or the colors. I ended up going for the colors this time. So my second skein was a beautiful blue-green blend named #nofilter. The colors were more vivid on the fingering weights, but I knew I’d enjoy a heaver weight more, so I went with Foxy. Foxy is a DK weight too, but it’s 85% Polwarth Wool and 15% silk.IMG_2679Once I got through the initial getting-to-know-you phase, I was able to look beyond the wall o’ yarn, and that’s when I saw the sale section. It wasn’t big, and there were only two bowls of yarn, but any sale yarn is good yarn in my book. My third selection came from that.IMG_2682This is called Shtako. No idea what that means. Feel free to enlighten me. But the purple caught my eye, and as soon as I touched it, it was mine. It’s on the Luscious yarn, and it really is luscious. It’s Heavy Worsted, 60% superfine merino and 40% silk. It’s heavenly. It’s only 100 yards so it will have to be a small project; I’m thinking some fingerless gloves.

I also got a medium project bag with the logo, like you see in that first picture. You can never have enough project bags, and at $12 it was the perfect price. She didn’t have any Blue Box Exploding, so I’ll probably be ordering some in the near future. And we got to talk to Christa, the owner, for a little while, and she mentioned the possibility of doing quarterly events where they dye larger quantities of some of the popular colorways. I’m really hoping that happens, because I’d be there in a heartbeat! If you’d like to find out when that happens, follow her blog here. Maybe I’ll see you there!