Tag Archive | yarn stash

Colorado Yarn Stores

I really only meant to go to one yarn store during our Colorado vacation. Looking back, I’m not sure why I thought that was reasonable, or even feasible for me. But that was my plan, and since I’d gotten in trouble at the Loopy Ewe the past two years, I was going to avoid them. Instead, I chose LambShoppe in Denver. It was in a cute but busy part of town, and the boys weren’t interested in joining us, so they dropped me and the girl off at the curb. The store was small but had lots of fun yarns, both big names and small. The saleswoman immediately asked how she could help me, and I cheerfully said, “Just let me look at the yarn!” I try to focus on local dyers when I’m buying vacation yarn, and I found quite a few choices. Unfortunately, the saleswoman was one of those who thinks she needs to engage every shopper frequently, and that bugs the crap out of me. Still, I found some good stuff.

But then! As I was pondering my choices on the table there, that same woman walked by and said, “Oh, you need to get out of your box and try something new!” She’d already annoyed me enough that I replied, “How about I do what I want?” I mean, seriously. Let a knitter pick her own damn yarn, am I right? Anyway, beautiful yarns, if not all local. The woman’s one saving grace was that she found me a second skein of the Manos Locura Fluo (the crazy neon one in the middle). I’m collecting skeins for a sweater!

I thought I was good and happy but then we went to Colorado Springs, and we had some extra time, and darned if we didn’t end up at another yarn store. Ewe and Me was a little hard to find, and the font is hard to read on the sign outside, but I’m so glad I found it! It was a BIG store, with a huge table down the middle with comfy chairs for the boys to sit in. The women chatted with me at first but then let me browse at my own pace. And the yarn! So much local yarn, so much gorgeous yarn!

I saw small dyers I’d only followed on Instagram, like The Lemonade Shop and Artistic Yarns by Abi, plus ones I’d never heard of. I bought six skeins, I think, plus that fabulous mug. And another size 5 circular needle for shawls. And maybe an enamel pin.

That was plenty, right? It really was! I would have been happy to leave it at that. Except on Sunday the boy and I were on our own, and we went to Longmont to check out a guitar store. And there happened to be a yarn store a few doors down. Sigh. Three more skeins went in my bag. But one of them was Dragon Hoard Yarn, who I’d just started following on Instagram! She was doing a trunk show there so of course I had to grab a skein.

That’s how I ended up with this beautiful, extravagant assortment of yarns to feed my stash!

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Now, let’s see if I can restrain from buying more new yarn for a while!

Interlude Project

Sometimes when I have several big projects on my needles, I need to cleanse my palate with a smaller project that I can get done in a few days. Sunday I cast on a new Bandana Cowl with yarn from the stash. It got off to a rough start, though, and I was afraid I’d chosen poorly.

First, I was trying to adapt a pattern meant for bulky yarn to aran weight, so I was using notes from another knitter. The first needles were too big, though, so I frogged and started over with a smaller size. I liked it enough, until I got a few rows in and saw a dropped stitch way down at the beginning. I didn’t like it enough to keep going, so I frogged again and cast on with size 8 needles, and this time it worked. Except I did drop a stitch again and had to ladder it up about five rows.

img_4664It wasn’t my favorite yarn; it was a little nubby, and thick & thin in places. It’s Skacel Urban Silk, which is 80/20 silk and cotton. It’s definitely soft, and has the lovely drape of silk, but something about it just didn’t thrill me, so I’m glad I made this with someone else in mind. Now let’s just hope she likes it!

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It’s definitely smaller and more snug than the original was intended, but it fits me well and should be perfect for the recipient. And it got two skeins of yarn out of my stash!

Feeding the stash

Do you like yarn? I like yarn. I like my current stash, I like yarn in stores, and I especially like new yarn that arrives in the mail after I’ve had a bad day. Yesterday I had TWO packages waiting for me when I got home. The first had these goodies from Izzy Knits:

img_4643Isn’t that logo the cutest?? For some crazy reason, I agreed to test knit a pattern for a dog sweater. Yes, a sweater for one of my dogs. A sweater he will very likely not want to wear longer than two minutes, and that I’ll have to protect from the other dog chewing on it. Still, he will be very handsome during those two minutes.

The second package was yarn from an Instagram/Etsy destash. There are no tags so I have no idea who made what, and I don’t care a bit. Because OMG look at my pretties:

They’re all fingering weight except that one bright pink variegated skein, which I think is worsted and will become an awesome cowl. The others will feed the stash for now. That neon yellow is the softest; I think it must have some cashmere in it. No idea what to do with it, since I can’t/don’t wear that color, but maybe mixed in with something else, it’ll work out.

Today we’re finally getting someone to look at our broken AC again, after a week of a warm, humid upstairs. Here’s hoping I go home to a cool(er) house! At least I know I’ll go home to dogs, and that’s pretty good.

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Happy Tuesday, friends! Hope it’s a good one!

Stuck on sleeve island

I really need to clear out some WIPs. My knitting is not inspiring me lately but I can’t bring myself to cast on anything new right now. It’s dumb, because I only have four WIPs on the needles, but my brain won’t let me accept more. Really, I’m a little blocked with my knitting. I recently had a big load of dirty handknit socks, so I decided to be bold and try to machine wash and dry them, partly to save time and effort and partly to get rid of most of the dog hair stuck to them. And for the most part, they’re fine, or so I thought. A couple of pairs might have felted a tiny bit, and a few looked a bit smaller, but hey, they’ll stretch. Then I found a solitary sock that didn’t make it into the dryer.

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That is…not ideal. Maybe they shrank more than I realized? I guess I’ll find out when I wear them. I think I’m just feeling a little defeated with my knitting. I love knitting socks, but they’re high-maintenance, they don’t stay snug, the heels felt, and they shrink. I don’t wear hats, you can only have so many fingerless gloves or shawls or scarves, I have yarn in my stash I won’t wear now that I have purple hair (I refuse to wear red and purple together) and what’s the point even of having so much yarn and making things?

Oof. That’s not a pretty thought. I mean, maybe my head wasn’t in a great place yesterday anyway, but I had to fight this because in my heart I know there is value in making pretty things, so I picked up my sweater. I love to wear my handknit sweaters, and since I wear a layer underneath, they don’t need to be washed with each wear like socks. Sweaters are useful and practical as well as fun. So I knit a sleeve yesterday.

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This morning I picked up for the second sleeve and I’ll work on that while watching movies I love, and with any luck, I’ll feel better about my knitting by the end of the day.

And I’m not going KonMari my whole stash, but if you’re interested in a gorgeous skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single for $30 including US shipping, let me know. I would much rather have a skein of this yarn in a color I’d love to wear all the time.

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Um, more yarn?

I had a hair appointment over the weekend (fresh purple, hooray) and the salon just happens to be very close to a LYS. A large LYS that I don’t visit very often. And somehow I let myself believe that it would be okay to go for a short visit. I would only buy one skein, maybe two. You guys know what happened, don’t you? Yeah. Because here’s the thing: I touched the yarn! And so much of it was SOFT!

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That Alpine? Yeah, it feels exactly like fur. And I love the feel of fur! How could I resist making a cowl out of that?? And right by the Alpine was the Wild, which is almost as soft and also has those amazing colors! They’re mostly acrylic, but I don’t care because they’re soft and pretty. And that yarn up in the top right? It’s also soft and fuzzy, a nylon/wool/alpaca blend, and it was on sale! It’s DK weight, so it’s thin and lightweight and will be all floaty. Okay, and those two skeins of red/green/blue yarn? That’s Happy Feet sock yarn and it was ALSO on sale! What decent sock knitter would resist sale sock yarn that feels good and looks good? Not this one, I tell you. Which is also how I ended up with that bottom skein…except it was not on sale. But it is beautiful and it’s Araucania Huaso, which is awesome yarn and so it jumped into my arms.

Am I doing very well on my yarn-buying balance? Well. Maybe better than it looks right now? Because there was a lot of yarn that I picked up and then put back because I didn’t love it as much. There was a lot of sale yarn I would have bought in the past just because it was on sale. So that’s progress, because I’m making mindful yarn choices at least. But yeah, I think I can probably take a break from yarn stores for a little while!

Craft Room Reorg

I made so much good progress on my sweater this weekend! I finished the body, including my first split hem which I kind of love.

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After I took this photo, I looked around my craft room and decided it needed an update. I used to use a 6′ folding table as a desk and a few months ago switched it out for a smaller library table. I love the smaller desk; it’s beautiful, it belonged to my dad, and it’s a great writing desk. But when I took out the big table, I lost a place to spread out as well as a place to wind yarn. So every time I wanted to wind yarn, I had to take everything downstairs and clean off the coffee table. That got tiresome. So! Plan B: put the library table in the corner with the north light, so I can still set things on it for photos, and put the folding table back up!

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Now I have a lot more table space, but the room still feels big and open. And I really like my desk in that corner. In fact, I spent the rest of the day up there, watching movies on my laptop and knitting. I wove in all the current ends on the sweater, added the neckband, and got the first sleeve picked up and started! The room feels very cozy. I think my long term goal is to get a small, comfortable arm chair for this corner, so I can sit here and look out into my craft room like this:

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If I did that, though, my family might never see me!

A Fast FO

You may remember that I was having a less-than-stellar day on Sunday, which led me to cast on a new project…with yarn from stash, I might add! I love worsted weight cowls so I picked my Nerd Girl Yarns Progression Worsted in Too English to Say Anything, which is a pretty rosy pink and gray mixture, and a simple cowl called Squeezie Hug. It was so easy and fun that I finished it last night, with just three evenings’ work!

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It is a paid pattern but it’s a small price and totally worth it. I love the little ridges! It needs to be blocked before I can wear it, since my cast-off is looser than my cast-on, but I should have it ready to wear in another day or so. Duncan was my helper as I finished last night; I’ve definitely forgiven him for his book-eating debacle.

We’re gearing up for another round of ice and snow tonight…maybe I’ll get a snow day tomorrow?? Stay safe and warm, friends!