Tag Archive | yarn

Back to knitting

Things are weird around here. My head isn’t quite right; the experience with my mother-in-law brought back a lot of feelings about my dad and I’m struggling to get on top of them again. Added to that are a few smaller things weighing on me, and it’s all feeling heavy. I haven’t been excited or eager about knitting, so I’ve just been forcing myself to work on my Fade while I watch the French Open.

But here’s the thing: I think it’s getting better. I took two days off after the service and have been spending time with the husband and kids, who are all home this week too, and that’s been good. I had dinner with my siblings, who always make me laugh. My dogs have been nearby, ready for snuggles. And Thursday I cast on a new sock with yarn that was calling my name. So I’m getting there. Day by day, right? In the spirit of easing back into my routines, I’ll show you what I found at an estate sale this week.

VRdkZHfST52b2rxLaVi7kwThe two smaller blue cakes are Koigu fingering weight merino, which came with the unlabeled cake of worsted. The two WIPs I mostly bought for the needles. I’m not sure which brand they are but they remind me of Addi needles. I’ve already frogged the projects, and the big ball of red/blue/white will probably become warm socks for my Colorado girl. And here’s my new yarn, an impulse purchase after seeing it on Instagram.

Z%QLZCKHTxOtf4Bw1pHqGwIt’s called Pride in the name of Love, and is an exclusive color from Three Irish Girls for Eat.Sleep.Knit. I kind of had to get it, right? Purple and rainbow! If you feel similarly compelled, it looks like they still have some in stock here.

With any luck, I’ll get a good photo of my Fade progress this weekend, and I can show that off soon. Happy weekend, friends!

HOW does this happen?

As you all know, I got new yarn last week, after the husband came home from Colorado. It is beautiful yarn and I love it! But somehow, I STILL ended up at my LYS on Friday afternoon, buying more yarn.

See, I’d been itching to visit them for a few weeks, but they were hosting a trunk show over Mother’s Day weekend for a dyer new to me, and I wanted to check out her yarns. So I waited, not knowing the husband would be bringing me new yarn. And Friday came and it was a super long day and I really needed some retail therapy so I went. I just went. And it was good.

Except there was no one there to make me feel guilty for buying so much. And the one friend I texted encouraged me to treat myself, so…I did. And I love my new bag and my gorgeous new purple yarns from Honey Girl Farms! She had a lot of pop culture themed yarns, lots of Game of Thrones and Outlander, but also a few Harry Potter. She’s got amazing project bags on her website; at first I wished she’d brought some but then I was kind of glad she didn’t. Anyway, I came home and played with yarn and I’m pretty sure I have an amazing fade begging to be knit:

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I would have cast on yesterday, but I’m trying to finish my test knit shawl. I’m in the last section but I’m afraid I’m going to have to frog about five or six rows, rows that are around 350 stitches. Somehow, my wine convinced me that I could fudge a lace pattern that was off by several stitches. I don’t think it went well but I’ll check on it tonight. I’m pretty sure I’ll be wishing I’d put in a lifeline at some point.

Hope you all had a lovely weekend, especially my fellow Moms!

Pre-Mother’s Day Yarn

The girl and the husband are home from Colorado now. Since they were staying in Fort Collins for a couple of days of vacation (lucky dogs), I made sure to point out that there was a really good yarn store there and remind them that Mother’s Day was coming up. I am pleased to report that the hint was successful and they came home with new yarn! It’s not completely clear why he didn’t save it for Mother’s Day on Sunday, but gift yarn is good any day! (My actual gift is going to see Itzhak Perlman this weekend, so really these are bonus gifts anyway.)

The purple is my favorite to feel, very soft and bouncy. The middle teal skein has a mini-skein for heels and toes, hooray! And the pink? So pretty and bright! Plus they even got me a new pin for my collection. They did very well!

But does this mean I can’t go to the yarn store on Mother’s Day now??

Yak Sock Yarn: Bijou Basin Ranch Review

The wonderful people at Bijou Basin Ranch gave me another opportunity to review some of their yarn, this time the Tibetan Dream fingering sock yarn. Like the yarn I reviewed previously, this is a yak blend. (I mean, they’re a yak ranch. That’s kind of their specialty.) They have a wide variety of solids and stripes, but perhaps not surprisingly, I chose Purple Dragon, a gorgeous limited edition color dyed exclusively for Bijou Basin Ranch by MJ Yarns. And guys, okay, BBR is one of the best at first impressions! Look at this assortment:

 

Tibetan Dream is 440 yards, 85% pure yak with 15% nylon. Their website states that yak fiber is warmer than wool and softer than cashmere. I can’t say for sure that it’s warmer than wool, but it is warm, and best of all, yak fiber is hypoallergenic, so it doesn’t make me itch the way some wools do. And yes, it is indeed very soft! I chose a simple pattern for my socks with a ribbed leg and stockinette foot. The colors really are so pretty.

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It’s a very smooth yarn, a texture reminiscent of a premium pima cotton. I noticed it the last time I used their yarn and wasn’t sure which fiber to attribute it to, but it must be the yak. I really like the feel, but it is a little splitty, as cotton is, and it doesn’t feel quite as elastic as wool. However, I have worn and washed and worn the socks, and they’re wearing nicely. These photos are after a wear and a wash, actually. And they are indeed comfy to wear, as soft and smooth as they are!

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The yarn retails starting at $39.95 and goes up to $49.95, so it is more of a splurge yarn, for me at least. As much as I love my socks, I might be more inclined to use this yarn for shawls and wraps, especially gifts for special people. The yak does block out beautifully, making it an ideal choice for lace patterns.

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Thank you to Stitchcraft Marketing and Bijou Basin Ranch, who generously sent me one skein of Tibetan Dream (retail value $49.95) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

New yarn from Manos!

Manos del Uruguay is one of my favorite brands, has been for a while now. I’ve used the Maxima and Alegria with great success. Their colors are gorgeous, the yarn is soft and wears well, and it’s all certified Fair Trade. Plus the yarns are made by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and each skein is signed, so you know who made your yarn and which village it came from. That makes it so much more personal for me, and I feel like I’m doing a good deed just by buying yarn.

So, when given the opportunity to review a new yarn from Manos, of course I jumped at the chance. Feliz is 70% superwash merino, 30% modal. Modal is a man-made fiber from vegetal pulp, and I was familiar with it from my past life in retail: I knew it was smooth and had fantastic drape. I could only imagine it would be equally delightful in yarn. It’s available in several of the gorgeous Manos hand-dyed colorways; I chose Wildflowers.

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Doesn’t it make you swoon? Yum, it does me! I cast on almost as soon as they sent it to me! It’s listed as DK on Ravelry, and has about 350 yards per 100g skein. Fairmount Fibers, their North American distributor, was generous enough to send me two skeins. I selected a pattern called Late Harvest, which was written for a different sport weight Manos yarn. It has a really unusual slip stitch pattern.

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Guys, I love this yarn. It felt like premium merino, all bouncy and supple, but even smoother, almost silky. There’s almost a hint of a sheen to the yarn. I didn’t have any issues with splitting, and it tinked back nicely when I made the inevitable mistake.

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It was a happy yarn for me, a happy knit. It felt soft and comforting in my hands, it slid smoothly on the needles, and the colors were perfect for the pattern. I keep coming back to the smoothness, because honestly, I prefer that to the fuzziness you get with some yarns. I can’t wait to see how it wears long-term, because if it doesn’t fuzz and pill as much as all-merino yarns, it will make some truly fantastic sweaters! Plus, I’m sensitive to some wools against my skin, and this feels like a yarn I might be able to wear without a layer underneath.

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Even though it’s mostly superwash merino, it does say to hand wash, which I did. It blocked out beautifully without much work, and the water was still clear after the soak, so the dyes didn’t bleed. I didn’t even pin it, just laid it out and nudged the edges into the shape I wanted, and now I’ve got a big, gorgeous shawl that will go with so many things. You can see my Ravelry project page here.

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You can see Feliz in all the pretty colors on their website, including their special 50th anniversary color, Cincuenta. It looks like Feliz sells for around $26 a skein, which seems perfectly reasonable to me. I’m happy to pay that for yarn that looks good, feels good, and helps women support their families!

Many thanks to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, who generously sent me two skeins of Manos del Uruguay Feliz (retail value $52) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Holiday Projects

It’s been a busy few days around here. The girl was here for Thanksgiving, which was marvelous, but she also had to work two shifts and see a couple of friends, and then she had to leave a day early to beat today’s blizzard warning, so it was really only three days. And that’s not quite long enough for me. But I enjoyed her while she was here and I am very glad she’s back at school safe and sound. I would have gone nuts thinking about her driving through a blizzard warning! After she left yesterday, I wanted something fun to do to distract me, so I made the boys take me to a cute little nearby town for some retail therapy. I did pretty well!

I found this awesome yarn bowl at an art collective and even got a fun tote with it! Hooray for Small Business Saturday! While we were there, I did some knitting on my Hogwarts Cowl at the guitar store and at dinner. I’m halfway through now and like the size much better than my first version.


There’s actually been more crochet than knitting this weekend. One of the nephews requested a Pikachu hat and he’s three and very cute so I couldn’t say no. And since I made one nephew a scarf and another a Pikachu hat, I had to make something for the Pokemon-obsessed niece, so I used the last of my yellow yarn for a wee Pikachu for her.

They are cute, I will admit it. But that’s enough Pikachu to last me a very long time! I’m taking a break from gift projects today during the blizzard for some selfish knitting…maybe. Or maybe I’ll start a pair of gift socks. In any case, it’s windy and snowing and you will find me on the couch with yarn and dogs for the rest of the day! Everyone else in the path of the storm, stay safe and warm!

A Scarf in a Weekend?

Okay, not quite but almost! One of my Christmas knitting projects is a scarf for a nephew. He requested pale blue and white, neither of which were colors in my acrylic stash, so Saturday morning I headed to the closest big-box craft store. Just my luck: they were having a buy-two, get one free sale! I got the yarn I need for my other Christmas project, and for this scarf I chose more of the Lion Brand Jeans yarn, this time in the faded blue color, plus some Vanna White white. (Except when I started knitting with it, the Vanna White worsted was thicker and not as soft, so I pulled out a partial skein of KnitPicks Brava worsted in white instead.) I cast on that afternoon and it’s been my only project this weekend. He’s only five so it doesn’t need to be a big scarf, which means that the 47″ I have tonight is very close to being long enough. If he’s 45″ tall, and I make the scarf 60″, that’s plenty long enough, right?

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But that’s not all I got at the store. I kind of went past this jumbo yarn on my way out and…well, buy 2 get 1 free, you know?? It’s a good deal. So this went into my cart too.

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Pretty sure it’ll be a couple of cowls, but not anytime soon. I have more Christmas knitting to do!