Tag Archive | yarn

FO Friday: Socks!

I have new socks to wear for spring! I finished my scrappy shortie socks last night and they’re the same size and used up two little leftover balls of yarn. They’re a pattern from my head but I’m pretty sure it started with the Rose City Rollers and I just modified the leg to add a short cuff.img_7550

My yarn friends at work are going to do a worsted-weight sock knit-along through work, so that will motivate me to do the second sock for the boy. I’m kind of…leading it, I think?? Which is so weird to me but whatever, I have made a lot of socks so I’m pretty skilled at basic sock skills, I guess? Anyway, it’ll be fun and give us a good excuse to meet virtually and show off socks. And maybe I can get someone else addicted to sock knitting because it’s the best.

My apparently never-ending supply of happy mail continued today with this fun collection of goodies from the Treasure Goddess:ea25de0f-c7d8-4475-b1ba-c0cde6023f8eThe sock yarn will actually become socks, and the two little pirate sheep in the middle are temporary tattoos, how fun is that? And that sticker in the upper left corner? LOVE with the yarn ball? I think that would make an amazing real tattoo! Only if I did it, of course the yarn would be purple. We’ll see if I still want it once we’re allowed to go out into the world again.

I don’t expect any happy mail tomorrow but who knows, something could show up! Happy Friday, friends!

 

Review: Manos del Uruguay Alpaca Heather

A couple of months ago, Stitchcraft Marketing offered me the chance to review a new yarn from Manos del Uruguay and of course I said Absolutely! Alpaca Heather is a sport weight that’s 70% wool, 30% alpaca. It comes in 12 colors: 3 undyed colors, and 9 more overdyed with their kettle-dyed semi-solid colors. I chose Kohl, a dark gray, and Goji Berry, a dark dusty rose.

There are also six free patterns for this yarn, and I chose the Oleada Cowl. I wear cowls a lot, and chevrons and stripes are some of my favorite things to knit. The pattern was well-written and quick to knit. I memorized the pattern sequence easily and this was one of my favorite projects to knit while it was on my needles. I’d love to make it again in other colors! It sits up enough that I can burrow my chin into it, which just makes me feel extra cozy.

img_8779img_8785I love the rich colors. I love the stitch definition. It’s a dense, supple yarn. I loved how it slid across my needles, catching just enough to not be slippery. It blocked beautifully, with no bleeding of either color. I wore it around the house for a while, and it’s warm for sure. I like the drape — it has enough structure that it actually stands up enough to keep my whole neck and chin warm. I enjoyed knitting with it, but it’s the tiniest bit itchy to wear. However, I know the skin on my neck and face is sensitive, so your mileage may vary. Alpaca, in my experience at least, makes for a slightly hairier yarn than merino, giving it a fuzzy look and feel. I kept thinking I had single dog hairs trapped in the cowl, but I’m pretty sure it was (usually) the yarn. I think I’m just learning that I prefer smoother yarns, like Alma or Alegria.

img_8784I could see this being a great, warm yarn for outerwear like hats and mittens, or beautiful cabled sweaters. I might not wear it on my neck, but I’d test-drive some thick boot socks. And I love Manos for the good work they do: they’re a member of the World Fair Trade Organization, the yarns are produced by artisans in cooperatives located throughout Uruguay, and every skein helps a woman in Uruguay support her family. I’ll continue to happily buy their yarns!

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Thanks so much to Stitchcraft Marketing and Fairmount Fibers, the North American distributor of Manos del Urugay, who sent me two skeins of Alpaca Heather (retail value: $43) for free. I received no other compensation for this review. All opinions and photos are my own.

Not a stitch

There was no knitting yesterday. Crazy, right? We’re working from home, I have so much time, I should be knitting up a storm! Wait, no, there is no “should be” anything right now, so let’s say, you’d think I’d be knitting up a storm. Instead, I spent most of my free time yesterday working on this:

img_7396WHY I thought this would be a fun puzzle, I don’t know! There are so many black pieces and shades of gray and I despair of ever finishing it, but I’m just stubborn enough to do it, if for no other reason than to allow myself to buy a more colorful puzzle.

Today we have sunshine and it’s almost Friday and it was another happy mail day at my house. This is the last of my stress-purchase yarn but it’s all so GOOD:

On the left are two skeins from Orange Jellyfish Dream. The bright multicolored is sock yarn and the purple/gray was a discounted OOAK skein of fingering weight, so maybe a shawl? On the right are four skeins of SoLo, a fingering weight merino from LoloDidIt, that will become an Olive Pink shawl. Maybe I’ll get some knitting done tonight, who knows!

WIP Wednesday: Bonny Lass

I know it’s Wednesday because Blogville tells me so, with other WIP Wednesday posts! I wasted no time in winding my beautiful Bonny Lass yarn from Kitty Pride Fibers last night. I’d already done some pattern hunting while I waited for the yarn to arrive so I just had to make my final pick. I knew I wanted lace, and I felt like it needed to be a classic half-circle shawl shape. I ended up choosing Dowland and cast on last night.

This will definitely NOT be a watching TV kind of project, and in fact, might be the first project where I faithfully use lifelines! I’m about to start chart two of eight, and I’m thinking the first lifeline will go in at the end of chart two, just to be safe. Do you use lifelines for all your lace projects?

Sock It To Me Monday

Thank goodness for knitting, am I right? I mean. Heck. I have no idea what I’d do with myself if I didn’t have knitting. Okay, sure, I’d read, and I did read a whole book yesterday which was great. And I’d work on puzzles — I’ve got a Twilight puzzle going but it’s all shades of black and gray and it’s currently driving me bonkers. So yes, thank goodness for knitting. I’ve been using my sock knitting for work days, for those short breaks during the day, so I don’t have a ton of progress to show. This is the Vestigial sock (which sounds weird. Look up “vestigial“. This is my vestigial sock, haha! Why is this pattern even called Vestigial? I don’t know!).

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I love this yarn so much. It’s almost self-striping but with such gentle color transitions, and the colors are all springy and happy. I finished the heel while on a Skype Saturday Night knit night with Sarah at Mildly Granola and I made at least one mistake but it looks like a perfectly good heel so who the hell cares? Not me.

Here are the non-knitting things I’m grateful for night now: Dogs that want all the cuddles and snuggles I can give them. A husband who has the time and inclination to cook dinner almost every night, and who is brave enough to do the grocery shopping because the germ thing freaks me out a little. Working for a company that is supportive of working from home, and having a job that is easy to shift to working from home. A son who has stayed in good spirits and is fun to talk to, and who is old enough to entertain himself so that I don’t have to do it while also trying to work.

Those are the big ones. I hope you all are doing all right. I go back and forth with some stretches that are more anxious than others, but overall, I know I can manage being at home for another few weeks. Oh yeah, one more thing: I’m grateful we can still go outside!

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Happy Monday, friends.

A Mini Yarn Crawl

Today we return to regularly scheduled programming, and I will share knitting content. During my recent trip to visit the girl in Colorado, of course I had to visit a yarn store. But I didn’t keep it that simple. No, I went to FOUR yarn stores. When you’re 45 minutes away from Fort Collins, I think it’s just required that you make the pilgrimage. First, though, I drove to Wyoming. It was only an hour away and I’d never been, so it seemed fun. Well. Here’s downtown Cheyenne.

7F3949C7-0799-4AAA-84D8-CA37727F2BEAIt was very Western and not a big town and seemed a little…dreary. I did find a small bookstore/record store that was fun, and I visited the one yarn store. She had a lot of great brands, beautiful yarns, gorgeous samples. She had a lot of everything really.

It was too much for me. Too cramped and crowded, there was no organization that I could find, yarn was just stacked on the floor, and I couldn’t find any prices. I did find a couple of pretty skeins, but it wasn’t the best yarn-shopping experience. However, I went from there to Fort Collins, where I visited My Sister Knits for the first time, and guys,  it might be one of my very favorite yarn stores ever.

It’s in a beautiful residential neighborhood, in the carriage house behind a beautiful brick house, and you have to go through the white picket fence to get there. Then you hear the music as you walk past the chicken coop and you see a radio/speaker next to the coop, and you can’t tell me that it’s not there specifically for the chickens. Inside are two floors of the cutest, most charming shop, especially the second floor with the pitched roof and the big table right in the middle. The second floor had all the fingering weight/sock yarns, so that was where I spent most of my time. The women were friendly without being overbearing, the yarn selection was varied and amazing, and everything was clearly priced. They even had a dog, albeit a tiny one.

After that, I was just going to stop by The Loopy Ewe. But somehow I ended up navigating the car to Lambspun instead.

They had a huge shop, several rooms, with little nooks dedicated to spinning, needlework, and more. The yarn was spread throughout and it was fun to wander through and poke through the shelves, but I didn’t see a lot of great yarns calling my name. That might have been because I’d just been to two other yarn stores, but also I didn’t see a lot of indie dyers, which are my current obsession, and the sock yarn selection was pretty limited. I left there with just one skein.

From there I went to the Loopy Ewe, and that was my last stop for the day. I didn’t take any photos there, partly because I was tired but also because you don’t go there because it’s cute. It’s a nice shop, bright and well-lit, with lots of good seating areas, but you go there for the yarn selection. I was a little disappointed because I didn’t find a big selection of self-striping sock yarn, which is the one thing I really wanted from this adventure. Still, I came home with a fantastic assortment of treasures.

B74CD44D-16FF-41E7-9F47-26A513591A4C_1_201_aIt’s more than I meant to buy, more than I should have bought, but man do I love it all! I was especially delighted to find the Ritual Dyes yarns at My Sister Knits, and saw their cool Knitter’s Backpack in person. Al least I was able to resist buying one of those! I did add to my pin collection though.

65A062C4-71CC-47AF-AFE6-40DDCCB35EB1The Loopy Ewe pin is to replace the one the husband and girl bought for me last year that fell off my bag and got lost. The Ritual Dyes pin might be obvious, but it’s because I’m a Virgo. And I love to collect pins from the shops I visit, so of course I bought the one from My Sister Knits with their shop dog, Molly, on it.

Sigh. That was a fun little yarn crawl. Now I’m not buying any more yarn…until Knitting in the Heartland in April because I have zero willpower and am addicted to yarn. So the only thing I can do now is knit faster to use up as much yarn as I’m bringing in. On that note, I’m off to hopefully finish my Faded Boxy sweater today!

Sock It To Me Monday

Yesterday was a travel day for me as I came out to Colorado to visit the girl for a few days. Not only did I have knitting time on the plane, but I also had down time while she worked yesterday, and I made good progress on my new sock.

This is one of my new yarns from Old Rusted Chair and I’m doing a plain vanilla sock. But I also cast on a new cowl in some stash yarn, a pattern with some lace for when I’m chilling in the hotel room.

The yarn is a DK from See Jayne Knit and the color is Tropical Fish. I love the little bits of purple playing with the blue and green! Sadly, I started feeling a weird sharp pain in my thumb by early afternoon, so I had to take a break and read my book instead. Here’s hoping a little bit of rest does the trick because I only brought one book and three knitting projects…and I finished the book last night!

Today we’re driving up to Cheyenne, Wyoming because it’s not that far and we’ve never been to Wyoming. Have you been there? What should we do?

Catching Up

Okay, so the good news is things have picked up at work and I have lots to do and I like that. The bad news is that it’s pulled energy away from my knitting and blog, but hey, today I have some FOs to share!

The socks have been a WIP since mid-November, so I’m thrilled to finally get them off the needles. The pink is Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering and I really like it. It feels nice and crisp, which I like in a sock yarn. The turquoise is Knit Picks Stroll, I believe, in Razzleberry. It’s a softer yarn so it might not hold up as well, especially on the toes and heels, but it sure is cute. The other FO is my crazy Oats cowl in Manos Alegria Grande Locura Fluo. It’s badly in need of blocking but I couldn’t wait to share because I love it so much. It was a treat to knit and a treat to wear.

I finally made it to the yarn store today and got the pompom I needed. I really wasn’t going to buy yarn but she was having a singles sale, with 40% off single skeins of yarn, and what knitter can resist that? Not this one. I think I did really well though, and restrained myself to only three skeins.

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Old Rusted Chair is a new dyer to me and I’ll be casting on the pink and black tomorrow. I got lucky with the purple: there were actually two skeins left, so it might become a big shawl. I’ll ponder that. So yes, I broke my yarn fast, but I’m still ahead for the year: I’ve used up 13 skeins from stash so far and have purchased five. (The other two are the Bonny Lass yarn that called my name the other day. Literally called my name.) Not too bad, right? But here’s the problem: I’m leaving tomorrow to visit the girl in Colorado and I know I’ll be going to a yarn store while I’m there. That’s just a foregone conclusion. So I better restrain myself while I’m there or I’ll wreck my good progress! Of course if I’d just finish my darn Boxy, that would be five skeins from stash gone. Maybe that will be my priority when I get back.

B3030694-9569-4A41-A412-599EDB8FE1DBDuncan is now seven weeks post surgery and doing really well. He wouldn’t stop licking his leg so I ordered some PJs online and discovered that dogs in PJs are the cutest thing ever. I might have to order more. Maybe three matching sets for all three dogs? He’ll go for his x-rays in about a week and with any luck get a green light for more activity. We’re all ready for that!

Happy weekend, friends! Hope you’re getting some of the same blue sky that I am!

 

FO: Rasta Hat

I was not in a sock mood last week, which is very weird for me. I think I knit about an inch of my current sock over the entire week, so there’s no point in sharing that. Last week was about bulky yarns, the bulkier the better, and for me, the best bulky yarn is Malabrigo Rasta. I pulled out a skein of gray Rasta the other day and within a couple of hours, I had a finished hat. I love that.

fullsizeoutput_2538The pattern is Nour and I love it except I made it a touch too long, so it slides down more than I’d like. If I were really crazy ambitious, I could frog back to the last pattern repeat and re-knit it smaller, but I don’t think that sounds like fun. If I end up really disliking it, I’ll give this one to someone else and make a new one for me! The pompom is one of the fantastic snap-on versions, so I can switch it out with other colors.

Today I go back to work, which means Duncan will be confined in the kitchen, wearing a cone, with a couple of Trazodone to keep him calm and sleepy while I’m gone. Here’s hoping all goes well!

 

Thinning the Herd

Every January, a large number of knitters declare, “I’m going to knit from stash this year! I’m not going to buy so much new yarn!” I’m usually one of those knitters, and this year is no different. I do want to knit from stash; I’ve spent a long time cultivating a healthy collection of beautiful yarns.

img_5735I mean, look at all that yarn!! I shouldn’t need to buy more at all for a long time! But I don’t want to stop buying new yarn completely. That’s not realistic or fun, especially since I’ll be going to Knitting in the Heartland this year. No, my goal this year is to simply use more from my stash than I add to it. I’m going by skein count rather than yardage and to increase accountability, I created a page in my knitting journal to keep track of skeins in and out. I’m off to a good start, especially after a week of lots of knitting time: I’ve used five skeins from stash and added none! Last night I wound two more skeins and this morning cast on for a new project, a Malabrigo Rasta hat that I’ve been planning for about a year.

img_6584What are your goals for stash this year?