Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Morehouse Merino Haul

What you're about to see is the end of my yarn diet.
My husband and I went to New York state for our quarterly D&D mega-geek get-together. Because it happened to co-incide with a major Massachusetts wool and fluffly-critter event, my sweetie promised to take me to Sheep's Clothing, the yarn store attached to Morehouse Merino. I'd never been in there, and I was blown away. All that yarn, all those colors, the selection of books, and they even had roving! I could have spent the entire day in that store. Instead, I tried to limit myself to an hour or so, and this is what I left with.

These are going to be striped mittens. Purple and fuchsia, need I say more?

This is my red/rust/rust brown laceweight. One skein I bought, the other skein my husband bought for me. Together, they are a total of 1760 yards of laceweight yarn. I'm thinking they'd make a lovely fall wrap.

This is incredibly soft purple worsted weight. They had such a huge selection of colors. I counted at least 5 different purples. And it's so soft! Next time I go, I'll go with a definite pattern in mind and get a whole sweater's worth of this wonderful stuff. I'm in love with this yarn, it's amazing.

And, finally, my latest addition to the Cthulhu yarn collection. I don't know what it is, but lately, I haven't been able to resist the bright greens and yellows. Have I been corrupted by the great tentacley one? I don't know. All I know is that I don't really like yellow and green combinations, nor do I like leg warmers. So what are these going to turn into?
You guessed it. Yellow and green leg warmers. Oy!

Monday, May 29, 2006

The Amazing Lace - Challenge #1

My skein and I have entered The Amazing Lace.
So far, this skein is just a skein, waiting for a true Jedi Knight to unlock its full potential. In honor of the event, I am wearing my Obi-Wan t-shirt. I hope it will help me turn a ball of pricey purple string into the Baltic Sea Stole.

Many questions remain: Will my Padwan help me achieve the ultimate knitting experience? Or will it turn to the Dark Side, forcing me to frog over and over? Or perhaps it will prove to be ill-suited to the rigors of Jedi training. In spite of the Force, it is sometimes difficult to see what the future holds for a knitter and her skein. This is the beginning of our adventures together.

May the Force be with us -- and with all of you!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


I am so excited! This is my first-ever hand-knit garment that actually fits! I tried it on before blocking and was a bit concerned about the fit. Not long enough, a little tight in the chest, rolly like you wouldn't believe. And why can't I feel my arms? Could the armholes be too snug?
Argh, somebody cut me out of this thing!

Now, I'm so glad nobody did. I blocked Picovoli, I visited it twice a day to see if it was dry yet. And today, magic happened: not only was it dry, but when I unpinned it, most of the roll was gone, and it fits like a glove!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

The 3 Stages of Knitting

You've seen the pretty purple yarn, now here's the FO: Grumperina's Picovoli in Classic Elite Provence. It's the 32" bust. The pattern calls for 2" of negative ease, and it takes into account the blooming of cotton when it gets wet. Gotta love designers who consider such small yet important details.
Right now, the tank is blocking, but I can't wait to try it on when it's dry. It looked great before, if a little bit snug. I'll post modeled pictures as soon as it's ready. I bet it'll look even better then!

Next up is my current WIP, Tempting. Can you say behind the times? It's knitting up fast, though, and I'm loving the yarn. It's soft and luscious and has a wonderful shine to it. The color is breathtaking. So much brighter in person! You know that bright red lipstick your mother told you to wipe off because it made you look like a slut? That kind of red. I absolutely love it.

Speaking of mothers, these are the 4 skeins of Lorna's Laces Lion and Lamb in the Aslan colorway. Not boring, yet subtle enough to be really classy. These are going to be a clapotis for my mother, who is a very classy lady. She asked me to knit her a wrap. She never asks for anything, so when she did, I went out and bought the prettiest yarn I could think of. And here it is.

I'm getting started on "the clap" today. It's so exciting! I must be the only knitter around who hasn't made one yet. It's about time.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Yippee! Gauge!

We have caston!
When they say the material your needles are made of matters, they're not lying. I tried 4 different sizes of aluminum needles yesterday, no luck. Then, late last night, I tried Addi Naturas, and the bamboo did it. I have achieved gaugehood!
Pictures are coming this weekend. I started Tempting late last night, it's in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino, which is so soft and luscious and pretty. I've heard it pills, but when something is so much fun to work with and such a happy red, I can take a few pills.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Long time no blog

Sometimes, absences are good. In my case, I've been too busy knitting to put anything up on my blog! Picovoli is done! Tonight, I wash and block, and when it's dry, I'll put up some modeled shots. Apparently, it's very flattering on. When I did a pre-wash-block (i.e. pre-cotton blooming) fitting, my husband's first comment was that it looks really good because it makes my assets look good. Only that's not quite how he put it...

Next in line: Tempting, which I've been putting off for quite some time. I've tried to get gauge 3 times now, no luck. My row gauge must be way different from my stitch gauge, because I can get one or the other, but never both. And that happens with almost every project I make! Maybe a more experienced knitter will see this and explain?
Oh, well. Haven't tried US 10 yet. Got to love my Boyes Needlemaster kit for swatching on the train!

Friday, May 12, 2006

The Kindness of Knitters

Knitters are generous people. Yesterday, I decided to go to the student lounge before my exam, all freaked out and looking for a place to cram. So I got comfortable and started going through my notes. Know the feeling when the exam approaches and you realize how much there is to know, how much more you should have studied, and how there's no way you're going to pass this test? Well, that's where I was. Not a good place to be, emotionally speaking.

That was when I noticed part of a colorful picture poking out from a pile of library science magazines. It looked a bit unusual, so I pulled it out -- only to see that I was holding the holiday issue of Vogue Knitting! And across it, someone had written in big, friendly letters, "TAKE ME"! So I did, and it made me feel very happy. Not only is this an issue I hadn't bought, not only was I excited to see three patterns I absolutely must make. But I felt as if someone had offered me a kindness at a time when I was preoccupied with all the bad things that could happen on the exam. It reminded me of the fact that sometimes, good things happen, too.

It sounds kind of corny when you write it out like that. An exam is hardly the most important thing in the world, and finding a knitting magazine on a table isn't going to change my life forever. But I want to thank the Unknown Knitter for leaving something she didn't need in a place where it could distract someone who needed distracting. It was a wonderful, generous thing to do.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Exam tomorrow, blogging today

Tomorrow, I have an exam for the reference class I'm taking. So am I going crazy studying? Well, in a couple of minutes, I will be, but first, I must procrastinate. The best ways to procrastinate are to a) knit, b) talk to people on knitty, and c) blog/post pictures of yarn. So here it is, the picture of the Giotto I bought for 40% off. Isn't it pretty?

OK, now that I have gotten the yarnography out of my system, it's time to go back to studying and typing like a madwoman. Wish me luck!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Exciting office move

Our office moved into a new building today. I am very excited about this, not just because we'll be working in the basement like real catalogers, but mostly because it's diagonally across the street from a yarn store! All the knitters in the building ought to get a pay raise so we can support our yarn habits. I can already see the dilemmas: Go to lunch or buy yarn? Spend money on food or buy yarn? Go to work or go buy yarn?
Well, OK, maybe not the last one. Because if I do that, it won't be long till I no longer work diagonally across the street from the yarn store!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Stars are Right! (Yarrrn)

Ia! Ia! Ahem...
And now, we learn about knitting when the stars are right. These are my Cthulhu slippers. Yes, the feet go into the hole in the middle, so it looks like Cthulhu is chomping on my tootsies. Aren't they great? Why have only one Great Cthulhu when you can have two!
And Cthulhu likes yarn.

Here, he is trying to ingest a skein of Supersock in yellows and greens. I saw the yarn and specifically bought it to wear with these slippers. The colors are perfect. Now, if only I can get this mean monstrosity from the great beyond to give it back...

Oh, OK. He found something he likes even better: the amazing, tentacular blue and green yarn Ah Xia! sent me a while ago. It looks like it has its very own tentacles! I'm not sure what I'll make out of it yet, but I'm absolutely certain it will be non-Euclidean, a gibbering hand-knit terror blaspheming among the stars.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

WIP and Future Clapotis (Yarrrn)

Can't tell what this is? Yeah, if I didn't know, I'd have a hard time too. But this pretty purple object is the beginning of my Picovoli top from Magknits. The yarn is a beautiful purple cotton, Provence from Classic Elite. The hole-y ridges are the raglan seams. So far, it's a fun knit, and so much less complicated than I thought. But switching out my cable from the 16 to 24" Boye Needlemaster needles was a pain. I almost dropped some stitches, and I may have snagged a stitch or two in the process. Oh, well.

Here's the swatch that went with this project. For once, I actually got gauge! And isn't the yarn pretty? It's purple and shimmery and 100% Egyptian cotton. Its only fault is that it's a bit splitty.

Future Clapotis! Lorna's Laces worsted weight yarn, because it gets so darn cold out here in the Northeast, and because I want to have something pretty to wear when my neck and shoulders are freezing. Purple and green, a deliciously annoying color combination! And if you look closely, you'll see that the green yarn almost matches our green carpet in the attic room. Yay, I'll match the rug when this is done!

Hat and Socks

Socks! These are the first socks I've knit in, oh, 10 years or so. Supersock in Tropical Storm, US 3 needles. Should have used US 1 or 2, though, because of negative ease. What is it with me and making things too big? The colors were even more vibrant, and there was no pilling, but I had to stick them in the washer to shrink them just a little bit. Now they fit pretty well, though, and I love the colors.
But next time: negative ease. Swatch socks? Me? Why bother? Because they'll wobble and sag around my feet and ankles if I don't, that's why!

And here's my winter hat. I'm confused. I don't really like colors. I rarely wear anything other than black, and when I do, it's usually dark wines and purples. So why do I find bright, slubby colors irresistible when it comes to yarn? This hat is a perfect example: pinks, yellows, blues... what was I thinking?
But it's warm and happy-making, even though I look dorky with my head tilted forward so you get a better view of the hat.

If you take a closer look, you'll see this spiraly effect created by the thick and thin yarn. I had no idea this would happen, but it's pretty cool. I just cast on x number of stitches (can't remember how many, too lazy to go back and count), knit for a bit, then made decreases. The yarn did the rest. Neat, no?