Archive for the “LYS” Category

A visit from my swornsister the Knitting Ninja would not have been complete without a trip to at least one yarn store. We, along with our brother Michael, decided to check out the new Needles in the Haymarket. They’ve recently moved from the third floor of their building to a much larger store on the first floor. It’s quite nice already, and looks as if there’s even more yarn to come!

Cascade HeritageI told both sibs that I was on a yarn diet and would not be buying anything. Then this jumped into my hands. “These look like your colors,” I said to Michael, and maybe also “I would knit you another pair of socks,” and perhaps I might have added “One little skein won’t hurt, right?”

Said Michael, “If you’re going to knit socks for me, then I should buy the yarn for you.” And he did, thus absolving me of sin for having broken the yarn diet. (Isn’t it lovely and so subtle in the colors? I can’t wait to see how it knits up!)

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I did not go to Rhinebeck this past weekend, and it’s probably just as well. I heard that it was cold and rainy. Perhaps next year!

Instead, I spent the weekend in Boston with a couple of friends who indulged my strange hobby and waited patiently while I visited Newbury Yarns and Windsor Button, petted all the yarns, and purchased nothing. There were a couple of sock yarns at Windsor Button that almost came home with me, but in the end I decided that nothing really had to.

I did get to work on my handspun sock for a while in the airport. A woman across from me at the gate watched curiously for a minute or two, then asked, “Excuse me, but… what is that called, that you’re doing?”

“Knitting,” I said. “I am knitting a sock, even if it doesn’t look like much yet. This will be the toe.” I showed her the barest beginnings of sock.

She nodded. “Nih-ting,” she said, trying the word on for size as if she’d never encountered it before. “Nih-ting. You don’t see too many people doing that anymore!”

“No,” I agreed, and went back to it.

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If all went well, we now have threaded comments up to ten levels deep, so that you’ll be able to reply to other people’s comments in addition to commenting on my posts. Pretty nifty! (Please feel free to test the system.)

I’ve been planning to go to Stitch ‘n Bitch tomorrow, but I’ve had a sore throat for about a week. In the last few days I’ve started coughing. If I’m not feeling better by morning, I’ll have to put it off another week. Phooey. I was really looking forward to it, but I certainly don’t want to infect anyone with this cold.

Next weekend I am taking a quick trip up to Philadelphia, and I’d love to visit a yarn store or two while I’m there. Can you recommend one? Loop is already on my list. I enjoy buying souvenir yarn when I’m traveling. Later, when I knit it up, I can reminisce about my trip. And even after that, when I’m wearing the finished product, I think, “These are the socks I knit with the yarn I bought with Michael in Ottawa, in that neat little shop on Bank Street that’s closed down now,” or something like that. “This is the hat I knit with the yarn that I bought when Janis and I snuck off after dim sum to splurge at Woolwinders. This is the–”

I remember where I bought most of my yarn, actually. Even though there’s so much of it now.

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Because of the inauguration, I worked from home today. I worked until Pirate-Husband came home. We worked out, showered, had dinner, and sat down to a movie… but then I remembered! It’s Tuesday! *Spinning Tuesday*… and I hadn’t spun a single yard of yarn all day!

graygreenrovingI wasn’t going to bring the wheel downstairs to where the television is, and I didn’t think I could concentrate on making even laceweight while I watched the movie, so I grabbed the heavier spindle, a 1.5 ounce Cascade Little Si, and the gray-green mystery wool. First I had to wind off what was already on the spindle, because it was heavy enough that it wasn’t spinning properly. Then I spun for about half an hour.

I’m coming out with a fairly consistent singles, but the spindle keeps stopping. Or spinning the wrong way. I try to draft as it’s spinning, but when I let go, the spindle jerks and stops. That’s not right, but I’m not sure what’s wrong. More practice is obviously necessary, and in the meantime, I’m getting yarn out of the deal.

20090119_haircutglassesYesterday, on my day off for Martin Luther King Day, I saw the dentist, then got a haircut and new glasses. I’m pretty pleased with my new look! The hairdresser and the optometrist are conveniently in the same shopping center as With Yarn in Front, so while my lenses were being ground, I stopped in there to knit for a while. I had a great conversation with 11-year-old James about the benefits of magic loop vs. DPNs for sock knitting while he worked on a hat and I added some stripes to the Quick Socks. We talked about spinning (we both have Ashford Traditionals) and about our previous projects until my glasses were ready. All in all, a great day indeed.

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I will never say “…and I won’t buy anything there” ever again.

Sam, the Ninja and I went to Needles in the Haymarket, and I fell in love with a sock yarn in deep red with little bits of black and dark purple. (Pics soon.) Since I had no deep red yarn in my stash, and since there was still a little bit of money left on my gift card, I bought it. Now, this is how cool the ladies at the store are: I didn’t know exactly how much money was left on the card, but I knew it was six dollars and some change. They put $6.00 into the credit card machine and it went through… and then we started trying small change because, as they said, “You have to use the last bit of money on these cards!” Eventually they logged on to the card’s website and looked up the balance (three cents) and ran that through for me too. They are awesome.

Then we went to With Yarn in Front where I succeeded in not buying anything else, probably because I just bought sock yarn from them a few weeks ago when I was there with Janis. This is how cool they are at this store: they remembered that I was loving on the Kromski Sonata and offered me, “do you want to spin on ‘your wheel’ again?” I declined, but we admired the selection of Noro (I would love to knit another Stripey Striped Scarf) and when we were done shopping, we sat in the back and knit for an hour until it was time to head off to dinner.

I’m not sure I *can* go to a yarn store with friends and not buy anything, if there’s something I like.

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In a few hours, I am taking the Knitting Ninja and our friend Sam to local yarn shops. “Do they have sock yarn?” the Ninja asked. Well, YEAH. Just a bit of it. And I’m not going to buy any, I swear!

I’ve had guests since Thursday night and we’re having a great time, but I’m not getting any knitting done. I’m okay with this. Later this weekend I’ll show the Ninja my wheel and we’ll all stare as it goes ’round. Meanwhile, we’re relaxing and eating way too much food and really enjoying life.

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The second Bloo Sock is almost through the gusset decreases. I’d like to have it done before Michael comes to visit, so I have less than two weeks. If I don’t finish by then it’ll be okay, I’m sure; after all it’s still a hand-knit pair of socks for him at some point! As a result of cranking away on the socks, I haven’t made much progress on the baby blanket… and the baby is due this week! If only I had four hands, I could work on both projects at the same time.

One of the local yarn stores, With Yarn In Front, is hosting a “Knit and Flick” night every other Friday. This coming week they’ll be showing Dr. Zhivago, and I’m deciding whether or not to go. I’ve never seen the movie before and I question my ability to knit through it and remember what happened. Maybe in a month or so when I’m no longer knitting to deadlines, I’ll check it out. I think it’s a great idea!

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This is Silkie Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in Ravenscroft, a gorgeous black with hints of greens and purples. I’ll be using it to make Mom’s birthday present, a pair of gloves. Hopefully they go smoothly and quickly; I’ve never knit gloves before but I want to get them to her as soon as possible. Pirate-Husband actually bought this yarn, because I’m doing the knitting and the gift is from both of us.


On the left we have Cervinia “Forever” in awesome stripes. Forever was the yarn I used for my very first socks, which have held up quite well, and when I saw this colorway in With Yarn In Front last weekend, I had to have it. It passes the “blue jeans test” easily, that test being a single yes or no question: Will this yarn go well with blue jeans? On the right is some Universal Yarn “Ditto” that was on a serious closeout sale. It also passed the blue jeans test, and the price was too good to pass up! The cost of both was covered by the last of my pre-paid Visa, money that I’d set aside for yarn purchases, so I don’t feel at all guilty. Even though I’m supposed to be on some kind of yarn diet.

I’m quite tempted to cast on for a simple, 64-stitch, stockinette sock… but I have deadlines to meet. The baby blanket is somewhere between 75% and 80% complete, depending on when I decide to stop. I finished the third skein of yarn yesterday. The Bloo Socks are halfway through the gusset decreases. Progress is being made!

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Friend Janis and I went to With Yarn In Front in Centreville yesterday to check out the yarn, fiber, and spinning wheels. I have really missed yarn shopping with her! We each got some sock yarn (I’ll have photos as soon as it’s sunny again) and tried spinning on a Schacht Ladybug and a Kromski Sonata. I’m sold on the Sonata, for sure! It spun very smoothly and was a good size. Now I just have to save up the money for it. I feel almost guilty for wanting to get something newer and slicker than the Traditional, which I haven’t even had for a year yet.

I’m doing my best to keep from casting on a simple toe-up sock with my new yarn. I’ve been knitting so much for other people lately, it would be nice to do something quick and easy for myself! But no, I have several projects with deadlines that really need to be worked on. Now.

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So I went to WEBS and had a wonderful time fondling all the yarns. Michael the Enabler, he for whom the Bloo Socks are being made, carried the basket and helped by saying things like “you should buy that” and “yes, that is soft” and “wow, this wheel spins for a really long time.”

I didn’t buy the wheel (it’s wasn’t a Sonata), but I did buy two new bobbins for my Traditional, three skeins of Silk Garden for a scarf, and one ball of stripy-jacquard sock yarn for fingerless gloves that will have flip-top mittens.

I’d like to go back to With Yarn in Front and test the Sonata they have there. If I like it, then I’m going to start up my savings fund for it. And if I don’t, then I’ll know and I can stop drooling every time a used one comes up for sale! Pirate-Husband asked me if I’d ever spin on the Traditional again after getting a double-treadle wheel. I said that I didn’t know – maybe? and if not, I can sell it to someone else. It’s a good wheel and there’s no reason I can think of that I wouldn’t continue to spin on it.

My new camera should be arriving today, so soon I will be able to take pictures of everything I’ve been working on! I made some progress on the Bloo Socks while I was on the airplane, in spite of having to unknit six or seven rounds to correct a mistake that I must have made while at the wine festival. No more drunken knitting for me! (I did try to drop the stitches down and pick them up in the right orientation, but that didn’t work as well as I’d hoped, so I unknit.)

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