Archive for the “stash” Category

When I vacation in new cities, I like to buy yarn as a souvenir. I don’t collect figurines or spoons or mugs; I don’t want anything that will just sit on a shelf collecting dust. Yarn, especially sock yarn, is perfect – I always know how much to buy, and when I get around to knitting it up I can remember the whole vacation and the excursion to the store. Later, when I wear the finished project, I get even more remembering! (Like the socks I was knitting in the hospital waiting room during the hours before Eldest Niece was born. I like those.)

I was in San Jose on my birthday, where I bought this skein of Malabrigo Sock in the “Lotus” colourway at Green Planet Yarn. (And Michael got a set of Karbonz DPNs, as long as we were in the store. They’re niiiice. They’re gonna be mine when he’s done knitting his socks.) I had a hard time picking just one thing to buy, and I kept getting distracted by the sample knits in the store. Some of them were really gorgeous!

After San Jose we went to Salt Lake City, where I found two yarn stores right near each other. First, we went to Unraveled Sheep, where I bought a Greenwood Fiberworks braid of merino top in the “Twilight” colourway. I have a braid of their yak/silk already, which is the softest thing I’ve ever touched, and when I found out that they’re a local dyer – well, I just had to get this one.

Next we went to Knittin’ Pretty, where I had an even harder time deciding on what to get, and finally settled on this Cascade Heritage Paints in “Teal Mix” that kept calling to me.

It was a lot of fun to visit these three shops, talking with the owners/staff, and seeing the variety of yarn, notions and samples in each one! I also made significant progress on my current pair of socks – the first one is done and the second is nearly to the heel flap. I’ve got a double handful of design ideas from people-watching in the ski lodges, too. It’s so nice to come back from vacation rested, relaxed, and full of ideas and inspiration.

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This is the official end of 2016 tallying-up post!


Incoming fibre in 2016:
Split half of an eight-pound MDSW fleece with Caroline

4 pounds, not accounting for weight lost to the washing and carding process

2016MDSW_with_fleece

Outgoing fibre in 2016:
6 ounces of Ashland Bay Merino Tussah became 353 yards of two-ply yarn
4 ounces of Sheepish Creations Merino/Bamboo/Nylon became 348 yards of two-ply yarn

10 ounces / 701 yards

20160710_wheel-and-tour


Incoming yarn in 2016:
1 ball Sugar ‘n Cream to make Michael a new washcloth (150)
1 ball Red Heart Buttercup to make a stuffed sheep (63)
1 skein Valley Yarns Huntington for white toes on the Tiger socks (218)
1 skein Cascade 220 for Karlin’s hat (220)

4 balls / 651 yards

tiger_sock

Outgoing yarn in 2016:
1 skein Cascade 220 for Karlin’s hat (220)
half a ball of Red Heart Soft, so my SIL can learn to crochet (128)
Leftover Jacob handspun for Dave’s Sheep (50)
Leftover Andean Treasure for Dave’s Sheep (25)
Half a ball of Red Heart Buttercup for Dave’s Sheep (30)
1 ball Sugar ‘n Cream to make Michael a new washcloth (150)
1 ball Opal Rainforest, for the Tiger Tiger socks (465)
2 balls Loops & Threads Impeccable for the Such a Square afghan (192 each)
1 ball handspun Fiber Optics yarn for the Gradient Hat (152)

7 balls / 1412 yards


The Year in Crafting:
I feel really good about my projects this year! I got a lot done, and more yarn out than in. (Can’t say the same about fibre, but hey, I bought half a fleece…) Everything I did this year is all together on a 2016 Projects page.

Favourite project:

Without a doubt, the Wee Sheepie.

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Plans for Next Year:
More knitting! :D

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This is the official end of 2015 tallying-up post!


Incoming fibre:

None. Zero, zip, zilch. That took a lot of willpower!

Outgoing fibre:
4 ounces Bonkers merino-tencel, spun into 250 yards of two-ply
4 ounces Bullens Wullens merino-silk-bamboo, spun into 105 squooshy yards of chain-ply
4 ounces Rambouillet, spun up forever ago, finally chain-plied into 268 yards
quite a lot of mystery wool, spun longdraw, 922 yards of two-ply

12 oz plus however much mystery wool there is; I didn’t weigh it.

20150711_tdf15_plying


Incoming yarn:
1 ball Cascade 220 Superwash in gray (220)
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Serpentine (294)
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Peppercorn (294)

5 balls / 808 yards

Outgoing yarn:
1 ball Cascade 220 Superwash, Dave’s Hat (220)
.66 ball Lily Sugar & Cream in Pink Camo for a washcloth (100)
1 ball Knit Picks Andean Treasure for Stef’s Handwarmers (110)
1.5 balls Jo Sharp Classic DK wool for my own handwarmers (160)
2 balls Patons Kroy in Summer Moss Jacquard, sold (332)
2 balls “Starry Night” handspun given to Mom (256)
.33 ball Knit Picks Andean Treasure and half a ball each of gray and white Cascade 220 Superwash for Michael’s Bicolour Hat (37, 220)
2 balls Noro Silk Garden sock for the Rhinebeck Shawl (656)
1 skein handspun merino/silk for Mom to make a hat for Grandma (170)
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed in Peppercorn, Michael’s new Fleeps (294)
1 ball Berroco Sox for a pair of mindless stockinette socks (440)
1 ball Loops & Threads Impeccable for the Such a Square afghan (192)

16.5 balls / 3187 yards

Plus, Dad gave me this awesome yarn bowl:
dad_yarnbowl1


The Year in Crafting:
I feel really good about my projects this year! I got a lot done. They’re all together on a 2015 Projects page.

Favourite project:
It was a tossup between the Bicolour Hat and this, but I gotta say… it’s the Schultertuch. I loved making it! I still don’t know when or how or where to wear it, but it’s gorgeous and I love just looking at it.

schultertuch_finished


Patterns Published:
Only one this year, the Carved Lines Armwarmers – I’m really happy with the shape of these! I have a bunch of ideas for new patterns too, including a colourwork hat that I charted out a few weeks ago, lacy socks, cabled socks, mittens… it’s a long list!

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Michael’s mom asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the next thing I knew there was a shared spreadsheet for us to keep a running wish list. I was having trouble thinking of things to ask for, when I had a lightbulb moment and realized that luxury spinning fibre would be the absolutely perfect present. So I asked for this braid of 50/50 yak/tussah from Greenwood Fiberworks, an Etsy shop that’s been in my favourites for a while.

greenwood-yaksilk3

The gift itself might not have been a complete surprise, but the fibre itself – ohhh, WOW. The pictures don’t do it justice. It is without a doubt the softest thing I’ve ever owned. The sheen of the silk, the soft squishiness of the yak, the way the colours fade into one another… it is simply beautiful.

greenwood-yaksilk2

The hard part will be deciding what to make with it! I want to be deliberate and spin with a project in mind, but so far I’m drawing a blank. Perhaps a cowl like this one would be nice to wear on supercold days (like today, when it’s only 20F/-7C out), or I could spin it in stripes and make long cabled armwarmers?

(Note: pictures are from Greenwood Fiberworks and were used with permission.)

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This is the official end of 2014 tallying-up post!

Pucker Brush BFL

Incoming fibre in 2014:
19 oz Corriedale in a variety of colours, for drum carding
4 oz Bonkers Merino-Tencel, rust and cream
4 oz Coopworth gradient, greens and purples
8 oz Pucker Brush Farm BFL pencil roving, multi-coloured
4 oz gorgeously luxurious YAK AND SILK braid

39 oz

2014_blog-week1

Outgoing fibre in 2014:
4 oz Bonkers Merino-Tencel in blue became 350 yards of two-ply fingering weight.
12 oz Mulberry Fibers (green, pink, and greeny-blue) spun into fingering weight two-ply for a commission.
4 oz Fiber Optic gradient, chain-plied into 152 yards
8 oz Pucker Brush Farm BFL pencil roving, chain-plied into 230 yards
4 oz Sheepish Creations BFL in rainbowy colours, two-ply, 190 yards

32 oz (almost! allllmost!)

online_supersocke_paradise-1444

Incoming yarn in 2014:
11 balls Loops & Threads Impeccable (2112)
2 skeins Cascade 220 (440)
4 balls ONline Supersocke 6-ply (1640)
1 ball ONline Supersocke 100 Vintage (459)
1 ball ONline Supersocke 100 Paradise (459)
1 ball Patons Kroy Socks in Navy (166)
2 balls Patons Kroy Socks Stripes in Rainbow (332)
1 ball Berocco Sox (440)
4 balls Plymouth Monte Donegal (436)
1 ball Plymouth Baby Alpaca DK (125)
1 skein Dragonfly Fibers Traveller (280)
3 balls Cascade 220 superwash (660)

32 balls / 7549 yards

Sekrit Sock

Outgoing yarn in 2014:
2 balls Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed for my Fleeps Redux (294)
2 skeins Cascade 220 for Morry and Shirley’s Hats (440)
0.5 skein Kraemer Yarns Sterling Silk & Silver for Teri’s armwarmers (210)
2.3 balls Patons Kroy Socks for the Choppy Seas socks (387)
1 skein Dragonfly Fibers Traveller (280)
1 ball ONline Supersocke 100 for the 1986 Socks (459)
1.5 balls Elann Silken Kydd, sold on Ravelry (348)
2 skeins “Starry Night” handspun, given to Mom (256)
5 skeins KnitPicks Swish Worsted, given to Mom (550)
2.3 balls Patons Kroy Socks for Kroy Me a Rainbow socks (387)
1 ball Loops & Threads Impeccable for the Such a Square afghan (192)

20.6 balls / 3803 yards (Way more in than out, but only because I bought the afghan yarn and didn’t make the afghan!)

fiber-optics_gradient

The Year in Crafting:
I knit three pair of socks, four hats, and two glove-like things! Not too shabby, eh? They’re all together on a 2014 Projects page. There was a lot of spinning too, and I’m pretty excited to knit some of that up next year. I also made a video about how to do yarnovers!

acres_wild4

Favourite project:
Probably the Acres Wild hat. The yarn called out to me so strongly, and I couldn’t resist buying it. Then I couldn’t resist finding the perfect stitch pattern to show off the variegation, and I couldn’t resist working on the project. The way it all came together at the top makes me grin. And I’m really proud of myself for knitting that bit over and over until I got it just right.

Not to mention raising over $200 for charity with sales of the pattern. That was pretty awesome, too.

snowflake1

Least Favourite project:
I got lucky this year and thoroughly enjoyed everything I worked on. There is no least favourite! …well, maybe the crocheted snowflake. But even that wasn’t really *so* bad.

choppy1

Patterns Published:
Choppy Seas, a textured sock pattern – available for free!
Acres Wild, a hat pattern to break up pooling in variegated yarn.

Last Year’s Resolutions and Plans:
– spin more, YES!
– knit something with handspun yarn, NOPE
– design and publish two new patterns… YES!
– finish Napramach and the Stripy Socks. I… uh… don’t think I knit more than two stripes on the Stripy Socks.
– cast on for fancy cabled knee socks, NOPE.
– use up more yarn and fibre than I purchase… big fat NOPE.
– get some stock in the Etsy shop. Well, I suppose I could list some of the yarn I spun? I did spin three skeins/twelve ounces on a commission, so that does count as selling some of my handspun, doesn’t it!

Plans for 2015:

They’re just about the same! Let’s see how much I can accomplish:

– spin even more
– knit something with handspun yarn
– design and publish two new patterns
– finish Napramach and the Stripy Socks
– crochet a blanket
– cast on for fancy cabled knee socks
– use up more yarn and fibre than I purchase
– knit a sweater
– and, of course, post to the blog more regularly…

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Last weekend, Michael and I went to Ottawa to visit our sister the Ninja for Winterlude! We had a wonderful time – cooking, going to pubs (haggis nachos!) and yarn shops, skating on the Rideau Canal, checking out the ice sculptures, watching the Superb Owl with friends… I wish we could have stayed longer.

pirate_and_ninja

I finished my Fleeps just in time for skating on Saturday, and a good thing too, as they kept my hands wonderfully warm. (More about them in another post, though.) Michael and I were able to skate the whole canal from start to finish and back again, 7.8 km each way, plus a few side excursions. All in all, that’s about 10 miles of skating! Here we are at Le Fin du Glace:

fin_du_glace

Of course, I bought souvenir yarn. Quite a bit of it, actually. On Friday, we went to Knit-Knackers in Smiths Falls, where I may have gone overboard. Michael bought me some Patons Kroy in Rainbow Stripes, a colourway that I haven’t seen in my local stores, and a coordinating skein of navy for the toes/heels/cuffs. I picked up a ball of ONline Supersocke 100 in a tonal pink for a textured or cabled sock that I haven’t yet designed, and another ball of Supersocke 100 in a colourway that looks exactly like skiing in 1988. Awesome, eh? I can’t wait to knit this one up!

online_supersocke_paradise-1444

Before the Superb Owl on Sunday, we stopped by Yarn Forward in Ottawa where I couldn’t resist this ball of Berocco Sox. If they hadn’t had a partially-knit sample sock in the colourway, I might have passed it by. It wasn’t until later that I realized with some amusement it has that same mustard-yellow colour that’s in the yarn for my planned long johns!

berocco_sox_1493

Ottawa is one of my favourite cities, and already I’m looking forward to going to Winterlude next year – though I’d like to visit again in warmer weather. It would be nice to travel with a little suitcase, instead of a big one stuffed with wool sweaters and ice skates!

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On Saturday morning, Michael and I got up (not too early) and headed off to Rhinebeck. The trees – ohhh, we don’t have leaves like that here in Virginia. They’re much duller this year. These are just gorgeous!

2013_rhinebeck_trees2

We went through a few of the buildings and then stopped to admire the alpaca. There was a guy there taking pictures of them with what looked like an original Polaroid camera, which was pretty cool. The alpaca doesn’t seem too impressed, though.

Of course, there was lamb for lunch. Except the line for lamb sandwiches was really long, and really slow, and they ran out of sandwiches before we got there. I ended up getting a gyro, and Michael got sausage, and I guess that was all right. (On Sunday, we made lamb for dinner. That made up for the lack on Saturday.)

2013_rhinebeck_alpaca

The day became a Quest, as my Dancing Cranes stole is still shedding all over everything despite a good soak. Maybe one day it will get past that, but meanwhile I want a shawl that won’t shed. Michael suggested that I get a plummy purple laceweight to match his tie and pocket square, and we began to search for it. I was surprised at how difficult the quest was. There was the right shade of purple, in all the wrong fibres. There was beautiful laceweight, in all the wrong purples.

I did find this gorgeous green semi-solid sock yarn, and bought it so excitedly that I forgot to get the vendor information or any details about the yarn. When I got home and took pictures, I realized that it had no tag, and I paid cash so I have no receipt. I’ve got a call out on the Rhinebeck group on Ravelry, and hopefully I’ll know what it is soon!

Edited to add: It is Oasis Yarn Aussi Soxxi! Many thanks to AnissaH, who was able to solve the mystery.

green_mystery_yarn

We stopped at Bittersweet Woolery because she had some beautiful laceweight, and she even pulled out the bins to check Sunday’s yarn supply, but the colours weren’t quite right. Still, that was one of the highlights of the day – because I got recognized! “Hey, you’re KnittingPirate,” gives me such a thrill! Hi, RowsRed – it was great to meet you!

Then, finally, in the last building… the right colour purple, in the right kind of fibre. Lisa Souza “Montreaux” in the Marionberry colourway seems Just Right. I may have jumped up and down a little bit. That evening we checked it against Michael’s pocket square, which of course we had forgotten to bring with us, and it’s perfect.

2013_rhinebeck_lisa_souza_lace

On the way out I stopped at Fiber Optic to admire the huge gradient shawls, and finally – after years of thinking about it – bought one of the gradient tops, in a light aqua to deep chocolate colourway. It is simply gorgeous. I’m going to split it the long way and do a two-ply gradient, when I get up the courage to spin it.

2013_rhinebeck_fiber_optic_gradient

I’m swatching the purple lace by simply starting the shawl. I’m on the second try – the first one was too loose, and I dropped a stitch that I couldn’t recover, so I began again. The rows are so small at this point that it seems to make sense to just start. (But I did order a slightly smaller needle, just in case.)

There are a few too many projects going on at the moment, and I’m planning to blog about them all! I’ve missed writing, and I’ve missed your comments, and being recognized as me was so exciting that I’m super-inspired to get back here more often. :)

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Last weekend, to kick off the Tour de Fleece, Michael and I stopped at the Mannings on our way from Connecticut to Virginia. (If I’d known it was actually only about 90 minutes from home, I would have gone there sooner!)

We looked at the wheels and the looms and the gorgeous weaving projects in progress…

mannings2

mannings9

mannings12

mannings14

…and then the yarn. I didn’t want to leave without a souvenir skein or two, and eventually chose a ball of Austermann Step in a grayish-greenish-blue-ish colourway, and a skein of Cascade 220 Quatro in greys to make a hat for Michael. He wanted something very specific and so I was glad to have him there to pick out the exact yarn he wanted.

mannings1

Here I am being indecisive, but I’ve already got the ball of Step in my hand.

mannings16

We saw this crocheted spare tire cover on our way out. Very cool!

mannings17

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Click to embiggen, of course.

Sheeps!

A bunny and alpacas!

Yarn and adorable little figurines!

Teaching Jen to spin!

What I brought home with me!

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I’m making slow and steady progress on the Dancing Cranes stole, and last night I finished the leg of the second Cakewalk sock whilst watching the Cowboys make up for last year’s losses against the Giants. (Wooo! How ’bout dem Cowboys!) I’m planning to get a lot of knitting done on Sundays for the next few months now that the football season has begun! Football and sock knitting go together so well. It may be 90 degrees today but I’m already thinking about cozy afternoons by the fireplace, flannel shirts, warm knit socks, the colour of autumn leaves, and bowls of stew…

I’ve been thinking about something else, too, as the year comes to a close: writing up new patterns. At the end of last year I set a goal to design and publish at least two, so I’d better get working on that!

Yesterday I sketched out the designs for two stranded colourwork hats from this Lang Merino Superwash. I love these colours! I have two skeins of black as well, but no pictures of them all together. I should have enough for two hats here. A third hat design is tying my brain into knots and I think I’ll just have to knit it in order to understand it, but the armwarmers I’ve dreamed up should be easy enough for me to chart and knit up. I looked up stitch patterns and started to draw them together for a scarfy-shawl, but that one will probably need to be swatched so I can see how the different stitches go together; my mind’s eye can’t quite visualize it.

The yarn that I’ll need for the armwarmers and scarfy-shawl (stole? shawlette? wide scarf?) is already in my stash, so making up these designs will also help with the goal of using up more yarn than I bring in this year. I’m not quite sure I’m going to meet that goal… but I’m trying!

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