Yarns of Many Colors

I was driving home from work this week when it suddenly hit me–I’ve never posted pictures of my 2014 yarns purchases to Ravelry, much less the blog! I’ve even taken pictures of most of it, so no good excuse. (Although a good thing I have pictures as it’s been so terribly overcast lately that getting anything decent is a challenge.) I still have one tricky skein without any pictures, so that will wait until I have a sunny day, but for now, my 2014 yarn record:

Lotus (Trendsetter) Mimi, ecru

Lotus (Trendsetter): Mimi
Laceweight
100% mink
(2) skeins at 383 yards (50 g) each
Colorway: Ecru
Purchased:Prena Knits, at JOYfilled Garden and Gifts in Georgetown, South Carolina

A vacation purchase. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I couldn’t resist the soft, creamy, mink.

Bare Naked Wools: Mrs. Lincoln's Lace

Bare Naked Wools: Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace
Laceweight
70% black Lincoln lamb wool/30% Rambouillet wool
(1) skein at 675 yards (4 oz.)
Colorway: chesnutt
Purchased: Great Lakes Fiber Show

Confession: I’d completely forgotten that I’d purchased this. Even though it was the ONE YARN I wanted to find at the local yarn/fiber show this past spring! I don’t yet know what it will become, but Anne has several samples in her displays.

 

Knitting Notions Classic Merino Lace

Knitting Notions: Classic Merino Lace
Laceweight
100% superfine merino wool
(2) skeins at 385 yards (50 g) each
Colorway: Blueberry Jam (discontinued)
Purchased: Great Lakes Fiber Show

These little (okay, at 385 yards, not so little) skeins weren’t exactly a planned purchase, but they weren’t really impulse either. I knew Catherine had discontinued several colorways and so I wanted to look at the sales to see if anything caught my eye. Non-superwash merino and I don’t always get along (I’m very good at felting it on the knitting needles), but I couldn’t pass the colorway up at the price! (On the other hand, a theme: I don’t know what I’m going to do with it. I may have a problem.)

 

Longmeadow Farm 100% Merino Wool

The Wool Room at Longmeadow Farm: Hand Dyed 100% American Merino Wool
Worsted weight
(5) skeins at 250 yards (3.75 oz) each
Colors (unnamed): rose, light orange, yellow, lime, blue
Purchased: Great Lakes Fiber Show

This was the impulse but. But can you blame me–the colors! And when I saw it my thought was– blanket! I’ve been thinking for a few years that I’d like to knit a blanket/lap blanket of some sort as an excuse to work with colors (yellow, pale green) I can’t really wear. And when I saw these all hanging up next to each other…I was a goner. I don’t know the details yet (I’m thinking something garter stitch, possibly based on the golden rectangle), but I’m saving them for that point of winter when it gets so terribly gray and gloomy and I just.can’t.take.it.anymore. Not necessarily in 2015, but some winter. The yarns just scream “SPRING” so they will be just the thing when it feels that spring will never come.

And now I’m feeling the urge to knit. Wonder why?

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Potential

One of the consequences of not really getting anything finished in the past year (well, at a VERY slow rate), is that my stash has reached all sorts of well-past-STABLE proportions. Fortunately, it’s still not very big, but it’s enough that I probably shouldn’t buy any yarn this year. Or next. Unless I start making some serious progress! And that’s a problem, because a) there’s at least one project on my really-want-to-knit list for which I don’t already have suitable yarn and b) there’s a couple yarns I’d really like to try out. And one of these, I believe, is going to be available at this spring’s (end of May) Great Lakes Fiber Show. I’d consider not going this year, as I only ever end up buying too much yarn. There are such pretty things, always that I can’t resist! For instance, last year:

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Briar Rose Fibers: Stella; 80% Merino, 20% Silk; 2200 yards.

This would make a lovely shawl. That would take forever to knit.

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Knitting Notions: Classic Merino Bamboo; light fingering; 65% Merino, 35% Bamboo; Colorway “Azure”; 490 yards.

I really like knitting with this blend. But I don’t have a clue what I’m going to knit with it, just that I had a vague notion that it would make a nice shoulder shawl. Which it would. If I had a pattern.

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Knitting Notions: Classic Merino Bamboo; light fingering; 65% Merino, 35% Bamboo; Colorway “Ironstone”; 490 yards.

Well, at least I have a plan for this. (I think. I might not have enough yarn)

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Fiber Optic Yarns: Merino Bamboo Lace; 50% Bamboo, 50% Merino; Colorway “Hot Tomato Batik”; 1000 yards.

   And the complete impulse buy. (At least all the other yarns I’ve knit with yarns from the vendor before so I could be certain I’d like them.) Not a clue what this will become. But it’s 1000 yards!

And I haven’t touched a one since. Which is also true of my purchases from my previous visit. And I’m pretty sure the time before that, as well. Yet chances are I’ll be back this year. On the other hand, when I look at my pictures–or my stash, either works–they all remain so tempting. So at least I have no regrets! I also have the consolation of knowing that my current almost-finished knit (yay!) is of a yarn I purchased years ago and when I was sorting through my projects and my stash looking for something to work on was just the perfect thing. Which I suppose is how we end up with such big stashes in the first place: all that lovely potential for “later.”

Of course, it would help if I didn’t do silly things like turn this:

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An early picture of my Lerwick lace stole.

Into this:

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Well, it used to be one-quarter of the Lerwick lace edging.

Not on my most recent project toss, but last summer going through the basket, I decided that Lerwick needed restarted. Nothing wrong with what I had done–and it was several yards of work–, but I had neglected it for so long that in the interim my gauge had changed. I decided the simplest course of action was to rip the whole thing out and wait to restart once I was ready to dedicate most of my knitting energies to it without interruption. So rip mercilessly I did–my mom was far more devastated than I. (She’s a product knitter. I’m…not.) I keep looking at the yarn and this picture and I feel a little thrill at all the potential there. Perhaps this summer?

Knitting at a Snail’s Pace

A week or so ago I was suddenly struck with the urge to sort through my knitting/knitting patterns. This is rare, but when it comes I just go with it. I try to keep everything nice and neat and organized, but it’s really more theoretical than actual; however, at some point in the past few years I managed to get my act together enough to put most of my printed patterns into a 3-ring binder. The original intent was to be one of those super-disgustingly organized people who keeps notes of patterns, needle sizes, swatches, start and end dates, etc., but it’s never really panned out. This doesn’t bother me too much, as I keep track of most of that (usually–I’ve been known to forget to add needle size) on Ravelry, but I do like to keep swatches/ball bands all together with the appropriate pattern. As I was sorting through various bags ensuring that I had all the swatches and loose patterns, I discovered yarn I didn’t recognize. It’s in my Ravelry stash, I know where (and thanks to Ravelry, when) I purchased it, but I don’t remember it. I see several possible reasons for this:

  1. I have a really, really bad memory.
  2. My memory’s okay but it needs jogged by seeing my yarn every once in a while and all the forgotten yarn was hidden behind cupboard doors.
  3. My stash is multiplying without my permission.

I’m not sure which option I prefer…

A more rational explanation might think that it is clear that I’m a) not knitting fast enough AND b) I’m using new stash before old stash. And given that it’s February and I still don’t have finished mittens I might have to concede to this. To be fair though, I’ve done a LOT of knitting to get this far.

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It took three (or four?) starts before I got gauge. Actually, the gauge is supposed to be the same as the hat—and the same as (similar to?) the mitts I knit for my dad and brother—so I thought I knew what needles size I needed. But. There are more stitches in the cuff for these than for my dad’s mitts, so in reality I needed to go down a few needles sizes to make a nice, snug cuff. (Also, the mink-cashmere doesn’t pull in on ribbing as much as Cascade Superwash.) Then, I was through all the cables and almost to the rib top when I realized that the thumb as written didn’t work for me. So I ripped back halfway and added a gusset. Fortunately, my best guess as to how many stitches to add and where worked on the first try.

Since I took the picture, I’ve knit the left thumb three times—the number made necessary by working out how fast to decrease the extra stitches. There’s probably an easier way to do that. Sigh. I now need to work out how to finish the flip-top. It shouldn’t require any modifications (I hope!), so I hope I can fly to the finish this weekend. Of course, it’s not supposed to be cold enough that I’ll actually need these super-warm mittens any time soon!

More Yarn – Will Knitting Follow???

I really thought I would have more time and therefore more knitting. In fact, I’m pretty sure I told myself that any stash acquisitions would have to be balance out by finished projects, as I really don’t want to be hitting S.A.B.L.E. before I’m 30…

So yeah, that means very little on the knitting front. Which is why I haven’t been around.I’d been really optimistic about finishing Crocus by Easter, at least. But I have barely touched my knitting in the last few months–I’ve been so busy with studying (taken and passed 2 of 7 so far!) and when I haven’t been too tired to knit, my wrist has been bothering me. (Nothing serious, just a bit of a repetitive use issue, mostly sparked by excessive computer use.) However, I did finally weave in the last end of Crocus this morning…and the excitement may have transferred over in unseemly ways.

But I have lots of pretty new yarns!

This weekend is the Great Lakes Fiber Show. And as usual, I found myself there and in possession of new lovelies. I just couldn’t pass up this Sea Pearl from Briar Rose, which may very well turn into a sweater:

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And while waiting in line to pay, I noticed Isabel, a merino-silk laceweight. The color was too good to just pass by.

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But the colorway that really did me in was Mediterranean from Knitting Notions. Not only did I buy it in the sock weight (I’m actually contemplating knitting more socks–shocking, I know),

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but I, um, bought some in the sport weight as well. (At least this was on sale…right?)

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Considering that I haven’t touched the yarn I bought last year, I’ve only finished one project with yarn from two years ago, and for that matter, still have yarn from three years ago (although I’ve done much better with that year), and that none of this yarn will be turned into the hat/scarf/gloves I actually will need next winter, I may have gone a bit overboard. Sigh. I am so good with the will power when it comes to actual yarn shops/online shopping but when it comes to this particular weekend, all my restraint goes out the window!

I guess I’ll just have to start knitting again!

yarn and flowers

Today was, alas, an utter and total “Monday.” Or two “Mondays” rolled into one. Sometimes I’m not entirely convinced that the three day weekend thing is worth it – sure, having Monday off is great, but it seems like the rest of the week is all the more crammed. (Especially when you have a workaholic boss who still goes in on Monday, and thanks to a silent phone manages to produce a whole pile of work for everyone else PLUS a couple little fires that have nothing whatsoever to do with either the boss or the three-day weekend. Sigh.)

But then I look at my stash and my pictures, and the weekend was worth it. Even if I only get to pet my new yarn.

My mom and I went to the Great Lakes Fiber Show on Saturday, and did quite a bit of damage. This is normal for me, but my mom purchased a surprising bit of yarn for her – enough to make two sweaters. I’ve decided that I really only want to knit with yarns that I really, really, (really) like. Which for me means purchasing less commercial yarn and more from independent dyers. Two of my favorites, Briar Rose and Knitting Notions have been at Great Lakes at least as long as I’ve been attending. And just as in the last two years, I couldn’t resist their booths.

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From Knitting Notions, I purchased three skeins of her Classic Merino Bamboo, which I think should be enough for a lightweight sweater (famous last words?). This is the same yarn I’m using for Crocus, and I love knitting with it. I did not, however, even look to see if she had a match for Crocus, as I decided to spend my money elsewhere. Another strategy for finishing Crocus will have to do.

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Then from Briar Rose, a bit more damage. I waffled a bit about which color of Sea Pearl (a lovely, lovely tencel-merino blend–my Mare oscuro is Sea Pearl) to purchase, although they’re all so gorgeous, I don’t think I could have gone wrong. I finally settled on this pink, which is not a typical color for me. I bought two skeins, which I think would be enough for a lightweight sweater, or an extra-large shawl.

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Then there was this little beauty: a skein of a merino silk blend, indicated as a limited edition. I love the rich plum color. It’s a fine laceweight, so I’ll have to find a pretty shawl or stole pattern for it.

Apparently I missed the cashmere at her stall (which is probably for the best…), although Anne informed me that this will probably become a new addition to Chris’s store. Uh oh.

There always seems to be at least one other purchase I make each year, from a stall other than Knitting Notions or Briar Rose. Last year was a hand spun for a sweater that hasn’t made it past a stockinette swatch. This year, this little beauty:

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1600 yards of a silk/camel blend which is very soft–very nice to pet. It lists it as 7400 ypp, which I haven’t gone to the effort of “translating,” but visually I would say it’s either a very fine laceweight or perhaps a heavy cobweb weight. (Is there such thing as “heavy cobweb weight? That sounds like an oxymoron!) Based on memory alone, it’s slightly heavier than the yarn I’m using for Lerwick, which I believe would push it into laceweight territory.

As in the previous two years, after going to the show in the morning, my mom and I ate lunch and then headed over to Seacrest Arboretum nearby. As part of the local OSU extension, it’s free and open to the public, and we like walking around the flowering gardens.

This year the roses were in full display:

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But the clemetis were trying not to be left out:

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Across the street, some of my favorites, the bright red columbine, were waiting to greet me:

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I’d never seen them in gold before:

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Also favorites, the brilliant purple iris:

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This showy yellow one made quite a display, too:

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And the yarrow was just getting started:

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Secrest is one of my favorite gardens to visit. It is very well landscaped, not just for pretty flowers, but for texture and variety. Even if none of the plants were in bloom, the textures and shades of leaf color are so well planned, it would still be gorgeous. We usually just visit the flowers, but there are a couple shaded foresty paths as well, not to mention all the tree plantings (which I understand were originally planted for study purposes).

Of course, my mom’s gardens are no slouch, either. Look, the peonies are in bloom!

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yarn!

Well, the holiday weekend (US Memorial Day) is winding down. It’s been a glorious, gorgeous weekend. And I really don’t want to go into work this week – deadline central. Overtime is guaranteed, which means knitting time will be almost nil this week. However…OK, I have to confess. After this weekend, I really can’t begrudge the overtime.

It was the annual Great Lakes Fiber Show. And I may have gone a little overboard with the purchases!

From Knitting Notions:

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(3) skeins of Classic Merino Lace, colorway Pacific (these were on sale as she’s discontinuing the colorway)

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(1) skein Classic Merino Lace,  colorway Lilac. I believe this is destined for Crocus Pocus.

From Briar Rose Fibers:

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(1) skein, 2500 yards, of Angel Face, an alpaca laceweight. I’m pretty sure this will be fall knitting, probably as the Aeolian Shawl.

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(1) double skein (1000 yards) Sea Pearl, a wonderful merino-tencel blend. I’m currently thinking this might become a Trevi shawl, although I’m not 100% certain.

I have to just say, Chris’s (Briar Rose) yarns are absolutely lovely. I don’t think there was a single skein in her booth that wasn’t gorgeous. And she’s really nice, too. I can see why Anne has colaberated with Chris so often!

The final yarn purchase was my real splurge. I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be nice to have a natural-brown sweater or cardigan. So, when surrounded by all those yarns and all those temptations, I came across this handspun, I gave in.

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According to the tag, it’s a 70% Border Leisceter, 15% silk, 15% alpaca blend. The seller was from Michigan, and doesn’t appear to have a web site. I don’t know enough about handspuns to know what the quality of the spinning is, but it’s pretty to look at. I got three skeins, which should be enough for a nice sweater. I’m not sure what yet. I do know that I’m not going anywhere near it until the cooler fall weather!

When I was photographing the new yarns, I realized that I’d never gotten around to catalouging any of the yarns I’ve bought pretty much since February. Again, from Briar Rose:

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(1) skein Angel Face. It’s actually a deeper lavender/eggplant than the picture shows. I’m not sure what this will become.

From The Woolen Rabbit:

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(1) 800 yard skein of Merino Laceweight, colorway Mama Mia. A very gorgeous blend of oranges. I’m still undecided what to do with this. (Yes, I am very guilty of buying yarns without a plan. Although, in this case, I had a plan, but changed my mind after the yarn arrived.)

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And finally, (1) skein of Merino Laceweight, colorway Chocolate Chambard. This will become Iris.

In sum, I think that I have more than enough yarns to keep me busy for probably a couple years! I also had reached the point where yarns seemed to be spilling out everywhere, so I took some time this morning and sorted and shelved my yarns (and needles). I think everything’s now neatly in a home so I can knit without the dreaded cloud of a yarn mess hanging over me. Now if only I could decide which project to knit!

catch-up

Wow, thank you for the kind compliments on my Morning Glory. My new wrap and I are both blushing! Of course, no sooner did I finish it, than the weather warmed up…I guess I’ll have to wait until next fall to use it.

I really should make an effort to post more frequently – I have so many things I want to share. However, overtime has again reared its ugly head (non-mandatory – but if we don’t work it now, it’ll be two weeks of 12 hour days to finish the project in the end – working a little extra now to avoid that is worth it), not to mention there just seem to be so many things I want to be doing. Of course, overtime means more money, which means I feel completely less guilty about all the money I spent on stash enhancement last weekend!

My mom and I went to our first ever Great Lakes Fiber Show (of course, I can no longer find the website…) last Saturday (May 24) and had way too much fun. We were so busy looking at all the pretty yarns and knits, that I didn’t get any pictures there (not even the cute alpaca or bunnies!), but I did manage to find my billfold a few times…opps…

From Briar Rose:
Legend, a sportweight merino, 1300 yards
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Sea Pearl, a fingering weight merino/tencel blend, 1000 yards
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From Knitting Notions:
A hand turned shawl pin
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Classic Merino Supersock, Dusk, 3 skeins (1260 yards)
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Classic Merino Supersock, Ruby, 1 skein (420 yards)
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Afterward, we stopped at the Secrest Arboretum, part of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, The Ohio State University. It’s free and open to the general public, and a lovely place to stop and visit. There are plenty of trees, of course, but we stopped for the flowers.

As far as my actual knitting goes, I finished the front of my sweater last week and have started on the sleeves. I’m working both at the same time, so I make sure I increase and decrease at the same rate. I also felt like the added challenge of two balls of yarn to tangle, of course…

Pear and Trellis is also coming along nicely:

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I’ve managed to finish four repeats. Once I finish the sweater, I’ll spend more time on this, but it’s mostly hit-or-miss at the moment. I plan to work pretty exclusively on lace this summer (aforementioned sweater aside). To that end, I decided I might as well sign up for the Seasons of Lace knit-along. Usually, I’m absolutely terrible at KALs, but I knit so much lace anyways, I thought I might as well. As it doesn’t start officially until June 21, I suppose this scarf counts as my “warm-up” project. I’m hoping to (finally) get going on Bee Fields, and work on the Alpine Knit Scarf (Ravelry link) from Victorian Lace Today for the summer. Given the overtime situation at work, I think that will be plenty of challenge!