Sunday, January 29, 2006

New goodies

We went out to a sale yesterday, but surprisingly, I didn't end up with half the items I planned on getting. I made up for the lack of stash by ordering Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter from so I'm happy. I've wanted to get that for a while.

I came home with mostly bamboo needles to try out in various sizes, so I don't have to finish one project before starting another. I'm not sure I'll end up staying with bamboo, but they feel much lighter than the Aluminium ones I had been using. I'd really like to try some Addi Turbos, too. But I think next on my list is the Denise set of circular needles.

I did pick up some soft Red Heart Yarn to practice my cabling. It's a pretty eggplant shade which also matches some soft alpaca I'm fond of. I don't plan on mixing the two, but I noticed the similarity when I was sorting through my stash. I'm not usually a plum person but it seems like I'm working a lot from that palette.

But it felt fairly soft- much better than the yarn my instructor recommended that was acrylic and seemed to snag on my skin. I think it should be easy to test out my cables before attempting a walking scarf.

I think my Knitting Olympics 'event' will be the dishclothes. My other goal is to experiment with Kool Aid dying in February/March.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Yarn-y wishlist

This list is for my own reference and will be updated regularly, although any future secret pals, family or friends are certainly welcome to browse through it for gift ideas. :) Since my non-knitting family has no idea how many skeins make up a pair of socks, if I need a specific number of skeins I will note those as well.

Apple Laine yarn (Apple Pie yarn)
50% Superwash Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Kid Mohair, 10% Nylon (would need 2 skeins)
I found this when shopping for my fiber snob pal, and a few days later Wendy from Wendy Knits mentioned it (and showed her finished socks made out of it. They are gorgeous, which cinched its position on my list.) I love the blues and purples, then the pink color family, as well as Blue Jeans and Strawberry Jam. The Loopy Ewe is supposed to start carrying them soon.

Trekking XXL (color 107)
75% wool, 25% nylon, would need one skein
I love many of the colors of Trekking but the 107, which is a pink/green striping sort of yarn. I love pinks and greens (have always been partial to them since my sorority days), and this particular colorway reminds me of an English rose garden.

Elann Baby Silk
80% Baby Alpaca/ 20% Silk
I've been wondering about this yarn for a while but have never gotten around to ordering it. I can't figure out what I would use it on- you can double it up for a worsted weight pattern, or use it as it comes (fingering weight). The color range is nice- lots of yummy reds, blues and purples.

Knitpicks Gloss
70% Merino Wool, 30% Silk (one skein for fingerless mitts or two for socks) I've heard great things about this yarn. I'm not crazy about the pumpkin shade but all the others are pretty.

Knitterly Dreams

This is the post which prompted me to set up my own knitting blog, so it's reposted from my LJ so I could keep everything together.

I am all bundled up in my coziest outfit, there's big fat flakes of snow drifting down, and my pup is curled up at my feet. And while this should be a great opportunity to work on my homework due this evening, I'm taking a break and indulging my dreaminess by looking at yarn and various patterns, and planning out my future projects. So I thought I would make a post with all the projects I'm hoping to do, to help me keep track of what's on my plate once I move beyond my soft alpaca scarf.

I never expected to enjoy knitting this much. I don't consider it hip- my sister in particular seems to find pleasure in mocking my newest hobby. But it does a couple of things: empties my too-active mind and allows me to relax, allows me to feel a sense of closeness when I plan the perfect project for my family and friends far away, and I really like the idea of the secret pal exchanges. At the moment, I'm enjoying the process as much as I'm enjoying the end products. Plus, I'm the type of person who loves to shop for "the perfect gift", and this allows me to plan out way in advance, customized for each person.

I'm finding I just enjoy the tactile sensations. I love cashmere, alpaca, mohair and all sorts of yummy softness. And eventually, I can't wait to make myself lots of warm, snuggly cashmere socks to keep my feet warm on days like these.

Learning to hand paint yarn: I love the different color variations that are on my current project, but the idea of handpainting my own color combinations just appeals to the artistic side of me. I thought it would be something expensive to do, with specialty dyes and the like- and those are available. But a surprising number of sites recommend using sugar free KoolAid on protein based fibers (wool, mohair, alpaca, silk- not acrylic), which sounds easy enough to try. Supposedly it doesn't fade much and it does not run much once it's dyed. I guess it should not surprise me that much, I've heard it's used for dyeing hair too. Which does make me wonder what on earth that KoolAid is doing to my insides! So that is one project on my list. I'm thinking of doing a cool caribbean color scheme, varying shades of aqua, light green and maybe some light peach for contrast. And some black cherrys, reds, pinks, and plums.

Booga Bag: Since my mom and sister live in central Texas, they won't be wearing many scarves or hats. But.... they love bags, and I'm anxious to see how felting works. So I'm already planning Christmas 2006. (It may take me that long at this rate) I've already picked out the yarn and now I'm watching ebay for the right opportunity.

Danica Scarf:
Yum, just yum. I like the fact it's not too simple and very striking.

Jayne Cobb's Hat from Firefly: Why? Because it simply has to be done.

"A man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything."

Tempting 2: I just loved how this sweater looked, so feminine! It looks simple enough to be one of my first attempts into sweaters.

Kimono styled sweater: featured on the Knitpicks site. I just fell in love with this, although I suspect it's aways off. But the drape and style of it are amazing, and again, very feminine!

Far, far along the path:
Rogue. I saw the side view and fell in love. This will undoubtedly be a few years off but I remind myself one day, I will tackle this.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Stash Update

I'm debating on whether to join the Knitting Olympics that Yarn Harlot is sponsoring, so I decided to look through my tiny assortment of stash.

I have my Araucania Nature wool in this gorgeous blue, three skeins worth. I've been trying to decide what it would be good for, possibly the Irish Walking Scarf? I'm just worried that learning cables for the first time, what with my night school, work and workout schedule... I may be too slow to finish the full scarf. I want to be challenged, but also realistic. But I really want to see how this knits up.

I have some inexpensive 100% cotton to knit a set of matched dishcloths. While that sounds simple, it is a challenge for me. Each pattern I've selected to do a dishcloth in has a stitch- including cables- or technique that I've never done before. It's on a small enough scale that I should be able to meet my challenge during the Olympics, and still balance work and school without losing my mind.

And it's for a good cause: I'd like to send a set of dishcloths and kitchen towels as part of a "thinking of you" package to someone special. So right now this is my sentimental choice.