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Archive for the ‘Yarn’ Category

What I’m Not Knitting

The chevron baby blanket plugs along (as blankets usually do), and I’m starting to day dream about other projects I’d like to start.  My sister is expecting a little boy in early November, so there is another blanket waiting in the wings, not to mention a few unfinished objects that got tossed aside during the move.  We’re going to pretend those aren’t there right now.

What I really want is something in linen!

Living in Southern California, and having the total lack of winter we had last year, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to knit with things other than 100% wool sometimes.  As much as I love my wool, and all things wolly, there just aren’t enough cold days in our year to add more wool accessories to the mix.  (I know those of you in colder climates are just crying for me.)

I’ve had my eye on the Summer Scarf ever since spying it at Two Sisters and Ewe during the San Diego yarn crawl last year.

Summer Scarf by Janet Avila

Summer Scarf by Janet Avila

I’m also contemplating my first knit top, and the Silken Straw Summer Sweater looks perfectly summery, and not at all deceptive!  I’m just sure I’ll look perfectly fit and flattered in it.  (Just let me hang onto my delusions until I’ve knit it.)

Silken Straw Summer Sweater by Purl Soho

Silken Straw Summer Sweater by Purl Soho

For now, it’s all the chevron I can handle.  ON TO THE BLANKET!!!

 

 

Oops

Ya, so obviously I’ve been a bit of a blog slacker for the last, oh, 6 months *blush* sorry bout that.

We’ve gained a condo, lost a dog, remodeled, took up extra projects, and are finally coming back around on the other side.  Mostly.  My free time is usually spent like this…

I'm not sure why she likes to stack toys on me.

I’m not sure why she likes to stack toys on me.

I swear this just happens when Little and I “play.”  Of corse she also likes to “help” when I’m attempting to knit as well.

Sly face!

Sly face!

So as you can probably tell, things are slow going.  I’m hoping to get the dye pots out of boxes in the next week.  In the mean time, here’s my first batches of hand spun that have come off my new wheel!

On our sunny new balcony!

On our sunny new balcony!

Dyed, spun, and chain plied by me!!!

Dyed, spun, and chain plied by me!!!

So much pretty <3

So much pretty ❤

New Blanks!

My shipment of new blanks showed up! It’s a bulky washable merino wool, and it’s made in the USA! I’m super excited!

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The new company I’m ordering from is also supplying the wool/yarn for the 2014 USA Winter Olympic team!  How cool is that?!

There’s also a sampling of some merino wool which I will hopefully be adding to my Etsy shop as well.  I’m going to start dying it up ASAP (with dye made in the USA as well!), as I will probably make a few quick Christmas gifts with it.

I’m also finally on Instagram!  Follow LazerSheepYarns for lots of yarny goodness!

What’s on your last-minute holiday knitting list this year?

Oh boy,

I’ve got a long morning ahead of me. This is 4 hanks worth of an experiment in gradient dying. While it did work, it was more involved than I’d planned, and now I have 872 yards to un tangle. Wish me luck!

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So, this happened…

image

 

I happened to mention that I would like a yarn baller for my birthday this year.  This guy is a result of that conversation with my husband.

 

That is all.

Stash Busted!

I was trying to explain the concept of stash busting to my husband this morning, while we were discussing the fact that I should be working on Christmas gifts by now.  I was telling him that I needed a few, new, specific yarns for some of the projects.  He said I should be using what I have, which is true.  I have a lot.  Trouble is, that it’s mostly acrylic from when I first started knitting again.  This is were the fact that I am now a yarn snob really does me a disservice.

I said to him that I would try and stash bust as much as I could this year.  He joked, “Good, or I’ll have to stash bust you!”  He then explained that by “stash bust” he meant that he had found my stash and was going to mess with it.

So, if your significant other happens to find your stash (and apparently disapproves) you are “Stash Busted!”

This is my stash.  It is not large, it is not organized.

This is my stash. It is not large, it is not organized.

I am officially stash busted, and I’ve shown you mine, now it’s your turn to show me yours!  What does your stash look like?  Will you be diving into it this holiday season?  (I know, why would I scare you into thinking about the holidays right now?  It’s because we only have 114 knitting days left people!)

The LOOT!

Ooooo, ahhhhh

Ooooo, ahhhhh

This trip made my stash grow significantly.  I managed to get my family to allow me to stop at SEVEN different yarn/fiber shops over the corse of our three-week track!  😀  I was so excited!  I only have 2 local yarn shops, and I don’t make it out to them as often as I’d like (probably good for the pocket-book though).

The first shop was The Naked Sheep in Portland, OR where I picked up some much sought after Alpaca Lace Paint for a shawl, and some pretty Ultra Prima Quatro Cotton for a sweater for Little.

Wrong time of day for a pic :/

Wrong time of day for a pic :/

Super cute little shop, and conveniently for me, located just 2 blocks from a bottle shop that kept my brother and dad busy while my mom and I squished some yarn.  😉

Next up, I continued to feed my lace addiction with a little hank of Baby Silkpaca at Yellow House Yarns in Puyallup, WA.  Other locations in Washington held wonderful locally dyed wool, which I happily snatched up.  Diva Yarn in Port Townsend,
WA offered up that lovely little bat of blue green alpaca/mohair, locally hand dyed by Eaglemount Fiber (sadly no web site).

In Port Angelus, WA I turned a corner to see this…

Pretty yarn flowers!

Pretty yarn flowers!

Then this…

Yarn covered statue!

Yarn covered statue!

Then this…

Random yarn shop!  Score!

Random yarn shop! Score!

This was the only yarn shop that found me before I tried to look it up on my phone!  haha

Cabled Fiber Studio was full of beautiful yarns and fibers, lovely people, and a very sweet rescued greyhound (I’m sad to say I can’t recall her name)!  I picked up a lovely braid of 80% merino 20% silk that was dyed locally by Rain City Fiber Arts.  It was so soft and pretty, that, as you can see, I didn’t even wait to get home before I started spinning it up.  I don’t know what I’m going to make with it, but whatever it will be will definitely be soft and snuggly!

Spinning!

Rain City Fiber Arts, Eaglemount Fiber, and The Village Spinning and Weaving Shop

The North Coast Knittery in Eureka, CA was full of luxury yarn!  I’ve never seen so many pretty things!  They had a kit to knit a teddy bear, that came with 100% angora, and 100% cashmere yarns!  Sadly most of the prettyness was out of my price range, so I picked up a sweet little ball of Kidsilk Haze.

Monterey Bay was where I found my last custom yarn.  My family went to park the car, and ended up right in front of The Twisted Stitch (which I was going to try to bribe them to go to later any how haha)!  Dawn, the owner, was just as nice as she could be, and told me that while sadly nothing was made locally (You hear that people in Monterey!  Get on it!) that HPKY hand dyed colors just for her shop.  Each color was unique, and soooo pretty.  I decided to try to bust out of my ongoing “blue” theme and picked up that lovely hank of orange/purple sock yarn (1 hank is enough for a whole pair of socks!).

yarn

L-R top row first: Ultra Prima Quatro, HPKY sock, Kidsilk Haze, Alpaca Lace Paint, Baby Silkpaca,

 

The last stop I got to make was in Solvang, CA at The Village Spinning and Weaving Shop.  Some of you may recall that is where my hand spun hat started out, as just a little ball of wool.

Ahh, full circle.

Ahh, full circle.

In honor of that, I picked up some undyed BFL top, to turn into something beautiful.

It was a long and wonderful trip, and we did get to see a lot more than yarn shops (there were breweries too!), but I’ll save some of those pictures for another time.  Has anyone else gone on any adventures this summer?

 

 

A Puzzle

In a few weeks I’m heading on a road trip with my family!  Little will be coming with me, sadly Josh will be busy with work.  We’re joining my parents, brother, grandparents, and aunt and uncle.  We’ll be heading from San Diego all the way to Seattle and back in 3 RVs over about 3 weeks.  I have high hopes for all the knitting I could potentially get done (if I  can keep the car sickness at bay…).

In planning what knitting to bring, I came across some hanks of yarn that I just can’t decide on the right project for.  This hank of beautiful natural alpaca, straight from a ranch here in East San Diego, I’m having an especially hard time deciding on.

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It took a lot of effort to make this not look like poo… but it still kind of does :/

It’s 320 yards of fingering weight yarn.  It’s yummy and soft, with a bit of a scraggly halo.  I’m thinking hat, but I just can’t seem to find the right pattern.  If it was yours, what would you be knitting with it?

This next one is more of a puzzle.  In my cleaning up the last few days I came across a bag of my mother-in-law’s old crafting stuff, including the very beginning of what looks to be her first knitting.  Sadly she passed away after a long battle with breast cancer in 2010, so I really want to keep the little bit she knit intact, little mistakes and all 🙂

Diane's first knitting <3

Diane’s first knitting ❤

The only wrench in this, is that I don’t really want to knit a garder stitch scarf.  The yarn seems to be cotton of some sort, no label so I don’t know how much yardage.  I really don’t want to frog what she knit, so I’m potentially knitting something with a garder border I guess.  So any suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated too.

Anyone have any fun summer trips coming up?  What will you be knitting during your free time this summer (and I hope you all have some at least!)?

 

Not Done

Ya, big surprise there!  It didn’t help any that I didn’t realize that Saturday is TOMORROW!  Especially seeing as how the only way I’ve been getting knitting done the last few days has been like this…

Sorry for the bad cell picture, camera wasn't handy :/

Sorry for the bad cell picture, camera wasn’t handy :/

I swear she’s going to learn to knit before she can talk.

I did the math, and it looks like I’ve got about 50 looooong rows to go.  Which seriously sounds like too many.  Then again, I don’t math very well.  I’m also not totally sure I have enough yarn to make it there, and I know that it’s not going to get anywhere near done by morning.  It will probably be 85 and sunny tomorrow any how.

I am probably the slowest knitter in history though, especially considering how long I’ve actually been knitting.  The bum wrist doesn’t help that any either.  With the ever growing Little Sheep to carry around, I’ve been wearing my oh so sexy wrist brace almost 24/7 these days.  I had once found a list of wrist and finger stretches for knitters.  Apparently I need to start those up again.  For now, I’ll just continue on at my snail’s pace.

***

On a shop note, I’m about to order some more blank yarn to dye up.  I’m trying to decide to get more of the same merino wool/nylon blend sock yarn (which I do love!, but wool during a San Diego summer, not so much), or, to branch out into some more warm weather yarns like silk or linen.  Any suggestions or favorites?

And Then…. Distraction!

I’ve found myself distracted from my distraction.  My sister is getting married in March and, considering how much of it we’re doing ourselves, it’s crunch time!  I’ve been playing the bad guy to get my sister to make some tough decisions about dresses and decorations (I love her, but she’s having a hard time with the decision-making).  I may have also just hijacked the center pieces…

The center piece hijacking is really our brother’s fault.  He got me a terrarium for Christmas.  Then last week we went to the cute little shop where he got it, so I could pick out my plants.  The shop is called Pigment (the website lists furniture and stuff, but the shop is smaller than that).  It’s super cute and had a ton of terrarium supplies!  I managed to put this together for myself…

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(Please ignore my barren back yard.  It doesn’t get much sun, and it’s really only used for the pups to poop in.  We’re trying to change that.)

My sister saw my it and thought it would make a cute center piece, so I ran with it.  She already had a bunch of mason jars, so we’re going to use them to make mini terrariums!  We got a bunch of cute succulents from Pigment, and a handful from Home Depot 😡 to fill in.

I love the variety!

I love the variety!

My sister's favorites

My sister’s favorites

The set of 3 cacti are called "Red Headed Irishmen," ha!

The set of 3 cacti are called “Red Headed Irishmen,” ha!

I might have a slight obsession, which I’m happily passing on to my sister!  😀  Of corse, because of this new obsession, the little booties for the Little Sheep, look like this *blush*

Oops

Oops