I’ve had a crappy couple of weeks. So when I had to be in the valley for a matter earlier this week, I stopped at Gaspereau Valley Fibers on my way back.
It’s a great LYS if you live in the valley – but a little far to go in ordinary circumstances.
Since I’m now on a mitten / hat and colourwork kick, I decided to see what they had in the way of Fleece Artist / Hand Maiden offerings. Their stock always changes. I saw some yarns I hadn’t seen before, including Spud & Chloe Sweater. I’ve heard of it but never seen it around here.
When I was in there, I noticed they had Handmaiden 4-ply cashmere. It looks to me like it’s a DK weight. I already had another Fiddlehead Mittens kit with Tanis Fiber Arts DK yarns. The second kit is in the greens colourway. Unfortunately, my brain occasionally runs slower than the rest of me, so I focused on the natural undyed cashmere rather than on the skeins of dyed yarns. I remember they had a couple of dark purple skeins, a couple of lighter blue / yellow / green skeins, and some darker variegated green skeins of the HandMaiden cashmere.
I thought that what I might do is use the cashmere for the inner lining of my Fiddlehead mittens kits. Because I’m worth it. Mommy needs cashmere. So I picked up two skeins of the undyed cashmere (which was $6 cheaper than the dyed stuff).
And I noticed a huge bookcase full of Lanica yarn. It’s a 100% wool (unidentified sheep) in a worsted weight. It looks to my untrained eye as though it’s a single ply and it’s not overly tightly spun. They had the natural light yarn and a bunch of lovely colours in the variegated stuff. I thought I might need to make some colourwork hats, so I got two skeins of the natural, and two skeins of the coloured stuff. And I felt virtuous because they were 50% off.
I don't see it listed on the Fleece Artist website. Maybe it's being discontinued?
(Look at me go -- a month ago I had no idea what DK and worsted weight are. Well, I know that Cascade 220 is worsted, and that it's used for hats and felted clogs, but that's about the extent of my prior knowledge of anything larger than sport weight).
I almost made it out of Gaspereau Valley Fibers without a skein of fingering weight. Then I noticed the brand spanking new pile of Casbah on the table. So I grabbed a skein of Teal. It’s lovely. Mommy needs cashmere. The colour is actually brighter and more lovely than this. I didn't get it photographed earlier in good light.
Upon reflection, I later realized that if I were smart (which I have never claimed to be), I would have grabbed some of the variegated 4-ply cashmere and made myself a pair of Fiddlehead mittens entirely out of cashmere. It seems decadent but I’m worth it. Mommy deserves cashmere.
So my plan of attack today after the gym (where your absence is still noted, Magda, ahem) was to go to work to get my headphones, then to go to LK Yarns to see if they happened to have any HandMaiden cashmere, and then to the grocery store.
LK Yarns is a delightful place and the only LYS in the city worth going to. I picked up yet another Fiddlehead Mittens kit – this one in blues. Tanis is no longer doing the kits (other than the Baby Shane blanket, I think and maybe her hats), so I pounce on them when I find them. I also did get a single skein of mostly blue variegated HandMaiden 4-ply cashmere. (Photo shows the 2 skeins of natural from Gaspereau Valley and the skein of the variegated from LK Yarns).
And they had some Bess, so I snagged two skeins in what I think is called Forest Fairie. Or maybe it's Nymph. Or possibly Nightshade. Mommy needs cashmere.
I am forever losing my cable needles, so I picked up a set of Lantern Moon ebony cable needles. Or maybe they’re rosewood – I can’t remember. They are essentially the same as Knitter’s Pride Dreamz needles, but the cheaper KP Dreamz are in laminated birch. So I feel virtuous supporting the workers in Vietnam.
On my way out the door, I noticed a basket of Woolyie Silk which was on sale. They had three skeins in what I think may be the Maple colourway. Iwas tempted to get some, but had already done sufficient damage that I didn't think I could justify it.
Speaking of Fleece Artist yarns, has anyone ever knit Kidazzle? I'm intrigued by it and think I may want to get a skein. I just have no idea what the properties of the kid are, and I don't want something that's going to fuzz up and get a halo.
I started a Latvian Wedding sock yesterday night after work. I have long admired that
particular pattern and decided to start on it. I’m using the Bijou Basin Ranch Bison Spun yarn in the natural cream and the skein of the variegated Parsifal. It’s turning out beautifully. I am using it
as an excuse to continue developing my colourwork skills. Now that I am using the left hand for the continental knitting and have finally settled on a method of tensioning which works adequately, I am embracing the idea of colourwork whole heartedly. It’s all a lead-up for my Leo Scarf.
The Latvian Wedding sock starts with some double braiding. I absolutely could not understand the instructions on the pattern, so I YouTubed it, and found a great video from Knitwhits. Mine don’t look perfect, but they’ll do for now. I did notice that in one spot I ended up only doing ¾ of the row for the second row (the under and pearl with the strand around the left of the needle from below), but I don’t care. I am doing the pattern which ends up being 72 stitches and I’m using 2.75 mm needles. Given my previous experience with the sock I designed, I don’t want to end up with the same problem of not being able to get the sock over my heel.
Heck. If I have to, I’ll use 3.0 mm needles for colourwork.
So I have lots of things to keep me going in terms of projects, and most of them involve colourwork right now.
I am trying to catch up on old episodes of Round the Twist with Carin. I think I am now in January 2011. Her videocast is excellent. I enjoyed her when she was part of Lime & Violet, and I really enjoy her own podcast. She has been my companion lately while knitting.
I haven’t re-joined the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin’ Sock Club this year. I may do so before the
end of March, or I may try to use what I have. The January colour is beautiful, so I’m living vicariously through other people.
But for now I’m focusing on colourwork. I have some beautiful mitten patterns from Carol Sunday. I also have some great mitten and hat patterns from Born to Knit. And it is so darned cold here that I need more hats and mittens.
Speaking of hats and mittens, I finally have some FO shots.
I had done the Dembow hat for Quinn using the Three Irish Girls Springvale Sport from one of the sock club offerings a couple of years ago. I’m not entirely convinced that it’s really a sport weight. Either that, or the pattern is written for pygmies.
I did the hat and it’s too small for Quinn. Even Samuel complains that it’s a little tight. So I came up with a brilliant idea and told Princess to give it to the three-year old son of her best friend.
Since the Dembow was too small for the Lad, I knit him a Claudia in a skein of Sanguine Gryphon Free Range which came in one of my mystery grab bags. According to the label, it’s WRM QED Blue Point Mutation. It’s kind of a bread mould colour, but in a good way. The hat is much
bigger than Dembow, but the Lad still hasn’t worn it. Samuel says it keeps his ears warm.
I also finished the Fiddlehead mitts for Princess. They are so far from perfect, but I'm tickled because they're my first full colourwork project.
Yesterday I received the January Socktopus sock club yarn. The colour is called Thunder and
Blazes (or is it Blazes and Thunder?), and it’s two of my favourite colours – orange and purple. I can’t wait to see what Alice comes up with for a pattern. Ling did a fabulous job with the colourway. It’s divine.
I had a wee slip-up in terms of my self-imposed yarn moratorium. I bought three skeins of Traveller from Cephalopod yarns, and a skein of Skinny Bugga in Charaxes Tiridae. I got a shipping confirmation and was all excited on Thursday when I went to get the mail. There was a parcel which was the right size and squishiness. When I brought it in and snuck it upstairs, I discovered it was lingerie for Princess from LaSenza.
You can’t win them all.
I am also going to do a little more rearranging in the knitting room so that everything is out of reach of the phoque tards.
By the way, welcome Roobeedoo. I think you are my 5th reader. My stash is not really in jeopardy, but it just irritates me that the beasts have actually learned to get up higher than before. They snatched a loaf of Italian bread from the kitchen counter the other day when our backs
were turned. All that I found later was the bag. So they’re now spending a LOT of time in their crates.
This is the result of their recent handiwork.
BTW, have you seen the newly organized pattern feature in Library in Ravelry? That Casey is a genius. I love Ravelry more and more every day. I check Rav like my kids check Facebook.
PS I got smart and wrote the post in Word so that I could copy and paste rather than risking abject Typepad failure.
PPS - I totally forgot to photograph my other new WIP. I'm doing Roger by Anne Hanson in the November Nudibranch yarn. It's mindless, but I wanted Princess to have a pair of cashmere socks too. Princess needs cashmere.