April 9, 2008

Did you think it was an April fools joke?

Posted in knitting, Secret Pal 10, Spinning, Yarn Stash tagged at 3:54 pm by nephele

I thought about that when I finally wrote my last post on April 1st. Will people think I’m joking? Well, I don’t know if anyone thought that or not, but I wasn’t joking. To prove it I’ve got a nice long February wrap up for you.

February was Stitches West month.

I’ve been going to Stitches the last couple of years to work the booth for my LYS and do a little shopping. I’ve never yet taken a class there. That’s basically because the ones that sound interesting are often the ones that fill up quickly and I seldom have much in the way of extra money around November. One of these days I’ll plan and save ahead and do the full Stitches experience. For now though, I’m pretty happy with the shopping.

The most important thing to do before Stitches is to decide what knitted items I’m going to wear of course. I had hoped to get something new finished and debut at the convention but that didn’t happen. Oh well. I did manage to finish a couple of quick project though and I had one of them with me at the show.

I finally got around to making a Calormetry. My LYS got in a new shipment of 127 Print and the dark brown is almost exactly the same color as my hair. I’ll be able to wear this with anything since it matches me.
calorimetry

The button may not stay on it – not because I don’t like it. On the contrary, I like it it a lot but I have another one and someday they may both need to go on the same garment. The buttons were part of the goodies sent to me by my Secret Pal 10 partner. There were a couple of lime green buttons in there that I’m dying to use too. I’m sure I’ll come up with something eventually.

The other little project I managed to finish was my first attempt at using my own handspun. Remember that neon pink yarn I spun in October? I wanted to use it but was having trouble figuring out what to do with one skein of scratchy wool. Knitty to the rescue! I decided to make Square Cake in the smaller size. The size was a good decision. I was starting to worry, toward the end, if I’d have enough yarn to finish. I did, but just barely. Here’s the every scrap of leftover yarn:
neon_remnants

And here’s the finished bag:
squarecake_blocked squarecake3

As you can see, I opted for a subdued lining fabric. ;) The bag is the perfect size for carrying around a small project (hat or socks for instance). Hung from the wrist, I can knit while walking around. Plus this is one bag I’ll be able to find in the dark.

Square Cake did go to Stitches with me. It was holding the first of my Chocolate Cherries socks.
chocolatecherry2

The yarn is Claudia Hand Painted Fingering in… Chocolate Cherry. The pins are in there because I was making up the pattern as I went and, ideally, I’d like the second one to match. Every bit of shaping got a pin. As I work the second sock (eventually) I’ll transfer the pins to the new sock to keep things lined up.

So, back to what I wore at Stitches… From past experience, I know the convention center warms up quickly once it’s full of eagerly shopping knitters. On Thursday – the market preview day – I knew I’d be spending the afternoon stocking the shelves in the booth so comfort was also important. I decided to go with my Lutea Lace-shoulder shell. I also brought along my Birch Shawl (pre-blog) just in case. The shawl got removed almost immediately and didn’t get pulled out again until I left around 10:30 that night. Thursday was pretty much all work. My schedule had me working just the first 2 hours on Friday so I could shop after that. I did manage to scout out a few places and get my Ravelry passport on Thurday but that was about it.

Once the market opened my job was to manage the demo area. We had some yarn, hooks and needles set up so that I could demonstrate various techniques and people could try them out for themselves. One of the things the owner wanted to demo was 2 socks on 1 circular but she didn’t have anything set up for that so…when I got home that night I grabbed a long needle and some stash yarn and started these:
improvmitts

They’re mittens, not socks but the principal is the same. The other demos were for continental style knitting, tunisian crochet and crochet around a gimp or core yarn. One of these days I’ll have to rig something so I can photograph my own hands. Then I can put up tutorials on some of these things. A small tripod would probably be a good start, huh?

After demo-ing for a few hours on Friday I finally got down to shopping (and filling out my Ravelry passport). I wasn’t actually looking for much. Mostly, I wanted more, different fibers for spinning. I was thinking about picking up so more Brooks Farm yarn, though I ended up not doing so. I also wanted some Silkie Socks that Rock – that I did get. Here’s my modest collection:

Silkie Socks that Rock from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the color Valkyrie
silkie

Also from Blue Moon, A Sheep 2 Shoe kit in Rooster Rock
sheep2shoe sheep2shoe2

Lisa Souza Merino/Silk roving in Joseph’s Coat
silk-merino

A Star Alpacas hand painted Alpaca Roving
alpaca

And… That’s it. I really didn’t buy much. I would have bought more but most of the spinning fiber was types I already had. There was one booth that had a lot of sheep breed variety but I didn’t like the colors they had with them in the breeds I didn’t have yet so I passed.

Saturday was another work day but not at Stitches this time. Lots of the shop’s employees wanted to work Stitches over the weekend so instead I worked in the shop itself. That turned out to be almost as dangerous as the Marketplace itself. The store had recently received a new shipment of Malabrigo Worsted and there was one color that jumped off the shelf and insisted I take it home. I was helpless to resist. I’ve already turned most of it to parts for a Tilted Duster.
tilted

The sleeves aren’t pictured, but they’re done too. I just have half the skirt and the collar to go. I should be finished just in time for it to be way to warm to wear it. Oh well, I’ll be ready for next winter anyway.

Sunday I work at my ‘real’ job – the one that pays the rent. So that’s the end of Stitches for 2008. Now since I didn’t get very much roving at Stitches I decided to look around on Etsy for some. Heh. So… here’s how that turned out:

From seller millennialway
Cotswold wool (my maternal Grandfather’s family came from that area so I couldn’t resist)
cotswold

From contentedbutterfly
Some undyed brown Llama that I completely forgot to photograph and this Shetland wool from a sheep named Sylph
shetland

From SplitRockRanch
2 oz. of deeply dyed Mohair
mohair

From loop
A batt of rainbow dyed Bamboo. I’ve never spun from a batt so this will be interesting. Maybe I should pick up a wool batt to practice with first since bamboo is slippery.
bamboo

CrashIntoEwe sent me this Merino/Targhee/Ramboulet blend which I started spinning last night.
woolmix

Oh yes, I did start one other project in February. A Hemlock Ring Throw using some stash yarn, Nashua Wooly Stripes in Key West:
hemlockring1

Oh and I co-won a little contest. Another blogger was trying to figure out the stitch in a commercial sweater. Tsock Tsarina figured it out first, but I got a prize for coming up with a simpler way of accomplishing it. Here’s the swatch:
mysteryswatch

And here’s my prize:
swatchprize

The yarn is silk – I’m thinking a lacy scarf would be nice. The stuff at the bottom is dyed mohair locks. I’ve never spun from locks so something else to try.

 I think that’s everything for February – at least I hope so. Next up: March

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1 Comment »

  1. Gretchen said,

    A month well spent!


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