04 July 2014

Glitter and a show-stopping musical number

No, not really. Fuck, what's wrong with you people that you want to see me sing and dance? Insanity. But in exchange, I have pictures of yarn. So, so many pictures of yarn. These are yarns I've had listed in my Rav stash since I got them, but I did take Rav pictures and not blog pictures, so this will be an extremely picture-heavy post. I keep my stash ordered alphabetically by yarn name, so let's just work in that order. Since I had all the receipts handy, I also managed to list where it came from and how much I spent (let's not actually do the math, though, because then I really can't continue to justify this habit and the constant stash expansion).

First up is a ball of Berroco's new Brio in Vim, above. It's sparkly and squishy and massively chunky. I think it will grow up to be a big cowl. I wish I had seen the pinkish Brio on the crawl, it's lovely as well. It came from Cranberry Fiber Arts in South Hamilton. I also finally found the color I've been hunting for from Shibui Knits: Staccato with Nylon in Chrome! This is a color that I've been absolutely aching for since I first ran across it at Woolpack last year. Sadly, Woolpack had but one hank of it (so I took home two of Fjord instead) and by the time I made it back to Acton on the crawl, they had none! And since the Staccato is no longer made with nylon (now they use silk for durability), it was looking like they'd also gotten rid of the Chrome colorway. Boo. It's such a soft gray, I'm so so so glad I found it! I originally wanted it to make a pair of Kalajoki socks, since it's similar to the color the designer used (and I'm not very original), but I think I might make my Kalajokis in Fjord and use the Chrome for Sock Around the Clock instead. Look at all those twisted stitches! Lovely.

Also let me show you my new Yarn Pop bag. This was my sole purchase at Creative Yarns in Beverly, although they seem to be expanding their yarn lines. Ugh, Blogger, why you gotta turn my pictures around? Anyway. Lots of people have seen my pop and fallen in love with it, because owls. And a tough canvas outside, with a soft muslin inside, means a hard-wearing bag that keeps your knits safe. There are a couple of downsides to it; for example, you can't put an already-started project in it if you want to use the handy grommet to keep your yarn flowing smoothly. And if you want to use the grommet, be sure that when you tuck your project back inside, the working yarn is all the way over to where the zipper ends or it might get tangled in the teeth when you zip. I'm currently using this to house some socks I'm making for Chelle in a Toil and Trouble yarn--luckily the yarn is much smaller than the teeth of the zipper, because I accidentally zipped it but disaster was averted thanks to smooth yarn and plastic zipper teeth.

Let's see, then there's this funny German yarn. I took two semesters of German when I was a freshman in college, but I haven't the faintest idea of what this says. I tried to branch out with colors again this year, and I figured orange was pretty different for me. I have no idea what this will be. Maybe Aquaphobia socks? It will depend on the pooling, I suppose. I'll have to swatch (ew) to see how it behaves. Anyway, this came from Seed Stitch in Salem, where Ana was having a trunk show. Of course, it was absolute bedlam by the time Chelle and I got there, so while I did score a hank of Toil and Trouble, I hardly saw Ana at all (she was pulling double duty at the register to help with the almost-out-the-door line). Which reminds me, Ana, if you're reading this, I hit Stitch House last night (well, afternoon, but whatever) on my way home from work and I'm to tell you that Sweetybird says hello. She told me you guys always have a ball at Squam. One of these years I'll have to make it out there with you!
Since we're talking Seed Stitch, this is the Toil and Trouble I got there. Meet Rorschach, aka "The guy who paints all those pictures of my parents fighting." Nerd joke, sorry. Anyway, I don't know what this wants to be just yet. I've decided to make my own pair of Hermione's Everyday Socks with my Toil and Trouble in Ent, since hand-dyes work really well for this pattern (but I'm planning to swap out the heel for a short-row heel and do the toe, cuff, and heel in a contrast yarn--a solid almost-white), so this yarn might end up the same socks--I do love this pattern--but with a different heel flap, a standard partridge heel rather than the modified one given in the pattern. The edges just don't seem very sturdy to me, I prefer more slipped stitches in my flaps, I guess.

And now, my final purchase at Seed Stitch, the earrings. These are the beautiful handcrafted earrings that went from a gorgeous pair to a single stud in one evening of drinking, when Homance grabbed my face and tried to lick my tonsils. Really, I'm trying to forget that happened, but I think she just wanted to show off for Spot, the boyfriend. Anyway. They are amazing. They have a subtle texture and they lie flat against your ear. I'm not really one for gemstone studs, because I like simplicity (that, and one of my sapphire studs disappeared right before I moved to Boston, perhaps into the belly of a vacuum cleaner). If you're in love, and why wouldn't you be, you can get your own here. These are the "To the moon and back" earrings, and they also come in silver (the "Moon post" earrings look like they might be a touch larger, and are concave rather than flat). And as an added bonus, Kim is local (ish) to me! From my native Rhode Island! And she has a ton of awesome stuff in her shop, so go get fancy and treat yourself to something nice.

Okay, how about the things I bought in Gloucester at Coveted Yarns? You know how much I love Coveted. Last year on the crawl they had a few trunk shows going on, and I was happy to see that was the case again this year. Both Done Roving and Mad Color Fiber Arts were there, although Chelle and I got there too early to schmooze with the dyers (I think they were wiped out from Friday and got to sleep in a bit on Saturday; Chelle and I got to Gloucester just after seven, if I remember rightly).

So, from Mad Color, I took home some silk hankies! I don't know why. I don't know what possessed me to buy them. I don't spin. I don't spin to the point where it's ridiculous how much fiber I own (there's more on its way to me as I type this), considering I don't spin and have yet to thrum. But maybe I'll spin hankies. I've seen it done. It looks much simpler than a braid or a batt, so maybe I'll be able to pull it off and then I'll just spin silk. Although, I've heard it smells really bad when you rinse it. Yuck. But then again, I could do without the smell of wet wool for the rest of my life.

Then, from Done Roving, some eye-searing Frolicking feet in Anemone Windflower. What a delightful name. The red blanket in the background really distracts from the brightness of the yarn (or at least it did to my camera), because holy crap. I could wave this yarn across the harbor during a blackout at midnight and still signal the water taxi. It's just crazy. I don't know what to make with it. I haven't figured out the right pattern for it just yet, and I really should because it's awesome. Any ideas? Maybe it won't be quite so blinding when it's knit up. Maybe the black breaks it up a bit and tones it down a little. Or maybe it doesn't, and I'll have to make myself a hat or other outerwear with it, for when I walk the dog in the winter and the sun goes down at noon. Or maybe I'll try my hand at knitting panties.

Coveted also had this gorgeous mohair blend on display. The shop model was a huge entrelac scarf, done in a blue/green/purple colorway that reminded me of Monet. It's squishy and chunky and snuggly. I'm planning to make myself a giant Jenna scarf with it, big needles and the whole ball. There's a touch of green buried in there, but it reminded me of fall. It's my favorite season, so I just had to have it. I think Chelle got one, too, but in the blue/green/purple watercolory color. Chelle also is on hiatus from knitting, since she got carpal tunnel, so I'm not sure if she still has the yarn or if she gave it to her mom, but if she still has it, maybe I'll make her a scarf, too. The ball is less ratty in real life, but it's a bit slippery so those strands didn't want to stay put. If the scarf turns out as well as I hope, I might have to trek back up and get more for a wrap, since my office is always freezing. I'm even toying with the idea of making myself a shawl, since they keep moving me around and I never know if I'll be on the cold side or the warmer side. Desperate times and such, since you know I'm not a shawl knitter, much less a shawl wearer.

Oh, I forgot this is Mad Color, too! I love the pinks in this one. Since I have so damn many of them, it's fitting that this color is called Lil' Sister. There's a slim chance I'll make socks for one sister with it, but it's more likely I'll make socks for me with it. I just have to figure out which socks to make. Again, I'll have to swatch to see what I want to do. Considering how much I hate swatching, I'm trying to be better about it. Although to be honest I don't really swatch like I'm supposed to. I don't wash my swatch and block it to see the pattern, because then my yarn is kinked and I'll have to rewash it to unkink it, and who can be bothered with all that? So I'll usually just pin it out as far as it will go and take my measurements from that. It also helps that I've knit enough socks now to know what I want in a sock fabric, so I don't really have to swatch for gauge as much. I just reach for the US2s and get knitting. I tried a slightly smaller needle for the Polly Jean pattern, but it was pretty disastrous. It would have made a lovely mitt, if it could have fit over my hand, never mind as a sock. So Polly Jean is on the back burner for now, unfortunately.

I also got some Wisdom Yarns Poems Sock. I haven't decided if this will be socks yet, since I know the color changes are really long and that means mismatched socks. Not that mismatched socks bother me, but long color changes also work really well for other projects, so we'll see how I'm feeling when I get to this yarn. Other stashes on Rav lead me to believe there are some funkier colors hidden inside the ball, so we'll see how it looks when I start to work with it. I might wind it into a cake to really get a feel for what I'm getting myself into before I start a project.

Finally from Coveted, a ball of viking yarn! I've seen the Viking of Norway yarns at a lot of different shops, but it never really grabbed me. Then I started noticing it more and more. And then I wanted to pet it all the time. And it turns out, it's really fucking soft. I know a lot of people swear by Noro, because the colors are so great, but have you touched it? I'd rather wear a Brillo pad, it feels about the same and there are fewer knots in the steel wool. But the Nordlys is very soft and the colors are amazing (enough to make me buy a pink), so maybe it will build up the devotion that Noro has. In fact, last year on the North Shore Crawl, I remember a friend telling me her mom had a discussion at her local shop about the danger of Noro having to downsize/potentially go out of business because other yarns like Viking could do the vibrant colors in a much softer yarn than Noro. Take note, Noro. The only person I've met who really loves the scratchy texture is Boston Husband's blind grandmother. No joke. I guess the scratch makes it easier for her to find her chains, since she crochets.

Okay, see how I got so much at Coveted? But then compare that to, say, Creative where I only got the Yarn Pop. So Chelle had a heart attack when she heard my total at Coveted (triple digits, whatev), but the thing is this: I try to get something at every shop--unless it's Putting on the Knits, because that was like diving into my grandmother's stash and just yuck, so I left empty-handed last fall--but sometimes I really only find one small thing I like at each shop (you'll see an example of this is just a second). Then there are the shops that I really love, like Coveted and Cranberry Fiber (and Bella, down in Rhode Island) where I will happily put myself in debt because they have the things I love and I love the people there. So my point is, clearly Chelle thought I was going to make it rain at every store we hit up that day. Silly woman.

Here is my example of only getting one yarn. This year we made it to Village Stitchery, which I hadn't been to before. It's oddly located in a small plaza and looks like a very tiny shop, but once you get inside you see it's double the size it appears to be (not as big as Coveted, but not a postage stamp). Even still, we weren't greeted at all and we poked around for close to five minutes before we were noticed. Now I don't know about you, but I like to shop in peace usually. Just say hello, ask if I need anything or if I've just come to fondle--a question posed to me at Stitch House yesterday, which got a laugh from everyone and was perfect because I was mostly there to fondle--but really, just let me know you know I'm there. We got nothing from the staff there. It was a little crowded in there from the merchandise, pegged on walls and overflowing the bins, so it was hard to really seek out anything specific. I did get this, though. Gray is my new staple. Anyway, it's mostly acrylic but very soft, so it will probably grow up to be a chunky cowl or maybe a slightly slouchy hat, depending on what patterns I come across. I'd get more, but it's not really a shop that makes you say, "Oh, I can't wait to go back!" like Coveted/Cranberry Fiber/Stitch House/Bella do.

We also stopped at Loom 'n Shuttle in Ipswich, where Chelle loaded up on fabric (she does a ton of sewing, blankets, bags, whatever you can get her a pattern for) and I got two hanks of Ella Rae Holy Crap That's A Big Yarn. I think the retail name is Mega (Massive might have been a better choice). I used the same yarn to make Thing One and Thing Two matching unicorn hats for this past Xmas. The hats were undyed Mega with manes and pompoms of Ella Rae Worsted and superwash horns. I should have gotten pictures, but eh. I can always make more hats. So this is the purple I got, a really nice dusky, almost silvery shade. I also got a gray, but the picture's not as nice (the hank got a little funny in shipping, I think). The value is almost identical to this one, so I probably won't do a two-color scarf, which was the original plan. But maybe I'll do something like the BFF cowl for myself and Thing Two, since we both like purple and silver. I wouldn't really call the gray a silvery gray, but eh. It's wool, it will be super warm. And if we have another winter like this past winter, I'll probably need to make myself a body suit with this.

On the subject of looms, Chelle and I also got up to Newburyport to see Loom with a View, where I hadn't been before. Mostly I wanted to go because their website led me to believe they also sold fabric, but when we got there there was only yarn to be found (well, and some looms, but neither of us is a weaver), poor Chelle. I got some lovely yarns there in really great colors. Two were yarns I hadn't seen before. This is one of those yarns, Knitting Fever's Indulgence. I got it because it's fireman colors, so the plan was to make something for Boston Husband. I mean, the plan is still to make something for Boston Husband, but I don't know what he'll want from this. He's not much of a hat guy, but he finally found a pair of hand-knit socks he really likes (the secret is a short-row heel, apparently), so maybe I'll make him some more socks. It's my understanding that this yarn knits up pretty quickly because of all the plies, but we'll see about that. He also might decide this yarn isn't soft enough for him (so spoiled), in which case new socks for me!

Then also I found Alegría from Manos del Uruguay. More gray, more blue. But don't they look lovely together? This is the other yarn I'd never come across before. They had them in a basket in the middle of the shop and I tried to ignore it, but I couldn't. I was just drawn to the light blue. I have no idea what to make with this, though. It might want to be a shawl, maybe a half-pi a la Elizabeth Zimmerman, because it might be too pretty to keep hidden in socks. Plus a shawl like the half-pi would really show off the handpainted colors. Decisions, decisions. Can anyone recommend a good shawl pattern? Particularly one for someone who doesn't really knit shawl.

And I really thought that was enough from this shop, I really did. Except then I saw it. Or smelled it. Or just sensed it was there. And I turned and saw a wall of Tosh DK. And I said to myself, "Well, you did want stripey over-the-knee socks in Tosh, you might as well look." I'm a horrible self-enabler. But I did behave myself and only get one hank...from this shop. This is Jasper, a really gorgeous piney green that also reminds me of the Alegría somehow, maybe because of the neutral in there. So this was my starting color of Tosh for the crawl, and we all know what a slippery slope that can be. Don't worry, it gets worse. But first, a few other things.

One, I can't believe I forgot about this one earlier! My favorite part of going to Cranberry Fiber is the Maxima, just hanging out on the wall, waiting for you to take it home. Last year I scooped up Agua, a little retro with its blues and greens and yellows. This year I wanted something darker. Something richer. Like an expensive chocolate, or a good red wine (disclosure: I do not drink wine, red or otherwise. I am strictly a sweet mixed-drink kind of girl. Like I own Froot Loop vodka). Anyway, this year the color that called my name was Grapevine. Isn't it something? And since I love my lotion bar so much, I decided to get another. This one, The Yarn Bar, smells like cherries and almonds, like the taste of marzipan. Heavenly.

Then also we went to Hooked in Essex. Last year they had only been open for a few months (two and a half, maybe?), so there was both a lot going on and not a lot going on. Last year I bought a hank of Malabrigo in Orchid (which is still untouched in the stash, but shhh). This year things were really jumping. Shelves were overflowing, which was nice. People were everywhere, but it was getting a little crowded. Someone was sitting at the table and working on a project. I'm sorry, but no. Save that for a Knit Night, or a bigger store. There just wasn't enough room. I almost knocked her in the head with my bag at least twice, because she was sitting in front of the kits and I had my eye on one of them. This is a kit for thrummed mittens. Remember how I said I have yet to thrum? Well I'm hoping to change that.  I got the yarn, the braid, and the pattern all tucked up in a nice little mesh bag, and I definitely got the best kit there. There was a big sale on their kits, something insane like buy one get one half off, but none of the other mitten kits had pretty braids (pretty sure one was a dark yarn with a gross shade of red to the braid) and none of the other kits were my style. Oh well. It's not like I can't use some of my other fiber for thrums. I like the idea of the finished piece (particularly in slippers, said the Reynaud's patient), and it seems easy enough once you get past all the prep work for the thrums, I just never got around to it because I had a dream that I would spin up all my fiber into luscious yarn that everyone would want. That is never going to happen, because my yarns are lumpy and bleh. Maybe I'm just not meant for the drop spindle. Maybe I should give a wheel a try. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Anyway. How about back to the Tosh DK. As you know, last year I got a hank of Tosh DK at Yarns in the Farms (Yahns in tha Fahms), in a color called Rainwater. It was gorgeous. It grew up to be a Puerperium cardigan for my friend Jae's son, Liam. In fact, you can see him rocking it in the picture on my project page here. Love the pattern, will definitely make again. So this year I was excited to get back to the Fahms to scour their wall of Tosh DK for some more good colors to go with Jasper for my socks. Except I left Jasper in the car, so I couldn't match it. First we have Gossamer, which is a nice neutral almost-gray. This will look awesome with Jasper. I sat them next to each other when I got home. Lovely. And I have a touch of Rainwater left over from Liam's sweater, which will look nice in the mix, maybe as the toe to my socks (if I have that much left, or I might end up with fraternal twins instead of identical socks). But I ignored the little voice that told me to go get Jasper from the car and compare it to the choices in front of me. I have no explanation for the following yarns.

This one is Lichen. The indigo of this is way too bright for the Jasper. But it was kind of dark in the magical corner of Tosh, so maybe that's why I thought it would be okay? I really have no idea. The green is too...I don't know. Like a green velvet, or a thick moss. But definitely not like the green of Jasper, that piney green I can almost smell over the vinegar from the dyeing. Almost. They must use a lot of vinegar. So this might turn into another Puerperium cardigan, for a yet-to-be-conceived baby. Or something, I don't know. I'll figure it out, I suppose. Worst case, a giveaway.

Then I have Terra. Again, it was dark in the corner, I thought this was an earthier orange, like a rusty color almost. It's a little hard to tell in this picture, but that's not rust. The red blanket is tricking my camera, because that's really a bright orange. Like the terracotta it's named for, but a little bit colder. Almost a traffic cone, but not quite. But almost. So I really don't know what to do with this one, because I'm really not an orange kind of girl. Maybe a hat? A pumpkin hat? This is also in the "whatever, when you know what you want to be, you let me know" pile.

And finally from the mixed up files of who taught you to color-compliment, I have Butter. But let me tell you, don't ever eat anything this color, even if it's calling itself butter. Especially if it's calling itself butter. I think I saw one buttercup once that was this bright. I have no excuses. I thought I'd put it on the cuff of my socks for some pop, and since my thighs are so big (thank you, high school swim team), the yellow would end up being rather narrow so maybe I wouldn't have a huge cuff. And then I got it home, put it with the others, and decided I can't be trusted to just wing it. So from now on, yarns purchased from different stores will mean taking the yarns into the new stores with me, because JFC, what the hell was I thinking?

It wasn't a total bust at the Fahms, though.  There was a trunk show! You know I love trunk shows. And it was Knit Collage! I was really sad last year, because I was on a tight budget and couldn't really afford to spring for a Knit Collage yarn and left with just my Rainwater. This year, though, I got a massive Gypsy Garden (I think, the name isn't on my tag). Look at those cute little flowers! And the sparkles, look at the sparkles! My plan was to make something to wear for St. Patrick's Day, but that didn't happen. There's always next year, I suppose, though I'm not sure what to do with just one skein. There are a bunch for sale on Rav, though, if I ever make up my mind and need some more yardage. And at only 35 yards per skein, I'll probably need more yardage. I love Knit Collage yarns, though. I'm so glad I brought one home with me!

Okay, that's all my yarn from the crawl. But that's not all my new yarn. There's more. Oh god, so so much more. But I'll slow down and let you all digest this post first. Let me just leave you with two final pictures and a link. This is the crawl bag Chelle made for me! Isn't it lovely? Of course I brought it home and Monster Dog got white fur all over it, but what can you do. The cat will only sleep on my light-colored project bags, never the black one. Anyway, this bag is extra fancy because Chelle picked the fabric especially for me, and it has a pocket on the inside! Swanky.

And then also the official 2014 North Shore Crawl pin, which unfortunately won't stay pinned and keeps popping off whatever I stick it to, so now it's living in my car next to the cup holders in a timeout from stabbing me in the finger. And as promised, a link. This is a link to Chelle's Etsy shop, MLCCreations33. So go check out her shop (and follow it on Facebook, because the shop is a little sparse right now, but she just did a craft fair and there's more pictures of what she makes on Facebook)!


  1. I think I am in love with every thing you got! Brilliant. You did all of us yarnies proud. :) Excellent taste in yarn and treats.

    1. Wait until you see the post-crawl haul from my not-so-local shop in Rhode Island. The one that was almost $300. I'll probably be up early tomorrow to photograph all those yummies and get another post up before I spend the week at the gym.

  2. Thank you for your sweet recommendation on my work. Should you ever need a mate for your lonely earring please be in touch.

    1. Absolutely! I am always proud to support people who clearly put lots of love into what they make. I may or may not have an uneven number of earring holes in my ears (really, who can keep track? You'd think a grown woman, but you'd be mistaken to think it's this grown woman), so I might try to make the best of it. Or I'll just have to get a bunch of backup pairs, only time will tell : )

  3. Giiiiiiiiiiirl, damn! Haha, that's some yarn. I actually bought some Frolicking Feet in a different color and made socks. I don't think they pooled at all. They seem like a true variegated to me, but your mileage may vary!

    1. The Garnets and Rubies, right? I just saw that colorway! I almost snagged it this past Sunday, but Green Fall Pond was calling my name. Something about that alluring mix of orange, green, and blues. I can't wait to see how that one knits up. Dude, I think I need more arms.

  4. DANG! That is an amazing haul! I kind of wanted to reach into my monitor and grab some of your yarn. Pity this isn't an a-ha video.