01 August 2014

More yarn, because duh.

Hello again, friends. Who's ready for more yarn pictures? These are yarns that have not yet been Raveled, and I really need to update my Rav stash, but when I disclose something at the end of this post you'll understand why that's going to be a huge undertaking (and not just because a large portion is, like, embarrassing for a yarn snob to own, although there is also that aspect). I have less to say about these yarns, because they were not purchased on a crawl, but instead at favorite shops. So let's try something different where I just tell funny stories and show off yarns with actual captions about what they are and where I got them from. Ready?

Frolicking Feet in Dancing Leprechaun
So a couple of Sundays ago (the 20th. Of July, in case you don't have a calendar handy) I went to a Meet the Dyer event at Bella Yarns. I love to meet dyers. They are fun people with fun stories and then I also get to meet new yarns and/or fibers. The dyer to meet this time was Cheryl of June Pryce Fiber Arts, and fuck you if you don't go check that shop out this instant because I can wait and their stuff is AMAZING. June Pryce is a two-woman operation, run by Cheryl in Rhode Island and Jenn in Philly, but obviously it wasn't too convenient for Jenn to pop up for a few hours on a Sunday so Cheryl came with all her delicious goodies. And they were oh-so-delicious. 
Solemate in Medill

Now, originally I wasn't going to go. Boston Husband had just had eye surgery (like Lasik, but with a six-month recovery period, so that's awesome) and I didn't want to leave him home alone with the curtains drawn and all the lights off, but he insisted I go and have fun with my yarn friends. So I did. And in my excitement to just fucking get there already, I was a good half hour early for the event. So I helped Cheryl set up her goods, and we laughed and joked and had a grand old time, and I will relate some of those fun stories to you (okay, my stories, but Cheryl laughed so hard she cried and smudged her eyeliner, so I'd say they're pretty fucking hilarious). Also the other great thing about showing up so early was that I found the very yarn I'd had my eye on from the Etsy store! And it was extra exciting, because it's a one-off, self-striping, Halloween-themed sock yarn! I will take a picture, because since I bought it not on Etsy, Cheryl had to take it off the Etsy shop so someone else wouldn't try to buy my precious stripey yarn. It's black and orange and purple and green, and it's called Witches' Stocking. Awesome!

Kinetic in Lobstah
So anyway, I was cradling my yarn and we were talking about various things we've knit and I was like, oh woman, do I have some stories for you. A million years ago when I was a wee freshman in college (fall of 2005), I was--I thought--madly in love with this guy, Irish (um, no, his mother was not that cruel, but he rivaled me in terms of paleness, so just roll with it), who did his first year of college down in Florida where it was cheaper and he could live with an uncle and save money to transfer to UConn (and also he put off applying to colleges like an idiot, so he was kind of in a jam). But here's the thing about living in Florida, you get used to the warm weather, so Irish asked me to knit him a blanket for when he came home for winter break. And I did, and it was spectacular. Well, as spectacular as a blanket knit completely out of acrylic yarn can be (Red Heart Super Saver and Lion Brand Pound of Love, if I remember rightly). It was all slipped stitches and love, and I got the pattern out of a magazine that I don't remember buying but had some really hideous patterns in it, besides two afghan patterns that were tolerable. Anyway. So I made this great blanket and he was so appreciative, but you know how it is when you knit for someone and they like the thing you made. They want another thing, and you say sure, and then the next thing you know, you're teaching yourself how to knit a sock because New England is freezing compared to Florida, even in May, and you wouldn't want someone to get hypothermia and lose toes.

Sparkle Yarn in Solar Flare
Irish asked for socks, so I started knitting socks. Now I've briefly mentioned this in the past, but these were not good socks. I was not a Sock Knitter, like I am now. These are the dirty knitting secret that I will go back and fix as soon as I have a time machine (I haven't yet decided if I'll tell myself to use actual sock yarn, or to just not knit socks for Irish, who a few months after receiving the blanket made it his goal in life to get my then-boyfriend to dump me. Probably both, and then tell myself to make use of the university pool more often and stay in better shape). These socks were made on US3 Susan Bates aluminum DPNs, the ones that make your hands feel a little funny when you use them, like they have a coating on them. Which they do, I've worn it off on my US9 circular, but I digress. These socks were also made with the leftover yarn from his blanket, because duh, every guy needs socks to match his bed linens.

Danu in Shantih
Just think about that for a minute. Worsted weight yarn on size 3 needles. Acrylic yarn. Those socks were so squeaky to knit. Oh, but I haven't even told you the best part yet: Irish wore a size 13 shoe. Do you have any idea how big a foot that is? It's MORE THAN A FOOT LONG. I measured another friend with the same shoe size. It's thirteen inches. Not kidding. So because I didn't know better, I followed the pattern exactly as written. Written for actual sock yarn, done in worsted acrylic. I was so determined to finish those socks, I worked on them in classes (my English professor was thrilled with that, lemme tell ya, but I learned a lot better when my hands were busy and it wasn't the kind of class that lent itself to note-taking), I brought them to the weekly Game Night my friends from high school had in their dorm room (we were the definition of cool, let me tell you), I worked on them before I fell asleep and thus slept with them and yet did not lose an eye, miraculously.

Danu in Rose Tyler
Now, go do a thing for me. Go get some tiny needles, like a US3, and some worsted weight yarn, preferably acrylic so it won't be too elastic. Try to gauge swatch that. Your fingers will start to bleed, your arm will fall off from the horrible vibrations that are sent up your fingers, past your wrist and into your elbows. Think about how determined I must have been to finish those fucking socks (extremely). I would seriously have dents in my fingertips from the points of my needles. It took weeks for the pain to go away when the socks were done. Now recall that I said I followed the pattern exactly. The pattern called for a seven inch leg, a flap and gusset heel, and then the standard "knit until the foot reaches two inches less than the desired length." So yes, folks, that was a sock with a seven inch leg and a thirteen inch foot; the foot was almost twice as long as the leg. Irish wore his socks exactly once that I know of, and almost couldn't get them off. I now suspect he spent two seconds trying to get them off and cut them off like an EMT faced with a crisis (remind me to tell you that story, too, but know that I am not, nor have I ever been, an EMT), or they melted in the dryer, or perhaps since the gauge left them stiff enough to stand up on their own, they just walked off when he wasn't looking. The exact words I used to describe these socks to Cheryl was "bulletproof," but "water-tight" is probably also accurate.

Danu in Kyoto
Oh, but that is not the end of nightmare knitting stories (or pictures of yarn, which I'll address at the end, because now I'm sure you're wondering where they came from). Around the time I was starting college, my favorite felon was, you know, becoming a felon. Martha Stewart, of course (and if you can already see where this is going, shut up because it gets SO MUCH BETTER than whatever you're imagining). First of all, I just want you to know I didn't think Google would deliver on a search for Martha Stewart's prison poncho, but ohhhh they did. Thank you, Google. Now the pieces are starting to fall into place, right? You're starting to see where I'm headed. Here's the thing. That hideous poncho was apparently intended to be the height of fashion. It failed spectacularly, but that is neither here nor there. It's also crocheted, but don't let that dismay you. Someone (many someones, actually) reverse-engineered a knitting pattern for it. Of course, now I can't remember the name of the yarn I used, something like Galaxy or whatever. 

Kinetic in Swim in Paris
But I remember the fiber content being something insane like acrylic/nylon/alpaca/mohair. It looked like cat barf. And to make things even better, my mom bought it for herself (well, for me to make her the stupid poncho) and kept it in her house that was heated primarily by wood stove, so the fucking yarn smelled like bacon. Oh, but I love bacon, you're thinking. Fuck you. No one needs to smell like bacon from the hideous cat-barf poncho they're parading around in. On top of which, I was allergic to the yarn (still not sure what exactly did it), so I couldn't wear my contacts while I worked on it and after an hour I needed a shower. But I got through that disgusting mess of poncho. I even made the stupid scalloped trim. But unlike, say, the Lion Brand pattern (which I will not be linking, go find it yourself), the trim was not simply continued from the poncho itself. Oh no, this scalloped trim was done in garter stitch (not that you could tell, because the slubs and boucle of the yarn covered up every stitch and it looked like one big mass that a plumber might pull from a backed-up drain) and then sewn on to the bottom of the poncho. 

Kinetic in Sure Sign of Spring
I did my best with the pattern, I did, but when the time came to seam everything up, there was an issue. The fucking trim, of course. I had X amount of poncho to cover, and Y amount of trim to cover it with. Now, luckily this time Y was longer than X, which has never happened again and I think that's because one I don't knit patterns that call for a sew-on trim and two it only happened because I hated the yarn so much. So I did what any good knitter would do in this situation and scrunched up the fucking trim for the last six inches and just said fuck it. And that was the first and last time I ever made a poncho. I don't really recommend it, especially in bad yarn. I'm relatively certain that not only was the yarn discontinued, but the company also went out of business. Shocking, really. Absolutely appalling. Ha. So clearly you can see why Cheryl was crying with laughter over these stories, the sock tale in particular.

Kinetic in Knitting Cricket
Okay. I have more pictures, because I always have more pictures, but they'll have to wait because I know the names of the yarns and/or colors right now. And normally it would be easy enough to go find them, but here's the big thing I mentioned at the start of this post: I now have a yarn closet. An entire closet full of yarn, and a little bit of fiber. I'll post pictures of it later, but let me tell you, I have four shelves with five boxes a piece on them and almost all of them are jam-packed...some of the lids don't really close all the way. Anyway, let me talk about the yarn that's here. The first is Done Roving Frolicking Feet in Dancing Leprechaun. This came from Coveted Yarns, along with the next yarn, Lorna's Laces Solemate in Medill. I love me some Lorna's, and we all know sock yarn is my weakness. Then there's the start of the Kinetic from Bay Ridge Dye Works, and Liz was featured at another Meet the Dyer event, but that's a story for a different time. Anyway, up top is Lobstah, then Swim in Paris, Sure Sign of Spring (which is much more obnoxious in real life) and Knitting Cricket over here, which is a bit more sedate than the other colors, but still eye-catching. It's definitely less yellow in person. Also there's a skein from Quaere (pronounced like "query"), a nice sparkly orange called Solar Flare that I can't wait to find a pattern for. Janel at Quaere has some really great colors, some awesome gradients (I need all of them, immediately), and a serious love of Doctor Who. Also, sparkle yarn, which is my favorite kind of sock yarn, so go check her out and buy everything except the gradients because I need them for....things. For cuddling, obviously. Oh, and also a bunch of Danu from A Hundred Ravens, because those colors are stunning as well (I missed that Meet the Dyer, but I am drawn to those yarns every time I go back to Bella). I'm not a Doctor Who person (I know, shame on me, whatever), but I really liked the Rose Tyler colorway. And I already have a plan for the Shantih and the Kyoto--the same pattern, even, won't that be stunning with the contrast. Okay. I ripped a finger open on a staple at work today, so I'm going to wrap this up and tend to my agony. More pictures soon.


  1. WOW. Once again I want to jump through my computer and take your yarn. Nom Nom Nom! I also have a bunch of new shops in my favorites on Etsy thanks to you! You are enabling my yarn addiction, and I want to thank you for that. :) I had to laugh at your stories. I am knitting a pair of worsted weight socks on size 4 Susan Bates DPs right now and I really felt for you! :) I am concerned I will not get them on my feet. We will see.....

    1. If they're wool, they'll be far more elastic than what I made (and should have given up on, frankly), so there's that at least. Plus I would think they'll at least be very thick, almost slippers.

  2. Once upon a time I couldn't get gauge going down my usual two needle sizes. I had to go down 4. I made a worsted-weight hat on 2s and 4s.

    Nice yarn!

    1. Oh god. Oh that's horrible. That's exactly why people don't check their gauge, because of horror stories like that!

    2. Yeah, it sucked, but it's also bright yellow and AWESOME.

      P.S. You'd better start knitting all that stuff up before I come over and steal it.