Monday, December 31, 2007

Last FO of 2007

One Skein Lace Jabot in Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama
Back in Minneapolis I had a chance to connect with a childhood family friend who has also become an avid knitter. Our kids are all roughly the same age, so she brought them over for a visit and we got to talking knitting. I introduced her to Ravelry, and she brought our her knitting bag and showed me her recent projects. We didn't even notice as the room began to clear with our talk of Malabrigo, Twin Cities LYS yore and Waldorf school needlework projects. She gave me the wayworn ball band pattern of the lovely little neck warmer she was wearing, and faster than you can say 'yarn addiction', I was on my way to Needlework Unlimited across town and then Borealis yarns in St. Paul. "St. Paul?!" my family exclaimed, "Why are you going all the way over there?". My family has yet to figure out that knitting is not only an all-consuming lifestyle but also provides one with an excellent excuse to get out of the house...
One Skein Lace Jabot in Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama
One Skein Lace Jabot in Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama
The Specs
Pattern: One Skein Virtue Lace Jabot
Yarn: This pattern is written for the dearly departed Artful Yarns Virtue, but I subbed a skein of Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama in kiwi and it worked like a dream.
Needles: Size 7
Mods: As written the scarf is supposed to be 17 ins., but I went for broke and made it much longer.
One Skein Lace Jabot in Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama
Borealis Yarns and Needlework Unlimited. How can I adequately describe the shear plenitude of needful yarns contained therein? I will finish this post and thus the year with a cavalcade of new yarn, and hope that all of you have a happy and healthy new year and that you remain the ebullient, cheeky knitters that I know you indeed all are.
Cavalcade of MSP LYS Yarn
1. Crystal Palace Merino 5 2. Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama 3. Dream in Color Classy in Blue Lagoon 4. Dream in Color Smooshy in Spring Tickle 5. Dream in Color Classy in Ruby River 6. Malabrigo Worsted in Water Green 7. Shibuiknits 8. Diakeito Diamusée fine in 117 9. Shibuiknits 10. Cherry Tree Hill Supersock DK in Brights 11. Rowan Felted Tweed 12. Rowan Kid Classis 13. Jo Sharp Silk Aran Tweed 14. Koigi Kpppm 15. Colinette Cadenza in Toscana

Thursday, December 27, 2007

There Will Be Yarn

Minneapolis--Calhoun Parkway
I am pleased to report that the Curmudgeon and I are spending a lovely winter break with Peeper-Lou and Tween Thing in the Land of 10,000 lakes, where we have been enjoying many holiday delights such as….


Christmas Pudding:
Christmas Pudding!

Yorkshire Pudding i.e. Popovers:
Yorkshire Pudding!

Seeing movies every night: So far we’ve seen No Country For Old Men—grim but fantastic, There Will Be Blood—the Curmudgeon’s favorite director, a spectacular film, Juno—a Minneapolis stripper/screenwriter hits the big time(!), and tonight it’s The Savages. Philip Seymour Hoffman. Need I say more?

There has also been knitting, talking about knitting, and the giving of hand knitted gifts. None of the A.D.D. Knitter Holiday Hand Knit Gifts of 2007 ™ are overly impressive in any way, mind you, but they were appreciated by their recipients and therefore fit the bill:

Big Print Socks!
Worsted Weight Big Stripe socks
Yarn: Schoeller and Stahl Big Print
Pattern: Just Basic Cuff-Down Socks
Needles: Size 6 Magic Loop
Comments: For my 81 year-old dad who is slowly fading away due to Alzheimer’s disease. He loved these socks, and so do I.

Rowan Chunky Tweed Hat!
Rowan Chunky Tweed Hat
Yarn: Rowan Chunky Tweed, lost the ball band ages ago and don’t know the color
Pattern: From Ann Budd’s The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns
Needles: Size 8 addis
Comments: During this trip we have learned that ages ago there was a huge flood in Holmfirth (where Rowan is produced) that killed several of my mother’s relatives, so the yarn was a point of conversation and allowed everyone to note how lucky some of us have been in our lives.

Rowan Plaid hat!
Rowan Tweed Almost Meathead
Yarn: Rowan Tweed, one ball on sale at the Skein Attraction
Pattern: Meathead
Needles: Size 15 addis
Comments: I ran out of yarn before I could give it the full-on pointy head treatment, but this hat took me about 2 hours to make from start to finish, so naturally I love it.

Of course no trip home would be complete without trips to Borealis Yarns and The Yarnery in Saint Paul, so stay tuned for an exciting account of gift certificate tomfoolery!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Oh No(ro) She Didn't!!

Oh yes I did. I have fallen again really hard for one of my first loves. A certain Japanese yarn has been calling my name over the last few weeks, and I am powerless when subjected to its seductive siren song. Noro. Say it with me again: No-ro. Those two syllables combine to make a lovely mellifluous music that have lulled me into a yarn trance and caused me to spend a lot of my Christmas money (How sad that at my age, that's still a concept. But there you have it. Even sadder, I haven't even received it yet and I'm already spending it!). I've already shared my recent Cash Iroha binge. The hemorrhaging of cash did not stop there. However in my defense I haven't just been buying, I've also been actually knitting with it. I even have a FO to show for my tawdry misdeeds. But let's start with the purchases:
Noro Kureyon sock yarn
Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn, color S164

No, your eyes are not deceiving you, those are two skeins of the incredibly sought-after Noro Kureyon sock yarn. What's it like, you might be wondering? In one composite word: mind-blowing. Yes, that about sums it up.
Noro Cash Island
Noro Cash Island
New also around these parts is Cashmere Island or 'Cash Island' as it's known in the biz. The name alone suggests fantasy and mystery. I am so excited to have found this, and cannot wait to make something special out of it. Any suggestions?

Noro  Iro, color 72
Finally on my list is Iro. Wow this is luscious. Really I just want to stare and stare into it. Luckily I was able to break out of its spell long enough to actually make something with it. James suggested a Mistake Rib scarf as a super quick project, and boy was he right. Such an appealing pattern, and the Iro is so, so lovely.
Mistake Rib scarf in Iro
The Specs:
Pattern: Mistake Rib Scarf, by Wendy
Yarn: Iro, color 72, one skein
Needles: size 9
Time: 2 days from start to finish
Mistake Rib scarf in Iro
So tell me, which Noro yarn is number one with a bullet in your world?

Friday, December 14, 2007

Koolhaas times two and two winners

I am so glad to know that you all have my back with the whole 'justification of yarn gluttony' thing. Thanks for so very many stupendous rationalizations. Perhaps some of you could have some words of advice regarding other problems of mine, such as 'screaming at Tween Thing about the clothes on her floor' and 'eating French Fries in the car'? But since those behaviors most likely won't be changing anytime soon, maybe we should just skip it.

Peeper-lou has reached her hand in and drawn the names of Turtle and Shoeless Val. Congrats, my state of stash tumescence is your gain! My stash will be two skeins lighter as of tomorrow afternoon, when I will be sending the last remaining skeins of Opal to their new owners who will love them and treat them right.
Koolhaas: Sandrine (Shokay)
Hey--there's a new gimmick around this joint. It involves getting stunningly gorgeous French grad students with perfect skin and shiny hair to model my FOs! Since Tween Thing is never speaking to me again, I needed to get some new talent for my knitting dog and pony show. And so without further ado, I present my latest FO, the Koolhaas hat. I loved this hat so much, as it has the Shedir lite vibe (meaning less complicated and more memorizable).
Koolhaas: Sandrine (Lorna's Laces)

In fact I loved this pattern so much, I made two of them:

Koolhaas: Laura (Lorna's Laces)
Koolhaas: Meredith (Shokay)
The Specs
Pattern: Koolhaas pattern, you know where to find it (IK Holiday 07)
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Worsted in Cranberry (red) and Shokay Shambala in Regal (purple)
Needles: size 8 addis
Mods: None, absolutely none. Please people, we're talking about Jared here!
Koolhaas: Sandra (Lorna's Laces)
These Koolhaas hats will now conclude my knitting for myself routine, as it's time for a Holidays Knitting Interlude. Too late in the game, you might be thinking? Wrong. My handknit prezzies won't be a complicated affair as we'll be sticking strictly with ball-band dishcloths, ultra basic mittens and hats, like this one.

I am very curious, what is
your go-to handknit, present-in-a-jiffy pattern?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Don't worry, not another Destash post...but there is a contest!

I will now share with you my thoughts about my most recent destashing experience. I was motivated to lighten the psychic and spatial load after digging through my stash and realizing that I could knit in a 24 hour-a-day (with time off to pee) kind of way and die before having knitted it all. Yes, it was a life expectancy sort of issue. That, and I really wanted some cash money, because for the first time in our marriage the DRMC has asked for a specific, big ticket item for Christmas. So, I listed my wares on Ravelry and the Destash sight and was able to unload sell most of it. This was a good thing. After spending the weekend feeling like a Wall Street Yarn Day Trader, I mailed all of the packages off today.

Unappealing aspects of the whole destash experience include receiving super enthusiastic emails from people that absolutely-have-to-have-this-yarn but can't pay until they get home from work, you hold the yarn for them, and they disappear into the ethers. You email them, but get no response. And you feel like an idiot. And then there is the shipping to Canada issue. YOU KNOW I love my north of the border peeps, but dumb ass over here just paid $17.50 to ship 10 skeins of ho-hum yarn to someone in Ottawa. Hi, read the postal regulations much? It was 100% my fault...and I made like $6.00 in the end. Poor me. I am not cut out to be on anything but the receiving end of internet retail transactions, it would seem.

Merci mille fois Solange!
Speaking of receiving, just look what one of my Frenchies sent me, a box of Kinder bottes de Noël and a ton o' Phildar mags! So exciting to receive a Christmas parcel in the mail. I have a strong love of the parcel, so much so that I just seem to keep getting a steady stream of them in the mail. Why look at the most recent additions, Sophie's Toes Christmas Lights and sKnitches Be-bop sock yarn in Baltic. I am sure the ridiculousness of a destasher receiving more yarn in the mail is not lost on you, but just keep it to yourself. Thanks!

Sophie's Toes: Christmas LightssKnitches Bebop: Baltic

Better yet, help me find a justification for it. Post a comment that allows me to justify this non-stop merry-go-round of yarn purchasing/destashing, and Peeeper-lou will reach her little hand into a hat and choose two winners to receive my last two balls of Opal, pictured below. I'll shut the fun down on Friday, so knock yourselves out!
opal mosaik sock yarnopal elemente sock yarn

Friday, December 07, 2007

Legendary Destash of Epic Proportions.

Dude. It's Legendary. It's Epic. Dude.
Visit Destash for the gnarly details.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Chevron Scarf: Some Preliminary Observations

Perhaps like me you were under the mistaken impression that the single greatest predictor of Chevron success (i.e. no pooling, striking yet not-hideous color admixture, a pleasing outcome) would be the look of Color a and Color b when next to one another in the their pre-knit, still in a lovely little ball, state. In point of fact the likelihood that the Chevron will turn into a scarf that you will love and cherish and not one that you use a noose to hang yourself in shame is inverse proportion to the initial going-togetherness of Color a and Color b. I offer the following exhibits as proof:

Exhibit A: Socks that Rock Silkie Jade and Walk on the Wild Side. Two stunning yarns that by all accounts should produce a Chevron to shake you to your foundation and bring you to your knees.

Pretty Chevron, maybe...

Cute, right?
Chevron Ick...

Wrong. It's all wrong. Hells bells, how could two positives make such an anemic negative? It's just weak, people, weak. Just look at that pooling...Next!

Exhibit B: Koigu p133 and Koigu p429 :

Potential Koigu Chevron Hideousness...

Puke-o-rama! Gag me already. But in their knitted state?
It worked!

Yowza! How could yarns that look like vomit together produce such a appealing garment? Chalk it up to the mystery of the Chevron, a counter-intuitive phenomenon which defies rational explanation...also, a little FYI: The Winter Knitty is out and the mighty Romi has another pattern on the cover (woo-hoo!). Her Ice Queen is luscious. The only other pattern that is strongly calling my name is--shocker--the Matrix mittens, because a. I love the color orange and b. well, you know, they're mittens for Chrissakes!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Yarn Floozy or Serial Monogamist? The Malabrigo-Cash Iroha Celebrity Caged Death Match

I have realized something about myself and my yarn affinities and attachments. What is my favorite yarn? My favorite yarn is the one I am knitting with at that particular moment. Whatever yarn is gracing my needles and captivating my attention at that point in time, that is the yarn that I am most obsessed with and cannot ever imagine knitting without. Last week I was all about Malabrigo, you might recall. I mean HOT and HEAVY. We had plans to run away together and hole up in some remote location and have a real torrid affair. That softness, that generous yardage (I'm a size queen after all), those luscious brown on brown tones, all of it captivated me and made me feel that it was the only yarn for me...

Enter Cash Iroha.
Cash Iroha color # 106
Cash Iroha color # 108
Sure Malabrigo is pretty enough, but is it on final markdown sale at The Skein Attraction, in Teaneck, NJ, ? Does it have the perfect combination of silk, cashmere, wool and nylon? And most importantly, is it Japanese and therefore just cooler by definition? The above mentioned qualities when considered together made me realize that I'd be an utter fool not buy the 24 skeins I bought on Black Friday for a mere $7/skein.
Cash Iroha mittens
I am a yarn floozy. A serial monogamist. Oliver Sacks should study my condition. Luckily my constant dithering doesn't prevent me from actually knitting! Because in the end, that's what it's all about. Here you see yer basic Ann Norling mittens, begun on the fly and completed after only several hours of knitting. I must strongly assert to all of you the power of the mitten. It will do you right every time.

Cash Iroha mittens

The Cash Iroha specs
Yarn: Cash Iroha, colors 106 and 108
Pattern: Basic Mittens on 4 Needles, Ann Norling
Needles: Addi Turbo, size 6
Mods: Knit without a cuff
Cash Iroha mittens
The 14 skeins of Cash Iroha pictured below are destined for a popular project that Babs and I have been wanting to do for almost two years. Cash Iroha is the yarn that the pattern was written for, and it is almost as legendary as the Clapotis. Can you guess what it is?
Cash Iroha for project