Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Stitches West 2014

This year at Stitches was awesome. I got to see friends, make new ones, and have a good old time. I also took a class with Carson Demers called Swatchbuckling, which was about better knitting ergonomics through swatching (I highly recommend this class. Seriously. I learned how to knit better in a morning.)
I went to Stitches all four days, but for whatever reason, only took two pictures. And by two, I mean that I took one and was in one. So here is the one picture I took. Behold, it is a Celestarium in the wild. This one is by Ashley and was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night. Go stare at it on ravelry. One picture has a Tardis in it, which makes it x1000 cooler.

The second photo is of Sarah and I at her booth. Cephalopod hosted the Southern Skies all weekend, since it is made of their yarn, Skinny Bugga! in Charaxes Tiridate. I was quite pleased to see that there was always someone closely inspecting it whenever I passed by.

And now for the damage report. This year I'm a little embarrassed to admit to what I bought. Have you guys seen that pin that says, "I'm on the road to recovery... Just kidding, I'm on the road to a yarn shop." That's how I feel. So here it is, in all it's glory. There is one braid and one skein missing from the picture because they were bought and already gifted to some friends at Stitches.

Day 1 was Thursday. I went in a bit early to drop off samples. And even though it's a market preview and only open for 3 hours, I'm pretty good a buying yarn and fiber.
1. This is a braid of Greenwood Fiberworks Sock Roving in the color way Cider House. I've wanted this ever since seeing Falling Stitches' socks out of it. Of course I got it right as the market closed, so I left it at the both. Guess who has two thumbs and was freaked out when they got home and the braid wasn't in her backpack: this girl.
2. Here's a skein of Dragonfly fibers' Dragon Sock in Mushroom Hunter. I saw it appear on Pan's Needles and I desired it. I might even do the same pattern. It looks so pretty that way.
3. And then there was Canon Hand Dyes. I have been waiting to see her yarn again after she was at KnitLab. I don't care that I haven't finished knitting my other skeins... I had to have more. From left to right is a William base heel/toe, a Charles base in Intermission, a William base in See How I'm Bewitch'd, the next three are Charles base in Cheshire Cat (second variation), I Know We Shall Have A Reveling Tonight, A Rose By Any Other Name..., and in Lewis base, Something's Rotten In The State Of Denmark.

Day 2, I had my author signing, which might have kept me from going really nuts.
1. Here is Spincycle's Dyed In The Wool in the color End of Summer. So lovely.
2. Is Miss Babs' 2ply Yummy in the colors (left to right) Rain Forest, Prince Charming, Coffee Break, and Biker Chick. Rain Forest and Prince Charming are going to become a Drogue for my Mum. Coffee Break was bought because I saw it on HeyPorkChop's instagram page and have no self control. Here is her blogpost about them. I've also been looking for the prefect Halloween yarn. I've looked for so long I don't even know what I'm looking for anymore. But Biker Chick seemed like it might fit the bill.
3. I didn't buy this, Mum did. It's a Tardis tin with little Dr. Who themed stitch markers from Slipped Stitch Studios. They let me change out one of the markers so I wouldn't have a weeping angel. They are too scary for me.
4. Tyler and I went to RedFish Dyeworks together. This might have been a miscalculation on my part. I only wanted one braid but left with 2. (Or three, but one was gifted) There aren't color ways on them, but the orange one is 50/50 Camel/Silk and the bluer one is 50/50 Merino/Silk.
5. I got black and white Koigu because I wasn't happy with how my Cascade was matching up with my Knitch yarn. Koigu matches the Knitch much better.

Day 3 was the day I had my class, so I was only in the marketplace for less than half the time it was open. Krista and I also waited in the crazy Knitmore Girls line so we could give them our Halos of Hope hats.
1. I passed this braid the day before but came back for it. It's Wonderland Dyeworks 75%BFL/ 25% Tussah Silk in Red Riding Hood. Go buy a braid from their easy store. Their fibers just shimmer. You'll thank me later.
2. I got a little silly gift for my Mum at A Needle Runs Through It. It's a triangle bag with Hedgehogs on it.
3. Every time I passed Cephalopod's booth, there was one less skein of Skinny Bugga! in Strawberry Crab. Then there were two left and I couldn't take it anymore. (I got David to buy the last one.)
4.Went back to Dragonfly Fibers. This is a skein of one of their newest base, Damsel, in Spanish Moss. I don't know what it will become, but it will become some sort of design.
5. Then I realized that one of my missions during Stitches was to get some lace weight. I have two skeins in my stash, one is alpaca (too fuzzy for swatching) and one is possibly a cobweb weight. That's it. Anyways, would you believe that I still haven't bought Anzula despite having touched it every time I'm at Green Planet? Well, now I have some Touch My Lace in the Grace color way. Also, Sabrina, the dyer/owner is awesome.
6. As part of the "I have no lace" cure, I also got a skein of Mithril from Verdant Gryphon so I can swatch up an idea. I should have bought a skein on Thursday. It was slim pickings by Saturday. At least they had some of the Forest Clearing still there!

Day 4 I went in 15 minutes before the market closed on purpose. I had to pick up my samples and needed to avoid being tempted. The plan worked. 

So, all in all, I had a great time. (My wallet didn't, but I did.) Now I'll need to be disciplined.... until next Stitches.... or whenever.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Beyond The Pines and Equatorial Nights

Here we are on the eve of Stitches West 2014, and I'm pleased to announce that I have not one, but two new designs out. First is Beyond The Pines, a shawl inspired by the way light flits along the tops of the trees in the mountains during a sunset.

This top-down shawl is designed in order to use every last bit of yarn. The striped section can be repeated as many times as desired before working the final solid section. It's available on ravelry and bear-ears.com. Also, the sample will be at the Spincycle booth (841).

The second design is a follow up in the star series: Equatorial Nights. This infinity scarf features all the constellations along the celestial equator.

Equatorial Nights can also be found on ravelry and bear-ears.com. This sample will be at Canon Hand Dyes booth (847).

If anyone happens to be going to Stitches West this year, I'll be there every day, so do stop me to say hi. On Friday the 21st, I'll be doing a signing for Lit Knits from 11:30AM-12:30PM at the Purlescence booth. (804,903). Hope to see you all out there.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Knitting Catastrophe

After five days of knitting, I was able to finish the newest design. I blocked it Sunday night and went to bed pleased.

But when I woke up Monday morning and picked up the scarf, it immediately curled into a tight tube.  I had expected some curling since there is so much stockinette. But I thought that the blocking should sort it all out. I was wrong. My heart sank. This has to be out by the 19th and here I was starting over. (I also needed to have a second sample mailed to another dyer by the Monday after Stitches West and it wasn't looking good.)

After panicking for a couple hours, I decided that based on my time and yarn constraints, this design is going to a garter stitch base. This picture shows day one of knitting. I'm on day three, and thanks to anti-inflammatories, I'll be done with this in one more day. It isn't exactly what I had envisioned, but now that I've passed the 3/4 mark, I have to say, it looks pretty good. I'm looking forward to seeing what it will look like when I finish blocking it.

Also, a shoutout to Cindy and Kourtney for helping out with sample knitting and testing. Thanks guys!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Ravellenic Games

It seems like every time the Olympics come up, I have deadline knitting to do. This year is no different. The amount of knitting I have to do makes it too difficult to do both the deadline knitting and knit along with the games, and I don't care to combine the two. So although I've skipped participating in past Ravellenic games, this year I decided (spur of the moment) that I'm going to spin during the games. Since it was a last minute, I'm not a part of any team. But that's ok with me. 

So here's the plan: I'm going to spin up 4oz of Greenwood Fiberworks Hand Painted Sock Roving in the Enchanted color way using a drop spindle. It will eventually become a three ply sock yarn. And to add to the fun, I'm doing a color experiment. I divided up the braid into three even lengths. Then I took one of those lengths and divided it up into 6ths. So this skein will have a fractal component to it.

Do I think I can do it? Well, someone on instagram admired my ambition. I haven't spun on my spindle in so long that I'm not really sure if I am a little crazy or not. I thought it was reasonable. So here is one day of spinning. There is a lot of fiber on the spindle, but the first ball of fiber seems like it hasn't shrunk at all.

Meanwhile, this is what I'm knitting. It is a fingering weight infinity scarf with all the constellations as seen from the equator. I'm going to need test knitters and it will be a quick turnaround. i.e. I need to know if it works by Feb 18th so that it can be real eased in time for Stitches West. It's taking me about 5 days to knit. Yardage looks like it will hit in the 300-400yd range. The pattern should be ready to send out by Monday. Any takers?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Yarn Enabling And Trip Recap

The good news is that I got my two pegs from IKEA and my room is starting to sort itself out. I have more things than I thought I did (or was admitting to myself)... so it's taking awhile. 

Anyways, I thought I'd share a few highlights from my recent trip to Oregon. I had a trunk show along with Alexandra's Crafts at Middleford Yarn Co. I think my most favorite part of hanging out at a yarn shop is enabling other people. Here is Jennie with her new collection. I'm responsible for the bottom two balls. Heh heh.

After doing all our family and yarn stuff, Mum and I headed back down the coast. We decided to take two days to make it more relaxing. The bonus is that we crossed a bunch of "One day we'll do this..." goals off of our list. Whenever we pass by She She's in Gasquet, I hope its open so we can try it out. This time it was. I had a BLT. It was quite good.

We spent the night in Fort Bragg. I got a little knitting in while enjoying the lovely view from our hotel.

We hardly made it out of Fort Bragg when we passed a sign for Mendocino. Mum said, "That's where Murder, She Wrote was filmed." I reacted by pointing wildly towards the turn and saying, "WE HAVE TO GO!" Here's me in front of Jessica Fletcher's house.

I didn't even know there was a yarn shop in Mendocino, but while looking for Jessica's house we passed a sign that said "Yarn". Let me tell you, the Mendocino Yarn Shop is lovely. Good selection of yarn and everyone was quite friendly. And they now carry Lit Knits, so stop by to get a copy if you are in the area. I think that I'll be stopping by to do a trunk show here at some point in the future. 

I managed to get in one more yarn shop before we got home. In Santa Rosa, we stopped by Cast Away. They've recently moved, although the move was only across the street and around the corner. I really enjoyed seeing their yarn boat.
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