Itchy brain

You know when you can’t remember the name of something and it drives you crazy?! I have been trying to think of a yarn that I used for socks for both of my parents ages ago. Unfortunately, this was before I was good about putting almost every project that passed over my knitting needles on Ravelry. It was a sock yarn that was super soft, had a little halo when you knit it, had a bit of bamboo, could be washed and dried like it was no problem, and had a fake fair isle patterning on it. I’ve been wondering about it for a couple of months. When my LYS reopened it wasn’t in the sock yarn area and I didn’t know if it was one that hadn’t made it back into the shop yet, or if it was all gone. Tonight it came to a fever pitch because I just had to know. It was killing me.

Thank goodness for Ravelry!!!

Screen Shot 2014-12-11 at 8.25.13 PMThere it is. Seems unavailable online, but I’m just happy to have the brain relief. It got slightly fuzzy while I knit it, and it was so incredibly soft. For an inexpensive sock yarn, I was pretty impressed. I still want more, but maybe there is a small chance that my LYS has some somewhere. It seems like the company has other yarns with similar fiber makeups, so if I really must have something like it, I’ll be able to find something like it. I’m just glad to have the mystery solved, and this is a good lesson to keep up my project page so I know what the heck things are!

Wovember yarn tasting

Earlier this month some lovely folks at Blacker Yarns sent me some yarns to try in celebration of Wovember. I wanted to swatch these and post sooner, but I got caught up in my NaKniSweMo sweater goals and then the holiday. I finally got a chance to swatch the yarns this weekend, so I thought I would share my thoughts. This was a fun yarn tasting because I had never heard of or worked with some of these types of breeds. Most of these are wooly wools. I’m used to lots of merino or many times I just don’t know what type of wool is in the yarn. These were pretty specific and were often pure blends. blacker yarnsThis first tan one was Pure North Ronaldsay. It’s an Aran weight and the color is natural. The label also says it’s woollen spun. As a non-spinner I don’t know the difference between woollen and worsted spun, but it’s nice that the info is provided. This one had great stitch definition and felt like it would make a fabulous winter sweater or outer garment. It’s not super soft, so it might require a layer underneath. I loved the natural heathered look of the yarn and the thick wooly feel while I knit it. blacker yarns-3This turquoise yarn (color=Over-Dyed Turquoise) is a Pure Shetland and is also woollen spun. It’s definitely softer than the Pure North Ronaldsay. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this next to the skin. It’s about the same level of softness and weight as Rowan Felted Tweed if you’re familiar with that yarn. I loved this color so much. There is a slight heathering to this yarn as well, and this picture doesn’t do that justice. It has a subtle grey mixed in with the gorgeous turquoise. I knit this swatch on a 3 mm needle. I’d call it a DK or sport weight yarn. It seems like it would be fantastic for a fair isle project, and I might mix it with the next yarn and do just that. blacker yarns-6This is Pure Dark Wensleydale, a DK weight yarn in a natural color that is worsted spun. It has a bit more sheen than the previous two yarns. It’s got a bit more of a wild feeling. Something about the feel and texture reminds me of mohair a bit. This yarn seems like it would have wonderful drape for a garment. I could see myself making a Breezy Cardigan out of this because I think the drape would be elegant for those oversized blanket-like sweater fronts.blacker yarns-2This is Pure Bluefaced Leicester. Again, the color is natural, and this one is called a 4 ply, but I’d call it a fingering weight probably. This one was the softest of the bunch and had a lovely bit of a halo in the swatch. This one feels soft enough for baby garments or anything really. I love it and I want much much more of it. This one was worsted spun. I have only worked with BFLs for socks (as far as I know), but I would love to use this for larger garments.

blacker yarns-4The yarn above is a Pure Gotland, a woollen spun DK in the color Over-Dyed Plum. This one is not one I would wear next to the skin, but it seems like it would be great as an outer layer or cardigan. It has a lovely bit of sheen and excellent stitch definition. Honestly, this one wasn’t my favorite, partly due to the lack of softness and I’m also not a huge fan of the color. The swatch on a 3 mm needle did have a nice solid feel, and later I realized the needle suggestion for this weight was 4 mm, so it might feel very different on a larger needle.

blacker yarns-5The final yarn is a blend of Hebridean wool with Mohair. It’s a 4 ply, woollen spun in Over-Dyed Olive Green. It has a nice sheen in the swatch. Mohairs make me itch a little bit, so I think that was affecting my judgement of the softness, but it is a gorgeous yarn nevertheless. This would be another excellent candidate for fair isle projects.

Thank you to to the folks at Blacker Yarns for letting me try out these lovely breeds of wool. They have a wonderful selection of wools and I was really excited to try yarn from some breeds I’d never learned about before.

 

Weekend treat

I love when I come home and find that something pretty has arrived in the mail. I received some Republic of Wool Twist Fingering in Artificial Light. Behold: repofwoolThe colors make me very happy. I see peeps on Instagram posting all the time about beautiful sock yarns. Sometimes it’s really dangerous to look up those dyers… Dangerous and beautiful.  I want to get my Simple Skyp socks off the needles before I turn this Twist Fingering into socks, but luckily those are only an inch of ribbing away from being done.  I’m hoping to see Gone Girl this weekend and they’ll make a perfect movie knitting project.

Yarn tasting

Recently the folks at Wool and the Gang asked me if I wanted to try some yarn and blog about it.  I happily accepted the offer.  I hadn’t heard of the company yet, but they sell clothing too and if you find an item you like you have the option to buy or knit it on the knitted items.  Pretty cool concept.  The Amelie dress was my favorite.  I think they’ll eventually have to change the “1 size fits most” size option for these to succeed, but I like what they’re aspiring to do.

The yarn came a couple of weeks ago, and though I haven’t knitted with it yet since I’m in the middle of several sweaters, I thought I’d show what came.watg-4I picked out some Shiny Happy Cotton, which came in several colors I couldn’t resist.  This one is called Spearmint.watgThey also sent me some gorgeous rosewood needles and a cute stitch marker with their logo.watg-3Each skein is 155 yards, so I think 2 will be plenty to make Z a little top if I make it soon.  They classify the yarn as bulky, but it looks more like worsted to me, so I’ll see what it looks like on a 7 or 8.  The company has lots of cool recycled t-shirt yarns made from factory leftovers too.  I think the Mixtape Yarn or Jersey be Good would make really fun scarves with their super bright colors and soft materials.  I’ll have to keep those in mind for the future.

I’ll keep you posted when I get this yarn to the needles.  I can’t wait!

Mini stasher

I have gotten some yarns recently that I haven’t been on top of getting in my Ravelry stash, so yesterday I was trying to get pics of some of these and catalog them.  If you don’t already use Ravelry’s stash page to catalog your yarns it’s an AMAZING feature of the site.  It really helps organize knitting projects by what you already have.  And then if you’re like me you can quickly see that you don’t have exactly what you need for a certain project, so therefore you must buy more yarn.  Ahem.

It’s also fun to organize your queue with specific yarns in mind, and it’s much easier to do a quick stash browse for a project knowing exactly how many yards you have left.  When you start a new project and say “Use stash yarn” on the yarn choice, you can pull from the stash.  If you are diligent and weigh the remaining yarn and put an accurate amount in the project page, Ravelry automatically subtracts from the total stash for that yarn and keeps track of what you have left.  Cool, huh?

I have a lot of yarn.  I’m not SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy), but I don’t hesitate to hoard  collect sweater quantities of sale yarns, and I especially don’t hesitate to buy beautiful sock yarn when I feel I must have it, (which is often).  My stash page definitely took a good amount of time to set up, but it was worth every moment of effort, and maintenance is pretty simple once you have it going.

So, the yarn… Z was “helping” me take pictures, and I got a few of her absconding with some DK weight Happy Feet.  stasher-2Every time I put the yarn down on the table to take a pic she promptly picked it up.

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stasher-4

stasher-5She’s not even two yet, and I think she’s hooked on this stuff.

hermiones-3She turns 2 on the 31st!  Can’t believe she’s that big already.

Some recent yarns I’ve gathered: happy feetPlymouth Yarn Co Happy Feet DK in Lemon-Lime Sherbert for a Pinwheel Blanket.

londonOn-line Supersocke in the London colorway for future socks for Matt.

new yorkOn-line Supersocke in the New York colorway for a future secret project.

aimeeLouisa Harding Aimee in the color Cupid for a 3/4 sleeve Gemini for me.

louet orchidAnd some Louet Euroflax in Orchid, because it was a new color and I think it makes the best summer tops.  I don’t have a specific one in mind, but I’m sure I’ll love making something with it next summer.

I’m already ready for fall knits.  Am I crazy, or what? This SSKAL announcement has me all fired up to make a fall sweater.  I’m thinking Coda.  I also started a men’s sweater design out of Cascade Eco+, a nice thick Aran weight.  Perfect for upcoming August weather.  Ha!  I reorganized my queue  to get fall/winter things toward the top.  Once I finish the Linum Tee, I think my summer knitting is over.  With that finished, I will have completed 6 spring/summer tops for the season, and I’m ready to move on to the heavy hitters.  The school I work at starts August 5th, so that’s probably feeding into my fall frenzy as well.  Is anyone else ready for fall knits?  What are you planning on knitting this year?

Always thinking ahead

louet terraI’ve had this yarn sitting around my living room for awhile now. It’s a score from the WEBS anniversary sale.  I plan on using it to make a Waterlily soon, since that could also translate into some possible summer work attire.  It’s Louet Gems fingering weight in Terra Cotta.

Even with plans (and assigned yarns) for Waterlily, and a Linum Tee, and a Cowl Shell, I have been thinking I should make myself another Kit Camisole.  I have been wearing the hell out of the one I made last summer, and it’s use of linen and positive ease seems like the key to keeping cool and being able to wear a hand knit.  The Linum Tee and my recently finished Saco Stripes also use linen in the form of Shibui Linen, but it’s hand wash.  For my Kit Camisole I used Louet Euroflax Sport and that yarn can be washed and dried and wears like iron.  It’s well worth the cost.  I just may have ordered some yarn to get one of those going… Because knitting will never be done.

Tomorrow is the last day of the TTTKAL.  It seems doubtful that I will finish my Driftwood Tee before the end of the day tomorrow, but I’ll give it a shot!