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!

Inspiration overload!

My Ravelry queue is getting exciting!  I’ve got at least 5 summer tops that I have in mind for summer knittin.  I have yarn for 4 of these, so I’m ready to cut loose and do some serious knitting (as soon as I finish my Cocktail(Dress) of course).  As luck would have it, Shannon is starting a Tops, Tanks, and Tees knitalong on May 7th!  It goes until May 28th, so I’m will see how many of these I can finish in that time.  I will also be taking a month off between jobs, so I will have plenty of time to knit, knit, knit!!!  I’m all set with yarns, as you can see below.

My LYS got Shibui Linen this year.  It’s a fingering weight chain plied linen, and I love the rich colors.  I have been aching to try it for some summer knitting.  I’m definitely making a Saco Stripes by Pam Allen.  I got this color combo of Brass (yellow) and Suit (navy) to make that tank:

shibui comboI don’t know if I’ll knit in the exact order of my queue, but next up would be Cowl Shell by Myrna Batten.  I’ve had about 600 yards of Fiesta La Luz stashed for a couple of years now, and it’s time it became a top.  I won this in a giveaway on Amy Herzog’s blog and it’s and 100% silk! fiestaAfter that, I plan on making a Driftwood Tee by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark out of Manos Serena.  My LYS has carried Serena (an alpaca/cotton blend) for a long time, and I’ve longed for this purple, but I never had a specific project in mind.  I’m happy to have a reason to acquire it.  serenaI have Waterlily by Meghan Fernandes at the top of my queue as well, especially after seeing this gorgeous example come up in my blog feed. I haven’t picked a yarn for that, and I know I will need to add length to it, but sock yarn is abundant in my world, so I’ll check the stash first.

My fifth top is Linum Tee  by Bristol Ivy.  I got some Shibui Linen in Fjord for this one.  shibui fjordThe top looks so breezy and relaxed.  I think it will be a summer favorite.

I’m so excited to work with all of these new yarns!

I need a serious case of startitis

I passed my dissertation defense, and am now officially Dr. Dominick!  Good alliteration, eh?  My dissertation research included two knitting groups with 4th grade girls to see if participating in the knitting group enhanced their social skills and academic achievement, while reducing problem behaviors.  The group seemed to have a medium effect on lowering bullying scores and raising communication scores.  The girls loved participating in the group and I loved working with them, so while I would have expected a greater number of positive results, it was a lot of fun conducting the group.

In knitting news, I’ve been totally lazy about getting a good picture of my New Girl skirt.  I will get to it soon.  In the meantime, I’m feeling a little out of inspiration for new projects.  I just finished a secret project that I will get to blog about later in the week, after a baby shower.  I have those socks on the needles still.  I’m almost lamenting the end of the cold weather here, because colder weather inspires so much fabulous wool knitting!  I’m ready to focus on warm weather items with linen, but I’m not sure what to make.  I’d love suggestions in the comments.  I have been eyeing Cocktail(Dress) for awhile and I have a TON of Laines du Nord Baby Milk (merino/milk fiber/cashmere) to use, but it’s in super pale pinks and gray. milk-2I don’t usually swath my person in that much pink, but the yarn was a STEAL from WEBS, so this dress will only cost me around $40 to make.  milkI think the peachy color on top would work for the sleeve caps, then gray for the chest stripes.  I have the most of the pink on the bottom, so that will have to be the main color.  I’m going to swatch a bit and see what I think.  It might be some super girly insanity.  But I want more ideas! I’m ready to fill up my dance card with summer knits.  What are you planning for the warm weather this year?

Have knitting, will travel

Matt and I went to Kansas City at the beginning of the week for a couple of days with some friends. While there, I went to visit The Studio yarn shop.  It’s a cute little store near the Westport area.  I got some super shocking pink Regia sock yarn and one skein of Madeline Tosh DK in Filigree.  They had a Gnarled Oak Cardigan made with the Filigree colorway and it was GORGEOUS.  The yarn itself is lovely in the skein, but I probably wouldn’t have considered it in the same way without seeing it knit into something beautiful.  It took me a long time to decide whether I should buy a sweater’s worth of the Mad Tosh DK, or just a single skein.  I went for the single skein since Matt kept reminding me about my 3 out of 4 projects coming from stash goal at the beginning of the year.  I haven’t counted, but he had a good point.  And impulse buying a sweater’s worth of yarn without a particular sweater in mind is always a bit of a risk.  I can easily make a hat or a variety of accessories with a single skein.madeline tosh

I am always willing to risk buy skeins of gorgeous sock yarn though… regia

I was a little disappointed with their sock yarn selection.  They have some lovely brands, but it looks like they need to restock a bit.  I was happy to feel Anzula Milky Way in person, but they only had a single skein in a color that didn’t interest me.  I was really hoping to acquire more Anzula Squishy yarn, but they didn’t have any, despite showing some on their site.

The super shocking Regia (color Violett) will likely become some kind of tunic or sweater for Z, with the leftovers as socks for me perhaps.  I really enjoy the kind of pinks that make my retinas scream.

Dissertation edits are still happening, but they’re slowing down.  I’m ready for this baby to be fully done.  This feels like a super long pregnancy that’s finally coming to fruition.

I am nearing the finish on both BlueSand Cardigan and the New Girl skirt for my KAL with Angela.  Updates soon!