Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Harlot Road Trip

My mom and I drove down to Seattle yesterday to see Stephanie Peal-McPhee aka the Yarn Harlot. We decided to spend the night in Bothell, not far from the venue to avoid six hours of driving in a single day. It was a fun trip. Before the event, we stopped by Village Yarn and Tea in Shoreline. I found out about this store via Ravelry and thought it sounded like my kind of store (tea being the other thing I can't get enough of) and was thrilled to learn that it's located someplace I travel to now and then. It was a lovely lovely store, with great tea and beautiful yarn. The ladies there were wonderful and welcoming.

I bought two skeins of The Plucky Knitter silk merino lace in the Hot House Orchid colourway.
This yarn just called out to me. 1400 yards of loveliness. I believe it is destined to be Icarus. Scrumptious.

I also bought 2 skeins of Shibui sock yarn.

And some Dragonfly Fibers roving.

The Yarn Harlot is hilarious. Even my mom, the non-knitter, enjoyed the talk. And never have I seen so many knitters in one spot. This poor man was wandering around lost. I guess the person he was supposed to meet had told him she would be the one with the knitting needles. I do hope she was joking. I thought it was particularly amusing when she talked about people thinking knitters were patient. It had me thinking: obviously these people weren't around any knitters when the new server was being installed at Ravelry! As always, it was fun to meet other knitters, you now, talk to my own kind. Considering how completely enthusiastic (okay okay obsessed) I am with this hobby now, it's hard to believe I only started in October.

Well worth the trip.

This morning I talked my mom into driving to another store to procure some Socks that Rock. I have been really wanting to try this yarn but cannot bring myself to pay 16 dollars shipping for a skein of sock yarn. It certainly looks wonderful. I chose Valkyrie, of the Raven series. I love the subtle tints to the black.

Now before anyone comments on my being on a "yarn fast" this is souvenir yarn and it doesn't count. None of it is stuff I can get locally. So there.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Hanami made me do it

I cast on for Hanami last night. I bought the pattern months ago and have been wanting to cast on since before Christmas. Temptation finally got the better of me. I'm using an Italian yarn that I got in a Christmas swap. I think it's working really well in this pattern, even though the colour isn't exactly true to the cherry blossom theme! I'm loving the pattern so far. It's kind of addictive actually. I stayed up way later than I should have working on it.

Here's how it looks after one full repeat of the basketweave chart.

The trouble is, I am not a great multi-project knitter and other WIPs tend to get neglected when I get really into a project. I can't start neglecting the turquoise blob. Perhaps a rewards system is in order? I can knit Hanami when I knit a row of blanket?

I'm also knitting socks out of the new Noro sock yarn. It's different from other sock yarns. It isn't as soft but I love how the colours stripe together. I'm knitting them on 2mm needles though so it's slow going.

I'm feeling better after surgery except that my range of motion on my left side sucks. I hope that returns to normal soon because it's annoying having to twist around to reach for things with the other hand.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sophie Bag - pre and post felting

Here's Sophie after all the knitting was completed.

And here she is after 4 trips through the wash.

She doesn't look like much without handles does she? All in good time.

I really want to be spinning right now but alas, I think it will be a few weeks before my range of motion is back. I will have to be satisfied with knitting socks for now. I'm working on socks in my new Noro sock yarn. I love how the colours come together in wide stripes. It makes knitting on US 0s seem less tedious.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Third time's the charm?

May that be the last time I have to do that. I had my re-excision today. It was early, 8am which I far prefer to the afternoon slot. It was also shorter than last time. There's a littler more pain because more tissue was removed and I have an odd side effect from general anaesthesia: hiccups! Nothing is getting rid of them either. Apparently that happens sometimes. Maybe from the pure oxygen? I hope they go away by morning because they kind of hurt.

Anyway, onto fun stuff. I got another swap package with some lovely dark sock yarn that will be great for work socks. Thanks Kristin. She also sent a beautiful handmade bag. Must resist casting on, must resist casting on.

Ever wondered how to stop people from thinking all that knitting at lunch is crazy? Bring in a drop spindle and spin on your lunch hour! Knitting will start to seem incredibly normal. No more spinning for awhile now though as I am back to not lifting my left arm. But maybe my spinning will improve exponentially in the interim!

I am all about the instant gratification projects at the moment. Last Saturday I made this Saturday Market Bag. What a lovely quick project. I am going to have to rethink my prejudice against cotton. I've always avoided it because I don't care for now it feels in the skein or ball but it was quite nice to knit with. I am very happy with how this bag turned out and think I will get a lot of use out of it, that is, if my mother doesn't steal it.

I am now knitting a Sophie purse, a magknits refugee. I haven't seen it republished anywhere yet so if you want it, I recommend going to the wayback machine or google cache. I'm using the Knit One Crochet Too I received in a swap. I love the colours though I did have some trouble with breakage with the first ball. Don't panic though, it sounds like this problem has been resolved except for a few bad balls floating around. I haven't had a problem with the second ball so I would be inclined to believe that's true. As the bag will be felted I'm not concerned. I'm close to done the bag part and have decided to make beaded handles. My coworker bought some beautiful beads at the bead store near Three Bags Full that she isn't going to use so I am going to buy those from her. I don't have a picture yet but I'll take one before I felt it. I am both excited and nervous at the prospect of putting wool through the wash on purpose. Hopefully I'll be done tomorrow.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Yarn Fast Confession

I swear I have been knitting, despite the lack of progress pictures. The blanket is coming along, I am on the third out of seven balls of yarn so getting close to halfway there. It isn't a very photogenic project as it mostly looks like a turquoise blob lol.

I'm also working on koolhaas in some alpaca yarn I got for Christmas (need to get cracking on the 2007 stash as per the resolutions) but it's not a mindless project either. Enter, the saturday market bag.

When I learned magknits was closed I immediately did a search on Ravelry to see what projects I might like to make at some point so I could grab those from google cache. That's how I stumbled across this pattern. I was just lamenting that I didn't have any cotton yarn when a package came in the mail. It was a swap package that among other things included 2 balls of Sugar n Cream cotton yarn. So I cast on for that too. It's the perfect project for those days right after finals when your brain is still fuzzy.

Speaking of swaps, I have a confession. I had to go to the LYS to buy some yarn for a swap. While I was there, I bought yarn for me: some Noro sock yarn. I also bought some roving but that doesn't count. So I am going to invoke the "sock yarn isn't stash" clause so I can still get my wheel.

On that subject, do any spinners poking around here have any suggestions? I'd prefer something that's a little portable and easy to use for a newbie. And preferably available locally in Vancouver.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spinning Confessions

Okay, I admit, I haven't exactly been spinning for 15 minutes a day. In my defense though, surgery prevented my from holding my left arm above my head for two weeks. Interestingly, my spinning improved anyway. Remember this picture of my first attempt, a thick and thing slubby yarn?

Here's the latest

The colour makes it hard to see but it's a much thinner, more even yarn.

Unfortunately, I'm not quite done with surgery. The margins were positive so they need to go back in. I'm not entirely surprised but it's definitely an annoyance. Hopefully third time's a charm.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Recovering Kitty

Very little knitting has been going on the last few days. Between the kitten crisis, term papers and lingering pain from surgery, I haven't been up to it. I am more bothered by post-surgery pain today than I have been since the first couple days, probably nerves waking up. Yuck. It probably doesn't help that my cat stood right on the incision last night (revenge?) She's home and recovering. Here she is showing off her scar, asking for sympathy.

She was spared the cone because of the wound on her neck from where the needle was sticking out but she doesn't seem to be licking the incision site. She has to take two different antibiotics for the next eight days. One of them is a liquid and the other a pill. I'll tell ya, giving that cat a pill is well, a pill.