Yarn Crawl

I ended up visiting five yarn stores on my vacation and, like a good knitter, I bought something at every one! Here you go:

My first visit, like two hours after I got off the plane, was to Artfibers, the fabled San Francisco mecca. If I had to compare this store to another, I’d have to say Habu in NYC. Not because they’re anything alike – really they’re not – but because they’re similar in that they’re SO DISSIMILAR to any other yarn store you’ve ever been to. Crazy different.

Artfibers is on the second floor of a building, so there’s no storefront. When you walk in, there’s a desk straight ahead in front of a wall of needles and notions and then it’s just wire shelving everywhere. Little notes identify the yarns and there are lots of swatches and everything’s pretty much on cones, so it’s not like you can really handle the yarn. (Oh but you can! More on that in a minute!) There didn’t seem to be any specific organization to the place, so I wandered around for a bit looking at stuff and made my way to the front of the store where there were a bunch of chairs and a couple of jars of straight needles. I was in the tasting area.

In case you’re not familiar with Artfibers, probably the most unique thing about the place – besides the fabulously different and varied yarns – is the tasting bar. It is allowed and ENCOURAGED for you to make swatches of yarns you’re interested in. I can think of no better way to sell yarn than to have customers actually KNIT with it! There are bins in the back with smallish lots of all of the yarns in the store – many in various colorways – and you just pick your yarn, take a seat and start knitting! It’s FANTASTIC! I made two swatches:

That’s Ming on the left and Kurosawa on the right. Both yarns are 50% silk, 50% extrafine merino – but oh my god they couldn’t be more different. The Ming is an incredibly soft single ply that knit up shows you that it will probably start to pill the minute it’s off the needles. As much as I loved it, I wanted sweater yarn, not something so delicate. So I went to the Kurosawa which is a FOUR ply. It’s like knitting with a fantastically soft cotton. It was a bit splitty in the knitting but the stockinette is just gorgeous.

Lovely, no? I’m seeing a long sleeve v-neck pullover. Simple – to show off the beauty of the yarn. This stuff will knit up nice and tough. I’d be surprised if it pills badly. Incidentally, I bought two cones of color #5.

While I was waiting to pay, I completely fell in love with Fauve.

It’s a cotton, hemp, nylon mix that’s just unlike anything I’ve ever seen knit up. I didn’t have time to make my own swatch, but the one online shows the yarn pretty well. There’s the muted hemp/cotton, and then this sparkly crazy nylon. I bought a little more than 300 yds – I might even make a scarf, I love this stuff so much. It took me forever to pick a color! I drove everyone crazy asking which one they liked best. I ended up with #4.

If you’re ever in San Francisco, you MUST go to Artfibers and knit up a swatch. It really is so different! I loved it!

The other yarn store in SF I wanted to try was ImagiKnit. This is more of a typical yarn store, but they have a TON of yarn. It seemed special enough to make the trip so on our last morning in SF, I hopped in a cab and went WAY across town. It was…okay. The store itself is very nice with a very shabby chic look and two huge rooms filled with yarn. There really is a TON of yarn – most of it’s your typical LYS fare – big names and some little names. I bought my requisite souvenir Koigu:

P900. I bought the last two skeins and even though they’re the same dyelot, they’re pretty different. I also bought some Claudia’s Silk Lace in the superfun Lipstick colorway.

I just love the color. Imagiknit, though, was a bit of a disappointment. Sure, there was yarn galore. Sure the store setting was comfortable and fun and there was LOTS of room. But I got that vibe. You know which vibe I mean. The vibe that says you’re not part of our little clique, which is the only reason we’ve got this huge store in the first place, so we can knit with our friends, and you’re not a friend, so we’ll gladly take your money, but we’re not going to be encouraging about it. It could’ve been me. I’m sure there are people out there reading this thinking this is completely wrong because it’s the best yarn store in the world, but I tried to engage them and they just didn’t care. I even did the embarrassing old lady trick where you try to make conversation with everyone and I felt like I was rebuffed. Anyway, the yarn is pretty and really that’s all that matters. I won’t make the effort next time though.

My next stop was Article Pract, across the Bay Bridge in Oakland. Now there’s a yarn store! The place is PACKED full and it was funky and seems like a lot of fun and I bought the best bag in the universe and it was ON SALE!

OMG! It’s all velvet and soft and the bl
ue faille lining is fantastic and matches perfectly and it fits great on my shoulder and the cutout is perfect for my arm and I love it so much I’m afraid to use it! It’s Offhand Designs, Ursula style and I was so happy I skipped to the car to show G. It’s the Sahara Stripe colorway. I was sorry I didn’t buy any yarn at Article Pract, and while they had lots of yarn, there wasn’t anything super special for me like the bag. I mean, really, I don’t need any yarn. But the woman behind the counter was very nice and really I was just so happy with the bag she could have called me fat and I would’ve thanked her. Yes – it’s THAT good! I would definitely go back to Article Pract. Very nice store.

On our first full day at the Lake, we drove the 72-mile loop that takes you all the way around and on the way we stopped at The Wool Tree in South Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately, they don’t have a website. It was a small, but nice store, with your typical LYS fare. The woman working there was very nice and chatty with me. I ended up with an older Interweave Crochet. Didn’t want to walk out empty handed.

My last yarn store of the trip was Jimmy Beans Wool. I was really hoping to get here and the last night we stayed in Reno, so it wasn’t very far from our hotel. When I walked in they were getting ready for an event later that evening with Ann Norling. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay, but I was certainly invited to. VERY nice group of ladies at the store. VERY nice. Solicitous without being OVERLY solicitous. Fun and funny and it’s a great little store. They have a SUPERIOR collection of Lorna’s Laces and when I asked for the Tahoe colorway, which I didn’t see on the shelf, they checked their inventory and came out with all I needed. I bought the two prizes while I was there and some other contest yarn and I was happy to spend my money with them. I’ve shopped online with them before, and will be happy to do it again.

So that’s the yarn crawl story. I love visiting yarn shops when I travel – most of them are pretty similar, but sometimes you get a nice surprise.

Here’s what I knit on most of my trip:

I’m loving knitting this! It’s my Wing O’ The Moth shawl (details here.) I love the yarn – the color, the feel – and I love the texture of the unblocked lace.

And here it is pulled out a little bit.

I can’t wait to finish and block this baby! I’m just about to the end of the first chart. I think there’s like 40 rows and the edging after that. Not long now.

And this picture is for Ann:

I can’t wait! More on this as soon as Annie gets her share. 😉

Knit Nite

I’m LOVING all the contest entries! I love the confessional nature of some of them. I love when people share their stories. And for the record, G and I never celebrate Valentine’s Day. I can barely remember a present or a card even. We don’t even celebrate Thanksgiving – so VDay is really off the radar. Besides, we’re one of those couples you love to hate in that every day around here is VDay. We’re so in looooooooove. (Don’t hate me cause you ain’t me!)

More trip news! Firstly, let me just say that blogging can oftentimes feel like a job. Sure – sometimes it’s a fun job, but sometimes it’s not and don’t let anyone tell you it’s easy to come up with something on a fairly regular basis. I mean, I knit a lot – but I don’t knit THAT much. (Not that I’m really complaining, per se. I know full well that I have CHOSEN to do this. I could take it all down in a second but I would honestly miss it. Breaks are good. For the most part this blog has brought nothing but goodness into my life. THANK YOU for that.) Anyway, when I’m thinking ugh – I have to write something witty and funny and smart and take pretty pictures and knit something fabulous or I know no one will ever read my blog again – my faith in blogging is RESTORED!

I mean, how else would I have ever had the chance to hang out with SUCH fabulous people?! How else? So far now I’ve met bloggers in Maryland, New York, Boston, Chicago, LA, The Peninsula. I’ve met bloggers from Wisconsin, Utah, Georgia, Oregon, Washington, Vermont, Pennsylvania. Canada. I’ve met people in my own backyard that have become some of my favorite people in the world – all through this little blog. My trip out to the Central Coast of California was no exception. Or it’s called the Peninsula. Or South Bay. The area just south of San Francisco where all the computers companies reside. Near Stanford University. Seriously – this is THE fiber community. They’ve got like a million shops out there and everyone knows everyone and everyone (from what I could see) likes and RESPECTS everyone and the shops are all in on it with each other and they all carry really different yarns with almost NO overlap. I visited three stores (there are like a million more) and they were all very different in style and layout – but they were all equally warm and inviting and I would’ve been comfortable kicking up my heels and knitting for a while in any one of them.

My knitblogger adventure started Friday night. The incomparable Cookie picked me up and took me to dinner with Nathania, Jeni, and NO BLOG Hannah – who it turns out – is my long, lost twin. (GET OFF THE MYSPACE GIRL and grow up. Get yourself a BLOG!) I’m positive I laughed more than I ate and I was instantly comfortable with everyone. Which is saying a lot for people you’ve never met before (or met for just a little while – DUDES! I was at Nathania’s Bridal Shower!)

After dinner, we walked a few blocks to a coffee shop and hooked up with Kristi, Jocelyn, Freecia, Lu, Lisa, who came out with her gorgeous 2wk old son that seriously made my ovaries ache, Linda and Jill.

We ended up moving to a crepe place a couple doors down because the first place couldn’t accomodate us and we preceded to get thrown out of the crepe place. We’re so bad. HAHAHAHA! No, really, they wanted to close. So then we stood in the street because we could NOT STOP YAPPING. Nathania’s got a picture of us!

The next day, Nona picked me up and we headed out for a yarn crawl with Cookie and Kristi! I was really excited to hang with Nona – I’ve long been a fan of her blog and her new swatch project is INSPIRED! What she can do with a log cabin square just stirs my heart. Our first stop was Full Thread Ahead where Hollis, the owner, was super generous and let us into the Secret Stitches Stash where I picked out the most beautiful yarn I’ve ever seen!

Have you ever? It’s HandMaiden Sea Silk in the Straw colorway (such a pedestrian name!), but let’s be honest here – that’s pure gold folks.

Everyone was in agreement that this was definitely MY COLOR and it was all I could do to stop smelling it and fondling it and generally behaving with it in a very unladylike way. Thank you Hollis! I will definitely use this yarn for something very, very special!

Our next stop was Uncommon Threads – and unfortunately I didn’t get to hang here long enough. The back table was a VERY inviting spot and it would’ve been a lot of fun to hang with the knitters I met back there. And they had fudge. What more could you ask for?

We rushed out of Uncommon Threads so we could get to Purlescence before it closed. Another VERY fine knitting shop! I couldn’t leave empty-handed two stores in a row, so I picked up some Louet Gems and Claudia’s Handpainted for some potential Anemoi Mittens!

I’m thinking of a stained glass effect. We’ll see. After we closed down Purlescence, Kristi, Cookie, Nona and I did what knitters do best – we hung out and knit! Some delicious local flavor and fantastic conversation was the end to a perfect knitty couple of days.

I can’t thank you all enough for taking time out of your busy lives to spend time with me! It was a blast and I loved knitting and talking and hanging with all of you! Anytime you’re in my neighborhood – SHOUT! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

Next up tomorrow…. A LEGEND is revealed!

Shop Early, Shop Often

It had been a long time since I bought any STR. I was seeing some new colors out there and I was feeling left out. So I called Tina and Kaci and said this is how many skeins I want – send me your new favorites. This is what they sent me:

1. Gunmetal Grey
2. Henpecked
3. Chicabiddy
4. Cock-eyed
5. Dreidel
6. Love-In-Idleness
7. Jail House Rock
8. Puck’s Mischief
9. Sunstone
10. Rhode Island Red
11. Downpour
12. Purple Rain
13. Heart Throb
14. In the Navy
15. Blue Brick Wall
16. Rocktober

That knitting malaise I was feeling? It’s suddenly gone! Imagine that! Needless to say, I will not be buying any STR at Rhinebeck, so please don’t blame me if it sells out quickly. I was smart, and shopped from home. 😉 Also, for all the newbies going to the festival this year, Blue Moon does not have a booth at Rhinebeck – Toni Neil from The Fold has exclusive Rhinebeck rights to STR. Good luck! I’m not sure I’m going to buy anything at Rhinebeck (famous last words.) I was going to buy a WooLee Winder too, but they aren’t going to be at the festival, so I ordered that online too. I’m sure I’ll find something.

Back to my fabulous yarn and how inspired I am. The other day Ann said to me – look at these socks! – and my heart skipped a beat! OH MY LORD! Those are some of the most beautiful socks I’ve ever seen. I tried the Pomatomus sock with some STR and didn’t like how it worked out – to be honest – I love the texture of the pattern but I really don’t think it does variegated yarns justice. But this! Semi-solid STR! PERFECTION! I quickly scanned my stash for something that would work – and I settled on Sunstone (the golden orange in the picture above – lower right corner.) I’m totally ripping off Elliphantom. I was hoping to have some sock to show you, but I literally had to cast on like six times. Don’t ask. Maybe tomorrow – I can’t wait to get into the pattern part. Fantastic!

Random Knits

because it’s Wednesday.

Thanks for indulging me the last couple of days. It feels good to get all that stuff off my chest and you can’t know how much I appreciate the audience. I’m pretty sure Ann wishes I never went to New Orleans, even if she is the only one who got a souvenir gift.

Want to see what I bought while I was there?

Koigu, P852 and 2340

Six skeins of Koigu from the Garden District Needlework Shop. This yarn is destined for knee highs – see how the EXACT same shade of the semi solid green shows up in the variegated? DUDE! There’s your ribbing, heel and toe right there. It’s taking everything in my power not to cast on for these RIGHT THIS SECOND. Sad really.

And, more Koigu:

Koigu, P706 and P516

This time from The Quarterstitch. Destined for socks, I guess. Too pretty to pass up and look how they wrapped up my yarn!

At one point while I was purchasing the yarn I ran out to catch a Second Line going by – and when I came back she had unwrapped all the yarn that she had already wrapped up. I said, oh did you think I wasn’t coming back? And she said no – I did a crappy job so I wanted to do it over. A girl after my own heart!!

I also got a Rebuild T-shirt which I’ve finally taken off for the first time in three days so I could photograph it for you. And a DESIRE NOLA magnet.

Lest you think it’s all been bleeding hearts around here, I have been knitting. I finished the first Koigu Knee Sock!

I love the way it looks, but the fit is off a bit from the STR knee highs – even though I kept adding rounds and adding rounds. The stitch gauge is about the same, but the row gauge seems to be way off. I’m going to have to recalculate for the NOLA knee highs, but for the next purple one I’ll do the same thing. They fit fine – they just sink a little bit. Not fall down, just sink. Does that make sense? I want them to STAND AT ATTENTION! Anyway, Koigu is just so much different than STR and I still prefer STR over just about anything, but it’s nice to mix things up a bit. Couple more shots of the sock:

Now, I hate to disappoint all you log cabin lovers (and haters – because really – if I’m not knitting log cabins – what will you hate? 😉 ) but I’m putting my ONLY (and this just doesn’t seem possible) size 5 addis to work on something else.

It’s SERAPHIM. Knit in none other than MY OWN FREAKING HANDSPUN!!!!!! I’m almost positive I will have enough yarn for the shawl as written, but Mim has given instructions for increasing or decreasing if need be. It’s really weird to be knitting with your own yarn. You have no one to curse out but yourself when the yarn is a pain in the ass. BUT I’m LOVING IT! Look at the nubly wonky weird stitches! Aren’t they precious?

I declare on THIS DAY, September 13, 2006, that this shawl is MY RHINEBECK PROJECT. I will finish it before Rhinebeck. And I will WEAR it at Rhinebeck. I was going to do the Top Down BW sweater for Rhinebeck but it’s just not calling out to me AT THIS MOMENT (you know what a fickle bitch I am.) The hardest part of getting this done in time will be NOT casting on for the NOLA knee highs. NO KNEE HIGHS. NONE. KNEE HIGHS BAD. Handspun Lace project good.

My Kind of Town

Onto the Fiber Portion of my Chicago Trip!

Friday night, after I was sufficiently dried off and G was on his way to his obligations, I headed out to Loopy Yarns. As soon as I walked into the store, I spied Karen, who was talking with Michelle. We all chatted for a bit – my plans in the city, etc. and then they went on to shop the fabulous sales at Loopy. I just haven’t been feeling the yarn store love lately – I certainly don’t need any yarn – not for a long long time – and I’m more interested in knitting what I have and making my own, so I wandered around a bit and ran into Tere. Tere was in town from Santa Barbara picking up her daughter and Tere is blogless but she needs to go out right now and get a blog. We talked for a while and then sat down to knit with a group of women at the store – including Vicki, Loopy’s welcoming proprietress. It was great to sit around and knit with everyone and of course I bought something before I left – I’m not completely crazy! Loopy’s is known for their Lorna’s Laces collection – a Chicago establishment – so I bought some of the last LL fiber they had in the store!

Lorna’s Laces Wool Top
in Sherbet

Thanks girls for your hospitality!!

The next morning I was on my own for breakfast (which I had in bed, thank you very much) and then G and I headed out to MARENGO!!! To visit TONI! At THE FOLD! Toni, you’ll remember, was one of the very generous souls (along with Tina at Blue Moon) to donate the wheel to Spin Out! I’ve known Toni since I first bought a spindle last summer. Since then she’s outfitted me with STR and a wheel! NOTHING was going to keep me from The Fold. Not even the horrendous traffic on I-90!

On our way out, we made a pit stop at Superdawg!

Mr. and Mrs. Superdawg

G and I consider ourselves junk food afficienados and will travel far and wide for some good junk. Superdawg fit the bill! YAY!

Fortified, we headed back out onto I-90 towards NothingvilleWisconsin. We drove through farmlands and saw cows and horses and which is always a treat for us city folk and finally we arrived at Toni’s place. Listen – I don’t have ANY pictures. I SUCK! When we got there the sheep were outside and it was HOT and we were later than we wanted to be so I was anxious to get inside and when we left, the sheep had gone into the barn. So no pictures. I was having too much fun to stop and take any.

Okay. So I get there and Toni gives me a huge hug and I’m happy and G changes into his bathingsuit and finds himself a nice spot on the deck with a direct line to the UV Rays and I go off to spin. When I bought my Lendrum I had really never tried any wheels – just bought it site unseen on the expert advice of many people. I’m happy to say that I tried a bunch of different wheels at Toni’s and I’m still VERY HAPPY with my Lendrum. It was the absolute BEST choice for me.

The first wheel I wanted to test was the Schacht Matchless. I was afraid I’d love it because it’s expensive and pretty and thank god I didn’t. So not as smooth as my Lendrum. Then I tried the Ashford Traditional because I saw Delia spinning with it at Spin Out and thought it was pretty and eh. Nothing special. Toni had me sit at the wheel we gave away – a Majacraft Suzie Pro – which I have to say was pretty nice. Not bad. As close to the Lendrum as any. And then she killed me. KILLED ME! She had me spin on the GORGEOUS Black Walnut Lendrum Saxony she’s got there, right in the shop for everyone to see, and OH MY GOD! I FELL IN LOVE!!! The worst part is that when I was talking about it nonstop on the drive back to Chicago G was confused and thought I had actually bought it. DAMN! And it was the right way and everything – turns out that I spin left-handed. Who knew? I just do what’s comfortable. Guess my left hand isn’t useless afterall. Anyway. I love that wheel. Apparently so do some other people! (DUDE! I will so fight you for it!)


What’s that? Oh yeah. Of course, I didn’t leave empty handed. How could I leave empty handed? I bought some new fiber!

Interlacements Silk Roving
Color 206

100% Merino

I’m planning on maybe plying the Silk with some white Cormo I have from Maryland – I think that would look pretty cool – and the purple merino is destined for an experiment in 3-Ply. Don’t you think that will be neat? I’m excited. Not enough time to spin. Maybe if I had two wheels? NONONONO! I can’t get another wheel!!!


Alright. I’m okay. Whew. I also bought some fun tools. I have one niddy noddy which I hate. It’s unfinished and cheapy looking and I have to stick paper towel into one end or the stick comes out. Blech. I was SO HAPPY to see that Toni had the Niddy Noddy I had been coveting!

It’s a Nancy’s Knit Knacks Niddy Noddy (say that ten times fast.) The little balls screw into the top and bottom to hold it all together so no need for paper towels! And I like the plain look of it. Very happy. Can’t wait to use it!
I also got some fun tools:

A baby niddy noddy for sample skeins and a WPI tool – I think they may be made by the same person, or maybe not. I know that the niddy noddy is from Charis Yarn.

I also
bought a book and the lastest issue of Spin Off and I think that’s it. I had SUCH a great time and Toni’s shop is FANTASTIC! Forget the spinning stuff – which she has in abundance – she’s got a KICKASS selection of yarn and books. I urge anyone in the area to get out there! It’s SO WORTH it! If not for the yarn, then for Toni’s stellar hospitality.

We lucked out on the way back and managed to avoid the horrific traffic we witnessed driving out there and G got home in time for his dinner and I was able to clean myself up in time to meet with Bonne Marie and Theresa! We headed out for drinks (Cosmos for them, Shirley Temples for me – I’m a freak!) and to wait for blogless Helen who was coming out to play! After drinks we all piled on the Love Bus (Bonne Marie’s beloved #66) and headed out to Navy Pier. We arrived JUST IN TIME FOR FIREWORKS!!! I love me some fireworks! After ice cream and some obligatory knitting, it was time to say good night. Helen escorted me back to my hotel – I think I was half asleep – sorry Helen – and my second night in Chi-town was over. It was SO FANTASTIC meeting you girls!!! I was so happy to have the opportunity to hang out. Thank you! (Tere – I’m so so sorry I didn’t call you. For the life of me I could not find your information! Hopefully we’ll meet again!)

The rest of my time in Chicago was fairly uneventful. Well, uneventful in a knitterly way. We went to the Southside on Sunday to find the house G spent his first four years in and hung out at the beach right by our hotel for a bit – the beach? In the middle of the city? SUPER COOL! Went to dinner Sunday night (Cafe Spiaggia – eh. Only so so.) Monday was too hot to do anything so I hung around and knit while G worked and then we left for home! All in all a very nice trip and I loved Chicago! Hopefully we’ll be back soon. When it’s a bit cooler.

Thanks again all you Chicagoans for your hospitality! Anytime you’re in my hood, I hope to return the favor!
L, C

Flash Your Stash 2006

This is NOT a joke. I repeat. This is NOT A JOKE. This is really my stash, and I’m warning you now, it’s going to be VERY ugly. And not in the sense of oh my god it’s going to be ugly because it’s actually going to be so good you’ll be so envious you’ll want to kill me and steal my stash, I mean the pictures are pretty damn awful. The light was waning in the afternoon sun and it was hot in my bedroom even though I peeled out all of the clay caulk shit G used to seal the windows and moving stuff around was boring and sweaty and by the end I really didn’t care how much fucking yarn I have. But I know YOU do, so I’m showing it to you. Don’t say I never did anything for you. 😉

Here’s the stash. All of it. I’m proud of the fact that it can all fit into the space next to my bed in our bedroom – and that’s including the fabulous dresser which I now love more than anything (be sure to click the links if you don’t know the whole story.) (Sometimes I just run my hand along the top and open the drawers to smell the soap and look at the yarn and then I close them so I can fondle the drawer pulls. Ahhhh. I really do love it that much.) This is a picture of the bins in their natural habitat:

The other stuff on top of the closet are shoe boxes and empty notebooks (I used to journal and I have a lot of empty notebooks. Now I blog.) and empty picture frames. This is the walk-in closet in our bedroom which holds all my clothes, shoes, other crap and a lot of my yarn. Before you go all feeling sorry for G because I got the walk-in closet, he has a dresser in the bedroom, a WHOLE OTHER ROOM in the house with a closet and tons of drawer space and another closet in another room in the house. He’s well taken care of space wise. Believe me.

In case you didn’t notice, I numbered all the containers, so I’ll start with number 1.

1) This is the fabu leather basket I got at a kick-ass sale at Crate and Barrel. It holds a bunch of WIPs and is usually in the living room.

Among the projects pictures here are the Prarie Blanket, Short Rows, BDFS, the long abandoned Sunshine Sock, the Powell 106 shawl, other stuff I don’t even know about anymore. (If you’d like to see more about these projects, check the sidebar for links. I’m feeling quite lazy.)

2) This clear bin with a white top (one of two) holds some nice (read: expensive!) stuff:

You’ve got your Chocolate Calmer in the front, Rowan CashSoft (a gift from Jen!), ArtYarns Supermerino – in purple/pinks and in orange – enough for two kid sweaters, Brooks Farm from Maryland – two bags, Donegal Tweed for a felted bag, Jo Sharp Desert Garden – a bag from WEBS, various Manos, some Malabrigo, some Cotton Fine left over from my Flower Basket Shawl – or actually some extra in purple as an alternative. There may be other stuff in there, but I can’t tell from the picture and I already threw it back in the bin.

This is the JO SHARP BIN!

Remember like a year ago, or maybe even longer, when elann.com was selling all that Jo Sharp super cheap. Yeah. I bought a lot of it. But I’ve swatched some and knit some and this is the yarn I think about most when I’m thinking about knitting from my stash. We’ve got Silkroad Aran in a light blue, Silkroad Ultra in a chocolate color, Silkroad Aran Tweed in a grayish color for a sweater for my dad that I SWEAR I’m going to knit someday. Soon, Daddy, soon. Some leftover Silkroad Aran Tweed in a navy blue that I used for G’s vest. Silkroad Aran Tweed in a lighter blue – possibly an aran for me. I’ve swatched it AND I bought buttons. Kiss of death. And finally, two colors of Silkroad DK Tweed in a pink and a green. This is the stuff I’m always thinking about.

4) The smallish clear bin.

This is a little bin which holds all the stuff that I haven’t had a chance to put some place special. All the fabulous yarn my best pal Kris sent me. A birthday present from Elspeth. Some Trekking and Regia sock yarn, all purchased BSTR – before Socks That Rock. My birthday Starmore collection.

5) Smaller blue bin in the back.

Ann! This one’s for you! In the front on the left is all the yarn I bought to make the Flower Basket Bag that was in Vogue a few issues back. The one with the trellis like pattern and four thousand flowers and you felt it? Knit on size 19 addis or something? Yeah. I never made it. One day. Also there’s some Cascade 220 in really bright colors that I actually bought for a photo shoot I was thinking about that never really worked out. I tried it but it turned out to be a bad idea. And some Chasing Rainbows tussah/merino blend that I think I had earmarked for a Clapotis. Some Rowan All Seasons Cotton in the horried Tapestry color that they discontinued but I wasn’t smart enough to realize they discontinued it because it’s ugly as shit. I used this to make the Pinwheel Blanket for my nephew that I’ve learned to loathe (the blanket, of course. Not my nephew. Him I LOVE TO DEATH!) I never gave it to him. The boy turns one next week. In the same bag is a sweater’s worth of some very expensive hand-dyed merino/mohair yarn I bought at Maryland last year. It’s still pretty. And some Peruvian Highland Wool, another yarn I’ve learned to hate.

6) The big blue bin.

This is the proverbial junk drawer bin. It’s got all the leftover bits of yarn and half used balls and swatches (although I recently gifted my niece a TON of swatches – mostly acrylic stuff – to use as blankets for her dolls) and all the ACRYLIC and projects that I really need to rip and reclaim the yarn. Like I said, the junk drawer.

7 & 8)
The dresser (and the little box in front!)

We’ll start with the fiber:

This pile actually makes me the most nervous. When am I going to spin all this up!?! I keep the fibers in the shelves behind doors in the dresser. I also keep my handspun yarn there.

My handspun. Claudia‘s handspun, which I like to take out and study because it’s so beautifully spun. A vendor at Rhinebeck’s handspun. Some other stuff.

The top big drawer in the middle area and the top top small middle drawer hold this:

Here we’ve got the Koigu, the Cherry Tree Hill, some Tiny Toes, some of Felicia‘s yarn, some Vesper, some Fleece Artist, other sock yarn stuff. This is the mostly handpainted sock yarn that’s not STR.

And last, but not at all least, I leave you with my Socks That Rock collection, which gets three drawers (a large and two mediums):

And yes. This one really is as good as it looks.

Hope you enjoyed my stash! God help me.


NO CAVITIES! YAY! None for me, none for Georgie! Safe for another six months. Whew!

I’m writing this Tuesday night because tomorrow I’m going to meet Ann and Daughter#2 (hey Ann – will I have to call her Daughter #2? Or does she have a more conventional name?) to give them the oh my god its been 15 years since I graduated from college tour of NYU. I hope I don’t forget all the good score corners at Washington Square. There will be lunch and there will be yarn shops in the mix. Even though I didn’t knit when I was in college. Ann canceled on me because she’s hacking up a lung and was generous enough to keep her Avian Flu away from me. And she more than made up for it with this photograph. Please, PLEASE go read her post. I laughed so hard I couldn’t breathe. Oh my god I LOVE YOU ANN!

This post, though, is about exorcism. (That should be good for the google hits!) You all know about the sideboard brouhaha, and in order to put it all past us and load up that baby with yarn, I felt like I needed to exorcise the evil karma that came along with my mistake. I’ve been thinking about what I could do and this morning I said to G I should burn the directions and he said that was perfect. So I did it. (G wasn’t home when I actually did do it and I think if he saw the amount of FIRE produced he would’ve changed his mind in a hurry!)

First, I followed Ann’s advice and found myself a metal bowl and put it in my sink. Then I collected the materials I wanted to burn. (You should know, that this was really about burning stuff. I never burn stuff but somehow I really wanted to burn stuff. You know?) I thought about it and I decided that besides the directions, I would put some scraps of yarn from my past jaywalkers and a bit of fiber. So STR and Corriedale went into the pot.

I put it all in the bowl and lit the stuff on FIRE.

KIDS! Do NOT try this at home!

I gotta tell you FIRE is scary. I let the sucker burn for a couple of seconds and then there were flames like everywhere and THEN I remembered to grab the camera. Duh. Anyway, so I snapped a few pictures and then turned on the faucet. Tina at BMFA told me the yarn and fiber would smell like shit when it burned and it didn’t really, but honestly, I don’t know if the yarn/fiber ever really caught on fire. But it was bad anyway and I put the fan on in the kitchen. Then the phone rang and I was freaked that it was the building calling me to complain about the smoke (there really wasn’t any at all) but it was just Ann.

So I burned the stuff, but that didn’t seem like enough. So I went back into my bedroom and built myself a little shrine of STR and then lit my favorite candle ever and really the only candles I ever burn – Lemon Verbena from L’Occitane.

I lit the candle and said the Shehecheyanu. When I was done, I turned and looked out the window and found this:

I’m loading up this baby tonight! Pictures to come are in the extended entry.

[Read more…]


Click here for the true story.

What fabulous riches gained from yarn! Yarn conceived, created, sold, purchased, gifted by interesting and engaging women. Who just so happen to be very special friends. The socks, well, they warm my feet, but more importantly, they warm my heart! Thank you!

Pretty In Pink

We’re all about full disclosure here at January One, no matter how embarrassing. What you see in the picture above is indeed more sock yarn. You know what? It’s really not nice to make fun of people and their disabilities, i.e. obsessive compulsive disorder. Lately I’ve been really into pink (no, really?) – I don’t know. I’m not really what you’d call a girly girl but I like pink these days. I have a couple of pinks shirts heavy in the rotation and a pair of pink cords I like to wear and well everyone should have a few pink days here and there. The yarn on the left is from Felicia over at the Sweet Shop. Not only is the yarn bright and vibrant and PINK, Felicia does a wonderful job packaging everything up. There’s a great tag on the yarn and the whole thing came with a lovely personalized note – nice work Felicia. I’m sure the attention to detail will become very apparent when I knit up the yarn. The stuff on the right is Vesper – Neopolitan. Good enough to eat! I’m a sucker for ice cream. When I was growing up we always had ice cream in the house (it’s a Philly thing I think) and we’d often have vanillachocolatestrawberry in the freezer. I always thought it was interesting that the vanilla would be gone first. Then the chocolate and lastly the strawberry. Simple pleasures. Sock yarn and ice cream. Tell me, what’s better than that?

Nice segue, no? Actually, the jury’s still out on these. I’m not sure. I LOVE the reds and pinks and I like them together with the black and grays but I don’t know. I’m reserving judgement until the sock is done. This is 17 repeats. I’ll start on the heel today. I went to bed at around 12:30PM. Georgie and I had a good night last night – lots of reconnecting, which we desperately needed. We do our own thing so much of the time and when we get really busy it’s so hard to feel that connect. We went to dinner and talked about how more than half the married people in our families have gotten divorced and it was awfully sad but at the same time, it brought us closer together – we work hard at what we have and know how fragile and precious our marriage is – no matter how strong as well.

I’m so PUMPED to see how many people have signed up for the Jaywalker KAL. I’m planning a big surprise in January. Should I tell you now? I’m thinking we’ll need some big time fun after the holidays to help keep us from those S.A.D. duldrums. How about a race? We’ll start sometime in January and see who can knit a pair of Jaywalkers the fastest. What do you think? We’ll put lots of specific rules up there (no. of repeats, etc.) and pick a first, second and third winner. Socks That Rock as the spoils of course. Oh and it goes without saying that even though I might race along with you – I will not be one of the winners. Well. I’ll be a winner because you’re all WINNERS! More details as January approaches.

Queen Rock

Oh Margene! Not only do you ROCK, you RULE!
Thank you thank you thank you thank you!

die boglines die!