Tuesday, May 23, 2006

NHS&W - Vicarious Shopping

A couple of weekends ago now (I'm slow to post), my sister was in town from Chicago. Since she lives in the Big City, she doesn't often have a chance to see things like a small town fiber fest, so we slogged out in nasty, rainy weather, an hour and a half north to the NH Sheep & Wool Festival. She finally has a break from school, so she'll have time to get back to spinning and knitting, and has little access to roving. Despite the rain, she seemed to love the experience, and came back with at least a couple pounds of various handpaints, including a Totally Tubular from Carolina Handspun, which is the first thing I spun on the wheel she now owns. Unfortunately, the rain was too awful to stay for sheepdog trials or see much outside the vendor barns (aside from some rather beleaguered alpacas). I've apparently gotten pickier as a fiberfest veteran and hand-dyer -- I only picked up a 4 oz ball of red/black roving, and some wedding gifties for Paula. I think I got more out of watching her shop and enjoy herself than anything else, and that was fine with me.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Oh, the choices

I've taken quite the hiatus from knitting. ALl I've been doing are hats. I figure I should get some more substantial projects moving, as the stash is piling up. So, here's what's on the agenda:

the Evening in Eden shawl pattern forced me to purchase it at Wild & Wooly today. It's a 16 stitch repeat, which is manageable, it'a a rectangular shawl, and it's written for three gauges, which makes the pattern more flexible (or at least allows me to have to think less). This may finally be what I use the giant skein of handpaint for.

Bonnie's Brooks Farm scarf is inspiring me to do something lacy and scarflike with some merino/mohair that I just dyed. It's very mother-of-pearly yarn, all shimmery and barely colored, and I think it was look great in this kind of lace.

Jessica has convinced me to revisit socks using two circs to the point that I managed to buy the circs and load some languishing sock (well, at least languising small piece of sock) that I started a year ago on to them. They're size 5s, so at least they move quickly. I had to laugh when reading the Yarn Harlot's Knitting Rules book, at the mention of toes being on average about 1.5" long as you estimate sock knitting. I just measured my longest toe and it's a good inch longer than that. If anyone out there has evidence that they have a toe longer than 2.5", send it to me [the evidence, not the toe] and first person who does, I'll send you a prize.

Not that I'm giving up my bulky, handdyed, handspun merino hats. They're just too perfect for travel and a great party trick, since I tend to start them when I arrive somewhere and nearly finish them once I'm ready to leave. In fact, sometimes I use not having my double points to decrease as an excuse to go home when I'm feeling antisocial. Knitting is good for that sort of subterfuge.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

for my dye - o - rama pal

Your favorite colors? Eggplant, Periwinkle, Sage, Merlot, Khaki, Chestnut, Midnight Blue, and I can't think of a descriptive name, but denim-y, medium blue and super-dark, almost black versions of most colors are some of my favorites. I could spend hours in the paint chip section of Home Depot.
Preferred yarn weight (Fingering, Sport, DK, maybe even Worsted)? Sport and thicker, unless I have a ton of yardage and am doing a scarf. I'm too impatient for size 0-1 needles when sock knitting.
Do you prefer solid or multicolored yarn? I like variegateds that have short bursts of color.
If your buddy is able to do so, would you like a variegated, self-striping, or self-patterning yarn? Whatever makes her happiest!
Would you be interested in a wool blend sock yarn (nylon, tencel, silk, acrylic, alpaca, etc.)? Sure!
Imagine the perfect colorway. What would you name it? Probably something cheesy like "night skies over evergreen trees in vermont."
What was the biggest appeal to you for joining this dye-along? A chance to share my yarn, and maybe knit my second ever pair of socks.
Have you dyed yarn/fiber before? Yup!
If so, what’s your favorite dye and method? Painting on immersed yarn on the stovetop. I'm sure there's a more technical name. I should do a photo documentary of it again soon. I haven't done that since back in my kool aid dyeing days. In fact, I'll add a dyebath shot here!

Do you spin? I do!
Have you knit socks before? Once, but I keep meaning to try it again.
Do you use sock yarn for just socks or in other patterns too? I use sock-weight variegateds for a lot of things.
What are some of your favorite yarns? Koigu, Reynolds Odyssey... gosh, I've been spinning a lot more than knitting recently... I haven't worked with much I'm in love with in awhile!
What yarn do you totally covet? Blue Moon Fibers - I especially love Lucy in the Sky; Iolite; and Seal Rock. Mmmm.
Favorite patterns? I had fun with Clapotis. I like quick things like wrist warmers. Anything that I can mostly memorize is good.
Any pattern you would love to make if money and time were no object? Hmm... I wish I had more patience for lacy shawls.
Favorite kind of needles (brand, materials, straights or circs, etc)? I've been considering short Addys for socks on 2 circs. I knit mostly on circulars, mostly on bamboo.
If you were a specific kind of yarn, which brand and kind of yarn would you be? Something soft and useful, but somewhat unassuming... maybe Manos in a single color, or a subtle colorway like Coffee.
Do you have a favorite candy or mail-able snack? Snobby chocolates, like Vosges and Lake Champlain.
What’s your favorite animal? I like dragons. And lemurs.
Do you have pets? What are their species/names/ages? Cassie, a Dalmatian/Terrier thingie (6) and Jasper, a Border Collie (7).
Do you have a wishlist? I do!
Anything else you’d like to share with the group today? Yes, but I gotta get back to work!

Monday, May 08, 2006


The Dye-O-Rama goodness has begun! I've received email from both the giver and receiver of the yarns, which means I may actually end up in a happy secret swapping scenario, unlike my single attempt at secret palling.

Also, I just learned that NH Sheep & Wool is this weekend, and only an hour and a half from home! I don't know if I can pass it up. Mmmm fiber. Plus, it's going to be AlpacaFest, and who can pass up an AlpacaFest? My sister and fellow fiber-type will be visiting, so it'd be a fun chance to show her a new dimension to the madness.

Not a lot else to report. I'm in a knitting rut, although I just dyed a bunch of merino, so at least I have some spinning to keep me going. Jess has me intrigued with socks on 2 circs, so maybe that'll be the next endeavor. Right now, I'm just trying to catch up with work after an Air Force-sponsored trip to Texas. No yarn to be had, but i got to see the Alamo!