i finished my hat on the plane to california. it was pretty funny because i wanted to finish it night before but couldn’t, and when we got to the gate we immediately boarded, so i feverishly did the final decreases on the takeoff, and pretty soon into the flight i completed it and attached the tassels. it was an early morning flight, so most people were sleeping or groggy, but i was doing a little dance of happiness in my plane seat.

UPDATE: here’s a pic of the finished hat:

california was so beautiful, but the most fiber-related part of the trip happened in a yarn store in Petaluma. Knitterly was the most wonderful little place. i took a walk around, noticing and petting all the pretty skeins, and then i came back to the front of the store, almost about to walk out without purchasing anything, and then i found the most breathtaking (seriously..) display of yarn i had ever happened upon.

handspun, pre-center pulled balls of yarn nestled in white tissue in wide, shallow blueberry boxes were stacked on (i think) a picnic table with bench “shelves.” i lost all interest in anything but this, and touched every single ball of yarn. some of the yarn was undyed and ranged from a very dark dark gray black to a light brown mocha to a wonderful light smoke. the dyed colors were reds, purples, blues and greens. i must have picked up almost every ball to consider purchasing it.

one of the employees saw my enchantment and explained to me that the yarn was made by a woman in Napa who lives on a farm with all of the animals who provide their wool to make the yarn. she shears, cleans, spins and dyes all the yarn herself! on the labels she includes the names of each animal who contributed to the finished product. the kind employee also told me that this wonderful fiber artist started out not using dyes, but once she made some herself, she couldn’t resist the amazing colors she could achieve. the yarn is only sold in two stores, knitterly and another store in downtown san francisco, and sells out very, very quickly. it is also ridiculously reasonably priced.

i deliberated about what yarns to get for a very long time. i settled on two bright grass green balls, and two medium heathery gray ones. i plan to make a cladonia striped shawl with these beauties.

bravo, california.

babies on the brain.

i found out my boyfriend’s cousin is having a baby girl! the shower is in mid-september. i really wanted to make something for the baby rather than buying. So i hunted on ravelry for some cute patterns. i finally decided to make the duck slippers, so i cast on and quickly realized this pattern was waaaay out of my league. i couldn’t get past row 3, and i became very frustrated. so i abandoned duck feet, and decided to make the booties (rav) that i have seen several times, but i have never had a need to make them.

i think they are adorable. i hope they don’t look too much like the baltimore ravens. i had the purple alpaca in my stash from the free Classic Elite Yarns mini skein giveaway, and it was the perfect amount for these. 
so in the vein of little ones, i found a really cute lamb pattern. i found some white fuzzy yarn in my stash, and for the legs/head, i used some leftover alpaca that is the most lovely blue. i think am too attached to him to give it away….
i think im going to make a baby blanket to go with the booties. we’ll see what happens! im going to the beach on wednesday so i hope i have lots of time for knitting and thinking of ideas.
currently listening: nick drake, pink moon

brioche hat.

im making purl bee’s brioche hat. i think ive started it and ripped it out at least 4 times, which i almost never do. the brioche stitch is soooooo confusing, with all the bark and burp rows (WHAT!?!). i looked for youtube tutorials but they all were very confusing, and since i was doing the maddeningly specific “two color brioche stitch in the round,” it was difficult to find the video tutorial i needed. i did find one tutorial that showed continental style knitting in the round but it was so slow moving and the narrator knits in a really foreign way to me, so it made no sense.

i finally found a website dedicated to brioche stitch and i familiarized myself with all the different types and what the stitch is actually doing. i had actually found this site earlier, but i didnt click around on it, so when i came back and realized this site has an insane amount of info, i mentally kicked myself for not realizing sooner and learned my way around the brioche state of mind.

salvation came to me in this newsprint cowl (rav link). this is seriously the exact same cowl pattern as the purl bee. whoever made this pattern, THANK YOU SO MUCH because its the only two color brioche pattern i’ve found that makes sense to me. its so simple, why do other patterns have to muck up the directions so much????! but ANYWAY!!! im several rows in and she’s looking mighty pretty. im glad i found a use for this traded handspun white yarn– its sooo soft! and i also had this teal blue cascade 220 sitting around, and the combo is just so perfect! yay!

despite all of this, i love these little triumphs i work myself through.

long-awaited updates

this past weekend i found a resurgence in my desire to knit. ive been really bummed that i haven’t really wanted to in months. you’d think the winter doldrums would be enough, but naturally its the spring weather and its lack of need for knitted things that pumps me up. im not complaining! i have so much beautiful yarn to use.

i have picked back up my mitered crosses blanket, but 5ish squares in, i realized this is going to be a tiny blanket unless i add more squares than the pattern specifies. i think im just going to use up all the yarn i have for it, and then assess the situation then. i really love the noro colorways, they make such unexpected color turns, and they way the mitered middle cross is constructed, random stripings from the yarn pair up. i love it. im flying to san francisco next week, so this will make for great airplane knitting.

ALSO, i finally finished my thrummed mittens. i let them sit for almost a year (sad!!!) with only the second thumb to knit! im not thrilled with how they turned out, i think they are very fuzzy and bulky, but i suppose that’s the nature of the thrum beast.

ANOTHER ALSO, i’m teaming up with a friend to make a footstool. he made the frame from scrap wood, and im going to weave the top from fabric scraps. i started experimenting this weekend, and i think achieving adequate tension is going to be difficult. i think i may need to use twine for the weft, and then the fabric scraps for the weave.

a rose (of sorts) for emily.

so im starting to run out of window space for plants. i got this bromeliad the other day. i read somewhere that the red flower is actually called a pup, and it will eventually become a new plant! how cool! i also bought a poinsettia and a christmas cactus. so my house is definitely getting some quality oxygen these days.

also, yesterday was handmade arcade. i bought some yarn, and it made me really happy. there were lots of other booths that were extremely inspiring and i got some christmas presents. the armory (where HA has been held the past two years) was pretty packed when i went at noon-ish, but that can be nothing but a good thing for all the vendors! 


so i got a new computer. its very little and very fast..  just what i wanted. 

so what is the first thing i do with a new gadet? that is correct– make a case for it. i am going to call this thing a computer sock. much like the ipod socks, this ‘case’ doesnt really protect TOO much, but it will prevent scratches. i used some of the yarn from my aunt: colinette yarns ltd’s skye. its decidedly 90s, but i decided i like it.

i kind of just winged (wung?) the whole thing.. i made a little swatch to see how many stitches i needed to make it wide enough, and just went to town and knitted this thing up. LUCKILY, its perfect.. when i bound it off, the stretch got zapped from the ribbing, but it makes a nice closure to stay around the computer. i suppose its more like a sweater than a sock.. but enough histrionics.

now its back to christmas presents……..

the kitchen sink.

making another hat right now. the yarn is absolutely beautiful handspun that my old roommate left behind when she moved to new mexico (thanks, alexis!!!). the colors are just breathtaking to knit through, and the fiber feels so good on my fingers. the name of the yarn is ‘kitchen sink’ because its made up of randomly odds and ends from the artist. ahh.. its going to be a warm, beautiful hat. (also… my camera finally took a really good picture.. this photo is not edited at all!)

a windfall of yarn.

my aunt discovered that i like to crochet and knit. she decided to give me all of her yarn– she said she’d never use it. now this is no ordinary stash of yams.. in fact, its the most spectacular yam stash i’ve ever seen. not only are there enough balls of each type of yarn for huge projects, but also this stuff is FABULOUS, quality fiber. here are some highlights (the first is by far the most spectacular……..):

cashmere.. 12 balls

wool/alpaca blend.. 15 balls

wool/silk.. at least 18 skeins

cotton tape.. 3 skeins

silk/mohair/wool.. 14 skeins

recent stash additions

this past week i spent a little bit o money on some new yams. it was definitely worth it, though.. they are all soft, touchable, BEAUTIFUL wools.

the first two yams i purchased at the southside works exposed ‘festival,’ which was mostly very loud, terrible bands, but as i walked around the craft booth section, a shining light drew me in. this was cosyknits literally’s booth. inside she was spinning some wool, and had the most feminine wares for sale. i found an AMAZING recycled sweater skein that she had hand-dyed, and also a hank of ohio shetland farm wool, dyed with thoughtful shades of magenta, reds, purples and pinks.. absolutely fabulous and *girly*.

the last picture has four yams.. two of them i bought this week at natural stitches (the yellow and brown skeins). the other two were a christmas present from a very special person. the white is undyed farm wool, and the pink is called ‘heartbeat’ which i think is quite appropriate.. i love all four colors together, and i want to make something very special with it.. i think when i learn to knit better, i will use it for something. ideas?