I think we’ve all heard of the Rhinebeck sweater — the event gets lots of attention out there in blog-land, with many knitters writing of their attempts to finish a new sweater in time to wear it for the first time there in New York, plus now there’s a book all about it. I haven’t heard of the Stitches West (or any Stitches) sweater but it might be out there. Me, I try to wear something I’ve made since the last SW and possibly including yarn I bought at the last SW so I can show it to the vendor and shopping buddies. This year’s super-warm weather (knitting at the tables outside in the afternoon after shopping! In years past, there has been snow on the distant hillsides.) limited the wardrobe choices, so I wore a light scarf that showed off Damsel.

Endless Rainbow was such fun to knit that I made it twice in succession. I wore the blue and green version, which I dubbed “Limited Rainbow,” to SW:

2014-06-07_Scarf_Endless-Rainbow_navy-green-2

Pattern: Endless Rainbow by Martina Behm (Strickmich)
Yarn: 2.2 skeins Dale of Norway Baby Ull, 100% superwash wool, color 5755 (navy) and .35 skeins Dragonfly Fibers Damsel, 100% superwash merino wool, color Villainess (green)
Needles: US size 3
Size: 63″ across top, 13″ tall at triangle’s point
Started 5/23 and finished 6/7/2014

The pattern is wonderfully easy, all garter stitch with some simple short rows at the one edge. I had the short rows part memorized after 2 repeats, and I love the way the designer has you carry the contrast color up on the wrong side with a chain stitch — it means if you have big enough skeins, you only need to weave in 4 tails when you’re done!

I called the second one “Yellow Brick Road at the Emerald City,” and it’s in the big box of finished items.

2014-06-08_EndlessRainbow_Scarf_a_yellow-and-green

Pattern: Endless Rainbow by Martina Behm (Strickmich)
Yarn: 1.9 skeins Dale of Norway Baby Ull, 100% superwash wool, color 2317 (yellow) and .34 skeins Dragonfly Fibers Damsel, 100% superwash merino wool, color Villainess (green)
Needles: US size 3
Size: 61″ across top, 12″ tall at triangle’s point
Started 6/8 and finished 7/8/2014

No idea why the yellow one ended up slightly smaller. Size is easily adjustable, just keep repeating the pattern until you’re about to run out of yarn. Here are both of them together so you can see how very different the green appears against the two different main colors:

2014-06-08_EndlessRainbow_Scarves_together

I think the designer became known primarily for her Hitchhiker scarf. I saw quite a few of those on the market masses at SW and a bunch of Lefties, with lots of Lefties as samples in booths. I only saw one other Endless Rainbow.

Speaking of rainbows, June was also the month Afghans for Afghans had their baby shower event, in which they requested hats and socks for babies. I made a rainbow of socks and 3 hats in addition to my two scarves:

Hats-Socks_2014-07-01-Afghans-for-Afghans

I made the hats from yarn I unraveled from a vest that someone had donated to A4A at the last event, but couldn’t be used because it didn’t contain enough animal fiber. All are rice stitch on size 5 needles, 64 stitches around. The socks are all Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport, 15g (55 yards) per sock, made on size 3 needles, 28 stitches around. Colors are Red Fox, Orange You Glad, Impasse Yellow, Elf Green, Navy Nite, and Amethyst. Baby socks are zippy little projects!

Post title from Mr. Burns, of course!

I had such a good time at the Stitches West market yesterday! Here’s exactly how much fun I had:

2014-02-20_StitchesWest-loot

Top row:
Octopus Mitten kit from Dragonfly Fibers (yarn is Traveller); book “The Rhinebeck Sweater”; Hardtwist yarn in Glory (yellow) from Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks; 10 ounces Polwarth & silk fiber in Seawater from Wonderland Dyeworks; 3 skeins Oink Pigments DK in Watermelon Rind from Oink Pigments

Bottom row:
4 skeins Traveller in African Daisy from Dragonfly Fibers; 3 skeins Cascade Kid Seta in 3 shades of blues; 2 skeins Rothko (Polwarth/silk blend) in Cayenne (red-orange) from Abstract Fibers; BLF/nylon sock yarn in Plum Majesty from 2 Guys Yarn Company; Diaphanous laceweight in blue from Sincere Sheep

The market has been a one-day event for me the past few years so I have to make it count!

2 Guys Yarn Company is new this year. I had to take a couple of minutes to allow my eyes to adjust when I got to their booth, because most of the yarn I had just seen was brilliantly saturated with color and theirs are lovely muted colors. Well worth the couple of minutes! I decided pretty quickly I wanted a skein of BFL sock yarn, because that’s harder to find as a base, and took my time to finally choose a gorgeous purple. I recommend you stop by!

Wonderland Dyeworks is new to me but not new to the market. I don’t know how I could have overlooked them last year; I was drawn in 4 times yesterday, just loving the colors, and finally decided on the Seawater braids.

I went to Dragonfly Fibers early on, scoping out what they had because I found them so late in the day last year I hadn’t much money left; this time around I wanted a sweater quantity and enough cash on hand to get it!

All in all, added 6575 yards (3.74 miles) and 10 ounces of fiber to the stash.

Noteworthy-to-me absences: there were four booths I planned to go to and they weren’t there: Cephalopod Yarns, Kollage Yarns (need another set of square needles; only one vendor had them but not the size I need), Nordic Mart (I talked to someone who has the inside scoop and they are planning to go in even-numbered years), and Village Spinning & Weaving. I also ended up not attempting to cram myself into Miss Babs’ or The Verdant Gryphon’s booths, both too full every time I happened by.

After all the shopping I met up for dinner from my friends who drove up from where I used to live and spent a few hours catching up with them. Today I spent the day resting my tired legs, getting stuff done around the apartment, and admiring my pile of lovelies that I haven’t put away yet. It’s too bad it’s only once a year (all that eye candy) but, speaking honestly, best for the budget and yarn storage areas if it’s only once a year. :)

 

I went on a cardigan-making jag a while ago. How long? Let’s see… gads, over 18 months ago. It doesn’t feel that long ago, really — I swear I have project amnesia. You already saw the first two. The next 4 were all made with DROPS Fabel, which is pretty great stuff. It washes well, wears well, doesn’t fade much. My only quibble, and the reason I find Fabel only pretty great, is the large number of guard hairs I always have to fish out. Every few inches one of those buggers was poking me in the tensioning finger and I took the time to remove them because if they poke me, they sure as heck are going to poke the kid, and I don’t want to be responsible for a frustrated parent trying to figure out what invisible thing is making the kid uncomfortable.

All are size 12 months and all are made with two strands held together: one solid and one variegated.

First up, pink and orange:

Cardigan_2013_04_13_v-neck_Fabel-pink-orange_1

Pattern: own
Yarn: DROPS Fabel, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, 1.7 skeins color 102 (solid pink) and 1.7 skeins color 310 (variegated pink/orange)
Needles: US size 4 for ribbing, size 6 for body
Size: 12 months
Started 3/18 and finished 4/13/2013

I was thrilled to find buttons that went with it so well!

Cardigan_2013_04_13_v-neck_Fabel-pink-orange_3_detail

Next up, turquoise:

Cardigan_2013_04_14_v-neck_Fabel-turquoise_1

Pattern: own
Yarn: DROPS Fabel, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, 1.7 skeins color 105 (solid turquoise) and 1.7 skeins color 8073 (variegated light blue/green/lavender)
Buttons: JBH #20751
Needles: US size 4 for ribbing, size 6 for body
Size: 12 months
Started 4/6 and finished 4/14/2013

With night owl buttons!

Cardigan_2013_04_14_v-neck_Fabel-turquoise_3_detail

The red one is special because it went to the newborn son of a dear friend I hadn’t seen or spoken to in over a year. That’s long enough to make another human and surprise knitters you don’t see for a while; fortunately, I had this pile of sweaters ready and she could pick a color she liked.

Cardigan_2013_08_23_v-neck_Fabel-reds_1

Pattern: own
Yarn: DROPS Fabel, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, 1.7 skeins color 106 (solid red) and 1.7 skeins color 543p (variegated red/peach/black/white)
Buttons: JBH #20751
Needles: US size 4 for ribbing, size 6 for body
Size: 12 months
Started 6/29 and finished 8/23/2013

Also with night owl buttons:

Cardigan_2013_08_23_v-neck_Fabel-reds_3_detail

And wrapping up the jag, navy variegated:

Cardigan-2013-11-02_v-neck_Fabel-navy-variegated-1

Pattern: own
Yarn: DROPS Fabel, 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon, 1.7 skeins color 107 (solid navy) and 1.7 skeins color 1124 (variegated navy/royal/tan/white)
Buttons: Dill Buttons #1321
Needles: US size 4 for ribbing, size 6 for body
Size: 12 months
Started 8/8 and finished 11/2/2013

Leftovers from these cardigans and other projects turned into booties:

Booties_2013_07_06_4-pairs

Booties_2013_12_17

This brings me to this week, during which I started another little cardigan. This one’s a request:

2015-02-10_Loopy-cardigan-WIP

Gray Muppet, eh?

Today I accomplished two things.

1) A long walk all the way to the beach, where I watched city dogs cavort with glee in the sand and the waves. The beach had more people than usual but I wouldn’t call it exactly crowded:

2015-01-01_OceanBeach

2) Finished spinning the bundle of Corriedale I started in February 2013:

2015-01-01_Spinning_Corriedale

The singles is going to rest overnight and I’ll wind it into a plying ball tomorrow. Well, that’s the plan at least.

Here we are, about to say fare thee well to 2014. A few of you have emailed to ask whether I’m still alive (because I’ve certainly quite neglected Mmm… Yarn since summer); tonight’s as good a night as any to say “yes”!

I spent over a week away from home for Christmas, visiting family members and a friend. We don’t do gifts anymore, thank goodness, except for ones for the small children, so it’s a stress-free event. My mom and I took a walk on Christmas Eve and watched the waves crash:

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And the Christkind felt compelled to leave me this that same evening (apparently beating Santa to it):

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On December 25 I briefly visited the spot where Mr. MmmYarn and I got married over 8 years ago. Pretty, isn’t it?

2014-12-25_ShellBeach1

I am home again and still have a few days left to do whatever I want. Work is on furlough between Christmas and New Year’s, and with the extra week I took off before the holidays and furlough started, I will be off work 19 days total. I’ve read a lot, caught up on correspondence, and cleared some stuff out of the apartment.

Today was chilly indoors (well, outdoors too), so I went to the Academy of Sciences, where I visited the alligator, the rattlesnakes, the unusually active octopus; saw the planetarium show; and spun with the fishes at the Philippine coral reef tank:

2014-12-31_a_spinning-with-the-fishes_AcademyOfSciences

You can see my cop getting a little unruly there at the bottom; fortunately, I’m nearly out of fiber so I only need to manage that mess a little while longer. A few kids noticed what I was doing but only for a second before they went back to finding Nemo (clownfish) and Dory (blue tang) in the tank.

I don’t do resolutions, but I’ve already accomplished something I had planned to do in 2015 thanks to a friend. I mentioned to her I wanted to get some Indian cooking tips but I couldn’t find a class, and she found a willing lady at her church who came to my house two nights ago and answered all my questions. I can make chapatti like a champ now and got other good tips. Years ago, we realized we were leaving a little too much money at India Clay Oven every month, so we bought spices and a cookbook and dove right in. I still cook Indian most of the time, just love the flavors, although I sure do miss Mr. MmmYarn’s help when it comes to chopping stuff. And still go to India Clay Oven when I want something that’s just too much work to make at home.

With just a few hours left in the year, I have my evening’s entertainment possibilities all lined up along with my booze (I’ll toast Mr. MmmYarn, of course! although he would have stuck with rum and coke) and snacks:

2014-12-31_d_ready-for-New-Years-Eve

I’m somewhat determined to finish off that fiber tonight or tomorrow so I can ply it before I go back to work on Monday. I had hopes of finishing up some UFOs, too, before 2014 ended but can see that isn’t going to happen because it’s rather an embarrassment of riches in that department. Yarn, yarn, everywhere! In the words of Elizabeth Zimmermann: “My word, what good fortune. I can only hope the same for you.”

And I do. May you also have a lovely, cozy celebration tonight to ring in 2015, and an excellent year of crafting ahead of you.

 

Rubber bands… they convert 7″ double points to straights and gather the fabric to keep 117 stitches worth of Kimono Shawl in progress from falling off the technically too-short needles.

Kimono Shawl WIP

If I break one, no problem. They come free with takeout menus that I find hanging on the building doorknob a few times a week, which means I have an endless supply. And I’m always surprised to find knitters out there who don’t know this trick.

Blooming bougainvillea courtesy of a neighboring building.

Nearly 3 years ago, I made a little sweater for my co-worker’s baby daughter.  Of all the hundreds of things I’ve made over the years, this one’s at the top of my personal list of favorites. Love the design, love how the colors work. Here’s a little photo to refresh your memory:

2011_12_18_BabyFairIsle_b_front

Today, my co-worker commented that she saw the sweater at a friend’s house a few days ago and wondered that her daughter was ever so small, especially because it was too big when I gave it. I said, “oh, it’s still around!?” And she said it’s on its way to its fourth or fifth wearer, with three more kids lined up (I guess the sets of parents are lined up) to inherit it afterward. Now that’s one heck of a compliment for this knitter! I’m pleased that it’s so appreciated!

Watermelon… ick. While it’s a staple at many Independence Day picnics, I don’t like the taste, I don’t like the smell, and if it’s been anywhere near a fruit salad, I have to pass the salad by. Visually, though, it’s quite a handsome fruit, so I have no objection whatsoever to having these on my person:

Socks-2014-04-12-Watermelon_Knitters-Brewing-Company

Pattern: Watermelon Slice Socks by Wendy Gaal
Yarn: Knitter’s Brewing Company Sock-aholic in color 175: Watermelon Fizz, no dye lot; beads plus wee white and green skeins came with the kit
Needles: US size 1.5 for cuff and heel, size 1 for foot
Size: women’s 9.5
Started 3/6 and finished 4/12/2o14

As posted a few months ago, I used two dice to determine random seed (bead) placement. I rolled them and how the two numbers landed side by side indicated how many stitches between seeds. A 2-4 means 24 stitches, a 4-2 meant 42. Every once in a while, I would take artistic license if seeds were lining up too closely together and space them further apart. So, not totally random, but random enough.

The instructions have you put beads all the way through, but I can’t imagine having lumpy beads inside my shoes! My watermelon is a hybrid variety: seeded and seedless in one fruit.

A boy about 6 years old on a bicycle stopped while I had these lined up on the park bench, wanting to know “What are you doing?” His tone was priceless and I wish I could convey it here. Me, responding with my usual creativity, “taking a picture of my socks.” Him: “They look like a melon.” Me: “yes, they’re supposed to.” And then his dad hustled him way from the weirdo who carried her socks to the park. A photo shoot, though… be still my heart. This year has been quite unusual, weather-wise, sunny sunny sunny, but July has arrived and with it the summer fog, which means I was finally able to take photos of finished items today. Drat the sun, washing everything out for months on end.

2014-07-04-dahlias-GGPark-1

Dahlias filling in as fireworks…

Happy 4th, all! I have no desire to join the teeming hordes at the waterfront to look at the official fireworks; crowds are not my thing. Tonight it wouldn’t make any sense as it is: at most, the spectators are going to see the fog glow with Technicolor brilliance. I drove 4 hours south last weekend [visited mom, and her sweater fits!! so all I have to do is weave in ends now] and observed out the window that the state is one big brush fire waiting to happen, so I hope folks in general tonight have the good sense to put down the matches and walk away.

Feeling disgusted after an abysmal day shopping last weekend, on which I tried and failed to find new casual pants that are not skinny leg or quasi-yoga wear thank-you-very-much, I went to the thrift store this morning to root through non-modern pants, and spied across the room what looked like Kureyon sock yarn. Abandoning all thought of bottoms, I rushed for the sweater rack and found that a knitter’s pile of handmade pullovers somehow ended up hanging between nylon monstrosities in the thrift store. I rooted through those racks and here’s the haul, for a thrifty $24:

2014-05-31-thrifted-sweaters

They are all fine yarn sweaters in stockinette stitch with seed stitch cuffs and bottom edges, drop shoulders with cropped sleeves, and a wide neckline edged in single crochet, obviously made using the same pattern. They are lovely, but too wide and too short for me so I am going to unravel and re-use the yarn for other projects, so the first step is identifying the yarn. The top two feel like Kureyon Sock, the red and the tan ones feel like Koigu KPPPM, and I don’t know about the other two but the bright aqua mix feels like it has a bit of elastic in it and the gray-navy is soft and a little fuzzy, Madelinetosh something or other, maybe. I don’t need more yarn (really and truly), but I also couldn’t bear to leave them there for the shoddy shredder, where I’m sure they’re going to end up if they don’t sell because they don’t have a brand or size label in them.

I haven’t finished anything in weeks. I lost my knitting mojo before my vacation, had no time to knit during vacation, and sprained my right ring finger on the first day of my vacation so it didn’t matter that I had no time. Back home, I’m keeping the finger mostly splinted for a few weeks, but for a knitter and spinner that makes for a dull life so I started knitting this week a little, carefully, and only in short spurts on a scarf.

Scarf

This is Endless Rainbow by Martina Behm. I’m calling mine Limited Rainbow.

Glove in progress sees Roman ruins

In Bliesbruck-Reinheim. This was all the airplane knitting I did on the flight to Germany, with some unraveling and re-knitting here and there during the trip. I am generally way too busy visiting people to get much knitting time, plus I slightly sprained a finger somehow on day 1, slowing knitting progress on this project.

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2014-06-08_EndlessRainbow_Scarves_together

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