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


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. 🙂



Mmm... Yarn

Some goodies from the Tausendschön shop in Saarbrücken. I bought 5 of the skein on the right.

I just got home from a short trip to A Verb For Keeping Warm, where I attended a very funny and informative talk given by Franklin Habit on the topic of Weldon’s Practical ___ (fill in the blank as you please: “Needlework” is the blanket term, but they put out specific booklets for many needle crafts (knitting and crochet and embroidery) and also branched out into crepe paper (horrifying, really!) and iron work and more). His talk covered some of the practical and much more of the not-so-practical items he has discovered in his readings of these publications, and he ended, as I am guessing he must end every conversation with knitters these days, with the striped bathing drawers made so famous on his blog, “The Panopticon,” a few months ago. So, while I did inspect drawers belonging to a man I have never met, all of us in the audience had an invitation to do so. They are, indeed, worthy of their fame. I must also add they were lying on top of a pile of yarn on a table and not worn by the man himself, lest any of you readers get the wrong impression here.

A trip to AVFKW rarely comes off without enhancing the stash because, boy, do they have some nice yarn. Some of it grabbed a ride home with me.


That’s Even Tinier Annapurna, in Sarah’s Sunny Disposition and Indigo Blue Sky, and the pattern I intend to use with them.

It was a good month for knitterly talks in the area; on the 6th I attended Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s scheduled book tour stop in San Francisco. She gave a short talk, read two chapters from her book, then probably developed a hand cramp signing her name in copies of her book over and over again (how she knits in the evenings on book tours after signing her name, legibly and in nice script, a couple of hundred times a night, I’ll never know). I bought her book, of course, and admit she’s the only the only author whose books I buy without having first gotten them from the library to see if they’re worthy of shelf space (once I check out a book 3 or 4 times, I consider that a copy of it might want to live here). This book is worthy.

Random thing to end a late-night post: baby hummingbirds in my friend’s rosebush!
Hummingbirds x 3


I started a new cardigan for me with a lovely silk and wool blend, Noro Iro. It’s going so quickly — it’s such a treat to see a sweater’s rapid progress on size 10 needles. As always in my experience with Noro yarns, though, nearly each of the 10 skeins had a break where it abruptly changed to a different color in the stripe sequence. My solution: to wind each skein and start a new ball wherever there was a break, and to note all color changes. For each new skein I put on the swift, I found the ends, pulled out a few yards of each to see which direction the color changes were going and used the one in which the colors went the correct direction.


The result: a cookie sheet of yarn, with a piece of paper on top that’s the map for which colors are in each ball. Writing it here so I don’t forget: I wrote down the color sequences from the inside of the ball out while winding but I’m knitting from the outside, so read the sheet from bottom to top. The system is working well and I’m 7 inches into the body already.

Two skeins of Jamieson & Smith Shetland 2-ply were sitting on the shelf at the Goodwill today, two skeins for $2, yay!

Shetland x 2

Actually, it was a bag of random yarn for $2. Outside the store I opened the bag, removed what I wanted, and donated the rest back immediately so they can sell it again.

Random note: how is it I never stumbled across the band Interpol? I’ll have to hie me to Amoeba Records tomorrow whether it’s raining or not.


Some vacation souvenirs from Tausendschön in Saarbrücken.

buy more sock yarn.


These are Halcyon Yarn’s special ruby anniversary sock yarns. They have two colorways and not wanting to make a decision, I bought them both. The colors are prettier than in this picture. I also picked up a little tweed for swatching:


The re-knitted Sweater Girl Pullover has a front and two sleeves already and I’m a couple of inches into the back. Having music again (got a new power supply for my NAS!) makes this project much more fun.

Ravelry has a Flash Your Stash 2011 thread going on. I’ve never photographed my entire stash… until today. I realize “small,” “medium,” and “large” stash sizes are all relative: mine is both huge and tiny when I compare it to other Ravelers’ stashes. Personally, I call this one large. And perhaps even frightening.

This took me a couple of hours because I also reorganized how everything is stored and got rid of all opaque bags. I culled several skeins to give away to my Monday night knitting group and lots more partial skeins went into the sack of yarn I’m collecting for my co-worker’s daughter’s school’s weaving program. I photographed what was left.

Kicking things off with sock yarn (I opened the little zipper pouch I keep sock yarn in, then gathered together all the random skeins that are not intended for socks from other bags of yarn, then realized I have lots more than I thought I did and had to up it to the next size zipper pouch):


If you want to read the notes on a photo, click it so you go to it on Flickr.

All the laceweight together:


All the Brooks Farm and Artfibers yarns. The rubber band on the black Kyoto had broken down, forcing me to throw away several outer layers of the yarn. I removed all rubber bands when I put everything away again:


Apparently I live in great fear that the Brown Sheep Yarn Company is going to disappear off the face of the earth without warning:


Fuzzy, fuzzy mohair:


Kid item yarns (mostly Dale of Norway Baby Ull and Wolle Rödel superwash merino) and some sport weight:


The novelty skeins (I can finally say “not so many”):


All the worsted weight that was not already in a category above:


This is the yarn I received from my great grandmother’s stash after she died. The cream-colored rectangle is a cotton sweater she was working on. The light blue and dark brown are wool with old labels (“made in Western Germany”). The thin little mercerized cotton in center front is a representative sample of the about 100 skeins of it I got from her.


All in all about 50 miles of yarn according to my Excel spreadsheet, not counting the mercerized cotton or the many remnants in the under-the-bed bin. It will last me about 9 years provided I buy nothing else. Sheesh.

I then arranged all my handspun, and as I sit here I realize I did not include the skeins on the left side of my desk that are awaiting photo processing and blogging before I add them to the stash. So there’s more than this but you get the idea:


And lastly… I need not worry about running out of spinning fiber. I mean, seriously? I had no idea it was this much. It is now stored all together in one place so I can see it, and again with nothing in an opaque bag.


So. There I have it. I am also happy to say I now have photographic evidence for State Farm that I do indeed have this much yarn on the premises, should I ever have need to put in a claim against my renters’ insurance. Even better news: I found no wool-eating critters in any of it. Whew!

What is the point of carefully arranging the fruit on an almond torte


when it sinks as though into quicksand while baking?


It was still very tasty. 🙂

I brought the torte along with me when I visited my parents over Independence Day. My mom and I went to the new NordicMart yarn shop in San Luis Obispo where I got this with the intent of making hat and bootie sets:


And she also gave me the yarn she bought on her recent trip to Germany so I could make her more socks:


She called me when she was on her trip telling me she got yarn and that it was more interesting than the socks I’ve given her so far, not so much brown. She had a cheery tone but was completely serious. Um, yeah. She went with me to ImagiKnit to pick out the yarn for the other socks I made her!

The socks will all have plain stockinette feet. I’m thinking Jaywalker tops for one of the Weekend Color skeins and something textured for the pink. I’ll see what inspiration hits when I get to the second Weekend Color.

That’s close to what I’d imagine Gollum saying in the Italian translation of The Lord of the Rings (probably more along the lines of “mio prezioso”), but in this case it is the name of the yarn:


Pattern: own
Yarn: 3 skeins Allesandra Filati Prezioso; 40% wool, 36% nylon, 24% cashmilon (whatever that is); color 844
Needles: US size 4 for body, 2 for ribbing
Size: for a 2-year-old
Started 7/28 and finished 12/30/2008

I’m not sure about the neckline. I made a split v-neck but it seems a little tight. Not having a little person around to try it out on, though, I can’t confirm. I could always make it bigger, if once whoever ends up with it has too big a head. This was a very quick knit. I think I finished it in about 2 weeks, mostly made on the bus, but then it languished in my bag as soon as I memorized the lace pattern for the Apres Surf Hoodie and I focused on the big sweater instead. I made the neckline maybe a month ago and this morning realized 9 yarn tails weren’t really that bad, bucked up and wove those in. This makes two sweaters in two days! If I keep this up, I’ll have no stash left by the end of 2009. Ha! Yeah, right.

Apres Surf is indeed done and nearly dry. If the weather cooperates, I might ask Mr. MmmYarn to do photos tomorrow.

Christmas kept right on going in our household; today I received a package from Mr. MmmYarn’s uncle, filled with wooly goodies:



Flickr Photos