Mmm... Yarn

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

Mmm... Ice cream

One thing I love about Germany is the availability of tasty sundaes!

Castle ruins in Manderscheid

No yarn anywhere to be found here!

Felting class day 2, photo 2

The finished felted piece is a book cover. The circles and lines blurred with all the rubbing I did to felt them down, but I like how it looks. Proper photos to come after I arrive back home.

Felting class day 2, photo 1

On day 2, we laid out a new Muppet pelt and added on top of that pieces cut from the previous day’s already-felted square as decorative elements. I added some loose fibers to make lines and circles. This is the piece ready for felting.

Felting class day 1, photo 2

Muppet pelt transformed into a felted rectangle by warm water, soap, and lots of agitation by hand.

Felting class day 1, photo 1

Felting class in Niendorf, Germany (the fearless leader of Mmm…Yarn is on vacation!). This looks like a Muppet pelt to me.

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.

AVFKW

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

 

Knitting is usually nothing except pretty darn orderly, and I do well with orderly (anyone peeking at my desk might question this bold self-assessment, not knowing there’s a method to the madness). This is probably why I took so well to my hobby when I learned it nearly 20 years ago. Sometimes, though, you get a project that specifies random action. How random it really can be when I’m the one choosing the arbitrariness of bead placement, I don’t know. But there’s help for us precise types: a quick stop at the games shelf this morning yielded a couple of chance cubes which are now helping me place beads in the watermelon sock in progress:

Socks WIP

It’s a simple enough method: I rub the dice in my hands (I would never find them again if I were to toss them while riding the bus) and read them left to right. The reading above is 3-5 so I work 35 stitches before putting a bead on the next knit stitch. Had the 5 been on the left, I would work 53. There are 60 stitches per round and the dice method gives me between 11 and 66 stitches between beads. I’ll decide after about 20 rounds whether I need to increase the interval so I don’t run out of beads before the heel flap. I’m not putting beads on the foot part, imagining that will be quite uncomfortable in a shoe.

I pawed through the stash this week and pulled out three balls of purples which accompanied me to quilting group yesterday (I definitely socialize there but am a quilting lurker, just go to ogle the lovely quilts) and to the Laundromat today (such a life of glamor here at Mmm… Yarn), and are now working up into a rather nice-looking hat:

Purples hat WIP

I like the way the different textures here work together; the yarns are wool, cotton (duller than the wool), and a wool/polyester blend (shinier). Sometimes cleaning random things out of the stash works in one’s favor.

I took a brisk walk in the park late this afternoon and saw the trees have gotten their annual pruning to remove all the twiggy little bits they grow in spring and summer. They now look knobby, like their branches are a bunch of clubs reaching up into the sky. I lay down on a bench to get this shot upward.

Knobby trees

A bunch of the birds I saw were toting strands of things in their beaks as they flew overhead. This means nesting time is coming soon!

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