Knitting |Miscellaneous Musing by Judy @ 5:02 PM
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a little snow
a little snow

Here is my obligatory Oh! My! Word! It’s! Snowing! In! Portland! picture.

It’s a little early. If we get snow, it’s usually in January or, rarely, February. December is unusual. Those of you who live in snowy places would laugh at us here. There has been nothing on the local TV stations today except Storm Coverage. They’ve been predicting this all week, and I can see a certain amount of satisfaction in their coverage that this time they were right.

They had actually predicted that it would start last night. I only hoped that it would wait until we were all safely home from the Christmas concert we attend every year, and it did. And this morning when I woke up, it was still just raining, with a little snow mixed in. It started to snow in earnest around 9:00 AM and it’s been snowing ever since. I would guess I have around 5″ right now at my house. You can see that Barry The Berry Bear looks a bit cold. He should be hibernating!

Portland Public Schools have already announced closing tomorrow, along with a host of other schools and some businesses. Chains or other traction devices are being required on all of the freeways, even in town. Yes, it’s funny. I grew up in a snowy place and so I’m in on the joke. In our defense, I can only plead that our snow is usually really wet and compacts into ice almost instantly when anyone drives or walks over it. And ice is hard to drive on no matter what.

I have a full pantry and need go nowhere for awhile, so I will be fine. And I don’t think I will run out of yarn any time soon…

On a different note, Archaeology Magazine’s top 10 discoveries of 2008 includes a mummy found near a busy street in Lima, Peru. I would not ordinary discuss such things here, but this mummy, gentle reader, was buried with balls of yarn and knitting needles. These would be used for single-needle knitting, more like nalbinding than what we thing of as knitting proper. But, still… Archaeologists believe that she was a master weaver because of the tools in her tomb. Maybe she just loved her stash and wanted to take it with her?

Knitting by Judy @ 7:00 PM

inside the barn
inside the barn

Dear blog,

I haven’t meant to neglect you. Every day I think of things I’d really like to chat with you about, like the 2nd annual Blue Moon Fiber Arts destashing / barn sale. I’ve just been so busy, and when I remember I haven’t talked to you, it’s way late and I’m always afraid that you might be asleep. But I do want to tell you about the barn sale. I know I have a bit of yarn already, but sock yarn doesn’t count, right?

I went with a purpose. I had started a small project — finished object to show soon, and everything. And in going through my stash I found that I didn’t have hardly any yarn of the correct weight. You see, I usually knit socks on size US#0, or at the most US#1, at about 11 – 12 stitches/inch. So I like rather lightweight fingering for my socks. And this pattern called for a more DK-ish or heavier fingering weight. And, despite the size of my stash – not as large as some, true, but certainly holding its own – I was hard pressed to come up with any.

And, with her usual perfect timing, Blue Moon’s depraved dyer Tina destashed. It seemed like fate, don’t you agree?

OK. So I can justify anything when it comes to yarn. But look, gentle reader, look at that picture and tell me that you would not have been overcome by all of the loveliness that was there. And that’s not even all of it. There’s more behind my back, but my camera doesn’t take 360-degree views.

a few things came home
a few things came home

And I was pretty successful finding things to come home with me. Just a few things. Ahem.

Everything is either medium- or heavy-weight STR, except for one, lone skein of light-weight. A couple of things are Rare Gems and the rest are Mill Ends, so they are not marked with a colorway. But, you can tell what most of them are. The one in the very middle, for example, is a Mill End of The Cookie Next Door. I don’t mind buying mill ends at all as I have had wonderful luck with them in the past. They may not be perfect, but that doesn’t mean they’re not lovely.

There’s also one skein of a gorgeous ribbon yarn called Streams. There’s no colorway on that, either, but you can see it’s lovely muted colors. Be sure to click on the pics to see the biggy versions.

And, if it looks like there are some colors that don’t usually show up in my stash, like gasp hot pink, well… I can only, once again, plead yarn fumes. I like some pinks, and pinks in combination with greens and browns. And the skein that’s white with pink, red, teal, blue and purple? What can I say, except it’s really hot.

Got yarn?
Got yarn?

Moo wanted to help me photograph my yarn. She has a different outlook than I do. I declined her generous offer.

Knitting by Judy @ 8:10 AM

the new colorway
the new colorway

Looky, looky what I have!

Don’t you just love these colors? If you are reading this on the blog vs. on a feed reader, do the colors look… familiar?

This is the newest colorway from Stitchjones. It’s so new that it’s not even up on her website yet. But, just in case you want to contact her to see when it will be available near you, here’s a picture of the other side of the ballband:

yeah... !
yeah… !

Yeah. That’s right. It’s named Persistent Illusion.

I’ve never had my very own colorway before, and I’m totally stoked. I’m not sure yet exactly what I’m going to do with it. It most likely will be socks – but they will have to be very cool socks. Since there are already two pairs of socks on my needles this does, don’t you agree Gentle Reader, warrant careful consideration. I will keep you informed of what I come up with.

Right now, all I can say is ooooo… pretty… !

I think this is going to be a regular colorway. But, if you like it, it never hurts to let Stitchjones know. :mrgreen: And while you’re at it, click on the “shop online” button and check out the Glam Socks. OMG! Yes, there may be some of this in my stash, too. Just saying.

Knitting by Judy @ 10:45 PM

a little traveling company
a little traveling company

Well… OK. Not exactly completely unknown. But that makes such a nice post title, don’t you think?

I’m actually taking off for a couple of days to the DC area on business. I’m not sure that I will have time for doing anything fun non-work-related pursuits. But if I do and if there is a yarn shop within spittin’ distance, I will find it and yarn will be fondled and perhaps there will be a Stash Enhancing Experience.

Just in case that doesn’t happen, I’m taking a few things with me. The unfinished socks are the Salish Sea Socks, Cat Bordhi’s pattern for the December Rockin’ Sock Club offering. The yarn is Socks That Rock medium in Bella Coola. I really love this yarn, and I love Cat’s pattern, and I am determined to finish these before I return. I think I deserve to knit something fun, considering how long I worked on the clown barf stripy socks.

At the top of the picture are two skeins of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Pioneer.

At the bottom, is a skein of Blue Moon Socks That Rock lightweight in Pirates Booty. It has almost the same colors in it as the Great Adirondacks yarn did. But I have a feeling this will knit up way differently.

There shouldn’t be an unpleasant surprises from any of this yarn. I’ve never met STR I didn’t like. And my experience with Lorna’s Laces had been good, too. I know that I have more than I like to remember several skeins of recently acquired yarn that I’ve been saying I must knit now with. But for this trip I decided instead to do a little deep-stash diving. These three skeins have been marinating for awhile, and I think it’s time for it to bubble to the top.

I may check in from time to time, but I won’t have any way to get new pictures uploaded. Not that there will be much interesting for me to see inside a conference room. But if there is, I’ll show you when I get back.

Furry Friends |Knitting by Judy @ 10:50 PM

honey and … clowns?
honey and … clowns?

So, with The Wings Of the Raven finished, what was I to do but cast on a new lace project? And, well… maybe some socks. Because two pairs of socks on the needles are obviously not enough, you know.

So I spent Saturday mostly winding yarn. 1350 yds of laceweight and 360 yds of sock yarn, to be exact. It took a long time. But my handy dandy little tinker-toy swift really helped.

Then I cast on the Honeybee Stole and knit one repeat of the center pattern. I love it. I love the way the pattern is knitting up. I love the golden honey color. I love the way the colors are subtly pooling. I love the way that the cashmere/silk blend is exactly like knitting with very soft clouds.

Did I mention that I love it?

I’m a little iffy on whether I’ll have enough yarn or not. I really want to use all of it. But if I run out I can’t really run down to the LYS and get more. What I have is all there is in the whole, wide world. Which is very cool. But a little scary. So I cast on for the larger size of the stole, but I’ve gone down one needle size and I’m planning on knitting one fewer repeat in the center. Keep your fingers crossed.

For socks, I wanted something really colorful. After knitting for a couple of months on black, black, black… color just seemed like a nice thing. So I reached into my stash and pulled out the most colorful yarn that was right on top so I didn’t have to dig too far. This is Great Adirondacks Soxy in High Desert. I really love the colors in this yarn. And, yes, the blue really is that bright.

But, the way it’s knitting up… gentle reader, are you seeing… clown barf?

I’d really like opinions on this. For me, I think the jury is still out. I will knit for a bit further and see if maybe it’s going to be OK. I’m knitting a pair of toe-up Monkeys. I experimented a bit with the toe and ended up with a very pointy, rather strange looking end. But my feet are rather pointy and strange anyway. It’s all good.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your kind comments about The Wings Of The Raven. There was sun today, but alas I was not home to take pictures. It may be a week or two before I can manage that. I’m not sure I will ever be able to really do it justice. But I will definitely be wearing it next Thursday at Madrona. So if you are there, and you see a strange woman with biggish hair wearing a blackish/bluish winged stole, running around and petting all the yarn, do say hello!

#1 Son will be home tomorrow. Even as I type, he is on a plane that is winging its way from Sao Paulo. He has to make a connection and has a rather long lay-over. I get to pick him up at the airport and I’m already excited. I know I have to play it cool and nonchalant and all that. But I will be so glad to see him. And so will Moo Cow. 😆

Knitting by Judy @ 11:20 PM

jungle animals, moose, mice and kitties
jungle animals, moose, mice and kitties

On Saturday, a group of Seattle-area knitters rode the early train down to Portland for a little crawl through the Pearl District yarn shops. Bobbie helped to arrange for a few PDX Knit Bloggers to meet the train and welcome our fellow Northwest knitters to Stumptown. Since I had never been to two of the Pearl shops (what can I say – we have over 20 yarn shops and I just can’t make it to all of them all the time), I thought it would be really fun to join in.

But I wasn’t going to buy any yarn, because my stash is feeling sufficient right now. I especially wasn’t going to buy any sock yarn.

I wish I had snapped a picture of all of the knitters milling around the station when the train came, but user error messed my pics up. Charisa, who had spearheaded the yarn crawl, had name tags for all of us that entitled us to discounts at several of the stores, and a handout with a map and such and gave everyone last minute instructions. A very nice Amtrak employee asked me if I needed any directions or maps and what time would be all be back? He looked a little confused when I told him that I live here, but smiled and said that I thought the visitors had it all in hand.

The groups split up so that we didn’t overwhelm the shops by hitting them all at once. I needed to find a free place to park my car for the day, and several of the PDX Knitters joined me in the search. Our first stop was Dublin Bay, where I finally got to meet Chrissy. On a little rack towards the back of the store, I found these really cute little buttons. I have no idea what I’m going to do with them. But they’re so cute, I just had to have them. And they’re not yarn.

If you’re reading this through a feedreader, go on over to the blog and pop up the picture so you can see how cute the buttons are. I’ll wait right here.

a friendly gesture to cold dancers
a friendly gesture to cold dancers

As I turned from the button rack I saw a knitter clutching Zen Yarn Garden skeins. I had already ignored the siren call of Fleece Artist and Handmaiden, although I did pet a lot of yarn. All the yarn, I think.

The colors of the Zen Yarn Garden were so pretty.

From Dublin Bay a few of us walked down to Knit Knot Studio. Along the way we came across these poor, cold statues dancing on the sidewalk. Hand knits were offered as a temporary warm-up. They looked so cold.

Knit Knot Studio is a tiny but cute little yarn shop that’s packed full of really yummy things like naturally dyed silk and handspun cashmere.

Look what I found someone said, holding a skein of Noro Kureyon Sock.

I love Noro colors, but not necessarily Noro yarns. I have two sweaters knit with Noro, and both times I became annoyed at having to pick twigs and such from the fiber. And what’s with the knots? For what we pay for that yarn, can’t we have one continuous strand? Especially since the strand after the knot always starts with some totally random color, leaving the poor knitter to decide whether to ruin the flow of the stripes in the finished object, or buy more yarn in the hope of matching. I’d felt some of the new sock yarn, and it seems so stiff and scratchy. Not fun to knit with. I just didn’t have much desire to knit with Noro sock yarn, and had said so.

But the colors were so pretty.

post-crawl knitting
post-crawl knitting

From Knit Knot Studio we hopped on the streetcar, which conveniently stops right in front of Knit Purl.

At Knit Purl, a skein of JitterBug leaped off the display and into my arms and demanded to be taken home. The color was so pretty.

Then I saw a really lovely colorway of Lorna’s Laces that I had never seen before.

Teresa came over to say hello and laugh at my sock scarf.

I’m not buying any sock yarn I told her, as I grabbed some Schaeffer Anne off the wall. The colors were so pretty.

Teresa started laughing hysterically, as did others who heard me. Are you going to completely change your personality? Teresa asked. Judy without sock yarn? hahahahaha

Ahem…

sock yarn?  What sock yarn?
sock yarn? What sock yarn?

L-to-R, top: Zen Yarn Garden in Cafe Au Lait and Creamsicle, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Pioneer, Colinette JitterBug in Morello Mash
L-to-R, bottom: Noro Kureyon Sock (the yarn I said I’d never buy) in S184, Schaeffer Anne in Toni Morrison. hmmmmm do you see some strong themes with these colorways?

Well… the buttons aren’t sock yarn.

After At Knit Purl, I decided that maybe I’d done enough damage for the days. Leaving the Seattle knitters to their fate (I believe a spin through Powell’s Books was in their near future), we headed over to Starbuck’s for a cuppa and a slice of pumpkin bread.

In the picture, you can see that we whipped the knitting out again while comparing hauls.

On the chair, you can see The Wings Of A Dream in a glob by my purse. I had just messed up by forgetting a whole row with beads. But all was fixed. I have finished the first wing and started on the second wing. I’m still hoping to complete it in the next couple of weeks. We shall see.

I had a great time on the crawl, despite the damage to my pocket book. It was great fun getting to meet all of our northern knit-buds. I hope they crawl down this way again!



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