Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How CraftNinja got her groove back

My knitting yesterday was so much more pleasant than it has been! I didn't feel weighed down or rushed to finish anything. Isn't it funny how much mental pressure we can put on ourselves? When I stopped trying to "let go" and just decided to work within my own neuroses, everything got much better. I spent last night working on the mystery stole, and got about 9 chart rows done. I brought both the ruana and Veronique with me tonight to knit one or the other at choir - probably the ruana. The mohair is too prone to leap off the needles to be worked on while managing other stuff in my lap. I can work on Veronique at the SO's afterward while I wait for dinner to be ready.

I also have yarn on the way for a Featherweight Cardigan. I'm using KnitPicks Shimmer in Lilac Dream. It's an alpaca silk blend and I think it will be perfect for days when the office air conditioning is a little overambitious. If I have enough yarn, though, I will make the body longer. The cropped look never really flatters me. I ordered an extra skein so hopefully I should have plenty.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I think my needles are on fire

SO MUCH KNITTING this weekend. Friday night, I knit on the moody mansock during my game time and I finished the first sock. Saturday morning, I sat down and finished my sweater. I even sewed the underarm seams and wove in the ends. That afternoon, I cast on for Veronique and by Sunday night I had around 8 inches completed. Monday, the SO and I went for a drive down Skyline and had dinner in our favorite restaurant from when we were in college before heading back. I took the panda socks and the three-scarf ruana, figuring I would knit on the panda socks until it got dark and then knit on the ruana, which I don't need to see. Unnecessary! We got back just before 8 p.m. and it wasn't dark yet. I finished off the sock before I went to bed that night.

It felt really good to get some longstanding projects off the needles. The panda socks took me almost two months to knit for no good reason except that I was loaded down with other projects and some neuron in my brain refused to fire, so I never got the pattern memorized. I needed the pattern for the start of every round for some reason; once I got started on the round I was fine, but I couldn't seem to remember how to begin each round. Very annoying, but not the fault of the pattern at all. Just me.

Now that my #1 needles are free (or, at least they will be when I kitchener the toe tonight, I saved that for a more clear-headed moment) I really need to get a move on on the mitts for my mom that were supposed to be done ages ago.

The sweater is, as I feared, really too big for me. I'm sorry, I meant to say, the sweater has a lot of ease. Also, the sleeves are so long they come down to the first joint of my fingers at least. That's the only part that really bothers me, but there's no way to fix it unless I were to frog the entire yoke, and then frog and reknit most of the sleeves. I could just unravel them from the hem (or just cut them off, rejoin the yarn and knit down, I suppose) but...I'm fine with being done. It's still soft and comfy and I'll just wear it like it is. It does need to be blocked before it can really be shown in public, though, there is a discernable line where I started the yoke that I hope will come out in blocking. The part below the line is the stuff that had previously been blocked, and the stuff above the line has never been blocked, so it stands to reason that if I am lucky the line will even out with blocking.

But, now on to lighter and airier things. I'm knitting Veronique out of the discontinued Rowan Kidsilk Night in colorway Oberon, which is sort of a smokey grey with a touch of blue. The metallic thread in the yarn is a little rough running between my fingers - I wrap my yarn around my first three fingers so it runs between my ring finger and my pinky, so the metalic bit scratches right along that little soft inside area of my finger. But, it's not too bad, I'm okay with it. This garment has been a thousand times less frustrating than the Moonlight Sonata stole, leading me to believe that I did in fact make a poor choice for the yarn on that one, and I'm right to give up on it. In simple stockinette, the yarn is much easier to work with. I'm not saying I wouldn't use it to knit lace - I just wouldn't use it to knit lace that requires stitch manipulation more complicated than your basic decreases (it was the funky increase used in the midnight sonata shawl that really got me).

I've also given up on the Water Turtles Shawl. I don't like it. I like both the pattern and the yarn just fine, but I don't like them together. So that project is going to the frog pond.

And just like that, I'm back down to a manageable number of projects.

And...just like that, I'm really tempted to start more. I've been waiting for Pink Lemon Knits to come out with her new pattern, and she finally has: Flamenco. I have two skeins of the same yarn she used in a different colorway that have been sitting in the stash since the early days of my knitting career. I do kind of love the color she used, though - one of the lifelong issues I struggle with is that the colors I love to knit are not necessarily, or do not entirely encompass, the colors that look good on me. I'm not a big fan of bright colors, but I do look really good in red. I have compromised in the past by looking at yarns in the burgundy type range, but the two skeins of Suri Blue that I have are in Ruby, which is by no means a subdued red. It's perfect for the theme though. A flaming red flamenco flourish!

But, I will hold off as long as I can, to keep the guilt of unfinished projects from watering down the pleasure of a new one. I know that there are no knitting police, but I have tried it both ways, and I really think that it's better to live with the anticipation than to try and do too much at once.

Since I have no knitting pictures to display all of my projects this week, I will leave you with a picture from our drive yesterday instead:

Just Beyond the Storm

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sleep is a curse

I am so close to being finished with my sweater! I don't know what it is - that first diamond took sooooooo looooooong but now they are whipping by. I knit as fast as I possibly could last night, but I couldn't finish. Around 9:30 I stopped to take stock of my progress. Maybe, just maybe, if I stayed up late I could finish. This is a dangerous tactic, because my propensity for mistakes increases drastically with the lateness of the hour, but it would be worth the risk to be done. I have plans for the rest of the week so I wouldn't be able to work on it until Saturday at the earliest.

"How much more do you think I have to go?" I asked hopefully, showing the chart to the SO.

"Hmm," he said. "You started here tonight?" I nodded anxiously. "And you're here now?" Nodnodnod. "Well, I'd say you've probably got another four or five hours."

"What?!" I grabbed the book back and stared at the chart. "No way! Look how small that is! And there's decreases at each diamond so the rows get shorter!"

Sadly, his math-fu defeated my knitter logic as he pointed out how long it had taken me to go from here to here and therefore how long I could expect it to take to get me from there to there. I ran out of yarn for the night 10 minutes before Deadliest Catch was over, so I gave up, watched the rest of the episode (Jake! You are breaking my heart! You were so happy and excited and young and now you are so jaded and cynical and mean!) and went to bed. I think it should only take me one more ball of yarn to finish, so I'll wind it sometime this week and hopefully finish this weekend.

I have been doing a lot of yarn surfing this week. I'm not officially on a yarn diet anymore but I am trying to maintain some degree of self control, especially since I already have plenty of stuff to work on. I am enamored of Fly Designs at the moment. It's definitely on my 'yarns to try' list. I am especially pleased that they have a merino-tencel blend sock yarn. The last pair of merino-tencel (the blue embossed stitch socks) socks that I made were really nice and have worn very well. I've been on the lookout for that blend ever since but it doesn't seem very common, at least not in the brick-and-mortar stores around here. I still have plenty of sock yarn to go through so I am trying to be good, but the next time I need a fix I will be all over that. The colors are fantastic, too.

In order to keep my yarn-buying impulses under control, I've been looking at patterns instead lately. Whenever I find a pattern that I like on Ravelry, I fav it, and then when I am looking for a new project I go shop my favs. Once I've knit it, I take it out of my favs. However, I don't think all this pattern browsing is helping me. There are so many things I want to do! I have about 240 faved patterns to date. I have about 9 in my queue, 5 lace projects, 2 socks, and one pullover that I keep changing my mind about. I have about 1400 yards of Valley Yarns Northampton in my stash and I can't makeup my mind what to do with it. I'm thinking I would prefer a cardigan or something that would go over other clothes. Northampton is soft but I'm not sure it's next-to-the skin soft. Then again, I am kind of spoiled in the softness category. I'm thinking about Rogue, but I'm a little short on yardage. I'd need 1485 and I only have 1400 and change - and that's assuming none of the skeins are short. So, I'd be taking a risk. I'm not really sure it's a good one, especially considering how economical Northampton is. I could just go buy 7 balls and not be so worried. $35 plus shipping for security - not a bad tradeoff in my mind. So, that gets me a rogue hoodie but does not solve the problem of what to make with the Northampton I already have! Maybe Hey Teach? I'd want to make the skirt a little longer but that might could work. Hmmm...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Still Fevered

I had a very busy weekend and made very little knitting progress. I knit a little on the blue mansocks and I knit a little on the Water Turtles shawl, but not enough to be counted on either. I knit a little bit on the yoke of my sweater yesterday but I'm at the first decrease round and I got confused and thought I had done something wrong, and picked out almost two rounds before I decided that I hadn't done it wrong, or that if I had done it wrong, I hadn't done it wrong in the way that I thought I did it wrong, and then I was just confused so now I have to think about it again. Very frustrating.

My spring fever has also triggered my nesting instincts, which have taken the form of "geeze this house is a mess" so I've also been spending a lot of time cleaning and picking things up and trying to figure out what I can change so that stuff stops migrating to my loveseat, ottoman, and kitchen table. This all cuts into knitting time.

I also took a lot of pictures at the church retreat I just went to, which means I will need to spend some time post-processing and getting them on my church photos shutterfly site. I am not one of those people who has as much fun post-processing as photographing, so I've really been making an effort to get the shot as right as possible the first time so I don't have to spend a lot of time on it. But, there are still a lot of pictures and even if I only spend a little bit of time on each one, it will take me a while!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Spring Fever

I'm totally restless lately, but I seem to be managing so far to put that energy to good use. I've taken care of a lot of things that I've been meaning to do for a long, long time. One of these is - cleaning my craft room! I finally quit whining about it this past weekend and got a cheap, utilitarean set of plastic shelves and set them up. I spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning, putting stuff away, and stacking the shelves with my papercraft materials. The difference is massive. I wouldn't have believed I could get so much done in one day. I thought it would be a week's job at least to get that place in order.

It's not totally finished. The stuff in the closet needs to be pulled out, evaluated, and reintegrated. I still have 3 bins of non-craft related stuff in the guest room that I need to find a home for in the craft room (one marked 'computer,' one marked 'office supplies,' and one marked 'misc). And, my working table is covered with all the little bits and pieces that either have a home in something larger but will take some time to put away, or that don't have a home at all.

I've come to the conclusion that I need a better method for organizing a couple of things. In my head, I categorize them as scraps, stickers, and string. Scrap paper leftover from other stuff, stickers and other flat embelishments, and different strings and fibers collected for scrapbooking purposes.

I keep my stickers in a Crop in Style PSB, and it works pretty well except that there's no backing in the pockets of the pages, so you can see right through them into everything below and it makes things confusing. I suppose I could hole-punch some plain white 12x12 paper to put in between each page. I'd also like to devide the stickers up by category, which I currently can't do because I don't have enough pocket sheets of every size. I'm using pretty much every slot I have.

So, things to think about, but at least I am making progress toward organization! I am so proud of the fact that I can walk from one end of the room to the other! I can go in there at night without fear of breaking my neck before I find the light switch! And, I'm feeling some enthusiasm for some of my crafts besides knitting, now that I have room to breathe and (almost) space to work!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Useless knitting is better than no knitting

We went to see the Star Trek movie this weekend, and needless to say, the yarn I ordered from WEBS did not arrive in time (I'm not complaining, they are totally taking a reasonable amount of time, I just didn't think to place the order soon enough).

So here I am, with absolutely no movie-suitable knitting, and a two-hour movie, and what on earth am I going to do?

I took my swatch. I need to swatch size 8, 7, and 6 at least so before we got to the movie I switched to the 7's, purled a row, knit a row with 7 yarnovers to remind me of the needle size, purled back across that row, and I was all set up for movie knitting.

Two hour movie, and a 50-stitch square of stockinette.

Yeah. Needless to say, this swatch is of a generous size. I actually put it down towards the end of the movie because I could feel that I was going to run out of yarn and I would either have to frog some of what I was doing or start a new ball for the size 6 needles. It was actually a really difficult decision, but I kind of hate knitting with Ramen-noodle-esqe frogged yarn, so I put it down. Fortunately, it was a really great movie, so I was only midly uncomfortable without knitting.

From now on I vow to always have a reasonable weight garter or stockinette piece for movie knitting. Meanwhile, my WEBS yarn is en route, which is good, because I still want to see Monsters vs. Aliens!

In other knitting news, this weekend was really busy so I didn't get a lot done. I did, however, get a lot UNdone. I frogged the yoke of my sweater as planned. I pulled out the yarn attached to the current ball by hand. I knew there was an entire other ball of yarn that would have to be pulled out, so I went upstairs, draped the sweater over a chair, stuck the end in my ball winder and just wound it right off the sweater. Then I took the sweater downstairs and frogged what was left.

I ended up frogging all the way back to the place where I had joined the sleeve. I hadn't intended to do this, but finally decided it would be the easier than trying to figure out when I had frogged enough and where the start of the round was and all that jazz. It was only two extra rows anyway. This turned out to be a very good thing because it was actually supposed to be 4 extra rows, but I was dumb and didn't realize (don't ask me how) that there was a different number for different sizes.

I've worked on the sweater some since then but I'm really sort of slogging along at this point. I'm ready for the sweater to be done. The weather's changing and it's warming up, so I'm not feeling the drive to work on it the way I did in the cold (strange but true). Also, it's getting heavy. I tried to work on it some last night, but I was watching the Caps game and had to switch to TV knitting when I missed two out of three goals because I stopped to count.

My WEBS yarn did arrive yesterday (one day too late for the movie! doh!) and I cast on for the Three-Scarf Ruana (rav link) and used that for my hockey knitting. I'm using Valley Yarns Northampton in a nice heathered light gray. Very pretty, utterly dull - perfect. 34 inches of garter stitch before I have to think at all. (I may be less excited about that 15 inches from now, but for now - thrilled).

The colrain lace and the silk alpaca lace are both very pretty and brought me much glee. But, I am doing nothing until I finish this sweater. I think Veronique (rav link) is up next. We'll see. I may not start anything else for a while, because I'm really feeling the lace bug at the moment. I want to get MS4 off my plate so I can start Hanami before the spring/summer are totally over.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Knit the way the wind blows

I got no spinning done on Tuesday after all, thanks to doggie-related issues. But, it was my fault, I put trimming their toenails off so long that I am really surprised the vet techs did not scold me when I finally took them in. I really just hadn't noticed they had grown so much. I wonder now that I didn't hear the difference - with newly trimmed nails, the pups have gotten much more stealthy. No more clicking across the hardwood floor!

Anyway, between that and an errand I had to run for my mom, I didn't get much of anything done Tuesday night. My sock in progress was in the car, I didn't have enough time or energy for lace, and likewise I didn't have any time or energy to rip out my sweater, so instead, I started a swatch.

I bought some Plymouth Royal Silk Merino from when they had it on closeout. I'd planned to use it for Eris, which I've been planning to knit almost since I started knitting, but I'm starting to question whether the color really fits it. I like it much better in the subdued colors that the models are knit in. On the other hand, there are sweaters like this one that would be very nice in that color. We'll see. I'll give it some more thought.

I feel like I have a problem right now project-wise, because I have broken my personal rule, that it is just fine to have several projects going on at once, as long as they are projects that take up different categories of knitting time. There's TV knitting, focused knitting (lace), travel knitting (easy to carry and easy to memorize), and social knitting (a little harder than TV knitting but not so complicated that I need to be glued to the pattern).

Right now I have on the needles:

--Water Turtles Shawl from Wrapped in Comfort - social knitting
--Phyllo Sweater - focused knitting
--MS4 - focused knitting
--Panda socks - somewhere between social knitting and travel knitting
--Moody Mansocks - currently at social knitting, will get back to travel knitting once the gusset decreases are done
--Swan Lake - focused knitting
--Beginner's Triangle - focused knitting

Now, I do very well when I only have one project going in a particular type of knitting time, but when projects start to compete for knitting time I get frustrated. Part of this is my fault, and part of it is due to the natrual progression of projects. The sweater was TV knitting for a long while but I have to pay attention to the yoke chart. It's not hugely complicated, but I have a tendency to get off by one or two stitches if I am not really paying attention. The heel turn and gusset decreases on a sock take enough counting that they're somewhat less mindless than the rest of the sock, so my socks very often stall when I get to the heel because I need a little bit of time to concentrate. I can knit the flap and do the heel turn itself pretty easily so that part is still social knitting, but I have to concentrate to pick up the stitches and set up for the decreases. Then it stays social knitting until the decreases are done (have to count and be mindful of which rows are decrease rows) and then when I'm done with those it's travel knitting again until I get to the point where I need to check the fit for the toe.

I've gotten quick enough at socks that these slowdown moments come sooner than I would liek them too, especially if it's just a plain sock.

The panda socks are a little less suited to travel knitting for me because I've had issues memorizing the pattern. I don't know why, it's not hard. It just doesn't quite stick in my head. So, I have to keep the pattern in my back to check when I need to, so they haven't gotten as much play as they could. Plus, the yarn is a little splitty and so requires a bit more attention.

All these sock issues shove the Water Turtles shawl farther down the queue since they take up social knitting time. Also, I'm not loving the shawl as much as I expected to so I am less motivated.

However, the profusion of lace on my needles is entirely my own fault. I got impatient and started things before finishing others, and resurrected some UFOs. I've moved Swan Lake into 'hibernating' status on my ravelry page for now. I'm not as enchanted with the beads I'm using as I thought I would be, and I have to think about whether I want to embrace it as it is or whether I want to frog what I have and go pick out different beads.

MS4 and the Beginner's triangle are very different projects; I need more focus for MS4 and not as much for the Beginner's Triangle. Working on Beginner's Triangle now has really shown me how far I've come, when I thought about how frustated I was when I first started that project. I think my mind has adjusted to reading charts now, so where before I could not understand the pattern and had to pay attention to every stitch in the chart, now I can look at it, understand the repeat, and just remember some key things I need to know to get me through the row. Also, I can 'read' lace now whereas I couldn't before, so I catch mistakes quicker because I can actually see when a yarnover is out of alignment.

So, I might be able to promote that shawl to certain social knitting situations - if I didn't have a billion other social knitting projects at the moment.

As if I didn't have enough going on, I'm also fidgeting around waiting for some new yarn to arrive. The SO got me French Girl Knits for my birthday and it JUST SO HAPPENS that Little Knits has the discontinued Rowan Kidsilk Night on sale and I'm going to make Veronique.

I also have plans to make the three scarf ruana from The Knitting Experience. You can see from the list above, that I have nothing in the 'tv knitting' category. I need some easy knitting that will not be over too quickly. This should totally cover it. Plus, I think the finished garment is neat. I hit up the WEBS anniversary sale for some more Valley Yarns Northampton. That was not actually on sale, but the Colrain Lace was. Then I also threw in some of the silky alpaca lace to get me in to discount range. Maybe a little overboard, but the yardage on all three yarns is criminal for that price. Love it.

My first experience with alpaca yarn was not particularly favorable. It shed EVERYWHERE and it was the wrong choice for the garment I was making, and it just generally didn't work out. The end product is stuffed in my closet huddled in shame under some pyjamas that are too small for me. But, I want the lace yarn to knit Anjou (again from FGK), and after deciding on the colrain I checked in on the ravelry discussion and saw some things that made me think I might need some halo for this project, so if that's the case I can go with the alpaca/silk instead of the colrain (merino/tencel).

On top of that, the SO's family got me the Hanami pattern and materials for my birthday, so that's sitting there tempting me, AND Pink Lemon is coming out with a new pattern for a lace stole-capey thingy that I've been waiting on anxiously.

Alas, there is no solution for me but to completely change my personality, throw caution to the wind and cast on as many projects as I want and care not whether and when they get finished - or to just motor through what's on my needles now as efficiently as possible.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Yesterday I got out the measuring tape and measured the yoke of my sweater so far. I had omitted the bottom row of diamonds in an attempt to compensate for my too-loose guage, since I was afraid it would end up much too long if I knit the pattern as written.

I've got about 18 rows to go in the yoke and it was looking kind of short when measured against my hand, so I got out the measuring tape and enlisted the SO to help me with the math. Then I refused to believe him, tried to work out how it would be okay, wondered whether I should just go the last few rounds and finish it and see what would happen, or if I should just give it up now and rip back. Finally he convinced me to put it on waste yarn and try it on. I did, and he measured to where he thought it would reach, based on our math. Verdict in. No doubting it now. The yoke is too short. I have to pull it out and do it the way it's written. I cannot begin to explain how this is so, but it is. SIGH.

Really I'm not as bothered as I could be. The yoke has actually been pretty quick to knit and fairly intuitive, allowing me to catch mistakes as I was making them rather than many rows later. What I'm really irked about is that I have to rip back so far that I will be back in the area where it was tight and difficult to knit because of the sleeves. grr.

I'm not sure whether I will rip all the way back to where I joined the pieces and redo it, or if I will just rip back to the two plain rows after the join and before the chart. I do have a couple of gaping stitches where I picked up stitches for the front shaping that I could take this opportunity to address, but then I would have to worry about things falling out further than they should, etc. I don't know. I'm going to spend time thinking about it. I'll be busy all the rest of this week except for tonight, and Tuesdays are for spinning, so I have some time to figure out how I want to handle it.

Monday, May 4, 2009


I figured out what happened to the photos that didn't upload two posts ago. Surprise, surprise - it was my fault. Anyway, here they are:

Spunky Eclectic Fiber Club instestines Fiber, colorway Myrtle:

On the wheel:


Proof that I did in fact knit two blackrose socks:


And the start of another pair of socks for the man, though they are now quite a bit more advanced:


Not sure I'm loving the green bits, though they look nicer in that photo than they do in person. I'm working on the heel flap for these socks now so this pic is pretty out of date.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Shell shocke

I've been waiting months for MD Sheep & Wool. I successfully made it through my yarn diet period so I could splurge without guilt. However, I also made a pact with myself that I would only buy stuff I actually liked & wanted, and not just go crazy because I could.

Unfortunately, this weekend was overshadowed by the events of the week. A coworker of mine, who just turned 35 and who has a wife and three little girls, died unexpectedly of a heart attack. It was a great shock to all of us that worked with him, and it made for a long, hard, sad week. The office took up donations to help support his wife and daughters, and I spent Wednesday night making a card to put them in.


I knew I wanted to do a black and white card and I wanted to use vellum, but I didn't know that I had any images appropriate, so I went to Angela's Happy Stamper and wandered around. They were very gracious even though I walked in right at closing. I saw the dandelion image and immediately picked it up. I found the sentiment soon after.

The dandelion is stamped with onyx staz-on on vellum, over white cardstock, matted on metallic silver. I fastened it with some black brads I had in my embellishment box. The sentiment was harder; I wanted to put it on vellum too because the white cardstock was too bright uncovered, but I couldn't figure out how to stick the pieces together without the adhesive showing through. As an experiment I picked up the white cardstock piece on which I had already stamped the image and I folded vellum around it and glued it on the back. It worked, but the vellum sort of bowed out a little. I thought it would still work though, and I stamped the sentiment on top just to see how I liked it. I had expected to throw the whole thing away if I liked it and redo a fresh one, but the sentiment on the vellum was just slightly offset from the sentiment on the cardstock and it made this nifty shadow effect, so I ended up using that piece and I was pretty happy with the way it looked.


For the inside image, I used a brayer and a Kaleidacolor pad (colorway was Fruitcake, I think) and then stamped black butterflies on the color. Then I stamped the three flowers on vellum and put it over top. I hadn't planned on this originally, but the colored butterfly thingy was a remnant from an earlier idea I had tried and discarded, and when I saw the three little puff flowers I thought of his three daughters, and so I kind of think of it as a little message of hope. We all grieve in different ways. I guess I deal by making crap. We ended up collecting so much money that we had trouble fitting it in the card, but I hope it made the gift even a little bit more meaningful.

His memorial service was Friday and after work a bunch of us went out to have dinner and just hang out. I didn't get home as early as I wanted and I was already tired to begin with (though it was a good and necessary uplift after a sad and difficult week). Needless to say, I started Saturday out a little subdued and already running on empty.

But, after my experience last year, I spent some time stalking the Ravelry board and taking notes on recommendations. I didn't want to go to the show and end up buying stuff I could just get online. This was well done because when I got there it was totally overwhelming. I kept wanting to veer off and look at things but I was dead determined to go to my chosen vendors first before looking at anything out. I wanted to go to:

--Journey Wheels (I was actually after some Franquemont Fibers batts, but I didn't see any and had too much to do to
--Jenny the Potter
--Carolina Homespun
--The Barefoot Spinner
--Kid Hollow Farm
--SpirtTrail Fiberworks
--Cloverhill Yarn Shops (they carry a number of indie dyers)

I think there were a couple of others but I think my rain-stained notes are still in the pocket of my jeans. As I said, I was looking for something unique. Fiberwise, my goal was to try some wool types that I have not tried before (not hard, considering that I have only been spinning for four months or so). If I was going to buy yarn, I wanted to buy yarn from independent dyers, or see if I could get a good deal on some exotic fibers. However, the only yarn I bought was from Kid Hollow Farm. I was really tempted by some laceweight cashmere in my budget, but it was only available in white and I decided to pass. I'm way too much of a klutz for a white lace cashmere shawl. I may take up dying sometime but if I do, I won't want to experiment on something like cashmere!

The haul includes:


3 skeins Mohair laceweight from Kid Hollow Farms, colorway persimmon. KHF does have a website but they don't advertise the laceweight. Also, they are a local Virginia farm. The label says fingering weight but it is definitely lace, and the bin it was in was labeled lace.


4 oz Hog Island Wool dyed slate grey from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. This is an endangered breed, as I understand, so I wanted to get some while I had a chance. It's also a native breed to Virginia and is currently kept on one of the local plantations here as a historical breed.


4 oz natural grey Jacob Wool from Spirit Trail Fiberworks. I bought this at the suggestion of a lady at the booth, who told me over the course of our conversation that these particular sheep are extremely pampered by their owner.


8 oz white Wensleydale cross from Little Barn. They weren't local but they did have some nice things and I had plenty of budget left.


8 oz natural light brown CVM. The label informs me that there are fewer than 1000 of these sheep worldwide.

I did visit Jennie the Potter's booth (kgd, I tried to convince your son to buy you one of the smaller yarn bowls she had that were less expensive than the large ones on the website, but alas, he was unmoved - he bought you this instead) and had a nice chat with a lady whose voice seemed familiar. She recognized my rav name on my button, and I totally plotzed when she introduced herself as Heather from CraftLit. I was nearing the end of my steam by this point and I don't even know what I said. I hope I wasn't too silly. She did ask me if I was going to the ravelry meetup and at the time I was thinking that I would, but I only got through a few more shops before I crashed so hard it was all I could do to get back in the car. I dozed all the way home and spend the rest of the day on the couch. I got up and went to church this morning, had lunch and came home and I've been on the couch ever since. I'm still so tired!

But, now I get to plot and plan and surf possibilities for the yarn I bought, and I'm looking forward to getting some of my fiber score on the wheel to see how it spins up. Today, though, I'm working as hard as I can on my sweater - I am really close to being done. I might have finished tonight if I hadn't spent so much time surfing the internet for patterns, and working on this blog post. Oops.