Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chug chug chug!

I've been working away on Erato. Two more muses are due to be released at Stitches West in just a few days, so I'm hoping I can steam through this one and be ready to start a new one this weekend!

It'll depend on whether or not I run out of yarn, though. It's looking miiiiighty thin, but since I'm alternating skeins every couple of rows, it's a little harder to judge how much I have left than if I were using just one ball.

Of course, I could weigh it, but - where's the fun in that?

Monday, February 13, 2012



I deeply regret that I did not photograph all my new yarn in a pile so I could use the photo as an intro to this post. Poor planning.

I confessed to ordering yarn last week, and the yarn I ordered arrived extremely promptly. Spirit Trail Fiberworks is in my same state so I was not surprised at all when the yarn showed up the day after I paid for it.


Not surprised, but still pleased. Need I say, Jennifer's customer service is awesome.

This yarn is one of those that defies photography. Even with a filter on the flash, I couldn't get an accurate color. I attribute this to the reflective quality of the silk, which makes the color look much lighter when photographed with a flash than it is in real life. The color is darker and deeper than shows here, so suffice it to say, as lovely as this photo is, it is a far cry from the yarn's actual beauty.


Saturday my woolie silk arrived.


Saturday, I also went to my LYS. Now, I went intending to check out the new Hiyahiya sharps. I love my Chiaogoos with a deep and abiding passion, but I do miss the convenience and economy of an interchangeable set. And, as it happens, I had a gift certificate someone gave me as an engagement gift. So, that was the plan. Go look at needles. No need for yarn. Tunnel vision.

Except, I made one fatal error. I did not go to the yarn store alone. And while I was decided on the needle set within a matter of minutes, she was zooming around the store looking at yarn. Showing me yarn. And, to avoid just standing around the counter staring into space - I walked around and looked at yarn too. And before I knew it, these two skeins caught my eye.


I just couldn't help it. The next muse Romi plans to release is a two-color shawl, and while I thought I knew what I was going to use, the yarn I had in mind was quite a bit shorter in yardage than the yarn Romi used and these two colors were just so perfect for this shawl and...I put it on the counter next to my Hiyahiyas.

Except my shopping companion was not done looking yet and I lingered a bit too long next to the shelf and then all of a sudden I was holding these.


I was holding these because there is a certain friend I go to church with, who is a total sweetie, and every time she sees me knitting she says, "Where's the blue one?" because she had made it known to me that when I decided to make a her a shawl, she would like it to be blue.

Now as it happens, she has a sister that also goes to my church; the two are very close in age and very different in personality, and I was suddenly taken with the idea of knitting the pink/purple shawl for one sister, who is much more flamboyant and outgoing, and the blue shawl for the other sister, who is much calmer, with an understated sense of humor and charming wit.

So I walked out of there with four skeins of yarn and plans to knit two of the next muse, even though Romi is actually intending to release two muses at once and I AM ALREADY SO BEHIND Y'ALL.

But there you go. And this also neatly solves the problem of how one sister would feel if I gave the other sister a shawl and didn't have one for both.

It's possible that I will change my mind and save one color combo for the OTHER two color muse, but I like the symmetry of giving them both the same one. But we'll see when the muses are released and the names are revealed. All the yarns shown are Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sock, which I have to say is easily the softest 100% superwash merino I've ever touched. Usually I prefer to work with cashmere blends as the 100% superwash merino yarns are rougher than I prefer (yes, I said it. merino alone is too rough for me. It's my knitting and I can spoil myself if I want to.)

In the meantime, I have started the newest muse.

Unfortunately, the two skeins were visibly different even before I wound them, so I'm having to alternate, which is a bit of a pain, but other than that, I'm cruising along. The above photo was after the first repeat of Chart E; I have since completed most of a second one as well. I am a tiny bit concerned about having enough yarn, because the pattern calls for 400 yards of fingering weight and I have 500 yards of sport, but I figure, what the heck. If I run out and have to order another skein - I'm already alternating anyway. I could do the math and figure out ahead of time, but I'm too lazy I like adventure.

I did start Caliz on Friday night, as it made excellent social knitting.


I'm a little shy of halfway through the (only) chart, so I feel good about finishing this one in a relatively expedient manner, even with the other knitting.

I also spent some time working on Galadriel's Mirror this week before all the new stuff came in.


The difference in color between the first skein and the second is dreadfully obvious, but it occurs right at a pattern shift anyway, so I'm trying not to mind it much. Although I'm a little bitter that the first skein was so completely unvariegated, because it would have been much more interesting if it had as much variation as the second one. Oh well. Perils of hand dye. I regret nothing.


It took me half an evening to finish up my Gothic Tam.


And while I did not block Madrona, I did take some finished photos.




I'll block it this week. My wedding dress is in and I'd like to take the shawl to my fitting on Saturday and see how it looks!

I'm using the Hiyahiya needle set to knit Erato (the current muse) so I'll post a review of those needles once I've spent a little more time with them. This post is quite full enough as it is!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Three or four weeks of silence deserves a bonus post, don't you think?

I've finished Madrona! No pictures as yet, but she's finished. And that means - I'm free to knit other stuff again! This excites me greatly as I am pretty far behind on all of Romi's beautiful creations. So, the question is, what shall I knit next?

1. Caliz - this design came out several months ago, and was originally a club pattern for A Verb for Keeping Warm. I've heard nothing but good things about AVFKW so I'm excited to try out their yarns. I wasn't in the club, but I picked up a skein of AVFKW Metamorphosis that's been all wound up and ready for this pattern. The buzz is that this will be a pretty quick knit, which will be perfect while I wait for yarn to arrive for...

2. Erato - The newest muse from Romi is out, but after reviewing my stash and thinking about the person I want to give this too, I've decided I need to purchase yarn for it. I've picked Fleece Artist Woolie Silk 3-ply in Rose. It's a heavier weight than called for by the pattern, which I hope will result in a slightly larger end product. This shawl is flirty, feminine, and sweet, and I knew immediately which of the wonderful ladies in my life I wanted to give it to. She's been a wonderful support and friend and I'm excited about surprising her with this shawl. But, since I'm not using stash, I have to wait for the yarn to arrive, so I will fill my time with Caliz until it does.

3. Pulelehua, Pins & Lace Winter 2012 - I'm really excited about this gorgeous shawl. I love butterflies in general, and my first memories are of Hawaii, so this shawl speaks to me on multiple levels. I tossed around a few stash ideas for this, but Jennifer at Spirit Trail Fiberworks had extra club yarn available, and I had to go for it. There's just no more perfect color for this pattern, and the pictures are absolutely gorgeous. I'm really excited to start this one (and what a gorgeous splash of color to break up the bleakness of winter - even an unseasonably warm winter), but, again, I will have to wait for the yarn to get here.

4. Galadriel's Mirror - Honestly, I can't think of anything I would rather knit less at this point in winter than a grey shawl, but as this one remains unfinished, I'm keeping it on my to-knit list. I have 2 charts to go, and although the rows are incredibly long at this point, the knitting itself is getting simpler, so if I can just hang in there a little longer, there is a chance I will actually finish this one in my lifetime.

5. Permafrost - I also owe this one some attention. I began it during a bout of startitis when none of my other projects were at a particularly happy place, and it's been stalled for sometime, so it's time to get the motor revving again.

Ergh, that list actually looks pretty daunting, doesn't it, especially when I have lots more wedding planning and moving stuff in my future? My priorities are the Romi projects. It's easier for me to help others on the forum when I've worked on a shawl myself, and to be honest, it's just so much fun knitting with others!

AND, in two weeks Romi is releasing two more muses at Stitches West. I don't know how I'm going to keep up! (Answer: I'm not. There's just no way.)

Oh well, it's a beautiful place to be in, isn't it, having more beautiful patterns and yarn than you know what to do with? Nothing to do but keep calm and knit on!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Look! Knitted Stuff!

I can't believe how long it's been since my last post, but sadly, all of the posts I would have made would have been the same. "Still here, not much to show, work and wedding are taking up all my time!"

BUT, today I do have some things to show! After an incredibly grueling couple of weeks at work, I finally got some time to relax a bit, and work on my MadroƱa wedding shawl. One wing is now complete and I am well into the second! In fact, I took this picture a couple of days ago, so it's a bit out of date. You repeat the wing chart 12 times for each wing and then knit one more chart, ending in the bind off. At the time of this picture, I had only about 4 repeats complete on the second wing. I'm now up to 9 repeats. It's funny how much faster you can get at knitting a chart after you've done it 16 times already.

Unless work or some other fact of life interferes, I'm hoping I can be finished by the end of the weekend. I can get about 1 chart repeat done a night - 1 and a half if I get home a little early. I was hoping to get to 10 repeats over the weekend, but I decided the superbowl was too high risk to have this around, what with the jumping and the cheering and the food everywhere. So, I started a little side project!

Everyone has been saying what a super quick knit Romi's Gothic Tam is, and they did not lie. The hat consists of 4 charts plus the ribbed brim. I got through 3 of the 4 charts during the game (plus some post-game commentary). I actually attempted to start this hat a while ago but got a case of the stupids regarding the Emily Ocker cast on, despite the fact that I've done it several times before, so I had to go look up a video tutorial for a refresher before I started yesterday. But, once I got going, it was really quite an easy knit and a fairly intuitive pattern - easy to catch your mistakes on. To be honest, it's calling me a bit - I could totally finish this tonight if I tried - but the wedding shawl comes first. You can bet I'll be finishing up this one as soon as I get the chance though.

I'm actually hoping I'll have enough yarn to make two. A dear friend sends me yarn every year for Christmas from a local farm fesitval. I never know what she's going to send and I always love getting it because it's one of a kind. This year she sent me two skeins of undyed alpaca. I'm hoping I can make a hat from each skein, and then I'll have one to keep and one to send back to her. The only snag is, she's not a knitter, and I worry that when I send her back things made from the yarn she gave me, she thinks I don't like it. This year she asked if I was tired of getting yarn. I said, NO PLEASE KEEP SENDING ME YARN PLEASE PLEASE.

As I sit here typing this, I'm remembering that she sent me two pretty hefty skeins of yarn naturally dyed yarn last year too that would make really cute tams...hmmmmm...

How many knitted hats do you think one Texan needs?