a dillydallyknitter: February 2007

Sunday, February 25, 2007

I Survived Stitches West

...But My Wallet Didn't

XRX had a photobooth where you could send a e-postcard home. This is a tired & broke me after a 6-hour class on Saturday:

I had so much fun! I hung out with Ceallach and *LeftCoast Knitter and B, a blogless friend from knitting group. I didn't meet any Knittyheads (that I know of) but there were people there from all over the country. Sadly, they didn't allow photographs from the Market floor so I abandoned my camera in the hotel room and forgot about it and missed my chance to take some group photos.

I took only two classes this time: Toe Up Socks Your Way taught by Merike Saarniit and Fair Isle Knitting taught by Candace Eisner Stick. Both teachers were very knowledgeable and entertaining. I thoroughly enjoyed both classes and walked away with new skills so it was money and time well spent.

Stitches held a 2-hour Market Preview on Thursday night for students & teachers and it's definitely worth going to since so many yarns and tools sell out quickly. Mostly it's a madhouse. Hundreds of knitters walking around with zombie eyes on complete sensory overload.

I'm saving my yarn posts for future YPFs but over the 3 days I was there, I did pick up a few things, like some cute freshwater pearl stitch markers ($8 bucks!)

Some teeny tiny sterling silver markers (great for socks or lace). And modeled by one of the ebony Lantern Moon Sock Stix I picked up to try (they come in a cute little bag):
I also picked up a couple of the new Addi Turbo lace circulars. The tips are sharper so I can't wait to try them. By Saturday these were sold out.

At the Fashion Show banquet on Friday night our table was having a bad luck streak on winning a door prize when suddenly the presenter called out ticket number "5-Oh-9"! It was me! I won a Duo Nocturne hand tooled leather tote bag! It's super huge and I kept getting stopped by knitters who wanted to pet it.
One cool thing about Stitches is meeting all the crafters and teachers who produce the patterns, books and products I lust after. At one point, LCK put me on a NO MORE sock yarn ban which was abandoned when we found the Fleece Artist. So here's my yarn haul:

Black Water Abbey (8 skeins + a pattern)

Fleece Artist

Lisa Souza (She was there!! I ran into the beautiful Nathania who was there with my fav LYS, Purlescence)

Ceallach Dyes (Busy woman: she looked great, is about to start a new & exciting job and was debuting her yarn at Full Thread Ahead's booth!!)

Cookie A. (Cookie was there too with her fabulous sock patterns (the girl needs to write a book) and her stuff pretty much sold out on Thursday night.)

Yarnplace (a local woman who produces gorgeous lace yarn)

Blue Moon Fiber Arts (they had one of the longest lines on Thursday night and people kept coming over to ask us what the fuss was all about. They must not have an internet connection.)

I guess I didn't do too badly. Some woman pull mini carts on wheels to haul their purchases around in. My favorites from last year, Brooks Farm and Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm had beautiful yarns again but I didn't find any in my colors. Now I just need the time to knit up the sweater, 12 pair of socks and shawl that this yarn is intended for!

I also bought 3 books. I'm not sure what crack they put in the water that makes you stand in line and pay full price for books at the Yarn Barn that you can buy cheaper online but it happens. I even renewed my Knitters magazine subscription so I could get a free circular needle tote case.

All in all, I had a great time and can't wait for next year!!


Thursday, February 22, 2007

We Interrupt Our Regularly Scheduled Program...

Hi. Gangsta kitties here. It seems we've been abandoned for a few days while the Maid goes to something called Stitches West.

I'm sure she'll spend our kitty inheritance money on more yarn so stay tuned for future Yarn Pr0n Fridays. In the meantime she asked us to show you this:
Moutain Colors Bearfoot in Juniper. She mumbled something about how they'll be perfect for Socktopia's March theme.

She'll be back in a few days. Meanwhile we're off to rip up the sofa....

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Countdown to Stitches West!

And a Three Sock Update:

Sock One:
Last week I finshed up the 2nd Child's First sock. Hmm, I guess that would make it the Child's Second sock.

Sock Two:
Then I started a pair of socks for my Dad (yet AGAIN). This time it'll be Thuja's in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport. I don't know why but I keep second guessing myself when it comes to making guy sized socks. The sock I made at Christmas was about 2 inches too long and that was after I consulted my oracle of Sensational Knitted Socks, threw the I Ching and cast on and frogged several times.

Sock Three:
Then, worried about not having enough portable projects to carry around at Stitches in case, gourd forbid I stop drooling long enoughto have a down moment, I started a pair of Roza's Socks using the Fyberspates my English SP, Carolyn gave me:

I'm so excited about Stitches and even did my homework. It's for my Fair Isle Knitting class on Saturday. I hope I did it correctly because I have no idea what this is supposed to be. It involved casting on 90 stitches, knitting, placing stitch markers, binding off, stitch holders...

Ok..off to wax my credit card..

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Yarn Pr0n Friday

Schaeffer Anne. So I dashed into Purlescence the other day to pick out a few goodies for the VD swap and couldn't help but notice this lovely beauty hanging off the shelf:

Maybe my imagination gets away with me but if this was yarn as art I'd view this as a lovely English heroine who has collapsed from suffering a tragic loss

But her inner beauty and strength breaks through

And she emerges, stronger and more determined than before

Or maybe it's just a really gorgeous hank of yarn destined bo be Pomatomus socks someday.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Knitty Love!

Ali gave me VD love!
I came home from work today and found a bulging package in my mailbox. Oh wait. That didn't come out right. Anyhoo:

Inside the pretty red gift bag there is a package of heart soaps, heart fizzies, lip balm, chocolate lambs and devil/angel rubber duckies ! And a skein of soft and squishy Collinette Jitterbug sock yarn in the Florentine colourway. It looks like party in a skein.

This needs to be re-photographed in better light because the colors are so much more vibrant IRL:


And even the gansta kitties sent me a Valentine card!

What a great way to end the day. Earlier today my blogless friend K sent me a box of gi-normous cookie sandwiches to work. One of my colleagues described them as "sin in a box"

Thank you lovely ladies! Who needs prince charming with such wonderful friends? (don't answer that)

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Valentine's Day From Cpurl

I tried but could only finish one red sock for Valentine's Day. (The other one is at the heel flap stage so maybe by this weekend).

I'll be spending my Valentine's day doing romantic things like taking my car to the shop and going to my bookclub meeting, so a solo sock is probably fitting.

Pattern: Child’s First Socks Sock
Source: Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Louet Gems Pearl in Red. 2 skeins
Needles: Lantern Moon US 1
Modifications: Worked pattern as written

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

A Valentine for Valkyrie

I was getting the camera out and Mika had to peek in at the action:

Last night I finished up some Monkey socks for my sock swap partner, Valkryie :

This is the first pair of STR that I've actually knit up and I loved working with it! This yarn was so smooth and springy and I had no splits at all but, as you can see, it's very pool-y. I happen to like how it pools and I hope Valkryie does too! These colors are very bright and made me happy while I was knitting them up.

This was also the first pattern I've tried by the much revered Cookie A. and it was very easy to follow and the sock knit up much quicker than I thought it would!

Pattern:Monkey Socks by Cookie A.
Source: Winter 2006 Knitty
Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight: Rhodonite, 1 skein
Needles: Brittany Birch US 1.5
Modifications: Worked pattern as written except for toe decreases (added more rounds to create a rounder toe).

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Lizard's Picnic

Over on the Knit Me A River blog, Sgeddes has been knitting these gorgeous squares for the Lizard Ridge afghan so, when I was in Santa Cruz last week and one of the shops offered us a 15% discount, I couldn't resist stocking up on the Kureyon in hopes of starting my own--

Here's a sneak peek of Valkryie's sock. I'm loving the colors and this is the first sock I've ever knit with STR!

Can you guess the pattern?

Sunday, February 04, 2007

SuperBlog Stalkin' Sunday!

This week's assignment-find 5 things around the house in your favorite color. I didn't even have to leave the kitchen. Wonder if you can guess the color?

Perfect phone for power outages--no electricity required!

Old clock, still on Daylight Saving's Time

Flea market find--"Little _ _ _ Riding Hood"

It's all about the C.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Yarn Shops! Fiber! Friday!

This week I went on a knitting retreat in Santa Cruz with two other women from my knitting group. We spent 2 relaxing days knitting, yarn shop crawing and talking about knitting.

This was the morning view from my room. We enjoyed watching the surfers while eating breakfast. We spent our time there knitting, chatting, eating, sipping red wine and YARN SHOPPING. We went to 6 yarn stores! Here are a few of my favorites:

The Yarn Place in Capitola. This is a little house turned yarn store crammed with yarn. (Lots of Lambs Pride colors Zonda). They had a wide selection of all types of yarn and I finally found some Mountain Colors IRL to play with!

Another one I liked was Golden Fleece in Santa Cruz.
This knitted garment, knit by one of the shop owner's sister (who lives in Poland) was hanging on the wall in the workroom. I'm not sure what yarn she used but it was amazing:
I was wandering around the shop and the shop owner casually said, "If you need me, I'll be in the workroom opening boxes--we just got in a shipment of Malabrigo". And my ears went poink! like a German Shepherd. 8 skeins of burgundy never made it to the store shelves.

Again, I just can't get the right light but if I could describe this yarn, I'd say it was like a glass of deep red wine.

Our last stop was in my old 'hood of Felton. A cute little shop called Luminous Threads. Again, I thought of Zonda because, in addition to a good selection of yarns, she had a space in the back featuring quilting fabrics! The shop owner was very sweet and, while the shop doesn't have the biggest selection, the vibe is very warm and welcoming.

You don't think I came home with just 8 skeins of Malabrigo do ya? I had to exercise restraint (Stitches is this month!) but I did make a few more purchases. I just need to save them for future YPFs!