a dillydallyknitter: March 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Hello Seattle!

Last week I went to visit my sister in Seattle.

And we were so excited.

On Sunday we rode the ferry to Bainbridge Island and I got to visit to Churchmouse Yarns & Teas. It was my first time driving a car onto a ferry boat and it was fun riding over.

They had a display of pretty Fair Isle sweaters in the shop window:

And the shop itself was adorable with friendly staff, eager to help.

Jamieson's Shetland dk wool was on 10% off so I picked out a few colors to (finally) attempt a fair isle tam or gloves.

decisions, decisions

We also went to see Hello Dolly at the historic and gorgeous 5th Avenue Theater in downtown Seattle. According the theater's website the "ornate interior was modeled after three of Imperial China’s architectural achievements: the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heavenly Peace, and the Summer Palace." This is a photo of the ceiling:

admit it, you really came to see ME

this is my good side


Saturday, March 14, 2009

(Somewhat) Silent Sunday

Cary Grant, the man

Cary Grant, the cat

Cary Grant, the sock yarn

Colorway: Cary Grant
Fingering weight, 450 yards

Silent Sunday broken:

OK, this was going to be a somewhat silent Sunday post but I came home after being out all day and logged on and saw that a photo I submitted made it on to the hilarious Cake Wrecks blog so I just HAD to blog about it. I LOVE this website!

The story behind the cake:
Last year, after I arrived home from the 3-Day closing ceremonies, my parents brought over a cake to celebrate my finishing the 60 mile walk. When I opened the cake box and read the Yoda-esque (and misspelled) sentiment I laughed so hard that it almost made me forget how much my feet hurt!

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Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday: Seeing Red

It's been a long week at work and I was to0 tired to make it to Knit Night, but I can prop myself up long enough to finally post my my haul from Stitches.

My very first purchase was a sweater's worth of yarn at the Black Water Abbey booth to make the Swing Coat pattern. It was like the Sisterhood of the Traveling Coat because the display model seemed to fit everyone who tried it on and it looked good on everyone who tried it on.

Black Water Abbey
2-ply Worsted
Colorway: Haw

And the buttons. Because buying buttons for an actual project will mean I'll actually knit it. Actually all four of us bought yarn to make various coats and jackets so maybe they'll hold me too it.

I also managed to fight the mob of crazed knitters and grab a skein of Socks That Rock heavy weight Rare Gems.

I had to. It's rare.

I also treated myself to Ernst glass circular needles. The seller had walked up to Josie while we were waiting for the Market to open and handed her a pair and had her take them for a test knit and we all knit a row and they were so pretty and smooth. Well that, and because LeftCoastknitter bought some and honestly, if she jumped off a cliff I probably would too.

Unfortunately, some woman snapped up the all red ones but I was happy to take these:

The final yarn purchase I'll blame on Josie and Knitpsycho because it's easier to do that than take responsibility for an unplanned yarn purchase. They wanted to "stop by" the Webs booth to check out the Valley Yarns. I normally don't go to the Webs booth because it's usually jammed packed and the line to purchase stuff is so long. So I wandered around while they were taking notes on the Valley yarns and looking through Nora Gaughn pattern books so I was wandering aimlessly through the aisles when I saw it and my heart stood still.


"Gee, thanks Mika, do you mind? I'm trying to photograph some yarn here."

The first time I saw madelinetosh in the wild was at the Skein lane retreat last year when I saw purlsjustwannahavefun knitting on her February Lady. It was love at first feel. I wanted to grab the sweater and run but she's so nice.

They had it in red. A whole sweaters worth and add on top the Webs discount and I weakened.

100% superwash wool
colorway: Vermillion

Can you blame me?

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Saturday, March 07, 2009

Sweet Saturday

My sister often taunts me with photographs of yummy cupcakes she gets at her LCS (local cupcake store) so today I get to return the favor. This one's for you Casey!

A few days before Stitches, I actually finished a knitted object that wasn't a dishcloth. It's the Gathered Scarf knit out of a skein of A Verb For Keeping Warm Alpaca Silk yarn that I bought at Lambtown last year:

Pattern: Gathered Scarf
Yarn: A Verb for Keeping Warm Alpaca Silk 70% baby alpaca 30% silk
Needles: Size 7 & size 4 needles

The yarn feels good against my skin and I love wearing it. One skein was the perfect amount to make one long scarf:

It's the simplest of patterns but I liked knitting it so much that I bought some kidsilk haze at the Purlesence booth at Stitches in a dark teal shade to knit a second one.

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Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stitches '09, Part II

I took a couple of classes at Stitches this year. *LeftCoastKnits suggested the first one -- "Backyard Birds", a needle felting class taught by Sharon Costello. I was skeptical at first but I should have known better than to be skeptical of a class that LCK would suggest because it was SO much fun!

Here LCK is sewing the bead eyes onto my bird for me because my eyeball sewing skillz are not so great:

I made a chickadee (or attempted to) and LCK made an adorable Blue Bird. Christmas ornaments anyone?

Then on Saturday we learned that:

毛糸 = wool
編む = knitting
棒針 = knitting needle
ゲージ= gauge

in an all day class called "Understanding Japanese Knitting Patterns" taught by Gayle Roehm. The class was both interesting and informative and we both left feeling inspired. I'm not sure I'm ready to attempt a complicated Aran but I'd like to try something basic, like a simple cardigan or hat.

Actually, LCK didn't need the class--she was wearing a hand crochet and knit cardigan that she made out of cashmere from a Japanese knitting pattern! I was with her all day and neglected to take a decent photograph of her so will have stalk her with my camera. Here we are at the Saturday night Student Banquet.

Josie, KnittingPsycho,Beadknit and LCK.

And here she is modeling it at the Student Fashion show with commentary by the colorful and flamboyant Rick Mondragon, editor of Knitters magazine:

Since it's WIP Wednesday, here's a shocker: I'm actually using yarn I acquired at Stitches to make a sweater. The pattern has become so ubiquitous that I won't even mention the name but there were many pretty versions at Stitches, including Irishgirlieknits. Josie and Knitpsycho and Beadknit are going to make one too.

Below is the gauge swatch in Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Heavyweight in the Jasper colorway:

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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Stitches '09!! Part I

We Came, We Saw, and we spent far more than we should have but, most of all we had a great time!

Knittingpsycho,Snicklefritz and Josie

While there seems to have been a few less vendors this year compared to year's past, the recession appears to have no impact on the enthusiasm of knitters attending this year's Stitches West. One of the most notable NEW vendors this year (IMHO) was run by our very own local gal, Snicklefritz Yarns!!

Not only was this her first year as a vendor, it was her first Stitches, ever!! She did a fabulous job and, at our after show meet up in the hotel lounge, she reported her first day sales were great.

She had spent the weeks leading up to Stitches dying up a storm and payoff was a booth full of gorgeous yarn, including the now infamous "Gnome Running Through the Forest" colorway.

Sock yarns at the ready

Even the drab fluorescent convention center lighting, can't hide the lovely colors

She was very kind and left Vendor badges up front for us so we got to preview the Market Preview. It was pretty cool to be in there while the vendor were setting up their displays and the ''calm before the storm' air of excitement was in the air. Being able to scope out the booths while it was quiet and uncrowded was a tremendous perk.

One of first booths we checked out was Blue Moon Fiber Arts where we ran into the most famous consumer (and now seller!) of BMFA, Irishgirlieknits!
Irishgirlieknits and Josie

This was Josie's first booth and it took her about about .01 to get to the BMFA booth, and even less time to scoop up an armful of their gorgeous yarn. In fact four of us bought enough heavyweight to make our own February Lady Sweaters. I still need to photograph my haul (as soon as the drool dries off one of my skein of rare gems) and show you what I got.

It's a good thing that we got there when we did, because, and I'm not exaggerating, in less than 5 minutes, the place looked like this:

I have no idea how Carrie held up over 4 days of this, but we saw her on Saturday night and she was still beaming. Probably because the person on the left in the photo below came in the next day--Disco!

Disco, Irishgirlieknits, me, and *Leftcoastknits

I think my only regret is that there just isn't enough time to spend with all the wonderful people you see at Stitches. It's like a homecoming every year and the parade of incredible knitwear you see all around the convention center and in the hotel is a real treat.