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Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

yarn bumblebee acres farm corriedale sock yarn

The Skipper’s sock yarns are on the way. In the meantime my little treats for myself have arrived.

These little darlings are from Bumble Bee Acres Fiber and are Corriedale wool.

I’ve always wanted to try Corriedale. It has a nice long staple, it’s suppose to be a bit more sturdy than merino, and it is still relatively soft—though not as soft as merino.

The Corriedale breed is the oldest. It is a cross between Lincoln and Merino breeds.

When they arrived, Yarn Rascal was bemused by them. Before they were out of the package he knew it wasn’t his merino, or merino with cashmere, or Shetland yarn. He sniffed them all over. Poked them with his nose, this is the real acid test of whether he likes a yarn or not, and then stepped back from them and looked at me as much to say “What the heck did you buy?” I explained Corriedale to him, emphasizing that merino was one of the breeds that made up the yarn. He was having none of it.

When I put them away in the Yarn Vault I put them in the bin with the straight merino wool. Yarn Rascal, who is nocturnal, plays in the Yarn Vault and the bins all night long. When I awoke the next morning I saw the three Corriedales deposited in the hallway, far away from the merino yarns he had been playing with during the night. I picked everything up, as usual, and put them all back in the same bin. At that point I didn’t realize Yarn Rascal was sending me a message about the way he felt about the Corriedales.

Next night Yarn Rascal was in the Yarn Vault again. In the morning I found the Corriedales left on the stairs going from the hallway to the living room. Still being dense, I picked everything up, put them in the same bin with the merino and back into the Vault.

The following night Yarn Rascal was clearly busy and unhappy in the Yarn Vault. There was much moving around of bins, little yips and grunts and a lot of running up and down the stairs. In the morning I found the Corriedales partially buried under the fleece blanket draped over the sofa. I got the message: he wanted the Corriedales to have their own separate bin away from his precious merino.

That night I put the Corriedales in their own bin. Yarn Rascal spent an evening of bliss in the Yarn Vault, ending with him rocking himself to sleep in the rocking chair with his merino wool around him. He never touched the Corriedale bin.

Not to worry Yarn Rascal! The Skipper’s yarns that are due to arrive are pure merino. Who knew a dog could be this fussy about yarn?

By the way, the colorways in the picture above from left to right are: Luncheon In London, Ladies Tea, and Winterberry in Coquette Sock.

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What a difference a few weeks of temperatures of below 0 F / -17 C have had on The Skipper’s opinion of my yarn stash.

The man is a warm weather person. The hotter it is the more he likes it. 70 F / 21 C is what he considers cool. On the other hand, hot starts at those temps for me. I truly enjoy the cold, cold weather of winter.

So in the middle of the cold, cold spell he asked for some new socks. The man’s feet eat socks at a fast rate. Yarn Rascal and I went to the yarn vault and looked over what we had. The only yarn that seems to have endurance with the rough treatment The Skipper gives his socks is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. Yarn Rascal picked out a nice deep blue/black from the left overs in the Shepherd Sock horde. I’m pretty sure the name of the colorway is Peacock. I didn’t have enough to make two socks without inserting a contrasting yarn for the heel flap, heel and toe.

The contrasting yarn is Miss Babs Yummy 2 ply in Oyster.

knitted sock lorna laces yarn

No sooner did they come off the needles than The Skipper whipped them onto his feet. I wanted to block them to allow the stitches and the fiber to relax. But no, he couldn’t wait.

He’s asked me for no less than four more pairs of socks. Preferably in colors that match new turtlenecks he bought. I told him I didn’t have those colors in my stash and that I would need to order them. “Order as much as you like” was his comment! Yarn Rascal and I just gaped at him. After all, this was the man who just a few months ago complained that the stash was too big and I should think of selling some of it off.

I’d like to thank winter for restoring the man to sanity.

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What I Am Knitting

First, it’s wonderfully cold here. 19 F / -7 C. With the wind chill it is 6 F / -14 C. I love the way it makes my bare skin sting. I am probably alone in this appreciation, but it is so much better than hot and humid. I’m sure I was a penguin in another life.

The other day The Skipper came out of his man cave to show me a pair of socks I had knit for him a few years ago. He was shy at first. Holding the pair up and looking like a six year old boy who did something really bad. At first I didn’t recognize what he was holding. Then I looked closer and realized it was socks.

“What did you do to them”, I asked. They were so misshapen and large, too large even for the Jolly Green Giant.

“They were always a bit large”, he said. To which I pulled out my laptop, booted it up, and showed him the pictures of the perfect fitting socks when they were first made and on his feet. “No they weren’t”, I said.

He looked chastened.

“I’ll have to look in the stash for some yarn,” I said, remembering all the complaints he had about the size of my stash. “Maybe Yarn Rascal and I can find something.”

It was at that moment I realized that I now thought of the stash as “ours”: mine and Yarn Rascal’s. It felt right. After all, Yarn Rascal is in the stash every night, making sure everything gets rotated.

Yarn Rascal came up with a dark, dark blue partially used skein of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock. Of the various sock yarns I’ve tried with The Skipper, Shepherd Sock holds up the best to the beating he gives them. The Skipper’s feet are rather large. I only used about 100 yards of the skein for a hat project which roughly leaves me with 300 yards. I wonder if it will be enough to make a pair of sock for him.

So I have interrupted knitting the scarf I was so enjoying to play yarn chicken while knitting a pair of socks. If my luck goes as it usually does, I’ll get one complete sock and two-thirds of the second done then run out of yarn. The yarn was bought years ago. I think the colorway was Peacock. I don’t know if they still produce the colorway or not. If they do the chances of it matching unobtrusively are minimal. I have that feeling this is a doomed project, which makes knitting on it less than enjoyable. Additionally, I like working toe-up socks, but The Skipper’s need to be worked cuff down because he needs the heel flap and gusset for it to fit him properly. Yes, I can knit a toe-up sock with gusset and heel flap, but for some reason it doesn’t fit as well as the cuff down.

If this works I hope The Skipper will show the proper appreciating for the stash in the future. I don’t ask him to love it the way Yarn Rascal and I do, but I would like him to realize it’s importance. Especially now that so much yarn is on sale everywhere and there will be packages and packages of yarn arriving in the mail for the New Year.

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and peaceful New Year.

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Yarn Rascal has been heavily into rearranging things in the Yarn Vault of late. He seems to be doing it by grouping like colors. I know what they say that dogs “can’t see color” but I don’t think that is true. Every dog I’ve had knew colors. The other night Yarn Rascal was into the browns and russets. I don’t have a lot of these particular colors but he managed to separate the few I have from the rest of the herd.

One particular skein he pulled out was Jill Draper’s sock yarn in Violin. It’s a lovely russet and it has a touch of cashmere in it. I used to stock up on Jill Draper sock yarn, but since she’s changed her base the colorways don’t seem as vibrant and clear. Needless to say what little I have left of Jill Draper I absolutely cherish and would only use if the pattern perfectly matched the yarn.

Well I did find a sock pattern on Ravelry that was just made to be paired with the Violin colorway. It was in the Free Pattern Testers and I almost applied to be a tester except that I have such difficulty getting 8 stitches per inch. I usually modify sock patterns that catch my eye to fit my usual gauge of 7 stitches per inch. I didn’t want to modify a test.

Last night I went on Ravelry thinking I would ask the designer to earburn me when the pattern was up for sale. No matter where I looked I couldn’t find the pattern. I thought the deadline of the test was early December, but I couldn’t find it. Naturally I don’t remember the name of the pattern but I tried all kinds of tag words that might call up the pattern. Nada. I even scoured the closed tests and came up with nothing.

I’m a wee bit disappointed because the forever shawl looks like it’s going to be complete this weekend, providing the knitting gods don’t get involved, and I wanted some small project to transition to. For now the Jill Draper stays in the yarn vault as one of those precious museum skeins.

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Just when you think everything has been said or written about yarn and its relationship to a knitter or crocheter another issue pops up. This weekend I came to the conclusion that there needs to be a book of etiquette for non yarn lovers. A little tome on what not to say and how not to act in the presence of the yarn lover’s stash no matter how big the stash nor the number of rooms it appears in. For the yarnaholic, that stash represents a life time of many hours of thought and searching to acquire just the right yarn, weight, color, and composition. The stash is symbolic of possibilities, aspirations, safety and security, not to mention sanity. Every skein, cake, ball of yarn has a story behind it and a future of endless promise.

When in the presence of a yarnaholic and her stash do not glance about and say “Look at all this yarn. What are you going to do with it?” The answer is use it of course, but maybe not right away. It stands between me and the abyss of nothingness. As long as I have yarn I have hope. For if all else fails I still can knit and create. Should the apocalypse come I’m going to be the one with the socks, shawls, hats, gloves and sweaters and the ability to make more. What will you be wearing?

Another comment the non yarn lover needs to avoid is “Why don’t you sell some of this stuff. Do you know how much money you could have?” The answer is if you think the stash is pricey you haven’t been acquainted with the cost of owning and running a sheep farm with five alpacas and cashmere goats and angora rabbits. As far as selling any of it I would no more consider doing that than I would selling my dog or nephews.

Despite The Skippers attacks on the yarn stash this arrived this weekend much to the delight of Yarn Rascal and myself.

Twisted Fiber Art Yarn in Muse in the colorway called Mirage. Composition is merino wool with a hint of cashmere. I bought it with cashmere because Yarn Rascal so does love a good merino cashmere mix and he helped pick it out. What am I going to do with it? Appreciate it for awhile and then work it up into a scarf.

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Knitting Inspiration

As I’ve said, I’ve been in a bit of a rut looking for knitting inspiration. I like projects where I learn new techniques. Lately, I’ve been taken with using multi-colored yarn in ways that break up the usual stripes. Here are three projects that have caught my interest.

I actually purchased some yarn for this particular scarf and am looking forward to trying it out.

This is not a knit. It is a technique called slip slope crochet. It’s been a long while since I’ve picked up a crochet hook, but I can’t resist how well the technique manipulates the yarn. It is the crochet version of short-row knitting.

This is a stitch design by Svetlana Gordon. If your not familiar with her work check out her projects. They are mind-blowing.

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Finished Socks

I’ve had this summer cold for a little over a week now. Just when it seems to be getting better I get hit with it all over again. Nevertheless, I took some shots of the two pairs of socks I’ve finished.

knit socks broken garter rib

These are made from Zen Yarn Garden yarn. Thanks to Yarn Rascal for eating the skein band so I can’t tell you the colorway, but I can say that it is the merino cashmere blend. The pattern is my own and can be knit toe up or cuff down. The pattern is a simple broken garter stitch rib. Round 1: Knit. Round 2: K, p. Alternate the two rounds add your favorite heel and toes and you’ve got the socks.

knit socks roman road

These are also a simple pattern called Roman Road. Round 1- 4: Knit. Round 5: K1, p1. Round 6: P1, k1. Repeat from round 1 and you have the pattern. Along with using your favorite toe and heel this pattern works for both toe-up or cuff down socks.

knit socks roman road cu

Right now I don’t have socks on any needles and it feels like I am tempting fate a bit. I like to keep a travel project or two in the works for those emergency room and/or hospital stays. The large short-row shawl is taking all my knitting time. The shawl is in no way a travel project, but I am reluctant to put it down to start such a project for fear that I might have a moment of sanity in my life and never pick up and finish the shawl. But the anxiety of waiting for the axe to drop, so to speak, is starting to get to me.

Before I forget, the socks above were made with Dream In Color Smooshy in the Lapis Lazuli colorway. Yarn Rascal just happened to leave this yarn band intact.

 

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