Where things went a little warped…

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I realize that this post is very late, there were really good intentions on getting more blog posts up when I was off for spring break last week.  But things just happened and I think that I just needed some time to recover and get my brain back to a solid state.  The amount of time i was spending doing school, work, homework, studying, etc was turning my brain to a warm brain like soup.  No it was still contained in my head thankfully, but I just needed something to get it back to a more solid state and make me less of a brain dead zombie.

You may be wondering about the title of this post, yes I am also making a weaving reference.  I dug out the cheap rigid heddle loom out of the closet, got the two rigid heddle classes on Craftsy on sale and decided that I was going to learn to weave.  The 5 project rule will apply for it, if I complete 5 projects and keep going then I’m allowed to upgrade the loom to maybe a table loom, or getting a wider loom (which this one is about 21″ and so that’s still pretty good).  I have fallen for weaving, I’ve always had this fascination with the look and feel of woven fabric but I never knew  would like weaving so much.  The loom was warped for the first time with me and promptly produced a scarf in two colors of Shepard’s Wool.  Right after another scarf warped on with Cascade Herritage sock and the weft is Amitola, in a rainbow color way which makes me very happy.  There are plans to make some hand towels on it in the near future, use some handspun yarn on it too, the possibilities are endless.  Once this scarf is done then only 3 projects to go and I’ll be able to upgrade my equipment.  We will have to see if that will actually happen due to all the time constrains right now.  For those who are wondering, yes finished woven projects will count towards a finished object and yardage, which I think is still very fair.

The social pressure experiment is working very well, even with lots of temptation.  I would go into my LYS for knit day/night and I would look around and see wonderful yarns, yarns I would love to work with.  For example SweetGeorgia DK in this lovely Emerald Green that would be perfect for a cardigan, but I would have to give up 4200 yards, nope.  Madelinetosh Dandelion in Tart, would have to give up 2500 yards, I have plenty of Tosh in stash. Or oh look at all of this summer yarn that would be perfect for summer knits and you should get some so you can make something for the warm weather that will be here sooner then you realize.  Well I have some in stash I haven’t used so I’ll wait.

I did finish the second SharkTooth out of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Forestry.  I had a error while working on this with my limited brain functionality (I think that when I was reading the directions my brain just said keep working as such, autopilot is now enabled) but it doesn’t look bad at all.  I’m still quite pleased with it, but this one is also for my mom.  I think that I will have to make just one more for me, but out of the color the pattern calls for, since there are 2 skeins of it in my stash.

Finally the Little Wave Cardigan is done being knit, it’s blocked, ends for the most part are woven in, and all that needs doing is sewing the second pocket, and adding the buttons.  First I have to find some buttons for it, there wasn’t anything at the LYS that really made me want to buy and sew them on right away.  Well to be fair I’m not that much of a fan of sewing to begin with and the idea of sewing in buttons sounds just as fun as watching paint dry, but I love cardigans.  Dilemma?  Why yes I do have one, I know I’ll get buttons and put them in, just in time for summer…  Once it turns fall again you know it will come out and be worn for all of the 5 seconds that I can actually wear long sleeves.  For those of you who don’t, I run at a warmer body temperature so I can’t really wear long sleeves or pants that often.  Most of the time it’s short sleeves and shorts and that is very comfortable for me.  It’s insane that I knit these sweaters and other wool things for myself, but someday I’ll be somewhere colder where I can actually appreciate my handy work.  For now they’re just admired and kept waiting for that time when they’re needed.

The newest thing that is on the needles is a nymphalidea. I wasn’t sure if I was going to start one in the near future but once I saw two of my knitting friends work on and finish theirs I was hooked. According to the social pressure experiment I had to stash dive. I knew I wanted to use the Crazy Zauberball in the color 1702 kleiner fuchs. It is such a fun color, bright, and makes me happy every time it see it and work with it. For he contrast I tried one yarn and I wasn’t happy. I ripped it out and pulled out a different skein, Madelinetosh Merino Light in what we believe to be Stovepipe. This made it way better, I’m so happy with it so far. Every time I get a few minutes to work on it, it makes me so happy.

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And with this rainy weather you know that I should be wearing that little wave cardigan, except it needs those buttons and slight sewing. Oh well, it’ll be ready for the next time. Buttons….

Enter the mad hatter

No I am not making hats and having fun with mercury, that is completely not what I’m talking about. I’m going to refer mad hatting as the fact that I will be working on the social pressure experiment, but not only that I will be still knitting through the book Knit. Sock. Love. by Cookie A.  So let’s talk about the social pressure experiment, I was debating if I really wanted to do it, since it would be slightly difficult. However the benefits of doing it, I think, would outweigh any of the short term negative effects that might come along. (And this was supposed to go out a few days ago, but life got in the way.)

The rules (modified for me)
- I will not be purchasing any new yarn or fiber for about a year
- If I finish a project, I’m allowed to purchase 1/2 of the quantity finished in a similar yarn weight, yardage, etc
- If I don’t complete a project and I buy anything new I have to give up double of an equivalent from stash
- If I have a design that needs yarn, I have to complete a design from yarn that is in stash already
- Some events will be grandfathered in that they will not count towards these rules stated above (Monterey Wool Auction for me might be grandfathered in)

So a benefit for the readers is that I could be putting out a lot more patterns because I have to finish them before I can get more yarn for a design. Which I have one that is almost ready for testing, but I have to finish it. Especially because I have a really good idea for a series but I have to get yarn for it.

Also I have been bitten hard by the weaving bug. I bought a older loom a year or 2 ago on ebay, I have not actually really used it or learned the techniques to use it. I did see a sale on craftsy and I saw that the weaving classes were included, so I went ahead and bought the 2 rigid headle classes and watched the first and half of the second. I’m so excited to put the loom back together and actually bust through some stash and have some lovely hand woven stuff. Which I have already had a special love for nicely woven items. For some reason weaving towels, scarves, among other things get me really itching to pick up the loom. There is just something about weaving that makes me really excited. I want to use my handspun in some hand weaving, which just tickles my fancy. I think that I will have to start weaving very soon.

I did finish another Shark Tooth for my mom, but I did have a brainless time while knitting it. I’ll show you when it’s blocked.

Forgotten Gems

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It’s impossible to remember everything that we have, purchased, gifted, gotten, etc, there is no way for us to remember everything. Knowing this, while cleaning today I went deep into the stash and found some yarn and fiber I completely forgot about.  Now I knew my stash was getting pretty big, but I had no idea that it was as big as it was. It’s kind of like in the last 2-3 years my stash was the plant from Little Shop of Horrors (if you don’t know the reference at all you need to go see it, even though live is better a movie would do too). 

A rough estimate is that I have enough yarn to keep me knitting at the rate I’m going for the next 5 or so years.  That kind of scares me, I didn’t realize it had grown to the epic proportions that it is currently at. Don’t get me wrong at all, I really do like all of the yarn that I have (there is some that I might need to get rid of just because I don’t knit with that kind of yarn anymore) but for the most part I like my stash. I have a lot of nice commercial, but primarily hand dyed yarns in stash. But since I live in California and space is at a premium in the area that I live in, but not only that I would like to be able to use what I have and enjoy what I have. On a side note I have no idea what is going on with our weather, but yesterday it was 79 degrees, and today its not that warm compared.

What I’m thinking of doing might sound a little drastic and somewhat familiar if any of you listen to the KnitMore Girls Podcast, if you don’t I would define toy give them a listen because the mother daughter duo is fanstastic, not to mention they are extremely nice on air and in person. But what I’m going to do is know to them as the Social Pressure Experiment, I’m going to add my own twist to it though. If you are not familiar with what the SPE is, it’s basically a way to get you to use what you have in stash and and enjoy what you have. But not only that but to get you to really think about buying anything, evaluating if you actually need it, and such. I know I have other things I will be needing to get in the future and yarn right now is at a very good level I can knit only from stash. What I will be doing to modify this experiment is that, with the KnitMore SPE if you bought anything you would have to give up something of equivalent yardage or weight. But I think for me that is not enough, what I’m going to do is that I will be doing it as follows:

- if I buy yarn I have to give up double the yardage from my stash, or double of the equivalent (for example if I buy 2 skeins of Madelinetosh sock, I have to give up either 2 skeins of the same yarn from stash or about 770-800 yards of yarn)
- spinning fiber too
- if I complete projects with yarn from stash I can buy new yarn, but only 1/2 of the yardage of what was completed
- same with spinning fiber

This is not meant to be sadistic, though some would argue that that’s what I’m doing, it’s not. I want to use what I have and actually work on some of the design I have yarn for, but get forgotten or buried. I know I have a lot of designs that are waiting to have their shinning moment they come to life and if I keep getting more and more yarn I’m not going to knit them. That and I have some pretty nice yarn and fiber that I really need to work with.

I’m wondering though, I have a design idea that I really like the idea and I’m wondering if I have the right color of yarn in the right quantity, should that count towards the same rule? Maybe if I have a special rule for designs that have a firm design ready and just need to be cast on and knit. And if I don’t complete it within 3 months of purchasing the yarn then I have to follow the standard rule?

Who thinks I’m a little nuts? Is there anyone who wants to do this too? I’m going to think this over for a few days and really think about doing it. Hopefully I’ll finish this cardigan finally so I can “wear” it in the nice 70 degree weather we are having this week. But it’s going to need buttons soon, so that might be next to purchase. After that I think some new designs will be worked on.

Letting the dust settle

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I should preface this entire post, it should have gone up sooner then it is.  However getting pictures at night without proper lighting and not having enough natural light with all of the rainy and cloudy weather we had, made it difficult.  I processed some of the pictures, got them ready for the post and today there was a small window of light, so I grabbed the camera, tripod, and set up.  I am much happier with the results.

The Olympics are over, to be honest I didn’t watch any of it.  I know I should have watched at least a little bit of it, but honestly I didn’t have that much time to do much of anything fun.  My Ravellenic project was a failure, nothing wrong with the project, it was all me. I had a fall on my triple axel while trying to do so many time consuming things all at once.  I was able to make some more progress by knitting while taking public transit to and from school, but not enough.  I was able to complete the body up to the underarms getting ready to knit the sleeves and attach them to complete the body.  I started the first sleeve last monday, got it up to the underarm on thursday.  I proceeded with the next sleeve that I started on thursday, finished friday.  From then till now I attached the sleeves to the body and have knitted the in all one piece sleeve caps.  Currently I’m working on the sleeve decreases.  I am worrying now if I will have enough yarn.  I wound up the last two balls last night, not sure if I’ll have enough for collar and pockets, but I guess I’ll just have to see.

Warning, this next section is filled with lots of fiber and yarn photography due to a Stitches West recap, you have been warned.

On Friday, 2-20-14, I got to spend the day at Stitches West and I had such a good time. I got there before the market opened, making sure I could get in and get everything that I wanted for me and for a friend I was buying for who couldn’t go. I had everything mapped put, where to go first and how to proceed after that. The strategy that I followed seemed to work very well. I knew I had to hit Cephalopod  first and I picked up 2 lovely skeins of Skinny Bugga in colors Rose Weevil and Flash Art Butterfly:

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She is an amazing dyer, but also super fun to be around, I enjoyed talking to her, the little bit that I did.  I think that these two skeins will be a design or two, I’m not sure yet, but I think it’ll be so soft and pretty once it’s done.

Then I dashed over to Canon Hand Dyes and picked up 2 skeins of her self striping sock yarn with matching heels and toe skeins, in color ways Days of Wine and Roses, and “We’re all mad here”:

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Amy is so sweet, I got to chat with her at Stitches and at Interweave Knit Lab last year.  Her yarns are well worth the price, they are stunning.  I think she sold out faster then she anticipated.

Abstract Fiber was next on the list, not just for her gorgeous yarns and fibers, but to see Drogue again. I was very pleased how it came out in Alto. And I picked up 3 skeins of her SuperSock (colorways: Chartreuse, huckleberry, Knitmore)  and 2, 4oz of fiber (mixed merino and silk base, colorways: Laurelhurst, Shady Glade):

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Susan is amazing, her colors are always gorgeous, her yarn and fiber is always great, and she is so much fun to be around.  Hopefully I’ll be able to design more with her yarn in the future.

A friend of mine knit a pair of socks with Shalimar Yarns in the base Breathless and it truly takes your breath away with how soft it is. I knew as soon as I saw them on the vender list I had to go get a skein and a skein I got.  I got to her booth and was looking at all of her colors, but I didn’t see the 4-Leaf Clover kind of color I was thinking of getting.  But I did get a gorgeous skein of her Breathless (it’s so soft it does take your breath away) in color Sprout:

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Miss Babs is a must, I didn’t even look at the fiber (I still have those 3 from December), I found 3 skeins of sock yarn that I fell in love with. Of course they are all Babettes.  I can blame my friend I was buying for since she couldn’t be there (she specifically requested Zombie Prom) and I had to get one of the same colors.  I picked up 2 skeins in Cosmic, colorways Zombie Reunion and Bat***Crazy, and one skein in Yummy, colorway Zombie Prom (I couldn’t resist getting one for me too).

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I always go to Lisa Souza’s booth every year and get something, her yarns and fibers are well dyed, extremely well priced, and her and her husband are super sweet. It’s a tradition of mine to go by her booth and pick up something.  I picked up 2 skeins of her Hardtwist Petite in Amazonia and Portsmouth (I think I’ll send one of these to my friend, even though I want to keep both), and a braid of her Zen Top (Merino, Tussah Silk, and Bamboo) in colorway Flahriduh.

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In November I was introduced to Greenwood Fiber and promptly followed them on Etsy. She is extremely sweet, very nice, and she has amazing fibers. We chatted for a minute about spinning and she had her Hansen Crafts e-spinner with her, I was in awe and slight bit jealous.   I couldn’t pass on the sock fiber, so I picked up 3, 4oz braids in  Cider House, Shades of Turquoise, and Earthen Hues.

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Redfish is something to not pass on, the owners are so nice and funny, not to mention their yarns and fibers are beautiful. There is just something that she does to her yarn and fiber that make it glow and shine, it’s hard to describe.  Last year I didn’t see that they had fiber for sale, so this year I made sure to get myself at least one braid from them. I came home with 2 braids.  One in her Merino, Yarn, and Silk base in Earth Tones, and one in Silk and Superfine Merino, in a color that can only be described as Emerald City.  If you’re not sure of the reference then you need to promptly watch Wizard of Oz and then find a showing of Wicked.  The silk and merino just shines brilliantly, I really want to spin this next.

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At this point it was time to take a break, sit down, and eat something. I got to spend lunch with Bear-Ears, the talented designer behind Cellestarium and Lit Knits.

After lunch I was trying to be good, I had already gotten more then I anticipated getting. I was very happy with everything that I had purchased. I knew that there was going to be a lot of amazing things tempting me but I was resolute in being strong. I saw some really amazing merino fiber in this vibrant, neon green, but I resisted. Then my downfall was near, Verdant Griffin, I knew I liked her stuff, I knew it would be hard to resisit. I tried for a solid 5 minutes to not buy anything, but when Bear-Ears went outside the booth to talk to a fan and I was left alone with the last skein of a color, I knew I was doomed. I had to find a second color in order to get it, since I knew it was going to have to be a design of mine. The color was just too good to pass up and then I found a match for it, I was doomed.  In her base of Eidos, colorways Anubus and Epistemen.

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I went back to the neon fiber and got that.  It’s from Shaky K Fibers in some Superfine merino, color Electric Green.

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I kept walking around not trying not to purchase anything else. I fell once more time, this time at Dyed in the Wool. I saw some of their yarn through Bear-Ears again with her pattern she did for them. I knew it was gorgeous, I knew I would like it, I was being good. Until I found a color that reminded me of a yarn color I really liked that I used up and couldn’t get anymore. It is the color of Persian rugs, so stunning.  The color is Shades of Earth, I want to design something with these, but not sure what just yet.

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Once I laid all of the yarn and fiber I purchased on my LYS’s table I knew I went a little nuts. I would have to start knitting up a storm and reorganize the stash to get any of it to fit. I’m not sorry I got all of it because all of it is lovely, I just wish I was a little more restrained. But you know what, I have lots of new yarn for lots of new designs, so I’m OK with that. And how could I pass up on some of them, like Zombie Prom or Bat***crazy, the Verdant griffin, the list goes on and on. I’m not sure what the next design will be, but I think it will be something from stitches.

Speaking of designs I have one that I just need to finish the designing of the border, write up, test knit, and find a model that can rock this vibrant orange I chose.  More to come on that.

Time for rain

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I have this whole blog post that is just needing good photos to make it ready for publishing.

In the mean time I’ll give you a quick post about what is going on.  No I did not complete my Ravellenic project in time, I’m OK with that.  I started a sleeve on Monday and this morning I have it almost done, it’s just about at the underarm. I just need to measure it again.

Spinning wise I finally got the entire bit of the Sweet Georgia BFL and silk and it’s gorgeous. I’m very happy with how it came out with Navajo ply.  It’s about 390 yards of fine fingering weight. I’ll take pictures along with the other photos that need to be taken.

The next post will me about my time at Stitches West last friday, so stay tuned for that.

Finally, it’s raining here where I live in California and it’s glorious.  This is my favorite kind of weather, where the sky is grey,  it’s rainy and windy.  I think it’s perfect because it is perfect knitting weather, bundling up with knitwear and a nice cup of the hot beverage of your choosing. I’m really looking forward to getting hone, listen to the rain on my window, and sip on a cup of tea, or maybe something stiffer. 

Waving the white flag

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I think it is safe to say I will not finish my cardigan in time for the ravollinic games. I would have been a lot further along if I was going to even make it. But right now I only have the bottom part of the body, almost to the underarms. It’s that pesky thing about time that keeps it from progressing more then it has. I wanted this done before stitches so I could wear it. I have to admit defeat on this one and just keep going on it until I can get it done. I’m trying to use what little time I have to knit on it and so far it helps, but not enough. In years previous I was able to complete everything because I had enough solid time in order to knit and right now I just don’t have it.  I wave the white flag for mercy.

The Sweet Georgia fiber has been partially plied as well for at least a week now.  I love how it is coming out, but it’s again that time thing. I did want to complete it before the next shipment came in so that I could feel accomplished. However yesterday I had a small package show up at my doorstep and inside was this month’s shipment of fiber. Now I knew that with a club you don’t know what you’re going to get at all, which I knew I wasn’t going to like all of the shipments. This one I really like the base because it is one that I really wanted to try, but I wish that it was superwash, that is not a big deal though. The color is one that I wouldn’t have chosen ever for myself. It’s not a bad color at all, I will spin with it as soon as I have the time, but I think this will be a spin and release, which means I’ll give or sell it to whomever wants it at the end. It’s a merino, silk, and bamboo blend, which I think will be so much fun to spin.

Tomorrow is the first day of Stitches West 2014, if you are attending and will be there tomorrow come and say hi to me if you see me.  I will be wearing the Madelinetosh Drogue and the Abstract Fiber Drogue will be in Abstract Fiber’s Booth 1039.  I will be there from opening till sometime in the afternoon on Friday.  I might come in on Sunday, but check here or on the Tyger Knits Form on Ravelry.

Drogue will be having a $2 off promotion for stitches, starting tomorrow and going for at least till Sunday.  I’ll keep you posted on the end date.

Double digits

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Time is something that I wish I could have a lot more of. If there were days of the week that had 36 hours in it I would be able to get so much more done. Especially on days that I have a full schedule then I would actually have time to do other things other then the important I have to do things. In between all of the obligations I just can’t do it all, something has to give. Unfortunately that is my knitting time which is piddly at this point. I try to knit in the morning with my morning cup of mandatory coffee. It’s only mandatory because I need it to function at least in a very basic capacity. Besides the knitting in the morning and a little bit on public transit on the way to school, that’s all. When I get home late at night I’m exhausted to the point I can’t get my hands to do anything but lay dormant, waiting for more energy and less tired.

I did get into the double digits on the body of my cardigan. I have about 2-3 more inches until I cast on the sleeves and then attach them to the body and knit the collar. I might be able to start a sleeve today, if I can read/study while knitting in pattern on the body. I wish I could sleep and knit, would make for a lot of production knitting, but that is only a fantasy.

I will say though, with all of this weird weathers e have been having here, there have been some fantastic sunsets.

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I have about 5 days to complete this cardigan? That’s completely doable right?

Slow out of the gate

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I knew that taking on knitting a full cardigan within 2 weeks would be difficult with everything that is going on, but I didn’t know how crazy I was. If years prior i was able to have a small chunk of time dedicated everyday to knit up a storm. Right now I’m in school, taking the most credits I ever have, trying to power through the last few semesters I have left. On top of that I work part time, sometimes right after school. With work on weekends and all the homework, my knitting time has been far and few between. I diligently swatched before the start time, got gauge (did a happy dance after two failed gauges), wound my yarn, and was all set. Last Friday I had ever intention to get further then I did, well that could be said about everyday since then as well.

It’s interesting what things win when your time is limited. Homework had to be done, it’s not going to do itself (I wish there was an app for that, a robot, or something, and at the end what was learned was out into my brain). Laundry still had to be done along with eating and all of the normal things. Sleep is one that usually falls by the wayside, but when you’re pulling 15-18 hour days, attending hours and hours of lectures, doing so much homework, working, sleep wins. Yesterday I would have had time but the replacing of the modem (which should solve our glitchy internet) took more time then anticipated, due to a malfunctioning new unit. Don’t worry it was returned and we got a new one, I just have to instal it later. Today I thankfully have a break between obligations and I just have to take a breath.

I pulled out the cardigan and I remember how much I want it. And I want it now, the color is perfect, the pattern is perfect, the fit will be perfect, and it’s a cardigan so I will actually wear it. But I need to knit more on it, but here is so far.

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Would love to have this up to the underarm by tomorrow night, we will see about that though.

On the high seas

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Welcome abord matey, you are on a journey sailing the high seas.  I hope you have your effects in order because we are casting off soon.  The sea is an exciting place, nothing but you,t he ship and the open sea.  However the seas can be a dangerous place, full of danger, and not to mention it can be cold while sailing.  

 

Meet Drogue, a 2 colored scarf/shawl that is perfect for those cold nights on watch.  

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Drogue is a nautical term for a device that is used to slow the ship down in a storm.  This design came from my fascination with sailing.  The colors I chose (the one on the right) were to mimic gentle or not so gentle movement of the sea.  

 

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The two samples that are shown are in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Cousteau and Esoteric, and the other is Abstract Fiber Alto in Silver and Turquoise.  

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I am so happy with how these both turned out and the photography as well.  We were fighting the light the whole time, but in the ned we got some really good shots.  If you are going to be at Stitches West this year and want to see these in person, visit the Abstract Fiber booth (1039) to see the sample pictured here.  I will also be wearing, or at the very least having the Madelinetosh version with me.  More details about Stitches will come in a future post.  

Here’s the direct link to the pattern in Ravelry, Drogue.

Into the sunset

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There have been a bit of things that have been going on I should start talking about them to get through them.

Knitting wise there isnt a lot going on, I’m just going at a snails pace for the How Cold Is It? be warned these mittens are explicit. I am knitting these for a friend who requested them exactly, but I’m using Cascade Heritage Silk in a silver grey and a vibrant lapis blue. Spinning wise I’m still working on the BFL/Silk from SweetGeorgia and it’s still beautiful and fun to spin as ever.

The big news is that the photo shoot for the next design is complete. Right now I’m just working on formatting, editing, getting a look through of the pattern and then it should be ready to be released within the next few days. I’ll talk more about it when we get closer to release.

Last weekend I went with a knitting friend down to Santa Cruz, where we did a mini yarn crawl. Mainly it was for her to get local shops interested in her new book. If you’re curious it’s Lit Knits, it’s well done, everything is done by her, photos, designs, layout, printing was local too. We visited 3 shops which were all very lovely, warm, and welcoming as you’d expect.

If you go on a yarn crawl/publicity tour and you don’t get yarn what would happen? Nothing, but I did enable myself into a bit more yarn, which started when the first shop had the same color the Yarn Harlot knit her most recent trekking socks out of, same color 550. I will have pictured of all of it at a later date.

I will be participating in the Ravollinic games this year knitting on Little Wave out of Madelinetish Dk in Thunderstorm that I have in stash. I will be publishing progress on here as much as I can, but as this entry is a day late, I will do my best.

Here’s what the photoshoot looked like at the end, so beautiful. I’ll have more photos of the new stash and my progress too soon.

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