April 24, 2012

Belated Monday Masterpiece

Since I posted about Stitches South (insert Mr. Yuck face) on Monday, I waited until today to share my weekend masterpiece. Using half of a skein of Berroco Vintage DK in a pretty navy blue with red and purple threads escaping from the yarn strand (50% acrylic/40% wool/10% Nylon)--I know, not my usual exotic choice of yarn!--I knit up the Corinthian Tam by Angela Hahn from my newly purchased emag version of Interweave Accessories 201. I love, love, love being able to download magazines to my Ipad and then being able to take them with me wherever I go!  And since the weather took a turn for the frigid this week, I will get to wear it today!

So, ta-dah!

April 23, 2012

Stitches South Treasures

First of all, I would just like to say that I MET ANNA ZILBOORG!  Not only that, but I have an autographed mittens-to-socks book, had my picture taken with her, and was treated to an in-person explanation of how to turn double-stranded mittens into double-stranded socks.  How awesome is that?!

And now about the rest of the weekend ...

My mom and I went to the Stitches South 2012 convention this past weekend.  We've been anxiously awaiting this weekend for a year.  After the awesome experience of last year's convention, we were super excited about taking all day on Friday for the market--something we wished we had done last year.  And you know what?  We were SO DISAPPOINTED!!  Almost none of last year's major vendors were there; no Mission Falls, no Yarnmarket, no Webs, no Crystal Palace, no Ravelry!  Craftsy was there, and that was the highlight of our Friday market experience as we were given free t-shirts, bags, and a FREE CLASS ON CRAFTSY! WOOHOO!  Every vendor that was there had only a few pidly things, pretty much all winter colors that they hadn't been able to sell over the winter--LOTS of remnants from last season with not many skeins and not much to choose from.  Some vendors had maybe 25 skeins of yarn in their booths--one had that much and a couple batts of fiber and that's all folks--or they had specialty yarn like muskox that was $80 for 200 yards. I have been holding off on knitting something with last year's possum yarn because I wanted to get another skein or two this year, but even Fantail Fibers was missing from the vendors list.

And you know what was the worst part?  Everyone had cotton. I don't mean they had some cotton and then they had other fiber varieties of yarn, I mean the only thing they had was cotton.  Cotton, cotton, cotton.  If I want to purchase cotton, I'll go to Walmart.  You know? 

Anyway, here's what I took home with me between two days of market time:

3 skeins of hand painted silk from Dragonfly Fibers

an autographed copy of this awesome book
And that's it. Last year I spent $400 in two days.  This year I spent $67.  I mean it.  It was a sad weekend for yarn lovers throughout the South.

April 16, 2012

Monday Masterpiece: Hiker Chick Socks!

I finally finished the first pair of the Hiker Chick 2-at-a-time Sock pattern that I am testing for release.  You know I've been working on them, and you know that they were being knit in an exclusive new colorway, Copper Kettle, so now it's time to see them completed in all of their knitted glory!

I've already cast on for the smallest size, which I am knitting in another exclusive Zibeline Knits colorway called Little Sister. Rocket watched me cast on and asked "Um, Mom, what are you thinking about doing with those socks when you finish with them?" (insert sweet 8 year-old smile) Apparently, she has her eye on these, even though anyone will tell you that she is a flip-flop-no-socks kind of girl.  I'm taking that as a good sign for this multi, which is a combination of white, a few different pinks, and a burgundy/purple.

Remember, these colorways will be available in a few months exclusively as part of my Hiker Chick sock kits.  These colorways will not be available otherwise.  If you are interested in pre-ordering this kit in one of the three colorways that will debut, contact me and we can work out the advance details.  The final colorway option is, however, still under aesthetic consideration.

April 12, 2012

Goodies from California!

Last week, the family and I took a much-deserved vacation to San Francisco and the surrounding areas.  I can't say that I am much of a fan of the weather at this time of the year--50s and 60s with too much wind while it was sunny and in the 80s back home in Georgia--but we took in the sites and had a great time.

And of course I went to a few yarn shops ...

The one's that I liked best were not in San Francisco.  The nicest yarn people live in Sausalito, I think, and they run the Bluebird Yarn & Fiber Crafts shop.  They had some pretty nice yarn in a scrumptiously warm and inviting array of colors.  A nice chat with nice yarn addicts in a cozy shop on a cold and blustery day was just what I needed!  If you are in Sausalito, you MUST stop in! See what I picked up?  Some much-needed US 4 Lantern Moon circulars and a very pretty skein of Malabrigo's Arroyo in Archangel.

I also went to a pretty awesome little shop across the Bay Bridge in Oakland:  A Verb for Keeping Warm.  (I LOVE that name!).  Too much family drama while trying to take in the yarnie goodness kept me from getting to know the organic dyer/owner, but the plainness of the shop with it's bare walls and bare wood shelving made an attractive aesthetic contrast to all of the gorgeous organically dyed yarns on display (and the brightly colored fabric at the back).  Since the owner is also a spinner, I snatched up some of her silk merino roving, as well as a skein of her indigo-dyed yarn goodness.  Truth be told, this is the first skein dyed with indigo that I have every owned, so I will be curious to see if the warning about the color bleeding is something to be wary of in the future.

And finally, I went to Imagiknit in San Fran.  To be honest, this shop was a total turn-off.  The shelving was so high that much of the yarn was not accessible to me.  The condescending and rude salesman was also a turn-off (no to mention that the lack of heat made it a chilly shopping experience). His unnecessarily loud and condescending commentary to the woman who appeared to be the owner about how ridiculous it was for a woman to have called to ask if the shop carried a particular type of knitting needle because, duh, knitting shops have knitting needles, made me want to just grab some yarn and go.  I did get a couple skeins that I think will work out to be a summery shawl or something--I did see that new Sweet Georgia circular shawl and that got my mind going, and I am going to be taking a triangular lace shawl design class at Stitches South next weekend so there are possibilities for these skeins in the shawl department; but I didn't really feel like shopping once I had gotten the lay of the land and I picked up these two skeins without really having any plans for them.

April 08, 2012

A little something lacey for the spring!

I am thrilled to introduce Lila, my newest spring/summer lace scarf pattern, which I knit up during this past week while on spring break.
LILA (zigzag leaf lace)

Since the family flew to San Francisco for a few days, I had PLENTY of time to knit on the plane and during our 5 1/2 hour lay-over in Denver.  The goal of the project was to design a pattern for my Gypsy label using exactly one skein.  Well, this pattern does it, and here's exactly what was left over:

One skein of Gypsy (240 yards) hand painted Australian merino yields a gorgeously feminine fingering weight lace scarf that measures 9 inches by 42 inches when blocked.  To accomplish this pattern you need to know how to yarn over, slip stitches, and knit 2 stitches together.

This pattern just hit the internet today and is available in two awesome locations:  Zibeline Knits @ Etsy and Craftsy.  If you are looking for a pretty, lacy, EASY spring/summer project, this is it!


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