Jul 14
2009

New yarn previews

I’ve been dyeing some more yarn these past few days. Here is a quick preview of some more Fixation (first photo), as well as some of the new silk/wool laceweight Bliss (second photo).

fixation Bliss

Jul 9
2009

Temptation…

Is your idea of an ideal sock yarn one that balances great wear with softness and a supple hand? You guessed it: more Fixation will be hitting the shelves in the coming weeks.

Do you love the subtle sheen of Bamboo? More Therapy is on it’s way to the shop, too.

Are your fondest memories of holding and squeezing your stash? Keep those memories alive with more uber-squishy Compulsion sock yarn.

Luxury, you say? Watch the shop for some awesome new 100% silk fingering weight!

Dream of lace? Enjoy the soft sheen of our new laceweight silk/wool blend later this month, or pamper yourself with some of our upcoming 100% silk!

Looking for something else? Let us know if there are any specific fibers or yarns you’re looking for and we’ll see what we can do.

Disclaimer: I was wondering as I wrote this how it sounded:

  1. cute and a little cheeky
  2. mtlaise is a little full of herself
  3. wow! she’s finally gone around the bend!

Rest assured, I am neither full of myself, nor have I lost my marbles. Well, I dropped them, but I think I’ve gathered them all up again… :)

Jun 18
2009

Red!

Red isn’t a colour I knit with much, but I do love certain shades of it. I bought this with a specific pattern in mind, which I’ve decided not to knit, but I want to find the perfect project because I just love the super-saturated colour so much. I have a single skein now, but there are more at the shop in the same dye lot if I go right away… So of course, I’ve spend the last 2 hours scrolling through Ravelry and Patternfish for appropriate projects. :)

El D Mouzakis Butterfly Super 10 Cotton

Apr 1
2009

I’m a Ravelry yarnie!

I just got my email from Ravelry, and my yarns are in the Ravelry database now! Woo!

Mar 8
2009

Road trips and knitting progress

This weekend, we decided to get out of the city for a bit, which was a blast. We ended up driving around a fair bit, and even made it to Canmore. I didn’t buy much yarn, but I did spend too much money. I only had the teensiest bit of a single shade of red dye left, and several colours that I didn’t have at all, or love and anticipate running out of very soon; my first purchase was therefore a bunch of Jacquard dyes. I’ve actually got some dyeing on the go as we speak, and I’ll probably do a couple more tonight. They won’t go up in the shop for a few days, as they have to dry before I can get accurate pictures, but keep an eye out for them: some more greeny-black, some fresh springlike yellows and whatever I next pull out of the bag of dye containers!

I also got a bunch more spinning fiber: a half pound each of 100% tencel and 100% corn silk (both of which are so silky and I’m very excited about). I also picked up a half pound of what I thought was cashmere, but ended up being fake cashmere (I saw both, but thought I had picked up the natural stuff); it’s kind of too bad I didn’t get the one I wanted, but it will still be fun to try a new fiber, so it’s ok. It’s quite soft, but the texture is a little weird. The roommie says it feels like cotton balls, but I don’t see it… No pics of these since they’re just undyed rovings/tops.

My last purchases of the day were motivated by KnittingGrammy‘s March 1st post about a 10 year guarantee on sock yarn (shocking!), and by my dry hands. I had wanted some simple knitting to work on, and I didn’t really have any project in mind, so I grabbed some Austermann Step and a couple of stitch patterns for the ride. The yarn is infused with aloe and jojoba, which lasts through 50 washings, so it should be nice to wear, but let me tell you that when your hands are so dry they’re painful, this stuff is a treat to knit as well. There was a single skein in one of the few colours I like at Knit and Caboodles in Canmore, so I picked it up. The second skein of yarn was some Regia sock yarn, because I just wore out my first pair of handknit socks, and a 10 year guarantee on the yarn is sounding pretty awesome right about now! The colourways of both are kind of plain, but I like them:

austermann stepregia galaxy

As for the knitting, I’ve only been working on the Kenkyos on my lunches at work, so not too much progress, but I LOVE these socks! Here’s also a look at the beginning on the Austermann Step socks – just a simple herringbone rib.

malabrigo kenkyos mar 8Socks for Dry Hands

Feb 6
2009

Yarn!

A few weeks ago, I worked at the store, so that one of the owners could go see her wife, and pick up a big yarn order. This week I went in for the first time since then and was in shock! The yarn! The yarn! It was everywhere! And although I didn’t spend money per se, I did get paid for working that weekend, and chose to take my pay in yarn credit rather than money. Which means that I came home with these beauties (I couuld have gotten more, but couldn’t decide, so I left the decision for my next visit):

Malabrigo SockCascade Heritage Sock

I’m also getting pretty excited about our new venture… We now have our business cards, shipping materials, the beginnings of a banner for our shop, and about half our stock ready to put up. We still have to finish up the banner, write up a shop profile, design ball bands/tags and get more stock ready. I plan on dyeing a bunch this weekend to remedy at least one of those! Stay tuned…

Jan 23
2009

I didn’t do it

I didn’t really break my resolution about spending money on yarn – not really… The money was for a fundraiser, and the yarn was just a bonus. I have to find the perfect project for this; it is so amazing, and I love it!

valkyrie 1

Jan 4
2009

Ooooh. Aaah.

No, I didn’t already break my resolution to about spending money on stash yarns. Tonight was Christmas at Dork Squad HQ, and I was very spoiled! Besides the stocking full of goodies on Christmas Eve, tonight I got the most heavenly smelling rooisbos chai with a lovely bodum, and a touch of cashmere: it’s the Handmaiden Casbah sock I saw at the Boxing Day sale last week… and it comes with a pattern, so this is a project that’s ready to go!

Handmaiden Casbah and pattern

Dec 27
2008

01010111 01100101 01100101 01100101 00100001

[That’s “Weeee” for those who don’t speak geek]

I wanted to tell you a bit about my Christmas. I was spoiled this year with some awesome goodies, including some great movies (aka some classic bad B movies, which I love) and a book for geeky non-readers like me: “[Geek Logik]” – use algebra to solve problems like “should you become a monk” or “is it time to see a therapist”.

Now that I have quick formulas to solve my life’s problems and decisions, and some great movies, I can have time and enjoy myself by sitting down to knit a bit! And now, as promised, I have pictures of my yarny and fibery lovelies (sorry about the layout – new pic editing in WordPress that I haven’t figured out yet). I spent more than I intended at the sale, but I got some money for Christmas, so I decided to splurge. And I just found out about a Christmas gift certificate from an awesome friend, so I’ll likely go back this week to buy the Casbah sock I was eyeing (who doesn’t deserve a little cashmere in their socks) or maybe some of their beautiful silk!

I didn’t get much yarn, just a skein each of Noro Kureyon Sock and Cherry Tree Hill’s Possum Lace. What did account for most of my purchases was fiber: a shwack of Lorna’s Laces wool top (over a pound – it nearly covers the entire surface of my footstool), and a bag of fluffy yak down as well as a bit of beautifully shiny bombyx silk.

CTH Possum Lace Noro Kureyon Sock

LL Wool Top in Blue Jeans Yak Down Bombyx Silk

My knitting mojo seems to have taken a bit of a vacation lately. The only thing I’ve managed to finish was a simple neckwarmer I started when this cold spell hit a few weeks ago, and even that is riddled with mistakes. I decided since it’s just to wear under my big jacket to keep me warm, that was fine. The yarn is lovely, though. Here’s a partial pic to show off the colours: it’s Malabrigo in the Paris Night colourway, knit up in a single-colour brioche stitch.

staying warm

The absence of knitting mojo has me really excited about the fiber I got. I have to get to Rona to pick up a small strip of veneer for my wheel (I’m paranoid and the friction of the metal ring for tensioning is wearing down the wood, so I’ve been afraid to spin until I add this little strip to protect the wood).

I also picked up a couple of dye colours I didn’t have yet at the sale. Dyeing has been my main fiber-related craft lately. And I just received a shared shipment of base yarn, so I’m quite excited to pick that up again too! Good thing I have those geeky algebra formulas for all my big decisions, or I’d never have time to do all my crafts!

Dec 14
2008

Dyeing and overdyeing

My hands are a little raw from being in how water all day, but I had a blast dyeing some more this weekend. First I overdyed the bright teal and black I dyed last weekend. I just wanted to tone it down a bit, and make the shift from teal to black a little less drastic. I also did a few practice attempts at some purples with my new violet and purple dyes. Here are the results:
mercerized wool -overdyed
dye practice 5dye practice 4dye practice 6
The winner of the custom dyed colourway requested a variagated yarn in either turquoise, purple or both. I was struggling with the combination, but I liked the purples, so this is the final result.
purple depthspurple depths 2purple depths 3

Dec 11
2008

At it again…

I had one skein of “practice wool” left so I decided to try my new Teal Jacquard dye, variegated with… black of course. I quite like the colour combination, but the colour change is much too rapid/drastic for my taste… Must learn that black is powerful! Stand over it while dyeing, or it will grab that yarn, and with an evil grin, scream, “I’ve got you now! Mwa ha ha!” I’ll probably overdye this on the weekend to see if I can make something more interesting of it.

dye practice 3dye practice 2dye practice
Also, I have the most awesome friends! Check out what I got, just for being the angel that I am. Ahem. :)

Birthday yarn

Dec 6
2008

Trying new things…

Yesterday was the last of my scheduled double-shifts at work. I’m glad both the long days and the deadline knitting are now done (I was getting so bored of 3×1 ribbed socks), and when I woke up this morning, I was rather excited about a day of sitting at home and doing nothing before I begin working an extra day a week at the office.

A few days ago, as I dug out my big winter coat, I began thinking about the Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Superwash Bulky I bought a while back, and how it could help me stay warm. Tonight, I came up with this – my first attempt at brioche. It will be a pretty simple hat, along with either a neckwarmer or mitts. Here’s a little fuzzy close-up, so you can see the colours:

Today was also a day for trying a new dyeing method… I’ve been reading on Ravelry about people who wind a skein into a ball, then dye it. Sounded pretty crazy to me. Then, this past week, I saw a photo of a skein knit up, and it was really interesting: starting withh a super-saturated blue, and then getting lighter and lighter until it was a blueish off white. I still wasn’t all that convinced I could duplicate it, so I bought a ball of cheap “practice” wool at Walmart since I just wanted to see how deeply the dye would saturate into the ball.

This is just a single bath in the pot with a single dye solution. Once it dried a bit, I pulled out the center to see the lightest colour compared to the darkest layer on the outside. While I’m not in love with the whole colour range, I think I like the concept enough to try this again with a few more controls.

green transitional mercerized wool

Oct 9
2008

home alone… nearly

I’ve been home sick for the past couple of days. I feel horrid, and I haven’t done any knitting, spinning, or really anything other than sleep. On the upside though, I was here when Canada Post rang my doorbell today. Fiber! Uhh… maybe… check out the box the package arrived in.

fiberdelivery

Luckily everything was intact. It was no longer sealed though, so I guess I’ll have to quarantine the new stuff to make sure nothing got in it en route. I do have some new pretties to spin once I’m feeling up to it now.

blue angora

Blue angora

This package contained a few items from yarntospin on etsy. I’ve been sort of hankering to try new stuff to spin, and when I saw this bunny (blue angora), I had to try some. Isn’t he cute? I didn’t get the bunny, though, just the ounce of fiber on the right. As I pulled this out of the bag to take a picture, it occurred to me that I didn’t think this purchase through very well… I’m horribly allergic to rabbits! Oops. I guess we’ll see how it goes; maybe it will be a gift or a contest prize someday.

jacob wool roving

I also got this humongous 8 oz ball of jacob roving. Check out how it dwarfs my spindle!

I have to admit that this isn’t my only recent purchase. It may not have been wise, given my budget, but I’ve made a few fiber and yarn purchases since I started collecting a paycheque again. Besides the wonderful BFL from spinknit that came with my wheel, and the super top alpaca I got at the store, I also picked up 8 oz of mohair from a goat called Sweet Sally. OK… I didn’t pick it up personally; it’s natchwoolie’s (etsy) goat Sweet Sally, but still…

sweetsallymohair

Sep 28
2008

Wisteria! Lissajous! Chuck’s Cabled Socks! Year of Lace (spoilers are hidden)!

I finally caved in and purchased a couple of patterns from The Twist Collective‘s first edition: Kate Gilbert’s Wisteria sweater and Cookie A’s Lissajous socks. I’ve loved both since my first glimpse of them. I also noticed that Eunny’s Chuck’s Cabled Socks pattern is now available, so I picked that up too. A lot of the yarnies going to the retreat this year, or on other fiber-related trips to New York, for example, seem to be making sweaters for the trip. While I am not that crazy ambitious a knitter, I have been planning: I have been thinking about yarns.

I have been thinking that the yarns I have in sweater quantities in the house aren’t perfectly suited for Wisteria. I have been thinking that I need to buy something to match the pattern exquisitely. I have been thinking that either my grasp on reality has finally bit it or I will not be making this sweater for a very long time. Oh well; I’ll have the pattern once I can afford the yarn. As for the Lissajous socks, I think I might dye something up in a nice solid black… err… I mean red? grey? deep blue? And, I’m thinking of trying Eunny’s with a solid colour cable, and a variegated background. We’ll see…

YOL button (designer: Joceknits)In other news, it’s Year of Lace time again! Wee! I’m so excited about this installment of YOL. As mentioned previously, though, I’ll only be discussing specifics behind cuts, so nobody’s surprise is spoiled accidentally (please bear that in mind if leaving comments, too, for the time being). So, without further ado…

Click below to view spoilers (including yarn and pictures) behind the cut.

(Continue Reading …)

Sep 24
2008

Amy’s vintage office socks

I admit it. I bought more yarn… but it was just a little! Some new Lorna’s Laces colourways came in at the store a week or so ago, and one of the colours immediately grabbed me, but I just couldn’t justify buying more laceweight. This week, the same colourway arrived in sock yarn! Wee! Well, of course I can justify sock yarn, because socks are practical and quick gifts, right? Right! The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Amy’s Vintage Office colourway.  It is a stunning mix of brown into greys and a gorgeous tealy-green; now, I’m off to find the perfect pattern.

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Amy's Vintage Office

Sep 18
2008

It’s a girl!

Or maybe a pretty spinning wheel… She is French – maybe I’ll call her Gisele. She barely fit into the trunk, and I haven’t even put the drive band back on yet, but I just got her home, and had to tell!

leclerc nilus

I was so excited about getting a wheel of my own, I actually tried to spin a little last night, as well. I used some of the Louet Northern Lights roving. It’s overspun and plied in spots, and underspun and plied in others, but it’s my first plied yarn and my first wheel-spun yarn, and I’m quite pleased.. At any rate, I have lots of roving, and a wheel, and it can only get better, right?

first plied yarn

Sep 16
2008

Hello you!

After a lengthy break, I pulled out my bamboo clapotis again this week, and you know what? Absence does make the heart grow fonder!I also did some running around, and while I was out, decided to make a much needed visit to some of my favourite friends at my favourite yarn shop. I always love going there, and I cherish the friendships that have developed through the store.

Today was also my first full regular paycheque. Wee! I treated myself to a pattern book I’ve been eyeing (Custom Knits) that just came in, a beautiful braid of Spinknit‘s super-top alpaca in Night Earth that I can;t wait to try, and a bag of Louet Northern Lights pencil roving in Ocean Waves to practice with. Oh, and did I mention I paid for my spinning wheel? I’m getting a wheel! Wee!
spinknit super-top alpaca in night earthlouet wool top in ocean waves

Sep 7
2008

On a happier note…

My camera’s dead SD card has been replaced (thanks to perian)!

So, check out this 100% hypo-allergenic sheep from the Highland Games (thanks aylii)! Isn’t it cute?
hypo-allergenic sheep

And here are my most recent stash additions… The first pix are two skeins of Socks That Rock Raven Clans (Thraven and Haida – I love deep, rich bluesy-greens with black). The next two are new stock at my favourite LYS (and online store): a sweaters-worth of Sirdar Snuggly DK in a deep blue, and 100 grams of merino-tencel sock yarn hand-dyed in pinks, lavendars, and winy-browns.

STR Thraven LtwtSTR Haida Ltwt
sirdar snuggly dkM1 merino tencel sock

Aug 26
2008

I have income! And pictures!

I officially started my old/new job yesterday, but since I new it was coming, I’ve recently splurged on a few more small yarn purchases… Last Thursday night, the sale ended up being 30% off Louet, so I picked up two skeins of Gems Sport in Bluebird that I had been eying for a while. I also went in on Sunday, just because I could, and the red and black handdyed was nearly dry and hadn’t sold yet, and I just couldn’t resist it any longer. It didn’t even have labels yet, so I have no idea the yardage, fiber (well, it’s wool), etc, but it’s sooooo pretty! Forgive the quality of the photos, I haven’t bothered to make a light box, and my apartment is too dark for decent photos…

Make One handdyed

louet gems sport

Aug 8
2008

Good days

It’s nice to have good days. They don’t always start out that way, but you have to love it when things improve throughout the day.

This morning, I woke up with a sore throat and a little wheezy. Then, I headed downtown to help out KnittingGrammy and make a little money. That’s always good, and advil and my inhaler helped with the other bits. Then I found out I might be able to continue doing a few hours a week there, which is really nice when you’re running out of savings/student loans.

on your toes bambooWe then drove to Make One together (well, to be fair, she drove and I knit), and there was a new box of On Your Toes Bamboo sock yarn. Wee! She had shown me socks she made out of this earlier this week, and they’re so soft and shiny. Since I just got paid for the work I did, I treated myself to 3 skeins (2 pair for my feet): two in a light blue, and one that’s 2 plies of the same blue with 2 plies of lavender.

We had fun being badgered encouraged to enter items for the Heritage Park Fall Fair, and had a great afternoon in general. As we were leaving, AuntyTink mentioned that it was Taste of Calgary, so I had yummy empanadas, guajiras, borek, naan and ginger beer for dinner (yes, Latin food mixes with Jamaican, Turkish and Indian just fine, thanks). Then, when I got home, there was a message on my machine about a job interview for a job I really want!

I love these kind of days!

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