A Tale of Two Yarns – 2KCBWDAY1

It’s Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day One, 2011!

Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

There are so many yarns and just not enough time in which to even begin knitting them all. In the spirit of fairness, I have taken a good look over yarns I have used, lusted after, stashed and tossed, in order to answer today’s prompt.

I would have to start any discussion of yarns I love with Malabrigo.
Silky Malabrigo in progress
An early love affair, I have always been taken in by the softness and color options. When they expanded their yarn line to include sock weight and lace weight I was over the moon. Interestingly though I don’t constantly knit with Malabrigo (wish I could!) I have not knit even a whole lot with Malabrigo – a cowl, a scarf, a girl’s dress (test knit for the company!), longies, and a shawl… otherwise I have taken to collecting it here and there. Malabrigo was also the reason I met a whole bunch of knitters at Webs – we’re all part of the “Malabrigo Junkies” group on Ravelry! Recently my malabrigo mojo was reignited when I test knit Anansi – since then I have also worked up a headband and over the weekend I have finished a shawl, Chandra (it needs a block, but the heart-ish picture is Chandra when I was beginning). Malabrigo has further expanded their yarn options – I am looking forward to trying them all!

A “go-to” yarn is for my second choice for a yarn I love. I really adore the Encore line from Plymouth, especially the Colorspun. It is a wool-acrylic blend with an impressive amount of color choices and really reasonably priced. Makes great washable baby / kid things that I have made for my own kids and as gifts. It is soft and not squeaky. I do have those projects up on Ravelry – check out Lorelai’s Blanket (in progress), Babysquared blanket, Willie sweater, and Presto Change-o.

I have been fed up with plenty of yarns in certain projects (too splitty, to fuzzy). I have adored many yarns when they just clicked with the project into which they were being knit (Cascade 220, Cascade 220 Superwash, Tahki Cotton Classic come to mind right away). And then there are yarns I am so curious about – Wollemeise, Bugga, Shelter, Madelinetosh, Quince & Co…. And then there are yarns you loved when you bought them, but they have only sat in the stash since then and you still don’t know what to do with them. I do know this though, life is too short to knit with yarn you don’t like!

yarn crawling

Betsy is back up north and we took full advantage to embark on a Yarn Crawl. These are fun – if you’ve never gone on one, what it is is you got to several yarn stores in one day. We try to hit a new place each time, but will also usually hit a favorite store as well.

Our first stop of the day was at Madison Wool. Love this yarn shop! Michelle is so friendly and it is just a cozy place to go! We poked around a bit, chatted for a bit, drooled a bit (Lorelai too! Gotta start ’em young!) and purchased. Betsy went for the Cascade 220 and stocked up. I bought some “Soft Cotton” yarn intending to knit Baby Merry Janes (Ravelry link). Red mary janes with white socks, should be cute. Though, the yarn is an aran weight and the pattern calls for DK… I might need some math help there.

Our second stop of the day was a short drive up to Old Wethersfield for Sit’nKnit. Ok, if you like bargain shopping there is also a GREAT Marshalls that you pass on the way there (and a TJMaxx across the street) so if you need more of a reason than just yarn to head up there… It’s a cute street, similar to what you would find in Essex – very quaint New England. Sit’n Knit, too is above a garden place. It was a little tricky to get the stroller up the stairs, but we did it. Inside there was plenty of room for the stroller so yay on that. What a great shop – a fantastic selection of all kinds of yarn (from acrylics to the fancy stuff). There is also a great room they call “The Bridge” – fantastic sales! Betsy again did fabulous – she got Lobster Pot Yarn for 50% off! I didn’t do so well with sales, but I did find a little kit to knit Bramble the owl from knitwhits. So cute! They had the penguin too – tough choice! I also fell in love with this pattern: a neckwarmer – their sample was knit with Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (which, BTW, they had on the bridge, on sale! Betsy scored again, but I passed as the colors didn’t grab me. I’m thinking that Schaefer Esperanze in Pomegranate that I have coming will work…)
OwlKit Neck Warmer

Our journey continued on to Branford’s newest offering, The Yarn Basket. I picked up a skein of Berroco Sox to make aCelestine Sox toy for Lorelai. I’ve been keeping my eye out for a ball for her, but they all seem to be too big / made in china / dog toys, etc. So I’ll knit one eventually. I also couldn’t resist a very new Noro (it’s only in 4 stashes on ravelry? What is up with that? People, it is GORGEOUS! and mostly solid!!) – info here. I think it may be a hat – wonder if it would work for the hat in the new IK? Only bought one skein, so I’m limited, but it is gorgeous!
New Noro IMG_5568

Highly successful day. The funny thing is, we both went out with a list and were very project specific. That kept my spending in check and the items I bought that weren’t on the list were small (the yarn for the ball and merry-janes were on the list, the owl / noro and pattern were all impulse).

I finished one front of my CPH at SnB last night, so I feel I’m in a good position for taking up my ravelympic projects today. I’m in the Afghan Marathon and WIP Wrestling. I’ve worked on both already and will get back to them after I post. Yay teams!

Come out come out wherever you are!

There has been an influx of yarns lately. After the “learn to spin” class on Tuesday, I bought several things because on Monday Lorelai and I left the SnB early. So, Regia bamboo, and panda silk, welcome to your new home. Today the wee one and I went to “Madison Wool” to spend the gift certificates I received at Christmas. I bought yarn for the “Central Park Hoodie” (Cascade 220 Heather Green), “Koolhaas” (O-Wool Classic), and Spirogyra (Sheep 3). I was cleaning up the dining room in anticipation of our hosting Easter dinner next week. I pulled down a shoebox from the bookshelf because the shoebox was ugly looking, and !GASP! there were 2 skeins of yarn inside. I think I got them in a swap a few years ago, tucked them away in another clean up attempt. Whoops.

I’m still working on the test knitting project.

Still need to seam the Amelie dress.

Making ears for the Easter decorations.

The mingus sock has stalled, I don’t know how I feel about it. Not entirely loving it.

Started the nutkin sock (on two circulars). I did the cuff, but it’s a stockinette, not a rib cuff and it just seems HUGE! I did go up a needle size (to 2.75mm from the 2.5mm of the pattern) because I had those needles ready and I have big feet. Not sure how I feel about those now either. Stalled.

Have to ball up more yarn to keep working on Glee.

Have 2 more rows to go in the Mystic Lights swatch, then it needs blocking. I tried doing the cables reversed for lefties and then as written… not sure it will really make a difference. I did learn that I don’t like cabling without a cable needle when the cable is on the edge.

Need to get going on the baby knits… hats…. for my own and the other babies to be.

I really want to make finger puppets. And toys. It’s for Lorelai.

I have all this knitting-in-progress. Someone at the baby group asked me if I knit for a living. 🙂 I wish.

In non-knitting news, Lorelai and I have found some stellar deals out shopping. And I bought 2 bathing suits (oy!) for the destination wedding that is coming up in what, 4 weeks? Time is very quickly moving along.

New Yarns!

Last week (thursday) I ordered from theloopyewe and yesterday (monday) my order was here! Amazing service 🙂 I got two skeins of yarns I have not yet tried out- Seacoast and Duet Sock Yarn – gorgeous!

Today I met Dan for lunch at Panera – yummy! He found a heart shaped chip in his bag – pretty cool –

then I went to check out a new LYS, Madison Wool – at first glance inside it’s a small shop. Very small. More like what I remember Yarns Down Under looked like before they expanded. Michelle (the owner) is very nice and chatty and quite welcoming! She showed me all kinds of neat stuff – she carries things that you can’t get at saybrook yarn, so that’s cool – for variety. She says that it looks like Wednesdays will be knitting “group” but I’m welcome anytime to come in and knit 🙂 Awesome! She has an assortment of ggh – not the too frizzy / funky yarn – but stuff you’d want to knit with! There was also Cascade, Sheep Shop (gorgeous!), Lobster Pot, and a few more I decided to sample:

I got 4 skeins of a great grey-green organic merino / organic cotton blend from o-wool – thinking about a baby sweater / hat set….

The pictures do not do them justice! Each of these are from Blackberry-ridge – there was a simple seed stitch scarf in the shop that was just beautiful! I’m thinking that or one of the multidirectional scarves or argosy or whatever else I can find on ravelry would be awesome!
Great shop – I look forward to potential wednesdays and more shopping!

Tomorrow I’m going up to the hospital to wait with my mom while my dad has his series of procedures done. I think I’ll take the “Hope & Donald” scarf with me – they are his parents, so it’s a way for them to be there too… And maybe one more project just to break it up, I have no idea how long of a day it will be.