Thursday, May 27, 2010

Swap-tabulous....

When Miss V moved off Rav and back to the LnV boards (pre-the Lime and Violet site going down permanently *insert sad here*), the intrepid mizzadamz suggested a swap.

It was my first one of these, I've been trying lots of new things this year--and it was fun pulling things together for my swap partner and then waiting for the mail.

When it arrived Gypsy had to inspect and claim the box for her own. 










We opened to find another box...and Gypsy continued inspection












Would you look at all that cool stuff!!










Yes, there's really a blow up wig. Gypsy thinks she should get to wear it for Halloween. We're negotiating.










A kit to make an adorable sheep!!  I thought it was pencil roving (it kinda seems like pencil roving--just saying) but it's labeled "organic stuffing."  I'm not fully convinced but the kit looks like so much fun! (Just as soon as it isn't 90 degrees  every day....)













And a gorgeous skein of Old Maiden Aunt handpainted yarn--Merino/Bamboo. It's fingering weight and delicious!



















And there were chocolate and gummy treats!

What fun! Thanks so much to my swap partner Sharon!

Scottish Surprise

A close friend of mine (waves towards Madison, WI) got stuck in the ash cloud from the volcano. She and her husband had been scheduled to fly home and things should have been okay--except for the backlog of fliers trying to get out of the U.K.

Such it was she was left scrambling for accommodations--did anyone know of a place they could crash for a couple of nights while their flight days were pushed back something like 5 days? Hotels were an option but a highly costly one--and this would already cost her in vacation time.

It so happens she was in Edinburgh, where a friend of my mine lives. I've never met that friend, but if you dig through the archives on Hedgehog Librarian, you'll find Jennie mentioned. I tweeted a little frantically.  And Jennie came through for them: a friend had an open flat they could borrow until it was time to fly back.

It was quite the all's well that ends well and they got home safe and to well fed cats (the joy of good cat-sitters!).

And then a package turned up for me at work this week. It came in a Pet Pills box.  As I'd not ordered her furriness any medications, I knew it couldn't be anything I'd purchased. 

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I opened to find Scottish Tweed--colors that reminded my friend of the views around her.


It's a slightly rougher yarn--not the smooth of merino but a crispier feel. And it will be something I can make and remind me of what happened and the somewhat frantic attempts to connect--via Twitter, Friendfeed and email, from Wisconsin to Edinburgh.

This yarn comes with memories already packaged.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Old Stomping Ground

It is a truth universally acknowledged that if a yarn is blue and green and purple AND in the sale bin at Loopy--I am powerless to resist.

Especially when it's Lorna's Laces.

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I saw C the other day and we were on a mission to get yarn for a very interesting pattern that she had shown me.  If I get permission when it's done, I'll link to a picture of it.  Trust me when I say it will be unusual and decadent. The silk-cashmere yarn she picked up as one of her yarn choices was softer than Gypsy's undercoat--which is truly saying something.

I strongly resisted the urge, even though Loopy had St. Denis yarns, even though WOW PINK was a colorway, even though it's the only in person store where I can get Malabrigo Twist.

Only then we went downstairs to the sale bin.

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C and I lived in the north-east Chicago neighborhood of Lakeview, which is just by Wrigleyville/Wrigley Field. We were close enough to hear the cheers, deal with the Cubs traffic and pray that baseball season ended early so there were slightly fewer tipsy people stumbling around our street. Still, it's a lovely neighborhood with tons of little eateries and great shops and more breakfast places than you can count.

So to find a skein of the Lakeview colorway in the Lorna's Shepherd Worsted? It's already being set aside for a Meret.

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Oh But It's Pretty.....

Sherri at The Loopy Ewe, in her infinite and sales canny wisdom, started a Twitter account that alerts the faithful to Wollmeise and other coveted yarn updates. I have to respect her, she knows how to appeal to those of us who would love to stalk the site pressing F5 all day but can't.

With the advent of Twitter to phone updates though....

I've only had one major fall down.  I've resisted several updates and sprints to grabbing the shiny yarn.  It was a Sanguine Gryphon Bugga/Skinny Bugga update. A "before Sherri said we need more than this when you ship us yarn" update--so you can imagine the web sprinting that occurred. And I got some of the coveted blue/greens...

Apparently I'm not alone in my love of things blue-green-purple. My sister and I were talking today about how predictable I am in my love of those three colors. Considering what you're gonna see in the updates coming, you will probably agree.

I was good--I grabbed the camera before opening the box.
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Pulling it out--there was a lot of oooooh shiny

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It's a mix of regular and skinny Bugga. No clue what I'll make with any of it. I like Bugga very much (the cashmere part helps) and SG's colors are stunning, absolutely stunning. It seems a shame to knit socks, so I think there will probably be some progressive shawls in my future.

And some individual shots.

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Anybody else hearing Right Said Fred singing "I'm too sexy for my love....love's going to leave me..."

Monday, May 24, 2010

Knitting at 90 Degrees

By 11 a.m. today it was 90 degrees outside. When the apartment hit 90 yesterday I gave in and turned on the AC. Gypsy, previously lethargic, suddenly had energy again. Poor thing needs to be furminated again but I haven't felt like sacrificing another pair of clean pants to her (de-furring the feline = furring the mom)

What news? Well--the ORANGE SOCKS OF DOOM (say that in your best announcer voice) are done! And gone. Too much language inappropriate to a young lady went into those socks, especially as I had to re-knit both feet twice and the size 4" DPNs were making my hands cramp and there was a whole lot of carping at Chez Hedgepig. They were an early birthday gift to C, who has promised to weave in the ends, wash them in wool wash, and enjoy the squishyness next winter. For all that she was encouraging me to knit socks, she seems surprised that I churn through them as my basic on the go project. I'm only on my fourth pair this year. No, wait--four and five are on the needles right now. Blue socks in Jan, Red socks for the Olympics, Orange Socks of DOOM and now I have the Twitterbugs and the Teal Twosteps. 

The Twitterbugs are out of Colinette Jitterbug in the Kingfisher colorway that I picked up last spring on my trip to Milwaukee with the Master Sergeant. They are a 3x1 rib, which is what a knitting friend had mentioned was her standard "vanilla sock." I thought it'd be fun to do something other than just my 2x2s. I'm through Sock 1!

I really like the Colinette Jitterbug base yarn. I've heard mixed things about how well the dye will hold--so once the socks are done they are getting a light rinse in vinegar before they go in the wool wash. I don't really desperately need to block the socks but with Gypsy around and considering I take my knitting everywhere but churches and weddings, it's probably worth a wash. My orthodontist's assistants like to see the latest projects.

The Kingfisher colorway is beautiful.  I don't feel I'm doing it all the justice I could, it's so exciting to come upon a bright shade of teal or a vibrant blue. It's pooling a little bit but I think that could be easily broken up with an actual lace pattern. I started them on 4" DPNs but after the OSOD I decided my hands had had enough for one day and moved them to 8" metal DPNs. Far fewer hand cramps, though I seem to drop more stitches. I was at 9 rows on the cuff when I sat down to type this--having to upload to the computer and start thinking and catch up a bit on a vodcast that I'm following and now I'm 19 rows into the cuff.

Also on the needles are the Teal Twosteps, which are--you guessed it--2x2 rib. They are out of Knitpicks sock yarn, which means I have tons of yardage and can make long cuffs! That was definitely an issue with the OSOD and the Twitterbugs, both of which I've been dealing with limited yardage (250 yds for the OSOD).

They're perking right along, another inch or so and I'll turn the heel. This was purse knitting while I was in Indy recently. Yes, I'm photographing on a silver tray. It seemed more interesting than my oatmeal colored carpet. I like it. :) 

I got out the camera this evening to take pictures of the oooh-shiny that showed up at my house today (it was a double-super-excellent mail day) and realized that I've been bad both in taking pictures and uploading pictures to Flickr, stash to Ravelry, so on and so forth. Once I hit the "transfer to computer"--pictures started showing up from the Knitting in Public Day we had just after Easter. About the only thing I remember about Easter is that there was ham and Gypsy and I were quite stuffed.

So there are some really great pictures of most excellent yarn coming. But a small fur person has declared it bedtime and since she got me up at 6 this morning and will be happy to do so tomorrow (my morning to sleep in)--I should crawl off to bed. 

72 Hours-- Ish

We have reached the period of the calendar year where I am deeply in denial of deadlines, full on avoidance, and procrastination. Th...