26 December 2012

Into the stashbin...

Howdy! Hope everyone had a nice holiday...

I took some time to photograph a few things I'd picked up during my recent travels.

First, this gorgeous Anzula Cloud I tweeted about the other day:
Beautifully soft AND machine washable! It's a perfect semisolid dusty rose, which will eventually become a sweater. 4 skeins totals a whopping 2300 yards, so plenty enough for something dramatic. Get in mah belleh!

Next is some tosh sport in "scarlet"... Picked up for a hat project for a soon-to-be older brother. All the babies get attention, so I'm whipping him up a quick project in his favorite color:
It's such a common yarn, so I'll spare you the long description. I WILL say that this is a gorgeous, true, bright red colorway. I had a hard time finding a bright red that wasn't paired with pink or orange... or else had zero depth, whatsoever. Plenty of reds that aren't gorgeous, but this one fit all my needs.

I picked up this Shibui Baby Alpaca DK at Gather Here in Cambridge, and my mouth still waters when I squoosh it:
I love these colors together... Can we say Fair Isle? I also got some Gather Here fabric for Christmas, courtesy of Husband Claus, which is going to become a dress, eventually... But that's a different blog.

Finally, I scored some of the (relatively) new Wollmeise DK a few weeks ago, and it showed up right before the holiday:
For those who are fans of everything -meise, the DK will not disappoint. It has the same feel, strength, and twist of the popular sock yarns, but in a slightly heftier weight. For comparison, I took a shot of the three weights together:
Lace is on the right, followed by fingering and then the DK. The lace looks really thick, but it's only because the skein isn't twisted as tight as the others. You could knock someone out with a skein of WM sock yarn. It's like a little wool Billy club!

Anyhow, 4 skeins of the DK are going to end up in some kind of sweatery end, but exactly what, I'm unsure.

I have a new sweater WIP to show you this week, and I'll need some help picking out a yarn for an upcoming lace shawl project! So please give me your opinions on that when we get to it. Giveaway winners are being picked next week! What happened to December?! We're almost to 2013!

- YX

20 December 2012

Brooklyn Tweed: Wool People 4

How is it Thursday already?!

I've been working on a post about my recent trip to NYC (and a recent, unrelated Wollmeise acquisition), but I need to get into the studio and photograph all of those lovelies! So until then, I thought I might share Brooklyn Tweed's Wool People 4 with you.
Like last time (and, really, every time), the preview book is absolutely stunning and makes me get grabby hands all over everything.

Maybe it's the weather getting to me, but the patterns look beautifully cozy and comfortable.

My favorite is Chicane, a pattern that comes in men's and women's versions. I would absolutely buy this sweater in a store, so it makes absolute sense that I'd want to make it. It's a worsted weight, and for once, I don't think I'd sub in a lighter weight yarn.
I LOVE the detailing on the elbows, the layerable collar, and the texture of the tweed. I think I'd probably go with the requested yarn for this pattern. WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?!

Kindling is a pretty little shawl that seems to relate to the Guernsey wrap for me. The textures remind me of chiseled stone, or ripples of water in an old etching.
It calls for fingering weight yarn on size 8 needles-- I can see it being pretty popular for a quick knit. I'd up the weight to a worsted or bulky, size the needles way up, knit two of them and then kitchner them together to make a throw blanket. Yum.

My final pick is Vertex, a ribbed vest. I love it because I can see it being worn over one of my light dresses. Lately, I've been pairing leggings and a long tee with a light sundress in the winter. Over top, I wear a long, open cardigan or vest. This one would be perfect:
It would also look great with a fitted jean and tailored Oxford shirt, a rocker tee and skinny jeans, or a long, skinny tank or dress in the spring. Versatile layering pieces are the best.

Those are my picks! Which ones do you like?
- YX

PS- There's still time to win December's stitch marker giveaway! Enter here!

10 December 2012

Trips: Boston and New Orleans

It seems like my husband and I have been taking a ton of trips lately! For Thanksgiving, we headed up to Rhode Island to see my in-laws. While there, we took a day trip into Boston. Whenever we're in a new city with time to kill, I hop on Google to see if we're near any good yarn stores. (See: Hartford)

In Boston, we were able to make it to two stores. The first, Windsor Button, is downtown near Boston Common. Opened in 1936, the store is packed full of fun little notions, and a large yarn section:
There was a lot of Cascade, Malabrigo, and Berroco yarn (as well as some Lion Brand and other larger brand names)- the yarn is super well organized, and shopping there was quite a bit of fun, although I didn't buy anything. I DID spend about ten minutes molesting the madelinetosh yarn at the front of the store, though. If you're in Boston, doing a Freedom Trail tour, definitely get there early and hit Windsor Button.

We also happened to head to Cambridge, stopping at the adorable Gather Here. Here's a cute little video from their birthday, which shows the store a bit:
If you're near Harvard, you'll want to stop there. Particularly if, like me, you knit AND sew. Too many adorable fabrics to walk away.
Last weekend, we were in New Orleans for a holiday party, and I ventured into the French Quarter to Quarter Stitch, a needlepoint/ yarn store. The Yarn Harlot wrote about going there in 2007, and I find her brief description of the store to be accurate. A ton of Malabrigo, a big basket of Blue Heron rayon, and bunches of other, smaller brands interspersed throughout the store. They don't like photographs in the store(due to the needlepoint kits), but if you peruse this search for images of the store, you'll see quite a few. I didn't find anything that particularly struck my fancy on that day. 
I would have loved to explore some other stores in New Orleans, but time wasn't on my side! Luckily, we have some more trips planned in the upcoming year: Columbus, Ohio (my hometown), and New York City are on the list, for sure. If we were just going somewhere for yarn? Portland, for me! How about you guys? Any yarny destinations on your list?
- YX
(PS- Don't forget to enter to win some stitch markers! Someone asked for hummingbirds in the comments, and suddenly, hummingbirds appeared in the Snarky Llama etsy store! Now that's service!)

04 December 2012


You guys, I have queued SO MANY THINGS lately. This is primarily because, over on the Ravelry forums, I belong to a group that is currently engaging in a massive Secret Santa. But instead of picking a name out of a hat, people are gifting knitters in the community who have had a special affect on them this year. The recipients get earburned by the organizer, and they respond with patterns or things they want for the holidays! I've gifted a few people- some friends, excellent knitters, people who have helped me work through some knitting issues this year... It's great!

The unintended consequence of all this surprise gifting is that I've been introduced to a ton of great new patterns. Here are a few:

Ochre by Veera Valimaki... Someone gifted this to me on Ravelry, and it's the next thing on the needles for me! Although the pattern calls for a fingering weight yarn, I'm thinking Wollmeise lace, which is a thicker weight lace yarn. (For reference, my Versio is made of the same yarn)

Adam's Ribs Cap Sleeve Wrap by Carol Sunday is gorgeous and would be amazing in a linen or cotton, but also would look SO cute layered over a long sleeve tee!

Kyllene, by Kirsten Jensen, which makes me feel like I don't have the skills to make it. Remember when I showed you millamelli's eclectic electric? Same pattern!

And those are just a few!
- YX

PS:Don't forget to enter December's giveaway!

02 December 2012

December Giveaway!

This month, I have a great giveaway! The lovely folks at Snarky Llama Creations are giving away a $12 store gift card to get anything you'd like in the store!

They do adorable stitch markers and jewelry:

What a great way to beat the post-holiday slump!

To enter this month, check out the Snarky Llama Etsy store and shop around... Come back here and tell me which item you like best, and why! I'll pick a winner at the end of the month! Good luck!

- YX

01 December 2012

November Giveaway winner!

Time to pick some winners!

The random number generator says #9 and #12!

I'll be contacting you to get you the patterns! Congrats and keep trying to win!

Edit: Wendy! Hopefully you see this... Can you email me (or Rav PM me) your username so I can send your pattern over? Thanks!

(December's post is coming up soon!)
- YX