Tuesday, April 11, 2006

The Yarn Harlot HEALS!

Here it is, THE sock. The one that the Yarn Harlot touched. She has healed my hatred of the sock and inspired me to finish it today. That, and the fact that the Trekking XXL yarn that I've had sitting around for about 2 weeks is SCREAMING at me now, not just whimpering forlornly in its basket. I must cast on a pair of socks...of course, I must teach myself how to cast on with toe-up socks, since the only socks I've knit so far (all three of them) were top-down.

But check this out...look at the wonky toe. I followed the pattern and decreased the right way, but the toe is wonky and a little uncomfortable. I think if it stretches out even a touch it will be ok, so I'm NOT ripping back, just forget about it! The second sock, despite it being the exact type of sock I love for summer (they show off my bony ankles so nicely!) will be waiting...I MUST cast on socks with the Trekking yarn. So any ideas?

The Big Payoff

YES! The moment you've all (ok Colleen, and maybe Natasha) have been waiting for! Your eyes do not deceive you...that is the Yarn Harlot, THE Yarn Harlot, holding MY sock, while I hold HER sock! ACK!!! (That's the side of my face over on the left of the top pic - thanks Col!) I told her I hated the sock (it's my first real pair of socks - the other pair having been knit for my daughter and being so small they didn't count - didn't even use a whole skein of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock) and needed inspiration to finish and if maybe, just maybe, she held it, I'd be inspired. So she did! How cool is that? Oh, and I guess I should mention that it's only an ankle sock from here, and it's only the FIRST sock. Nope, no second sock syndrome here, I have FIRST sock syndrome. This does not bode well for the ever-growing sock yarn stash upstairs plaintively wailing to be used. Oh, woe.

And this is the haul from Loop. It's not much, just the Yarn Harlot's new book, a Mac n' Me pattern for a chunky kiddie sweater (#65 Children's Cotton Tape Sweater - I'm a sucker for chunky sweaters on wee ones), and a skein, one single skein, of Schaefer Yarns "Anne" yarn. It sat in its little bowl on the table next to me the entire time whispering sweet nothings at me, and when I saw someone knitting a pair of socks with it, I knew it had to be mine. (I resisted the skeins of Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky that my elbow was buried in the entire time, even though I'm a sucker for both gorgeous charcoal greys and yarn names like "Grey Wolf.") There are 560 yards of gorgeous superwash merino/mohair/nylon blend. I don't know if it's going to be socks, or if I have enough to do something else (a small lacy shawl or scarf, perhaps? It's variegated yarn, but subtle - charcoal grey, dark cadet blue, dark fern green...hmm). The yarn haul was so much smaller than I thought it would be that I actually stopped on the way back to the car because I thought I'd forgotten my bag. Ha. Didn't have one, didn't need one for one skein of yarn. I decided to be "responsible" (plus, facing $52 skeins of yarn that probably aren't enough to knit much with, I decided to be "smart".) The DH should be so proud!

Here is a cute picture of my daughter Ella enjoying her poncho. Funny, when I first knit it, she was just ok with it, so maybe she just had an inordinate amount of sugar in her system...who knows? All I know is she's too cute and loving something her mommy knit - that's good enough for me.

Monday, April 10, 2006

The Harlot and I...

and a yarn shop full of other people, too, I guess.

Here is Loop's owner introducing Stephanie, the Yarn Harlot. She is SO tiny! I knew she was, but it's hard to wrap your mind around it (and my mom is only 5'2"). I'm just glad that she was sitting when she was signing books, because I already feel huge without having someone so tiny next to me!

Here she is taking the ubiquitous picture of her sock out and about at book signings...she says it's because her mom said the "knitting thing" would never work out. Too funny! Actually, she's just as funny as on her blog, very personable too.

Oh, and this is SO cool, wait for it....

wait for it....

Apparently you're going to have to wait until tomorrow, because Blogger has decided that NOW would be a good time to crap all over me. So wait for it....

Friday, April 07, 2006

See, I told ya!

I promised I'd have more fibery updates for you today, and here they are! I told ya!

First, for the sweet, lovely, and talented Natasha who I tried to email these pics to THREE times, some yarn on the spindle that I spun from fiber from her shop, Luxe - wool, ingeo, a ton of different angelina (SO sweet!) and some other stuff, I'm sure! This was chock full of texture and pretty surprises. Natasha has such beautiful fibers and gorgeous yarns - I aspire to create art like hers! And her new hand-dyed sock yarns are to die for, too! Sorry the pics are a little blurry, I was trying to take them before my daughter took my spindle! I wish I lived close to Natasha so we could hang out and spin and have fibery fun...she's one of those people you just can't help but like, even if you only really "know" her through her blog!

Here's some of the yarns I've been spinning lately that will be in my Etsy shop hopefully by tomorrow!

Flamino Toes, falklands wool....so squishy and BRIGHT!

Fraggle - handdyed domestic wool with rainbow-dyed lincoln locks spun in!

AHHHHHH!!! Blogger drives me NUTS! Why is it that whenever I try to load more than 1 pic at a time they all disappear?!?!!? I'm going to SCREAM!!! ahem...

This is I Got the Blues, which was spun from injection dyed fiber...very cool! A fun, relatively low-maintenance way to dye.

Here's Lookin' at You, my first hand-painted (as opposed to hand-dyed) fiber spun up. Hand-painting is tons of fun, although I can only do it when my daughter is in bed, since I have to spread out all over the dining room table! Toddlers and colorfast dyes don't go together too well (neither do toddlers and oil paints, but that's a different story!)
And last but not least, Rainbow Connection, rainbow-dyed Merino with angelina spun into it like locks. It will probably shed angelina as it's knit, but it looks SO pretty!

Updates updates updates!

Why is it that things always sound better in threes? Anyhoo...just to prove I haven't been completely idle, some FOs, UFOs, and fibery goodness!

My big project for now is Picovoli. I read about it while visiting natasha's archives, so I checked it out and LOVE it. I'm doing it in sky blue Cotton Fleece...vurrry pretty! This is my darling daughter Ella helping me out! I'm just finishing up the bust area, so still have a ways to go!

I always swore I wouldn't knit for my dog, no matter what size (and definitely not for an 80-pounder - like I don't have enough stuff on my list!) but apparently I knit this poncho for Buck and not Ella...poor Buck!

And just to prove I haven't been slacking all this time I've been away from my blog, here's an FO, a facecloth knit out of Linen Isle yarn from Plymouth Yarns. It's for my mom's new house, and it was knit in Chinese Waves pattern. I'm knitting another one out of a pale pink and a TBD pattern.

I will post yarns later, that will be available in my Etsy shop either later today or tomorrow. The toddler just woke up, and yes, it's almost 2:30 and I still need to take a shower! Off to scrub-a-dub-dub!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

I HEART Matt Nathanson

There are fibery updates, I promise, but first, some fangirl gushing.

Last night DH and I ventured into the city to World Cafe Live to see Matt Nathanson. We saw him open for Tori Amos about a year ago at the Kimmel Center, and he had me at hello. If you like funny, affable, smart, talented singer/songwriters, you MUST give Matt a listen! He's in his early thirties, I think, so he was brought up on hair bands and metal, so DH loves him for all his 80's rock references (like his reference to sleeveless T-shirts being the secret to rockin' out Journey-style). He's one of those guys who's just so genuinely funny and interesting that you want him to keep talking as much as you want him to keep singing. Good good stuff. His new live album, At the Point, was recorded at The Point in Bryn Mawr last year (a show we couldn't get to because it sold out in minutes!) and it's a GREAT representation of both his music and his personality. This is a guy who, after his own set and Tori's almost 3-hour set at the Kimmel, made himself available to the absolute crush of people wanting to meet him and get his autograph. It took us at least 30 minutes in line just to buy his studio release Beneath These Fireworks and then at least another hour to meet him. But he was still upbeat and friendly and chatty, no matter that it was almost midnight by that point. Very very cool guy. Buy his stuff here and support him!

And if you get the chance to go to the World Cafe Live, do it. It's down near UPenn, it's XPN's venue, and it's awesome! They serve dinner, which is nice and reasonable (DH and I had a burger and chargrilled chicken parm sandwiches, respectively, plus split a dessert, had coffee, and DH had 3 beers, and we spent $40). The entire place is pretty much tables so you can eat and watch, they have wait service the entire concert, plus a bar. We were upstairs in the mezz, and our seats were couches. It was so nice and comfy...for $15 a pop! We ate dinner at tables, then moved to our couch right at the edge of the balcony. And the acoustics...WOAH! What a GREAT place to hear music! Check it out, you won't be disappointed!

Of course the universe is conspiring against me...the digital camera is dead, so I have to charge it. Pics and fibery updates later, I promise!


Ok, on to the fibery goodness. Although I guess right now it's more knitting goodness (only because I JUST got my camera cleaned out so I can take pics of the dozen or so skeins of yarn waiting for me to photograph and list on Etsy). First, my room is done, except for some storage issues. I'm hopefully going to IKEA this weekend to get this, which I think will be a nice way to store the bagged fiber! Can't wait! I would love to have one of these when you come right in our front door, to create a little nook (I LOVE nooks!) where our overstuffed armchair is, but I think our 2-year-old would probably use it to climb...

Here are some room pics.

This is the room maybe HALF loaded. Yes, half loaded. I've been a spinner for less than a year, and I've amassed so much fiber I don't think this very small room (I call it the half-bedroom, they say these rowhomes we live in are 3 BR, but there's NO way to fit the things one would need in a bedroom in this room!) will be able to hold it all. A lot of it waits until MDSW and the hopeful purchase of a wheel!

This is the wall my spinning chair is up against. It's got room tattoos of a moon and stars against the darker purple paint. And under it is a print of a tree I got from a seller on Etsy who has some beautiful prints. I have a thing for trees, especially bare trees...just LOVE em!

This is where I want to put the bookcase from IKEA, so it will be right across from where I sit and I can admire all the pretty fibers! The two green tubs are all yarn...pretty much all wool yarns. I have a storage container under my bed that's all the cotton and acrylic yarns.

This is the same wall where my chair is. My chair would be bottom right. There's a small table next to it (with the striped canvas basket on it) that has my gardening books on it (actually, now it has my old giant CD player on it until I get a smaller one) and next to that (towards the window) is another table that now has my swift and ball winder attached to it. Under all the crap on the table is a neat shelf-y thing that has my knitting books on it. I was going to hang it, but it's really heavy even without the books. There's hanging baskets by the window with balls of fiber from a particular ebay seller in them. I'm going to hang a shelf over the table and a rack under the shelf for my spindles to hang from.

Here's a basket of my handspun that I have to take pics of and get online. There's a few more skeins in that basket since I took the pic...I have a lot of work ahead of me!

And here's a blurry pic of a basket of small samples of other people's handspun that they tend to include with their skeins of yarn (because even though I'm a spinner, I can't resist other people's handspun! It's, uh, market research...yeah, that's it!) I'm thinking of making a scarf or something from all of them!
Spin Sisters
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