Friday, June 28, 2013

One year!

Today marks the end of my first year of knitblogging! I didn't actually believe I would make it through one whole year, but I'm glad I did!

In celebration, you get this very short and pictureless post. (I neglected to bring my camera to the East Coast. Oh well.)

- Yes, Vostok's edging apparently really is that yarn-intensive. I started knitting the edging nine days ago. I just made it to the halfway point yesterday. I don't have my yarn scale with me, so I can't tell how much of the second ball I've used up so far, but now I can actually believe that I'll end up using 700-800 yards.

- Pickle's sister has a crafting blog! Check it out!

- Bandit has promised to take me to Jimmy Beans in Reno sometime in July!

- Wait, that needed more exclamation marks. !!!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Notes from the road.

Well, not quite from the road yet. But today, I am flying out to the East Coast. A month or more spent away from my stash. And this is all the yarn I'm bringing with me:

...maybe not all. Maybe I should add some more.

Monday, June 17, 2013


It's coming along.

I cast on almost before the yarn was dry from the overdyeing, pausing only to hand-wind the two skeins into reasonable balls. The pattern calls for a size 5 needle, but all I had on hand were, well, size 4 circs that were 12 inches tip to tip. That's a tiny circumference for circulars. I had been using them for sweater sleeves.

I managed well enough on them for the beginning stockinette portion, but by the time I got to the first double-sided lace section, with its double yarnovers and p3togtbl, I decided I would have to get real lace needles at the Estes Park Wool Festival. Very sharp lace needles. With a long cord.

I am so very glad to be done with this section. I was lucky enough to be able to get through it without making any major, unsalvageable mistakes, especially since double-sided lace can be challenging to "read" and I don't use lifelines. I was even kind of getting used to the p3togtbl, near the end (sharp lace tips help!). But still. So glad to be done with that.

Now I'm drawing close to the end of the second lace section, and here's where I find something curious.

The pattern calls for 750-800 yards of laceweight. I've been reading project notes that describe using 787 yards, slightly less than 765 yards, 712 yards, and 760 yards, with various small modifications, including needle size changes more drastic than mine. I'm almost ready to start the knitted-on edging, and my calculations inform me that I've only used 325 yards so far.

Does the edging really require that much yarn? Or do I have some magical ability to knit, and knit, and knit some more, and somehow not use up yarn? Because if the latter is the case, well, I'd really like to know for future projects!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Still catching up.

To continue from last post:

5) Estes Park Wool Market. I'd been looking forward to this year's wool market pretty much ever since going to last year's, and I'd gotten Shannon and Alexis excited about it as well. So last weekend, Bandit came to visit, and on Saturday morning the four of us piled into Shannon's car and made the hour-ish drive into the mountains to Estes Park.

It was almost just as I had remembered. There were barns and tents of sheep, goats, llamas, paco-vicunas, and angora rabbits. There were livestock competitions, including a llama limbo competition. There were outdoor vendors selling lamb kebabs, fresh lemon/limeades, and cinnamon roasted almonds. (The crepe vendors from last year were not present, which made me a little sad. I'd been looking forward to those crepes.) And there was, of course, the vendor warehouse.

Bandit took a few phone pictures to try to capture the sheer scope of the vendor warehouse:

I was shopping both for myself and for others that day. Here's what I got for myself:

Tibetian Cloud Fingering, by Lotus Yarns. It's 100% Tibetian yak, and extremely soft, with a sort of subtle dull sheen. I don't know why it's called "Fingering" - it's pretty clearly a laceweight to me. I'm thinking about taking this and some of the golden beads that will inevitably be left over from Vostok, and knitting a lace shawl for Kathy.

Skaska Lace. After knitting my Nouveau Beaded Capelet with the skein of Skaska Lace I got last year, I knew I had to go back to their booth again this year. This skein didn't have a tag on it, but I'm sure it's another ~1250 yards of merino/silk. I'm thinking of knitting a Hanami with this, possibly.

And finally... this extravagance. Bandit insisted on buying something from the Skaska booth for me. He picked out this skein of - brace yourself - 1650 yards of 55% silk/45% yak. I tried to make him put it back - it was $45! - but when my back was turned, he sneakily snatched it up again and paid for it. What ever will I do with this man?

I have no idea what I could make with this. I do want to find a pattern that will use up as much of it as possible. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Oh dear.

Sorry for the abrupt silence. Lots of things have happened, but - let's just get caught up, shall we?

1) I overdyed the yarn for Vostok. In its natural state, it's a vivid reddish-purple. I had to overdye it twice to get the right shade, but now it's a slightly darker, bluer violet.

2) I learned how to hand-wind center-pull balls. I didn't have my ball winder on hand, but desperately wanted to start knitting, so I looked up how to make my thumb a nostepinne. It takes a really, really long time - especially with laceweight! - but having a ball of yarn for a thumb for several hours is actually surprisingly fun. As long as you don't need to do anything that requires an opposable thumb.

I love the apple-like shape of the resulting ball, too - very distinctive and unlike a mechanically-wound cake at all.

3) Yarn from Germany!

I had to talk Bandit out of buying all the purple yarn for me, but in revenge he went to the DyeForYarn Etsy store and secretly picked out yarn for me. And then categorically refused to tell me anything about it other than that it existed. I thought I would burst from curiosity and impatience, but as long as the wait seemed to me, its arrival was timed perfectly - it finally reached us on our two-year anniversary.

The light fingering teal yarn on the left is already slated to become something for Luna's birthday.

4) I did not get to work more on the Slide socks. Sorry!

5) Estes Park Wool Market! More details in the next post.