Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Finally recovered from my post-Stitches hangover.

What is there to say? It was great as always – not as huge as some past years, but perhaps better because of it. My resolve to limit my spending was gleefully abandoned upon encountering the Blue Moon Mill Ends.

Pidgeonroof Studios had some pretty yummy stuff too. My first (and favorite purchase) was chosen in a swap for some of the recent Plucky Classic called "Container Garden" – I really needed to have at least two, and probably three skeins of this yarn, so I let the pretty blue Peliedes colorway go.

I still have a skein of "Vitals" and "Lemongrass" to pet in the meanti

Other goodies from Stitches insisted on coming home with me – the Miss Babs booth sure had my number. I had to have this beautiful laceweight that was named “Pewter” in other weights. My photo does it absolutely no justice. I’m thinking that this’d be perfect for Shipwreck. Add some gunmetal silvery-grey beads… oooohh… my toes just cramped up from curling…

Chocolate Roses.
How could I not buy this stuff? I don’t know what this will be, but after returning to her booth time and time again just to pet this yarn, two big skeins of Yowza Worsted weight had no choice but to come home with me. I don't know what this will end up being - maybe another February Lady?

I also found the colorway of Malabrigo that DH requested for a hat. Call it buttercup, sunshine, whatever. I see urine yellow. He, however, loves it. It is now a Koolhaas Hat
, and I have still a decent sized gob of it left.There has to be something good to do with the leftover chunk but I’m so not a fan of yellow that I can’t summon up any ideas at all...

I took only two classes this year – Challenging Japanese Stitches, and Celtic Cables. The Challenging Japanese stitches class was indeed challenging – I’m a reasonably fast knitter and I found myself struggling to keep up and even skipped one of the test swatches. A great three hour class that probably should have been a six-hour class. The sample franken-swatch I produced is not remotely fit for publication; at some point I hope to go through the swatch samples again one at a time and post the results. A couple of them were really beautiful and had a lot of potential for future designs. One or two were… ahem… not my style (think bobbles on steroids). I’m not a fan of bobbles, being already somewhat round and bobble-shaped myself.

Celtic Cables was great fun. I’d already purchased the Continuous Cables book last year and tried one or two of the examples… and failed miserably. Melissa Leapman is a delightful teacher and has an absolute passion for the subject that shone through the entire class.

We started with a simple swatch:

Then did a more complicated one:

Then I did this one at home, just for fun.

It still has its issues with some gapping at the increase point, but with some practice I could totally do this.

Funny story: two years ago at Stitches I literally stalked a woman through the Market wearing the most amazing red hoodie/cardigan with a beautiful celtic knot on the back. Just about the time I was working up the nerve to ask her where the pattern came from someone else beat me to it – and it turned out to be Melissa, wearing the very sweater featured on the cover of Continuous Cables. Taking her class was a no-brainer for me after seeing that sweater. If you have the opportunity to take one of her classes do it.

I also started – and stopped – the most recent installment of the BMFA club shipments. The My Blue Heaven colorway left my fingers stained a vivid blue. I felt bad about complaining about the skein, given all the trouble they’ve had with poor quality yarn from their mill. But when my daughter saw my stained fingers and issued an “eeeewwww” comment I emailed Blue Moon about my possibly having a fluke skein with had a dye hadn’t quite set properly. Sometimes things happen – and Blue Moon is a class act, so my replacement skein is on its way. I
do so wish that they’d send along the elves who will string all those darned beads for the Queen of Beads pattern however.

Other random items -
a Branching Out scarf, destined to be a birthday present made for a dear friend of ours. This was a super fast knit, done using six skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere. Yummy soft. Foolishly I forgot to get a final photo though, just the picture of the blocked scarf. I modified it slightly, knitting each half separately then grafting the two pieces together so the ends matched. Yes, that is such a Libra thing to do... I can't stand things that are mismatched or out of balance!

Other miscellaneous news: DD has been accepted to several more colleges, though not UCLA, which makes me both happy and sad. And she broke a bone in her foot in a silly/clumsy moment. Much grief has followed on that subject – she cannot participate in the Prom fashion show (that big ugly black boot and crutches not being much of a fashion statement). The boot and crutches put a huge damper on the upcoming music-cruise-to-Mexico trip as well as prom night itself.

She is off the swim team too - this is a huge blow, and she is more pissed off about this than anything else. She initially refused to accept a handicap placard and has to be forced to use the few elevators available at her school (which is built on a hill for cryin’ out loud!) Her teachers are being nice enough to let her out of each class a couple of minutes early and her friends are helping her by carrying her backpack, and are driving her to and from school. This weekend she will be performing in the adjudicated music festival that she participates in every year... and having to stand on one foot to perform a seven minute solo with sore hands and arms is going to be challenging, to say the least. Wish her luck!


junior_goddess said...

Ohh-walking boots suck.

Like the yarnporn, tho.

smariek said...

Hope her foot is feeling better now.

Gorgeous yarn.

Grace said...

wonderful yarn, I am in love with Ms Babs myself but so far I have been good and haven't bought any!