Sunday, February 11, 2018

Unexpected yarn acquisition

On Friday afternoon, I got a text message from a student friend of mine saying she left a bag of yarn by my office door.  I texted back to say thank you -- I was out of the office at the time.  When I got back, I saw a big trash bag of yarn waiting for me.  I was stunned.  It was full of the "good stuff" -- Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Wollmeise, and other unlabeled odds and ends. There were a couple of in-progress items too, including a piece of a Beatnik sweater.  Two completed shawlettes were in there,  and a partial one:



It's beautiful, right?  I wasn't sure what the pattern is, so I posted this pic on Instagram and asked my internet knitter friends for help.  Within 5 minutes I got a reply saying that it's a Vulpix by Stephen West. Eureka! 

Now, I should also say that another knitter friend was also gifted a big bag of yarn from this same student.  We're not sure exactly why our friend is doing such a huge destash but we're definitely reaching out to make sure everything is okay. 

That being said, it was hard to figure out what do to -- should we hold on to these bags of yarn for a while to be sure our friend won't change her mind?  Or should we assume that she really wanted to unload this yarn for whatever reason(s) and think good thoughts of our friend as we knit happily with it?  We had some trouble deciding the right thing to do, but ultimately made a choice.  Today at our Sunday knitting group, we spread all the yarn out and encouraged folks to choose what they wanted.  It was fun to see what we all gravitated toward, as we chose yarns with particular projects in mind.  Some of it will become a "Find Your Fade" shawl.  I've chosen some Madelinetosh Merino Light in order to knit a Vulpix -- I love that pattern but I'm not really an "orange" person. So I'm going to reknit it in a darker gray and red. The cotton yarn went to a friend who is busy knitting dishcloths and dish towels.  A new knitter friend is now the proud owner of some beautiful brightly-dyed yarns that will be pretty amazing for the colorwork techniques that she's exploring.  Most of the yarn has found new homes and whatever is left will be offered up at a future knitting group.  It feels like the right choice, and we think our friend will be happy to know that we're taking good care of her stash.

But first .... I really need to *finish* some stuff before I *start* some stuff :-) 

Until next time,
-mz

Monday, January 29, 2018

It's finished!


I am so excited to share this project!

This scarf was a gift for one of my dear friends, Lori.  A bit of background: last year I inherited a bunch of yarn from Lori, and over Thanksgiving I dug out this beautiful off-white chunky yarn.  Some time ago someone on Facebook tagged me in this pattern, and I thought the yarn would be perrrrrrrrrrrrfect. So I started knitting.



I didn't have a recipient in mind, but I asked Lori what yarn it was (since there were no labels) and she told me about the bad memories that the yarn held for her.  In that moment I decided without saying it that I was making this scarf for Lori.  So I did.


When I gave it to Lori, she cried.  I cried.  We cried together.  I didn't take pictures of that moment but later on, I got a lovely photo of Lori modeling it.  See? She told me that all the bad memories are replaced with good ones.  That makes me really, really happy.  

The owner and knitters at my local yarn shop, Cast On Yarn Studio are such enablers!  A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I wanted to knit a Shetland Triangle Lace Shawl and they showed me this beautiful Berroco Folio Luxe yarn -- 65% superfine merino, 25% rayon, 8% acrylic, and 2% sparkly bits.  



I was going gangbusters for a bit until somewhere in the 3rd repeat where I made some kind of mistake that I couldn't find or fix.  I *knew* I should have put in a lifeline but noooooooo. I figured I'd be fine to make it through the repeat but I wasn't fine. So I frogged it, start over, and believe me, I've learned my lesson.  I'll post a photo when I get a little bit further along. 

Until then, happy knitting!

-mz

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Something I've never done before

Recently, I signed up to do something I've never done before, but have always wanted to do: attend the Knittin' in the Mitten retreat, organized by CoggieTM of the High Fiber Diet podcast. I've heard about this retreat over the years from Ravelry and other social media sites but for some reason I've never been able to attend -- either due to not having the money, or not having vacation time, or whatever.  I decided that I'm going to make the time and save the money.  So, I requested a spot. The first deposit is due at the end of the month, next deposit (to pay the balance in full) is due later this year and I'll just save for it. I've put the dates of the retreat on my calendar, and will make it work.  I'll get to meet new friends, as well as those I have only known "through the computer."  I'm very much looking forward a new experience!

I've been knitting on a "stealth" project lately and I think I am getting close to being finished.  I can't say a whole lot about it now, but I can show you a sneak peek:


It's going to be sooooooooo pretty, I hope!  I got this yarn in a friend's destash last year.  I'm not 100% sure of the fiber content since I got it without labels, but from the way it feels, I think it's at least 50% alpaca. It's fun to knit, and I hope that the person I'm making it for will love it. *fingers crossed*  It's currently the only one of my WIPs that I'm working on steadily right now. I think it's really the only way that I will make it through my baskets full of in-progress stuff (there are soooooo many projects).  One at a time.

Yesterday I spent some time in my yarn room, tidying up.  I've got 2 more bins of yarn and 3 bins of fiber left to add to my Ravelry stash. I'm excited to get toward the end of this longstanding project. It's really been helpful to do this, though.  Whenever I need a particular yarn, it's wonderful to be able to "shop my stash" -- search in Ravelry to figure out how much I have, and most importantly, figure out which bin it's in! This is one of those projects that is somewhat of an annoyance but one that is well worth doing.

I better get back to it ... these projects aren't going to knit themselves!

-mz

Monday, January 08, 2018

You thought I forgot about you, huh?

Welllll ... I didn't, I promise.  I'll spare you the details of how life has played out for me over the past year but suffice it to say that my creative pursuits have suffered accordingly, as evidenced by one pitiful blog post in the whole year.  However, I'm recommitting myself to more regular self-care and self-love, which, for me, includes playing with yarn ... and blogging about it.  Today is as good a time as any to start.

As usual, I have way too many projects on needles and spindles but when has that ever stopped me from starting something new?  I recently-ish got hip to the Yarnathon game at Eat.Sleep.Knit and decided to play along.  I probably won't do a whole lot to earn points or stars for my team but this will be a fun thing to do this year, and will hopefully help me regain my knitting mojo.

So ... I got this lovely ball of yarn in a holiday gift swap:


It's 70/30 cashmere/silk and it is sooooo soft!  Even with the number of in-progress projects I have, I can't resist casting on something new.  I think I've decided on the Shetland Triangle Lace Shawl.  The yarn is very thin and quite a bit different from anything I've knitted with lately.  I've had a bit of trouble getting started, but I'm chalking it up to "operator error" as I haven't identified a mistake in the pattern, and I haven't seen any indication that there is errata available.  Maybe I need to sit in complete silence to work on this until I get the hang of it.


This pretty lacy shawl is a new project I started over the holidays.



It's called Dragon Scale Scarf, and I've expanded it so that it should end up more like a shawl once it's soaked and blocked. It's an easy pattern to memorize, and lots of fun to knit out of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, in a color called Silver Fox.  I have 3 skeins of this for a total of 1,260 yards.  Should be nice and long.

And now it's way past my bedtime so I'll stop for now but I'll be back soon to catch you up on other crafty goodness!

Until then,
-mz


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Well hello!

My apologies for being away for so long. Life has a way of getting in the way!

I've decided that during this current presidential administration, I'm going to knit pink pussyhats and give them away. So in recent days, I've made hats for my mom:


my friend Lisa:


and my friend Terry:




I am also making one for Lisa's 2-year-old daughter.  It's not quiiiiiiiite finished, but will be in just a few moments.  All that's left is to tuck in the ends.

Also, I had the pleasure of finishing this beautiful baby sweater:


Here's some background on that.  I have a friend, Brenda, who works with a woman named Melissa. When Melissa's mother passed away, Melissa gave Brenda her mother's knitting supplies which included this partially knitted baby sweater.  Melissa's daughter  recently had a baby girl, for whom Brenda had started knitting a sweater.  Brenda asked me whether a piece of the great-grandmother's knitting could be incorporated into the sweater that she was knitting for the new baby.  After looking at both sweaters, I deemed it wouldn't be possible to do a sweater "mash-up."  So I asked Brenda to let me have the partially knit sweater and I'd see where great-grandmother left off in the pattern, and that I'd let her know how to finish it.  As I was puzzling over piecing it together, I decided to just go ahead and finish it.  Isn't it precious?  I enjoyed knowing that the little bit of knitting I did will provide an heirloom for the family to treasure!

Maybe I am starting to get back into my knitting "groove."  I really do hope so.

-mz


... this has been a QuietStorm production, dahling ...