Monday, February 18, 2008

Meet-Ups and Milestones

The Meet-Up
I've waited far too long to write about the new yarn store I visited recently with other PDX Knit Bloggers.  A group of us went to Yarnia in SE Portland (thanks to Tiggywinkleknits and Toolman for driving!).  Yarnia is unique in that you don't just find a couple of skeins to buy.  You find dozens upon dozens of these cones. 

You can then combine up to six of any cones to make a completely unique yarn that includes all the fiber types, colors, and weights that the purchaser prefers.   The bookcase above shows only a small, small variety of what the store has to offer.  Definitely check their website for more pics and info.  The basket below contains my choices. 

The two magenta pinks and the purple lurex (shiny strand) became this bulky weight yarn.  It's a combo of a silk blend, an acrylic boucle and the lurex for a little dazzle.  It kind of reminds me of Indian Sari Silk yarn.

The other three cones plus one I added after I took the picture became this blend.  It is four strands:  one light pink linen/cotton, one ecru linen/cotton, medium pink rayon and one pink lurex strand.  The overall effect is a light lacey type of yarn that will one day become a lovely summer shawl/wrap......once I figure out the pattern, that is.  I've been combining lace edging and insert patterns but haven't hit the mark quite yet. 
That's okay, though, 'cause I've got a few projects this month that I am really very excited about.  For one, the above mentioned Tiggywinkleknits sent out the call to the PDX Knit Bloggers for donations for a charity auction benefitting a very brave young boy named Thomas who is battling cancer.  I designed a not too complicated pattern from my stitch dictionaries for an evening wrap that hopefully will bring a few dollars for this boy and his family.  This family needs all the support it can get.  If you're in the area and want to attend the dinner and auction, click on Thomas' name for his website and check the "Events" section for all the details.  

Secondly, I'm also really excited about my first venture in test knitting for a local pattern designer.  Not gonna say who, not gonna say what.  Suffice it to say that I think the buying public will really like this pattern when it finally comes out and that I will be posting photos galore at that point.  

Soooooo......back to the needles for me.  I've got some work to do :-)!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I Blog In My Head Every Day

I was having that conversation with Tiggywinkleknits at Knit Night last night.  During the course of any day, I'll usually see/read/hear something that I feel is blog-worthy.  Unfortunately, with two small children, sitting down and completing that process can be a little challenging.  But, in my head, I blog every day.  

So, what have I learned recently?  That there is a small price to be paid when one joins a knitting group that includes several spinners.  While you may steadfastly announce that spinning is of no interest to you, after watching others in your group create lovely yarn in beautiful colors you may find yourself in a daze standing in front of the drop spindles and roving in your local yarn store.  I now own three drop spindles and have been drooling over the spinning wheel in my favorite antique store.

My first attempt at spinning was less than successful.  While I spun up a couple of thick single yarn strands with okay results, my attempt to ply them together resulted in this tangled mess.
Luckily, with practice, I got better. 

This hank was particularly satisfying.  I started by separating the roving into two equal batches.  The first batch was relatively thick but the next batch came out so much thinner that I could actually ply three strands.  The color combinations really worked out well.  If I'm lucky, I'll be able to get a hat out of this amount of yarn.  
 And for my final thought........Happy Valentine's Day to you all!  May it be filled with goodness and lots of chocolate.  Oh wait, chocolate and goodness are the same thing.