Friday, July 18, 2014

Friday Mishmash - All Things Yarn

On the corner near Downtown Knits in Apex - a yarn-bombed tree, a little free library, a cool mural - so charming!

I like to check out yarn shops when I travel, and managed to make it to four of them in the Raleigh area - Downtown Knits in Apex, Warm 'n Fuzzy in Cary, Great Yarns, and Yarn Tree Studio, both in Raleigh.  I was surprised that when I walked into Great Yarns, they remembered me from my visit in March!  I had some birthday money earmarked for yarn, and some ideas of what I was wanting to knit, so I shopped with projects in mind, instead of what I normally do (which is go crazy with all the colors and buy random skeins because they are so soft and pretty). 

Here's what I ended up with:
To make a Woven Ladder hat - I've been intrigued by this hat/yarn combo even since Susan Anderson designed the hat, so when I came across the exact yarn during my travels, I had to buy it.
To make my first colorwork project - Little Scallops hat, which will have a (you guessed it) scalloped brim.
Probably another Sugarpine Rasta hat, although who knows.  Any case, I have a hard time resisting the lure of a beautifully dyed skein of Malabrigo Rasta...
I had so much fun seeing the yarn self-stripe and pattern when I made my Hipster Baby Flappy Hat that I had to get yarn in more colors.  Hipster Baby Flappy Hats for EVERYONE (say that in Oprah's voice)!
Malabrigo Mecha, in Azules colorway.  This picture isn't doing the yarn justice, but I'm making a Barley hat with it.  I had the yarn wound when I bought it and started knitting it while I was in NC.
The purchase of this yarn evolved from being intrigued with a different gradient yarn called Crazy Zauberball, which I've looked at for a couple of years now.  One store in NC carried it, and instead of buying it with no plan in mind, I went on Ravelry at the store (they have a computer available for customers to do just this, which I really appreciated) to look at the patterns I'd saved, with that yarn in mind.  As it turned out, I wasn't crazy (ha!) about how the Zauberball knitted up in those patterns.  I WAS crazy about how beautiful this yarn looked when it was knitted up into Zuzu's Petals, which is a really pretty cowl.  So I ended up ordering a skein (you could even specify how you wanted it wound, so you'd start out with a specific color, which was pretty neat).  I think I'll be happier with this yarn, and it feels like I'm maturing a tiny bit in terms of getting a little more selective with choosing yarn.

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I finally finished my pink shawl!  I seriously thought it would take me pretty much this entire year to knit, because it was complicated enough that I could only work on the lace pattern for a little bit at a time...anything more than about one hour and I tended to make mistakes.  Um, yeah.  Speaking of mistakes...I was weaving in the ends and discovered that I had live, loose stitches in the middle of the lace border!  This was a very bad situation, as there was no way to easily rip back (other than undoing more than half of that lace border)(and that WASN'T going to happen).  Luckily for me, my knitter/runner friend Cary was able to work some magic and fixed it - I swear, she's a true detective when it comes to figuring out mistakes and correcting them. 

Finished shawl after blocking:
Top two were shot outside, the others were inside...funny how the yarn color looks so different!

Finished shawl before and during blocking:
Top two pictures shows how you HAVE to block lace - it's hard to distinguish the pattern otherwise.  Bottom two pictures are after I soaked it in special wool wash, and then pinned it out to dry.  Huge difference!

Traditional shot of Paco modeling the shawl:
Pink iz not my color, Mom!  So embarrass.

When it's not stupid hot, I'll take some pictures of me wearing it - I've got a couple ideas on styling it and I think the shawl will look pretty sharp over a black longsleeved t-shirt.  But that will have to wait for a cool front to blow in...so maybe October?

17 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Paco agrees, but he wishes it was red. ;)

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  2. The shawl is so pretty! (Sorry, Paco). You should be proud of that, not only for finishing faster but also for just how nice it came out.

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    1. Thanks! Lacework is still a huge challenge for me (lordy, I've probably knit the edge of this shawl one and a half times with all the mistakes I had to undo and reknit), so it's extra pleasing to like the finished product. :)

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  3. Wish I lived near you and you could teach me how to knit! Paco looks adorable and very stylish!

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    1. Me, too! I'd love to spread the knitting joy.

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  4. Wow, what a fun knitting/yarn shopping report! All the yarn is gorgeous--very good taste! The woven ladder hat--very cute how the yarn colors come out in that pattern. The twisted yarn is gorgeous--so can you do an entire cowl with one skein? And your shawl is beyond gorgeous. Now you're making me very unhappy with the shawl pattern I am currently working on.I might have to rip it out and start all over. What is that pattern's name?

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    1. That will just be enough yarn for the cowl - I think the pattern, Zuzu's Petals, calls for 150 yards in the light worsted, and I have 170 yards. :)

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  5. Wow!! All your yarn finds are gorgeous and I love the patterns you have chosen! The Zuzu's petals cowl is going to look super in that yarn!!

    Your shawl turned out so pretty and I don't care what Paco says, he's pulling off the pink! :)

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    1. Thanks! I'm glad to have projects in the queue.

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  6. You and yarn shops are like me at a Whole Foods - so much to see and touch!

    Love all the lively colors, and of course Paco is the best model evah! Have a great weekend!

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  7. That shawl is stunning! It's crazy how the lighting changes the color, too.

    Your yarn speak confuzzles me. I just like looking at the pretty things you make with it.

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  8. You have bought some fabulous yarn, can't wait to see what you are making of it.

    The shawl looks fabulous! You are so ready for knitting a sweater because this is a very difficult pattern. Poor Paco :) it's so obvious pink isn't his color LOL

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  9. Wow, gorgeous skeins; *almost* makes me want to learn to knit. Huzzah for more adorable hats in your future!
    Hahaha to Paco the model. "Whut you mean, STAY?! I not wunt to sit, stay, no move a mussl, under THIS! It made for gurls! Where Gingr when I need her-geez."
    Chrissy

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  10. Such pretty yarns!

    Paco deserves a raise for his modeling duties!

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