Monday, January 22, 2007

The good, the bad, and the suprising.

The other day I was reading through the knitting discussion board on Craftster, and came across a girl who is new to this whole knitting addiction, and who had had an unfortunate experience at the first LYS she went to. Apart from having to overcome the sticker shock of the yarn she wanted, she was faced with a snooty sales clerk and bad customer service. This is unfortunate, but it seems to be a trend that is happening all around us. Today I read an article about reference librarians scoffing or even laughing at patrons who were calling to request information. Furthermore, the information requested was simple and wouldn't have taken up the librarian's time to find a proper and concise answer. So I'm wondering, what gives?

Anytime I visit Loop or Sophie's I'm immediately greeted and offered help. The girls even offer to wind the yarn I've selected while I look around, or to put my things at the counter while I continue to search. This doesn't require anymore effort than being an ignorant jerk would, and as an added bonus I keep going back and giving them more and more of money.

Believe me, I get some bizarre people coming into my work, but I really try and treat all their requests no matter how small or large with the dignity and respect that I would want for myself. I hope that I can acheive the same thing as a librarian. But most of all, I really hope that all those snooty LYS owners and scoffing librarians will wise up and realize that without customers or patrons, there would be no yarn store, no library. And frankly, I don't know what'd I'd do without those things.

Isn't that colorway to die for? I stumbled across a bag of the stuff at Loop in the sale bin. 3 balls of Noro Silk Garden Lite for like $20 total. The pattern is Danica from Knitty. This is my first foray into entrelac, and it's really addictive. Today alone I got through one ball. Already I'm planning another one in some yummy Malabrigo. I love learning new techniques and continuing to push my knitting forward.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Oh Baby

So after several months of taking an extended holiday, winter has decided to grace the east coast with it's frigid but welcome presence. Lemme tell you, it's a little chilly out there. Not like "Oh Gosh, how did we get transported to the artic?" chilly, but enough to finally wear all those hats and scarfs that I seem to make year round just to occupy the time and all those odds and ends leftover from other FOs. Anyways, I bought this yarn at Loop months ago with the intention of making a cowl out of it. So I cast on and made a really small one that was a pain to get over my head and a pain to knit because I thought it was a good idea to use size 11 dpns. This was not a good idea. got warm, and I abandoned the poor thing until Friday when I picked up a size 11 circ. Now I have my cold weather, my cowl, and heck even a nice brown coat to wear with it. Now if only we'd get a little snow...

The yarn is Blue Sky Alpaca's Brushed Suri. I used two strands in brown and orange (I'm sure they have more exotic names) together with the aforementioned circ. I cast on about 64 and worked in 1x1 rib until I felt that it was long and cozy enough. I've still got some yarn leftover, who knows what kind of concoction that will end up on.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The agony of defeat.

Sometimes, many times, ok almost all the time when I visit the LYS I pick up a few skeins for a project that I plan on starting immediately, and then almost as an afterthought I pick up an extra skein of something for some small project I spotted somewhere and plans on getting to...eventually. Such was the case back in, oh I don't know, August or early September when I picked up this skein of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran in Teal. Fetching was all the rage on and I thought, "Well I've got to learn cables some how or other." So of course, I bought one skein, that would be enough right?!!?

Of course not. Yesterday, I finally started the damn things and well. I finished one, got mostly through the other when I realized, there just wasn't quite enough. No point in going back to the LYS now and looking for another skein. I frogged the first. Apologizing all the way that I was unable to make it a suitable mate.

So now I've got these two little balls of the stuff and I wonder, what shall their fate be? Perhaps stripes on one of those scarves I make when bored and give away as holiday gifts to those friends whom I really like, who I think are scarfworthy, just not expensive fancy-pants scarf worthy.

Also, as an afterthought to the project, I'm not a fan of that picot bind off. I think a regular bind off would work just fine and if I ever get the gumption to work up a real pair of these suckers, that's exactly what I'll do.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Yarn Love

I'll admit it. I'm a yarn snob. I love wools and alpaca, I can't stand acrylic, even in blended form. I've got a box full of acrylic, if anyone wants it I'll sell it to you for $10 (A STEAL). But man, when I discovered this Naturwolle 100% Black Forest Virgin Wool, I really fell head over heels. It is of course, like all things that I desire in life, expensive ($24 for 110 yards), but perfect for something small and indulgent like our friend the calorimetry. Naturally, I unwittingly cast-on all 120 stitches, and after two nights of vigorous, selfish, unabashed Christmas eve/day knitting, the damn things was just way too big for my head. I mean really, I can easily fit a hat made for a 5 year old, what was I thinking? I think I was just relieved to be finished knitting things for the holidays. Apart from that Manos hat that I made back in November, I really hadn't treated myself to anything, and I was just really anxious to dive in. (man, that cookie gut really shows, but who cares? It's Christmas, it's cookies, that's life) I promptly frogged the entire thing.

About a week later I picked it up again, and following the advise of the sage and wondrous Craftsters, I only cast on 80, didn't do as many row repeats and was able to complete the project, minus the button, in about 2 hours. I really didn't mind though. Working the yarn a second time around just meant that I could enjoy the feel of it through my fingers once again. It brought me back to that horribly rainy afternoon when Dad and I drove through the Black Forest and saw nothing but steam coming off the trees and some cuckoo clock shops that weren't worth the effort to stop at. In fact, we may hae ate Italian that night, but it was probably the last time in either one of our lives that we'll spend that much time together without having to schedule it or deal with other people. The sad thing is, we're not even that old.

Those colors are really just gorgeous, the way the pumpkin and chocolate accents just rest on the pistachio, so beautiful. If ever I am gainfully employed again, I'm going to make a matching extralong scarf.

For the record, I used size 7 crystal palace straight bamboo needles, and used about half a ball of the Naturwolle which I purchased at Loop. The piece of embroidery floss hanging down was used to attatch a small brown vintage button plucked from my grandmother's stash. This fits around my head and covers my ears very comfortably. I look forward to wearing it whilst biking arond the city, if and when it ever gets cold.

Oh and the buttons underneath? The first order for (All) Buttoned Up. (I'm not sure about the "All" part hence the parentheses, let me know what you think)

They're for the highly talented and rather quirky Adam Acuragi and company. Pete designed them. I just printed them out and did the assembly work. Overall, I'm really pleased and I hope they are as well. And if you like them, remember you too can have custom made buttons. Just send a little email request to

See you soon. Cheers.