Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Knitting Goal Update

Updating my crafting goals! I tend to think of these in year long blocks but really, I'm pretty informal about it. Sometimes it depends on the goal (for example, knit HBf form fingerless gloves- this doesn't need to be done until next winter, and all summer it'll be hot).

My bigger, more general goals right now:
-Enter something in the fair.
----- I'm going to clean up my Malabrigo sweater and enter it, and likely my Seaweed socks from our sock KAL. I don't know if I'll get anything else fair-worthy done in time. The fair is in April.
---- I just want to get better at this, but I'll just find a way to use it in a future project. I don't have any main timeline here.
-Charity knitting
---- There is a charity I can knit for with one of the women going to the Fair. Another knitting friend is running a drive right now, and that might be my main project after the socks (which are my current main project). The rest is ongoing.
- Sewing. This has fallen so very far by the wayside. Honestly, I'm not surprised. Sewing isn't as portable and requires larger chunks of time than knitting.

My smaller, more compartmentalized goals:

- Finish my mom's vest (by this year)
- Knit HBf some fingerless gloves, his current ones are ratty and sad and acrylic anyways (by next winter)
- Knit or crochet some more summery stuff. I am so cold this winter, but really, I live in Las Vegas. It will get hot again. (whenever)
- Set up this loom. (someday)
-Figure out this knitting machine. (I've had the machine for like 4 years now without doing anything, it'll keep waiting)
- The Like Like sweater. I even have the yarn. (by this year)
- The Charlie Brown Sweater Dress. I don't have the yarn for this, but it's a cool idea in my head. (whenever)

It's interesting to see this change from time to time.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Yarn senses are tingling

I stopped by a Goodwill on Rainbow Blvd a few weeks ago to poke around. I tried on about 20 button down shirts and hated the fit of every. single. one.

*sigh* but in happy news, I had a great yarn haul!
I was actually in line to check out!

While in line, I saw this pachinko machine!

Standing in line, I felt like there might be more.. when two bins of yarn on a bottom shelf caught my eye. I had actually passed by the shelf a few times already!
The haul!

Every skein was 99 cents! There were no weird smells, either. I was so happy! Some of the yarn was plain acrylic, some just didn't appeal to me. There was a large amount of a bamboo sock yarn that felt so nice to the touch and I thought it might make a nice top. A hop on Ravelry showed that there were a LOT of bad reviews- mostly that the yarn was splitty. If it's splitty, it won't really be fun to work with, so I passed.

My first ever skein of Noro! Noro was the first "name brand" yarn that I just didn't understand. I thought Iro and Kureyon were so pretty but so scratchy, as if burrs were still in the fleece. This is Noro Silk Garden Sock, which is 40% Lamb's Wool, 25% Silk, 25% Nylon, and (surprisingly, given the feel of this yarn) 10% Kid Mohair.

However, I can see it's appeal. The color changes are like nothing else on the market. The thick and thin style makes it look charmingly handmade- that wabi-sabi aesthetic that prides imperfection. However, I think the weight and the feel- it feels sort of hard and dry to me- are points against it as a sock yarn. The label has some pretty alarming warnings against machine washing it- but online, it seems most people say it must be washed before it softens. I'm glad to have gotten it for such a great price, and I think I will try weaving with it!

I really have a soft spot for alpaca yarn. One of my knitting group friends has an allergy- she can work with it, but can't wear it against her skin. I would be so sad! We don't know if she has the same reaction to any other camelids- llama, camel, or vicuna.
I love the feel of alpaca- that sort of fuzzy denseness. I have been smelling my skeins of alpaca. 
Apparently Blue Sky Alpacas (also one of the first "big fancy names" I knew in knitting) changed the put-up of this yarn, but I can't find much information on it. They changed suppliers, too. 
I have two skeins of green and one of pink.

Cleckheaton!! Cleckheaton is an Australian brand, and so I know it from New Zealand. I haven't seen it much in the US- I haven't seen it at all in Las Vegas! This is a squishy soft 100% Merino in a bright primary red. It's also machine washable! I think it would make a good hat or mittens. I want to make HBf some fingerless gloves (he has a super sad ratty pair of acrylic ones that ought to make any knitter ashamed) but this yarn might be too thick to be comfortable around the fingers. I have some thinner red Berroco Ultra Alpaca, but the color has a purplish tint to it that makes it quite feminine.

This is Schulana (which might be owned by Skacel? it's website is on the ball band) Cortina, a German label. The yarn is 70% Merino 30% nylon polyamide. It is only the tiniest bit wool-itchy, but it would be fine next to the skin.

I love macros, and I love fiber macros even more!

"Bazic Wool" from Classic Elite. A fun orange, either this or the orange above will pair well with some handspun I made years ago- it's some of my first handspun, although I cheated and used pencil roving so it's very even.

It's 100% wool, superwash. It's spun up in a very interesting way- several plies, some thin and some thick.

What a great find!