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Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yarn Along: Better Late than Never

That's what I keep telling myself anyway. This has been a kind of disappointing couple weeks for knitting, actually. Elijah's sweater is still not finished. One sleeve is just about completed and the other still needs to be done. I made the size that would just fit him, because I wasn't sure that I would have enough yarn to make it a little looser. Now that I'm nearly finished, it is obvious that I would have had enough yarn to make it roomier for him. However, as the yarn was discontinued and I had a limited amount of it, I went with the greater estimate of how much yarn I would need. I don't particularly want to make it all over, though, so it will fit him for the windy days and cool nights this spring and likely go to someone else by the fall. Unless he doesn't grow that much.

Aside from not really having the time to work on Elijah's sweater, I didn't get much time to work on Ventus while we were traveling, as I was either busy or sick. Also, I had been working on a coordinating pair of baby booties to go with a bonnet I'd made, to give to a work friend of Rich's, but I only had enough yarn to make one and a third of them. I even chose a third coordinating yarn to do the heels and toes on them, and still didn't have enough. I gave up at that point and frogged.

Cute bootie, though.

I'm also making a set with a vest and hat for this couple. Because we know them through Rich's work, and since I had that dayglow, hideous, florescent yellow yarn, Rich mentioned it to the fellow, and the two guys thought it would be perfect to make a runway safety vest for their new little boy (who will be arriving any day now) so he could come to work with his father. So, I have made the world's ugliest baby sweater vest. Rich said to look on it as an act of love. That is what is pictured up top there, it needs the ends woven in and that's that. It is so blindingly bright it will keep that child awake. The hat is a bonus, as I figured he might as well have a matching set of ugly. It will forever give them a story about their first born child and that wacky lady who made the revolting sweater and hat set.

I wanted to make the booties to give with the bonnet so the fellow's wife wouldn't think that I have no taste at all. I'll give them the bonnet, and if I can find the time, I'll whip something else up that is nicer looking to give them as well.

Since I was traveling, I did shop for yarn, and I picked up quite a bit, since we visited several places with nice yarn shops. I also came home to my Paradise Fibers yarn of the month club package, which was a treat.

Here is the yarn I picked up at our home town yarn shop. The red, mink, lace weight yarn is something I had my eye on last summer when we visited, but didn't get. This time I did. There was one more skein of it that I didn't buy because I knew I'd be buying other yarn, but if it is there when I return, I will. The creamy white yarn is really cool. It changes from cream to pink with UV light. It doesn't even have to be full sun, just real sun light, even through cloud cover, or a UV lamp, I suppose. There is another color that goes from the same cream to a lavender color. I'm going to get some of that and some HiKoo Simplicity in the same base color when we go on our next trip and I have a couple really great plans for what to do with them.

The next shop I visited is pretty neat, and when we used to live in the area I never really had a chance to shop there as much as I wanted. I picked up a few skeins of American and locally produced yarn. The pull skeins are a cotton wool blend raised and spun in Virginia. The other two are a natural alpaca and wool blend whose color name is based on the names of the animals who produced the fiber. That was made right there in that county.

I've been trying to match a ribbon color that came attached to a tag on a dress for a few months now. I want to make a cropped jacket to go with the dress. The ribbon was lying across the fabric and I thought that it looked really nice with the plum color of the dress. It's not something I would have chosen had I not seen it that way, so I tucked the ribbon in my knitting bag and it's been following me along ever since. There was a perfect match for that ribbon. One skein of it. And it's possibly discontinued. So, if anyone out there has six or seven skeins of Lang Amalfi lying around in this same color #760.0078 (it was sometimes also only known by the last two to four numbers, 78 or 0078), especially in dye lot #70703, I'd be happy to buy them from you. The other two skeins are nice wool that are in a similar color family, and I bought them just because they were pretty.

And here we have my yarn of the month selection: Frolicking Feet Gradient DK in Silvered Spruce. A little bit of sock yarn for darning came with it, but I think I'll use it in color work with baby or other small objects. There are four more months of the yarn of the month club after this. I don't know if I will do it again, because of some things that have changed at the store. I'm trying to give them a fair shake to work out the kinks in the system, but it hasn't been as great as it used to be. We shall see. If I don't do it again, though, that will free up some money for a Yarn Box or Knit Crate subscription for Christmas, or even a Magnolia Society Sweater Club, which I held off on this year.

If you didn't see the announcement a couple weeks ago, Saint Helena is live on both Nimblestix and Ravelry. Again, if you like it, it would thrill me if you favorited, queued, or bought it.

I'm looking for people willing to test a pattern for me in the next month or so. I should have the pattern ready in a couple weeks. My goal is to have it published in mid- to late May, if anyone is willing to take a shot at testing the knitting on this pattern, and if it can be tested pretty soon. This is a bit more complicated than Saint Helena, being knitted lace, with patterning on both sides. It is an adult sized, kerchief style headband. I made a doll sized version as my sample, which is what is in the photos (if it matters, the color is truer in the second picture), but this would be sized for an adult. It shouldn't take more than a few nights to a week once the basics of knitted lace are mastered. Yarn required is a fingering weight. I made mine out of a cotton/wool blend. I would not recommend a variegated yarn, either a solid color or subtle semi-solid. Skills required: Basic knitting, yarn overs, decreasing by k2tog and ssk, casting on at the end of a row, knitting in the round, reading a chart. It shouldn't take more than a few nights once the basics of knitted lace are mastered. Please e-mail me or leave a comment with contact information if you are interested in test knitting this pattern as soon as you can. Then, request to join Ventus Test Knitters on Facebook. Please also check out Arabian Knits Designs on Facebook, for updates and testing opportunities and other design news. Thank you!

Because I was traveling, I had more opportunities to read. I finished up The Jane Austen Rules: A Classic Guide to Modern Love, which was fun, though I still don't really like her quoting of Simone de Beauvoir, even though nothing she quoted was wrong or offensive. We read a little more of A Jane Austen Education: How Six Novels Taught Me About Love, Friendship, and the Things That Really Matter aloud on the drive. I'm nearly finished with Christ in His Saints! Didn't quite get it finished during Lent. Not even if I count by the Eastern reckoning.

Also posting to Keep Calm and Craft On

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What a lot of yummy looking yarn you've acquired! The yellow up top doesn't look so bad, but maybe it's brighter than my screen is portraying it. ;)
x Lisa
It is WAAAAYYY brighter in real life. Imagine a highlighter. :-)
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