Showing posts with label LYS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LYS. Show all posts

12 January 2015

Trip report: Knitty City talk 1/8/15

I had such a lovely time last Thursday! As you may know, the lovely folks at Knitty City invited me to meet their knitters at the monthly Young Designer Meet & Greet for January. I brought a couple of carry-ons filled with wool and took over every hanger in the place to share my knitwear designs.

Holding Benwick at Knitty City

Wearing Sailor's Valentine next to my rack o' wool
The knitters I met were a lovely and dedicated bunch (it was frigid that night - enough so that a pound of Bartlettyarns' Fisherman 2-ply on my upper half seemed just about right). As supportive and lovely as my family is, most of them (my darling sister excepted) don't necessarily understand the finer points of my work like an avid knitter does. So, it was fun to be able to discuss the finer points of various patterns:

  • the hood on Sailor's Valentine is basically a big turned heel that allows the Heartstrings cable to travel uninterrupted up the back and over the head, and if you eliminate the ribbing (which pulls the fabric in and gives your figure a bit of flattery without waist shaping), you would have a project suitable for any man
  • the bindoff for In the Shallows is a k1p1 rib so the edge stands up rather than turning to one side or the other - there is truly no right or wrong side, and it's a great way to knit up a special skein of sock yarn
  • Benwick has integrated epaulets in the saddle shoulders and a heart on the sleeve (individual Ravelry download coming soon)
  • only three stitches are cast on and off for the Ozark Wrap - the rest is created as you go - we also decided that with slight modifications, this would make a great blanket (Interweave Knits, Winter 2015 should be at your LYS any minute now, if it isn't already - my Quadrille Pullover is in there, too!)
All in all, a lovely wooly time! If you'd ever like me to bring my woolies to your LYS, drop me a line (greater New York, New England, and Chicagoland are places I get to on a regular basis).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

29 June 2009

Midcoast Maine Yarn Crawl

On another grey, rainy day I thought I'd plan my next theoretical yarn crawl, this one in my little neck of Midcoast Maine. Working our way up, starting in Freeport:

Grace Robinson: You can see the sign for Fine Yarns and Needlepoint from I-295 (directions on their website). It's a large, open store with an entire garment rack of samples. They carry Rowan, Colinette, Berocco, Dale of Norway, Mountain Colors and many others. I've only been there once, and the shop didn't have that warm, cosy feeling of the modern yarn shops, though that could have been because I was the only customer at that moment. They were nice, but the vibe was more the old-style yarn shop where customers follow flat-knit patterns to the letter, even using the same color yarn as in the pattern, and then pay someone who works for the shop to sew the sweater up for them. But maybe that's just me. They had a great selection of yarns, and if you are in Freeport and can't convince your traveling companions to drive a few more miles north, you will find yarn to satisfy your itch. They do also have a large selection of needlepoint supplies, so I will take my mom there when my parents visit. Open daily.

But if you can drive a few miles further North, take the Route 1 Midcoast exit and head to Brunswick where you will find "YARN" (as in a big sign proclaiming "YARN" on the front of a charming Victorian set back from the road) at Purl Diva. This is really my LYS-away-from-home. Ellen is awesome and has been the Diva for three years. Before that she was an Upper-West-Sider, so we have more than just a love of yarn in common. There is a wall of hand-dyed sock yarn to set you drooling right when you walk in. She stocks Fleece Artist, Madeline Tosh, Malabrigo, Berocco, Peace Fleece, Dream in Color, Misti Alpaca, Sheep Shop, Lorna's Laces, and many others, as well as tons of patterns, books, needles, notions, and some fiber, too. The last time the whole family visited, Nick said he now understood about the wool fumes. If you're hungry, stop at the Brunswick Diner (wonderful lobster rolls amongst other things), then, when you pull out of their parking lot continuing North on Route 1, get ready to turn right at the next street and you're there! Purl Diva is set back from the road a little, and be sure to park in back. Closed on Tuesdays

If you have any yarn money left and would like a cuppa while browsing, don't turn left at the intersection after leaving Purl Diva and head for The Knitting Experience Cafe where you will find the big red couch, coffee and tea, and yarns such as Blue Sky Alpacas, Jojoland, Noro, Spunky Eclectic, and more. When checking out the website (where you can order yarn if not on a yarn crawl), be sure to check out the About Us section and then consider making a Knitted Knocker. They are right behind the Curtis Library, which has it's annual book sale the weekend before Independence Day, which you might also want to visit. Closed on Sundays.

Now, get yourself back to Route 1-North and head to Bath, which is both charming with its antique houses and cobbled sidewalks and a real, working town with Bath Iron Works building ships to order. Once you're under the bridge you will see the big, old warehouse that houses Halcyon Yarn on your left at the light. Turn! If you knit, crochet, spin, weave, braid rugs, tat lace, or dye fiber or yarn, you will be so excited to visit. It's a big place, and there is a lot to see including Brown Sheep, Misti Alpaca, JaggerSpun, Noro, Malabrigo, Halcyon's Signature Collection, and more. There is also a room filled with books (and a little gas stove for those chilly days), plenty of notions, and bargain bags, not to mention the baskets of fiber off to the right. Open daily in the summer (closed on Sundays the rest of the year).

Now, go have something to eat at Byrne's Irish Pub or Café Creme, which has free WiFi, so you can add all your purchases to your Stash on Ravelry, or Marnee's Cookie Bistro, which also has WiFi, then get yourself back to Route 1-North and head over the bridge to Woolwich. Yes, Woolwich.

A couple of miles along you will see a "YARN" sign on the left. Follow the signs and visit the lovely farm full of sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and rabbits and, more importantly, the yarn shed. You have reached Romney Ridge Farm, home of hand-dyed and sometimes even hand-spun yarny goodness. Kelly is very talented and clearly loves her flock. I enjoy reading her blog, too, which allows me the adventure of having a sheep farm without having to get up so early. My sister's Sassymetrical is from their yarn. I can hardly wait to visit again this year. Open daily, Sundays by chance.

Here's hoping the weather improves!

02 June 2009

Summer Portland Yarn Crawl

E.T.A. This is Portland, Maine. Keri's comment reminded me once again of the East Coast/West Coast Portland confusion.

We are going to spend much of the summer up in Bath, and I think Maine may be the land of yarn, at least the Midcoast region. Thanks to Ysolda's recent visit to the area, I am inspired to plan a Portland Yarn Crawl.

Here's what I have so far:

  • Tess' Designer Yarns: Home of beautiful hand-dyed yarns, the indie-dyer has a bricks & mortar store, which is great for me since I don't have plans to attend any of the shows where most people encounter this yarn.
  • Seaport Yarn: No, I haven't been to the Wall Street location yet, perhaps an NYC crawl in the Fall. From what I've seen on the interwebs, this is quite a venerable store.
  • Knit Wit: I visited this LYS last summer and really liked it. I have yet to knit up the yarn I bought (some GGH Wollywasch that I plan to turn into a Fairisle yoke sweater), but that doesn't mean I can't check them out again. The shop is in a neat neighborhood with other cool shops, a tasty cafe (can't remember, but it may be vegan), and a great antiquarian book shop for Nick.
  • Portland Fiber Gallery: Just down the street from Knit Wit, I visited this shop last summer, too. I'm not ready for a wheel yet, but in addition to wheels, looms, and fiber, they have dyes and finished yarn. If you can't make it to Portland, be sure to check out their Etsy shop for beautiful hand-dyed yarns and fiber.
  • Central Yarn Shop: They bill themselves as "Brand Name Yarns for Less", and it would be great to find workhorse yarns at discount prices. We shall see.

    And Classic Elite seems to have some sort of office in Portland (Google lists them as Yarn Wholesale). Maybe I could convince them that they need me in some capacity or other: yarn tasting, tech editing, design.

    Anyone want to join me? I need to document the Bath area LYSes, too, which also make for a good crawl. I'll have to start thinking about that NYC Fall Yarn Crawl, too.
  • 18 April 2007

    From the Fold

    So, the best way to visit the Fold is not to arrive fifteen minutes before closing with an over-tired toddler and your indulgent but not-interested-in-the-fiber-arts father. Thank goodness I don't spin (yet) or I would have gone off my nut completely. The bags of fiber looked scrumptious. But it was the selection of Blue Moon fibers that overwhelmed me.

    They do have a nice selection of other yarns, but who cares? I'm sure I will when I make a return visit (showing up at the door when they open), but with the clock ticking and Isobel getting wilder, I had to make it short and sweet. I only bought two things, but I think they're pretty good:

    Oh, yum! We have a skein of Bliss in periwinkle. It's an angora blend and you just want to pet it. I have no idea what it will become, probably some sort of scarf. And then there's a skein of Seduction, the merino/tencel blend that has that gorgeous sheen. This colorway is Siren Song and is apparently named after one of the first shops to carry BMFA yarn. No specific plans for this one, either, but I'm thinking a shawl (Suzanne N., it's all your fault - I'm hooked!)

    If you want pics of the Fold itself, be sure to check out Amy's post. Who knew she was so close by for a moment? I haven't seen her in person since she was touring for Knit Wit and came to Circles in JP back in the day. If she should come your way, be sure to see her, if you can. She's another charming, Canadian knitter, and you know they're good people.

    22 March 2007

    The Joy of Knit Night

    I am so glad to be able to attend Knit Night regularly again! How amazing are these women? I had such a good time visiting with everyone and checking out their WIPs that I hardly knit at all. I did shop, though! If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to grab a new Bamboo Sisterhood 3/4 sleeve t-shirt - I got my asphalt one last night with red and silver printing and am wearing it today. My colleagues remarked upon my fantastic rock 'n' roll appearance today. Ha!

    I also bought the Interweave Knits with Icarus. The directions seem clear here, so I may be OK without Miriam's help that would come with buying the pattern from her directly. BUT I saw Carole's gorgeous Seraphim on her blog this morning. Doesn't she look fantastic? And, as if the shawl weren't lovely enough, she knit it from her own handspun in two weeks! "Impressed" doesn't even begin to cover it. So, add Seraphim to the queue. [I feel a post about the queue coming up.]

    My destashed KSH in Heavenly arrived yesterday in the mail. It is a heavenly shade of blue. What will I do with it? You mean, besides pet and look at it? No idea yet, but I couldn't pass it up.

    Oh, and the Schaeffer yarn? It is Nancy, not Elaine. Did I get that right? It doesn't really matter. The bumpy yarn (both worsted and bulky weights) is great! I need to wash that swatch, so I can figure out that sweater.

    20 February 2007

    I have to get organized

    With all the yarn and book stash enhancement lately, I need to get organized. Not so much the actual items, since I have bookcases and a closet to hold the yarn. But sometimes I can't lay my mind on something, so I need some sort of list. For instance, that Sheep #3 sample skein is burning a hole in my project bag; I need to find a DK-weight project that only calls for 300-some yards. I was thinking of Glampyre's Minisweater, but that calls for 400 yards of heavy worsted. Perhaps a One Skein Wonder, to stay on the Glampyre bandwagon. Or just a little shawl something, like the Clementine Shawlette from the new Interweave Knits.

    Speaking of IK, yes, I bought a copy on Saturday at YITF. And that afternoon I bought a copy of Vogue Knitting - the one with the Norah Gaughan bolero on the cover. That's probably the only thing I'll make out of the magazine, but it is stunning, and people who've made it seem to like the process.

    So, I need to keep track of projects I want to do in the future, which is one of the reasons I started this blog (to collect all those delicious links). And it would be good to know yarn requirements. I think I see a database in my future, which would make things easier to view in different ways (by item, by yarn weight, by gauge, etc.). I could do it as a spreadsheet, I guess, but databases are more elegant, don't you think?

    OK, back to IK for a minute. What's with some of those projects? The bandeau? That halter from Wenlan Chia? And the Bauhaus Fairisle, though nice, seems a little out of place. And six skeins of Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere for the little bobble capelet? It looks pretty, at first glance. OK, it is pretty (especially the color). But then you start to think about it (and realize you'll wear it once), and then you start to do the math: $90!

    I do like Kate Gilbert's Keyhole Top. Lurve Stephanie Japel's Cable-Down Raglan. And the socks from Grumperina and Eunny Jang are nice (first time I've seen the appeal of Entrelac). The Swan Lake Cardigan is pretty, especially the tulle detail, which is why I'll never actually make it. But I will make that lace shrug in the Staff Projects section. I've downloaded it twice already. And they have the yarn in some very me colors at YITF. And I have two gift certificates burning a hole in my tool bag!

    The Mermaid Hourglass Sweater is progressing, slowly. I am on my third start to the body, I think. I sort of stopped counting. Had some issues with ... counting, I guess. As in I can't always. I've been distracted. But we're back on track and on the second round of the lace. I ended up increasing the stitch count to 90 for front and back so that I could do the pattern evenly, then, since I want it to be longer than my last one anyway, I'll do an extra decrease round. And then I'll have to decrease two stitches. My overall stitch count is up six from the pattern, and the decrease round takes away four. Or I could work those decreases into princess seams in the front. Things to ponder as we work our way through this next round of lace. And I have to figure out where to include extra lace repeats going up. On the sleeves I switched to every other repeat after the first two rounds, but I'm not sure I want to do that on the body. It may just be the two rounds around the bottom and that's it, since we have to consider what's underneath the sweater (my tum) as we progress up the torso.

    12 February 2007

    Fishtail (with pictures!!!)

    Ooh! I cast on for the sleeve of my severely modified Hourglass Sweater this weekend, after a bunch of swatching, and I've done something quite lovely, if I do say so myself. I found a ten-stitch lace pattern called Fishtail II in Mon Tricot. Since the sleeves in my size start out with 60 stitches, I did six repeats of the pattern, twice. (Sorry for the blurry photo - I'm using the old camera, since it can travel safely in my knitting bag.)

    At that point I decided I'd need to deal with the upcoming decreases, so switched to stockinette for every other repeat. This allowed me to do the decreases in the stockinette portions, so I wouldn't mess up the lace. I did two more repeats of the lace in those panels and then switched to all stockinette. I can't wait to see how this blocks out but at this point am happy with some mindless stockinette in front of the telly. I think I will wash and block this sleeve before I start the body just to make sure this is working.

    My friend Tanya in New Zealand is also planning an Hourglass Sweater variation, according to her comment last week. So, the question is: At what point is a variation different enough to be its own thing? I've heard 30% bandied about, but how do you calculate 30%? I've changed the yarn, needle size, cuffs, hem, and probably neckline, though not the gauge, which means I think I'll be able to use all the same numbers as the original pattern, except for knitting longer at the neckline. So, I don't really know. I wouldn't be comfortable (at this point) publishing this variation as my own without an OK from Joelle. But I may find I have to change things more as I get further into the sweater. I would be happy (obviously, or I wouldn't be blogging about it) to share my alteration adventures. What do you think? Interesting comments here from the girl from auntie, which confirms my gut feeling that this will be my variation on the pattern but nothing I could claim as my own.

    Stash Enhancement: Mom and Dad bought me a copy of Vogue Stitchionary 1: Knit & Purl this weekend at Yarns in the Farms. The possibilities of what to do with "simple" knit and purl stitches are endless! When you click over to my LYS, be sure to check out the new blog, In the Loop.

    P.S. I still owe "you" an IMOnday for Yarns in the Farms. I'll see if I can get my act together (maybe Wednesday, when we're supposed to get whalloped with snow) this week.

    22 January 2007

    Block Around the Clock

    Finito! I did a single crochet around the hem, neck, and edges on Saturday. I tried doing the crab stitch (backwards single crochet - thank you so much, Carolyn, for helping me figure it out!), but it was such a pain and didn't seem to add anything to the finished product. I crocheted around one sleeve and am, apparently, a tight crocheter, so I pulled that out and am leaving the sleeve edges alone for now. I also tried crocheting a little scalloped edge, doing a crochet one, chain three, then crocheting the second stitch (skipping one stitch), which I think I picked up from Annie Modesitt on Knitty Gritty Episode 408, though looking at the page on DIY, I don't think I did it right. Oh, well. It was sort of cute but fussy and kind of a pain. The single crochet firms up the edge, and I think that's enough.

    Blocking is like boiling water: a blocked sweater never dries.

    I washed it Saturday night after doing that crochet edge and am still waiting for it to dry - hopefully by tonight.

    While washing the cardigan, the yarn gave off a little bit of dye and looked more lavender than I had thought while working with the yarn. Maybe it's the bare bulb in the bathroom (267-year-old houses are the ultimate WIPs) or knitting in the dimly-lit Keeping Room. I should compare the yarn to my Pantone books. Hold on... I'm going to go with PMS 214-7 (25% Cyan, 10% Magenta, 0% Yellow, 0% Black). But the lighting here in the office is a little whacked.

    So, I'm back to working on Grandma's Shawl (and should join the KSH KAL, no?) and may have exacerbated my carpal-tunnel syndrome doing a couple of squares for a baby blanket in Blue Sky Alpacas Cotton that a bunch of us at Yarns In the Farms are doing together. I'll be fine. But my first square is too small, and I charted and reverse stockinette-stitched a letter on it. My second one seems to be the correct width, and I'm doing a Vandyke stitch from a Mon Tricot stitch dictionary that looks like lacy hearts. But it's on stockinette, so I'm not so sure it's a good idea. Guess I have to check with the gang to see if the blanket should be reversible or if we're not going to line the back or what.

    Speaking of KALs, there's a handy list here, and I'm tempted by the year of sweaters but don't know if I'm enough of a joiner.

    OK, back to my real job. Watch this space for yarn shop reviews! IMOndays coming your way...

    17 January 2007

    So close!

    We're up to the final shoulder shaping on the final sleeve. The sweater should be complete by this weekend, which means I have to get back to my other WIP, Grandma's Shawl. Oh, the guilt of it all. And then I've got to make my square for Amy's baby blanket, but that will be quick and fun.

    Knit Night at Yarns In the Farms was enjoyable, as always, last night. Jill hosts Tuesdays, but Carolyn came by, as well, which was great. I wish I could just go both nights to see *everyone*, but there's more to life than knitting (blasphemy, I know!).

    Hey, that's me in the poncho on the couch! And here's a picture of Mom's Clapotis! Oh, the pictures from the shop are great, aren't they? I just love the camaraderie I find there.

    That's the news from here. I'm thinking about an original pattern for my Handpaintedyarn Boucle, as well as color options for all that Lopi, if I'm going to turn it (or some of it) into a sweater.