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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Merino, Alpaca & Wool




I picked up a few more balls of yarn so my stash would have new friends to play with. I haven't actually gotten a chance to play around with this yarn yet but it feels soft. It is Filati Italian Collection Tebe Superfine Merino. That's a mouthful, huh?

My Yarnmoire is full, so these will live in the little white box they arrived in. I still have to share photos of my Yarnmoire. I keep forgetting to take photos during the daytime when the lighting is better.



This one is my favorite color. Port. It's a nice deep red. I am starting to add red to my stash because I had little or none before. I like those darker reds which aren't too bright orangey.



You can never go wrong with blues, so I picked up Bostonian Blue. I wasn't planning on picking this color, it just fell into my shopping cart. Yarn has a way of doing that with me.



I'm not really a green person, but for some reason I seem compelled to pick up green yarn. I have tons of green yarn. I rarely even wear green. It's not a good color on me. This is Wild Sage.



Now this is definitely not a color I would normally choose or even gravitate towards. It's sort of an orange/peach color, called Crabapple. I made a conscious effort to pick up something I would not normally get just to add a little variety to my stash. There's just too much pink, purple, blue, and green in my stash right now.

Notice that none of these are purple. I was really good about avoiding the purple shades. There was a beautiful deep purple called Blackberry Wine which flew out the door. They still had the Georgian Purple and Prune. The Georgian Purple is pretty, but I managed to resist.

Well that is not all I picked up. There's also some Elann Cuzco in Thistle Down and Ruby.



Not sure what I will make with these. Since I only picked up 4 balls, I think they'll turn into scarves. SK mentioned that they could be knit into scarves using US15 needles. That was definitely good to know (and also a deciding factor to give this yarn a try).

I usually never know what I will make with a yarn when I buy it. I just noticed a trend though. If I think I want a yarn, I'll just pick up 10 balls. If I just want to try it out and see what it's all about, then I pick up only 4 balls. So far I've never run into a shortage with 10 balls of any color because I haven't yet graduated to big item knitting (such as sweaters). I'm still stuck on scarves, hats, and washcloths. So 10 balls work out fine for now. I wonder what the sweater knitters do when they want to buy a yarn but don't have a specific project in mind. How many balls do they pick up? I may want to give that a try if I manage to finish Mom's vest




This blue is pretty. I'm not sure what kind of stitch pattern I can use with this yarn. I don't think it will show much stitch definition, so probably something simple knit/purl. No cables. No lace.




I've never figured out why I have such a difficult time taking pictures of red yarn (or red knitting). The color never comes out right. Is it just my camera?

I've never knitted with any of these yarns before. I'm really looking forward to playing with the DK weight Tebe. DK weight is a nice comfort zone for me.

Oh, I also picked up 4 balls of Elann Alpaca Fina sport weight yarn in Cranberry color. Don't have photos of it right now. It feels soft. I'm not sure what I can make with 4 balls, probably a lacy scarf. I have some ideas in mind, but don't feel like starting lace at the moment. I still need some mindless knitting with some simple knit/purl project.

But wait ... that's not all!



This is Austermann Inka Color. See? I was still good, no purples.



And this is my first lace weight yarn, Elann Baby Lace Merino. Oh my, I have no idea what needle size to use with this, the label doesn't say. Eeks, I may even have to dust off the US1 or US2 needles and break them in! But I do have lots of ideas for this yarn, it'll be perfect for many of the stitch patterns I've bookmarked in all my stitch pattern dictionaries. :-)

Since we're on the topic of yarn, I'm still trying to figure out what to do with some DK weight Marly. I used it for my Ariel Scarf and Hat. I don't think it is a good choice of yarn for the scarf. The fabric and drape is on the heavy side. Perhaps this yarn is better for a sweater or shawl? I don't have enough of any one color to make a sweater though. Hmmm... maybe if I just made a plain knit/purl scarf out of it, it might come out less dense than a cable pattern.

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Ok, I just had to share this tea comment DH made. I made a cup of PG Tips tea, which I recently picked up, and left it sitting on the kitchen counter. Shortly afterwards, I hear DH ask in a surprised tone, "why is your tea murky brown?!" Then I realized that it's been a long long long long LONG time since he ever saw me adding milk to my tea, thus his odd comment. It's true. I drink most of my tea plain, rarely with any sweetener (I think Chai is the only one), even the blends most people add milk to.

Right now I'm enjoying some Lupicia Ripe Mango Oolong.

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I finally got around to blocking this scarf, which you saw here earlier this month. Now it is 77" x 9", and the sides aren't as straight as before due to the pinning process. I've noticed that knitting comes out softer after a little soak in Eucalan Wool Wash (I got mine here). I've heard that blocking helps even out the stitches. I don't know about that, but I do think knitting usually looks better after blocking. The downside is that I'm pretty lazy about the whole process and it could take me a long while before I get around to it, hmmm, kinda like weaving in ends.



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I've made little progress since my last post about this vest. I had frogged it a bit, and then redid it so that each row of blocks ended on Row 4 instead of Row 2 (see photo in last post) which seems to look better to me.

In the photo above, you can see that I have just started the armhole shaping. I'm a little worried about the vest being too short. When I hold it up against me, I feel like the bottom edge should come down further. Perhaps I should work each block pattern for another 4 rows to get some added length. Oh I hate the thought of having to frog what I have here. I think I'll have to hold it up against my mom to see how it looks on her before proceeding.

I do have difficulties following directions. The beginning of the "Back" section says to keep 1 stitch at each edge in stockinette stitch for the selvedge. I've been doing that up to the arm hose decrease. I couldn't figure out how to knit the 1 stitch, and then follow with 6 bind off stitches... cuz that would have left me with one stitch, a gap, and then the main part of the vest. ??? Now I'm looking at the instructions where it says to decrease 1 stitch each edge every other rows, 6 times. Should I go back to adding the 1 stitch selvedge at the beginning of the row, and start the decrease with the 2nd & 3rd stitches? Should I keep a 1 stitch selvedge at the end of the row, and start the decrease with the penultimate & antepenultimate stitches?

I have to say that although this is a simple knit/purl pattern, it does take a bit of concentration for me to keep track of the 3 diffferent pattern blocks. I found I messed up more when I read directly from the pattern page, because I'd lose track of which pattern block order I should be doing (that I, II, III on RS rows, and III, II, I on WS rows really screwed me up) and I also sometimes did the wrong row number. So I had to rewrite it by rows. I think my brain just can't process keeping track of too many things at one time. Oh and I can't seem to listen to an audio book while knitting this vest. :-(

At this rate it doesn't look like I will complete this vest by Christmas.

What else am I working on right now? Just another cable scarf, which I think I will name Hera. But I may put this down for a while cuz I think I need a break from cables. I am also working on another Jayne Cobb Hat, knit at 17 sts per 4 inches in the same yarn, to get a smaller fitting hat. And as soon as I can find a spare US8 circular needle, I will start some charity hats. I'm in the mood for something really mindless...



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5 stitch(es):

Aim said...

Wow, I love your stash! And thanks for all the wonderful patterns. I made a Utopia & posted it on my blog, and will be making a scarf to match! Come see at bumpydoink.blogspot.com :)

Maryann said...

Lovely stash! I believe the stockinette stitch selvage on vest is to give you fabric to sew when you sew the side seams. So you don't need to continue the 1 stitch edge once you begin the armholes.

hakucho said...

Oh, boy you really added to your stash now. No loneliness in your yarnmoire. I'm seeing lots of beautiful items in your future :)

Your scarf is beautiful. Love the shade of blue!

happy knitting :)

junior_goddess said...

The Cuzco will make a perfect quicky girl scarf. I made an easy peasy hat with mine.

Jennifer said...

Beautiful stash enhancement. The Port color is my favorite as well. Can't wait to see how you use it. And as always I'm amazed at your pattern work.