Sunday, February 27, 2011

Habu Slubby Haruni

Though the title of this post may seem mysterious, it's really just three words to describe the next shawl I'm making.  Habu is the yarn vendor from whence this spiral slub laceweight came.  I'm knitting it up into the Haruni Shawl, by Emily Ross -- a free pattern on Ravelry.

The yarn is a blend of mostly wool, with some polyester and nylon thrown in to make it slubby.  It's a threadlike bouclĂ©, but I like the olive green with the purply slubs.  At first, I thought the design was obscured too much, but now I'm enjoying the surprisingly earthy feel and texture.  It doesn't hurt that I'm using my Asciano FiberArts circulars with this yarn.  The needles have the best joins and cables I've ever found on wooden circulars, and the tips are long-tapered, polished and perfect for lace.
Oh, and I'm thinking about using some of that purple silk I bought at Stitches for the fabulous wide edging. The photo of the shawl below is a sample from the designer Emily Ross.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Stitches 2011 Recap and Booty!

A little bit of Stitches goes a long way. For me, that means four or five hours of browsing, shopping, meeting friends, chatting with shop owners, and absorbing all of the silky, woolly, warm vibes at the Santa Clara Convention Center this past weekend.
Many of the same vendors were back, some with smaller booths and less product, a reminder of how the economy has affected not only our pocketbooks but the livelihoods of our favorite creative shop owners.
At Interlacements, where I have purchased a couple of skeins every year, I was surprised to see the reduced inventory and booth footprint. The colors were as vibrant as ever.
The Mannings booth was buzzing with activity, as was Tess Designer Yarns. The Yarn Barn was full of people browsing, but it seemed to me that purchasing lines were shorter here and throughout the Market. I was pleased to see the popularity of Intwined Pattern Studio, the design software that I purchased last year. Demonstrations at Intwined were lively, and it looked like people were buying.

Tina at Knitwhits

A vendor new to me, The Sanguine Gryphon, was attacked by shoppers on the first day of the show, I was told. And something they had was all gone by the end of the first day. What was it? I must know! The booth attendants were dressed in long gowns, their hair tied up in ribbons. Medieval times at a yarn show? Their yarn was scrumptious, and I picked up two skeins of some cashmere/silk fluffiness. Yum.  I picked up these two handcarved shawl pins from Chappy (a.k.a., Purrfectly Catchy Designs).  Don't they complement the yarn well?  She's the vendor with the highligher tape, if you need some.

I also stopped by Cheryl Oberle's booth and picked up her Knitted Jackets book.  She graciously signed it for me and gave me a marbelized bookmark.  She's always so lovely.

I have to admit I am attracted to sparkly, smooth things, and these glass handmade knitting needles from Sheila and Michael Ernst of Drain, OR are no exception.  I tested them at their booth and the wool slid nicely over the pointy tips.  I'm not sure how they will do with finer yarns, but for a relaxing, satisfying woolly knit, I'm definitely going to use these.  They have a lifetime warranty against breakage (made with borosylicate, commonly known as Pyrex), and the smallest size is 4.  I bought one of the standard colors, but look at their website to see some of their gorgeous designer color wonders.

I can't leave out the man with the Midas touch.  The guy with the gold.  The Japanese silk man.  Who is he and where does he get this stuff each year?  He is  John Marshall of Covelo, CA and he buys out remaining stocks of Japanese textile companies.  He also teaches and lectures in dying, stencil carving, and various Japanese and other arts.  I purchased some extremely fine silk from him.  I don't know yet what it will be, but the colors are stunning.

And I do like this Handy Caddy I found.  The plastic organizer snaps onto a steel frame that will stand up on a table.  But you can unsnap it, and take just the plastic organizer with you in your knitting bag.

I'm looking forward to reading all the blog posts about Stitches this year.  Let's keep attending these events, and purchasing from the vendors, so we can enjoy Stitches in years to come.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Landscapes of color

Felt landscapes, yarn braids and some cute stitch markers

Stitches ... Sanguine Gryphon

The name and the costumes made me look. Gorgeous cashmere and silk yarn made me buy.

Quite a lot

More from Stitches


My pal Tina at the Knitwhits booth. Stop in and say hello - and check out the new Freia yarns - beautiful!

Off the Hook

Hub is off the hook. He's staying home with the puppy today, partly because of the really nice gift he gave me for my birthday, and partly because he worked a double shift yesterday. Lucky guy, or lucky me?

Friday, February 18, 2011

The road to Stitches West

Headed to Stitches West on Saturday, so I thought I should test this mobile blogging thing. The results are fun, but a lot of teeny keyboarding is tedious work. Maybe I'll post some pics if I can. Wish me luck, good knitters!