Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sock Wars

I just signed up for Sock Wars II. Wish me luck.

Blog Bits Saturday Omissions

I thought blog bits seemed kind of short this week. Then I looked at my Google Reader and realized I'd somehow missed some good ones.

Like Wendy Knits finishing the summer of socks at 19 pairs.

And Persistent Illusion's trip to the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.

Not to mention Norah Gaughan's visit to Kyarns.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday

It's Saturday afternoon, do you know why the pictures in my last post aren't showing up?

Yarn Harlor makes a final stop in Washington DC before heading home. Then she offers up some Crazy Pie before letting a guest blogger take over while she finished her book. (And I will look for ways to use the term "crazy pie" in every aspect of my life.)

The Sweet Sheep is on schedule for her Rhinebeck sweater. Progress here and here.

The Ninjabun pattern is up at Mochimochi.

Yarnivation gears up for Sock Wars II.

Knitty Calendar Contest winners have been notified, but, to my knowledge, not posted. (I wasn't one of them.)

Grumperina finds dpns in weird places.

Knit and Tonic wears out her socks and posts her Knitter's Blotter.

I actually like the rat scarf that Rose-Kim Knits posted. So sue me. (Not so much the wrap that seems to be made from actual rats.)

Empty Nest Knitter moved the shop's grand opening to October 13 and discusses a possible logo-naming contest.

Cosmicpluto shows us what undyed Noro Silk Garden looks like.

Finally, from the non-knitting Advertising is Good For You, the rumors are true (or else Jo-Ann has bad intel.)

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Yarn (Store) Pr0n: The Knitting Nest

Last Friday, I was all excited about the grand opening of the The Knitting Nest. After work I ran home for a shower, got my things together and fought the Friday afternoon traffic to South Austin.

When I finally got there, I took this picture of the sign. Then I walked up to the door. And it was locked.

I pressed my face against the window, wondering what happened. Maybe I was too late? Or too early? Was it an afternoon event?

I went back to my car, and tried to figure it out. I was so sure it was Sept 22.

Then I realized Sept. 22 was on Saturday. I was a day early.

So I had some dinner, visited my parents, went home and got up the next morning to attend the grand opening.

When I arrived, I discovered that the grand opening had been moved to October 13. But this time I didn't mind, because at least they were open. I would have gone on Saturday either way.

I spoke with Stacy the owner, and she had decided to push back the grand opening to wait for some new shipments of yarn, including some Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock (including colors from my Alma Mater, the school formerly known as SWT, and St. Edward's University) and, the one I've been waiting for, Hill Country Yarns.

Here is the store.

Here is one of the cool sitting areas. They're having knit-outs on Monday nights.

Here is the other sitting area.

Stacy talked to other knitters before opening shop, and one of the things they said was they didn't want a lot of novelty yarns or super-expensive yarn. The result is a true Elizabeth Zimmerman style shop with lots of affordable, sensible, versatile wools and wool blends. It's the kind of store where you can buy a sweater's worth of yarn at a reasonable price.

And the number one yarn that the knitters requested was...


I don't think I've ever seen so much Cascade 220 in one place, and in so many different colors. I don't think I even got the whole wall in this picture. From what I've heard, "The Great Wall of Cascade" has already become a favorite for photo shoots. And there is more that's not in the wall.

Here is some Quatro. I think they also had some Superwash on another shelf.

Here is some Queensland Kathmandu, which I thought would be scratchy, but it's actually very soft. A little bit of silk and cashmere make a big difference.

The store also has a lot of Elsebeth Lavold, including some I hadn't seen before. This is Baby Llama. It's so soft, and I'm looking for a reason to use it.

Chunky Al is another one I want to try. It's half wool and half alpaca.

This wall is mostly Farmhouse Yarns. It's a very sturdy wool.

Speaking of sturdy...

They have Peace Fleece, and a very nice selection. They have some of the company's patterns and other items.

I love these little "Learn to Knit" kits from Peace Fleece.

They've been raving about O-Wool Balance on Stash and Burn.

I had to try the O-Wool Balance. I picked up a skein, along with some dpns. I'll probably swatch it. It may be a Morrigan candidate.

They have a lot of other little treasures. I love these sock monkey project bags. And the little guy with the little hat. (The tiny hat is made of O-Wool Balance, the same colorway I bought.)

They have a good button collection as well.

I have to get one of these shirts.

Stacy really likes Tom Hanks. Really, really likes him. She named her dog after him.

Finally, this is Stacy, the owner. She's originally from the Houston area, but she and her husband spent a lot of time in Austin attending Longhorn games. (BTW - they wanted to get Lorna's Laces in Longhorn colors, but a shop in Houston has already claimed that colorway.) So they decided to move here and set up shop.

Ok, so Saturday, October 13 is now the big grand opening. Hopefully the third time's a charm and I'll get it right. I didn't make Monday's knit out (I was too tired.) I'm going to try to make it next week.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

FO: Foliage: Red, Version One

I titled this FO in pretty specific terms, because I suspect there will be more of these.

This is the Foliage hat from the recent Knitty. As I mentioned before, I love this pattern.

I used 1 skein of Malabrigo Chunky in color 102, "Sealing Wax." (I finally figured out why the colorway is called Sealing Wax. I kept thinking it was something you bought at Home Depot to seal a deck. And for some reason I always think of this type of sealing wax being purple.)

The needles I used were US size 10.5, which is amazing because I used the needles recommended in the pattern and got gauge. (You may know by now, I am a loose knitter.) I even used the US size 9s recommended for the ribbing.

The main problem I had was "missing my exit" in a manner of speaking. I thought I was supposed to repeat the lace pattern three times on the body of the hat. However, once I had done the pattern three times, I re-read the pattern and discovered it was three times for the worsted version, but only two times for the chunky version, the version I was making.

So I should have finished Thursday night, but it ended up being Friday night. I was talking to Jules on the phone while I was working on it. I think it took longer to tink it than it did to knit it. I was so frustrated. We would be talking, and I'd just suddenly break into "I can believe I did that!"

Anyway, all that aside, I love this pattern and plan to make some more. I'm thinking trying it with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande and maybe Jo-Ann Sensations Angel Hair. I might also get some more Malabrigo Chunky. I love the semi-solids.

I also went unblocked, and it looks fine. The pattern said it could go either way.

Yet another entry into the One Skein Contest is complete. Some lucky person will be getting this hat for Christmas. If it ends up being you, I promise that I had clean hair when I took these picture.

And forget that you saw this.

Blog Bits Saturday

It's Saturday, did you know it's also Sept 22? (More on that later today.)

Knitgrrl announces this year's NaKniSweMo, inspired by NaNoWriMo, and causes me to debate whether to try to write a novel or knit a sweater this November. (And why they pick November for these things.)

Speaking of month-long goals, The Sweet Sheep is going to spin all the yarn for a sweater and knit the sweater in about a month. See some of her progress here.

Also, Needles and Things crocheted an afghan in one sitting.

And Yarn Pirate aims for 31 pairs of baby socks during the month of "Socktober."

Mochimochi has some great pictures of Bob. Also, watch out for Ninjabun.

There's a new sock pattern at the Knitspot.

SpinalCat reports on the LYS's near her new home.

I think Wool2Dye4 read the market correctly. I long for handpaints in larger gauges. (I also believe handpaints are the new eyelash yarns, but in a good way.)

Lady Octavia finishes Marvin.

Titianknitter finishes her Tiffany Mittens and demonstrates an unusual blocking device.

Yarn Harlot visits Los Angeles, Witchita, New Orleans,Houston and Atlanta. Please read her blog on New Orleans!

Grumperina gets Gatorade on her yarn and makes good points on having multiple WIPs.

Knit and Tonic makes some very good points about knittting in public and comments from strangers. Also, she makes a quilt (Psssttt...don't tell her I said this, but if she is seriously going to descend into quilting madeness, she has only scratched the surface. I know, my Mom quilts.)

Wendy Knits finished one pair of socks and starts another, while playing guess that fiber.

Now Norma Knits on "one quality scarf."

Persistent Illusion finishes her socks from Cat Bordhi's new book.

Shut Up I'm Counting has a yarn disaster.

Finally, Empty Nest Knitter has her grand opening today. Details at 11.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Is there life after Knitty?

Yarr...Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day, me hearties. Why not check this shawl from Monster Crochet, or get some booty from the Yaaarrrrrrrn Pirate.

So It's been about 48 hours after finally submitting three patterns to Knitty, and my brain is finally recovering. Everything had been building up to that deadline. I realize now I tend to think of my knitting in terms of knitting deadlines. Now that this one has passed, I can start some new stuff.

As you see above, I got some free Moo cards with my Flickr account. Of course, you can see all these pictures at a larger size on my Flickr page.

Also, I got my cube that I won from Schrodinger. Now I need to start some socks to put in it.

Actually, my focus for now is the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest, which is also a running start to Christmas knitting. It's a shame that the Knitty submissions have to be secret (although I understand why.) One of mine is a perfect one skein pattern, and I've made several since the contest began.

One of the projects I want to make is Elizabeth Zimmerman's Spiral Hat. The Opinionated Knitter seems to imply that they still make this yarn (The original pattern was written decades ago.) I need to do some research before I cast one. Last time I checked, I couldn't find it on Ravelry.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed, so I decided to just cast on something. So I started with Foliage from the new Knitty. I used Malabrigo Chunky in 102 "Sealing Wax."

I love this pattern!

The chunky version is going very quickly. It has a fun top down construction. Also, the designer took the time to include both charts and written directions. I have very little chart reading experience, but when I started looking, I realized there wasn't really anything to learn.

The most amazing thing happened with this pattern. The pattern calls for US #10.5 needles. During my break at work, I cast on a swatch on size 9's, knowing that my gauge is usually really loose.

This evening, when I arrived at Bluebonnet, I measured the swatch and realized the gauge was too tight. That was unusual. So I got out my size 10s. It was still too tight. So I bought some 10.5s. And it worked! I don't recall any other time I've gotten gauge with the needle size recommended in the pattern! I guess the designer and I must be gauge soul mates or something. I think I'll be making more of these. I also have some yarn for the worsted weight version.

I love the yarn. The semi-solids are beautiful.

And I love this pattern!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My Knitty submissions are in now. I can finally breath again.

Lots more to come as the week progresses (I hope.)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday Sunday


Certifiably Loopy lists schools with fiber arts programs. (No pressure or anything.)

The Red Scarf Project is earlier this year. More details are here.

Shut Up, I'm Counting finished her Treasury Shawl.

Persistent Illusion searches for the perfect heal, and muses on the philosophy of frogging. She also does major surgery on a cable.

Knitgrrl announces some knitting books that are going audio.

Needles and Things reviews "Join As You Go Afghans" and makes earwarmers.

Yarn Harlot has credit card problems, finds the perfect jacket kit, knits a whole bunch of it, discusses sock speed and finishes some famous socks.

Girl on the Rocks warned of the Octopus Revolution. She's also been weaving and looking at some "interesting" weaving patterns.

Empty Nest Knitter stocks a whole lot of Cascade 220. The store is open, but the grand opening isn't until next week.

I'm excited about Wendy Knits' new socks.

Knit and Tonic on painful knitting and guitar players who play with their toes.

The Sweet Sheep is giving out free yarn to some lucky "Run for the Cure" donor.

Knitspot gets ready for Christmas with some socks.

f. pea puts up the pattern for the Cris, the star-nosed mole. Next comes the Neuse River Waterdog.

The J-Walk Blog, a non-knitting blog, features a crocheted hat.

Amy Singer got the new Knitty up. And many of the designers are finally able to post their creations on their blogs:

-Knitspot on Totally Autumn
-Mochimochi on Woodins
-Sock Pr0n on Q (and a new contest.)
-Cosmicpluto on Roam (and an extensive list of yarn substitutions.)

Thank God she extended the deadline. Now back to work.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday...

...has been postponed until Sunday. I'm just too tired. I've been working on Knitty submissions most of the day.

In the meantime, do check out the new Knitty. It should keep you busy until I get around to blog bits.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Yarn (Store) Pr0n: Gauge

Once upon a time, I thought Austin's yarn market was too full for any more yarn shops.

But after talking to other knitters, and listening to Stash and Burn talk about San Francisco and New York City's many yarn shops, I realized this wasn't true. I still have a lot to learn about the yarn business.

Gauge had it's grand opening last Friday night. Of course, I heard about it after midnight Friday and missed the whole thing. But I did manage to get out there Saturday afternoon. And again on Sunday, when I went with Lyndsey.

Gauge is located just off 2222, making it the closest yarn shop to my new apartment.

This what it looks like on the outside...

...and this is what it looks like on the inside.

Here's some of the yarn. I think this would be the "heavy worsted" to "chunky" display.

It's sad how long it took me to figure out that the yarns were arranged by gauge. (Imagine that, a yarn store named "Gauge" that is arranged by gauge.) The little signs referred to stitches per inch. (Or at least I assume so. What would you do with yarn that is 1-3 inches per four inches?)

This is the lounge in the back. (Everyone in this picture looked up at me, confused, when the flash went off.)

There will be knitting groups and classes back there. Once the class schedule is set, there will be official "scheduled" knitting groups. Of course, as long as the room is free, anyone can come hang out and knit.

Also, see those books on the bookshelves? That's the "library." You can check out those books for two weeks. They also have Wi-Fi.

The owners have taken a lot of care to decorate the place. This display greets you at the door, including some jewelry that's for sale. (They have some t-shirts for sale, too.)

This little display shows some of the notions they have for sale. They have some ribbons and tape that will be perfect when I get around to knitting the Everlasting Bagstopper.

Here's another cool display of buttons and notions.

Here is a display of yarn by the sofa in the back room.

This was the only problem I found. I want to touch the Vegas. But can I? If so, how do I get it out? (This is the first place I've seen it, and I didn't see it available in the other parts of the store.)

(Another yarn I saw, but somehow didn't get a picture of, was Peace Fleece. It was the first place I'd seen it other than online. They even had their needles.

Speaking of yarn, this was on the front table display, and was also for sale. Vintage yarn! The label says 90% Virgin Wool, 10% "Vinyon" (I think.) Apparently, Vinyon is an early version of Rayon (Viscose.) Did I mention that I love old yarn labels?

Someone described Gauge as a "boutique" yarn shop. Not packed to the gills, but offering carefully selected brands. I was worried this meant I wouldn't be able to afford anything. But look, Lion Cotton and Cotton Ease! (I imagine they're mainly for beginners and classes. Everyone needs dishcloth cotton, and Cotton Ease is probably better for garments than Wool Ease in this climate.)

But if you are a true fiber snob, never fear. They also have...

...100% Mongolian Cashmere and...

...handspun yarn by Jamie Harmon (one I haven't heard of before) and...

...Claudia Hand Painted Silk Lace. This is the same stuff Lynn used to make her Icarus shawl.

Finally, this is Carly, the owner. (I hope I spelled it right.) She's "checking out" my copy of Handknit Holidays. (I had to look at it after listening to the Stash and Burn review of it.) Carly used to work at Hill Country Weavers. She remembered me before I remembered her.

I guess that's it for now. When I went with Lyndsey on Sunday, they all loved my latest "mystery" project. (I can't post it because it's for a Knitty submission.) I couldn't afford to buy anything this time around, but I'm looking at the handspun and the Claudia's Hand Painted for my next trip.

Oh, and there are some pictures of the official grand opening that I missed here.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Blog Bits Saturday

It's almost midnight. Do you know where your yarn is?

Rose-Kim Knits uses up some old sock yarn.

Hill Country Yarns sent out its first shipment for the sock club.

Yarn and Order remembers her dear grandmother's knitting.

Yarn Harlot has a version of "contract demands" (in a manner of speaking) and almost looses a sock.

Knit and Tonic debates gifting her "losers." (I say go for it, considering how picky she is. Most people wouldn't consider most of these losers.)

There is new yarn for sale from Barbe Saint John.

Persistent Illusion shows us how to use her magic cast-on to start small circles.

There is a pattern for a beautiful lace stole at Knitspot.

In another type of awesome, Mochimochi knits "Rainbow Busters." That is true creativity.

Finally, Yarn Pirate is having a boy.


I'm way behind on my blogging, so I'm going to try and catch up before I leave again.

To my credit, I've resisted a lot of yarn purchases in the past week or two, including the clearance isle at Joann, a sale at The Sweet Sheep (which will end before i get my bonus), sale items at Sandra Singh, several good deals on eBay and the opening of Gauge. (More on Gauge later.)

But I could not resist the first Thursday sale at Hill Country Weavers

(From the top, clockwise: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky, Misti Alpaca Chunky (actually not on sale, but needed for an upcoming Knitty submission), Araucania Ranco and Dream in Color Smooshy.

Yes, I'm into blue right now.

I'm not even counting the Misti Alpaca and Debbie Bliss as stash, because I'm using them right away (I cast on Debbie Bliss this afternoon.)

The sale was sock yarn and other selections. I had my Knitty yarns, and was about to reach for the Koigu, when Suzanne came up to me and asked if I had seen the Araucania sock yarn next door. (They have a separate house next door that they use for storage most of the time.) I said no, and the next thing I know, I'm next door, trying to pick a color of Araucania (I guess Koigu will have to wait until next time.)

There was so much temptation, and so much on sale. I ended up talking with another knitting, and wander into another (non-sale) room. Suzanne came in and said we had to see what was in the box next to us.

"Close your eyes." I did, and the next thing I felt was so incredibly soft. I opened to find a skein of handspun 100% Cashmere, probably worth more than my entire purchase combined.

"It's like sex in a box," Suzanne said.

They also had some silk cashmere blends that were awesome. I can't remember the brand right now. Maybe someday I'll splurge on a single skein. Someday. Like after I get a raise.

The other goodies I've gotten were free.

Last Sunday at knitting, Lynn handed me a little vile of knitting-themed marble magnets from Amy. I knew Amy was moving, but I didn't realize so soon. She had given these out as gifts at the Saturday morning group, but I slept in. If I had known it was her last day, I would have made an effort to get out of bed.

Thanks, Amy!

I also found out this week that I had won one of the many blog contests out there. I'll be getting one of Schrodinger's sock knitting cubes. She has more for sale on Etsy.

Finally, I have to mention that Jules (the boyfriend) saw the Rubber Vomit Moebius and said I looked "sexy in an aristocratic kind of way." So now I have to keep it, of course.

He also said that in the last picture in the post (the one where I think I look possessed) I look reminiscent of Elizabeth Taylor. I don't know about that one. But I'm not complaining. :)

Friday, September 7, 2007

FO: Rubber Vomit Moebius

When life, gives you lemons, make a moebius.

I was going to turn a lone skein of Bernat Galaxy into a skinny scarf for the Stash and Burn One Skein Contest. However, if I really wanted a scarf of a decent length, I should have cast on 12 stitches, not 15. It still may have not been long enough anyway.

So Wednesday night when I was at Bluebonnet, I ran out of yarn. I wasn't about to frog this thing. There is just enough mohair to make that nearly impossible. I figured I had two options, either find another yarn to add onto one or both ends, or make a moebius. After consulting some other knitters, decided to go with moebius.

The lumpy yarn made sewing it pretty difficult. I didn't have my Chibis, so I decided to wait until I got home. Of course, tonight when I wanted to sew it up, I couldn't find them, so I grabbed a large plastic tapestry needle from my Knifty Knitter. And then, not long after my finished, I was rummaging around on my end table and found the Chibis.

Like I said, sewing it up was a bit hard, but I managed to get the lumps of fiber through.

I consulted with Jules about the whole "snot scarf" thing, and he said he thinks it looks more like rubber vomit. I think that is more accurate and less disturbing (after all, it is fake vomit.) So I renamed it.

The last time I took my picture in the mirror, I don't recall it being so I hard. I took several creepy looking pictures. I think this one is the most disturbing.

I used one skein of Bernat Galaxy in "Neptune" and size nine needles. The whole thing is garter stitch. It's not the cool Cat Bordhi moebius like this one or this one. It's just the traditional strip, twisted and sewn.

I haven't decided what to do with it yet. It will either be a Christmas gift or sold on Etsy. Despite the rubber vomit jokes, it is a nice yarn.