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Monthly Archives: November 2011

Knitter and Spinner Tweet-up

One of the joys of Twitter is the ability to reach people who have interests in common with your own.  It is fascinating  to chat with people from all across the nation, and planet, on everything under the sun – politics, religion, food, knitting – you name it, we talk about it.

This Saturday we arranged a tweet-up (a meeting of Twitter users) to say hello to Chris aka @VTknitboy who is visiting for the weekend.

Looking for a place that would accommodate 8 – 10 people with good food and tea and that wouldn’t mind if we lingered to chat and knit for a few hours in San Francisco is quite an impossible feat, but we managed to land at ‘wichcraft off  Union Square.  It was so great to meet people in real life for the first time, we all hit it off instantly and it was like being with a group of old friends.
Hanging w @vtknitboy

Chris brought treats for everyone – some of his gorgeous handspun and dyed angora rabbit yarn from his pretty bunnies.  He has a great Etsy shop so you can treat yourself too!  I finally got to show him my Tequila Sunrise hat made out of his gorgeous yarn that I bought from him last winter.  My little gift to him was the amazing jam from Frog Hollow’s famous peaches and some bay leaves from McEvoy Ranch for a little taste of California when he gets home.

Anne – @rrarelyrabbits –  brought treats for everyone to take home, some beautiful undyed llama and alpaca fiber from a friend of hers that is ready to be spun.  It is so interesting to feel the softness of the roving and to see which ones were crimped and which ones had straight hair, and just how truly fluffy these animal’s fiber really can be.  Anne’s dear husband Ron is a non-knitter and still kindly  joined us.  Ron was so gracious and patient to not be terribly bored as we chattered away about all things fiber.

I got to meet Maia – @MaiaSpins – she is an incredible dyer who uses only natural sources for the color,  it was so lovely to meet her!  I saw her shop,  Tactile Fiber Arts, at the Interweave Knits Lab Knitter’s Market but I did not get a chance to chat with her that night, sadly.  Maia  brought spindles for us to play with, gorgeous creations handmade by Spindlewood.  It was fascinating to watch Chris’s expert hands create tiny, perfectly even yarn out of wool pencil batting with these spindles.   We all got to play a bit and learn a few tricks.  Maia brought some lovely yarn and the utterly fascinating silk hankies as a gift for Chris, we all are coveting them.  As a novice/uneducated spinner I totally want to try them!

My dear pal Luna – @LunaRaven13 – our lone hooker of the day (meaning she crochets, *what* were you thinking??) showed off her gorgeous crocheted jewelry and made a pretty lavender and cream ring on the spot just for me.  Thank you!!  It is amazing to see how delicate and intricate her work is, and her rings with beads and crystals were also fantastic.

 Nathan – @knit1eat1 – and his partner Christian arrived a bit later and we welcomed them heartily.  Nathan is such an expert knitter and photographer (look here) and Christian is a fantastic knitwear model and lucky recipient.  We drooled over the grey-flecked sweater Nathan was working on and the gorgeous cabled scarf Christian was wearing.  It was hard to let go of it!

We had a rather disappointing lunch, for those of us who ordered sandwiches that is.  Who knew – if you go to ‘wichcraft be sure to order a salad, they looked amazing.  Afterwards we sat around and did a show and tell of our current projects and the knitted loveliness we were wearing, and worked on our various projects and chatted some more.   It really was such an enjoyable afternoon.

 

 

After crossing Market Street and getting an eyeful of a very peaceful march by the OccupySF group, we strolled over to Fiona’s Sweetshop on Sutter and Kearny for wonderful samples and purchases to enjoy later.  My favorites this time were the Cognac cordials and the dark chocolate covered candied ginger balls.

Sated and buzzing from sugar we visited the amazing Artfibers to check out their gorgeous, unique yarns.  My pick of the day is the Starring yarn, that knits up with droplets of glitter that look like rain on a tropical flower petal, color #4.  It was great fun to sit there and make swatches and watch the sky darken even further over the buildings of Union Square.

Sadly it was time to part and say our farewells.  Luna and I walked Chris back to his hotel and later remarked about what an incredible, vital and creative group of people we just met and now can call them all true friends.

I look forward to seeing everyone again, and especially thank Chris for visiting from Vermont and giving us an excuse to spend time with some local fiber artists that we otherwise might have not met.

Heavenly Spiral

This weekend I started the entrancing Spiral Scarf using the Purpleheart Freia Flux lace yarn.

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(do you see its purple heart?)

I can’t stop working on this scarf!  The yarn has a pleasant scrunchy texture, springy and yet holds the stitch definition well.

One of the yarn’s features is the subtle and graceful way it transitions colors. So far I have knitted three feet (!) of the scarf and the colors have shifted from a rich cocoa brown to a soft rose to a pale mauve and now to a dove grey.

I cannot wait to see how the yarn colors will change next.

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The short row pattern is soothingly repetitive, perfect for my somewhat jangled nerves. For once I have a portable project, as long as I can complete the 16 row pattern repeat without interruption. Happily each row is only 12 stitches so a repeat just flies by.

More pictures soon!

Fiber vs Food

Last night we had a blast at the Interweave Knits Lab’s Knitter’s Market in San Mateo.  Imagine a mini Stitches West with room to move and breathe and *chat* with the dyers, spinners and sellers.

The first thing we did was to say hello to dear @lahondaknitter who was helping out at the Nine Rubies booth.   It was lovely to see Paula again and we positively drooled over the gorgeous alpaca yarns they had and the beautiful frilled scarf with the beaded and sequined cotton yarn.  I am kicking myself for not getting some but happily they are located in San Mateo and we are planning a field trip soon.

After cruising around the stalls for a first pass we narrowed in on a few coveted items.

Our first purchases were at the Knitted Wit booth.  Our eyes were drawn a small display of superwash fingering weight skeins that sparkled in the light.  Drawing closer we realized the yarn has 20% real silver spun into it!  Lorajean told us that this was the last of the Bling yarn as they are going to remake it with some sort of plastic “silver”.  Well, that did it, we had to buy some.  I picked  “smooth as butter”, a silky, glittery butter color for my upcoming Clapoutis.  E___ picked the delicious peridot green for a lace shawl.   Such an easy purchase to make too as Lorajean uses the Square with her iPhone.  Technology is fantastic!


(photo from Knitted Wits.com)

We had a great time at the Conjoined Creations booth.  Super fun Mary Arnold showed us the Flat Feet sock yarn, which I had never seen before.  Always late to the party I was blown away!  The yarn is not in a skein or a ball, it’s in a flat piece of fabric which is then hand dyed and painted.  They are amazing, you unravel one end and knit directly from the fabric.  I chose a hand painted “blanket” in turquoise and spring green dappled with purple. E___ scored the amazing tiger-stripe “blanket” which will no doubt knit up to perfectly coordinate with her SF Giants gear.

Mary also treated us to a set of HiyaHiya double pointed knitting needles so we could start *tonight*! Thank you Mary!  She kept running into us in the market where she would laugh and ask, “Have you started yet?” or “Are you wearing your new socks yet?” Hilarious! I’m dying (haha) to try some of their raw silk. Gorgeous! I have decided that with my new Flat Feet yarn I will make the Wedge socks in cookie a’s book “knit. sock. love”.


(photo from ConjoinedCreations.com)

After flirting heavily with the gorgeous felted silk and wool shawls at Alchemy and examining their Haiku mohair lace yarn, I decided to take my replacement spiral scarf into a new direction.  Why recreate it exactly and be reminded that it is a replacement to a beloved lost/damaged piece?  Instead I decided to try a new yarn and truly start fresh.

At Freia Handpaint Fibers, aka KnitWhits, Tina Whitmore was so gracious in discussing at length her beautiful new Freia Flux Lace yarn and we agreed it would make an incredible spiral scarf.  I scored 2 skeins of Flux Lace in Purpleheart and put it in my handbag to play with the rest of the night.  Tina is great fun, her yarn is named after her dog and the name Freia is a perfect match with her dog’s personality and the etymology  of Freia, the goddess of love and war.

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I admired her cute Lanesplitter skirt in her aqua sport weight yarn and she showed us her other Lanesplitter in shades of lavender and purple. She created the pattern, oh DUH!  We had great fun talking about the Lanesplitter craze and how she met “Patient Zero” who kicked off the craze in their local yarn store.   Tina checked put my figure and encouraged me to make a Lanesplitter in sportweight, and soon!  She asked that I post pictures on my spiral scarf in progress on her KnitWhits FB page and I will!!

It was such a delight to see the gorgeous Kira K again.  She was debuting new kits with her designs for small projects with rare and hard to find yarns.  Her hat and scarf designs were adorable and the yarns were so luscious but I had ran out of money by then. Yesterday I reviewed my queue on Ravelry and was reminded that I purchased the pattern for her fabulous Bell Curve skirt and it was fantastic to see it in person.     I did not find any suitable yarn at this particular event but I will find some to knit that up very soon.  This is another skirt pattern that is fantastic for ladies with (ahem) fluffy posteriors and long stems, like me.   I also have a jacket pattern of hers queued up and ready to go as soon as I finish the hundreds of other projects I want to make *tomorrow*.  Oh start-itis, how you vex me so.

It was Kira’s encouragement that got me started in knitting, to learn to read charts, and how to knit lace. My frantic visits to Artfibers during lunch breaks to get consultations and calming by Kira were crucial to my knitting infancy and her confidence in me was so appreciated. So, thank you, Kira, for everything!

I was very tempted by a Turkish drop spindle, it looked like a objet d’art in beautiful exotic woods, but at $60 I decided to hold off to get one until SOAR’s retreat next year.  I can’t wait for that!  I have a beautiful roving in fall colors in baby camel and silk that I would love to spin but don’t know how.  Yet.

Wallets sadly empty we bid Paula adieu and headed laden down to the car and out in the drizzle.  Our next stop was dinner – Ramen Club!   I hope anyone who is at the Interweave Knits lab takes a time out to visit Ramen Club, it truly is the best ramen I have ever had.  All the yarn and fun we had at the Knitter’s Market and this massive bowl of ramen made my sacrifice of fiber over food on Wednesday night completely worth it.

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Knitter’s Market Tonight!

Tonight I am going to the Knitter’s Market at the Interweave Knitting Lab 2011 and I am terrifically excited!

Interweave Knit Lab offers some amazing classes this year but the price was too steep for me to enroll.  I consoled myself with the news that the Knitter’s Market is open to the public, so after work my dear friend E___ are hitting the road.

Last night I had a major dilemma: order my favorite Angry Korean chicken wings and cheddar scallion bacon biscuits or save my money by scrounging in the kitchen for dinner to have more funds to shop tonight. After much dithering I made the supreme sacrifice and favored fiber over food. I just wanted you all to know that I gave up bacon for shopping tonight. Bacon!

Because I am the type to make lists for everything, here are my goals for the Market tonight:

  • Yarn for a Clapoutis KAL some Twitter friends and I are organizing in January, pattern here (as if you don’t already know about the infamous Clapoutis).   Last year I bought some beautiful flash dyed sock yarn to make a Clapoutis and realized that each skein was just too different in the colorway to successfully incorporate it into a single shawl, dangit!
  • Yarn for the Canyon Skirt in a dark color like charcoal grey to match the gorgeous Be Sweet beaded mohair African ball I found at Princess Animal last month.  Besides the soft, fuzzy cobweb mohair yarn there is a mohair boucle yarn,  a delicate strand of sliver and beautiful cream, silver lined clear and hematite beads.  The Canyon Skirt pattern uses this yarn along the hem, doesn’t that sound like fun?  I envision wearing this skirt year-round, from flats and heels in the summer to boots in the fall, like right now. I want to start it right now!

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  • More cobweb mohair Alchemy Haiku yarn to recreate my beautiful Sunset Spiral scarf.  Tragically this scarf was destroyed during an unfortunate severe maintenance issue in my apartment building that I don’t want to talk about.  Needless to say, the scarf was beautiful and I want it back so I am going to recreate it!  It was made from one skein of the Haiku and I could wrap it around my neck about 4 times or double it as a mid-waist length, or tripled for a collar-length trim of fuzziness.
Sunset spiral scarfSunset spiral scarfSunset spiral scarf
(sorry these pictures are crap, they were taken using my old camera phone)

In addition to fiber fun E___ and I are going to hit up one of our favorite ramen places after shopping.  Ramen!! Tonight is going to be a good time.

If you want to join our Clapoutis KAL just let me know here in the comments or ping me on Twitter @HeatherHAL

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