Friday, March 23, 2007

Things that make me happy

A very short phone call I received put me in a very bad mood yesterday. Funny that it bothered me so much because it is really nothing, and I did receive very good news on other matters, so I should have been on cloud nine. Being my usual "I never have enough to do" me, I am trying to launch two businesses at once. My own hand-dyed yarns are going wholesale, and I am opening an imports from Italy business with a friend of mine (we are not going to import yarns, sorry, but, now that I think of it, if I found something when I am over there .....)
So got very good news on both fronts, then the petty whine phone call, and boy, was I unhappy. Solution? Let's concentrate on things that make me happy.

1. Yarn. Enough said.

2. My yarn:

BFL Sock in Orchidea

This is 100% Blue Faced Leicester Superwash in sock weight, 3-ply, that I am going to offer in skeins of 90gr/380yds. I fell in love with BFL at Stitches, when I bought a skein at Lisa Souza's booth, and I decided on the spot that I needed to dye some myself. BFL is an especially soft yet strong fiber and has a luster to it that makes colors stand out. I am knitting a mini sock with this colorway, and I am loving it!

3. Finished socks:

Infant's Fancy Silk Sock

Pattern by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Icehouse - 1 hank

4. People knitting up my patters - check out The Very Berry T-shirt gallery, and if you have knit one (or any other of my patterns), please send me a photo!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Got milk?


Pattern by Jill Eaton from Minnies, Quickknits for Babies and Toddlers
Yarn: SWTC Craft, 35% Milk Fiber 65% Organic Cotton - 3 balls
Needles: US #6
Size: 0-3 months

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I got socks!

I received the final package from my wonderful sock-ret pal, Maggie:

Sock-ret Pal Package

If you could see the goodies now you would see that I have drank the tea (so good) with the mug, the soap is in my shower and my feet love the lotion, I have read most of the book, and while I am searching for the perfect place for the glass ornament, the socks are on my feet!

Sock-ret Pal Socks

They fit perfectly, my favorite color, so soft.

Thank you so much, Maggie!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

One sock, two socks ..... six socks?

How did I end up with six different pair of socks on the needles? Spring is in the air? No, that's not it, because it is more like "summer is in the air" around here these days I do not even like summer (too much light.) I think the culpit is this darn jacket:

Debbie Bliss Simple Jacket with Collar

See, I told myseff that I was not allowed to start another cardigan for myself until I finish this one (I started it in November 2005). But do I want to rip those fronts once again and re-knit them? Oh, yeah, sure, let me do it right now. As soon as I am done with this sock. And the other ones. And while I am at it, Paperino wants red socks (he was going for this, and he does not even like green, what's up with him and nice sock yarn? Other kids go in their mom's closet to play dress-up, he goes there to pet my yarn.)

Filatura di Crosa "Zarina"

I started the sock toe-up with all intention of making socks for him, but this stuff is so nice I want it for me it is almost summer here so he is better off with cotton socks - a ball of Cascade Fixation from the store and we are all set. So:
1. Jaywalker in Knit Picks Sock Garden - I still do not know how and why I am making those, I swear, you do not pay attention for a minute, and a pair of Jaywalker jumps on your needles!
2. Infant's Fancy Silk Sock by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Icehouse - making those only because I had just one skein in that color.
3. Gentleman's Fancy Sock by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks in Trekking XXL in #140 (kind of because I did not read the pattern so I am not making them much shorter.)
4. Lace Mock Cable Socks in Lana Puras Melosa (and these are the ones I should be working on since they are for One Planet Yarn and Fiber and I do have a deadline.)
5. Calze Rosse in Filatura di Crosa "Zarina"
6. Cascade Fixation socks for Paperino
7. Sampler sock, just because I dye and sell yarn and when it is gone, is gone:

Sample Sock

Six pair of socks at various stages. And, I spent Friday and Saturday swatching for socks that I want to make with the Shelridge yarns I bought at Stitches. The only reason why I haven't started them yet is the one of the charts I was swatching drove me crazy. It's from an Italian collection of stitches I have, and the English translation of an Italian pattern or stitch chart would be, "Just figure it out!"
I am not kidding. You want more than one size? Why? Can't you do math? You want all the rows in the chart? Why? Isn't it obvious how you should knit the wrong side? No, of course, it is not all purls, even a child can see that. It's k1, p1, but not all the wrong rows. Some are different, I am sure you'll figure it out, you have the picture, right?
So while I was cursing (in Italian, I still cannot do it effectively in English), I had the epiphany above: I am casting on more and more socks to avoid the cursed jacket.
I am litterally dreaming of making something else for me. After seeing Cara's Ariann, I decided that I need one. So I bought the pattern at Stiches, found the right yarn in my stash, and set it aside because I have finished the jacket yet. Then I saw Cara's (again!) Central Park Hoodie, I found the right yarn again in my stash (is it scary, isn't it? pretty much anything I want to make, I have the yarn for it already), and set it aside.
Then last, when I was about to cast on for socks #8 and #9, I told myself why don't I cast for two cardigans instead? that it is summer already here, I have no use for a wool cardigan even if I finish it, so why don't I make myself a cotton cardi since I desperately need one? Wow, that sounds so rational, I am proud of myself. So, this what I am making:

Snap Cardigan

Snap Cardigan, designed by Leslie Scanlon. I am using Pakucho Organic Cotton (Do I need to say it? From my stash.)

And maybe that will stop me from casting on more socks.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Other people's knitting

It seems that knitters out there do knit my patterns, I have proof:

The Very Berry T-shirt

sent by no-blog Shelley. And she made it in record time, too!

And I have spotted several modelli Giuditta here (how cute are the rabbit shaped button and the ribbon?), here, and here (I love the edge!)

So exciting!

And you maybe won't notice I have nothing to report about my knitting.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Very Berry T-shirt Errata

The lace pattern on MagKnits is wrong, it should read:

Lace Pattern

Multiple of 14 sts
Rnd 1: k1, yo, k5, s1, k2tog, psso, k5, yo.
Rnd 2: Knit.
Repeat rnds 1-2.

Stash and burn

A week or so ago, or maybe more since I think it's January and the calendar says March, I started listening to Stash and Burn, a podcast based in San Francisco. The two hostesses, Nicole and Jenny, are funny, nice, smart, and on topic. I really like their podcast, the fact that they are from around here, and that they are on a stash consumption mission.
Many knitters think that stash can be viewed as a "collection", with "core stash" that will be never be used, and "memory stash" that is a souvenir from some special place. Nicole and Jenny do not subscribe to this philosophy, and I have come to the conclusion that I do not either.
When I look at yarn that has been in my stash for many year some time, I think it must feel so sad and disappointed, lying there waiting to become something. It's a dream that has not come true, an unfulfilled promise. I bought the yarn telling it, "I'll make this or that with you". And then I didn't. Poor yarn.
Jenny and Nicole made a spreadsheet with all their yarn. What a good idea, I thought, I'll do it too. I have photos of (almost) all my stash, but I can't believe I have not a spreadsheet!
So I made one. With yarn, yardage per ball, number of balls, total yardage. And I looked at the total yardage: 86,933 yards. That's a lot, right? Yards mean nothing to me, but then someone reminded me that a yarn is pretty much a meter. 80 km? Holy yarn! Knit from Your Stash 2006? Make that "Knit from you Stash until 2020!"
In a feeble attempt of reducing the magnitude of the discovery, I have assigned a lot of it to "projects". Like writing "Central Park Hoodie" in the "Jaeger Shetland Aran in #38 (lilac)" row makes 10 balls (1800 yds) go away.
Like I do not have 13 projects on the needles already.
I started 2007 with 16 projects, and if there is something sadder than unused yarn, that is project languishing around with no hope of being completed. I frogged 4 projects since I joined UFO Resurrection 2007, and completed 4 more. It is time now to choose my projects for March:
- Reynolds Dover Pullover
- Debbie Bliss' Mia from the book "Junior Knits"
- Jaywalker
The Jaywalker are for me, so they count for the "It's NOT a Gift" KAL - I am really doing poorly in that one. The only project for me I have worked on in 2007 is the doomed Debbie Bliss Simple Jacket, doomed because ...... the collar is still wrong. I sewed together the fronts and the back and tried it on. The collar does not look right, again. I know what I have to do: rip those darn fronts and try again.
And I know what I'll do: I'll put the jacket in time out until I am ready to deal with it again. And cast on for Adriann. 1,250 yards.

Friday, March 02, 2007


Busy life makes a lousy blogger, so here it is, almost a week of posts in one shot, completely random.

Monday, Feb 26

I have become addicted to Swap-Bot, like I needed it. But the concept of one time swap, instead of keeping the commitment for months, fits my life better right now. The last package I received was from Sherrin for the Snobby Single Skein Swap:

Snobby Single Skein Swap

Two skein of Patons Classic Merino, two fingerless gloves patterns (so I can choose), cable needle, DPNs, stitch markers, tapestry needles, she did not forget anything!

Thank you, Sharrin!

Tuesday, Feb 27

Guess who came by the FTA booth to say hi at Stitches? My Sock-ret Pal spoilee, Louise:

Louise and I

She came all the way up from Minnesota, wearing the socks I sent her.

Wednesday, Feb 28

The pattern for those socks will up on One Planet Fiber soon. As soon as I knit another pair with this:

Lana Puras Melosa

Lanas Puras Melosa Fingering Weight in Fantasy - soft as butter, can't wait to swatch!

Thursday, March 1

New Magknits is up, with Principessa modelling the Very Berry T-shirt:

The Very Berry T-shirt

I took that photo almost a year ago, and she has grown so much. Remember this? Let's not go there, please.
Magknits states that the t-shirt is shown in Lana Grossa Point Print. The one Principessa wears is in Lana Grossa Point Print, but the one at the bottom of the page is in SWTC Amaizing.

Friday, March 2

My Project Spectrum projects for February/March:

Project Spectrum WIPs

Trekking XXL socks, Sugar Maple Shawl in my hand-dyed cashmere, and Infant's Fancy Silk Sock (pattern by Nancy Bush from Knitting Vintage Socks) in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Icehouse.

Coming soon, It's Not a Gift, Knit from Your Stash, and UFO Resurrection 2007 updates.