Monday, March 09, 2009


I think I just might be a good candidate for the show Intervention on A&E. You know the one that the person with the issue thinks they are part of some documentary on either gambling, drug use, eating disorders, yarn additions, etc etc etc.
Sometime last week I got an email blast from my LYS that they had just received a shipment of Handmaiden Casbah at the store and to come early and soon to get the best selection. Well, I work and live not really close enough to just skip over at lunch to feed my now out of control yarn habit, but a friend of mine works real close and I knew that she was going on her lunch break. So of course I sent her a message asking her to just check things out and see if there were any colors that I would like (she knows what I will and will not knit/wear.) Later that day I got a nice little message telling me that there were 2 hanks on hold for me. Yay!! Take a look at what I added to my stash...

Then this weekend I took a long hard look at my stash, which only maybe 1/3 of it is listed on Ravelry and thought to myself, this is getting out of control! Now by no means do I have the largest stash ever known to man, I actually think that belongs to a woman in Boulder, CO ( you know who you are!) but it is pretty large for me and my standards. In order to contain and keep all my yarn clean and safe until it comes time to be used, I will need to go buy some more storage containers. I need to go on a yarn diet, not buy new storage! I hear of knitting monogamy, I wonder if I can be faithful to one project. In the past I have never been successful at knitting only one project at a time, however, I know that I would have many more finished projects had I tried.

This Casbah is my last stash enhancement for some time. I probably should have passed but I love the Casbah Sock yarn and here is why...

1. Casbah has not felted at all. I have other socks that have felted in the bottom of the foot from wash/wear and feel like lead boots when I wear them. I have wash/worn my Casbah socks just as often, actually more and they have held up like a champ!

2. Casbah has not faded (well not that much.) Other sock yarn that come in fabulous colors have faded significantly with in 1-2 washes. Yes, I am machine washing them in the gentle cycle with cold water and I lay them flat to dry and it still happens.

3. Casbah has a little amount of cashmere and who does not love cashmere on their feet?!?! I sure do. There is 9% cashmere, but that 9% makes a huge difference.

The only downside to the Casbah? The yardage is a little light for a girl with feet my size. I am a 10 (shoe size) I am not ashamed, but I am frustrated by short yardage on sock yarns. So I try to stay away from yarns that do not give me at least 400 yards. I make the exception for Casbah because it is a little bit heavier fingering weight and I can squeak out a pair of either stockinette or ribbed socks for myself with one hank.

Here are a couple of hanks that were already in my stash.

So I am going to put this out in the world as a sort of incentive to keep me on my new path.

I have decided to only knit one project at a time until it is done. I will not be casting on for a new project until all my unfinished projects are completed or totally frogged. The only caveat to this goal is socks; I need a travel project and socks fit that bill.

So wish me luck!!

Oh and in August, I am going to Portland, OR. More about that later!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stitches West 2009 Day 4 (Final Day)

Sunday Day 4 of Stitches West 2009:

So this is a sad and happy day. Sad because it is the last day, but happy that you had a chance to see friends from out of town and make new ones too!

Some last minute shopping was done. I got some buttons for my February Lady Sweater and my niece's cardigan. I am not overly excited about them, but I think they will work. At one point lunch was being discussed and a few of us decided to not leave and try to obtain as many of the Grand Prize entry tickets as we could. The Grand Prize is cash, lots of it too, but you have to be present to win. There are also 2nd and 3rd place cash prizes, so it is worth being there. I knew that if I left for lunch and missed the drawing my name was going to be called, right? Well, we stayed and no winners but progress was made on knitting socks.

It was getting later in the day and it was time to say good-bye to Kristi, she had a plane to catch. We hugged and she was off. I was getting hungry but I was not ready to go home for the day and the Stitches Market was winding down and almost closed. So my friend Karol and I decided that we would go and get a bite to eat and knit somewhere. We text message Jasmin of the Knitmore Girls to see what she was doing and if she wanted to join us. Come to find out, she had an interview to do for the podcast with
Galina Alexandrovna Khmeleva and asked if we wanted to sit in and then go to the bar, have drinks and wait for her next scheduled interviews. Knitting, drinking and meeting knitting rock stars? Um, hell yeah!

I won't go into details of any of the interviews, you really should listen to the Knitmore Girls podcast for that. But I will say that I learned so much and have such a great respect for Galina. Hugs were exchanged and off to the bar we went. We sort of horned in on a couple of knitters with extra seats and got our drinks, then in walks Maggie Jackson of MaggiKnits. Jasmin knows her from an intern stint at XRX. Maggie and her business partner Julie joined us and we had such a great time talking about knitting, yarn, and other random subjects over drinks. Maggie and Julie were fun, very fun. So as to not spoil who the others joined us for drinks, knitting and chat, you will have to listen to the podcast. I had the best time Sunday night and I went home having met some really fantastic people, thank you Jasmin and Gigi for inviting me to tag along.

Now, finally I have been saying that I would show you what I bought at Stitches. There was not a lot but I am happy with my decisions.

This yarn was bought to make one of my brothers a cabled sweater, it was a fantastic buy for 20 balls of heatherd charcoal fabulousness.

After many glowing recommendations from friends, I decided to get some of Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm 100% Merino sock yarn. The only time I will ever get to see the yarn in person is Stitches. So I hope to have this knit and worn in time for next Stitches so I will know if I want to buy much much more next time.

This is the Malabrigo Sock yarn. The color way says that it is Eggplant, but I only see a hint of purple cast. This is much more of a silvery grey in person. Again, I bought only one to see if I will be in love or not.

And finally the most luxurious yarn that I bought was this Cashmere/Silk 45/55 yarn from RedFish Dyeworks. I got a bit of crap from my friends about my color choice. If you have ever seen the RedFish Dyeworks booth at any fiber festival you probably would have too. The booth is literally a rainbow of color and every hue is represented; I am not kidding, see here. So what do I pick? A silvery grey, it sort of looks un-dyed even. But in my defense, by the time I got around to their booth there were no other colors in this particular yarn that really spoke to me. I am not a bright colored sort of girl, yes I like red and green, but when I do pick a color, the tend to be muted or rich - vibrant.

This is listed as a sport weight, but it feels like fingering to me, but I have 800 yards of it and I am excited to see what it will grow up to be.

So that is the end of Stitches. Believe it or not I am most happy about the old friends that I was able to hang out with and the new friends that I met the yarn was just a happy addition.

PS... I <3 my new camera.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Stitches West 2009 Day 3

Saturday Day 3 of Stitches West 2009:

Saturday started off slow for me, I was a bit tired with helping in the booth, but Stitches has a way of energizing you when you get there. I met up with the usual suspects and we strolled the market for any other wayward yarn that would like to go home with us and of course we did, duh!
Wandering the market can make a knitter hungry, so Jill, Tina, Kristi, Jeni, Bex and myself went to a little sushi place a couple of blocks from the convention center for lunch. We had a great time with fun conversation and I may have had an Asahi but I was not alone!

At 2pm my assignment was to be at the Purlescence booth to help out because my friends the Knitmore Girls aka Jasmin and Gigi were doing a meet and great with goodie bags, really nice goodie bags (I know this cause I helped stuff them a few nights prior.) Jasmin and Gigi do a podcast and I think it is one of the better of the knitting podcasts myself and I am just not saying that because I know them, I don't roll that way. And of course there were lots of people and the booth was swamped.

The best part of Stitches is gathering with friends and Boba Knit had two of its own come back home to CA for this event Jeni Chase and Kristi Geraci. So it was decided to gather and have dinner Saturday night at Jasmine, a Thai restaurant in Santa Clara. For the full set of pics with captions click here.

After dinner we headed over to Bobbin's Nest for their after Stitches party where Jeni (one of our very own Boba Knitters) was a guest of honor. She has two new
patterns that were debuted that night with Hazels Knits yarn, Cowl de Printemps and Berét de Printemps

For the full set of pictures, click here.

Unfortunately we were missing some of the Boba Knitter's when this was taken, but click on the picture for the names.

After Bobbin's Nest I headed over to Purlescence Yarns who was also having an "After Stitches" gathering. I walked in the door and greeted a ton of my friends and my cell phone rang. Sensei was calling me and the old Mercedes that we own broke down on him and he was stranded and needed me to come get him. I wasn't there 3 minutes, didn't even set my bag down and I had to leave. So I was super bummed that I could not hang with every one there and got to see what fantastic stash enhancements came from Stitches. Such is life.

Tomorrow? The last day of Stitches West which includes pictures of what I brought home with me and some new people I met (they all are published and VERY interesting!)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Stitches West 2009 Day 2

Friday Day 2 of Stitches West 2009:

Woke up late (as usual) and I rushed off to meet Tina, Jill, Linda, Angie, Jean, Maribel and Teenuh for Pre-Stitches breakfast at IHOP.

Tina was not in the mood for photos that early in the morning!

Food was consumed and we were off to the Market. One of the first stops was Ellen’s ½ Pint Farm for some sock yarn. I have heard rave reviews of this sock yarn and well, I trust my knitter friends when the strongly suggest a yarn. I got a rather nice shade of blue, like faded blue jeans. I was reserved; I did only purchase one hank. The reason for this is because since I did not ever knit with this yarn I wanted to make sure that I was going to truly like it once knit, washed, worn and washed again. I have been disappointed by other highly popular superwash sock yarns once knit, washed, worn and washed again. They felted and faded with in just a few washings in cold water and air dried. But I digress, so I will be knitting with it soon to make sure that it passes my standards. So far, it has passed the first requirement of my mine pre-knitting, it has a large yardage, 500!! I have large feet, I am not ashamed, so does Paris Hilton, mine just happen to be wide too. But enough about my big feet…

We all wondered around the market and my next stop that I wanted to make was WEBS. I knew that they had the Malabrigo sock yarn and I wanted to say hello to Kathy Elkins. Kathy was very kind to me and I wanted to put a face to that huge purchase for her. While shopping at the WEBS booth, I picked out one hank of the Malabrigo in a really pretty silvery grey color that they call eggplant; I guess it might have a hint of a purple cast. Again, I only bought one, I want to test it out before I commit to a large stash of sock yarn that I may not be in love with after washed.

Oh and I failed to mention that Thursday night at the Market preview, I did get a chance to see Cookie A’s book Sock Innovation that will be released April 2009. Shelridge Farms had it on display, not for sale, however they said they could have gotten a pretty penny for it! What I didn’t notice the first time I thumbed through the book was this.

Linda saw it and pointed it out to me, I was pleasantly surprised. And the lucky one to get the book? Our friend Kristi!

Then it was time to report for duty at the Purlescence Yarns booth for the rest of the day. Which kept more money in my wallet and I was happy to help. It is fun to interact with knitters and enable, I mean, assist them in their yarn endeavors.

After the market closed, I headed over to a friends house to hang out and play Settlers of Catan (don’t judge me, play the game and then talk to me. It is like Risk and Monopoly on steroids)

I still have to wait to take pictures of the SW09 haul when the weather clears up and I have good natural light.
And tomorrow, Saturday at Stitches, many many pics, and fun stuff!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Stitches West 2009 Day 1

Thursday Day 1 of Stitches West 2009:

This year I took time off work for Stitches, well, let me be exact, I found that I had 3 days of PTO (paid time off) that I had to use by the end of March or I would just lose it, so I decided that Stitches would be a perfect time. I woke up leisurely and knitted a bit on a project and watched some morning TV that I never get to see unless I call in sick. It was really nice to be home on a weekday, NOT sick, knitting and watching The View.

My plan for SW09 (Stitches West 2009) was a good plan I thought. It started off with helping my good friends Sandi and Nathania of Purlescence Yarns with their booth. By doing that, I thought, I would not have enough time to spend money on more yarn that I really don’t have room for in my house. And part two of the plan was to be realistic about not buying anything and having a list. How did that work you ask? Keep reading!

I arrived at the convention center in Santa Clara with coffee and helped set up the booth with the girls. We worked hard and got it done just in the nick of time for the Market Preview. Prior to the preview opening, Elizabeth (CJ’s beautiful 12 week old baby girl) and I took a stroll around the market looking for anything I might want. We ran into Lucy Neatby, Elizabeth was asleep, she didn’t care much, but Lucy is an interesting person to chat with and if you ever get a chance to take a class of hers, you really should.

My shopping list for SW09 was short and precise (trying to stick to the plan):

1. DK weight manly colored yarn in a heather or tweed. There is a Jamieson pattern* that I ran across that I would like to make for one of my brothers.
2. Buttons for my February Lady Sweater
3. Buttons for my niece’s I am 7 Cardigan
4. Any cool new tool that I don’t have (my loop hole)

And before the night was over, I came across a bag of 20 balls of charcoal heather yarn for a fantastic price and it is living in my trunk hiding from Sensei. He thought I had no list for SW09…oops.

Market is over and I went home to go to sleep because it was not going to be a leisurely Friday morning, I had an 8:30am appointment with some pancakes and knitters!
Pictures of the SW09 purchases to come…

*I am looking for a Jamieson pattern that is out of print, it is in the Jamieson's Shetland Knitting Book 3. Please let me know if you have that book, I would like to purchase.