So behind!  Stitches and the end of Ravelympics came in quick succession, and I met up with a bunch of wonderful people and now I’m leading a Malabrigo March KAL (join us!) and working hard on a new pattern.  And I’ve blogged about none of it.  Because I’m sporadic that way.  Now I just need to work on convincing people that sporadic is a synonym of wonderful.

Right!  First things first.  I finished my second Ravelympics project, the blue fingerless mitts mentioned last time, and they were promptly claimed by Mr. Kninja, who loves them and squeezes them and calls them George.  He has worn them a lot since I finished them and it is because they are squishy and warm and utterly fantastic.  Malabrigo, dahlinks, please, please, please release Dos next? Please?  It’s such a nice yarn to use.  I suspect that it will ultimately pill, but the ply makes it sturdier than the Worsted, and oh my goodness, it is plump and wonderful.  Also, it has not grown the way my Worsted sometimes does.

Let us speak of M1 for a moment.  There are, of course, many ways to make one in a knitting pattern.  I have a favorite way, and I used it on these mitts.  I’m very happy with how the increases look around the thumb, so let me see if I have a picture that better displays these increases.

There we go.  OK, the increase I like to use is one mentioned by Elizabeth Zimmermann in one of her books, possibly more than one, but I definitely learned it from EZ.  As far as I know, it does not have a mirror increase, so there’s a small disadvantage there, but I think it’s neat and clean enough that it looks good in all situations.  Using the right hand needle, you pick up a stitch below the next stitch on your left hand needle and knit into the back of this stitch.  It’s very similar to a M1L increase, but it’s slightly neater, and results in an almost invisible, tight increase.

Yeah, yeah, mitts, you’re thinking.  Fine.  But where are the pictures of yarn??  You are so impatient.  Here they are!

I realize that compared to some other folks, this is a pretty modest haul, but other than in buying sweater quantities of yarn, I have never bought so much yarn at one time, ever, in my whole life.  It was largely thanks to the generosity of some of my favorite knitting buddies that I was able to get this yarn, so I am very, very grateful.

I shopped with a purpose.  There were a few projects I was looking forward to and I wanted to get yarn for them.

The above is Becoming Art Cielo Fingering in New Moon (Light).  Isn’t is gorgeous?  I’m not usually very good at working with yarns that have a lot of colors in them.  I like tone on tone variegation.  But Becoming Art yarns make me so so happy!  Lisa, the talented dyer, manages to work colors that are very different into a harmonious whole, and her yarns knit up beautifully.  I made a Clothilde for my mother in law some months back in this same base, and the bright purples and browns and pinks just sang.  I got to meet Lisa, and she’s as nice as her yarns.  At the time that I made my Clothilde, I thought that the yarn would work really well for a Milkweed Shawl.  This yarn is for a bright autumnal Milkweed for me.  I don’t know when I’ll have time to knit it up, but I cannot wait.  The colors mean that every stitch is going to be a pleasure.  The Fiber Fix has a lovely selection of Becoming Art yarns, too, and I’m really coveting the Outlaw and Wicked shades for future projects.

This is Little Red Bicycle Snowflake Sock in Cthulu.  Yes, it really does look iridescent in real life.  It reminds me of fly eyes.  I almost didn’t see this gorgeous skein when I was in the Femme Fatale/Little Red Bicycle booth, but luckily my eye fell on it before I headed out with the wrong color in hand.  One of my big goals for the year is to knit a pair of fingering weight socks and finish both of them.  With that goal in mind, I was looking for a wool/nylon blend sock yarn in a color so inspiring, I’d have to finish my socks because I’d be so eager to work with the yarn.  This is my sock yarn.  I am in love with it.  And Didi of Little Red Bicycle is awesome!  I’ve actually been following her on Ravelry for a while without connecting her to her yarn, so it was really cool to meet her and to see the gorgeous stuff she’s been making.

Which brings us on to Femme Fatale, in the same booth!  Liz of Femme Fatale is also the designer of the Traveling Woman and Saroyan shawls (and other pretty things), so you may be familiar with her work.  The above is some lovely Lilith Sport in Poison Sleep.  I was blown away by the blues and reds of the Femme Fatale yarns.  This skein is for an exchange.  It’s a full 400 yards, which I thought was pretty darn awesome!  I was lucky enough to go into the booth in a slightly slower time, so I could stop and chat a bit.  It’s going to get a bit repetitive as I keep saying how nice people were, but yeah, everyone I met was really freaking nice, and Liz was no exception.  Perhaps next time, yarnies, one of you should punch me in the face to stand out in the later blog entry.  😉

Miss Babs Yummy Toes in Violet and maybe Peony, maybe Dahlia? shown with Malabrigo Sock in Violeta Africana, not purchased at Stitches.   These little skeins are for the colorwork in Eleanor’s Paper Dolls Sweater.  I’ve had the main purple color for a while and known that she wanted pink dolls and white or pale purple flowers, but I was reluctant to purchase whole skeins of sock yarn in pale purple or pink.  I just don’t think I’d use them up.  Now Nora gets her PonyPrincessGirlyGirlyGirly sweater and I don’t have to try to find a use for yards and yards of princess pony colored yarn.

Toots LeBlanc Jacob/Alpaca 50/50 Blend–Worsted in White.  I have already used half this skein to make a hat, to be shown in a coming post.  It’s so scrummy.  In the skein and knit up, it’s very soft.  Oddly, while knitting it, it felt very hard on my fingers, but because of the lanolin content, my fingers actually softened while I was working with it.  The resulting fabric is strong and warm, but also very soft.  I love it.  It’s a sheepy wool, very satisfying to use.  And I love my hat.

Malabrigo Twist, in Paris Night and Sealing Wax, for a hat for Mr. Kninja and a chance for me to try Twist and see whether I think it will work well for a sweater.  Not much to be said.  My love of Malabrigo is well known and this looks to be a very nice yarn, very squishy and soft.  I am hoping it will not pill as much as Worsted, since it’s plied.  We shall see.

I have more I want to write, but this is getting crazy long!  I’ll conclude in a second post!

2 Responses to “Lifesplosion!”

  1. thea Says:

    Wow, that little red bicycle green is AMAZING. Must see if they sell it online before more people read about it here….. glad you had fun and loove the mitts!

  2. Cynthia Says:

    You made me LOOK! Love the links in your blog, all these people should be paying you for advertising. Looking forward to your wonderful knits this year with your gorgeous haul.

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