Monday, January 26, 2009


Stash diving

Between October and December of last year, I bought some yarn from various LYS's (and some online, I confess). What with everything else going on I've been lax in photographing the stash and blogging it and putting it on Ravelry. In an attempt to catch up, here are some of my cool new yarns.

I can never seem to resist Noro, so here are 2 colorways of Silk Garden that I purchased last fall at All About Yarn.

They were intended to become that fabulous striped scarf that the Yarn Harlot couldn't stop making before Christmas. Maybe I'll make that scarf sometime; I just feel good having this yarn in my stash. And hey, here's some more Noro!

Kureyon Sock that I picked up from Creative Beginnings in Seaside. I made a pair of Kureyon socks a year ago, and I just love them. Can't wait to finish enough stuff so that I can make another pair!

And finally, this ball of scrumptiousness from StitchCraft in Vancouver.

It's such a pretty tweed, and incredibly soft. It has some silk and cashmere in it. I bought one ball for swatching. I'd love to have enough to make a sweater from Michele Rose Orne's drool-inducing book Inspired To Knit, but those pesky, pervasive, financial woes have hit Stitchjones in a big way. Not to go into boring detail--it's just that while the business seems to be growing by leaps and bounds, I'm investing in materials to do trade shows this year while trying to keep materials in stock to complete the wholesale orders that are coming in, and it's left operating capital completely depleted. Which translates to no more stashing for a while. So right now my stash is at the top of my gratitude list, and I have been knitting some of it up into things to give away--something that always makes me feel good.

Here's a comfort shawl made for the Shawl Ministry at the local Unitarian Universalist church.

It came out to be about 66" long and blocked like a dream. The photo doesn't do it justice--there's color complexity, and lustrous gleam from the 50% wool/50% alpaca blend. The yarn is Artful Yarns Jazz, and I got 4 250-yard hanks from last fall's auction and swap at Tigard Knitting Guild, all for the fabulous sum of $10! How could I not make that yarn into something warm and cuddly and unisex?

I was so happy with how it came out that I started another shawl, this one a little more challenging but still easy.

It's the Beginner Triangles shawl from A Gathering of Lace. When making shawls, I tend to gravitate towards patterns that don't strain the brain, as I hate to have to go back and fix mistakes! This is easy peasy, and should also block out beautifully and soft. I'm using Galway wool in a pretty shade of aqua, and size 8 needles.

Eventually I'll finish Mr. Stitchjones socks and sweater. I did cast on for the second Earl Grey sock, and was making good progress on his Cobblestone sweater. I dug it out of my knitting basket to take a photo.

The yarn is Classic Elite Portland Tweed. I really think it's going to look great if I could just get cranking on it, I'm such a little yarn dilettante!

FAIL dept.: The Stargazer top (Ravelry link) has crashed and burned. I joined the bodice to the sleeves, bound off, and tried it on. Damn thing wouldn't even go over the bewbs. So in a fit of pique I ripped out the bodice--hey, I'm a bodice ripper! (groan) and concluded that this type of garment construction doesn't work well for me. I also saw a photo of the finished top on a plus size lady, and I have to say it isn't the most flattering for big gals. I do much better with straightforward designs knit in the round, like the Bombshell. The sleeves will eventually be frogged too.

As for the photos I was going to show you last post, here they are. I haven't gotten much action from my new colorway on Etsy, but I'm in love with it. It's "Bollywood", inspired by those awesome production numbers in musicals from India. Here it is on Titanium Sock and BFL roving.

Have a great week! Today after a walk, which really helps fight my 2 nemeses Depression and Arthritis, I'll fire up the dyepots.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Earl Grey, hot

...off the needles, that is.

Trying my hand at the Earl Grey sock that was featured on Yarn Harlot's blog sometime last year. I like the design well enough, and don't worry-I cast on for the second sock earlier, but I think I used the wrong yarn.

Even without the blurry photo, the nifty cable column gets kind of swallowed up by the color variegation. Probably should have used a solid color for this pattern and made plain vanilla socks with this ball, as I think it's very pretty. The yarn is Trekking XXL. I'm trying to use up at least some of my vast stash! This pair was intended as a Christmas gift for Mr. Stitchjones. He sweetly wears the socks I knit for him, even the old tube socks I used to make before learning how to turn a heel. So if I crank on it, I can have them done by Valentine's Day.

So eager was I to show off something I knitted that I didn't start with today's "lead story," if you will. Yes, we can--and did--celebrate the Obama inauguration, and I feel proud and grateful for everything that is still good about America. In particular, though, I savored the departure of Dubya from Washington. The stink of his corruption will take years to dissipate. The devastation his disastrous policies caused won't be repaired for decades. And while I may risk giving you a mental image you'll never be able to shake, as I watched his helicopter take off, in my mind I was dancing naked and singing "Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye".

You're welcome.

Went to the beach again.

Psst, don't tell anybody, but mid-January at the central Oregon Coast is glorious!

Last Friday I went to Newport for an overnight trip, and while I didn't stay right on the ocean, I was very close to this commanding view of Nye Beach and Yaquina Lighthouse. I visited a yarn shop in Waldport called The Fiber Market and Studio, (website to come,) owned by spinner/knitter/natural dyer Kristy. She is a formidable lady who also helps organize the annual Flock & Fiber Festival. By now you probably know what's coming next. I'm excited to tell you that the Fiber Market will soon be stocked with a big assortment of Stitchjones yarns and handpainted fiber! Which means I'll be doing a heck of a lot of dyeing for the foreseeable future, and that suits me down to the ground.

I have a couple more photos, but if I uploaded them now I might not have anything to blog about later (as if I'm actually keeping anyone on pins and needles. Sheesh.) Even so, I'll check in later this week.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Are your speakers on?

If they are, you've probably guessed that I figured out how to put music on the blog. (Scroll all the way down to see the player I uploaded; there's a link to the original site. It's free, the music selection is large and the process was relatively uncomplicated, which is a must for a non-technical mook like me.)
I am plugging away at the Stargazer kimono sleeve top. I'm working on the bodice now, so if that comes together as it should, the rest will be gravy. However, today was a big dyeing session. I have yet to do any actual knitting and it's almost bedtime. I did design a new colorway, and put it on Titanium Sock and a half pound of BFL roving. I'm excited about it, it's my most ambitious colorway yet in terms of dramatic hues and dye mixing. Today I got an email from the fine folks of Sock Summit announcing that vendor registration procedures are on the way. Yeah baby! This colorway is gonna look so fine at the events Stitchjones will do this year. I'll unveil it early next week, when I get back from the road. That's right, tomorrow morning I leave for an overnight business trip, which should be a lot less frenetic than Seattle. I'll fill you in on all the deets by the middle of next week, and try to have some pictures as well.

It is with great dismay that I relay this bit of news: the lace scarf I showed you last post, of the beautiful Sea Silk, was viciously destroyed by Hannibal the evil kitteh. I blame myself, though, for being harried yesterday and leaving it where he could get it in his clutches. He had taken it off the needles, chewed and torn holes in it, and rendered my luscious ball of Sea Silk an unusable tangled mess. Oh the humanity. For most of today, I couldn't look at the little bastard--even though he was just doing what cats do when they encounter yarn. Sigh...

This will most likely be my last post before Barack Obama becomes President of the United States of America. There's going to be an inauguration party here on Tuesday--it'll be mostly teenagers, but hey, I can't think of a better reason to party!

I haven't blogged any dye work lately, so here are a few yarns and fibers that photographed decently.

Titanium Sock in Black Cherry and Spruce

South African Fine Wool Roving in Caramel Raspberry

Bluefaced Leicester roving in Granite

Wednesday, January 07, 2009


Bad blogger, no grande mocha.

I've been away from the blog for a bit longer than usual. Mainly that's because not much is going on up in here. I'm just slinging dye on as much yarn and fiber as I can while Mr. Stitchjones is on the road. He's in L.A. this week, comes home Saturday but has to turn right around and head out on another trip. Actually, I'm anticipating another Stitchjones business overnighter in the next week or two--I'll blog it as soon as I know it's going to happen. It'd be an adventure for me, someplace in the Pacific Northwest I haven't visited yet!

Have been sort of lax on taking pics of newly dyed things lately. I have a pile of reskeining waiting for me--reskeining? Hell, I haven't even done the laundry yet!--and there will be new sock colors to photograph and list on Etsy. While I'm about that, I'll also photograph the new rovings and try to remember to put everything up in the Jonesin' for Stitchjones group on Ravelry.

I've tabled Mr. Stitchjones' Cobblestone Pullover for the time being, as this has my almost undivided knitting attention. (Ravelry link.) I'm more than halfway done with the second sleeve. Although the sleeves are mostly stockinette, it's slow going with DK weight yarn on size 5's. I'm going to keep plugging to the end, because I can't wait to see it finished!

On New Year's Day, I celebrated Christmas with my side of the family and got some cash from the parental units. Among the knitting-related goodies I bought: a set of blocking wires from Knit Picks, which I'm going to need because I treated myself to a skein of Handmaiden Sea Silk and started working on this.

It's just a 4x repeat of a stitch pattern from a Japanese knitting pattern book, an unusual looking lace rib that's just 6 rows and easy to memorize. The vertical edges want to roll, so I'm hoping the blocking kit will fix that. If everything comes out nicely, I may write it up as a scarf pattern and put it up on Rav.

Hey, remember this?

The Bombshell sweater I made for Michelle. She actually wore it to school yesterday! Would she let me take a pic for the blog? No sir-ee bob! But I was proud anyway, that she likes it and it looks good on her, something you'll just have to take my word for. Her favorite teacher was astonished that it was hand knit by Mom, and promptly requested one in blue, please. Non-knitters are a riot, aren't they? Even if I knew her size, I couldn't just whip one up that would fit; this pattern is a top-down, try-on-as-you-go affair. And besides, no money was offered for my trouble. Sorry, Teach! (D'ya think Knitty would accept a design with that name?) Forgive me, when it's late at night I tend to free-associate.

Well, loves, I've blown my wad of yarn-related content. It occurred to me that I must be getting old, because instead of being bored to tears by a relatively uneventful time in my life, I'm grateful for it! There you go. I can has coffee coupons and Life Alert now?

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