Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back from Columbus and TNNA

I have returned from TNNA and my head is swimming. The show in Columbus is always a source of inspiration for the upcoming "year" (I can't be the only one that feels like the year starts in September?), and this year was no exception. This was my third TNNA, and I felt comfortable there.  I knew the lay of the land, the way my boss likes to operate, and I could just go with the flow.

I took five (FIVE!) classes this year - four of them business classes, and one on pattern writing.

My designer sightings: Martin Storey, Melissa Leapman, Norah Gaughan, Cat Bordhi, Gwen Bortner, Ysolda Teague, Gudrun Johnson, Stephanie Japel, Julie Weisenberger, Olga Buraya-Kefelian, Melynda Bernardi, Stephanie Dosen. and others. SO many others!

Trends that I noticed:

 Naturals. Naturals naturals naturals! Undyed, natural colored yarn from sheep, llama, alpaca, camel, yak, etc. I also loved noting that even among dyed yarns, companies are offering MULTIPLE shades of grey. (stupid book is making my favorite color into a titillating cliche!) Also, labels are reflecting breed-specific yarns.  More and more ranches are entering the market directly, and we are seeing much more information appear on labels because of it.

Novelties. God help me. I am not a fan of the ruffle scarf phenomenon that is going on right now, and companies are now bringing back furry, fuzzy, shiny yarn. Some companies are doing it right by blending the glitz with natural fibers, but others..... I definitely saw at least one line of novelty yarn that I recognize from 10 years ago, AND THEY DIDN'T EVEN CHANGE THE LABEL. It makes me wonder if the stuff has been in a warehouse for 10 years. So disappointing.

Tonals. Truly variegated yarns are really on the way out - I saw very few spirally garments. The booths that featured variegated yarns looked really dated. The tonals were dominating - beautifully subtle changes within a color - and the color ranges some dyers were getting were very inspiring.

Chained yarn. I first remember seeing chained yarn almost ten years ago when SWTC introduced their Bamboo. My next run in with it was Rowan's Lima, and then their Alpaca Chunky (chunky lima). It appears to have spread far and wide from lovely fingering weight linen (Shibui's Linen), to mohair i-cord about as big around as your thumb. I love chained yarns because they allow you to knit air into your projects, but they don't have the greatest stitch definition because they can compress.

That is about all I can download from my brain right now. Further reflection would be required to get anything else out of me!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

From the depths of memory

I have been spending most of my free time in the garden - pulling weeds, planting, transplanting, and mulching.  Sometimes Zeby tries to "help" by digging next to me. And when this happens a distant memory from my childhood surfaces. I must have had a children's book, perhaps featuring a dog or badger (?), who digs in the wrong places, because my brain will all of a sudden provide this little quote:

"Must not dig in the garden, must not dig in the sand....." and then a something-something about the seaside.

I have a feeling this may have been one of my childhood books that my parents read to me when I had to take my asthma medicine - then it was a sticky clear liquid that tasted like very fake peach or orange.

Anyway, my knitting time has shrunk dramatically, but I managed to get a swatch done.

And I have cast on and completed 6 rows or so. Not much, and not nearly enough progress for me to have a finished tank by Thursday when I leave for TNNA in Columbus.  Ah well. In the grand scheme of things it is unimportant!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Summer walk

If I had the fortitude to allow a mosquito to land on me unmolested I would have taken a photograph of that too, because the nasty creatures were just as much part of our walk as the greenery and the cracked soil.

Monday, June 11, 2012


Sometimes the temptation is just too much and you can't say no.

Habu Bamboo 1/6 hand dyed by Nancy McRay.  It is hard to call this substance "yarn" because it feels like starched paper - almost like a really thin rafia.  I am thinking a summer tank.

And as luck would have it, I already got gauge. Resetting the coldsheeping clock again.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Finished Project: Aranami Shawl

I have been on a modular knitting craze lately. I continue to work on my Mitered Crosses blanket (just started block 19), but it was waylaid by the Aranami Shawl.

Pattern: Aranami Shawl by Olgajazzy
Yarn: Rowan Fine Tweed in Bell Busk (1), Nappa (1), Muker (2), Dent (2), Pendle (2) purchased at Woven Art. (Of course!)
Needles: US 2
Mods: This is a very simple, intuitive knit, and the only change I made was for the very last tier.  Instead of breaking the yarn and making each triangle individually, I decided to make the edge continuous.  I picked up and knit the triangle using the short rows as written, then put the entire triangle on waste yarn, continuing directly on to picking up stitches for the next triangle.  This meant I had ten less ends to weave in!

One of the reasons this pattern got ahead of the Mitered Crosses blanket was I really wanted to try out the Rowan Fine Tweed.  I have never knit with it before, although I have used two of its predecessors; Rowan Yorkshire Tweed and Rowan Scottish Tweed.  The RFT is a tightly spun single, and has a tendency to twist on itself after a few yards have been unwound from the ball.  I simply shish-kabobbed the ball with a darning needle or crochet hook, held the ball off the floor, and let some of the extra spin unwind.  I loved the feel of the RFT, and the wool bloomed beautifully after a good wet blocking.

Not a bad distraction.  Now BACK TO THE STASH!

Saturday, June 2, 2012


A finished project coming soon...