This time I’m going to… Hey, what’s that?

This post was going to be all about the hat I started last night and how much fun it is, and how well it’s going, but then it stopped being fun for one tiny little second and I switched gears faster than a sixteen year old can wreck the mood at dinner.  I put down the hat, picked up a scarf and I haven’t been able to put it down.

lucyscarf1 2014-04-30

It’s the Emperor’s New Scarf, and the construction is fun and clever and easy (so far, there’s a bit of crochet at the end that I’m a little worried about. I’m not really bi-craftual) and from the minute I picked it up, I’ve been obsessed. Completely obsessed.  The yarn I’m using is Elsebeth Lavold Angora, and it’s totally discontinued, and Lucy and I stood there in StevenBe and absolutely agreed that three skeins would be enough and you’d think between the two of us we’d know that there’s a sub-rule of discontinued yarns that says that if only three skeins are available, three skeins will never be enough no matter what maths you do, and well… lucyscarf2 2014-04-30

Maybe it will be. Maybe.  I’ve got a bad feeling, and you know what you should do when you’re worried you don’t have enough yarn? Knit faster – like it’s possible to outrun the yardage, and that’s what I’m doing.  Maybe I can squeak a little more out of it if it all happens so fast the yarn doesn’t see it coming.

(PS. This is a rookie mistake. What can I tell you.  I was tired.)

A Rainy Tuesday

I’m home, which if you had lived my yesterday, you would find as amazing as I do.  I left Minneapolis yesterday at 3:30pm, and through an absolutely farcical chain of airline events, got me home so late last night that it was this morning at 3am when I sat down on my own chesterfield. I slept late, as one does, if you arrive home in what is perilously close to the time you usually get up, and today I’m predictably having trouble gathering steam. I had a wonderful time at Yarnover, and at StevenBe’s FiberFest – and very unpredictably for a woman with a brand new camera, I took so few pictures that it would boggle the mind.  I have a few of the market at Yarnover – which was a huge and wondrous spread,

marketplace 2014-04-29

and I thought I had one of the shop at StevenBe, which is likewise nothing more than a great room of temptation. but it turns out that I just have a picture of Jeremy (Chief in charge of order at the store) looking at me suspiciously, which may pretty much sum up our relationship.

jeremy 2014-04-29

I also have this one, which records the moment that I was so captivated with Lucy Neatby’s new E-book, A Little book of BIG holes for Hand Knitters, that I took all leave of my senses and let her pick me not just two projects, but the yarn for them.

lucysays 2014-04-29

She was, despite the obviously disparate state of our tastes, astute in the extreme when she picked them.  I’m thrilled. So thrilled in fact, that between the charm of new yarn and the exhaustion of travelling that way, I’ve spent the better part of a day winding new yarn and trying to resist the urge to cast on two new things. I expect my fortitude to fail shortly. The last picture is one I snapped last night at heaven knows what time, as I sprinted down the rainbow hall thingie at O’Hare, trying to make a flight for home.

ohare 2014-04-29

More tomorrow, when I’ve rested, slept and thrown all my current projects on a fire in favour of new and amazing things. They don’t call me Harlot for nothing.

Like a Willie Nelson Song

I’m almost packed, I just have to add my knitting to the suitcase and then I’m off to the airport.   I’ll get to Minneapolis just in time for the opening of Yarnover, and I’m really looking forward to it.  I really like the work I do, teaching and being with knitters, but these larger events have a little icing on the cake – a chance to see (however briefly) other teachers I only run into once or twice a year. This many years in the field and the other teachers start to be your friends, and events start to be tiny reunions.  There’s not much time to see each other when you’re working, but still.  I’m so looking forward to it. My one wish for things like this is that each teaching day came with four evenings so that I could see everyone I want to, and sit with them, and hear what they’re working on… all those knitter minds.

bagsonthec 2014-04-25

Lined up on the chesterfield is the knitting.  I think I’m finally learning not to take way, way too much.  (Because someone will ask, the first bag is from YoYoGo, The second’s my Splityarn bike bag, and the third is a Tom Bihn yarn stuff sack. The cat hair is courtesy of Millie. It was a gift.) After years of practice, I think I’ve finally got it down to a silly amount of knitting rather than a laughable quantity.  If I were going to be home, any one of these projects would do me, but once I’m on the road? Away from the stash? Any less than this and I start getting insecure. (What if I have a layover? What if my plane is cancelled? What if I suddenly knit faster than I ever have before and I run out?)  I like to have an assortment.

sexyboo 2014-04-25

I’m taking the Sweet Dreams adaptation I’m working on, but it’s beaded, and despite Denise at Lost City Knits sending me this video that really would make beading on a plane a little more possible, I’m just not feeling it.  (By the way, I went out and bought the crazy dental floss thingies she’s using there – I didn’t even know they existed, and the minute I’d bought it I found my crochet hook down the side of the couch. Amazing.)  This will be my “alone in my hotel room and not moving” knitting.

pluckyobsession 2014-04-25

I’m also taking the Color Affection that I have been working on ignoring for more than a year. I picked this up again a few weeks ago – and I swear it’s going down. I can’t handle it kicking around for any longer at all. It seems stupid to finish it just in time for summer, but whatever. If I put it down again I know I’m never picking it up. This knitting’s no good for when I have limited space – like on an airplane. There’s three balls of yarn and they’re forever needing to be unsorted, and that’s the kind of yarn game that ends with me annoying the passenger next to me. I try to be a better missionary for knitting than that.

To fill in the gaps, I’ve got a new sock on the go, although there’s no guarantee it’s going to make the cut.

vermiculture 2014-04-25

It’s Skeined Alive 80/merino 10/cashmere, 10/nylon – in a fabulous colour called Vermiculture. I feel great about the yarn, but the pattern I picked is Anne Hanson’s Sign of Four, and I think the stitch pattern might be totally lost. I’m not feeling it at the moment, but it could start coming together in another repeat or two. We’ll have to see how it feels.

That’s it. That’s all I’m taking, although the pangs keep coming.  The urge to tuck a little skein of sock yarn into a pocket, perhaps just a little ball of laceweight as backup… Never mind of course that I’m going to a knitting convention and to a great yarn store… and that if I need more yarn I shall be awash with it in about four hours… No no.  What if, what if…

Maybe I’ll just put in one more thing.  It can’t hurt.

(PS. I’ll be at StevenBe on Sunday afternoon,  if you wanted to stop by and say Hi.  I’m teaching until 1, and then I’ll be around for a few hours until the next class.  Give them a call and reserve a book if you need one, and I’ll see you there.)

 

Randomly on a Thursday

1. My internet keeps going on and off, probably because my neighbours are still renovating. At least I hope that’s what’s happening.  I’ve lost this post three four five times. At least I finally got smart enough to put it in a document so that it would still be there.

2. Joe comes home today, and it will be so nice to see him – however briefly.  I leave for YarnOver and StevenBe tomorrow. I’m almost done packing/cleaning/organizing so that tonight I can actually visit with him for 30 minutes.

3. I think it is very easy to like your husband if you don’t see him much.

4. I finished the socks last night, so I didn’t have to cut them up into a million pieces, which I do truly swear was an option.
socksdonewhole 2014-04-24
5. I think that even if you practice for years and do yoga,  taking pictures of your own feet never gets easy.
socksdonefeet 2014-04-24
Yarn: Hot Socks Nil, Colour 25 Pattern: My own, from Knitting Rules, except I kept two of the ribs from the top/front running all the way down to the toes. Just for sport.

6.These don’t fit me. Which is good – because if they did I think I would keep them.
socksdone 2014-04-24
7. I’m like that.

8. You know, these were feeling kinda familiar, and then I googled the yarn name and my own blog turned up.  I knit just about exactly this pair of socks about a year ago. I totally forgot. Is that weird? (I guess the instinct I had that Ken would like these socks was a powerful one.)

9. In January I said that if I was going to make my goal of 12 pairs of socks done on time for Christmas this year I had to knit one pair at least every 27.83 days.  So far this year I’ve knit four pairs. It still seems wild and obsessive to keep track like this, but infinitely less wild than I feel when there’s three pairs to go on the 15th of December.

10. I gave away one of the pairs for a birthday present. Does that mean I have to knit 13?

I see what you’re doing

Dear Socks

I don’t know what crap you think you’re pulling, or if you think you’re messing with an amateur or something, but let me tell you. I’m no rookie, and I see what’s happening here.

I’ve been knitting on you way longer than any reasonable pair of socks should take, and I don’t know what you’re doing with all of the stitches and yarn I keep throwing at you, but you can just take this scam you’re running and stuff it.

sockstable 2014-04-23

You should be done. You should have been done yesterday, and I know it, and you know it and I don’t know if maybe you thought that I wouldn’t notice that you were messing with me, but I have raised three teen-aged girls and I have my black belt in spotting sneaky manoeuvres and you aren’t even competing at the Olympic level.

This is the way it’s going to be. I am going to knit on you for one more night, and you can choose what happens next. Either you can decide to be finished, or tomorrow I can take a sharp pair of scissors and cut you into a million pieces.

Your call.

Love (or not, again, that’s up to you.)

Steph

When Joe’s gone

I don’t know what it’s like for Joe when I’m not here. I travel all the time, and he must be used to what the house is like without me.  Usually, when Joe’s home,  I’m up way earlier than he is – on account of the music business being a thing that starts and ends late. (Musicians have realized my life goal of a world that starts at 11  and ends at 23:00. If Joe’s up at 7, it’s usually from the other side.)   I get up and come downstairs, and I can have my coffee right that minute, because Joe is the miracle man who comes home in the wee hours and sets the coffeemaker to do it by itself  before I wake up, a gesture of love that I’m not fool enough to overlook.

I don’t miss Joe in the daytime.  As a matter of fact, the last few days have been stunningly productive – probably related to the way that Joe fritters away most of my mornings when he’s here. He reads me things from the news, asks me where we keep things, asks me if I know where he put his insert-object-I’m-not-responsible-for here.  I don’t mind that much – it’s really the only time of day that we connect.  Usually I give up and knit and find his stuff until he leaves. Then he’s off – gone to do his thing all day, and that’s when my day starts. I work from 11 or 12 until about 8, but I don’t see him again then until very late. I have my dinner alone most days – I cook for both of us, but Joe eats his when he comes home.

When Joe’s gone if I clean something up it stays clean, but I don’t really clean anything, because it’s just me.  When Joe’s gone, I have a chance to see friends I don’t usually see, and we go out for dinner (which is a great plan, because why anyone would cook for one, I just don’t know.

beerssock 2014-04-22

Without Joe, I miss landmarks. I miss the moments that our days intersect, and the reasons to do things like dinner and cleaning,  and here I am. Three days without him, and I wonder what his days are like without me, because without him my days are lovely, but strange, and I can’t wait until he comes home to bother me again, and I wonder if that’s what it’s like when I’m away from him.

Up from the ashes

Joe and I dropped the ball this Easter. Usually this is a strong suit for us. I make special things, and knit little holiday themed presents, and cook foods that are special to that time of year, and Joe hunts clever gifts down – and we’re usually pretty good at it. We’re very attached to our immediate and extended family, and we enjoy time with them, and building beautiful holidays is important. This Easter? Boom. Nothing. We did nothing.  I’d like to pretend it was because we are so busy and everything in our lives are so complex, and we travel and blah, blah, blah, but the truth is that there’s a huge amount of notice on when Easter is, and therefore no excuse for the fact that on Friday, when Toronto was closed – Joe and I suddenly realized that we hadn’t done anything about the thing, and called around to the girls and discovered that between jobs and commitments, the only time we could have an Easter egg hunt and a family brunch was Saturday morning, and that’s when it got wild.  We checked around and discovered the one open grocery store (all the way across town) and set off to try and pull together this thing.  “Where the hell are we going to get baskets?” Joe queried, and I shrugged, and we got in the car.

When we got there, it was pretty obvious that we weren’t the only people with a procrastination problem.  The store had nothing. No baskets, almost no Easter chocolate, and the few bunnies left were all the ones that were amputees, had their eyes on crooked or had suffered an unfortunate decapitation.  The only thing the store had that was related to the season at all was a thousand million other crazed parents all willing to cut you to get that deranged  looking amputee bunny, and Joe and I (who will fare very poorly in the upcoming zombie apocalypse, let me tell you) opted out of the scrum and backed into a corner near the birthday cards to regroup.  “We’re going to have to get creative.” I said, and Joe high fived me.

We started in the bakeware aisle.  No baskets? That’s cool – how about something basket-like, but useful? All the girls cook… Ah-ha! Bread pans!  The rest was easy.  Instead of that silly paper Easter grass? Tea towels lined our “baskets”.  We went through the store grabbing treats that our young women would never buy, but would love. Pink Himalayan salt in a grinder. Paring knives, all little kitchen bits and pieces, and when we were done we tossed in a few brightly coloured pairs of socks, some maple popcorn, and bam.  The only thing missing was the traditional chocolate bunnies, and we found those in an open drug store we stumbled into on the way home.

newbaskets 2014-04-21

We were feeling good about it. Now all we needed were little gifts for Lou and Myrie, dyed eggs and we were home free.  Sam took care of dying the eggs that night – she’s serious about her craft.  This year she had a plan. 11 beautiful eggs, all the colours of the rainbow, and then one rainbow egg.

eggdiligence1 2014-04-21

eggdiligence 2014-04-21

rainbowegg 2014-04-21

While Sam worked on that, I surfed quickly surfed Ravelry, and found exactly what I was looking for.  A quick stash dive, and knitting commenced.

startslippers 2014-04-21

By the morning, the house was full of all of us, and I hadn’t really made a dent in the knitting. We had an egg hunt, we played a few games, we had a beautiful brunch, and then I knit. I knit and I knit and I knit.  I got up every so often to start the bread dough for the next morning, and I did my first little training ride for the Bike Rally.  (20 Kilometres only. I’m going to have to seriously pick up the pace.) Somewhere in there Joe got on a plane and left for England (it was a surprise to me too) and I kept knitting. It’s been a long time since I stayed up late on a knitting deadline, but come the next morning I was almost done.

louandmyriealmost 2014-04-21

I got up early, baked bread, threw together a fruit salad,  and made devilled quails eggs – wait, those are too pretty not to share:

quaileggs 2014-04-21

quaileggs2 2014-04-21

Then off I went to Kate’s house for an Easter brunch, knitting the whole way. Right before the egg hunt, I finished.

twopairsbunnies 2014-04-21

Oh yeah. Right there.  Matching Baby Bunny Booties for Lou and Myrie.  They were the cutest thing ever – and the best part was that Lou slammed his on his feet and ran around the house making sure everyone saw them.

louslippersdet 2014-04-21

I upsized the pattern a bit, simply by working them in worsted weight rather than the DK the pattern called for. That made the newborn size into a six month size that fit Myrie perfectly, and the third size became a larger toddler size that fit Lou just right.  (Not that he toddles, the kid runs everywhere he goes. He’s a blur.)

loumyrieslipperstogether 2014-04-21

He loved them, the grownups loved them, and it was totally worth it.

Little Lou, egg hunter 2014-04-21

Pattern: Easter Baby Bunny Booties. Yarn: Leftover Cascade 220 that was kicking around.

myriebooties 2014-04-21

We pulled a great Easter out of the ashes, and the best moment for me?

louandiknit 2014-04-21

Doesn’t that kid look like he’s totally going to be a knitter?

(PS. It is exactly this kind of success after procrastination that means that Joe and I will never change. Failure is corrective. Cute bunny shoes, quails eggs and the best Easter baskets ever? That really didn’t teach us a lesson.)

Boy does it have a lot of buttons

I spent this last weekend at Port Ludlow, hosting and teaching at the Strung Along April retreat, but you all know that – and I don’t want to go on about it (although it was seriously one of the most awesome things and I am not even kidding you a little. A fantastic combination in every way. Great students who were a perfect foil for each other, great teachers, great food, great goodie bags, great wine, great weather… I’m on the edge of gushing, I know, but it really did go just so perfectly well. I’ll shut up.)  Instead, let me tell you about this.  I got my new camera.

newcamerafront 2014-04-17

I’m so thrilled I can barely hold it together. Look.  See what I just did there? I’m so excited about my new camera that I took a picture of it with my other camera. (Also, it is not the first picture I have taken of it. There’s a smallish gallery developing.)

cameraback 2014-04-17

(See that? I did it again.  Be glad we are not friends or there’s an 80% chance that I’ve been texting you pictures of a camera for days, just like it’s a new puppy or something.) That second picture is part of what I want to talk about.  From the front, this camera looks a lot like my old one. From the back though? Holy smokes.

marketplacepic1 2014-04-15

(I’m pretty happy with this picture. I took it at the Community Marketplace on Saturday night. That’s ridiculously beautiful Local Color Fiber Studio yarns, and yes. I did buy a little. I’m only human.)

It came with 374 page instruction booklet and I’m only on  page 89, and It’s clear to me now that I’m going to have to read the whole thing and go to school on this.  It does so many things that I keep turning pages in the book and waiting to find out that it’s not just a camera, but a tiny little coffeemaker – because really, I think that’s the only thing that could make it better.  Right now – the experience of taking pictures with it is super exciting, but the pictures aren’t.  I’ve managed to take only a very few great ones.

winebeadsnice 2014-04-17

(I’m almost happy with this picture.  It’s my current project, or what was my current project until I discovered that somewhere between Toronto and Port Ludlow my tiny little crochet hook for beading departed my company. Super frustrating – and now this is on hold until I can get another.)

partyfavours 2014-04-15

(This is a picture of the table set for dinner the last night of the retreat. We had such beautiful party favours, courtsey of Habu – but it took me about 26 shots to get this one.  I have 25 others that are too light, too dark, too blurry, and one that is spoiled by the presence of Debbi’s arse, which is not to say that her arse isn’t perfectly nice, or that the camera screwed up that one. It was just an accidentally intimate picture.)

ballwinderout 2014-04-17

(The weather was so nice that we set up the ball winder on our balcony. It was nice to be out there, but more fun to watch people below try to figure out what we were doing.)

The first bunch I took were out of focus (then I figured out that it was on some crazy 39 point autofocus thing that predicts the movement of objects like birds – but somehow can’t cope with yarn.) Then the next bunch had the white balance all wrong, and I looked up those pages. Then the bunch after that were all screwed as I figured out how I wanted the metering set up.

mountains 2014-04-17

I can admit that the last few days have been disappointing – I think there was a tiny little part of me that really hoped that money could buy skill, and that my photos would automatically go up in quality in a way that was directly related to the quality of the camera.  I saved up for four years to buy this, and I think that I had the experience built up in my mind into something totally unfair.

flights 2014-04-15

On some little level, I thought that out of the box, this camera would be just like my other one (even though it is nothing like my other one) and everything would work the same way (which is nothing short of insane) and that it would solve every photographic problem I’ve ever had without me having to learn anything new – which is also a big fat slice of crazy pie, complete with a nice dollop of delusion right on the top.

judithfindsaslug 2014-04-17

(That’s Judith finding two really big slugs on a bracket fungi.  I am in love with the look on her face, and I’m just glad that I was able to get the exposure right fast enough.)

The truth is that this is going to be a lot like anything else. It’s new. It’s complicated, and that means that I’m going to have to do three things that aren’t instant.

cedars 2014-04-17

I’m going to have to learn. I’m going to have to practice, and I’m going to have to suck for a while while those first two things happen.  (That’s the part I hate.) I think maybe things will get worse before they get better. Stand by.  I’m reading the pages on “Bracketing” today.

(PS. I updated the gig page.  In the next few months I’ll be in Minneapolis, Buffalo and at Squam.)

 

The Braintrust

This last weekend, I did something I don’t get to do a lot.  I went away with some people for the sole purpose of knitting.  Knitting is pretty much the thing I’m most interested in, and I believe certainly and fully that to keep the creative well full, I need to spend time with other knitters.  Most of the time this has me in the role of teacher, and I get lots of creative input and ideas from my students – and you can ask around, I bet most teachers would say the same thing. The bounceback that happens when I teach you something, and you have an idea based on what I’ve told you, and I end up learning? It happens all the time.  This though, this was a little different. It was like an informal mini-retreat. A bunch of knitters gathered in the woods, and all we did for two days was talk, and knit, and talk, and spin and knit, which made total sense, because outside it still looked like this.

outside1 2014-04-09

Winter is loosening, but it’s not gone.

outside2 2014-04-09

One thing I noticed was that everyone brought their A-game. Without the distractions of family, kids and jobs, everyone had loaded up their best knitting, their best spinning, their best ideas.  We all brought questions, and concepts and I’m pretty sure that everyone left with more of both.  These women are some of the best textile artists I know, so I brought up a complex plan for modifying  Sweet Dreams (the pattern I settled on for that gorgeous silk and bison) and asked simply “Would this work?” The braintrust settled in on it, and three conversations and a little bit of googling and mathematics later, the braintrust had checked my work, and improved my idea. I wouldn’t trade that for the world.

sweetdreamsstart 2014-04-09I’d be nowhere as good a knitter without these times. The times that I gather with the people who care about what I do all in one place – without distraction, without concern, without competing forces.  (There was excellent wine and good food too, because… well. These people care about the same things I do.)

knittersbyfire 2014-04-09There was also something amazing, which is that wonderful thing that happens when you don’t get to hand pick who you’re with. When new people turn up, with new ideas and new ways of doing things and you see them execute something a way you never have, or put forth an idea that your brain wouldn’t have ever, ever come up with on its own.

yarnhandsball 2014-04-09

(Because someone will ask, that yarn is this.)

spinningsupported 2014-04-09

Often when I teach, I remind students to have an open mind. “Your ideas have gotten you this far” I say. “You need someone else’s to really go to the next level.”  I took my own advice this weekend.  Every person there had an idea or way of thinking to offer me – if I was listening. (Actually, this crowd is a bunch of strong, opinionated women. You don’t have to listen very hard.) They all brought their A-Game.  By the way, if one of the textile artists who brings their A-Game is Kim? It looks like this.

kimsbesteffort 2014-04-09

It was a freakin’ mosh pit of yarn. It was amazing.

I’m home now, and packing like a fiend, because this weekend is Strung Along’s April Retreat at Port Ludlow, and I find that after this weekend, and remembering what it is that retreats are for? I’m so, so looking forward to it.  Amazing things happen at retreats, and they’re an amazing treat, and a leap for the soul.

By the way, in case you’re feeling bad you can’t be with us this weekend? We’re doing it again.  We’re having another retreat in June, and by popular demand, this one is just for the knitters. (We heard that not everyone is or even wants to be a spinner, and while we don’t understand that, we sure do respect it.)  Textile artists are creative makers, so this time we’re inviting another special kind of maker to be with us.  We’ve named our theme for the three things we’ll be doing.  Knit (That’s me) Play (that’s CAT BORDHI) and Cook – and that my friend, is Chef Dan, executive Chef at The Resort at Port Ludlow – and we’re so excited that Cat and Dan will be with us.  There will be a day of knitting – where I’ll teach you some finesse and special techniques to customize your knitting and make it more  beautiful, and take a look at (and sample) some amazing yarns. Cat Bordhi will have another day of teaching, and well. It’s hard to describe what Cat’s going to do, but she’s turning her inestimable brain towards a class called “The Joy of Cooking up a Design From Scratch” where she’ll talk not just about designing garments you’ll love, but stitch patterns you’ll love – and take your knitting to a deeply personal place. Her class is all about making what YOU love, and figuring out how to express it.  Finally, Chef Dan will teach a gourmet cooking class – along with a few other wonderful bonuses.  You’ll learn about selecting ingredients, creating a menu, prep, cooking – serving and choosing wine to go with it. You need absolutely no experience in the kitchen for the cooking class, and only solid beginner skills for the knitting.  The retreat will run from the evening of Friday June the 20th, and finishes the evening of Monday, June the 24th.   If you’d like more information about this special treat – email me at strungalong@yarnharlot.ca.  I’ll send you out details.

In the meantime, I’m going to figure out what I can sell to get myself to a few more of these retreats as a student.  I need the braintrust.

A Start of Sorts

The cleaning bug has left me, as quickly as it came – leaving in its wake a much cleaner house in general, with the exception of a few chores that got abandoned mid-stream when the urge faded rapidly at about 7pm last night.  (That means that the upstairs closet is sort of worse, but closets are like that. They get worse before they get better, so even though it’s spilling out into the room, I’m considering the job half done.) A big bag went to the bin, an even bigger bag out to Goodwill, and today I’m absolutely totally going to think about how to attack the stash room to get the new yarn in.

stashtexas 2014-04-03I had a bit of a “thing” in Texas as the DFW Fiber Fest.  Before I’d left I had decided that I was going to buy yarn. I’d set a budget – because I’m totally like that. I have a thing for yarn, and if I bought all that I wanted I’d be broke and buried in a heartbeat.  I was thinking of this as mostly buying most of the yarn for this year (considering the wee yarn accident I had in February at Madrona) and I was totally committed to project based buying, not affection based buying, which is absolutely how I got in the pickle I’m in now – many fabulous individual skeins, but not enough for projects really, unless you’re talking about an endless parade of hats and socks – or a million striped things.

This trip I sat down before I went to the market, and I laid out some of the things I’d like to make this year.  Sweaters for Lou and Myrie, a gift for a very special occasion coming up, some solid or semi-solid yarns to go with some of the brilliant single skeins I have to turn them into projects, and my a skein or two of yarn that Joe would approve of.  I wrote down the names of the projects, the weights of the yarns I was looking for, and the amounts I needed.  I made a yarn shopping list.

Off I went to the Marketplace, and it went great. I didn’t have much time there – maybe 15 minutes here, 20 minutes there, and that was a great help. There was no time to lose control and fall down on the plan. There was only time to get what was on the list.  I got some great stuff from MadelineTosh, Alisha Goes Around, Brooks Farm Yarn, Knitting Rose Yarns and (be still my beating heart) these two skeins of Sexy from The Buffalo Wool Co.

bisonstart 2014-04-03The colours were beautiful, but the natural knew my name. It’s 50% bison down, and 50% silk, and it’s just the right mix of soft and shiny, light but drapey – when I’m done with it the bison should bloom beautifully, making a little halo that will make the beads even more subtle and beautiful…

beads 2014-04-03Oh, didn’t I mention the beads? Whatever this ends up being, it’s going to be beaded. Last night I started Lilac Wish,  which is lovely – and might totally end up being what I make (despite the lack of beads in the pattern – I’ll slam them in as I go) but this morning I’m possessed of the idea that this pattern is too curved, too crescent-ish (which was predictable, it’s a crescent shawl) and I think I’d like something a lot like it, but more like a stole, but still worked side to side, not end to end. I imagine this going on over a strapless dress (clearly, it will not be me wearing it) and I think it needs to be something else.

skeinbisonbeads 2014-04-03

Ideas? I have 730metres or 800 yards, and it’s a laceweight – and I’d like to use up most of the yarn. It’s too lovely to have leftovers.

The perfect pattern is out there somewhere.

(PS. It turned out that all they yarns I bought were from Texas. How about that.)