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.)

144 thoughts on “A Start of Sorts

  1. I got distracted by the beads and the beauty of the yarn… would “Celestarium” by Audry Nicklin work? You might not have quite enough yarn but… boy it’d be gorgeous, and I bet they’d send you another skein…

  2. How about I give you my address, on the off-chance you need to clear out ‘old’, ‘unloved’ yarn(s) to make room for the glorious new stuff??

    • Incidently, a friend from my Knit Night is joining your mini-retreat, and I’m jealous as the dickins!

  3. I’m thinking Åsa Tricosa Designs > Tiong Bahru but didn’t you already make that? And it is not a stole. I’m just enthusiastic because I made one and I get complements every time I wear it!

  4. I had some really pretty sparkly lace-weight that I got at Knit City 2012 in Vancouver, and searched FOREVER to find the perfect pattern for it…which ended up being this:
    I get more compliments on that than anything else I have knitted, I believe. And every time I wear it around knitters I always get asked for the pattern name.

  5. One of the patterns from Victorian Lace Today…because that is the look you seem to be striving for…elegant and timeless.

  6. Too funny–the project on my needles (now that I’ve finished the baby knitting before my trip and can go back to it) is Buffalo Wool Co’s Sexy in their Gorgeous colorway (yes, yes it is).

    I was given my first taste of their yarn when I was severely ill and my LYS rounded up a basket of goodies and doorbell-ditched them as a get-well–including, be still my heart, two skeins of buffalo! It was a vote of health that I could not turn down, and I got better.

    Then one of the LYSOs herself had a sudden, critically ill injury–and I had recovered from my Crohn’s flare by then and knew exactly what to do with that buffalo yarn. She got it right back.

    I love those yarns… Good memories.

  7. I almost bought some of the Bison at Stitches Wet a few weeks ago. It will sing in your hands. And oy moy is it soft. Enjoy the process.

  8. I did the “Leaf Garland Shawl” by Michele Bernstein. It has options for beads and without and can be done either short and wide or long and skinny. It can also be done as long as desired or to use up all your yarn (as long as you can figure out where 1/2 your yarn is (weight)). I love it. Deeply.

  9. I recommend the Simple Elegance Wrap by Great Yarns. While the pattern does not call for beads, I knit one out of mink yarn and added beads to the lace border. It is a fun knit, and is easy to alter to fit a variety of needs.

  10. The “honesty” of this yarn seems to call out for something simple, yet very fine (like a petticoat with a fancy edge that can be glimpsed when you swirl or a delicate linen handkerchief with a lace edge). Perhaps not an overall lace pattern, but a delicate border? Many by SusannaIC would be lovely — Diantha, Stellaria, Beithe, Derwen? Maybe someone has already mentioned these? It is a beautiful yarn.

  11. The Upstairs shawl calls for 850 yds but you can make it most any length you want. I think beads would be very pretty in the open “steps”. It is knit end to end though instead of the side to side you were hoping for…

  12. Try “stoles” from Birgit Freyer. She has some gorgeous stuff, some of it knitted the long way (you can tell by looking at it which way it is constructed). I’m not sure if you want that lacy of a design, but she has some very nice patterns. I’ve put a link below to one of hers (through her online store, but you may also be able to get them through Ravelry) that is knit the long way. You can navigate from there if you want to browse.

  13. Do you have a copy of “Victorian Lace Today”? Last year I knit the melodiously-named Scarf with the No. 20 Edging from “The Knitted Lace Pattern Book,” 1850. I used just under 800 yards of laceweight, and the thing is GORGEOUS. If I may say so.

    I adore that red/brown yarn towards the left of your Texas Yarn Roundup!

  14. I have just looked through the patterns that are linked in the replies. I hope for two things:
    – that more designers would specify the shape of the finished object: triangle, crescent, rectangle, etc and
    -that we could develop a uniform terminology; many people use shawl, scarf and stole interchangeably, when to my mind they are different.

    Perhaps when knitters rule the world, at about the same time we settle on one type of screwdriver, these things will come to pass. Meanwhile, one of my favorites is Eunny Jang’s Print ‘o the Wave.

  15. Hi Stephanie: I am not going to give suggestions on a shawl (I think Lilac Wish is beautiful, and some are not quite so crescent-shaped), but I did want to ask a question: When you were at Madrona, teaching Mawata, you stated that you thought everyone should have a yarn textbook, so we know the basics, as well as so much more, even though we can find a lot on the internet. Could you please throw some suggestions out for a yarn text book or two (or three)? Also, I MUST tell you that your hair looked FABULOUS at Madrona–I think you have tamed the curls! Thanks for your help…..

  16. It’s a shawl, not a stole, but it’s beautiful and beaded – take a look at Fragile Heart by Boo Knits. I just started it using MadTosh Prairie – my first beaded project

  17. I, too, have looked at all the suggestions, and the Lilac Wish you originally chose is nice; I like the tiered “waves” above the lace pattern. Two more struck me as good possibilities for adding beads:
    Holden and Saragasso. I didn’t look to see which way they were knitted, horizontally or vertically. Good luck making your decision. I’m sure whatever you pick will end up spectacularly.

  18. I can’t say I’m surprised you bought all Texas yarn. We have great yarn here! Hooray! I can’t wait to see what you end up making with it.

  19. I have to beg, will you PLEASE make a video of how to lever knit??? Or let me know where I can go to one of your classes. If you made a video of all of the different techniques, I would be the first to buy it. Thank you. Love your blog….

  20. Oh, man! To be honest, I’m not one for natural hues, but your combination of the yarn with the beads is absolutely beautiful!! I’m jealous!
    Have you seen the Interweave Special 2013 issue of “Jane Austen Knits”? Gorgeous patterns!!! The “Georgiana Darcy’s Fancy Shawl” is breathtaking AND requires beads! It calls for 1,100 yards, but is knit from side-to-side. You could easily control the length. I can’t wait to see what you choose to do with it!!

  21. I am eagerly looking at all the suggestions – I have two skeins of Tosh Merino Light I would like to make into a shawl, with not much leftover, and I can’t decide on a pattern. Lacy, but not super lacy, triangle or crescent shape, no crochet edging,…somehow I’ll know it when I see it. I think.

    Good luck with the stash arranging. Sometimes it’s almost as much fun fondling the stash as knitting. Almost.

  22. Do they kill the buffalo to get the wool or do they shear them like sheep? If they kill them then I’d say “no” to that yarn. I don’t decorate my body with the skins/hides of beings who were slaughtered. But each to her own.

    • Generally speaking, the buffalo is for meat, and the down is garbage. Knitters rescue it from there. Under no circumstances are bison killed for down. (Meat is worth more.)

  23. I think the beaded shawl would look lovely and over a simple black turtleneck! Easily fancy and “effortlessly chic” with dark jeans and funky flats.

    • A lovely piece indeed. Outline each “sand dune” with beads, or what? I can’t decide. But I love the idea of a “squared oval” and I think that’s more like what Steph had in mind, rather than crescent.

  24. DFW Fiber Fest was grand, wasn’t it? I really enjoyed your class on silk – all the information and the gentle confidence of your guidance. I’ve got silk to play with.
    And, well, yarn to explore since I have no idea what I’ve bought – no projects intended yet. THANK YOU again for coming to Texas again.

  25. How about Naomh by Rene Leverington. It isn’t quite a stole, but I like the rectilinear shape… Beads, interesting lace… Definitely worth a look.

  26. Perhpas something from Nancy Bush’s Knitted Lace of Estonia might suit?

    Or what about Jane Sowerby, who is a goddess of lace in my humble opinion. Here is a Ravelry search for sowerby + 0-730 meters + scarf OR shawl-wrap + knitting. Sorry, I don’t know how to hyperlink in a WordPress comment posting.

    I can vouch for ‘A Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging’ (which I beaded) and for Alpine Lace Shawl’, both from Victorian Lace Today.

  27. Here are my ideas:

    Dancing Birds of Paradise (my favorite)
    Laminaria (my 2nd favorite)
    Echo Flower Shawl
    Reflection and Refraction

    And for something completely different: Fairy Dust (the skirt for little girls)

  28. My first thought was one of Åsa Tricosa’s gorgeous side to side shawls which mean you can use up every scrap of precious yarn. Semele would be my pick, and it’s easily beaded.

  29. Maybe a short-sleeve/cap sleeve fancy beaded cardi? Although I don’t have an actual pattern to suggest. Sorry! Such pretty yarn and it will look so lovely with the beads…..

    • In re-reading your requirements, this one is worked the way you want, cast on the long edge, cast off the long edge. Can’t wait to see what you choose 🙂

  30. I have recently ordered a skein of the bison/silk yarn from The Buffalo Wool Company. I am going to knit the Prairie Shawl. I got the shawl pattern from Buffalo Wool Company also. It does not have beads but they could easily be added.

  31. In regards to the OOAK ‘affection’ skeins. Amy King wrote a sweater pattern for Knitty called “Less Is More”. She also did an accompanying article on combining wildly different colored variegated fibers (would work for yarn, as well) with spectacular, unexpected results. I have also seen folks take the color theory that she described in her article and use it in other sweater patterns.

  32. Have you seen the latest issue of Ply magazine? It’s all about silk, and there’s a pattern for a stole in there for knitting sideways to take advantage of the drape of silk yarn. It’s pretty, too.

  33. You guys are KILLING ME with all these pattern ideas. I still have the pink Fino alpaca with matching beads I picked out with Steph that time in Toronto…years ago.

  34. Not sure if anyone has suggested it yet, but what about Bubbles and Baubles on Ravelry? (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/bubbles-and-baubles) it could easily be made rectangular rather than crescentic and would look lovely with a fancy/strapless dress. It looks young to me, so maybe for a prom or something?

    PS- all that yarn makes me envious! Maybe I’ll get to go to DFW fiberfest next year. 🙂

    • I agree…in fact,I am in the middle of making it with some natural shetland wool but think I will make another later with Bison and beads!

  35. Pingback: Yarn Crawl LA 2014 – Abuelita’s in Pasadena | Sybil Q knits

  36. Unrelated, but did you know that Trader Joe’s sells frozen poutine? I bought a package but we haven’t tried it yet.

  37. Haven’t looked through all the suggestions (those I looked at were all gorgeous, tho), but I agree a stole would probably be your best bet. If not that, then a triangular or “triangle with wings” (my term, but I think you can picture it).

    What are those lovely orange and gold yarns you bought? They look great together, and I hope you use them together in one project, maybe with one of your favorite yellowy, olivey greens.

  38. Wow that yarn/bead combo is stunning!!

    What about “Bead Lightning Shawl” by Uma Padu or “Juno Regina Stole & Wrap” by Miriam L. Felton? Each of them has such a beautifully strong background combined with unique geometric patterning. I like patterns like these because they push the limits of what we typically think of as a dainty lace without being horribly modern.



  39. Just looking at an old post on your blog. January 10, 2006, Whisper stole. Is that the pattern you’re looking for?

  40. I don’t have a single suggestion as to what you should knit; I just wanted to comment on how intriguing it is that someone makes a yarn from bison down and silk. I can’t quite imagine what it feels like, but it certainly is very pretty.

  41. Bison! OMG, As a fibre nut who lives in Austalia I’ve only read about this stuff, (Think it was in my sourcebook, australians have no clure about fibre) Yet another Yarn i will need to prowl the Northern hemisphere’s websites for. I Have an entire bag of Norwegian yarn for matching up with patterns with Australian yarn for (My co-workers think i am slightly odd for this.) So far no luck, YET!

  42. Not only am I going to vote for Dancing Cranes, I’m going to find some suitable yarn and make one myself. Not for me; for some reason I can’t carry off a stole or a shawl, although scarves seem to work well. But how stunning for a bride in white or ivory! Yep, Dancing Cranes, for sure; although I’m not sure how you would work the beads in there. However, I have every confidence you will figure that out yourself.

  43. I think a Monique Boonstra (Boo Knits) or Renee Leverington (Goddess Knits) would be beautiful. Renee typically designs with 800 yards in mind (since that’s typically the amount of her hand-dyed skeins).

  44. I just love your blog – thank you for being who you are and writing about the things that we all can identify with. I had the same cleaning bug last week (only lasted for a day) but I did hose out my refrigerator!!! The old refrigerator in the garage was really nasty so I pushed it out onto the driveway and hosed it out and followed that with a hot, soapy bath! I can only imagine what my neighbors thought!!! I like to keep ’em wondering.
    Thanks again.

  45. I would suggest “Snow Angel” by BooKnits – it’s not a deep crescent at all and it calls for beads and would use all of your Bison yarn. Plus it is a very lovely shawl but it looks more like a stole when worn.

  46. In defense of the LILAC shawl – inspired by the blog post I started the Lilac shawl a few days ago – it is a great, fun knit and looks fabulous. You would love it.

  47. I love looking at all the shawl ideas and your yarn and beads are gorgeous! So glad that my daughter and I got to come to your talk at DFW after all. We both really enjoyed it! Can’t wait to see your projects from all that beautiful yarn!

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