In Which a Yarn Induces Obsession and Wild Pronouncements of Love

I am in love.  I didn’t plan it this way, and I certainly can’t afford a new obsession, it just happened.  Remember the Kureyon striped tote that I knitted?  This afternoon I took a leftover ball of the yarn (colour 182) and began to knit a wrap.  You’ll see the wrap in a more developed state.  I’m almost to the end of that skein, and the wrap is coming nicely, with interesting geometrics to the whole design.  Needless to say, one ball of yarn is not going to complete it.  I jumped onto the computer and found that www.littleknits.com, one of my favorites that I have mentioned before, has that yarn on sale.  I ordered enough to finish the wrap, then I scanned the menu to the left, just looking at interesting yarn names.  This is one way you know you are obsessed.  Who would look for interesting yarn names just so they could scan photos of yarn strangers?  My eyes fell on “Kimono Angora”, and I hit the link. 

 

Love at first sight!  I can feel the softness of the angora through the computer screen.  The colourways are enchanting.  I hopped over to Knitter’s Review to see what Clara Parkes had to say.  This yarn has been out for more than two years, and she reviewed it positively.  (See it here:  In-Depth Review of Knitting Yarn.)  I logged onto Ravelry (a site for knitters and crocheters to do all things crafty together) and found a few hundred projects knit from this Louisa Harding yarn, and they all convinced me that I have to use it.  I am so in love that I want to make myself  a hat!  (Of course, I might not want it so badly if I hadn’t had my hair cut down to nothing with those clippers.  I am finding that 60 degree weather makes my head cold.  Ridiculously sensitive!) 

 

At Little Knits, the yarn is on sale.  More shivers.  I ordered two colourways, and I almost paid the extra $20 to have them delivered in two days.  Don’t worry, economitis took over and I came to my senses.  I will be holding my breath until delivery. 

 

I can’t give you any better description of what I’m doing with the Kureyon right now.  First, you may laugh at me.  Second, it’s in testing phase and I may revise it five times before I am satisfied.  But I promise I’ll show it soon.  Meanwhile, I am also using fiddly little needles and knitting sock yarn into a hat (the one I mentioned in my last post).  I am quite happy with the result, and I hope to have a finished topper to show you tomorrow. 

 

My son is home today!  As usual, he called as he was getting in the car.  We had a nice long conversation before he drifted to sleep on the sofa.  Lucy is keeping his feet warm.  I’ve also talked with two sisters today.  The one in Minnesota got me all excited about a farm that raises sheep and sells kettle-dyed yarns (Shepherd’s Choice, you can find them on line).  I really should move to a community in the north so I could enjoy a wide selection of yarn stores and fiber venues.  The other sister listened to me rave about Kimono Angora and said “You get as excited about yarn as I do about vacuum cleaners.”  Hmmm.  Do we really share DNA?

 

I’ve had such a nice Sunday, in spite of pain and flaring and all that lupus stuff.  I’m so glad to have a big disconnect between my physical stuff and my sense of well-being. 

 

Peace.

Merino Brights, Mexican Food, and Meds

I received a box of yarn in the mail today.  I was expecting it, I’d ordered it, but it still felt like a surprise.  Occasionally when I order yarn from an Internet store, I’m surprised in a bad way.  Most of the time, I use places that give really good descriptions of yarns, so that I know how they look and feel and what they can do.  Sue Little at www.LittleKnits.com is good with those descriptions.  So is Elise at www.FlyingFingers.com.  Knitter’s Review (www.knittersreview.com) has helped in that regard, too.  I read it faithfully, making mental notes of yarn characteristics.  I should thank Clara Parkes for teaching me a language and framework for evaluating and describing fibers.  She writes the Knitter’s Review, and her book, A Knitter’s Book of Yarn, is my bible for animal fibers.

 

Anyway, this box is from Little Knits and it contains a bag of a new yarn from a new company, Elle.  The yarn is Merino Brights, a colorful unplied merino with long repeats of vivid color.  I couldn’t resist it at the introductory price of $27.99 per bag of 10 balls.  It’s still on the website ( Little Knits your source for quality yarn and knitting supplies! ), although I see the color choices diminishing.  I wish I could have gotten a bag of each color.  Mine is gorgeous fall colors, bright red, orange and yellow with greens and browns, and an unexpected deep violet.  I’m knitting a cap, and you can’t see it yet because I have to have all the colors knitted in before I will show it.  It knits very easily, making lovely, even stitches, and each stripe of color is at least two rows wide on this cap.  Some are wider.  I’m loving it! 

 

My household is back to just Lucy and me.  Lucy hasn’t seemed to notice yet, but I can hear the quiet.   My daughter was home for the weekend, exteneded to today because of lingering temporary illness, so I didn’t notice the young cousin’s departure so much.  She has terminated her Chattanooga experience and is returning to the north to attack her home job market. 

 

The daughter’s visit was great fun.  We spent time with her dad and grandparents, including a visit to a new, really nice, Mexican restaurant.  (Oh stop complaining.  This is not Dine-O-Meter.  I can’t remember the name of the place.)  I was impressed with the authenticity of the food.  My tamale was actually wrapped in a corn husk, unlike the tamales of my childhood, which slid out of the can wrapped in white paper.   Even better, they were quite vegetarian-friendly. 

 

Lupus.  Guess I should say what’s going on.  I’m still dealing with sacroiliitis, and now my feet have begun to hurt.  That’s a surefire symptom for flaring.  I called my doc today to ask about changing one of my medications from oral to injection.  In the past, making that particular change brought increased effectiveness for that medicine (methotrexate).  I feel like I need every possible factor that might prevent my increasing prednisone again.  I’m at 10 mg and I’m not budging. 

 

That’s where I stand.  Darn right.  You betcha. 

 

Peace.

Cashmere One

cashmere-fingerless-mitts.jpg

 Today’s name started out as “Cashmere I”, but I thought it looked too much like the word “I” and I didn’t want anyone to be mistaken that this was the first in a series of nauseatingly loving posts about cashmere.  I did not grow up with cashmere.  A military family with six children is not the place to get a taste for luxury.  I found cashmere as a 50 year old woman, shopping a tempting sale at my lys (local yarn store), the not-really-local Flying Fingers in New York.  They had Karabella Supercashmere in special Flying Fingers colours at half price!  Previously $50 a ball, the highest quality cashmere suddenly seemed within reach.  My yarn was delivered by the UPS angel and I had a religious experience.  Those chubby balls of yarn felt like baby cotton and the strands were so lush and plump that I couldn’t stop feeling them. 

Initially, I couldn’t bear to knit with the new yarn.  I stalked online store ads looking for more cashmere, and I began to stockpile it.  Finally, this fall, I felt like I had an idea worth working in cashmere.  I took out some of the moss green yarn and began to knit fingerless mitts.  I worked out a pattern of eyelet that snaked its way up the length of the mitt in an alluring curve, batching my yarnovers and k2t’s.  I tried them on to customize the decreases for my wrist and increases for the base of my hand and the thumb position.  These were going to be mine.  My first cashmere creation could not leave my possession.  It was a first in every way–first cashmere, first pair of fingerless mitts, first thing I’d intentionally knit for myself as an adult.  I know that last statistic is pathetic.  For two years I had been knitting for sale and knitting to give away, but none of my modern day knitting spree had been for me.  I kept a few things that couldn’t be sold (a contest winner, something so artsy there didn’t seem to be a market) but they weren’t initially intended to be mine.  Anyway, you can see them here, along with a nice shot of my belly and unmanicured hands.  Remind me to dress up a little and hold my stomach in for photos in the future.  cashmere-fingerless-mittsb.jpg

 Unfortunately, Tennessee weather has been its changeable best-highs ranging from 65 to 78 this week.  It will be colder in January and February and I’ll be able to wear my mitts for something other than display photos.

I am going to warn you now that making a derogatory comment about these mitts could lose you your comment privileges ’til hell freezes over or they transplant me a kinder heart.  Just saying.

You don’t have to wait for Flying Fingers to have a cashmere sale.  Other stores stock cashmere yarns, too.  One of them (www.littleknits.com) sent me an email about a sale yesterday morning and at 5:30 a.m. I was choosing colours of Debbie Bliss Cashmere.  I bought a bag (10 skeins) of black, a bag of amethyst (I am a purple freak) and some individual skeins of a light spring green and a delicate pale yellow.  Can’t wait for them to come.  You know I’ll be talking about it.

Now that I have enough cashmere stashed to part with some, I’m going to implement my “cashmere for the masses” plan.  All those trendy stores have their skinny little cashmere knits that don’t begin to give you the feel for the real thing.  I’m going to make nice thick caps and scarves in simple patterns, a lesson in fiber appreciation.  I might start with a moss green cap for me.

Well, I did it.  I talked about just one topic without too much digression.  I think that’s a good stopping point.  I’ve got a huge mug of coffee here and I’m ready to sip and knit.

Peace!