Tag Archives: malabrigo

November, the yarn

I bought a little more Malabrigo Chunky the other day. I’m still working on a pattern for our knit party auction event, and I needed to try one more variation on a theme.

noviembre

Isn’t this gorgeous? The color is called Noviembre. And yes, it looks like fall. These are so not my colors, but they are gorgeous, and I’m sure I can find a worthy recipient after the pattern is written and the pictures are done. And this yarn is so much fun to knit with; it’s firm and bouncy like knitting with al dente pasta! Speaking of food…

I posted on Facebook that I was baking applesauce blueberry bread; a lot of my posts seem to be about food. There were a couple recipe requests, so I’m posting it here for your enjoyment.

Applesauce Blueberry Bread

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup blueberries

Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs. Blend in applesauce.

Blend dry ingredients, fold into applesauce mixture only until blended. Fold in blueberries.

Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees, about 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. (Mine usually takes at least an hour and 15 minutes, especially if I’m baking two. You really don’t want this to be gummy on the bottom.) Cool in loaf pan on wire rack for about 30 minutes, then turn out onto rack and cool completely. Scrumptious!

ETA: The reason mine takes so long to bake is probably because I put the berries in frozen, directly from the freezer. These are the berries that we grew last summer, and they are wonderful!

Oh, I almost wore the clear Converse sneakers today. I tried them on again, but I still felt clunky and flat-footed. So back they’ll go. Well, it was worth a try, anyway!

Blue skies and sunshine

This week has been gorgeous in PDX. The skies are blue, the temperatures moderate, and the leaves are starting to turn. Perfect autumn weather.

P1000260

Birds are fattening up for the trek south (hazy because I shot through the window with my new 12x zoom Lumix). There are four birds in the first picture, but there were many more hanging around!

brids

I hadn’t seen this one before; do you know what it is?

P1000268

I was inspired by the autumn sky to buy this yarn.

sky

It’s Malabrigo Sock Yarn; the color is Impressionist Sky. My original intent was to buy this yarn in a color called Indiecita because I fell in love with it at Sock Summit, but the color I saw in August (blue and brown) was very different from the one I saw yesterday (green). I was looking for blue to start a shawl, and this jumped up and said, “Pick me!”

sky goodies

I bought the yarn at a new store in town. It’s called Happy Knits and is at 1620 SE Hawthorne. They have a lot(!) of Malabrigo yarn, and also carry Karabella and some Cascade. The shop is sleek and spare, and has a huge common room in the back. Sarah threw in the Della Q bag as a thank you. Nice!

Portland is blessed to have a lot of yarn stores with an amazing variety of yarns. I’m lucky to be in such a fiber mecca!

With the change in weather, I have a hankering to start a sweater, too. Start-itis abounds. What are you dreaming of knitting?

Ishbel, you heartbreaker

Heartbreakingly gorgeous, yes?

ishbel

It’s been a bumpy road with Ishbel. First, I chose a yarn that I didn’t enjoy working with. Then I switched to a different yarn, and ran out before I was done. (Sooooo close. 1.5 rows, plus bind off.) After a rescue by KellyinTexas from Ravelry, I finished the knitting on Saturday.

Here it is unblocked.

unblocked

unblocked close

I was pretty pleased, and started the wet block process. I bought blocking wires last year after making my Shetland Triangle shawl. These are a great invention. I love how easy it is to pin out points with these. But seriously, I am going to have to get a plain white towel for blocking. This cacophony of color is just too much!

blocking ishbel

What is it about a blocking shawl that is so attractive to cats?

mookbel

As I was pinning the shawl out, I noticed this disintegrating section (without the needle in it, of course).

bad corner

I must have dropped a stitch during the bind off. I was devastated. But there was nothing I could do, until the shawl was dry. Which gave me time to think it through. There were bound off stitches on each side of the dropped stitch(es), so that meant the run was confined to a small area. After Ishbel was dry, I picked up all the live stitches I could see, and then removed the blocking wires. I tinked back the bound off stitches (luckily, this was near the end), and then proceeded to recreate the three rows that had ripped out. This took three tries to get the lace pattern correctly. I finished binding off again, and voilĂ !

corners

See the second from the bottom motif on the left? Yeah, I fixed it. Due to the bit of curl, you can’t see the whole motif, but it’s there. It just needs to be blocked to bring out the point. But no, I’m not going to re-block the shawl right now. It’s just fine the way it is.

But I have a comment, and a question. I never quite memorized the lace pattern, despite the fact that the repeat section is the same in sections A, B, and C. Is it because I was fixating on the holes, and not the solid parts? Which is figure, and which is ground? The branching holes, or the solid parts that look like leaves on a vine? What do you see?

figure ground

Despite all the stumbling blocks, I’d love to knit this shawl again. But I think I’ll make the larger size with the smaller border, or the smaller size with the larger border, to make sure I don’t run out of yarn again! And this yarn blocks like a dream, and is soooo soft. I’m going to love wearing this!

Ishbel, by Ysolda Teague
Larger size, with larger border
Malabrigo Sock yarn in Violeta Africana, one skein plus a few more grams!
Size 6 (4 mm) needles (Lantern Moon ebony circulars)

Ishbel, interrupted

I must be loose. A looser knitter than Emilee, anyway. She finished her gorgeous Ishbel with less than one skein of Malabrigo sock yarn. That seduced me into thinking I could do the same. As I neared the end, I realized that I wasn’t going to make it. I weighed the remaining yarn and found that it takes a little more than one gram per row. I had 10 grams of yarn left. And 10 rows to go. And a bind off row. Ouch. I really didn’t want to buy another $20 skein for about 3 grams of yarn.

interrupted

I kept knitting. Now I have three rows left to knit, plus a bind off row. This tiny ball of yarn isn’t going to make it.

Luckily, there is a Ravelry group called Malabrigo Junkies, and they have a forum thread titled “ISO/FT/FS.” In English, that’s “in search of/for trade/for sale.” Since I only needed a little, I posted there. Within a couple hours, I had a reply. KellyInTexas is my hero!

I love a happy ending, don’t you?

Single Skein Club is leading me down the path to Sock Summit

It’s June, and that means it’s time for the next installment of Twisted’s Single Skein Club. This club has updates every other month. I still haven’t knitted April’s project, a cool toe-up sock by Chrissy Gardiner. But I will conquer my toe-up aversion soon. Sock Summit is coming!

Enough chit-chat. If you don’t want to see what’s in June’s package, avert your eyes.

Still here? Let’s see!

june pkg

Look at this yarn! Malabrigo Lace yarn, one skein (of course). The color is “glazed carrot,” and that’s a great description. It’s not plain orange. There’s a depth to the color that looks like it has a brown sugar glaze.

carrot

The exclusive club pattern is the Seedling Sampler Scarf by Sarah Pope. It has three lace patterns in it, and best of all, it has beads! The beads are a bronzy color (I thought they were purple in the shop, go me) and look like seeds. The beads are strung onto the yarn before knitting. How? With this cool collapsible bead needle! I’m going to be using this needle for my other beading projects, too, so this is a great tool. And there’s a sweet SSC stitch marker to round out the package.

june goodies

I think the gals at Twisted are leading me down the garden path to Sock Summit. First there’s that toe-up thing. Yup, need to know that for a couple of my classes. Now there are the beads. I’m taking a bead class at Sock Summit, too, but I think we’re adding beads as we go, instead of pre-stringing. But still…

Speaking of Sock Summit, DH is bemused by how excited I am about the prospect of a knitting conference. I’ve gone to other conferences before (Stitches and TKGA) but the buzz around those is nothing like the Sock Summit buzz. I keep telling him that it’s the power of personality (Stephanie and Tina), and it’s almost like a cult. DH has also been fascinated by the whole Sock Summit registration ruckus. He’s in marketing, and you can see his take on it here.

And because it’s the beginning of June, I have to show you where that pile of bark mulch ended up:

stones

front flowers

Two thirds of it is in the front and side yards. The last third has made it to the back yard, but it’s in a pile! Soon and very soon…

Ebony and Ivory…

ab mitts

I just finished my Arctic Blast Mitts, and I love them. They’re like little clouds. Sweet!

ab mitts 2

The only mod I made was unintentional; I was supposed to end with 5 rounds of ribbing, and I ended with two. Didn’t read closely, duh! But they’re the perfect length on my small hands; 5 rounds would have made them too long. I meant to do that; yeah, that’s the ticket…

action

This is the first time I’ve used a sewn bind off. It was easy, and it’s nice and stretchy. And I loved the arrowhead lace pattern on this so much that I started my blue Marisol Hacho socks in the same pattern. But the lace is completely lost in the variegation, so it’s back to the drawing board on those.

Arctic Blast Mitts, pattern by Star Athena, exclusively for Twisted‘s Single Skein Club
Malabrigo Silky Merino, 1 skein (50 grams), with a decent amount left over
Lantern Moon 6-inch Ebony Sox Stix, size 3

stix

I love these needles; they’re the perfect length for the way I hold the my needles. And they’re more blunt than pointy, which fits my “scoop” rather than “poke” method of knitting.

Lovely!