Tag Archives: yarn

Getting ahead of myself

Spring has truly sprung here in the Pacific Northwest. Temperatures are in the 50’s; the crocuses and daffodils are glorious. And the first cherry trees are blooming, too.

lanaloft bag

What says spring better than a bag of cheery color from the yarn shop?


Twisted is now carrying Brown Sheep yarns. They carry three weights (bulky, worsted, sport) of Lanaloft, a single-spun 100% wool yarn, as well as an ultra-bulky known as Burly Spun. The price is great. I brought home some worsted weight to knit a shop sample of my felted slip stitch tote.

But wait, you say, what about the Heather Hoodie? I’m still plugging away at that, because I want to wear it before it gets too warm here! The back is done, and the left front is just past the armhole. Pictures next time.

Single Skein Club 2010

My family enrolled me in the 2010 Single Skein Club over at Twisted for Christmas. (Thanks, guys!) The club has a project every other month, six during the calendar year. It’s February, which means that it’s time for the first club offering. If you don’t have yours yet, and don’t want to know, look away now!

Have you averted your eyes? It’s almost too late!

Okay; it’s time.

ssc feb

This month’s offering is a sweet cowl and cuffs pattern by Star Athena. Star is the manager over at Twisted, and she’s also a brilliant designer with a primo sense of style, and a great teacher, too. I took her Sock Design class at Sock Summit last summer. Star’s Arctic Blast Mitts were the February kick off for the club last year. I made those…twice! Remember these?


The yarn this month is Malabrigo Twist, a worsted weight plied baby merino wool yarn, in the Indiecita coloway. I love it. Blues and greens; it’s perfect. It feels wonderful.


Look at the color…

indiecita close

And this month’s goodie? A project bag from Flower Pie Designs, also local to Portland. The bags are all different, so don’t be surprised to see someone else’s completely different Single Skein Club project bag! (Yes I know the characters are upside down. I can even read some of them. On the back of the bag, they’re right side up, because the bag is one piece of fabric, folded, not two pieced together.)


I love this bag; it will be perfect for corralling my project inside my big Sock Summit tote.

There are a few spaces left in the Single Skein Club. You can pick up your club kits locally, or Twisted will ship to you if you’re far away. Contact Twisted if you want in on the fun!

And here’s a sweet opportunity for those of you who are local to PDX. Sweet Sound of Jazz, a fund-raiser for the Band programs at Grant High School. Enjoy music and a dessert buffet, Friday evening, February 12, 7 p.m.


Cast on!

My yarn order came in at Close Knit. It’s Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Bing Cherry. Isn’t it luscious? The red is so deep and rich. Just like, well, a bing cherry!


I’m knitting a Heather Hoodie Vest. It has OXO cables similar to the ones on my fingerless mitts, but they’re much wider. I’m planning to make this vest into a sweater with long sleeves, and to make the hood smaller. I’ll never wear the hood; I just need it for style points. I never wear the hood on my Central Park Hoodie, either.

cast on

Here’s where I am so far after 2 hours or so. I’m enjoying the fat yarn on my size 10 Lantern Moon ebony circulars. The needles are smooth, and the yarn is chunky and quick to knit. We’ll see how long this takes. I’d like to wear it before it gets too warm!


And while I’m thinking of my Hugs and Kisses OXO Cable Fingerless Mitts, I should remind you that all proceeds from online sales until Valentine’s Day are going to Doctors Without Borders for Haiti Earthquake Relief. I’m up to $245; can we make it up to $300? let’s do it!

SEA-PDX Yarn Train

The annual Seattle to Portland Yarn Train arrived in town on Saturday, bringing Seattle knitters down south for a yarn crawl. I couldn’t meet the train because I was rehearsing with the Day Old Pastries, so I met up with Kathy at Knit/Purl.

Knit Purl

I met Kathy last summer at the Sock Summit Ravelry party, and we’ve been bloggy friends ever since. She was with her friend Chandria, and Denise, whom they met on the train. I offered to take the three of them across town to Twisted, my usual stomping grounds. But first, I needed to check in at the PDXKnitbloggers’ home base at the Starbucks kitty corner from Knit/Purl.


I found Cindy, Duffy, Judy, Susan…and a table covered with yarn.

AbstractFibers BFL

Susan was just back from TNNA, and she had a samples of her entire new Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn. Judy was trying to choose two coordinating colors for a design project. It was difficult, because they were all gorgeous!


We did make it over to Twisted. As we pulled up, my phone picked up a text message. It was a tweet from Twisted: “Love Stinks! Spend your Valentine’s day hexing your crappy ex with our Voodoo Doll kits! (Then go on a date with someone way hotter)” That made me laugh out loud. We went in asking for the voodoo dolls, and here they are, modeling in front of the wall of sock yarn.


Kathy bought some Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran to make a Pippi hat. It will be her first color work. Fun!


I also ran into Debbi and her friend Susan, and Sharon (but I forgot to take her picture, sorry).


All that yarn shopping is exhausting! We had a very late lunch at Costello’s, down the street, and then headed to Yarnia. I’d never been to Yarnia before, so this was an adventure for me, too.


Yarnia is like Build-a-Bear for knitters. You choose thin fibers/colors you want to put together, and they are wound off together onto a cone to make the yarn of your dreams. Denise was in heaven! She got exactly what she wanted for a shawl project. With sparkle in it, of course. Here’s the winding machine in action. (There’s a cone of shiny stuff on the floor, feeding into the yarn on the cone, but I didn’t realize it when I was filming.)

There wasn’t time to visit any more yarn stores, so I chauffeured the happy knitters back to the train station. And I realized then that I didn’t buy any yarn at all! I’m just not much of a stasher. It was a fun day.

Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day here in the States. Are you participating in any MLK Day activities? I’ll be at a workday for the Backpack Program; they provide weekend lunches for needy children at a local elementary school. (For some children, a federally-sponsored school lunch is their main meal of the day, and there is no school lunch on the weekend.) The Day Old Pastries will lead some singing at the event. If you’re local and looking for something to do, it’s from 1 to 3 p.m. at Woodlawn United Methodist Church, 1425 NE Dekum, Portland, 97211.

Party on, knitters

We had our knitting party at Twisted this weekend. The party was a fund-raiser for our local high school. We had 16 participants. Most, but not all, had knit before.

Our projects? The As You Like It cowls. Lantern Moon blondewood needles. Malabrigo Chunky yarn. It’s like knitting with chewy linguine, so luscious.


Oh, and desserts. Lots of desserts. A stellar cheesecake served with chocolate truffle sauce and/or blueberry compote (recipe below), lime bars, fruit, chocolate…

party 6

Lots of knitting going on!

party 4

party 3

party 2

That’s Carole in the apron. She’s my party kitchen wench. We do projects together and have a lot of fun. And she makes the world’s best cheesecake. She doesn’t knit, though.

party 1

Carole’s DH Scott, the PTA president, knits! I taught him many years ago.


Don’t you love Amy’s shirt?

There was only one knitting faux pas of the evening.

twisted join

Join, being careful not to twist…oops.


Thanks to Twisted for having this party with us!

I made blueberry compote with berries from last summer’s crop. This one turned out particularly well; it thickened enough by itself that I didn’t have to add any cornstarch.

Blueberry Compote

2.5 cups frozen blueberries, unthawed
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C water
1 T fresh squeezed lemon juice

Combine 1.5 C berries with the sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Simmer over medium heat, stirring often, until berries burst, about 10 minutes. Add remaining berries and lemon juice. Continue stirring; cook until compote thickens, about 8 minutes. Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Serve warm when you’re ready!

How was *your* weekend?

December Single Skein Club

It’s December, which means it’s time for the sixth and final 2009 offering of the Single Skein Club at Twisted. This club has been a ton of fun to be in, even if I didn’t knit most of the projects! There’s something so tantalizing about about knowing that a surprise is waiting for you at the yarn shop. If you haven’t picked up your kit yet, or if you’re non-local and waiting to receive your shipment, avert your eyes now. Oh, wait, I’ll distract you with this other picture, first.


One of these things is not like the other…

But the color is pretty similar! We love clementines at our house; they’re sweet, juicy, seedless. A perfect small snack. My mom gave me this persimmon before we went away for Thanksgiving. After seeing them on a tree in North Carolina, we came home to eat this one.

Have you ever eaten a persimmon? The Teen laughingly insisted that it was a tomato. But it didn’t taste anything like a tomato! Sweet, but not overly so, and firm-ish like…a not quite ripe mango? Anyway, it was good, and it’s gone.

Okay, back to the Single Skein Club. Last chance to avert your eyes.


yohoho ssc

This month’s kit has a very timely pattern for mittens, 100 grams of yarn, and a ruler with a built-in needle gauge. Always handy! Oh, there was also a twizzler that matched the yarn, but that was munched days ago.


The yarn is Hempwol, a 65/35 wool/hemp blend. It feels nice. The color is a heathery red. Love it!

hempwol 2

I don’t think I’ll be knitting this into mittens until after Hanukkah and Christmas. There’s a lot of knitting going on here, and I’m pretty pleased with all of it. More, later.

As luck would have it…

I’m pretty lucky! Bonnie picked me as the winner in her drawing for some yarn and her new pattern.

alpaca silk

This yarn is 50 grams/146 yards of Alpaca Silk in the Ice colorway from Blue Sky Alpacas. It’s a gorgeous shade of gray, and the silk in it gives it a beautiful sheen. It feels great, too.


See it glow? I love it!


The pattern is called Buttermilk Sky; it looks lovely. I”m looking forward to knitting this sweet little cowl.

Thank you, Bonnie!

A veritable potpourri

Let’s see, where am I? Oh, yes, the contest!

I ran the random number generator at random.org and the winners are: Susie (KnittingKnoobie) for the purple Berroco Vintage Wool, and Marie (permissiontounwind) for the blue Lanaloft. I’ll be sending out yarn soon.

Just a bit of knitting going on here. We started the Quincy hat knitalong at knit night last week; I love the way the i-cord just happens on the edges. This will be the moebius strip of the hat band around the head. Isn’t it pretty?


Here’s a better look at the edges. Don’t worry; the green is temporary. It’s a provisional cast on so the beginning can be grafted to the end.


And I’m still highly distracted by my new guitar. It has a lovely voice, and I’ve been playing a lot. I had the action adjusted (lowered) by our luthier, and it’s easier to play. Dreamy. Now I just need to learn to play better! I’m learning to pick arpeggios rather than just strum. Doing that while singing is an interesting exercise in coordination, but it’s getting better.


I’m also writing a couple songs with a friend (he composes the music; I write the lyrics), and that’s been a lot of fun. I’m so lucky to have all these creative outlets in my life, and I know it.

Knit and play on!


Not much knitting this past weekend. I’m a little distracted.

I played a friend’s new guitar (picture in previous post), and the sound of it took me back to high school youth group. Hanging out and singing was a big part of my life. About 5 years ago, I decided to learn to play, just a little, so I could revisit some of the music that I loved so much. I bought a little Norman folk acoustic then, and it has served me well.


But the sound of my friend’s guitar is calling my name. Insistently. So I’ve been shopping for a new guitar, and I’m going to end up with the same Takamine. I can’t wait!

To make up for today’s lack of knitting content, I’m offering up a bit of yarn that came my way. This is Berroco Vintage Wool. It’s worsted weight, 50% acrylic, 40% wool, 10% nylon. It was in the goodie bag at the Sock Summit Ravelry party in August, and it’s nice, but I’m kind of a natural fiber snob and so I don’t think I’ll ever use it.


The other yarn is Brown Sheep Lanaloft, which is a sport weight 100% wool single. I bought it when I was designing my Seafoam Socks, but then decided to use a different yarn. I’m not sure it would be great for socks; it’s a single and it’s also not superwash. I’ve discovered that my other non-superwash socks need more tender care than I’ve been giving them!


If you’re interested in either of these yarns, tell me which one, or both, and what you’d make with it. I’ll take names until midnight Friday, October 30, and then I’ll do two drawings with the random number thingy.

Good luck!

Knitting project design process

All the cool kids were at Rhinebeck last weekend, and I was way over here on the left coast, just hanging out. But I walked to Twisted on Saturday and bought some yarn, so I didn’t feel so left out. I came back with these.

db cash chunky

db chunky knit

Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky, 55% merino, 33% microfiber, 12% cashmere. This is incredibly soft and squishy to knit with. One ball makes a very efficient neck warmer (kind of like a mock T-neck), but it’s not very big. I don’t really want to use two for this project, so we’ll see how it goes. The color is somewhere between the two pictures: deep, vibrant, wine-y.

mal chunky

Malabrigo Chunky, 100% kettle dyed merino, 100 grams. It’s slightly heavier. And also really fun to knit with. The stitch definition is divine.

kw bulky

And I have one more on hand; it’s a bulky 100% merino yarn from Knitted Wit. Why am I suddenly obsessed with chunky yarn?

I’m hosting another party for the high school Booster Auction. Twisted is supplying the venue, and Lantern Moon is donating the needles. (Thank you to both!) Last year, I designed the Checkerboard Scarflet as a party project. I need a new project for this year. Yes, it’s above and beyond hosting the party, but it’s fun and for a good cause.

I’ve decided that I want to use a chunky yarn this year, to get near instant gratification. The project needs to be beginner friendly, but interesting enough for an experienced knitter to get some joy from it. I don’t want another flat scarf/scarflet. Fingerless mitts would be great, but you have to make two. I think a single item would be better. I think it’s going to be a cowl.

Next step: The perfect stitch pattern. I want to give options, so I think I’ll have three of them. I want at least one of them to be simple enough that a relative beginner will have a successful experience. I want something easily memorized. I want it to be elegant. Soon, with these chunky yarns!

In the meantime, I’ve returned to the piano bench and am picking my way through a Clementi sonatina (hey, I can still read music!) for relatively instant gratification, as well as trying to resurrect old repertoire. Hello, Mozart? Are you still there?


And I’m playing this guitar, just for a couple days. I have it on temporary swap with a friend; it’s new and I may want one of my own. Yes I have a guitar, but it’s not this nice! (Thanks to the Teen for being guitar model. He plays way better than I do.)