yarn

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What to perfect?

I am not sufficiently disciplined to not want to start something when I decide to stop doing other things.  As not starting something when you stop doing something would just be silly, and much too disciplined for me.  I have stopped selling on Etsy, reading any number of blogs, checking my email too many times a day, watching too much TV, and other things that escape me at the moment.

The corresponding thing I will start doing (again) is knitting others’ patterns.  I am somewhat happy with where my design is, but I feel that if I want to take it to the next level I will need to start knitting others’ patterns.  I have never found classes or discussion to be effective ways for me to learn knitting (I learned almost entirely from books): the only way I have ever really learned anything is from knitting it myself.

I was inspired by this article about Tiger Woods last week.  I want to live in that pursuit of excellence, and have the courage to cut out anything that is not perfection.

I have also started cooking more and as proof — my shopping list of last week:

shoppinglist

I almost think I should start a cooking blog — that may be taking things too far by the time I finished making anything the light would be gone and I couldn’t take good pictures of it.

On softness

I just read an excerpt from The Knitter’s Book of Wool: The Ultimate Guide to Understanding, Using, and Loving this Most Fabulous Fiber in the winter issue of Twist Collective (The Softness Myth by Clara Parkes).  I think this article is full of good observations — yarn should not just be as soft as possible.  I have had the conversation on many occasions about a particular yarn I happen to like and been told it is not soft enough, but I ask you: how soft does yarn need to be?

I confess here that I am quite accepting of scratchy wool and will quite willingly wear a hat that makes me scratch and scratch when I take it off — which of course means a red forehead, but I don’t mind (I generally make sure that any yarn I suggest others use in my yarn suggestions is not too scratchy as I know not everyone shares my particular preferences).  All the same, if you live somewhere really cold — please never underestimate the value of good forehead coverage, it really is important — I gave myself frostbite (or something very close to it) walking to work one day when it was too cold for the car to start and will never forget that particular lesson (other lessons, yes, that one, no).

But all the same yarn should not only be judged on being as soft as possible — there really are all sorts of measures of a yarn, and I am happy to see more discussion on the subject.

I have immediately requested said book from the library to check out what else Clara has to say.

I have registered for a spinning course as part of my efforts to become part of the community here, which has inspired me to finish the following skein which I have been “working”* on for several months:

redyarn-1

After the course started, I immediately had to start travelling for my job, which is impinging on my spinning time dreadfully.

I need to wash/set it first, but I think I will count the yardage.  Maybe I have enough for an eccentric hat.  The knitting of said hat will be simple, it will only be eccentric because anything made out of this yarn, when worn on one’s head, must be considered eccentric — it’s the nature of the beast.

redyarn-2

*Had sitting idle on my wheel

One of the questions that often arises for me is how to make the best use of handspun, bulky, and novelty yarns

marchspinning-2

These yarns are often expensive, detailed, and bulky, and there is often not enough to make anything of any great size. I want to make something with these yarns, large enough to be useful, and that shows the artistry in their making.

I find that many crafters approach knitting from the perspective of a spinner or approach spinning from the perspective of a knitter. I think spinners who come to knitting often want ways to use their handspun yarns and want to knit something very simple, which makes sense when using many novelty yarns, but the detail of the yarns can get lost in the stitches.

pixiescarf-2

Knitters who come to spinning often want simple yarns in fabulous colours and fibres to use for more knitting focussed projects.

calorimetry-1

I have tried both, and both have appeal, but I would like to propose a third way – there are techniques and styles and projects that can make use of beautiful handspun yarns of every description and show them to advantage, and here I must confess that many of my ideas in this area are heavily influenced by Debbie New.

I bought both these yarns from Milkyrobot’s Etsy Store

Girls Throw Snow (40 yards / 36.5m):

milkyrobotyarn-1

And Earthworm (46 Yards / 42m):

milkyrobotyarn-2

When they arrived I was really unsure about what to do with them. I was worried that they were too intricate to show all their detail and too short to make much if knit by themselves. Every centimetre of these yarns is beautiful, and I would hate to hide whole sections of them behind cables or on the back side of something.

For the Girls Throw Snow yarn I mixed it with some grey fingering yarn I had lying around that matched one of the accent colours, and knit it in an irregular version of Debbie New’s squiggle lace using large needles (pattern):

wisp-4

For the Earthworm yarn I wanted to make things more interesting and combined several yarns:

earthwormscarf-4

In a long strip:

earthwormscarf-5

That I crocheted together into a scarf at the end using Debbie New’s labyrinth knitting technique (Ravelry link):

earthwormscarf-8

I especially like the way the mohair lace weight makes transparent sections.

These projects show these yarns as I wanted them to be shown and have enough knitterly interest to keep mine.

I could probably be induced to produce a pattern for the Earthworm scarf too, if enough of you leave comments on my blog here.

Here is the next step towards my yarn from these batts I made:

curlybits

I haven’t done any yarn with curls before. I am very excited about how it will turn out, but not ironically excited enough to ply it yet. Perhaps today will be the day.

Interest renewed

I feel a great fibrous weight has lifted since yesterday. I pulled out the alpaca I had lying around and spun in up in the way I like:

spinningrenewed-1

It is thick and thin plied with thread, and it has revived my interest in spinning, even if the fibre is a little too soft to make this kind of yarn in its most perfect incarnation.

spinningrenewed-2

What can you do?

Spinniness

I am carting out the wheel right now and spinning up that fibre that has been sitting there for months. I never want to spin regular thin yarn again — I have decided it is not my thing.

Instead I want to do something time this, this, this, or this.

Or for that matter this:

pixieyarn-2

(Which I am pretty sure I know how to do as I did that one.)

I got up early yesterday morning to take out the recycling, and I was completely surprised by how nice it was:

morningsunrise-1

Generally I take out the recycling as fast as I can on a Saturday morning, run back inside as quickly as possible and try to forget the whole sorry business, but not this time. I was inspired to run back inside to grab the camera. To give you an idea of how improbably this was at 8:00 on a Saturday morning at -22 centegarde, here is a glimpse of what I was wearing:

morningsunrise-2

Dressing gown, boyfriend’s shoes, coat. As I said later — “for some reason I don’t understand, it was cold, but it didn’t feel bad.”

I also went to the yarn store as I needed some particular yarn to submit a design, and ended up buying enough to make a summer sweater (sweaters in summer make more sense here than they do in many places). It is Classic Elite Yarns, classic one fifty and one of my favourite shades of blue:

classiceliteyarns

I am thinking cardi, lacy, summer, blue — and that is all you are getting at this time.

A calming trend

I have spent almost the whole weekend cleaning and getting rid of unnecessary stuff. It is shocking how many useless belongings I have accumulated. I moved out to Saskatoon three and a half years go with my luggage allowance on the plane and then some more things in a truck a few months later, but to give you an idea it only cost me $800 to move from Vancouver, so we are not talking about that much, but here I am with a house stuffed to the gills.

So here I am getting rid of more. After two days, I have achieved clarity (I mean unclutteredness).

office-1

Besides everything else, I got this yarn in the mail recently from Jess and Milkyrobot:

milkyrobot-yarn3

So everything will continue to look up.

I love displacement activity — there are few things in life that make me feel as good as accomplishing my displacement goals.

A mild re-stash

I have been going through my yarn, and there is some that I don’t think I will ever use. Surely it is wrong and poor economy to hold on to such yarn in case I need it — especially as there is some possibility that one day I will need to pay to live in a larger place to store my yarn. I don’t even buy food in bulk because everything goes bad before the two of us can eat it, and even if it doesn’t it is never fresh anymore.

There is a limited amount I can knit, and I like fresh yarn.

I think the source of my yarn hoarding is that when I learned to knit I was so poor, and I never had enough money to buy yarn: I actually went through periods with nothing to knit. But now I am like one of those people who lived through the Depression and and hoards pencil stubs

Some of the yarn I am getting rid of I am pretty sure no one wants, so it is going to the thrift store. i am not offering it to you, because you can always go to your own thrift store and get something equivalent. There are no treasures in this lot: it is the fibre equivalent of mystery meat.

I do however have some rather nice yarn that I don’t think I will ever use. This is Noro Silver Thaw, colour 1, colour lot B, 50% wool, 25% angora, and 25% nylon, 110m (120 yards) / 50g:

silverthaw-21

There are nine untouched balls and one that I knit a swatch with and then unraveled (see the last picture).

silverthaw-3

silverthaw-1

I listed them in my Etsy shop, but they sold almost immediately.

One day it will all be easy

I am still not good at winding yarn onto my ball winder:

I must say that there is something special about a skein of yarn that a ball of yarn doesn’t capture. They have that wonderful slightly floppy heaviness that speaks “yarn” to me, and makes me so tempted to acquire them, but winding them on the ball winder is tedious.

I was trying to wind a 1600m skein of 90% alpaca, 10% silk a few days ago and the knot above is what happened. It was so frustrating, as the ball on the winder got bigger it would suddenly fly off across the room and I had several small balls in sequence:

In the end I got it wound, but I had to break the yarn in several places, so I have two good sized balls and two little ones and one clump of forever knotted mess that I have thrown into the pillow case of fibre I am putting aside for future art yarn spinning projects.

I suppose that result is acceptable, but I can’t bring myself to believe it is optimal.

I came home yesterday to a parcel notice and rushed to the post office to pick it up, and my Icelandic yarn had arrived.

I love the ability to buy things from where ever I want on the Internet – it makes me feel so cosmopolitan.

Here is a picture of the yarn:

It is Ístex Loðband Einband, which is a wool lace weight with 225m to 50g, and I have never seen it in a yarn store. I got it from the Handknitting Association of Iceland.

I am very pleased with it. It is very woolly, if you are someone who doesn’t like animal fibres and thinks wool is itchy, then this yarn is not for you, but I like woolly clothes so that is not a problem. Actually it is not at all scratchy (to me), but it is not soft either. It is almost like spun crêpe paper. The closest yarn I can think of is Noro Kuryeon sock yarn, but this is quite a bit finer.

The impetus for this international yarn acquisition is this book I mentioned before:

Icelandic Knitting Using Rose Patterns by Hélène Magnússon.

I am going to knit this sweater:

I have been wanting an oversize sweater, and this just seems too lovely to pass up. It is going to be my first major project involving intarsia. I was just never so attracted to patterns that used it before.

I think this sweater is a very good example of a project where substituting yarns would greatly change the effect, and after listening to yarn store staff a couple times — I know that whatever yarn they carry in the same gauge is not always an acceptable substitute for me.

And see I am so committed I have already worked my swatch:

It is even the the right gauge on the first try (stitches and rows) — that never happens. I will cast on for the sweater today.

A bit of a rut

I am in a bit of a rut with my spinning (and knitting and crochet).

I also remember why my pictures on my blog were not so hot last winter — it was because it is dark until after I leave in the morning and before I am back at night. This was the sky and my trees when I got home:

I dragged my spinning wheel outside to show you what I am working on as the house was too dark. This yarn was been on the wheel for a few weeks — the fine plain spinning is not what excites me about the craft.

I was thinking that I would Navaho ply it, but I am a little stuck as it is taking a long time.

It is spun from the same kind of fibre as this blue and brown yarn I spun earlier this year, but I didn’t enjoy spinning that yarn as much because the fibre was too stuck together, and I had to really tug on it to draw it, so I ran it through my drumcarder:

Here is the almost final form for the earthworm scarf:

I like the way the lace weight sections are transparent, and the earthworm yarn from Milkyrobot was an absolute delight to knit. Every inch was interesting.

I made some kind of gauge error. I am not sure precisely where, but the scarf is not the size I calculated for.

I wore it today, and I found that the particular combination of length and weight doesn’t make a particularly wearable scarf because I don’t like the way it looks draped around my neck and it doesn’t stay wrapped.

I tried crocheting the ends together and making a long loop to go around my neck twice, and I think that is the way I will go with.

I was inspired to try to loop idea by Yokoo‘s cowls like this one.

My first boucle

I have been sick for a couple weeks now and nothing much has been getting done, except things that can be done from the couch. This skein has taken me several days to complete, but I am very happy with the results.

I bought this mohair roving from Inger Maaike’s Etsy store a few weeks ago:

I wasn’t sure what to do with it, as it was so dense I think I could probably have beaten someone with it. There was no way I could have drafted it as I spun. I did have it suggested to me that I could predraft it, but that is singularly unappealing to me.

This makes my drum carder perfect:

Isn’t it pretty, like mermaids tresses:

I would like to say that the sign that says to keep hands clear means it:

I don’t think I would trust a motorized one of these, and I really wouldn’t recommend one to anyone with problems with depth perception.

Finally the batts were done:

I have never spun mohair before. I thought I would attempt my first lace weight with it, but mohair is slippery and this was not going to happen, so I just started spinning a single.

It’s so shiny.

I thought back to Diane Varney’s Spinning Designer Yarns and decided this would be the perfect time to try boucle. I did the tricky plying as directed and came up with this:

It is a little odd, but I think it will be fine when knit — curly.

I am quite pleased with myself and my yarn. I spun the roving and rigged myself up a lazy kate:

(It’s a shoe box with knitting needles jabbed through it)

I plied the yarn, but as you can see I wasn’t quite perfect on making the bobbins the same length. Can anyone tell me if there a fix for this that I don’t know about?

I had a little trouble getting the feel for the plying at first, but by the end the yarn was beautifully balanced with no weird twistiness, and for what I want to use it for I don’t think the mis-plied sections will matter that much (I am keeping my plans up my sleeve for now).

Here it is on the bobbin:

And off:

I am quite pleased with my results and have a bigger bag of the same stuff in a red colour way to work with in a little while after I try out a few more things. I fancy a matching beret and gloves out of that one as I think it will be enough.

I am messing around with different fibre I have, trying out different yarns — trying to figure out what works and how best to use each kind.

This is the roving I have decided to tackle next:

It is hand painted alpaca.

There isn’t that much of it. I have split it in half and am spinning it thin:

I plan to spin the other half the same and ply them.

Spinning tales

Here is the story of the second skein I have made with my wheel.

I got this romney roving from Princess Farms:

I spun it into a single, which looked like this:

I bought this lace weight mohair silk blend on my trip last week:

and it seemed like the perfect thing to ply the romney:

and here it is:

I just can’t tell you how proud of myself I am — it’s like real yarn.

Now I am thinking about how to use it. I think I will take Debbie New’s example and combine scribble lace and labyrinth knitting like she did in her Scribble Lace Bolero from KnitKnit: Profiles and Projects from Knitting’s New Wave, but I am not sure what it will be.

I have been waiting for what seemed like forever for a package in the mail, and guess what — it just arrived:

This package, which looks so small on my table has loomed large in my mind for the last few weeks, as it contains yarn with a deadline attached. Here it is in the fibre:

It doesn’t look so threatening now does it? And here I will throw in a gratuitous yarn shot for good measure:

I was so horrified in January when I took all my stash out and looked at it in one place, and I decided I would do something about it. I bought one more tote to put it in, and separated the yarn into three containers: warm, cool, and neutral shades. The lids even almost closed properly. Then I knit Lyra’s coat (the pattern for which I will rationalize one of these days: if any of you actually want to knit it, please let me know so I will do it faster for you), and it used — well, more yarn than you can shake a stick at.

I thought I was almost home free: I had space in the totes, and I was so proud of myself, but I find I have lapsed into my old ways. I cleaned up my knitting basket yesterday, which was threatening to take over the living room floor (again), and I found that there was all this yarn I have bought on my various trips to other cities and yarn stores. It represented so many ideas and whims, but I find I cannot make things as fast as I can think them up. I suppose when/if I ever start making more money with my designs I could get contract knitters to whip up all my ideas — that makes me so jealous of the big designers — they have people to do the knitting for the projects they can’t get to.

I don’t have any room in the totes anymore, and I don’t have space in the closet for any more totes, so I am reduced to putting the yarn in question into my suitcase:

It’s all just so pretty and precious, and I want it out all the time so I can commune with it, but I live with someone else and feel it is wrong to monopolize the floor any further.

My feelings of guilt/horror/shame were not dissipated when Jon came into the living room and took one look at the yarn, unfinished objects, and other fibre paraphernalia and said: “so I am not judging you, but how much money is represented by this stuff? $300, $400?.” I was overcome by a little sinking feeling as I did a few rough calculations in my head, and just had to nod: “yes, something like that.” But now the contents of the basket are contained by the basket, and I will not do that anymore (until next time).

(I will be very annoyed with myself again the next time I have to go on a trip.)

This is a series of questions Jess Rollar of Milkyrobot was kind enough to answer for me about spinning and her process. You can buy Jess’ yarns and fibre from her Etsy store (also called Milkyrobot). I have bought some, and please let me say that they are as wonderful as they look in the pictures.

How did you get started spinning?

After teaching myself knitting, I became very interested in handspun yarn. I kept drooling over handspun and wondered if I could do the same. Once I got spinning I was hooked!

How long have you been spinning and how long were you doing it before you considered yourself good?

I started spinning in 2002. My mom bought me a wheel for my 21st birthday with no experience what so ever. It took me a couple tries to actually get any yarn to twist and not break. I finally mastered the skill later in the month. It was about 8 months to a year until I fell in love with my yarn. Some were kinda creepy at first and didn’t actually look like yarn!

Who taught you how to spin?

I taught myself how to spin after getting my wheel. I’ve never used a drop spindle and still haven’t. Just could never get it to work right.

What is your process?

I always start out with an image or idea before gathering my materials. I usually base my yarn and batts off of graffiti art, nature or just random objects that catch my eye. Once I have an idea of what I want to create, I gather all the fibers together and card them into a squishy batt, then spin away! Some yarns get plied and some stay single, the yarns do the talking!

What equipment do you need to create the yarns your post on your Etsy shop and blog?

The equipment I use the most would be my spinning wheel, of course, and my Ashford drum carder.

What kind of wheel do you have and what kinds have you had in the past?

I spin on a Louet S-17. This is the first and only wheel I’ve had. I do have plans to pick up an Ashford Country Spinner sometime this year.

Where do you buy your materials?

Most of my materials are bought from two local fiber shops, The Fiber Factory and Tempe Yarn and Fiber in Arizona. I get some unusual spinning fiber online or from etsy shops as well.

Do you dye your own fiber, if not, how do you get the exact colors you want?

I have dyed my own fiber in the past. I’m currently getting ready to start dyeing sock yarn soon. When I can’t find the exact colors I want, I find other materials to spin into my yarn such as sequins or random strings and things.

What do you think would be a basic start up spinning kit? Wheel? Fiber? Carders?

I always suggest starting with a Louet or Ashford wheel. I find these wheels very easy to understand and use. As for fiber, I would suggest wool or dyed roving to start with. Once your comfortable with your wheel, try adding in random fibers and see how they spin and feel. I’ve only used Ashford hand carders and drum carders and very much love them! I suggest starting with that to anyone!

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out with spinning and get excited about the yarns you make and sell?

You must have lots of patience and lots of creativity! Let your fingers do the work and let the fiber do the talking. Anything can be spun even plastic spiders and feathers! Get super creative and don’t hold back.

What tips would you give to a new spinner on how to spin your batts? How do you incorporate the sequins into the spinning?

Whenever I spin my own batts or even others, I always strip the fiber into 8 pieces. Once split up, I spin each strip one after another and let the colors pop up how they please. Sometimes I even mix other fiber clumps into the spinning or solid merino strips. With the sequins, I usually just catch the tip of the sequin strand to some fiber and let the wheel pull the in, twisting the sequin strand around the roving.

How close are you to being able to support yourself on spinning?

If it wasn’t for the economy today and if I could get my yarn into a few more shops, I would most likely be able to live off my yarn and fiber sales. But in this case, maybe next year if I push myself hard enough!

This yarn is very nice to work with. It has good memory and sheen, and feels wonderfully smooth to wear.

The only problem that I found with working with it is that it is prone to splitting and is easily damaged by the needles if you are not careful. For that reason, I would suggest that this yarn is not appropriate for beginning knitters, but I would recommend it for anyone else who wants a nice light smooth fitted summer sweater.

Channel your inner Becky Sharpe — I suggest wearing it “tailored to a nicety” (read tight).

I was away this week in Washington DC, and the cherry blossoms were in bloom, just as they should be. I walked around the mall and here is proof that I was actually there:

The Washington Monument

The weather was beautiful. I walked so far trying to see everything.

Now I am back in Saskatchewan, and this morning I woke up to this:

Snow in April

Hmmm, but I got some wonderful yarn at Stitch DC, which makes up for it all.

Habu and hemp for knitting yarn

The black is some wonderfully textural linen from Habu; the grey is silk and stainless steel from Habu; the blue is hemp for knitting from Lanaknits.

I was so excited; I haven’t found Habu yarns at any of the yarn stores I have been to in Canada. I have so many ideas about what to do with it all.

I will keep you posted and wait for the snow to melt.

Here is the first PDF of the patterns I published in Magknits of the last few years:

Kaleidoscope

If you are interested in the yarn I used, please see Princess Farms’ website.

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

If you like the pattern and want to see more, consider making a donation:

Or check out my patterns for sale.

I have gotten back to working on Lyra’s coat again today. I was having a little break from it, partly because I have hardly had a complete minute at home, and partly because I would need a duffel bag to carry the great damn thing around with me.

I was thinking about all the yarn I am using up, it is so nice to use all this that would probably otherwise never get used. It makes me think about my sister who once had an unworn wedding dress from an old store that was closing. My mother made me give it away when my sister wasn’t there because she felt it was unlucky, and surely she was right. There must be something unlucky about something that is made only for a special event and to represent a wonderful life to come that is never used for that purpose, but instead sits in a basement for years in a garment bag.

Yarn must be like that — it wants to be something, having it sit in a basement or closet for so many years it becomes musty must be wrong. Like the letters that never got delivered in Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal and made all the people who worked in the post office lose their minds because the energy of the undelivered letters built up and overcame them. Yarn must be like that, it wants to be worn and exist and go outside. I am doing what I can for the yarn in my life — what are doing about the yarn in yours?

I just got these beauties from Milkyrobot:

milkyrobotyarn-2.jpg

I figure you need to cut yarn like this, especially if you are buying it from someone else, as it would just be too expensive otherwise, though I do want one of these really badly.

milkyrobotyarn-1.jpg

I have special plans for one of them (the one is as yet unidentified).

I thought the pink one was more red from the photos, so now I am considering cutting it with grey instead of red (I have also greatly reduced my red yarn stash, but my grey is undiminished).

Glenda will be calling me within the next few weeks when my drop spindle comes in.

closeup1

I just can’t tell you how fun this project is.

I notice that so many bloggers I have been watching (e.g. Knit and tonic) seem to be destashing, and while it does seem like selling yarn is kind of spreading the love, a lot of what I have will not likely be wanted by anyone, and this project uses so much yarn and it is so pretty.

Okay, so I like garish colours and if I could wear red all the time without seeming odd (well, odder than I already do), I just might, except that I like other colours too. Look at this red:

CloseUp2

All it came from is this:

lyrascoat-yarn2.jpg

And that picture looks much better than the mess of yarn in my living room, from whence the knitting came.

I feel like an alchemist, that I have created a singularity in space-time and reversed the force of entropy and am creating pure order out of chaos. Ponder this:

Closeup3

You could do this with yarn from your grandmothers attic or the thrift store, any old thing. That’s why I can’t bear the thought of buying yarn for this project, however pretty it may be, and though you wouldn’t need to wash the mustiness out of it before you wore it.

I have achieved enough yarn to finish the coat (surely this is enough):

lyrascoat-yarn.jpg

I have worked up a swatch:

lyrascoat-swatch.jpg

And here is my gauge: 7 sts / 12 rows to 4 inches / 10cm.

I knit this with between 4 and 7 strands held together at any time on US size 15 / 10mm needles.

lyrascoat-gauge1.jpg

lyrascoat-gauge2.jpg

I like the result. The colours are slightly, but only slightly, less lurid than the pictures.

Please don’t feel you need to match my gauge as I plan to make the instructions adjustable for size and gauge.

A few notes on what I found working the swatch:

  • The colours work better when the added colour is either lighter or darker than the main colour, having both darker and lighter strands together made it look odd.
  • Any time you want to add another colour or strand you just hold it with your group. It’s not going to unravel as the other threads will hold it.
  • When you need a thread to go through to the back, you can poke it through with your finger.

One of the most exciting things about living in Saskatchewan, and it took me a while to realize how great it is, is the small yarn producers.

I guess it makes sense because Saskatchewan is so agricultural.

The first I discovered was Princess Farms, they have great yarn. They spin and dye it themselves, and they do mail order. I bought the hand dyed sock yarn for my design Kaleidoscope here. I especially like their lace weight, hand dyed and hand spun yarns.

Here is a picture of yarn from my stash I have bought from them:

Princess Farms Yarn

I have also recently bought some Icelandic wool from TLC Icelandics (which strictly speaking is from Alberta), but it is gorgeous and soft. Much more so than the lopi I have bought produced in Iceland. Apparently the bitter bitter cold brings out really great fibre, who could have anticipated that?

Here is a picture of the Icelandic yarn:

TLC Icelandics

It is difficult to photograph this yarn without making it look like spun straw, but I can’t tell you how great it feels and it knits up beautifully.

If you want a source, and I understand they do mail order, I suggest the Wool Emporium. There are so many more.

Oh the shame . . .

Some of my stash

I recently took out all of my stash to judge if I had enough yarn for a particular project (Lyra’s garter stitch coat from the Golden Compass, see here to see how that worked out). It is now covering my entire dining room table, all the chairs and part of the floor.

How did this happen to me? I can’t believe how much yarn I have, when did I get it all? Was I there? Did I agree to this? Will my renter’s insurance cover thousands of dollars in knitting supplies?

Over the holidays I went to the beautiful and mild west coast, and perhaps most importantly went to two of my favourite yarn shops (in this case Birkeland Bros. and Urban Yarns) and stocked up.

Here is a preview of coming projects I am now fully prepared for:

New stash items

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