Another Hobby Blog

Sunday, May 21, 2006

This is Post # 194...

I missed my centennial post. I'll just have to celebrate my bicentennial post instead!

Today was my friend's wedding. :) She looked fabulous! Very happy, a wee bit nervous, and absolutely drop-dead gorgeous! I could go on and on about all the decorations (1001 origami cranes!! and folded sugar origami cranes on the cake!!), the service (just the right length, very heartfelt), the food (catered. The Satay chicken skewers were delicious!), and the music (live three-piece band-very danceable). Instead, I will spare you my flighty ramblings about the decor and the environment, and I will tell you instead about what I was knitting. ;)

On Friday I went to a yarn store (compulsory excursion in a new city-- it's important to find out whether the lys here carries yarns my hometown lys(s) do not.) Two yarn stores, actually... an amusing story in its own right given that I parked right in front of one of the stores and didn't see it until I was walking *back* to my car after shopping at the other store. I swear, I was parked right in front of the front door. I was staring right in the windows as I pulled in to the parking space. Doh!!

So the first yarn store (by which I mean the yarn store I walked 5 blocks from my parking space to find--which was also the "first" yarn store in the sense that it existed last year when I spent time here in October (the store I parked in front of was brand new. Not yet listed in the phone books. Heck, for all I know, they opened up during the two hours I was away from my car!)... The first yarn store (Uncommon Threads) carries quite a few very good books (two of which followed me home) and a nice selection of needles. It also carries almost every color and weight of Jamieson's Shetland imaginable! It has a small selection of Koigu which is a very different selection of the colors than the ones available at home, but not a very tempting selection of the colors for my complexion. Otherwise, the yarns are either ones that I can get at home or ones that just don't appeal to me for current projects (they've got a decent selction of novelty yarns, ribbon yarns, and bulky yarns.)

I was at the yarn store, I confess, not just to see if I was missing out on a chance-of-a-lifetime skein of yarn, but also to find some yarn for a simple, brainless project. None of my current projects are in a simple, brainless phase, y'see, and I want something on which I can work three stitches while I'm stopped at a traffic light and not lose my place when I drop it as the light turns green.

My Trekking sock is an inch into the 2x2 cuff and should be filling that niche, but I need to rip it and restart because I used the wrong size needles for the cuff. Argh!! Ripping and re-casting-on is definitely not a stopped-at-a-light activity. (Just imagine trying to explain the tangle of yarn in your lap to a police officer who chances to pull you over because your rental car's tail-light is out. Hasn't happened to me. Don't want it to!)

My Shapely Tee is in a shaping phase.

My Koigu Leaf Lace shawl is not yet cast on. (I really should do that soon, if I want to feel justified bringing it with for the week...) And I'm not entirely convinced that it will be drop-at-any-stitch brainless.

My fuzzy wool-blend lace shawl is also lace, which pretty well drops it from the "knit-in-the-dark" "drop-at-any-stitch" brainless category, plus it's at a stage where I need to introduce a new pattern block and I will need to read the chart for awhile to get used to the new pattern.

I finished the lace doily-thing I made for my May postcard. (The one for which I purchased the thread on Thursday.) It's soaking. I need to get some pins so I can block it tomorrow night.

I think that covers the projects at-hand..

So I felt completely justified in searching out the lys to find a nice yarn with which I could knit a simple garter-stitch triangular shawl. From the point up. Just keep knitting and knitting and knitting (dropping the project into my lap as needed) until it's long enough or I run out of yarn.

I spent half an hour at Uncommon Threads, looking for something suitable. Since I wanted to work in garter stitch, I really wanted the yarn to be interesting--something tweedy or slubby or varigated, perhaps. But a large subset of what they had this time was very solid in color. Very solid. Plenty of choices in Cascade 220! Several options of Classic Cotton (no intarsia shawl! No!) ... very little choice in varigated yarns except for the Koigu (not my colors, sadly) and the novelty yarns. I somehow over-rode the idea of buying enough sequinned eyelash yarn to make an entire shawl, and left the store with two wonderful knitting books (I'll dig out the titles later), 3 skeins of Lamb's Pride Bulky in a lovely but plain chocolate color, and a size 8 Addi Turbo. The yarn wasn't really what I was hoping for, but all I'm going to do with it is garter stitch anyway, right? ... and it's not quite the cushy-soft feel I was hoping for either. .. but it's just a project for the sake of knitting, right?

I walked back to the car, and noticed the anomaly that was (what turned out to be) the second yarn store. The huge, brightly-colored tangles of yarn in the window were what caught my eye, along with the brightly colored sign, "Children's Activity Corner." It was clear from the multi-colored jumble this was some sort of day-care center. And, of course, there was only one yarn store in Los Altos. It very obviously wasn't another clothing boutique, nor was it a cafe. Definitely a child-care center. .. but that's an awful lot of yarn for ten or twenty kids... and hey, some of that yarn looks like high-end stuff! Turns out it's a new yarn store called "Full Thread Ahead." I wish I'd seen this one first! before I'd walked five blocks and back!! They carry a much different selection of yarns than Uncommon Threads does. Full Thread carries Cherry Tree Hill yarns, Lorna's Lace yarns, varigated, brightly-colored yarns beyond description. Rather than carrying eyelash and railroad yarns, they carry a wide assortment of different fibers. There are silk and bamboo and soy yarns to choose from! There are blends! They appeal to a very different demographic of knitter, and I can envision it as quite possible for the two yarn stores to exist in such close proximity without ever needing to injure each others' sales. I hope the best for both of them.

Where in the first store I had been torn by finding nothing that quite fit the project I had in mind, in the second store I was torn by abundant choices! A skein of Cherry Tree Hill silk laceweight was very tempting.. but I really hadn't wanted a summer shawl, I'd wanted a warmer spring-and-autumn shawl. The Lorna's Lace in reds and oranges was very tempting.. but there weren't enough skeins to make a shawl the size I'd envisioned. ... Eventually I settled on several skeins of Misti Alpaca sportweight. I thought I would work it on a size 6, but that choice wasn't available at this store (their needle selection wasn't complete yet) and I wasn't going all the way back to the first store.

Friday night I cast on the chocolate brown several times. I cast on for a rectangular shawl, actually. Each time I knitted a row or two, then pulled it all out again. Wrong number of stitches. Not that far into the project, so I'll pull it out and show you how to cast on. Reason after reason emerged to prevent this poor Lambs Pride shawl from being born.

This morning, I yanked the needle from the five completed rows and brought the needle and a skein of the alpaca with to the wedding.

A simple, garter-stitch triangle it was supposed to be!

Instead, it is a free-form, organic lace. It'll still be triangular (I think), starting from the top center and working outward (like the Leaf Lace does), but aside from that every row is a mystery, and I cannot begin to guess what the end result will look like.

I cast on in the church prior to the start of the ceremony. I've been knitting on it since. It's a nice little triangle now, maybe the size of my laptop. I'll put pictures up later. It scares me. ;)

(muttering:) supposed to be a simple garter-stitch triangle! lace is not brainless! lace is not droppable at a moment's notice! ... oh well.. guess I just have to go back to the yarn store again... ;)


  • At Mon May 22, 05:28:00 AM PDT, Blogger 'Zann said…

    I love shawls, wearing them AND knitting them, so I can't wait to see pics of your freeform lacy stuff! I loved reading of your adventures & decisions in the yarn shops-the vicarious trip was good for me!

  • At Mon May 22, 06:19:00 AM PDT, Blogger Mia said…

    Wow, a surprise yarn store! Sweet!

  • At Wed May 24, 10:36:00 AM PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hi SP. Wow, what an adventure you had with the yarn shops. It was so interesting to read about the two stores. Yes, I think I would have loved the second store better myself. It is so funny that you talk about buying the Lorna's Laces in the orange and red color for a shall. I was out of town a couple of weeks ago and purchased that yarn!!!! It is beautiful. I want to make a shall, but I am not sure that I want to make the one that came with the yarn. I am researching that now. You have so much lace going on. I admire that. I had to put my lace on hold while I finish a sweater. I hope to be picking the lace up again by the weekend. I enjoy it, but like you said, it is not brainless and when you drop a stitch it really hurts. I have learned to use the dental floss for my lifeline. I am enjoying your blog. Thanks for all of the enjoyable reading material. Love, SP8


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