Tuesday, February 27, 2007

last post for the Stitches West show

After Dinner on Saturday nights diner at the Cheesecake Factory we went for a short drive to see the Winchester Mystery House. We knew we couldn't really go inside but Mrs. Twisted wanted to see the place that she has heard about for years.

If you look really closely you may see one of the ghost killed by a Winchester rifle who are known to haunt the house. We will return to see the inside another time.

This is Too Many Scarves relaxing on Saturday night in our suite after a long day in her hand made socks just recently gifted to her.

After Sunday's free breakfast Too Many Scarves was requesting a Starbucks fix before we return to the show. A stop at the front desk and off we went to one a few blocks from the convention center. Well, we had the opportunity to buy Girl Scout Cookies from a local troop. Got to love the Thin Mints and the peanut butter cookies.

Outside the Starbucks in the parking lot were the prettiest cherry trees in full bloom in late February. (we love the weather in Ca.)

Well we make it back to the show and the three of us had decided to go our own ways and go buy what we had seen the day before and after making sure we all had each others cell #'s handy we divided to conquer the booths at our own pace.

This is a set of blocking wires that should have been in the post on Saturday night.

This is some Merino and silk roving that I bought at the Purlescence Yarns booth from Sunnyvale.

Also purchased from Purlescence is this is Terra Sorrel merino alpaca, silk. It looks like Noro Cash Iroha that has been over dyed but it feels even softer.

I had to buy this. The brightest pink sock yarn I have ever seen. Koigu baby!

This was a great buy. 575 yards each of superwash merino yarn for $14.50 each.
1725 yards for $43.50 This may be gifted to someone but I'm not sure.

Here is some Hand Maiden SeaSilk for a possible lace shawl.

Some Incredible Belisa cashmere from Australia. The pink came with a scarf pattern that was knit up at the show. It was the softest lightest scarf I have ever felt. It was like pink air.

Here is a cone of purple cashmere for a project yet to be named. 1100 yards.

I picked this up after seeing the ads in the magazines. it looks pretty good. I'll let you know after I try it.

Last but not least some sunset pictures from the drive home on Sunday night. One by the cherry orchards.

Guest Blogger: Mrs. Twisted's Review of Stitches West

What a trip! After a 6 or so hour drive, we finally got

to Stitches West on Saturday in Santa Clara. It’s a little hard to comprehend all the fiber goodness in that convention hall; but it’s always fun to try! There were so many beautiful yarns! I so wanted some Bamboo from Blue Moon Fiber Arts, but the color selection was really limited by Saturday at 3 p.m. and even more so on Sunday. (I was hoping for a restock during the night!) I will definitely track down some online though – it knits up like a dream! And their patterns? Lovely.

Another booth with some really beautiful yarn was Tess Designer Yarns. I fell in love with the lilac/gray cultivated silk and wool, but found it was actually more beautiful on the skein than knit up. I mean, it was still pretty, but not as much. This happens with me a lot and so its nice to see a knitted swatch. This booth did have a number of items knitted up so you could touch and ooh and ah. And the colors were just gorgeous. Their monochromatic colored yarn kits were simply beautiful and I did end up purchasing one, albeit from another booth as they were out of the colorway I wanted – oceany blues. (not the real colorway, but its what it reminds me of) So pretty! The finished caplet may end up being a tad too small for me, in which case I will either a) block it into submission or b) gift it to somebody extremely deserving.

Mr.. Twisted and I both found the new sock book “25 Favorite Socks”.

OH, OH, OH! SO many patterns that I just LOVE! I think there are maybe only 2 patterns that I did not immediately start running our sock yarn stash through my mind in order to knit! I think this book may just be my second favorite purchase. Mr.. Twisted’s purchase, not mine, as when I found it, I got so excited that I had to call him (he was busy shopping elsewhere) to tell him I found it and was going to buy it. He called me back right away and said “don’t buy it – I already did!” Great minds truly DO think alike.

I was becoming overwhelmed with the yarn – I mean, it was just EVERWHERE and in so many colors it was almost dizzying. And I really wanted something new and different and enough to make something fabulous. Well, the only yarn that fit that description was the Qiviut from Windy Valley Farms.

If you have not touched this yarn, you need to. It is the softest yarn I think I’ve ever touched. Made from Musk-ox on a farm in Alaska and we met the beautiful, sweet and talented lady who owned and worked the farm! She totally did not look like a farmer and her yarns are absolutely wonderful. And she had sample items made up in each of the yarns – from Merino to Qiviut to cotton! We got one little ball of plum-colored heaven and a free pattern which is coming in the mail (she was out of stock of the one we wanted). One tiny ball makes a scarf or other smallish item. Seriously. I don’t know the words to describe just how luxuriously soft and beautiful this yarn is. Thank you Mr.. Twisted for purchasing this little treasure. This is my absolute favorite thing we got at the show!

The rest of my purchases weren’t even yarn! I picked up a wonderful hand made braided leather strap for a purse idea I’ve had rolling around in my head for awhile. I had found a pattern on the Berocco site that I really like. I think I’ll make mine just slightly edgier – hmm, maybe some metal stud accents?

I also purchased (with a nudge from the Great Enabler) a gorgeous silk fabric project bag. I was just saying last week how I needed a larger project bag and voila! Its hand made in the prettiest iridescent swirly patterned tie silk with an equally lovely soft gray lining and is sure to elevate any project it will ever hold!

My other non-yarn purchase was something I have wanted for awhile. I usually hem and haw and think about things and then when I’ve finally made up my mind, I can never find the thing I wanted to begin with! But not this time. A really nice gentleman crafter and his wife had some especially pretty shawl pins. He also had some jewelry (including the funkiest tri-color ring for an awesome price, but I digress); but it was the shawl pins I was eyeing. Which to choose? Oh the abalone was lovely, but I worried it wouldn’t go with certain colors. I was also drawn to the pink and the white mother-of-pearl but the pink would be limiting as well and the white was just so stark looking (I was imagining against the deeper colors) I compromised and got the grey-ish mother of pearl round one. The back side is darker, almost black and has beautiful patterning on it. Each shawl pin comes with an ebony stick and Mr.. Twisted help me pick the “best” one. I’m so excited! Now we need to knit a bunch of shawls to show it off!

I’m realizing as I write this that my purchases were mostly luxury items. Hmmm….I do love beautiful things. And I would rather have just a few really nice things than a whole room full of just ok things. (this is said by a woman with a wall of yarn in her home!) I don’t think I am a yarn snob. If it feels nice and the color is pretty and I can make something with it, I’m there be it $5.00 or $50.00 – well, maybe not so much of the $50.00, but you know what I mean. I truly enjoy the art of knitting and if I can have pretty tools and little bit of luxe, I’m going to go for it when and if I can.

Overall, the show was a lot of fun and exhausting and I’ll have visions of all the yarny goodness for weeks to come. Last year, Manos del Uruguay was everywhere. Mr. Twisted and I have dubbed this year’s show “The Malabrigo show” as it seemed to be the yarn of the year. Deservedly so for its supreme softness and colors. Maybe it’s because we already have quite a bit of Malabrigo, though, but I was looking for something different. Newer, fresher – the next big thing! Hey, maybe next year will be the year of the Qiviut!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mid Stitches Up-date

We arrived about 1:30 and saw the sign at the door prohibiting any photographs so you will have to take my word for the increase in the size of the show this year from last. The three amigos ventured into the show but I was the only one to purchase anything on the first day. Lots of looking and a little buying so far.
Here are a few pictures of the first days items.

Hand Dyed sock yarn in lilac

Interlacements Toasty Toes Sock yarn

Colorway 201

Durring the entry of this posting, we had a little issue with the hotel and the party going on under our room so we recieved a nice room upgrade from a nice suite to a corner suite and open mini bar. Oh a Free breakfast in the dining room too :) and it's not a simple toast/danish and coffee breafast.

Ok, back to the post. I found some hand dyed sock yarn at the Webs booth and found some for me and one for a gift.

This was a pretty peacock color sock yarn for me. Very subtle colors colorway Midnight.This the the eventual gift socks yarn in colorway Twilight

I picked up one pattern for a pair of socks and met Cookie A of "Pomatomus" fame. http://www.knitanon.com/blog/patterns.html

This is a pair of hand blown tempered glass circular needles size 6. The glass was heat treated and colored "triple passion" oh the cable is 32"

and they come with a lifetime guarantee against failure.
Last item was some roving from 50/50 alpaca Jacob

Well, one more day to go, hopefully I will find a few more great buys.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Road Trip on the Horizon

We're going to Stitches West This weekend. Yay!

Driving to Santa Clara Really early Saturday morning and picking up Too Many Scarves to join us. We said we were on a yarn diet but the rules were supposed to allow us to fall off the wagon once and we had decided this was the place to fall off. What the heck, diets never work anyway right?

Well this year I'm going to be looking at roving as well as yarn. We have discussed the purchases and we plan to only buy really special fiber. When we buy this time it will be in quantity to make something. No more two hank purchases, unless we need two hanks. Hand dyed, hand spun or something really special. I'm hoping to find some really pretty silk fiber in quantity to make something and not all purple.... Maybe some pink and teal and emerald or burgundy...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Vintage FO (not mine)

I thought I would share with you one of prized possessions. My mother made each of her three sons an afghan. I received mine when I was 12 or 13. I had a huge growth spurt just before and she just used up all the stash she had and we still had to go get more. The flip flop is there just to add some scale. Oh I wear a size 15 shoe too. For those of you who don't know me I'm about 6'5" and Mom just wanted something I could cuddle up in while watching TV and not have my feet hanging out. I think she succeeded. My purple couch is under there somewhere. Mom passed when I was 21 and everything she made I hold dearly and even more so since I started knitting. You gotta love the 1970's colors. I think you could probably see this on Google Earth if it were outside. Thanks Mom! :)

Do you have something that you were gifted by someone very special that you will keep forever?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Drop spindle 101 tonight.

I went to the Rumplestilskein spinning group tonight and thanks to Melyssa I learned a bit about drop spindle spinning. I received an Ashford drop spindle from the Mrs. Twisted for Christmas and finally opened the package and with some help, it was pretty successful. it was a small turnout tonight but very fruitful for thos of us who came. Teresa http://singsurfknit.wordpress.com/ brought her spinning wheel and Melyssa http://gwlana.livejournal.com/, Renatta and I had our drop spindles for the first drop spindle night. Melyssa brought some beautiful yarn she had spun and some she dyed and spun to share.

Look what Melyssa brought to show and tell

Thank goodness my arms are long.

The happy group with Renatta taking the picture with my camera