Sunday, September 30, 2007

Saturdays arrival

Since we last talked the mail lady came. Yes we have a mail lady, not a mailman. She is such a wonderful person too, she brings lovely yarn with a smile. Remember the yarn that was in transit, well some of it it arrived safe and sound this afternoon.

Have you had a chance to see and touch Seacell or silk/Seacell? Handmaiden has a line of Seacell fiber that looks and feel like silk. I have multiple hanks of the Handmaiden yarn but I'm always looking for the new and exciting fiber. Mama Llama yarns just introduced her new line of Seacell based fiber a few weeks ago. I got a little heads up on Ravelry and was directed to Woolgirl as the distributor who was getting the shipment first. Not to be left out, I e-mailed Jen and placed my order before it was even in her hands. Nothing better for a distributor than pre-selling yarn before you receive it. Talk about positive cash flow and inventory turns. The fiber is Seacell silk blend in colorway Deepest Purple. 250 yards per hank..... I had in my head a darker color but I will find just the right pattern for this beautiful fiber. Catherine, if you read this I would love an almost black plum color where the light has to be right to see the purple sheen. The silk and the Seacell taking the color at different rates, making it rich, deep and dark yet just this side of solid.

Jen from Woolgirl always presents the shipment like a gift. She included a free pattern from Catherine Kerth AKA Mama Llama for a lace shawl and a pack of Soak fiber wash for good measure.

The Mail lady brings the bills but she makes it all better by bringing the special boxes of yarn too.
Life is good!

Yarnapalooza 2007, well it sounds good.

Lets talk about my sock clubs today. I started to see the joys of sock clubs when I joined the final Posh Yarns sock club late last year. That mystical package that arrived each month. I hadn't even touched the yarn from Posh before this venture but the raves were overwhelming. The idea that the club would sell out so quickly caused me to wonder why. When the first hank came to the door the questions were answered. Fast forward almost a year and I'm enrolled in three other sock clubs, Woolgirl, Yarn Tree, and Full Thread Ahead. I was enticed into the Yarn Tree club because my friend Lori Lawson from Capistrano Fiber Arts was asked to be one of the guest dyers. Yes I'm a yarn snob and I will openly admit it. The "Indie" dyers have become the main source of my recent yarn purchases.

I've been a little lax at reporting my purchases lately but real life has been taking precedence over my blog life.

Here is some of what arrived in the mail lately.

Sock Clubs? The slippery slope of knitters

  • Yarn Tree Sock Club, A Yarn for all seasons. Inaugural 12 month bi-monthly

  • Wool Girl Sock Club. Inaugural 6 month

  • Full Tread Ahead Sock Club, Full Toes Ahead Inaugural 3 month buy in

Here is what came in the first instalment of the Yarn Tree Club.

Each instalment is hand dyed by some of the leading fiber artist. This was by Cheryl Shaefer of Shaefer Yarns. Autumn Spice

A pattern created specifically for the club and to show off the colors of the yarn.

Documentation was bountiful. It even included a DVD of the sock being knit up in various stages of the construction. But there is more.

A two sided sock/project bag with side pockets on both sides.

They even included the Brittany cable needle, needed for the pattern.

This club was supposed to be limited to 50 but they let in 62 lucky individuals. The Yarn Harlot was quoting statistics of 50 million knitters and less than a hundred of us get to play in the sock club.

Next is the WoolGirl Sock Club. Woolgirl is a popular online distributor for indie dyers. Most of the yarn snobs and lovers of indie dyed yarn have purchased from one of these distributors.

Wonderful documentation and clear pattern for the yarn. Some nice additions besides just yarn and a pattern. Woolgirl had a sock club journal and Woolgirl pen in the first shipment. She included stitch markers that matched the yarn too. Jen is selecting one of her dyers who creates a special colorway for the club while promoting the artist. It's a win win for the artist and Jen because if you like the club yarn you will purchase more of the dyers fiber.

This is Miss Babs hand dyes in the Waterfall colorway. Very nice color and the feel is just as good as it looks.

The third Club is the Full Thread ahead. This is a retail shop based club. We saw them last Winter at Stitches West. They had a booth and the yarns were special among all the yarn for sale. I bought some roving and overdyed yarn in her booth. I was alerted when she started a Group on Ravelry. Each shipment came with a plastic sock project bag and she included a pattern for each with a needle gage as a bonus.

I bought backwards one month and was rewarded with reduced shipping and a beautiful hank of Seacoast Handpaints Merino Tencel in colorway "San Francisco Surf"

I know there are people who belong to 10 or more sock clubs but I can't knit fast enough to use what I am getting from the 3 I'm in now. Mrs. Twisted loves to see the yarn come in colors I don't really like because she adopts it. You all know that she can have anything really if she really wants it. I have a couple select hanks but the rest is fair game.

The rest of the purchases were from sock yarn surfing on Ravelry or from the enablers in the knit groups we associate with. Very bad people to hang around with. :P

Wooly Boully in the colorway Wisteria. If you haven't touched the Wooly Boully yet you owe it to yourself. This is the softest squishiest superwash merino/nylon sock yarn I have ever felt.

The same yarn in colorway Strawberry Moon of June

My Small Wonders Hand Painted Sock Yarn in two similar but different colorways. They offer a mega hank of 459 yards. Aquamarine on the left and #120 on the right. I think they called it Sea Foam Green on the Etsy page.

In transit, I have some Mama Llama Silk/Seacell in a deep purple ( are you surprised?) Available through Woolgirl.

Some semi-solid colorway yarn from Yarn Addict Anni a source in the UK I found on Ravelry. She is going to be the Lime and Violet yarn shop of the day on Monday October 1st. Buy now before they are sold out.

Life Is Good

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Rainy Day Yarn shopping blues.

What happens when we have weather here in Southern Ca...

Last Saturday was supposed to be the end of Summer beach Picnic in Laguna Beach. Friday night we had STORM WATCH 2007 all over the news and we woke to a nice heavy shower in the morning. I know it was going to break soon but the beach skies looked so dark and the wind was gusting so we just rolled over and caught another hour of sleep instead of waking to make the lasagna that I was bringing as my contribution to the potluck.

So what can we do when the weather was iffy? Did someone say go shopping? I'm glad were all on the same page here.... We had plans to go see a yarn store after we saw the Yarn Harlot but time slipped away. So what better time than now huh?

Compatto Yarn Salon in Santa Monica was the initial destination but you know we had to make a few more stops. Nice shop and the owner was very sweet. They are have a 3 month sock club that just ended and they are planning to launch a new one shortly. Quality yarns and lots of hand dyed fiber. We discussed ordering some custom sock yarn from Shaffer and she was very open to our request.

Second Stop was WildFiber just a few blocks away. we've been to wild fiber a few times and wanted to see what had changed since the new owners had taken over. Lots of new sock yarns and new fiber all over the store. a few purchases and we were off to the 3rd stop just to say Hi. A Mano Yarn Center on Venice Blvd is usually on the agenda when we head to the west side of LA. Laura was in the shop and we only planned to sit and talk but you know what happens. The yarn talks to us in secret subliminal mind controlling messages... "Buy me and take me home...." "You need me to come home with you and make the other Yarn Jealous." "You know you want me." "Don't worry, you wife will understand". "Trust me!" Am I the only one who hears those voices? They seem to quiet down when they go into the plastic bag. hehe

OK I know some of you like to see what we brought home.

Two books one pattern and 11 hanks/balls of yarn.

Two balls of Sublime yarn. I loved the color and the pink has a silk sheen to it that you don't get from most cash merino blends. This was a merino/cashmere/silk blend for around $8.00 a ball. So soft too.

Some 100% Soybeen yarn for a special purpose yet to be named.

Mrs. Twisted's favorite color for sock yarn right now. Araucania Ranco sock yarn in colorway #310.

Malabrigo Lace weight merino that is the softest you will ever touch. Cactus Flower and Purple Mystery

The books were one for me on sock construction and design and the second was Crazy Aunt Purls new release. She will be signing books on October 11 at the Grove in LA

Finally the Cookie A Gothic Spires pattern.

Have a Wonderful Evening all of you or both of you, Life is Good!

P.S. It stopped raining before noon and it turned out to be a wonderful day.......

Pub Knitters 9-26

Last night was our Wednesday Pub Knitters in Laguna Beach. Our tiny group of three knitters has grown to 9 or 10 regulars who come out for a nice dinner or maybe just a drink and some good friends who all love to knit and talk yarn. The last few weeks Gaby has been bringing her recent purchases and this week is was a Megan and I to share what was delivered lately by the US postal service. we just seem to enable each other by sharing the latest indie dyers and the next week someone else in the group has something to share from that dyer and another one that is new to the group. I should have taken some pictures of the yarn ooogling but I was too busy either showing my new arrivals or checking out Megann's treasures.
It was really nice to see Pam come back since we moved back to our Winter location.

Two other regulars now are Amanda and Sally from the Thursday UCI S&B.

Please forgive the poor pictures but here is the group in mid dine and knit.

Clockwise it's Gaby, Chris her hubby, Megann, Sally, Amanda, and Pam.

The two missing from the other shot are Mrs. Twisted and Bree both furthest from the Camera. Mrs. Twisted in Red and Bree sitting directly across from her (sorry Bree for the picture of you eating)

Yours truly doing more talking than knitting.

Half way through the evening Gaby completed the sweater she had cast on about 2 1/2 weeks earlier. That calls for a modeling picture...

Here is Gaby showing her Puff-Sleeved Feminine Cardigan sweater in Knit Picks Merino Style.

Bree wanted to see how it looked so she slipped it on as well. I think the mannequin pose is the required look when trying on FOs for the first time. It's like "Ta-Da" Beautiful Daahhhhling.......

We are planning a pot luck yarn swap for Halloween. Not sure if the bar we meet in will be really busy that night so we already made plans to meet elsewhere. Most of us in the group have excessive stashes and we each have yarn that we bought on impulse purchases so we are going to bring all those and see if we can trade for some thing we would rather have. Megann had a new hank or Zen sock yarn from the semi-solid color sock club that arrived and she isn't too thrilled with pinks so I hope she brings that. hint hint hint. Sorry I couldn't resist.

What a wonderful group of people to hang out with and share. Life is Good

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mid Sept WIP

How about some Knitting content for a change. I know I talk a lot about yarn shopping and I will later but I wanted to show you what we are working on right now. I'm doing a Cabled Pocket Shawl The pattern is from Knit Picks and the yarn is Shaffer Elaine. My first cable project. We tend to go for a drive in the middle of the day and this will stay in the car to cover her shoulders when the cool evening air sneaks up on us.

Per the pattern I finished the inside of the pockets first and I just cast on for the body of the shawl. Pretty simple, seed stitch a few knit purl patterns and a simple cable pattern. Here is a picture of one already made that I found surfing on the net. Their are no cables on the inside of the pockets and I'm curious on how they will show up on the thick thin bulky yarn in this colorway. My test swatch looked pretty good though.
I know I have a long way to go but it's all about the process and learning new techniques along the way.

Mrs. Twisted is using the first shipment of sock yarn from the Yarn Tree Sock club called Autumn Spice also by Shaffer on a pattern I picked up last spring on a yarn crawl. She looked at pattern that came with the yarn and we both liked the one we already had better. I think she will increase the leg portion but it will have the same look to it.

That's all for now...

Happy Wednesday.

I want to thank all of you for the well wishes.
The roses were a deep pink not red, I loved the color. Mrs. Twisted and I had a wonderful dinner at our most favorite Italian restaurant. We only go there for very special occasions but it was just perfect. Nice quiet table in the back, reminiscing about our 7 years together. It seems like a blur until we think of all the places we have gone and memories we have shared. After desert, mmmm creme brule, we returned home for an evening snuggling on the couch watching one of our favorite movies "Shall We Dance". I love the so called "Chick Flick" movies more than she does but it's ok. Don't you just love the moment at the end of the movie when he glides up the escalator in his Tux holding the single red rose? Gets me every time. Can't watch this one without the box of tissues. OK maybe a little too much info here lol

Monday, September 24, 2007

Happy 2nd Anniversary My Bride

Two years ago today Mrs. Twisted and I were joined in marriage. For those of you who know us personally you already know that we don’t really fit the mold of normalcy and we are happy with that. At times we are very traditional and then we take a step to the left or right and live life with every day as a new experience. We began this marriage riding down the isle in a pink Cadillac convertible driven by a Young Elvis Impersonator and the wind has been in our hair since. New ideas and fun at every turn on our journey together.

Cotton is the traditional gift for the second anniversary but I wanted to do something with it other than sharing some fabric, even though we both love to shop for new fabric.

I took each letter in the word Cotton and related it back to Mrs. Twisted and I or how I feel.

Creativity: I have never met someone who inspires me to be more creative. She accepts me and encourages my thoughts and follies without judgment. Together we share a creative thought process that amazes me. We know each others thoughts and yet we both have different pieces to the same puzzle. The pictures on this blog are mostly her visions and my application of the camera to capture the image in her mind.

Ocean: One earthly entity that we both need to have in our life is the ocean. We go to the beach Each Christmas morning and take in the cleansing effects of the fresh air and are always in awe of the power and how it makes you feel so insignificant but you can live in concert with such an incredible power. Our first date was to the beach. We would live on the beach if we could.

Tangential: Ok now why this word? We are two separate forms that fit perfect next to each other but we are still our own shape. We don’t intersect and form hard transitions but we merge smoothly and seamlessly and without effort. We live our lives as one but still have the ability to enjoy our own path and yet we love to share the interest of the other.

Thegither: I feel empty when we are apart. Like part of me is missing and when we reconnect again life feels complete. I know in some ways the over thinks may not find it healthy to enjoy another company like I do with my bride. I don’t think anyone can explain it so I just feel grateful that we share the same desire to share our lives together.
I saw the word long long ago but now I understand the meaning. Happy We Are Thegither from the Scottish poem

Opaque: We appear that way to most people. There is more going on under the surface that what appears on the surface. Solid thoughts, feelings and actions. To each other we are transparent and as one. We can read each other and know when there is something not right. We can feel the emotions like they are happening to both of us. We hold the wall around us from previous life experiences but stand together. We can experience twice the joy and share the sorrow or pain with the other and know it’s only half as bad.

Nouvelle or Nuovo: Always new… We are always looking to share new things and love the comfort of the each others company. We never run out of things to talk about. We can go to the same place and see something new or enjoy the emotions like it’s our first time. Give us a full tank of gas and we have a road trip, and bench near the ocean and we have an afternoon of knitting or just enjoying the peace and tranquility. The work week is just a bumper between times we share living life looking for the next new thing. Work to live and not live to work.

Happy Anniversary Deborah Dearheart. I love you!

Man Fiber Sooooo Nice!

My latest gift from the Punk Rock Gift Exchange. One beautiful Mega Hank of Fearless Fiber Sock Yarn.

My sneaky pal is raising the bar. This time she/he sent some "man yarn" direct from the source. Oh this is Bones. He is the latest addition to our home. It fits the PRGE theme sort of and it's getting closer to Halloween.
I love the Fearless Fiber. Not only is the name cool but the fiber is soo soft and I cant wait to cast on.
Thanks Prue

Thursday, September 20, 2007

SP11 Thank you

My first box from SP 11 arrived today. I was completely surprised. Victorian Lace Today. I've been looking at this lace book every time I go to the book store. And two skeins of alpaca silk yarn from Blue Sky alpaca. mmmm nice

The plot thickens. I know that my SP is reading my blog and it shows by what was sent.
Thank you So much!

If you haven't seen the book I recommend it just for the beautiful pictures. What a great coffee table book as well as a wonderful knitting book. The patterns also give multiple yarn substitutions for each project.

Just some pretty color for you to enjoy that happens to be growing just outside the gate.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No knitting today, I went to the fabric store. :)

Secret Pal time is here and the PRGE so I wanted to go pick up some cool fabric. I have a few ideas to try out for some gifts that need to go out soon. Not too much info but here are some pictures of the fabric.

I wanted so much more but maybe after payday. :P

Have you seen such a cute pattern?

So Mr. Twisted colors huh?

Halloween is coming and the place had lots of fun fabric like this.
This grows on me the more I look at it.

Subtle yet pretty.

Makes you dizzy but it will be amazing when constructed into the right project.

It's hard to see this very well but it's pink fabric with black dyed pattern. $2.99 a yard what a deal!

These two are beautiful faded from light to dark print.

Is your mind wondering, "what is this guy going to sew with all this fabric?" Wait and see... :)