about the essentials of life...knitting, designing knitting, yarn for knitting...you get the idea...

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I'm a knitter, knitting pattern designer, and spinner. I also dye yarn with both acid and natural dyes.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Can you count to 6?

Apparently I can't. I've been working on a simple stitch pattern and I can't get it right. I'd like to call it a lace pattern, but I think the definition of lace knitting is that it includes both YO's and decreases on the right side. This stitch has plenty of YO's but no decreases. It gets rid of the extra stitches by dropping them. So, it is a dropped stitch pattern. Are dropped stitch patterns considered to be lace?
I worked on this pattern during the finale of Will and Grace on Thursday, and it was my knitting for the weekend. The whole weekend. I think I have a net gain of one row. And, remember, it's a simple, simple pattern requiring nothing more complicated than counting to 6.

Here's the offending project, pondering time out. The yarn is Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool in color 18. I found it at my favorite yarn shop, Taos Sunflower, in -you guessed it- Taos, NM.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Notice: Stash Acquisition!

What a great day! Yesterday morning The Man of the House suggested Santa Fe for breakfast. I'm always beyond glad to go to Santa Fe, so I was ready to go in nanoseconds. The Man wanted chocolate croissants, and they are scarce in ABQ, even scarcer on Sundays. So, chocolate croissant = Santa Fe. Fine with me! What's a 57 mile drive for breakfast? What $3.00 and gallon gasoline. The Man felt like chocolate for breakfast. (To be fair, his car gets some 40 miles to the gallon.) We got to Santa Fe, found a parking place near the Plaza and walked to our favorite French cafe. We ordered drinks and I went to check out the pastry cases. They had my favorite almond tart thing so I ordered it. Then The Man went to look for his chocolate. 57 miles and ...shhh...very quietly now...they were already sold out... Not a good thing. Nothing else would do. Oh, well, I enjoyed my almond tart and we went down the street to the ice cream store where they did, actually, have a chocolate croissant. Two, in fact...eaten in the cool of the morning on a park bench in the plaza in Santa Fe. Such a life.
All this, to lead up to Stash Aquisition. Breakfast over, soaking up the morning peace over, The Man of the House asked if I wanted to shop for the sock yarn I'd been looking for. There are several delightful yarn shops in The City Different, but New Mexico is not an open on Sunday kind of place. The only shop available doesn't carry the sacred Opal. Thank the chocolate, The Man offered Taos. Wow! What a morning! Another hour north and we were in Taos and a few minutes later I was in my favorite LYS, Taos Sunflower. Taos Sunflower, despite it's name is actually in Arroyo Seco. Somehow I don't think the average tourist has a passing acquaintance with Arroyo Seco, and I guess the people at Taos Sunflower don't think so, either. Thus, the name. And, anyway, Arroyo Seco Sunflower doesn't have quite the same ring.
The shop is in between the village of Taos (pop. around 7000) and Taos Ski Valley. It's in its own building behind the Gypsy Cafe. The outside of the building only hints at the delightfulness within, even with the wide porch (with comfortable rockers for all of the Spouses Who Must Wait and the romantic tin roof.
Inside, the ceiling soars. There is light colored wood every where and a wide open spaces kind of feeling. There is room for everything, plenty of everything and no sensory overload due to clutter. The fixtures are sleek and neatly feature the yarn while making petting and selection easy. It just feels like a comfortable kind of place.
The yarn...well, those people who work there, who select the colors and fibers and manufacturers must be my long lost cousins or something. Somehow, they just know the yarns I love, and those are the ones they have. They don't have everything on the market, but they have what I like, including the beloved Opal. The DH knows to just settle in on the rocker and get out his cell phone. He'll have plenty of time to catch up with his family while I drool inside.
So, to make the circle complete (see title and picture above), I was a very good girl. Very disciplined and restrained. See the small, small bag? I bought Mary Thomas Knitting Book (after all, it's a revered reference book), the Knitting Pattern A Day for 2006 (I know it's almost May, but I missed it in December waiting for a coupon at Border's and it was on sale for half price and what do dates have to do with knitting patterns anyway?) and, dum, dum, de dahhh.... Opal Flamingo! The Opal I've been looking at (lusting after) at many, many places on the net. Oh, how I've wanted that yarn! And here it was, where I could actually touch it. And it was a gorgeous as I imagined it would be. I know, I have just a couple of sock yarns in the basket by the bed and several patterns more or less designed for those yarns, I just had to have this yarn. And so I do.

NAYY, by the way.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Who's an angel?

Well, certainly not me!
And, those who know me will certainly agree. Although, my DH has been known to call me angel on certain occasions (ahem).
Yarn Angel Knits came about because I used to be a first grade teacher. Thus, I had almost daily exposure to the Tooth Fairy and her exploits as related by my students. Wouldn't it be nirvana if there was a mystical creature who magically delivered the yarn of my dreams? Wouldn't it be delightful to wake in the morning and find the yarn I'd been drooling over had appeared under my pillow (or even under the bed - in case of large quantities) during the night?
But, what would be the trigger for the Yarn Angel's visits? Certainly not lost teeth! FO's? No, no, no! That would limit knitters to one, one (!) WIP and that would never do.
A new pattern design? Weelll - but how would I/we (after all, it wouldn't do to keep her to myself) swatch without the yarn in hand?
How about need? As in, I need such and such yarn. You know - all those yarns we drool over on other people's blogs, at all those websites we have saved in your favorites, we just had to pet at the LYS when we just had to drop in to check out the buttons? You know, the yarn that we just need - even if we don't yet know what we need it for?
Hold on just a minute here.
But I 'need' quite a bit of yarn every day. If 'need' triggered magical deliveries in the night, I'd soon be drowning in yarn. DH would have even less room for his stuff than he does now. Things just might get sticky on the home front.
So, what about it?
When do you think the Yarn Angel should visit?