Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stitches West Recovery with Sock Yarn

I love working with fingering weight yarns. While we have wonderful weather in the Bay Area of California,it is difficult to wear heavy knits. Lightweight knits have a longer wearing life throughout the year. So I spend a lot of time looking at sock yarns when I'm in the Stitches West market. This year I focused on yarns that I cannot buy locally.

I found some Cephalopod Yarns "Bugga!" and "Skinny Bugga!" at the Little Red Bicycle booth. This is a lovely skein of Rose Weevil. What can I say, I can't resist a good red and love red socks. Unfortunately, I didn't see any yarn from Verdnnt Gryphon. Maybe next year.

While in their booth, I picked up a skein of Tandem Sock. This will make a nice pair of socks for my husband.

While I was avoiding highly variegated yarns, I saw this yarn at the Lisa Souza booth. This yarn would make a good sock in either the Hexagons or the Ziprelaxagon Sock by Kirsten Hall. Both would highlight this yarn.

I saw this yarn at Kattickloo Fiber Studios booth. While their purchasing process was antiquated, the yarn is lovely, and surprise, it will make a nice pair of socks.





Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl. Prairie Willow is an avid knitter and jewelry designer. My jewelry can be found at Prairie Willow Jewelry

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Monday, February 27, 2012

Recovering from Stitches West with Silk

There are many blog posts associated about experiences at Stitches West, so I might as well join the crowd. This is my second time at Stitches West. My first time was 2 years ago, where I just went to the market. If you haven't been to the market, its quite an experience. Its best to go with a plan, which I didn't the first year.

This year, I took a three classes. I'll talk about them later. Taking classes allowed me to have several days exploring the market. My first day in the market was mostly wandering around noting the things that interested me. My second time through, I started some purchases and my final day allowed me to map out those booths which I had to explore further. Luckily on the third day of the market map provided by EGarcia on Ravelry. I downloaded this map to my Ipad and ad highlighted the booths I wanted to explore. (there is also a printable version). This was wonderful and I hope EGarcia provides this service next year.

Some of my highlights:

ArtFibers - I bought some beautiful silk yarn, Tantra. The yarn is supposedly sport weight, but it looks more fingering weight to me. I love silk that is in more of a "raw" state. This yarn still has a little sheen, but it has a lovely slight fuzz and from the samples will create a beautiful fabric. This will be a sweater or a tunic some day.

This is a raw silk yarn from Tess. The yarn has absolutely no sheen. I only have 900 yards, so it will have to be a short sweater or tank.

And then there is Habu. I love Habu. This time a bought some Tsumugi silk. This yarn has no sheen and a lovely heathered texture. This color is a taupe with hints of an aqua green. I also bought the Tsumugi which is the same color of green. Options are open here. I'm thinking of mixing the two yarns together. This would make a lovely casual sweater such as a henley.

More recovery with sock yarn to follow....

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Road Trip Yarn Shop

I'm on a trip to the Atlanta area and decided to find the "Eat, Knit, Sleep" physical shop and stop by. I have been buying yarn from them online for some time. They always seem to have a good selection of MadelineTosh. Their physical location is in an industrial / office office park in Smyrna, just outside of Atlanta. The place is just full of yarn. It's a joy to walk down their aisles and peruse yarns that aren't normally available for me to see. I know several MadelineTosh lovers that wouldn't be able to control themselves in the Tosh section. If you go, note their hours as they are not normal retail hours. Location and hours can be found on their website.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

First Sock of 2012, Second Goal of 2012

My first sock of 2012 is Chrissy Gardiner's "Slip n Slide" sock. This is also the February selection for the Green Planet Sock Club. As socks go, this was a pretty easy knit. I opted to do the heel in pattern. In the past I have always done a heel stitch heel. We'll see how this wears.

Since this was a top-down sock design, this sock gave me the opportunity to use the German Twisted Cast On. I like this cast on as it is very stretchy. I'll need to reinforce this knowledge in another sock.

I pulled from stash for this sock and used my Pagewood Farms Glacier Bay in Maple Leaf for these socks.

More details about the construction of this sock can be found at Forest Floor Sock






Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Thursday, February 9, 2012

February West Knits Shawl Pattern

Here's sneak peak at Frebruary's WestKnit shawl. Now, the big questions, what yarns should I use? I happen to have a skein of Malabrigo "Chocolate Amargo", which is one of the colors used in the February shawl. So I think I will go with that color as well. I am not fond of the pink and brown combination, so I'm going to choose a yarn with a green base. I have 2 possibilities to choose from in my Malabrigo Sock stash, "Primavera" and "Lettuce".

My choice will depend on whether I want to go subtle or bold. I'll make the final decision when I get the pattern.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Yarn photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits
Shawl photo copyright WestKnits

Sunday, February 5, 2012

I Love Yarn Swaps

I just came back from a yarn swap at Uncommon Threads in Los Altos, CA. I love these swaps since I can get rid of yarn I will no longer use, that hopefully someone else will find a useful. In exchange, I can sometimes find interesting yarns that I wouldn't normally see. I have seen everything from acrylic to hand spun and dyed, so you never know what you will find. Its a yarn treasure hunt. This time I focused on picking up cotton yarns.

Some nice finds:

Now I have to figure out what to make with them.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Friday, February 3, 2012

Slip and Slide is the Next Sock Club Sock

The next sock that the Green Planet Yarn sock club is knitting is the Chrissy Gardiner sock, Slip and Slide. The pattern for this sock can be found in the Sock Knitting Master Class Book. So far an easy knit, but the directions for the bridge stitch weren't particularly clear to my brain. So, I created this photo tutorial to demonstrate the stitch.

First, with the yarn in front, slip 5 stitches, stretching the stitches across the needle. the stitches shown here are purl, bring yarn in front, slip 5, purl.

After knitting another row, the SL 5 looks like this.

On the row where the bridge is actually created. First, we knit 2 stitches and then we need to lift the strand.

The strand is lifted over the middle stitch and placed to the left of it.

The center stitch is then knitted.

The strand is then dropped off the needle. This results in the strand being dropped behind the center stitch.

Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Icord Bind Off Makes a Lovely Edge

I have just completed my first goal for 2012. I loved the "Tangerine Trifle" pattern by Amy Gunderson when it was published. On top of the wonderful design, this pattern was written for Ella Rae Lace Merino - one of my favorite yarns. So, how could I resist this pattern?

The pattern calls for the icord bind off and as you can see it creates a wonderful top edge to this scarf.

The scarf ends with 2 garter ridges followed by the icord bind off which creates a 3 stitch tube. The bind off can be better seen on the reverse side. I can't wait to find a use for this bind off in other projects.





Prairie Willow can be found on Ravelry at noliegirl.

Photos copyright Prairie Willow Knits
Tangerine Trifle and Amy Gunderson can be found on Ravelry