Tag Archives: lamb’s pride

Things with wings…

No, this isn’t about sewing menstrual pads…

NH-dragonfly

I like autumn, but mourn the disappearance of my favorite winged summer things like crickets and cicadas and especially katydids and dragonflies and bats and butterflies and even the giant random things that show up on the window screens…

winged-fly

I’m still unpacking things from the basement boxes – I’m sure I’ll be continuing to do that into the new year…

And I found my old monarch butterfly Halloween costume.

winged-monarch

My mother made it out of out black felt and oil paint, and I wore it with a black leotard, black tights, and black ballet shoes (after I quit ballet classes the first time). And I had a black velvet headband with black pipe cleaner antennae bent into curlicues that would flop down and poke me in the eye.

It was my best costume (much better than my gladiator made of a pillowcase tunic and tinfoil over a plastic baseball helmet and cardboard shield) and I’m glad I kept it – the wings, that is, the rest is thankfully long gone.

But I’m conflicted about keeping another winged thing…

winged-front

It’s an Iceland sweater from Rowan 42.

I bought the magazine because of it, even though it scared me with all of its cables and lace – I knew it would be a large commitment for me. Then a friend whipped one up and told me that it was actually quite easy and she thought I’d like it for the coziness factor.

So feeling more confident about the whole thing, I cranked it out relatively fast for me over the first winter when N took a job out of state and I had plenty of time to concentrate and a large public library’s worth of nature program DVDs.

winged-wings

But when I finished, I didn’t love it on me…

Because of the goddamn wings.

But that’s the whole point of it right?

But they catch on or in door handles, hand rails, car doors, house doors, desk drawers; and dip themselves into soups, coffees, cereals, dish soap suds, the compost bowl; and drag themselves through eraser crumbs, dryer lint, almond butter on a slice of toast; and scatter my notes to self…

And if that weren’t irritating enough, it sits on me funny – lists downward from side to side, or hitches up into its own muffin top.

winged-buttons

I even had the perfect vintage buttons (and the perfect amount, which is entirely rare) in my stash to complete it…

The yarn I used, Lamb’s Pride Bulky, has drape, but it’s dense – I should have gone up a needle size or two or used something lighter, and I made the waist ribbing less bulky than the pattern, but those are the least of its faults…

But I’ve only worn it… twice?

So do I frog, or do I find someone in need of warmth who does not mind being a winged creature?

Or do I hang onto it as a testament that I once knitted a giant warm garment during a cold time?

I love the leaf pattern though – if I frog, I might just have enough yarn along with a few leftover skeins to make a nice throw blanket in the pattern…

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Stash flash – the commercial yarn edition

I’m not a huge fan of stash flashing.

Sometimes it just seems like crass showing off, sometimes I think of the world’s starving people, sometimes I think it’s a little funny when a middle age woman poses naked with it in a bathtub*, sometimes it gives me anxiety of having too much, sometimes it gives me anxiety about having too much of one thing but not the needed thing, and sometimes I’ll admit I’m a little jealous.

But we reached a milestone on the house – the floors and walls are done in all of the main rooms – so I’m finally moving into my teeny tiny studio and figuring out how to cram everything in.

stash-mound

And part of that involves taking stock of my yarn stash.

It was in relatively decent storage – a few big plastic tubs – but sock yarn was mixed in with sweater quantities was mixed in with random cones of mystery fiber…

stash-cone

And of course there was yarn shoved into other yarn…

Everything needed to be aired out – there was the odd unfortunate odor of our old apartment’s carpeting trapped inside some of the tubs, and a few lavender sachets lost their pleasant one.  But all was well – no evidence of wool-munching crawling or flying f*ckers.

stash-sock&fingering

The sock and fingering weight yarns are now separated out into their own bin and I know I don’t need to shop for the stuff possibly ever again.  I’d been wanting to make some jolly-colored tights for years now, but I haven’t even considered casting on for them, so maybe it’s okay to just make one pair of socks from one of three skeins, or consider making a blanket.  I’d really like to make some pants, but though I’d like wacky tights, I’d rather have more dull pants (trousers to my friends across the pond) though I do adore my wool pants (underwear).

stash-cones

Need I remind you that I got everything really cheap?  Yeah, the internet is good for that, as are Italian markets and those newer craft/construction materials thrift shops.  I’ve been picking up the odd cone of stuff for a few years – I thought I’d be weaving by now and dying more too…  And I do intend to use some of it in spinning…

stash-lambspride

My old favorite Lamb’s Pride is all in one place now too – this is one of the few yarns I have sweater quantities of – large coat or king-sized afghan quantities…  I fell into a brief obsessive love with mosaic knitting several years ago and planned to make a cozy big long coat.  I got a billion yards of two shades of green on the cheap online, but the colors weren’t contrasty enough and besides, I never got around to finding or making up a pattern, so it sits and waits…

And the bulky green in the bottom right was, for a short time and twice, an Owls sweater, but I never got the sizing right, so I frogged it and gave up.

stash-greenlambspride

I’m in love with that old gold greenish shade “golden mushroom” in the upper left, so it’s high time I cracked it open… I love nearly every shade of green though, so I’ve got some thinking to do…

On the day that I organized this stuff I had one of those disturbing time warps wherein I missed lunch.  I never miss lunch. And the day was pretty much shot – I feel a bit guilty overall for “wasting” the time and that I have so much, yet I can’t part with it either.  I got some of it up on ravelry, so I may sell some things if asked.  But I also don’t really need any more clothes or blankets, so my knitting mojo for anything other than gifts, sales, or a few smaller accessories is pretty flat at the moment.

I’d like to replace a few commercial sweaters with me-knitted ones, but the ones I wear most often are grey.  Do you see any grey yarn up there?  Nope.

And since I work from home, I need nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  I don’t get the people who work from home or stay at home and are crazy prolific garment sewers and knitters… where and when do they wear the many, many things that they make?

(And I still have loads of yarn from unraveled sweaters, a nice bunch of that lovely Italian wool, and a smallish (relatively speaking) amount of handspun.)

And though I accomplished a needed organizing job that day, I ultimately failed when I realized that there’s still another box/bag/tub of the stuff somewhere…

*I’ve seen a few of these on ravelry, but sadly can’t find one at the moment for you – and no, I won’t do that.

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…. — -. . -.– / -.-. — .– .-..

I finished up my second Honey Cowl.

I prefer to call it the Morse Code Cowl.

honeycowl coverup

I like this pattern best in two colors to make the dots and dashes pop.

honeycowl chair

I haven’t found a good spot to photograph things in the new place yet.  And this “chianti” Lamb’s Pride yarn is difficult to capture – it’s more of a cranberryish burgundy.  And you’d never know that these walls are either a seemingly sickly nicotine-stained yellowish greyish beige or a depressing cold blue that once in awhile becomes an interesting periwinkle, but usually just stays stand-offish and sullen and needs to be covered up ASAP.

honeycowl dashes

Both sides are right sides (it still needs to be blocked).

honeycowl dots

This is a big one too – very cozy.  The colors aren’t quite right for me (or most of my clothes) either, but I suspect I’ll wear it a lot anyway.

(Morse Code translator found here)

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Second things sometime need a little attention too…

…a sequel to In praise of first things.

Years and years ago, after I made a few more garter stitch scarves for friends and family, and falling just as hard for knitting with wool as I did for alpaca, not to mention all of the other fibrous beasts, came what seemed at the time, a very massive project.

firsthingsshawlfront

Yet I did not stray from my comfortable garter stitch.  I may have started this as a poncho, or at least a shawl, but I don’t remember now, except that I didn’t have a pattern and I was afraid of them then.  But ponchos were popular then, and then weren’t, and maybe they came back, I don’t know?  Originally it was just going to be solid charcoal, though I ran out of yarn before it was a good length to wrap.  Then something happened at the Brown Sheep/Lamb’s Pride mill?  A fire?  I can’t remember that either, but for a year, or years, worsted weight yarn in deep charcoal wasn’t available.  When a new LYS opened in my old neighborhood, I bought four skeins (including a deep charcoal) in bulky weight.  I got the only four colors available that weren’t some ghastly shade of pink or pastel blue (but I kind of liked the pastel sage).  I didn’t really think about (or know?) the difference in yarn weights either, but ploughed through to the end, or enough of an end when I ran out of yarn again.

firstthingsshawlbackIt too has a beautiful drape.

The bulky striped end is thick and especially warm.  We use this most as a throw blanket lengthwise, with the bulky end wrapping shroud-like whichever is the colder end of the body.

I’m tempted to frog this once in awhile to get to the sweater’s worth of yarn, but it is the best way to stay warm when supine and corpse-like in the dead of winter.

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[Im]patiently waiting…

We’re in a stressful period again, one that involves waiting and hoping and superstition and maybe a little internet stalking on my part…  It might feel similar to expecting a baby, or rather perhaps adopting a child, since a great deal of bureaucracy is also involved – or perhaps adopting a juvenile delinquent child since there is also an element of possible destruction.

But it is definitely not about babies.  At least human ones.

Or non-human animal ones… yet.

So I haven’t been doing much with my hands lately apart from gnawing on my knuckles and dialing and typing.

I guess most people don’t dial anymore, but I still love my land line and old phones with a good heft, fine audio clarity, and a solid ring.

Although people have been texting me on them, and that doesn’t work out so well…

So in the interest of self-prescribed mind-clearing meditative knitting, I started another Honey Cowl.

honeycowl-wine

(the colors aren’t right – it’s more of a wine shade.)

Yes, it’s the yarn I just bought along with some deeply stashed Lamb’s Pride.

I don’t love the color combo, or maybe the colors in general yet, but it’s giving me enough of a twitch that I can re-direct some of my annoyed and nervous energy to it.

I may come around to like it in the end?

And I also might be able to wear it with that shockingly pink vintage coat that I’ve lacked the balls or tolerance of something so bright so close to my eyes to wear yet…

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New England travels – increasing my fiber…

While in the White Mountains, we decided to use up a rainy day in Portland, Maine.  I recently bought some Quince & Co. Osprey yarn and was anxious to hit a yarn store near its hometown to buy fondle some more.  We underestimated the drive down to the coast on slow and winding country roads so by the time we got there, we were too hungry to do anything else.  So we got some tasty-as-all-get-out lobster rolls at Fisherman’s Grill (and you can spot my old cardigan in action, or at least knotted around my waist and waiting for action, along with a tiny peek of my old sh*t “rain”coat, aka the sucky soaker).

New England-lobsta roll

And ate them (along with some badass insanely delicious onion rings) in the car!?!?!  This is a strange and rare thing* for us and it felt very very wrong, but the food tasted very very good.  And after our onion and roach of the sea feast, we were sleepy so we decided to drive all the way back to nap away the rainy afternoon in the cabin and skip the rest of Portland.  (Sorry Portland, see you more next time).

But back to the Maine-based Quince & Co. yarn.  I loved the stuff.  At first I was a little unenthused about it since they offer few tweeds or heathers and their advertising is beautifully photographed with feminine and ethereal and often pastel colors, and I feel a little too mannish for the stuff.  If I see another baby chick yellow or sea rose pink drapey cardigan paired with a demure sundress I may sprout a chin hair.

New England-Quince & Co.So I chose some of the murkiest colors they had to offer, but I must say I love murky and they did a great job with a green that sometimes looks brown (Marsh) and a grey that sometimes looks blue (Storm).  And the yarn base feels soft but durable and has a wonderful spongy sproing factor.  It reminds me a lot of the wool I bought in Abruzzo last year about which I have yet to write and made a huge impact on the products I buy.

New England-Osprey

The yarn also has a great stitch definition and does that thing where the stitches appear in column-like rows on one side, but I can’t remember the term for it…  But regardless, I’m in love with the stuff and will buy more at a later date.  I’ve pretty much taken a blood vow to only buy domestic/North American products when I can, especially wool, and especially buy wool from places and people I visit.  I’m making an exception for a couple of American indie dyers who source globally but have an incomparable and awesome product, but for the most part it’s all red white and blue (and just white and red for Canada) sheep for me (and of course the colors of another country’s flag when I’m visiting said country…. you get the drift).

So of course I wanted to make a short detour on our way back through Vermont to Green Mountain Spinnery.  Sadly I wasn’t there at a time they gave tours, but I happily inhaled the lovely sheepy perfumes and peeked at some of the equipment.   I was also exceptionally restrained in my purchases since I knew I could always buy online from them, so I just picked up a few skeins of their Yarn Over yarn.  I love the stuff – it’s made from leftovers spun together in unrepeatable muted colors and is sheepy and rustic and feels like a good strong wooly yarn (my camera liked it too and got excitedly saturated, but it’s a bit more faded in life).  I’m sure I’ll regret not buying a sweater’s worth, but I really don’t have the dough or a lack of sweaters to justify it now.

New England-GMS

And I really couldn’t justify spending much at the great local gear store Farm Way but you bet I nearly spun around in the-hills-are-alive fashion in the Ibex section.  Yep, wool, mostly American-made (except it’s Australian Merino), Vermont-based, comfortable, practical, and sadly, pricey even when on sale, and what I do have of it fits a bit strangely since the really on sale stuff isn’t usually in my size.  So instead I bought a pair of Vermont made Darn Tough wool socks and N became my Sugar Daddy for a new rain jacket.

New England-socks

It’s a little weird to buy wool socks since I knit them, but I’ll never want to knit (or be able to) really fine-gauge ones or cushy-soled hiking ones.

And my old and continued favorite of domestic wool yarn is Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride – I can’t neglect to mention them and I have a huge aging stash of the stuff…you can find it on crazy sale sometimes.

DSCF6391 - Copy

Now I’m putting some pressure on myself to come up with some White Mountain inspired patterns, but for now I must finish other things.

* We/I eschew and abhor many aspects of American culture, especially in regards to its foodways and habits of eating fast “food” shite in cars.  Yes, we are snobs but love our tasty tasty Euro-centric, farm-to-table, fresh out of the garden, local, locavore, low on the food chain, sustainably raised, only when in season, not from a factory or feedlot, organic, chemical and preservative-free, not-out-of-a-box-or-bag, Mediterranean-inspired, stuff that has been eaten for thousands of years and should be for thousands more, grub.  Although I have to admit I cringed violently when a server at my favorite restaurant mentioned that the veal they were serving that night was hand-fed by children… I call that 4-H, or child-labor, or just plain f*cking ridiculous, or Portlandia come to life (only it wasn’t in Stumptown)…  And those onion rings above?  Yeah, I watched the guy take an onion and slice it up, dredge it by hand, and dunk into the fryer – they didn’t come pre-breaded and frozen, yee hah!

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