Monday, August 17, 2009

In Search of Yellow Yarn, Part 2

The packages arrived and I got to see my new little yarns up close and personal. I have to say, computer screens lie. I was not disappointed with the quality of the yarn nor the service from these two shops. And I will order from them again! But I sometimes forget that computer screens lie about what color you might be getting...

The Eat.Sleep.Knit. order came in first considering Florida's proximity to Georgia. So I opened my package to see what I got. The first one I opened was the Yarn Love as I was thinking, based on the picture on the website, this would be the best choice for the challenge. I was a bit disappointed when the yarn turned out to be more on the green side than the yellow side. It's very pretty and really soft and silky. But the color is a yellow-green with touches of yellow throughout. It's very spring-like. I still love it, but it's being set aside for another challenge, maybe something with lace. Here's a picture that I touched up a bit since the original pic looked really washed out (I think part of the problem is that this yarn doesn't photograph well):


Even on the Yarn Love website it looks more yellow than the green I got. But that's okay, I really can see this as some Spring Lace socks.

I then unwrapped the Pagewood Farms Golden. First off, this yarn is soft and just wonderful to touch! However, as I sat staring at my new acquisition, I was sad to see that this looked more orange than yellow. What really frustrates me is that this color was specifically recommended to me for this challenge. I still love it, but I'm now hesitating to use this for the challenge. To my eyes, it's orange. But if you hold it in the sun it looks more yellow. It has some great definition to it though. The tones range from very light to dark gold. And the yarn is a bit plumper than some sock yarns I've used. I still love it, and the yarn is really screaming to be cables. Maybe something from Yarnissima?


So now everything is riding on Fields of Barley.

In comes my last package. I rip into it, hoping that it'll be the yarn for the challenge. At first glance, it looked like this was it, but then, with further study...the yarn color looked very familiar. Yep, it was the same color as Pagewood Farms Golden. I was crestfallen. So I held both in the sun and hoped I can spot differences. It seems the FofB is more solidly dyed than the Golden and is not nearly as plump. It is soft and smooth with a nice smell. I also like that it is closer to the gauge I prefer to knit my socks at (8 sts per inch).


It was still that yellow-orange color that is making me think twice for using it for this challenge. I love the color (obviously since I bought it twice from two different vendors), I love that it is perfect for autumn, but the challenge is for yellow yarn. But I'm not in the mood to buy more yarn. (though it is soooo tempting!) I've see plenty of yellow yarns that will be just perfect, but then again I thought that for these three yarns as well. And I'm trying to lighten the stash load.

In my mind this is a challenge without too many rigid rules. It said yellow yarn. It didn't specify what kind of yellow. And surely a orangey yellow is just as good as a bright yellow or a neon yellow. I've decided that depending on the gauge of the mystery sock it's going to be either Pagewood Farms Golden or The March Hare FofB. Rumor has it that the yarn called for is going to be on the thin side. If so The March Hare is ready and willing to become knitted into a mystery sock!

In Search of Yellow Yarn, Part 1

So on Ravelry there's a group called the Sock Knitter's Anonymous (SKA for short) and each month there's a sock challenge for a knitter to broaden their skills. Next month kicks off the new challenge year and there's a mystery sock being designed by Nancy Bush. (how cool is that?) So I'm all excited about this! The challenge of course was that the socks need to be knit in yellow yarn. That fine by me, yellow is not a color I normally wear though. My pale skin is better suited to cooler colors. But socks go on the feet and most people don't see them anyway ...so why not a understated yellow?

So began the quest to find an understated yellow sock yarn. Something that doesn't scream YELLOW at you, maybe even a gold color that envokes a rich field of sunflowers. So I got a few suggestions and went off in search of this elusive color.

My first stop was Etsy to find some indie dyers who might have yellow sock yarn. I found some gorgeous colors and dyers! After much browsing I came across The March Hare. She sells sock yarn and roving from her sheep, which is good because one of these days I'm going to learn to spin. I love that she has semi-solids. I have nothing against handpainted multicolor skeins, but they don't work for all knits. And lately I'm into semi-solids. Prices were very reasonable considering the price of some hand-dyed yarns and one skein is enough for a pair of adult socks. It is even wound up in a nice yarn cake for you (I wish my yarn cakes were this nicely wound). And for some reason I really like the smell of this yarn (yes, I said smell). It's very pleasant and sheepy. :-) I narrowed my yellow search to two colors, Summer Sun and Fields of Barley. Since I love autumn colors and next month starts autumn I went with Fields of Barley. So done and ordered, I continued to browse on for more options!

Continuing on the quest for yellow yarn I came across a new to me yarn shop called Eat.Sleep.Knit. out of Georgia. I live in a location where my closest yarn shop is JoAnn's and that is more miss than hit these days. So I'm always happy to find shops that specialize in sock yarn and hand-dyed yarn. There's something that is surprising and wonderful about hand-dyed yarn. Anywho, Eat.Sleep.Knit. has a nice selection of yarn from top dyers like Dream in Color, Pagewood Farms, Lorna's Laces and Shibui Knits. There's also a few I'm not quite as familiar with and all are absolutely beautiful. Prices are comparable to what you pay for these yarns at other locations. However, they do have a nice frequent buyer program to earn free yarn and stuff. Plus they ship with your order a scratch-off lotto-type card for a chance to win stuff. I got $5 credit! I had a hard time deciding on what to get. In the end, I settled on Pagewood Farm Alyeska in Golden and Yarn Love Elizabeth Bennet in Daffodil Butter. Both looked great and yellow to meet the terms of my search. So I ordered and waited to see what my findings bring.

Next: What you see is not always what you get...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Knitting Update and Personal Challenges

Since summer is typically for planning the coming year (in school terms at least); I decided to set aside some time to determine what I want to challenge myself with this year. Part of this is because of a group I belong to on Ravelry called Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA) which focuses on challenging yourself and broadening your horizons through sock-knitting. However, I'm expanding this out to all knitting challenges since I like to knit other things as well.

But first, an Update! Having languished in a box for years, and sat sad and confused in a closet, I'm happy to say that I finally rediscovered my Soliel shell sweater. The poor thing has been a work in progress since May 2006. It is almost complete. I've learned a valuable lesson from this: row upon row of stocking stitch is boring. On the plus side, I'm truly happy to see this near completion, and hope that I'll have it done by my birthday. This isn't the first time I've said this. This time, I mean it!

On to knitting challenges:
So what do I want to challenge myself with this year? Colorwork? Lace? Another sweater project? Yes!

Hopeful Knits list:
  1. Lace wrap/stole. I've been fascinated by lace recently. I'm not very good at it though. This year, I want to try at least a lace wrap or maybe a scarf to start with. I know I want to knit a lace scarf for my mom in true laceweight yarn. I need to start this soon to have it done by Christmas.
  2. Colorwork. Colorwork scares me. More than lace. Just the thought of playing with more than one strand of yarn at a time is enough to make me pause and truly decide if I want to knit the item. However, I've been wanting to make this really cute vest. I have the yarn, I have the pattern, I just need to give it a shot.
  3. Cables. I have some bulky weight yarn that is just begging to big some big cozy oversized sweater that you snuggle into when temp dips to low. Considering how cold it got this past winter, this is getting moved up the queue!
So there are the knitting hopes for this year! Here's hoping for some finished projects!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Finally: An Update!

So, I've been slacking on the blogs for a few months. Things have been kind of crazy. I finally sold my condo in Tampa (considering the market, this is a good thing!) and moved back in with my parents (which sometimes is nice and sometimes it sucks) as I get ready to determine what to do next with my life. I have a decent job, not full-time but hey you can't have everything. And though I lost Betty, Dugan is doing really well.
I've been doing really well with my knitting, getting lots of projects done and resurrecting an older project. I also started back writing again, so maybe I'll post some of that on the blog as well.
My goal is to still move back north, I'm not really a southern-type girl and I really miss the seasons. Other than that not too much going on. :-)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Knitting Updates!

With the loss of Betty, I got behind on a lot of stuff. I got a stack of posts that I need to work through. I'm starting with the finished knitting objects as I finished quite a bit.

Let's start with:

Grey Coronet Cap:
Pattern: Coronet Cap from Knitty, Winter 2003
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool in Grey Mix
Size: Medium
Fun and easy knit no alterations and the cable was very easy. The hardest part was picking up the stitches along the cabled band. That's also one of the last pictures of Betty, she was always such a great model!


Rosy Garden Dystopian Mitts:

Pattern: Dystopian Mitts of the Future (a ravelry download)
Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Co., Lola in a pink/green/purple colorway
Size: as called for but with negative ease to fit snugly
This was an easy knit and I love the yarn. I still have enough yarn for another set of fingerless mitts.


Little Grey Dumpling Bag:

Pattern: Dumpling Bag from Interweave Knits Fall 2008
Yarn: Paton's Classic Wool in Grey Mix with cotton floss embroidery
Size: as called for in pattern
This is felted after you knit it. I love how it came out with the embroidery. In the mag they suggest embroidering it before felting, but I wanted a more sharper look. Great little knit, you can whip these out quickly fr gifts and they are a great canvas for customizing!

Kiera Lace Socks:

Pattern: Kiera Lace Socks from knitting-socks.com
Yarn: Schaefer Yan Co., Anne in The Blues colorway
Size: as called for in pattern
It feels like I've been knitting these forever! I'm so glad that they're done. They came out great and I love them! There's some more great patterns on that site that I can't wait to get to!