rcyc

I always feel more comfortable with myself if I make expensive-ish things for myself instead of buying them from the store: wool sweaters and accessories mostly. A lot of where I shop doesn’t exactly scream haute couture anyways and it’s a hunt to find a good quality sweater that isn’t 100% acrylic, fashionable, and doesn’t cost $80.

Bring in the yarn. So I went to RCYC this year. Managed to hit up 3 stores with the helpful enabling of my friend @kathynancegirl. First up was a large purchase at Close Knit. I won’t disclose how much I spent, you can figure that out on your own…but lets just say that I bought $90’s worth of 1 sweaters amount of yarn.

But Marilyn! That’s more than the $80 you didn’t want to spend on that other pre-made sweater!! Continue reading Rose City Yarn Crawl 2017

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Success! I didn’t get the flu this year so I was able to check out a few of the shops!

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This year the rcyc started a day early! WHO DOES THAT? I was a little irked that the stores were making their exclusives and having trunk shows starting on Thursday. A lot of people have jobs, a lot of people are coming from out of state, a lot of people are  attending! That last bit though is probably why they extended the crawl by a whole day. This year they didn’t have a yarn ball either (pre-party).

Enough of the self-deluded griping and on to the goodies!!

rcyc haul

From leftish to rightish:

A. Thoroughly Thwacked 60/40 Merino Bamboo fiber braid gradient Bleeding Heart

B. Alexandra’s Crafts 50/50 Merino Yak down fiber braid. No official color way name, but it is a dark red/black

C. Twist and Turnings 2.25″ African Padauk Whorl with a 9.5″ Maple shaft. 26g/0.95oz

D. Ashland Bay Cheviot natural roaving. 0.5oz for testing purposes

E. Alexandra’s Crafts Custom Colorway for Pearl Fiber Arts. Cedar Creek 85/15 SW Merino Neps in Mushroom

F. Alexandra’s Crafts 2 skeins Black Butte 60/20/20 Merino, Silk, and Yak down. In the color way Deep Purple.

G. Solstice Alpenrose DK SW Merino in Lake Washington

H. Solstice Luna Sport 80/10/10 SW Merino, Cashmere, Nylon in Cherry Blossom

I. Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Targhee-Columbian Wool in Postcard

J. Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light SW Merino in Filtered Light

K. Chiaogoo Red Lace  size US15 24″ fixed circular needles

L. Unicorn Wash!

rcyc

Most of the items are brands that are new to me or material that is new to me. For spinning the Merino/Bamboo blend was my first spinning project. I like it a lot and have since learned how to navajo ply so I picked up a gradient specifically for that purpose. Additionally the yak down was just too poofy and soft to pass up. And at $30 for a whole 4oz of a luxury fiber? Yes please!

I had been avoiding using Brooklyn Tweed because of reports of the weakness of the ply. So I decided to go with Shelter, the worsted weight yarn they offer. It sure is spongy and hopefully lives up to it’s name. This is the only skein I purchased at the crawl that is not some sort of merino blend. I’m not settled on what I want to make with it, but signs are pointing towards hat.

Additionally I had my eye on splattered yarns. I’ve seen some people around town sporting this type of hand painted yarn in hat form and I want one for myself! I’m familiar with Madeline Tosh yarns so I know it will turn out really well. Also I’ve used Thoroughly Thwacked’s Vixen single ply yarns I find myself liking the stitch definition a lot more than other yarns, especially with lace projects. Tosh Merino Light is a single ply so this skein probably won’t end up as a hat, and if it does I may hold it double.

Next comes the Solstice yarns dyed in Portland by the Dublin Bay Knitting Co. gals at the same named shop. I have already started a project with the Alpenrose Dk. First impressions? This is a really sturdy yarn. It is super wash merino at a reasonable 280 yards for $26.   Perhaps it is because I’m making a hat, but at this point the semi-solid nature of the dye job is making some areas pool with the darker dye. The yarn itself also has some variation in thickness and softness. Overall I’d give this a 8/10 for those issues pointed out. Once the project is off the needles I may revisit my analysis. I do feel I need to make a sweater out of this yarn before I pass final judgement. =)

Little Red

In addition to upping the variety of yarns I use, I chose also to up my skills in drop spindling by purchasing a new spindle without a notch. I’ve decided to name it Little Red since it is the smallest, and cutest, of the two spindles I now currently own. At just under an ounce, I’ve used the Cheviot to try it out and boy is it light! I think I can make some really nice three ply lace weights with this spindle…with enough practice of course. The Kundert is still my workhorse that I seem to always have a project going on.

Lastly comes the Unicorn Wash. I see this stuff everywhere! I’ve been using some wool wash that came with the Knit Picks blocking mats. Small little bottles of soapy smelling stuff that I’m not entirely sure why there were two different kinds because they smelled the same. I’ll have to do more investigation into the difference between an wool soak and an actual wool wash. But that’s for another time.


TL;DR Bought stuff that I haven’t used before in new brands, color ways, and material. Pretty excited for this year’s knitting projects!

 

 

 

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You’re almost a third of the way through and I haven’t talked to you at all!

I finally managed an FO! I spent a few hours fiddling with the super bulky pink yarn I had spun and plied earlier this year and finally made myself a beanie.

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Tips for next time: 2-ply bulky and don’t fret if it’s not entirely bulky!

I used up every last bit of the super bulky and almost didn’t have enough for the beanie. Thankfully I do have size US15 needles! You can barely make out the quarter underneath four strands of the yarn. Since I let it sit for nearly a month it has not only revealed to me it’s ultimate sproinginess, as merino is, it has also grown on me. The pictures here don’t really show the color well. It isn’t orange. It is PINK. PIIINK.

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MMmhmmm some tasty handspun this is!

The pattern is basic 2×2 variation on Norichanknits Hipstamatic. My changes include casting on 44 instead of 52, working 3 rows on size US11 needles, switching to size US15 needles for the rest of the beanie. The four ply nature of the yarn meant that some spots were not as fluffy as others which gives it a nice subtle thick and thin effect without being so dramatic. I’m pleased with the results and need someone to take me hiking in the mountains! (hint hint).

Speaking of adventures, here’s a sneak peak at my goodies from the Rose City Yarn Crawl!

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A part of learning the craft of drop spinning is upping the game with advanced tools as well as advanced techniques. This little beauty is barely 1oz in weight and doesn’t have a notch! It makes up for that by having a sharper curve at the top of the hook to keep the thread in place. This one is made by Twist and Turnings right here in Portland! It is a 26g/.95oz with an African Paduak whorl and a solid Maple shaft. It’s an itty bitty spindle that I was able to try out at the store. I pretty much tried all of the spindles at Pearl Fiber Arts and this one called my name moreso than the others. There was another dark walnut whorl too, I think it was a 31g weight…yes I am still thinking about it but I’m pretty sure someone’s bought it already. Must exercise self-craft-control…lol

Since this spindle is lighter than my Kundert spindle, I’m hoping to get some consistent lace weight out of it. This spindle is also shorter than my Kundert, so for portability it does get higher marks. I wonder if I can take it with me on an airplane.

Anyways, my master plan is to take knitting with me on my trip to California in April to test out theories about taking circular knitting needles in carry-on luggage on a much trans-continental flight later this year. I’ll bring a set of fixed chiaogoos with me and a pre-stamped envelope just in case the TSA officers are a bunch of hooligans.

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