Tag Archives: LYS roundup


22 Aug

Today, Ottis came.

He is a BeSpoke Long Monster made by the spectacular Michelene. He was purchased in the midst of my attack of stress, and I spent a long time talking to his creator determining the best monster for me. Between the two of us, we absolutely got it right–Ottis is the most perfectest monster I could ever have asked for. This is the description of BeSpoke Long Monsters:

“Just like all the BeSpoke Monsters, Long Monsters are gently beguiled out of the fantastic.
Each one fights other monsters, be they ‘under the bed’, ‘under the stairs’ or just ‘eat up all creativity’ monsters.
As loyal champions of those who adopt them, BeSpoke Monsters frighten them all away.
They will protect you from your biggest fears, magically inspire, encourage and comfort you.”

He and I are the best of friends, and he even accompanied me on a post office/lunch/yarn outing today. He did stay in my purse the whole time, because the neighborhood we went to was a little posh for walking around with a monster, but he didn’t mind. Purse or no purse, it was a bonding experience. And he did successfully protect me from any potential monsters I might have run into along the way!

Ottis likes to sit in my lap, like above, just to make extra certain no monsters can get near me. In fact, as I’m typing, his legs are sandwiched between my laptop and my legs, and his arms are draped over my hands. It makes it a little hard to type, but it is absolutely worth it. Plus, every now and then, he’ll look up at me with that expression, and it is the cutest thing ever.

This is Ottis’s description from his page on Etsy (and from his certificate that came with him but isn’t photographed because it’s currently being flattened beneath a ginormous book):

“Ottis is one of the most easygoing of all BeSpoke Monsters. Doesn’t seem to have a care in the world, but be careful…he gets irritable and growly if he hears certain commercials on the television – he is not a fan of jingles AT ALL. It would be best for everyone if you would turn the mute on for commercials if he’s around. Oh and try not to mention the off-white spot on his belly…he’s sensitive about it.
Ottis is about 1ft from head to foot and weights about 0.6 lbs. Ottis loves yams, anyway he can get them and a lot of them! You’ll probably have to buy those big potato sack bags full of yams, I’d say one a day at least. He will also eat bbq chips, cabbage and green apples. Ottis loves to play scrabble, but is wary of any words with the letters Y, Q, and W in them – so it can be frustrating.”

Ottis and my other Etsy monster, Charles (made by dkoss2), get along splendidly. They’re both so easy going and laid back and I wasn’t too worried about it, but I’m glad to see they’re becoming the best of friends.

Today I also got some lovely Noro Taiyo Sock from Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, which is one of my favorite yarn shops. I nearly got a bunch of different things, including a ridiculous yarn by Regia that I can neither remember what it’s called, nor find online, but it does crazy things and I think I’ll go back for it next week. It does crazy things. Like. Crazy. But the Taiyo I did get is gorgeous and while I don’t have a specific project in mind, I think it’ll be what I use next. I officially despise the yarn I bought from Iron Horse because it refuses to turn into socks and instead sits on my table looking beautiful and mocking me have had some trouble picking a pattern for the yarn I bought last week, so hopefully inspiration will hit for the Taiyo.

Not actually a LYS Roundup but still talking about a LYS in an important, LYS-type way:

I’d also just like to take a quick minute to talk about Wild and Wooly in Lexington. I’ve talked to a lot of knitters about it, and the general consensus is that they’re rude and snotty, and I’d like to say that I have never, ever had that problem, and I’ve been in about a hundred times. But. But they are so incredibly overpriced, it’s a little offensive. I’ve been thinking a lot about getting myself some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock to try out, and I was super excited when I discovered they sell it, since it’s hard to come by in my area. But when I asked how much it cost, it was $20 a skein. Um. What? I know it’s hand-painted and so costs more than non hand-painted yarns, but I have never, ever seen anyone charge that much for it. A Good Yarn in Brookline has it for $12.50-ish a skein, as does Jimmy Beans, and you can generally get two skeins on Ravelry for about $18, though I’ve seen them as cheap as $16. So when I see people charging that much for it, it really gets to me.

Anyways. Enough grousing.

Er, wait. One more bout of grousing. This is what I have to do to my water in order to keep my kitten from drinking it:

Yes, that is a tissue box on top of my mug and yes, it is the only thing that works. Otherwise I get fur and paws that walk in kitty litter in my water, and those are things I do not want in my water. *sigh*


A Little Bit of Everything (including LYS Roundup, an FO, a WIP and also some silliness)

15 Jul

First off, a LYS Roundup:

Stitch House Dorchester (5/5)
846 Dorchesetr Ave, Dorchester, MA

This is the yarn shop closest to Boy’s place, and I love it.

This is the first yarn shop picture I took with my new camera and it was lazy and on auto and I love it :D

Stitch House Dorchester

It is the friendliest yarn shop I have ever been in, and that is saying a lot. The first time I went I walked, which was about 45 minutes in about 80 degrees in brand new shoes. By the time I got there I was fairly dead, and was offered things like water and sitting down without my shoes and as much rest as I would like. I ended up staying for about an hour, chatting and hanging out with the person working that day, and a group of knitters who were already there. Even though I had never been there before, didn’t have enough money to buy anything, and didn’t even have my knitting with me, I was welcomed without a second thought.

Haven't quite figured out how to do lighting quickly and I already felt awkward about being like, "Can I take your yarn shop's picture?"

The lady working when I went in this time, whose name I forget, sends her apologies for it being messy, which I think is silly because it wasn't messy at all.

They’re decently sized, pretty big by Boston standards, and have two walls of yarn and a yarn island. This time I was clever enough to write down the major brands they sell and They have a very good selection of yarns, including but not limited to Noro (which is currently 40% off I have never been more upset to be broke ever), Cascade, Mirasol, Debblie Bliss, Rowan, Malabrigo, Blue Skye, Madalinetosh, Spud & Chloë, Queensland, Shibui, Classic Elite and Plymouth, plus their own absolutely beautiful line of hand-dyed yarns called Rooftop Yarns, which will ahahahahahahahaha never once I have money again be my first purchase.

I promise my camera could take the perfect picture here, I just still had the awkwarndess.

More pretty fabric I don't know how to talk about!

Like JP Knit & Stitch, they also have a selection of fabric that I don’t know how to talk about, other than to tell you it’s very pretty and tempting. In addition to knitting nights and classes, they also offer sewing classes in the back, one of which was going on while I was there.

The lovely yarn in the lower right-hand corner is Rooftop Yarn!

Back room with lots of sewing machines and, at the time, small children sewing.

I don’t know the exact name or type of class, but I did hear things like, “What do I make?” and then, “You have to come up with something  yourself, that’s the point”, which I absolutely, 100% approve of. I also loved that they were having a class for people in the roughly 8-to-12 age range, because that is an excellent age to learn things like sewing and knitting.

So, yes. You should absolutely go there. It is the bestest yarn shop ever ❤

~topic changer~

Yesterday my camera, Sophie, broke. There was no Going Out In A Blaze Of Glory type of event, I just took her out of my bag at JP Knit & Stitch and there was a fatal lens error. She had been an excellent camera for about four years, and I had even done things like saved up and paid for her myself with money I had earned at a job I worked. It was very, very sad, but I did my best to look on the bright side, and spent hours researching cameras.

I ended up with Florence:

I couldn't take a picture of my fancy new camera with my fancy new camera, so it's a sad cellphone picture.

Nixon Coolpix P500

She is beautiful and wonderful and I adore her. Also, she needed knitted accessories.

I felt a little silly using Malabrigo on a non-next-to-my-skin project, but I'll survive.

Florence's Cosy

Pattern: My own camera cosy from my brain.
Time Span: 15 July 2011
Materials: 75 yards of Malabrigo Chunky in Paris Nights and around 1.5 yards of Malabrigo Chunky in Sunset
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annanlove19/florences-cosy

I improvised the pattern, but for those curious:

CO 50 sts, then work in k1p1 ribbing for 2 in.

Next row: *k5, yo* to end. (60 sts)

Work in stockinette until your camera fits comfortably in the bag.

Next row: Arrange your sts so there are 20 on each needle, then *k2tog tbl, k to 2 sts before end of needle, k2tog* three times.

Cont. until 3 sts remain (one on each needle), then cut yarn and draw through remaining sts.

For the drawstring, I did a  chain of (single?) crochets until it was a good length, then threaded it onto a yarn needle and brought it through the yarn overs.

Tada! A camera cosy 🙂

Also, I have made progress on Devon:

It isn't a mess of bag or anything, I swear it's actually half a sweater.

Devon's first frontback!

The first frontback is complete, and had a minor setback involving ripping out about fifteen rows for no reason other than I was tired and forgot how to count because they were perfect and I was just being ridiculous has arrived with no complications. It got pretty tedious around the 151-stitch arms-and-body, but it didn’t actually take very long at all. I keeping thinking, “Man, if it only took four days to knit the first frontback, that means I’m almost done!”, and forgetting about blocking and sewing together and picking up and knitting sleeve/collar edgings, but I figure if I close my eyes, put my hands over my ears and sing, “LALALALALALALA” as loud as I can, I’m covered.

When I decided to use Ultra Alpaca instead of a sport-weight yarn, I did Math to figure out how many balls of each color I need. I determined I needed 3.-something of blue and 1.9-something of white, so I got four blue and two white. Around the end of the first frontback, I started panicking about whether or not I’d be able to finish it with the allotted one ball of white. This is how much I had left:

Tiny ball of yarn is tinier than it seems because Florence is awesome and can make tiny things look big.

According to math, this is less than .1 skeins of yarn. Official measurements to come later, with kitchen scale.

It is a tiny, tiny amount of yarn, but it was enough for the knitting, enough to graft the shoulders together. I am In The Clear.

And, here is your daily dose of sillines:

There was no angle that made this look not sideways.

This is me eating frozen chocolate covered banana pieces out of a Batman mug with chopsticks because I am a Beast, that is why.

LYS Roundup: JP Knit & Stitch in Jamaica Plain, MA (4.5/5) and Snow Goose Yarns in Milton, MA (3.5/5)

14 Jul

I’ve decided to do a series of posts about LYSs in my area, to hopefully give people a helpful guide when looking for the perfect yarn shop. These are going to come in no order whatsoever, and will be in the new category “LYS Roundup” and tagged with “LYS Roundup”, so if you want the complete list (now only this post, but still), it’ll be easy to search for!

Also, please note my camera died on this trip, and all pictures were taken with my cell phone. Sorry for the grossness >.<

JP Knit & Stitch (4.5/5)
461 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA

JP Knit & Stitch is disguised as a CVS from certain angles, but when you see this:

How to tell you're in the right place!

Yarn bombing just outside the shop: always a good sign 😀

you know you’re in the right place. I absolutely adored this shop. It’s very new, I believe about seven months old, and it shows. Unlike a lot of overcrowded, dim, cluttered yarn shops, it goes out of its way to be well-organized, open and relaxing.

When you first walk in, there’s a seating area on the right by the open, bay windows where they host a free knitting group every Thursday evening. I sat there with the (owner? employee? I was remiss in asking) when I realised my camera was broken, and she was very friendly and helpful and tried to fix it (unfortunately, it is no longer of this world, and a new camera was purchased in its place). The chairs were comfy, the windows bright and open, and knitting books tastefully placed around in a very non-overwhelming way.

Bright! Airy! Sunshine!

It was brighter than this, the light from outside was being difficult with a cell phone camera.

Most of the yarn was along the right wall, organised and labelled better than any other yarn shop I’ve been in, ever. It begins with a “Green” section, then moves back through the weights. Every area is well labelled, every yarn cubby is labelled, and there are no stray bags, or even skeins, of yarn out of place. This makes it a real joy to browse; again, it was the very antithesis of overcrowded. Because of this, the selection wasn’t as varied as some other places, but I found I would happily trade having EVERY SINGLE YARN EVER OMG ALL IN MY FACE ALL AT ONCE for this type of environment. And that is not to say they don’t have a variety; I failed miserably at doing something useful like writing down what they had, but what stuck in my mind was the Blue Sky Alpacas Organic Cotton (a personal favorite), a lovely selection of Manos del Uruguay, some Rowan, Debbie Bliss and Cascade, though I can tell you for sure they had an awful lot more than that. The prices were average and I forgot to ask about a sale section, and they did also have a baby section off to the left, offering machine-washable, easy-to-care-for options, including Berroco Comfort, but also a bunch of others.

yarnyarnyarnyarnyarnyarnWELLORGANIZEDYARNyarnyarnyarn :D

Again, this is a pretty crappy picture, but you can see that there's yarn all along the wall, and then individual areas for each weight.

As the name implies, they’re also a sewing shop, although more limited (I think?) than the knitting section. I only dabble in sewing, so I’ll let the picture do the talking:

nomnom tasty fabric

I can say with some authority that the patterns of fabric they have are absolutely adorable!

Overall, I adore this yarn shop, and I wish I lived closer to it. The only reason I took half a star off was because the selection wasn’t outstanding, but like I said, I think it’s definitely worth it. I plan on heading over to the knitting night as soon as I have a free Thursday, and popping in as often as I can.

Snow Goose Yarns (3.5/5)
The Milton Market Place, 10 Bassett Street, Milton, MA

After JP Knit & Stitch, I headed over to Milton to check out Snow Goose Yarns. They’re nestled in a (very cute!) shopping plaza on the second floor, so you won’t just see it driving by, but it’s worth tracking down.

It's a yarn shop!

The front door, and also behind those bags, the sale section.

Perhaps this is because I just came from the hyper-organised, super-open JP Knit & Stitch, but Snow Goose Yarns felt crowded, dim and like there was just too much product out on the floor. Literally. By almost every wall, there were bags of overstock on the floor. There was also a back room, so I’m not sure why they didn’t keep the extra there, but for whatever reason, they did not. This felt very overwhelming to me, and also just plain old cluttered.

But! I have lots of good things to say too. The ladies there were friendly and enthusiastic, both about knitting and about the shop. The selection was good, and while it had a bigger novelty selection that I usually see, they also had a fair amount of fancier yarns, including some brands I hadn’t heard of, which is always a plus for me, since I love trying new things. Again, it didn’t occur to me until I got home to get a more comprehensive list of their stock, but I know they had Noro, Debbie Bliss, Louet, Berroco, and many more. The sale section was 50% off and bigger than some, but didn’t have a huge variety also known as I didn’t see anything I really loved and so was off-put but I might just be being too picky for a sale section.

Deceptive photos are deceptive.

This picture makes it seem much less cluttered than I had thought, so I might have been some overreacting, but I promise that right behind me was an awful lot of yarn, and around that corner towards the back was crowded enough that I don't think you could pass someone if need be.

All in all, Snow Goose is a good resource and absolutely worth investigating, if a little overwhelming at times. I would absolutely go back.