Tag Archives: LYS

Adventures!

3 Feb

I went on Adventures today, and I didn’t even die! Today has been a really, really good day, both physically and emotionally, and my first one in a long time. It was well deserved. And I may have splurged a little here and there…

First I went to Coveted Yarn in Gloucester (one of my favorite yarn shops) to return some yarn I bought a wee bit too hastily. They were super nice as always, and I was really good and behaved myself and didn’t even look around because I have practically no willpower in that store.

On the way home, since it’s a long drive and far away and such, I decided to stop by Organic Garden in Beverly, i.e. the most delicious restaurant on the planet. They only have vegan, raw, organic food and not only is it the tastiest thing ever, but it makes my body feel super happy and healthy and wonderful. Today I got a Grateful Bowl, which aside from having all of the noms, is an open-priced item. You can pay anywhere from a dollar up, and if you pay any more than the suggested price, the surplus goes to help pay for the next person’s. It’s a really wonderful thing.

Socially conscious food is the best sort of food!

Then I stopped by Butterfly Yarns in Wakefield, since I’d never been to them before. I had a bit of a mini-adventure finding it, but that was my fault, since I did all of this without a GPS and only a glance at a map, and then the sun got in my eyes really bad. But once I was inside they were lovely, and I picked up some Classic Elite Yarns Lush on sale for 40% off in a lovely lilac-y pink-y purpleish that will become smooshy warm fingerless gloves, possibly starting later this evening.

Smooshy angora goodness omnomnom. Also, it's more purple-y than this.

Then I got home and watched SVU and worked on Unicorn Tides, like always. I am making excellent progress and I will finish the body tonight, you hear? I will.

Stripey unicorn goodness!

And, finally, today’s Picture of the Day: Craft Tools.

Today's photo is Super Artsy, to make up for yesterday's Blurry Knitting.

These are my lovely, beautiful, perfect-in-every-way Addi Turbo Clicks. Which definitely do not need the size 10 tips replaced and that is definitely not what I’m going to go out and do right now.

Adieu, Internet Denizens. Adieu.

A Second Visit to Ewe’ll Love It!, and more Granny Squares.

18 Jul

Today, Robin and I headed up to Ewe’ll Love It! to pay our respects (again, for me), and to take advantage of their sale, which is now at 55% off. After delicious yarn purchases, we went to Cooking Matters down the street for delicious food purchases.

Too many things to get in the frame all at once O.o

Yummy yarn + yummy food = happy campers.

Robin, who is allergic to wool and all wool-type fibers, got three skeins of Ella Rae Bamboo Silk in a lovely light purple, and five skeins of Queensland Collection Haze (which is made with corn, what won’t they think of next?) in greens/teals. I ended up with seven skeins of Cascade 220, to make Olivia. I am super excited, but will be restraining casting on until I finish Devon (hopefully this weekend?). Cooking Matters was exceptionally delicious, and Robin and I each got a fruit and cheese plate, plus I got an apple and fig turnover. I’ll definitely need to find an excuse to get up there on as regular a basis as I can image.

"Knit me...knit me...knit meeeeeee!"

It's just so tempting, sitting there in a pile, wanting to be turned into a fall jacket.

I am not posting this picture to guilt myself into finishing Devon so I can start Olivia I don’t know what you’re talking about.

In other news, more granny squares have joined the herd, including (roughly) house colored squares.

I may or may not have forgotten about white balance.

Square Number Five (7/17/2011): Valley Yarns Berkshire in Gold and Black.

This is the first square I crocheted after coming home from seeing the last Harry Potter movie. I was feeling a very important need to make house colored squares, and Hufflepuff came first because a) it is the best and also b) because I already had the perfect yarn for it, from when I made these. Both colors are Valley Yarns Berkshire, in Black and Gold. I made a mistake or two, but overall I’m very happy with it.

It's the littlest square, which I think is a little bit fitting, but only a little because I still love Slytherin.

Square Number Five (7/17/2011): Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu and Araucania Nature Wool Multy.

Square number five is a Slytherin square, and I used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Woobu (absolutely fantastic, btw) from my first real sweater, and the Araucania Nature Wool I used last time. The colors aren’t exactly right, but since the whole point of this afghan is to use yarn from my stash, I had to make do. I currently have no plans to buy yarn to make another afghan only out of house colors.

Lalala I know how to make colors come out right and totally pay attention every time lalala.

Square Number Six (7/17/2011): Malabrigo Chunky in Paris Nights and Sunset.

Ravenclaw is probably the least “right” out of all the colors, but I only had the perfect bronze (Malabrigo Chunky, most notably from emergency mittens but also used in Charlena the Ceiling Monster and Florence’s Cosy) in bulky, and the only bulky blue (the same Malabrigo you’ve seen a bajillion times already) I had was a little dark. It is blue-r than this picture, I swear, but not by exactly right.

The fact that I did Gryffindor last is in no way a reflection of my house politics.

Square Number Seven (7/17/2011): Elsebeth Lavold Silky Flammé and Valley Yarns Berkshire.

Gryffindor ended up being made last, because I was stressing about finding the perfect red. I ended up going with Elsebeth Lavold Silky Flammé, which was originally my Denny’s sweater inspired wristwarmers, and I used the same Berkshire from the Hufflepuff Square. I keep forgetting how thick and thin the Silky Flammé is, so it came out a little lumpy, but I’m hoping blocking will help.

House pride all the way!!

I also made some non house-pride squares:

There is no Americana in this picture I don't know what you're talking about.

Square Number Eight (7/17/2011): Cascade 220, Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton and Berroco Peruvia.

The next square was inspired by one of my other reds, the Debbie Bliss Pure Cotton from the wristwarmers I made as a birthday present for one of my professors. The middle blue is Cascade 220 from my only a little failed and really needs a post-blocking picture taken of it Scott Pilgrim inspired hat, and the outside off-white is Berroco Peruvia, from my mom’s Irving the Icebox Monster.  I have to say, I really adore Peruvia, and I absolutely need to use it again sometime soon.

Prettier in person, apparently.

Square Number Nine (7/17/2011): Malabrigo Worsted, Nashua Handknits Champlain and Rowan Colourscape Chunky.

This is maybe my prettiest square so far, but of course it’s the one my camera didn’t want to get a decent picture of. The middle two are Malabrigo Worsted and Nashua Handknits Champlain, which you’ve seen before, and the outside is Rowan Colourscape Chunky, which is these two. I was having a panic of “oh no what if none of these go together ever and it’s going to be the ugliest afghan in the entire world and I wasted all my stash”, and this lovely helped a lot with that.

Last square doesn't get a funny alt text because I am all out.

Square Number Eleven (7/17/2011): Berroco Pure Merino, Valley Yarns Lenox and Louet Riverstone.

Finally, we have this guy, also very pretty. The middle is Berroco Pure Merino from these fingerless gloves, the pink is the Valley Yarns Lenox you’ve seen, and the outside is Louet Riverstone from the Fetching I made for a friend.

And, before I go, I will leave you with this:

Rawr!

Walnut attacking my squares. Apparently, she is not a fan of Ravenclaw.

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)
617.265.8013
846 Dorchesetr Ave, Dorchester, MA
http://www.stitchhousedorchester.com/

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)
617.942.2118
461 Centre Street, Jamaica Plain, MA
http://jpknitandstitch.com/

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)
617.698.1190
The Milton Market Place, 10 Bassett Street, Milton, MA
http://www.snowgooseyarn.com/contact-snow-goose-yarns-milton-ma.htm

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.

It’s an addiction to torsos and feet…*

13 Jul

So knitting, it happens!

Well, pretty sure.

I know she looks kind of like a pile of flop right now, but I swear she's a sweater.

This is Devon. I cast on two days ago, and am almost done a sizeable chunk of the way through with the first frontback (a term coined by my sister to describe when a pattern’s front and backs are the same). Since I’m using the Berroco Ultra Alpaca, I went up two needle sizes and am knitting a small. It’s a little hard to tell if I should be doing the small or extra-small, since it’s such a baggy sweater, but I think I made the right call.

I’m really loving the sweater, and the colors I picked. something about it says southern France to me, like I should be wearing it while lounging on a beach, eating a baguette, drinking a bottle of champagne, and generally being cooler than everyone else.

aiufhiweuhfiewufh WHY WON'T YOU BE THE RIGHT COLOR D:

Artsy photo of socks is artsy and also obnoxious.

I also cast on my first pair of socks ever omg. I am very, very excited about them. They got put on hold when one of the needles I was using was eaten by gremlins  disappeared from where I had put it down in the space of the 30 seconds it took me to go to the bathroom, but new needles were purchased, and I have since knit a whole row. Progress might be slow because I’m realizing this is not a good knitting-at-Boy’s project, because his apartment is often dim, and I can’t see the stitches well enough. But, I am super excited to have them done, and even have extra incentive to finish.

Before I tell you that extra incentive, though, I need to state that the color of the yarn in the photograph is nothing at all like the actual yarn. It’s a mix of purples and grey, yes, but there is a lot more purple, and it’s very bright and beautiful and variegated. Hopefully one day I’ll get it in the right light, even if that day isn’t until I finish the socks.

Anyways! Incentive.

It appears to be waving?

Candy magic 😀

This is a skein of Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic that I picked up, along with a copy of Thrown Together, at Ewe’ll Love It! in Nashua, NH. I found out yesterday that they’re going out of business, and I have to say I am devastated. They were a truly incredible yarn shop, and greater Boston knitters won’t be the same without them. They were having a 40% off sale, so I got quite a good deal, and I plan to head back up on Monday, but it’s still heartbreaking. The 31st is their last day, and I fully encourage you to go say goodbye, and maybe pick up a good deal or two.

But anyways. The yarn is gorgeous, and I’ve been coveting it for quite some time. It doesn’t have the best reviews ever on Ravelry, but the colors are just so gorgeous I couldn’t help myself. I haven’t decided on a pattern yet, but I do know for suresies that I won’t be casting on with it until I finish my first pair of socks, hence the incentive. I am contemplating Jaywalkers, but we’ll have to see.

Rainbows of sunshine magical unicorns candy!

Also not the right color exactly; it's a lot brighter than this.

So remember, Friends, never take your LYS for granted because you never know when it’s going to close </3

*This is a bastardization of a line from a Regina Spektor song that’s been stuck in my head for ages. The original reads “It’s an addiction to hands and feet”.

Oh, weather…

8 Jul

But first, a FO!

Pjs in sweater form!! :D

Rose!

Pattern: Rose by Kim Hargreaves
Time Span: 26 June to 8 July 2011 (not bad, if I do say so myself)
Materials: 1116 yards of Universal Yarns Cotton Supreme (6.2 balls)
Ravelry link: http://www.ravelry.com/projects/annanlove19/rose

I finished Rose, and in plenty of time to take to Maine! She is the best sweater ever, and is made of cosy. It was a very quick, easy knit, but I did find a few errata that weren’t online anywhere:

–For the back, under the Shape Raglans section, after you do the two cast-off rows, it should say Work 2 rows, rather than Work 3 rows. I’m surprised nobody found this before, but now it is On The Internet, so hopefully it’ll be searchable if anyone is stuck!

–On the collar, work a picot at the beginning of every row. The instructions leave this out entirely, but I’m pretty sure you can see the picots in the picture in the book, and also it looks better that way. I also cast-off in picot, which took a full hour and a half, but was worth it.

picotpicotpicotpicotpicotpicot

Picot! Plus a corner of my kitten.

I also learned that “almost done” is a relative term. I was “almost done” last night, when I finished sewing it together and started on the collar. I was “almost done” this morning, when I only had another 4 cm left on the collar. I was “almost done” when it was time to cast-off the collar. I was “almost done” when I only had ends to weave in. But, now I am actually done, and that is the important part. Wearing Rose is like wearing pjs, only pjs that look super classy and not like pjs at all and can be worn grocery shopping and to class.

I think the yarn contributes to that. It’s 100% cotton, but magical cotton that is the softest ever. I absolutely recommend it for any project, but especially bigger ones, since each ball has 180 yards. This is a little torturous if you don’t have a swift, but it’s super handy that I could knit a full sweater out of almost only six balls (stupid collar that goes on forever and ever and ever). I got it on sale at Webs with a birthday gift certificate, so I’m not sure how much it usually costs, but it is absolutely worth it. I have almost three skeins left, and that’s more than enough to Play With.

But about that weather. In my neck of the woods it’s been around 90° for several weeks straight and it’s been miserable. My temperature enjoyment caps off around 75°, which is pushing it a little, so this has not been enjoyable. But today I finally decided to embrace it, and I wore a mini skirt and a summer-y yellow tee-shirt and got ingredients to make a Summer Dinner, consisting of Salad and Pasta. Then this happened:

I am not thinking of a clever alt text for this image, other than tears.

Clouds...

And this:

More unclever tears...

More clouds...

And then finally this:

Just to be clear, those are raindrops and not actual tears.

Rain drops on the drain in my driveway.

It wasn’t raining hard enough to be Fun and Exciting, just enough to be blah. Usually grey and rainy is my absolute favorite weather ever, but I had spent so long psyching myself up for the Hot and Sun and Humid and Gross that it brought about a set of Mopes. Dinner plans got put put on, or should I say off, the back-burner, and have been replaced with pizza. Moosewood deliciousness will have to wait for another night.

In the spirit of jumping from one topic to the next like a jumping-thing, yesterday I bought yarn for my next sweater, Devon, also by Kim Hargreaves (I swear sometimes I knit things that aren’t by her…). It’s Berroco Ultra Alpaca, a yarn I have heard wonderful things about, in the 6201 Winter White and 62169 Twinkle Mix colorways. I haven’t decided when I’m going to cast on yet, but I’m very excited.

You can't really see, but there is in fact a second "Winter White" skein hiding under one of the blues.

Yummy goodness 😀

The very nice lady whose name I think was Tammie also wound a skein of yarn I had with me but hadn’t bought there. It’s Fleece Artist Trail Socks, and I am So Excited to knit my First Pair of Socks Ever from it. I might start in Maine, or I might wait until I get back and have things like Internet and such for the scary bits. But here it is all wound up waiting for me:

*excited*

Omnomnom.

And now, it is time to eat the pizza before it gets cold. Fair well, Knitting-Blog-Readers. See you on Monday, with lots of pictures from Maine.