July 22, 2007…..I’ve Jumped on the BSJ Train

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I’ve seen a whole lot of blog activity recently on Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Baby Surprise Jacket.  I decided last week I was intrigued enough to give one a go myself.  I can not find my copy of “The Opinionate Knitter” anywhere, and I know it is living someplace in the house.  Refusing to purchase another copy of a book I know I have, I decided to buy the DVD knit along for the jacket.  As with any instructional DVD that Meg Swansen or Elizabeth Zimmerman made, this one does not disappoint.  With all of their DVDs there are many additional tricks and tips thrown in with the instructions.  Coincidentally after casting on I found out a friend of mine is pregnant again, so the jacket will have a home if it ends up fitting anything human. 

This jacket will most likely be just for practice as I don’t know how large it will turn out, nor if I will have enough yarn.  I searched all over the web for yardage estimates without much luck.  I’ve started the jacket in STR Lightweight “Rolling Stone”. I have about half a skein left of STR in “Jewel of the Nile” if I need additional yarn.  It doesn’t match exactly, but should mix well enough for a practice jacket.  I’m knitting on #3s, and I have a feeling this will turn out to be a premature infant size.

I’m still trucking along on the Mitered Square throw, and it is becoming almost too large to photograph in any detail. Only 40 more square to go! I might complete it this year.  Maybe.

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July 15, 2007…..Ella Progress

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I made some progress with Ella this week using Trendsetter Venus.  Still love both the yarn and the pattern.  This week I plan to get back to the Mitered Throw and put down Ella for a rest.  I have been working on the throw, but it went from completing 1 to 2 squares a night to doing 1 to 2 squares a week.

I received Prudence Mapstone’s new book this week from my girlfriend Karen, who is featured in the book.  “Coat of Many Scrumbles” is an amazing collaboration, but it is not an instructional book on Freeform.  If you are purchasing it looking for instructions, it might be better if you purchase one of Prudence’s other great freeform books.  This book is about a  large freeform coat that Prudence put together from the many scrumbles she received from people all over the world.  Some of the individuals that send the scrumbles are in the book, with a comment from them and a photo of the scrumbles they submitted.

I updated the house renovation photo album last night:

 http://yarnoverlounge.com/gallery/main.php?g2_page=6

 I tried to match the old photos next to the new photos in the album, but it made me dizzy and I gave it up.  I threw most of the new pictures on new pages in the album.  All of the new photos are labeled “71407″.  The house is still at least 3 weeks from being finished, but I heard from the contractor a month ago that it was 3 weeks to completion, so who knows.

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July 8, 2007…..Trendsetter Venus ROCKS!

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I am SO incredibly impressed with Trendsetter’s new yarn “Venus”.  It is Trendsetter’s version of many different textured yarns tied into one skein, and it is contains high quality yarns.  It is really soft, and the yarns in it are much different than any of the yarns I have seen in Trendsetter’s current collection.

I wasn’t sure I was going to be a fan of this yarn considering I am such a collector of Prism Stuff, but I am pleasantly surprised.  It is MUCH nicer in person than in any photo I have seen of it.  Venus is not handpainted, but the yarn color combinations are really nice.  It runs about $23 for 200 yards.

To me, this yarn looks best in a ripple or chevron stitch.  My LYS is currently doing a blanket using a chevron, and it is outstanding.  Because I had already seen it in a chevron, I wanted to mess around with it in a diffent pattern to see if I could get it to look any better than it does in a chevron. Not sure if I have accomplished that yet.  I decided on Knitty’s Ella:   http://knitty.com/ISSUEfall05/PATTella.html.  This killed two birds with one stone….I have wanted to play with Ella since it came out, and I wanted to experience this yarn in something other than a pattern where it would stripe.  I am not yet certain if this is the right pattern for this yarn, but I’ll keep you posted.  I will say that Ella is one of the few patterns that I would rather read the chart on than read the written pattern, and I am not a huge fan of charts.

This week I finally re-dyed the yarn that I initially dyed on my Memorial weekend post.  This was from a Louet Sales Hand Dye Kit that my girlfriend gave me, and I was never happy with the way it turned out initially.  I finally bit the bullet and ordered the additional dye from Louet to saturate it again.  I’m really glad I did as I finally got it the way I want it.  I plan to swatch it up this weekend, and I’ll post a picture soon.  While I was re-dying the Louet yarn (GEMS Merino is what came in the kit), I also dyed a skein of Knit Picks Bare Natural yarn I had laying around.  I don’t suggest using the Knit Picks yarn if you ever want to dye anything.  There is a HUGE difference in the yarn quality between the Louet and the Knit Picks, especially after it is dyed.

This weekend, my girlfriends and I FINALLY got to get together to visit a local fabric store that we have been trying to go to all together for many months.   I do not sew, but this store makes me want to learn.  The only bad thing is there is no way I could afford to make any garment out of most of their fabrics that I would want.  This isn’t just any fabric store!  They carry hand-painted and hand-beaded fabrics from artistans from around the country, and most of these fabrics are exclusive to their store. Fortunately they were having a sale when we went, and I picked up an open weave hand painted fabric that is very soft, and was only $27 a yard.  I also picked up just a few inches of some hand beaded trim that I didn’t even realize matched the fabric until after I came home.  They have a large selection of fabrics that range from $500 to $600 a yard!  If you sew, this is a website you definately want to check out for ideas and inspiration:

http://www.fabriquefabrics.com/

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June 30, 2007…. The Wonderful World of ShiBuiKnits

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I am SO impressed with ShiBuiKnits.  The Icosa Ball pattern is the second pattern I have purchased from them and it is as outstanding as the first pattern I purchased.  They have a unique way of explaining how to do advanced techniques.  When I say unique, I mean that in a positive way. I have never seen any other pattern written as well as these are.

Equally impressive is their Silk Cloud yarn.  I read about it on Knitter’s Review and I had to try it for myself.  Knitter’s Review explained that it appears to be even lighter in weight than Rowan KidSilk Haze, and I agree.    Colorways shown in photo:  Orchard, Wisteria & Breeze.

I found all of the above at www.knit-purl.com.  They have fantastic service and they carry yarn lines that most online companies do not.

I have been on a real mohair kick the last few weeks, but I don’t have a specific project in mind for any of them yet.  Last blog post I received a gorgeous brushed mohair from Danette Taylor.  I loved it so much, I ordered another one in her Neon colorway (below).  She was nice enough to include a sample of her Loopy Mohair in the same colorway.  Her Loopy Mohair is MUCH nicer than the other boucle mohairs I have.

She accepts special orders and has quite a bit in stock on her site:  http://danettetaylororiginalyarns.com/

When Laura Bryant from Prism was in town, I did not do a lot of purchasing “damage” while she was here.  My LYS still has her yarns left from her trunk show until the end of the month, and they scream at me every time I walk in the store.  This week the Kashmir yelled so loud I took it home just to shut it up.  I have no idea what I am going to do with only two skeins of it, but I’ll figure it out. It is GORGEOUS and soft beyond belief.

I made my first Baby garment last week.  I do not have a baby to make it for, but at least I have it ready for a gift in the future.  I purchased it because it was SO cute in the picture, it only took one skein and it was something different to do.  I also needed an interesting project to start and finish quickly as my other projects are so large they will take months to complete.  It is Colinette’s Spoiled Rotten Baby jacket in Popsicle.  The photo I saw of it had the colors pooling much better than mine did and it was MUCH better looking in that photo than mine turned out to be.  I still need to embellish it to try and make it a bit more interesting.

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June 23, 2007…..Yarn Porn

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Before I get into the explainations on these beauties, I want to thank everyone for their yarn purchases!  Almost all of the yarns sold very quickly.  I went ahead and removed the last 4  that did not sell from the site, and will re-post those and more whenever I get settled into the new place.  If you sign up for the Newsletter, I will notify you whenever I add yarns for re-sale again.

Also, I want to give a huge hug to the knitting community for being an honest group of people.  I have had a few pattern sales where people purchased more than one of the same pattern.  I always email them to make sure it wasn’t an error, and I am happy to hear when it is not.  This says to me that people are purchasing them for friends along with purchasing for themselves, and they are not passing the patterns they bought along to other people.  THANK YOU!

Okay, back to yarn:  I received quite a haul of Kauni yarns this week from my dear friend Astrid!  Look at this beauty wound up!  I still have one large skein left that I may end up selling. I had no earthly idea how much yarn these two huge skeins were until I wound one of them and worked out the metric calculations from the tags.  I will NEVER be able to use all of it, and apparently this is an extremely hot yarn at the moment as the Yarn Harlot is making a sweater out of it. (after posting additional comment….I am trying to sell the extra skein on EBay…first time I’ve messed with EBay!):

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ih=013&sspagename=STRK%3AMESE%3AIT&viewitem=&item=230145846313&rd=1&rd=1

 It isn’t extremely soft (more like a Noro texture), and it recommends a size 3 or 4 needle, but with these great colors, who cares?  I am in the middle of swatching it, and I’m anxious to see how it softens up when washed.

Astrid can get it for you for a lot less than I am trying to sell it for on Ebay.  For a short period of time, you may need to pre-order.  She has not been able to keep it in stock!  The pre-order and shipping only takes a few weeks.  Although she is in the Netherlands, the shipping is fast to the U.S. if you choose priority shipping.  On her home page, you can see this yarn made up into a sweater and also into a shawl:

http://astridsdutchobsessions.com

Below is a skein gorgeous mohair from Danette Taylor:

http://danettetaylororiginalyarns.com/

Danette always produces a top-quality product.  She uses the finest yarns for her base and her dye work is lovely. This particular mohair feels a lot like Classic Elite’s LaGran, which I love. When I first started knitting, Danette’s creations were always a big inspiration to me.

I am VERY proud of my cat this week for making himself really useful and killing this horrible creature that entered the house and could have had its way with my entire yarn stash.  This thing was enormous, made a horrible noise with its nasty wings and had beady red eyes.  

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June 22, 2007…..Book Reviews

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Opinions are like assholes….everyone has one and these are just mine:

Vogue Knitting 25 Years:  This is a nice summary of their publications featuring some of the contributing designers.  I did see some information on designers I did not know about.  I’d say more than half the book is technique instruction.  I am no knitting expert, but I still hoped to see something in here technique wise that I did not know about. I also hoped to see a lot more photos of past magazine covers, but there is not a lot of that. Would I suggest this one?  Not sure, and I am a huge fan of the magazine.

Knitting Never Felt Better / Nicky Epstein:  I hesitated to purchase this book without seeing it first as I’m not into felting at the moment.  I did paw through it in person before purchasing, and I’m glad I was pleasantly surprised by it. She presents many unique felting ideas, and as always with her books it is full of great photography and laid out well.  Would I suggest this one?  Absolutely, even if you only crochet as the felting ideas can be used for crochet also.  There are not crochet instructions in it that I see, but you can translate the yarns and some of the color combinations to crochet.

Lacy Little Knits / Iris Schreier:  BRAVO!  Fantastic Book!  There are quite a few patterns in it I would like to make immediately, but probably will not for awhile.  Iris also authored one of my top ten favorite books “Exquisite Little Knits”.  “Lacy Little Knits” is very similar in photography and lay-out to “Exquisite Little Knits”.  GORGEOUS, clear photography and unique projects.  Would I recommend?  ABSOLUTELY.  A++++

Loop-d-Loop Crochet / Teva Durham:  I posted this for sale on my site as soon as I received it from an Amazon pre-order.  I loved Teva’s first book so much I assumed I would love this one.    It is far from a horrible book.  The photography and instructions are lovely, but for me there was only one shawl pattern in it that made me take a second glance.  Would I recommend?  Maybe.  I would recommend you looking at it in person before purchasing. I do think there are interesting designs in this book even though none of them tripped my trigger.

The New Crewel / Katherine Shaughnessy:  OH!  This is a GLORIOUS book!  This is a book on original crewel designs that I plan to use for embroidery.  The designer has some wonderful contemporary designs and I am excited to make something out of them soon.  Would I recommend?  If you love embroidery or crewel, stop everything and purchase this one.

Runway Knits/ Berta Karapetyan:  I already blogged about this one, but I want to say again how wonderful this book is.   By far, this is my favorite book of the year.  Would I recommend?  Absolutely.

Friday Night Knitting Club / Kate Jacobs:  I’m only half way into it, but so far so good.  I don’t read a lot of non-fiction books, but because it is being made into a movie next year I wanted to check it out.  Would I recommend?  Yep.

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June 17, 2007…..Gorgeous Gifts

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The paperweight was a gift from my dear friend Sheila.  I absolutely adore it and will admire it for a lifetime.  It was created by Touchstone Glass, and you can see more of their amazing glass collections here:  http://www.hbci.com/~touchstone/

My Mother made the shawl for my birthday.  I wanted a black shawl, but didn’t want to make it myself as I just can’t seem to get through any garment that is only one color. 

Below is a blanket made by Mz. Lime of the Lime & Violet Podcast http://limenviolet.blogspot.com/ for the children of Kenya with Aids project out of yarn I donated.  If you would like to donate a blanket to the cause, please check out the Lime & Violet Link for more information.

No new box in the house is safe from the animal attacks.  Although the photo is a little blurry, I couldn’t help but share the facial expression.  To me, animals are people.  What they continually see as a toy that I would never think of always makes my day.

Thanks to all that bought so much from the last yarn sale!  In the next week or so, I will remove all of the remaining yarns for sale from the site for a few months until I get settled into the new place.  You will still be able to purchase patterns from the site as that is an automated process.

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June 14, 2007….Yarn Sale!

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The website seems to be fixed, and I was able to post more yarns for sale…..check them out under the “Yarns for Sale” tab at the top.  If you have ANY problems during checkout or any questions, please email me at lee@yarnoverlounge.com.

Please note that in the past, the Alchemy & Koigu yarns have sold very quickly.  This isn’t a sales pitch, just know if you see something you like, snag it up.

I finally finished my first Embroidery project!  Love it, and plan to do another.

June 12, 2007…..Website Problems

My photo galleries under the “Finished Objects” and “Yarn Photos” tabs have disappeared.

Until the web designer gets this corrected, I won’t be able to post any updates.  I’m afraid if I do, he’ll have to pull everything down and re-load causing any new information to disappear.

I do have quite a few additional yarns to post for sale. They are ready to go, but again for the reasons stated above I don’t want to post anything new.

Please check back!  As soon as everything is corrected, I’ll post some new things.

June 10, 2007……Some Progress

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I made a bit of progress on the Mitered Throw this week. I also dabbled with my first skein of Habu Textiles’ lace weight stainless yarn wrapped with silk.  If you look closely at the photo below, you can see a small piece of swatch I made using a 10.5.  It does hold some shape, and surprisingly it is not stiff or uncomfortable to work with. I invision doing some type of home decorative project with it, but for now it is just a vision.   You can find the yarn here:

http://knit-purl.com/Products/Product.php?Product_ID=50

I received the book “Crochet Inspiration” this week, and it is OUTSTANDING.  It is a mixture of instructions for freeform pieces and modern granny squares.  Packed full of wonderful photography and clearly written instructions with graphs.

Also had to pass along the photo of these Junko Shimada shoes I ran across.  Photo says it all. 

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