American Wool Series

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Day Trip & Trunk Show

If it hasn't become clear over the last year or so, I am totally in love with Tolt Yarn & Wool. It's my preferred day trip with friends, the store that always has yarny things I want to purchase, and it has the added bonus of smelling wonderfully of wool and unfinished wood (a cleaned up version of barns I visited as a kid).  So when I learned that Local Color Fiber Studio was having a trunk show at Tolt, I organized a day trip with friends to have brunch and partake of some Local Color. It did not disappoint. 

 See? Pure droolworthy wool, ripe for the squishing and the sniffing. I always give yarn a nice sniff, don't you?

Emily and Tatyana are the master dyers behind Local Color and I've been daydreaming about their yarn since I purchased a skein of their yarn dyed from grape skins at KnitFit! last November. I came home with two more skeins - one in Indigo (middlish bottom deep blue in the above picture) and one in Madder (very bottom left-hand corner orange in the above picture). I'm always amazed at the array of colors from natural dye stuffs. Now, if only we had hard wood floors so I could knit myself a giant rug with Local Color's rug yarn....

If you're curious to know our brunch destination, we always go to The Grange Cafe in Duvall. Duvall is about a 10 or 15 minute drive north of Carnation and features local, fresh ingredients. I highly recommend the veggie benedict.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Music Monday

James Brown and the Famous Flames performing "Out of Sight". Check those dance moves.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

FO: Mary Mead

A short while back I wrote my first post in my American Wool Series about Toots LeBlanc and a cardigan that I was knitting that hadn't been released yet. I finished the sweater about a week and a half ago, the cardigan pattern has been released, and I sewed my buttons on today and finally took pictures!
I'm pretty jazzed by the finished sweater. 
It looks cute over a dress (top picture) or with separates (above). I'll admit that I had some reservations about knitting a cropped sweater but since the construction is top down and seamless I can totally add length if I decide I want this to be a bit longer at some point. Right now, I'm really happy with the length and how it looks over dresses and longer tops. 

 If you remember, the yarn is a sport weight alpaca/wool blend in a lovely natural charcoal; the perfect substitution for Andi's pattern which uses Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light. The sleeve construction is top-down set-in and this is the first time I knit this sleeve construction in a stitch pattern - I like it!

Pattern: Mary Mead by Andi Satterlund (Untangling Knots) $6.50 pdf download
Yarn: Toots Le Blanc 50/50 Jacob/Alpaca Sport
Needle: US #3 (3.25mm) and US #1.5 (2.5 mm) Hiya Hiya Sharp needles
Mods: Since this was a test knit I followed the pattern exactly for the size large. I have a 43 inch bust and knitting the large gave me 2 inches of negative ease which gives me a perfect fit through the upper bust, shoulders and sleeves and the appropriate sweater fit for a vintage style cardigan. The absolutely only thing I changed was to add an extra buttonhole in the buttonband since I have a weird thing about having odd numbers of buttons on my sweaters (that's my own personal finicky thing and has nothing to do with Andi's pattern). The jacob/alpaca yarn I used was a two-ply and less round than Ultra Alpaca Light so I ended up going down to a US size three to get gauge but that is the needle size recommended on my yarn's label so I wasn't really surprised by that. All in all, I'm very pleased with this sweater and might even add more cropped sweaters into my sweater wardrobe to wear over my growing collection of dresses.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

WIP: Oh, theeese socks

Years ago, I purchased two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Chocolate and Devon to knit a pair of socks with contrasting cuffs, heels, and toes. I took the yarn home, wound it into balls, and it sat in my project box waiting to be cast on.

During my annual New Year's Day stash overhaul, I found the two little cakes in the bottom of my cedar chest and decided that this was the year that these socks would materialize. They're the perfect project for social knitting - a plain vanilla sock with a little bit of interest  - and I'm very happy with how they're turning out. The last few weeks they've been on the back burner as I complete a couple of test knits but I'm eager to get back to them and finally have these socks on my feet rather in than in my stash.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

FOs: Trullo & Quynn

In January I knit two little hats out of yarn left from other projects for Stash and Burn's 15 hats in 2015 KAL. The featured designer was Woolly Wormhead so I went to my Bambeanies ebook and sorted through the patterns to find ones that would work with the little balls of yarn in my scrap bin. 

Pattern: Trullo 
Yarn: Cashsoft DK scraps in green and purple
Needle: US #5 (3.75 mm) Hiya Hiya Interchangeables
Mods: None. I thought this little guy would use up all of my cashsoft scraps but I think I have enough for another one of these.
Pattern: Quynn
Yarn: HiKoo by Skacel SimpliWorsted in Pretty as a Petunia
Needle: US #8 (5.0 mm) Clover Bamboo needles
Mods: None. 

All of the hats I knit for the 15 in 2015 KAL are going to the Warm for Winter project in Seattle. I should have a nice, tidy pile of hats and other accessories for donation at the end of the year.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Music Monday

"In the Midnight Hour" by Wilson Pickett, 1965.

I watched an amazing music documentary over the weekend, Muscle Shoals. If you're at all interested in the history of American Music and R&B such as Etta James, Wilson Pickett, and Aretha Franklin I highly recommend it. It's currently streaming on Netflix.

Monday, February 2, 2015