Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Madelinetosh Madness

It has been some months since I stumbled onto this new yarn. I must say that I seem to have caught what they call "Madtosh Fever". To really get an idea how serious it is, check out the Madtosh Lovers Group on Ravelry.

Anyway, after I finished my first Madelinetosh Tea Leaves cardigan, I was impressed how little, if at all, the yarn has pilled. In the past, I have never bought or used the same yarn  in projects consecutively like I did with Madelinetosh. Even if I am not bored or dissatisfied with the yarn, I am so ready to try something else because ...life is too short not to knit with new yarn. 

But not this time.

Their colors are fabulous, but that is not unusual with a hand dyed yarn. I can name a few of my other favorites, all with stunning colors, like Blue Moon fiber Arts, Lorna's Laces, etc. ... But I think with Madelinetosh, the shades are more vibrant, more intense - for me at least.

So I am hooked. I started with the Merino DK, from left to right, Composition Book Grey, Grove, Thunderstorm, Tart, Mourning Dove.

Then I  accumulated some Socks (Mourning Dove), pile on Silk Fig), have to have Vintage (Mulled Wine) and finally stalked Eyre Light (Tart), not yet available, on the Etsy shop.

Monday, January 25, 2010

I am ba...ack

Wow, it was October when I last visited my blog. Where was I? What have I been up to?  Let's see...a lot of things but I will just summarize.

Since then, I (we, my husband, kids and I) hosted a sit-down dinner party for 18 in early November. Then we had a few families, 17 people, for Thanksgiving Dinner. That was followed by our Boulder Knitting Collective Ravelry group's Christmas party.

On the knitting side, I finished a few gifts (hand warmers galore...), three sweaters, shawls, scarves, legwarmers...

Along the way, I found my "new love" Madelinetosh yarn.

I love this yarn, merino DK, which I just bought because the color called out to me at Stitches East 2009. Little did I know that I stumbled on a gold mine, sort of. The yarn is so hard to come by, especially if you want to have enough for a sweater. It has a very nice lofty bounce, typical of merino wool, but without the pilling.

I just finished knitting Melissa La Barre's Tea Leaves cardigan with this yarn. I want my next sweater to be this yarn, but I guess I have to wait for Webs to restock it in my preferred colors.

To see pictures of the Tea Leaves cardigan in this beautiful yarn, click to the Ravelry project

Friday, October 30, 2009

October 2009 Snowstorm

I got welcomed back by a blanket of 23 inches of snow (according to the newspaper). My sister and I arrived at the Philadelphia airport and learned that our flight was delayed for 2 hours. No worries, we sat and knitted. Then we found out that there were no more planes leaving from Denver to Fresno after 9pm. My sister made a beeline to the counter and off she went to catch another flight with connection through Los Angeles. Still in Philly, I waited and knitted and knitted.

And this is what it looked like from my bedroom window the next day, where I was sitting and knitting.

And this is from the same angle on Friday. Believe it or not, that is what the weather is like in this part of the world.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Stitches East 2009, here we come!

I have attended almost all Stitches events - East, West, and North - except for the new one this year in Atlanta. And every time I have asked Rick Mondragon, the editor of Knitter's magazine "Why not Denver?" The answer has been that Denver probably will not attract as many attendees as the more populous cities. I will keep asking the question - you will never know, maybe some day.

The policy was changed a few years back, so we are not allowed to take pictures inside the hall anymore, sigh!

As I said, I am a "seasoned" Stitches participant. But I am still amazed every time I walk onto the market floor. This year was no different, but I learned to pace myself and not to buy the first skein of yarn that smiled at me (may be the 2nd one?). So we started down aisle 1, up aisle 2, and so on and so forth....a very  well-planned expedition. That was Friday from 10 a.m. to about 4 p.m. with maybe a half-hour lunch. I think if our feet had not complained, we would have stayed longer. We went back Saturday for an encore, but this time we just stopped by a few booths that had stood out the day before.

Webs was our favorite because they had the most yarn. They occupied a space equal to 10 booths, so it was hard to miss. My sisters and I filled our rolling cart (yes, a cart), then moved next door to Yarn Barn of Kansas. A dear and talented friend, Boulder's own Ann McCauley, was signing her latest book, "Together or Separate" there at noon. Her book was sold out, by the way. The "photo police" graciously allowed us to take a picture with Ann.

I think I went a little overboard as usual, but I kept saying to myself that this is once-a-year kind of thing. And that worked really well. So here are some of the new additions to my stash. For some I had a specific project in mind, others I just had to have because the color was so incredible.

I fall in love with every hand-dyed yarn I touched there, but settled for these because of the intense colors and the "melt in your hand" softness.

 The maroon-colored yarn in the middle is Madeline Tosh worsted, meant for the Farmers' Market Cardigan by Connie Chinchio. I walked by it a few times and finally succumbed to it. But at least I have a specific project in mind. The multicolored yarn at the bottom left, Jojoland Harmony, will be a challenge because it is thinner than thin. It will be someday  be a shawl.

Last but not least, I bought these two by the bag. I am planning to use Rustic Wool for the Mondo Cardigan KAL.

I am back home, but I think I am still up in the yarn clouds somewhere. I keep stroking, and touching these yarns.

I hope someone is cooking dinner.

My trip to Yarn Heaven

Well first, the trip through Connecticut to the Webs yarn store took much longer than we anticipated, but overall it was a blessing in disguise. If we had more time to spend at Webs, the damage would have been  much more than it already was.

Webs yarn store was about 45 minutes from Hartford where the Stitches Convention was located. So Thursday morning at 10:30, with my brother in law (bless him) at the wheel, my two sisters and I took off for Webs. The 4 hour trek turned into 7 hour agony due to traffic on the Connecticut freeway. I was ready to beg for the store to let us in, but lucky for us they open late until 8 that night.

It is so true when they say the store is a destination in itself. Even spending two hours there, I am sure we missed a lot of things because I kept saying for days after, "Oh, no, I forgot to look for..."

The place is full of yarn and anything you can think of related to yarn. I could see myself in that store all day, eating my breakfast, lunch and dinner with the yarn.

This is the front of the store.

And as if that is not enough, the backroom where shelves after shelves of  bargain yarn make you squeal. My brain has never been challenged as much since elementary school because I felt a need to come up with a project for each of the yarn I touched.

If you ever in the Northhampton, Mass. area, you have to put this store on your must visit list. The staff  was very gracious and knowledgeable. You can tell instanly that they love working here (who would not). 

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My sisters' Vine Yoke Cardigans

 It took me a while to finally get around to posting these pictures. We will all be wearing them to Stitches in Connecticut soon.

The yarn for the orange cardigan is Lorna Laces Green Line Worsted. It was my sister's birthday gift from my other sister and I. I have not worked with the yarn, but apparently it is very soft and lovely to work with.

The blue yarn is like butter in your hands, Schaeffer Yarn Marjaana. And the best part is my sister will give me the leftover yarn so I can add it to my long "have to knit with" list. Hurrah!

Still Vine Yoke Cardigan

There have been many inquiries about my mod for the sleeves, so I decided to put some of my notes here . I hope it will help. There are many ways to do short rowing, I am sure, but this works for me, so here goes.

I cast on 52 sts for the sleeve, according to the gauge of the  sweater body.
Knit one row.
RS: knit until 12 sts before Vine border at cuffs, W & T
       Knit until 10 sts before then W & T
       Knit until 8 sts before Vine then W & T

So this is a total of 8 rows. Then I repeat the short rows, starting with 8 rows left for the other side of the sleeve in the reverse order . In doing this, I keep track of the starting and ending rows of the Vine pattern so that when I am ready to pick up the stitches for the body, it will be the same at the yoke and the border.

The number of sts and short rowing works for my size, but you can decide to add or subtract to them.

One thing to keep in mind is whatever you decide to do with one sleeve, keep detailed notes because you will need to repeat the same for the 2nd sleeve.