Yesterday I headed up to Ankeny to enjoy some family craft time. One of my cousins from NW Iowa was in town visiting another cousin, so my sister and I joined them for an afternoon of fiber art. We drank tea, ate freezer bars (a treat so delicious I have had the recipe for years but have never trusted myself to make, as I would eat the entire pan), and watched Zac Efron musicals (totally appropriate for a group of women in their 40s, right?).
Before heading down to Ankeny, my cousin Annie asked if I would be interested in any of the fingering weight yarn her friend gave her. After confirming that it was wool, not acrylic, I said I would take any she would be willing to part with. I said this because yarn that is given to me doesn’t count in my yarn diet, I knit a lot of socks, I can always use yarn for my scrap blanket, and I’m so incredibly cheap I’ll never say no to free yarn (unless it’s acrylic, because that’s not my jam).
What awaited me when I arrived was not a few skeins of sock yarn. It was a giant box of yarn.
In the box there was 600g of Plymouth Select worsted weight yarn. There is enough to make Elliot the Gus Sweater in the 12 year size or a large shawl for me. I don’t love the color, so this might sit in my stash for years. I’m OK with that, as it will eventually leave.
The box also included 160 g of red fingering weight yarn. I really like the color and the yarn. I’m thinking this could be a shawl.
There was 375 g of tweed fingering weight yarn. This yarn is beautiful, and I’m looking forward to working with it. I’m thinking maybe a shawl or a cardigan for Audrey.
The final surprise was 1320 g of super bulky yarn. If my calculations are correct I have enough to make myself a cardigan. I’m thinking Shawl Collar Cardigan #6501. I plan on skipping the texture and going for stockinette on the body instead. This color might be awful on me, and if it is it will give me the chance to experiment with dying a completed garment.
Do you get excited about free yarn too? Do you have any suggestions for what to make with the red and tweed yarn?
Now that we are a week into January it feels like a suitable time to tell you about the advent calendar I splurged on this year. This year Anastasia from Garden Wool & Dye put together an advent calendar. It was remarkably affordable – under $100. I jumped at the chance to celebrate the season with yarn.
It arrived just after Thanksgiving. It was difficult not to open it all at once. I love how it was packaged. All of the materials were compostable, even the sparkly twine. I love how her dedication to being environmentally sustainable carries over to every detail.
I loved having so many mini skeins to add to my blanket. On Christmas I opened a gorgeous skein of yarn in colors I would normally not pick for myself. It’s funny how sometimes what I would never pick out is exactly what I need.
I’m not sure what the yarn will become. I’m open to any suggestions you have.
I’ll be doing the advent calendar again next year. The price will be going up, but it will still be manageable.
Do you do yarn advent calendars? Are you mini skein obsessed too?
Today John and I dropped the kids of at his parents and headed out of town. We spent the day in Winterset, about 45 minutes out of town. Winterset is a cute little down with shops on the square surrounding the courthouse. We spent the day getting a shocking amount of Christmas shopping done in the little shops.
We picked up a few things for our nephew.
I picked up some candy cigarettes too. I’m not sure who they are for yet. I just feel that when you see candy cigarettes, you should buy them.
The primary purpose of our trip was a visit to Heartland Fiber Co. This cute shop, which also puts on fiberpalooza, is one of my favorite yarn shops. They have a hypoallergenic shop cat. I’m allergic to cats, so petting a cat is normally out of the question. I had no reaction to the cat and now I want one which is something I never thought I would say.
For our anniversary this year John gave me a trip to a yarn shop (7 years is the wool anniversary. Why can’t it be every year?). I settled on three skeins for my gift.
The first yarn I picked was some self striping sock yarn. I have been wanting a pair of Christmas socks. The red and white reminds me of a candy cane.
I also picked up some Biscotte Yarns self striping sock yarn. I love self striping yarn. This colorway reminds me of Wonder Woman. John thinks I’m crazy and says it looks more like a circus.
I also picked out yarn for a hat for Elliot. Elliot loves camels. His favorite stuffed animal is a camel. He likes to visit the camels at the zoo. I picked up some camel yarn (78% camel fiber, 22% nylon). I plan to make him a hat with the yarn. I think I’ll do a simple ribbed brim and a stockinette hat. I should be able to chart a simple camel outline and stitch it into the hat. The yarn is very soft; I am looking forward to kitting it up.
It was nice to spend a day with John away from the kids.
The big question: Do I put my Elliot socks even further to the side so I can make a pair of peppermint socks before Christmas?
I’ve finished the first sleeve on my sweater. That means I really need to sit down and get to work on it. But I’m not doing that. Instead, I’m planning what to knit next. I have three items on deck.
First up: Stockings. I’m making two for my friend’s girls. My plan is to work 10 rows a day on these. That will get them done by Thanksgiving, and I won’t get sick of colorwork if I’m only doing 10 rows a day. I’ve made these stockings a few times. I love the design, but the toe and heel have given me fits each time. I am going in to this project knowing I’m going to ignore her directions and do what I think makes sense.
Sweater Knitalong. My friend Ivy and I have had Craftsy sweater kits in our stashes for too long. That changes now. We’re each working on our sweaters with the goal of finishing them by Thanksgiving. This is a bit of a stretch goal, as I can’t start on the sweater until I finish the one that is already on the needles. I’m going to make the Zadie sweater in Caribbean. I’m hoping the relaxed fit and casual design of this sweater will have me reaching for it instead of a hoodie this winter. I don’t remember which sweater Ivy is making, but I do know it is a different pattern. If you have a sweater waiting to be knit you should join us in making a Thanksgiving sweater.
After I finish the Zadie Sweater I’m going to start the Everyday Shawl by Jenny F. At least I think I am. I am still undecided on the pattern, but I know I want to make a shawl with my latest batch of CSA yarn from Garden Wool & Dye Co. I won the drawing for free yarn for participating in her knitalong, so I received two skeins in my box this month.
I am really going to miss being in the CSA, but I don’t knit fast enough to justify it for more than the three months subscription.
If you have any shawl suggestions for this yarn please let me know. I want something simple that lets the yarn shine. I also want to knit something that is interesting to knit so my brain doesn’t turn to mush when I pick it up.
I’m doing a knit along through September with Garden Wool & Dye on Ravelry. The only requirement is to use Garden Wool & Dye yarn. I was going to make socks in the light wash denim colorway, as I’m always making socks. I really like the yarn, but I started thinking that I wouldn’t love it as socks. Denim colored socks with jeans just seemed a little too Canadian tuxedo to me.
A few days ago I noticed the Study Hall Shawl on Raverly. Since then I can’t stop thinking about it. I decided it would be a great thing to make for the knit-a-long. Admittedly, it is an odd selection as I do not wear shawls. Maybe this one will change my mind.
I have a beautiful pink from Garden Wool & Dye to go with the light wash denim yarn.
I do think my swift was revolting against the thought of me making a shawl.But I fixed that problem with pretty duct tape.
Now I have the yarn ready to go. I just need to get to the library to print off the pattern and I’m ready to go.
Should I be starting a shawl when I have socks and a sweater on the needles? No, but the heart wants what the heart wants, and today that is a shawl in colors I never wear.