Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Start of Simply Squared

Simply Squared start, originally uploaded by Filipina Sakura.

Last year I found a pretty nice stash of discontinued Elsebeth Lavold Angora at my local Tuesday Morning. I could only find about 10 skeins of this brown color called "Earthy". For my body type, this is not a lot of yardage in each compared to a Cascade 220 or a Malabrigo Worsted to make a sweater. BUT it can make a vest! An issue or two ago of Interweave Knits came across an ad for a vest called Simply Squared and thought it was perfect for the yarn. It's more of a cardigan, but it is vest-ish since it's sleeveless and great for layering. I started it over a week ago hoping that I can get some use out of it before it gets warmer.

I'm close to halfway finished but worried that I won't have enough yarn. Like I mentioned, it is a discontinued yarn. If I run out then I will have to rip it out and jab the needles in my heart. I'll cross my fingers that it won't come to that.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lookie! I'm weaving!

I've been interested in weaving for the past year but didn't know how to go about getting my feet wet. There haven't been many weaving classes offered in these parts for a reasonable fee. I've seen beginning classes that were over $500. WTF? At Urban Fauna there was a weaving class offered BUT you have to purchase a beginners loom that's over $150 for the class. I didn't want to invest in a loom until I tried it.

A couple of weeks ago I was listening to the Y knit Podcast and the subject was about Berkeley's own A Verb for Keeping Warm. They're starting rigid heddle loom weaving classes for beginners! I signed up ASAP. The first 2 hour class was yesterday and it was great. It went by fast. The majority of the class was learning how to set up the loom. Man, it takes a long time! After that it goes fast and you can get a scarf done in a day. Plus use up a bunch of stash! We were sent home with the small cricket loom to finish our scarves. I'm so glad it's not a loom we had to purchase. Instead it's to re-use for future classes.

It looks like I'll be feeding another addiction. After I finish the current knitting projects and have a little more money saved up I'll definitely be looking for a rigid heddle loom of my own.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Stitches West '09

I've been seriously lagging on my blogs lately but here it goes...

I attended Stitches West the weekend before. It was exhausting. On Friday I woke up butt crack early for my 6 hour class. It was my first time taking a class at Stitches. I was so excited! I signed up for the Understanding Japanese Knitting Patterns class. It's not something that the average local yarn store has available to the general knitting public. (Of course, just a week before listening to the Stash and Burn podcast Jenny and Nicole took the same type of class in their neighborhood yarn store in SF. I wish I knew about it beforehand!)
6 hours was not enough time to cram all the information you should know to feel comfortable on your own to understand japanese patterns. From what I concluded you just have to go with your gut and look for clues for what you need to know such as gauge. It was more of a lecture type of class than a hands-on knitting class. The last hour of class we were able to try a japanese chart on our own. I did ok. I think I may have to do more research. I think if I were given a simple scarf pattern I would be able to figure it out. Anything more difficult I'd probably have to pay someone to translate it for me.
I didn't splurge too much at the expo since I spent a good portion on the class. However, at the WEBS booth there was a cute top that caught my eye. The pattern is called Pucker by Norah Gaughan. It's the cutest warm weather top made out of Berroco's Seduce (as seen below). It has a beautiful sheen.

They were out of the green I wanted like they had used for the sample and you know how much I LOVE green. I was bummed. Andra (the wonderful WEBS saleslady) convinced me to get this golden yellow shade. It kind of reminds me of Goldilocks' hair. I wasn't completely sold until she asked a panel of ladies (all waiting for her help) vote between the yellow and a purple color that I liked. The yellow won hands down. I've already swatched it but have yet to cast on. It's very airy/lacy so I hope it doesn't take me too long to work on it.

And here's the annual Stitches postcard of me and Erin.

Till next year!