Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Web that Has Many Weavers * (and Knitter and Spinners)

Yes, that WEBS. On the Monday that we were driving up to Maine, we stopped there. Briefly. How can one possibly be brief there? To say I was overwhelmed, is, well, an understatement. My head swirled as I went up and down aisles and criss-crossed the store. Oh my! I realized that there was no way I could make anything resembling a decision in the 15-20 minutes I had. Before leaving I stopped at the counter to ask about using the restroom. Well the restroom is through these doors marked "Warehouse". OMG! On the way I out, I asked as casually as possible if the "warehouse" was open to customers. I think I needed to grab at the counter to keep standing when the woman said yes. In summary, I walked away empty handed but determined to spend more time when I returned to Northampton after camp.

After the debacle that was returning the car in Portland, we then had another travel farce trying to find the HelMart in Auburn, which we had been to the year before. Driving up and down that damn Hotel Road, including through Auburn into Lewiston (FFS!), we headed back to the camp, stopping at a dinky Chinese restaurant. This proved most successful because it was now roughly 2pm and all we had consumed was coffee through this misadventure and because the hostess gave us more excellent directions to the place we sought. However since I hadn't bought any yarn the day before and I was thoroughly fried I searched out cheap yarn. Hey, it's better for my heart and hips that candy! I left HelMart with L*on's Brand Homespun in Grape & Colonial (a very delicious blue), Bernat Boa in Emu colourway, and Bernat Eye Lash in Glam colourway. I don't usually buy "novelty" yarn but they were really cheap and rather fun for what they were. I have no idea what I will do with them. Already the Grape has made hat and I am working on my first mittens - this set will get shipped to Adrienne, who adores purple unreasonably so, and who puts me (and now TGF) up every summer on the bookend times of camp.

Finally the day before "The Incredible True Adventures of Two Women Trying to Get Home" I returned to Webs. A primary mission was to spend Jennie's $20 on some yarn, ideally yarn that she didn't get to see in real life often. This meant no Cascade, Plymouth, Lorna's Laces, Rowans, Berroco, Debbie Bliss, Elsebeth Lavold, Jo Sharp, Karabella (isn't the top on the opening page beautiful?) and Southwest Trading Company, to name but a few of the fairly easy access yarns in our area. Plus I wanted to get her enough that she could actually make something with it. After much debate, touching, and even smelling many skeins, balls, and hanks a decision was finally reached! 5 skeins Valley Yarns Stockbridge in Dark Green! 50% superfine alpaca and 50% wool - very soft. In addition I got each of us a WPI Tool Kit and Ann Budd's Handy Yarn Requirement cheat sheet (actually it's a leaflet).

So what did I get for myself? A shameful lack of yarn, but it's so hard to decide and though I was there for over an hour, it twasn't long enough and my budget was small and without a number of specific projects and and and. Yeah I know, at least I was able to be in the actual mecca of yarn.

Inox size 6, 16 inch, circulars. I think I have a pair of these in bamboo by Crystal Palace, in fact I'm sure I do. Shoot. But I wanted to try Inox.
Valley Fibers size 4, 18 inch, circular. Just to try another brand and I don't have that size.
Valley Fibers size 5 DPNs bamboo, that now I can't find anywhere. Double shoot.

2 balls of Classic Elite Bazic superwash wool in colour 2932, boysenberry. I am thinking about making Odessa, without beads with this.
1 ball of Classic Elite Bazic superwash wool in colour 2904, beautiful blue with a touch of teal to it, though apparently they call it "navy"
1 ball of Adrienne Vittadini Fiora in colour 33 for only $2!!!
The above two blues might make another nice hat with the Fiora as the "brim" to show of the sequins.
1 skein of Trekking XXL #76, which was only $11.16 because it's a discontinued colour, which is a shame because it is beautiful! I really think I would wear socks made with these colours, or almost anything. Here it is as an actual sock using the yarn and colour.

For Inspiration:
Interweave Spring 2005 Tempting ideas: A Good Bias, Cable-Eight top, Bi-Color Brioche (omg what a knitter!) and Heads Up Hats.

Interweave Summer 2006 Tempting ideas: Looking Glass Top, Bias Corset (of course this photo give further evidence that this is not meant for women who have curves, though TGF begs to differ), Brioche Bodice, and Eyelet Chemise (who's eyelet patterning I just used on Adrienne's hat, not that you can really see it on that yarn, but just stockinette was gonna bore me). This guy thinks it's Worst of the Worst. He likes the Lotus tank, which I do as well. I just think it would look even worse on me than the Chemise.

Vogue Knitting International Spring/Summer 2005 More tempting ideas: Lace Tunic - though I would make it shorter (ie. not a tunic) and maybe delete the bottom patterning altogether and simply extend the top's design. Like I write that as if I know how to do that? Twinkle is a simple bolero type sweater that is a "very easy, very vogue" pattern which translates as something I can actually make. I think. The Lace Trim Bolero is cute as well. The Short Jacket in a better yarn choice could be nice to have around. I am not sure about the Short Sleeve Top, I can't tell if I like it. There are some nice scarves as well in this issue. The Ruffle Trim Top, I just don't know. I think it's too fussy for me.

But wait there's more! I also stopped in on Northampton Wools (the site's not up yet) as we were strolling around Noho (or 'Hamp to the true natives) on the last day, before beginning our TITATWTH. A really exciting note about that stop was finding their book, no not because it was a must have (though it is decent) but because I know one the models - Tanya Rapinchuk! She's a homebirth midwife that I did two births with back in the day. Being budget conscious, I looked in their basket of $3 specials and found:
1 ball of Rowan Calmer in 472
1 ball of Takhi Bunny in 016, otherwise known as black
1 ball of Jo Sharp Rare Comfort kid mohair in 615, aka Earl Grey.
Best of all? No tax on yarn in Massachusetts! Isn't that awesome news? Okay not to most of my readers, nor really of much import to me since I live in California but still. Imagine, no tax.
I found A Garden Stroll for $7 at Raven books, also. I think Jennie will like to look through this one.

I forgot to mention that before leaving town to travel east I visited Skein Lane once again and stocked up on more random Cascade 220.
1 skein of 7802 - a hot pink, they call it Cerise
1 skein of 7803 - a deeper shade, closer to fushia, they call it Magenta
1 skein of 9464 - a very bright royal purple.
3 skeins of 8509 - a soft light gray

Of course yesterday I could contain myself no longer since I was sent another letter from Skein Lane and I hadn't been in over 3 weeks, so off I went. Everything as of yesterday is 60% off and each day after another 5%. Okay, so everything is not a lot, or at least not a ton of what I want but I did find something to buy.

2 balls of GGH Raffinese - why? because it intrigued me. I have no idea what to do with it! Ah, here's an idea. Cannot find any decent and in english link. Methinks it's a discontinued product. It's 45% cotton, 35% polyethylene and 20% rayon. It's a light steel gray.

1 ball of Maggi Knits Maggi's Linen colour 17. Why? Because I am insane. I have no idea what to do with it, but it was cheap enough for an experiment of knitting with thick thread.

3 skeins of Dalegarn's Svale in lilac (5402) and 9 skeins in mist (5720). Again, for what I have no idea but it's SO soft and lovely. And at 60% off of $5.50 a skein, well a huge bargain to boot.

On the plane I mooned over my issue of Interweave Fall 2006 where I hate the colour of Bianca's Jacket but like the design features. I like the bodice part of Gatsby Girl but this the yoke and neckline would do me no favors. Swallowtail Shawl might be a nice size to tackle for my first lace project. Glaslow Lace is very pretty but shaping at the bottom a bit wide from my taste and my hips. I really like the simple sock pattern in this issue as well.

Okay, it's really time to finish that first mitten and make the second one.

* parody on the book The Web That Has No Weaver


Jennie said...

Where to start? I'm so sorry about your car-return woes. Ugh.

Next, yum! I love my new yarn! It is a little bluish too, to my eyes. SO excited!

The purple Homespun really is pretty. And you know I don't compliment LBY easily.

That Trekking is gorgeous as is--OMG!--that shade of Calmer you picked up.

Cool that you knew that model! What fun!

I want to borrow all those mags! Swallowtail Shawl is in my future. I just can't make myself like Bianca's Jacket, though. And I do really like Gatsby Girl; maybe with a V-neck.

So great to have you back!

Melissa said...

Yarn adventures! I understand those feelings of being overwhelmed with yarn buying decisions, but I have to say, it's rarely stopped me!
Glad you're back and hope to hear more from you.