Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Running Out of Bomber Worm

     Recently I participated in a Westknits KAL named Rockefeller.  My second KAL - ever.  I wanted to go outside the box and thought a mystery KAL would do it.  And I like Stephen West so when I saw his Mystery Shawl KAL I was all over it.
     I bought and printed the first clue of the pattern.  I looked over my stash to find a color combo I would like together.   In my head I played with all the possibilities that the finished project might look like.  I went back to my stash twice because I didn't have enough yardage.
     Not having a blue something and my favorite color being blue.  I wanted a blue something.  A dark and light blue.  Minneapolis by JKnits and Bomber Worm by Sanguine Griffon.  I had my colors and wound my yarn.
     I started knitting clue 1.   I waited by the mail for the next clue to "ding-in".  Clue 2, clue 3.  We were up to clue 4.  I finished one wing.  I started the other wing and half way through I ran out of yarn!   What happened?  Usually I make sure I have enough to finish whatever I start.  But this time I miscalculated and wound up short.  Way short.  Like half a wing short.
     To make matters worse this was no ordinary yarn.  This was an indie dyer named Sanguine Gryphon.  Not only was it an indie dyer - it was an indie dyer that no longer dyes under that name.  And even though the one company became two neither of the two companies (Cephalopod and Verdant Gryphon) are dying this color now.  I went into full on panic mode.
     I needed about 15 grams or 60 yards to finish.  First stop Ravelry.  I tried a post on a destash page - nothing.  I moved onto looking for it in other Ravelers stash.  I found one - in Norway.  I think the distance over an ocean and the distance of $55 for one skein of yarn quickly squashed that idea.
     I spoke to Susie (aka KnittingKnoobie), who Tweets, and she offered to help.  She tweeted - no chirps back.
     PinkLemonTwist suggested I look at project where the wanted yarn was used and I might find a little left over bit.  So I did and whatta know? A few projects where I could imagine my yardage being saved in a mini skein pile.  I was hoping that whoever also bought this yarn thinks it is as special as I do and wouldn't possibly throw a little bit away.  I kept my fingers crossed and contacted 2 people.  I got responses from both!  RiverPoet had 20 grams.  A week later I had my yarn in hand and was finally able to finish my Rockefeller Shawl.
     I would like to thank KnittingKnoobie for the Tweets, PinkLemonTwist for sharing her brilliance and RiverPoet for her generosity.  An honorable mention goes to DizzyBea for her offer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tale of a Baby Bunting

     I have made a few baby buntings over the years.  
The first one was over 23 years ago for my nephew Chris.  
The next one was 20 years ago for my son Morgan.  
Then 5 years later for my nephew Michael, shared by his sister Amanda.  
The last was 9 years ago and made for my niece Maia 
and shared with my nephew Nathan and their sister Sabine.
     In the past 20 years my knitting has improved with every bunting made.  
The first one sort of followed a pattern.  
The second and third morphed the pattern into something that was totally mine.  
Improvement in skill yielded improvements in the pattern 
and the garment (yes a bunting can be called a garment).
     The most recent bunting has not met my niece yet but it awaits her arrival.  
I had a lot of fun making this one.  
I took my time and worked it like the kid would be wearing it until she leaves for college.
But I don't think she'll fit into it after her first birthday.  
And yet I would knit it all again, with the same care and in the same way.
     Because babies are wonderful and deserve to be 
kept warm in the most wonderful woolies an Auntie can knit.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

What I did on my summer vacation.

     When I was in grammar school we didn't get reading lists for summer vacation but we did get the same essay every year on the first day of school - What did you do on your summer vacation?
It had less to do with travel and more to do with time spent away from school.  I have long left school both as a student and as a parent yet I feel a school type essay coming on.

     I spent part of my summer vacation visiting family in Oregon. We enjoyed their company and hometown greatly.  First, I found out that Multnomah is the name of a county in Portland Oregon.
It's also a rather famous waterfall in the same county and a fabulous and simple shawl inspired by the magic that is Portland.

     Portland is also a yarny place.  I developed a stiff neck from all the times my head whipped around at the sight of another yarn store.  It seems that every neighborhood has a yarn store.  We visited 3 (hey we only had a week).

     Twisted is my favorite of the 3.  The vibe, the people and the yarn selection were all great. They have a lot of indie dyers here.  I found Socks that Rock, Trillium and Hazel Knits - all right there on the wall - in living color!  The store is very laid-back and homey.  I had fun. I could have hung out here for days - its that inviting.

     KnitPurl was in the Pearl District.  Another great store.  They carry Jared Floods' Shelter and Loft lines as well as Habu. I purchased a nice pink skein of Shibui and a nice blue MadelineTosh lace there.  Very nice selections of yarns and books.  The store has a little more polish in its decor but the yarn love is just as evident throughout the store.

Honorable mention goes to Yarn Garden for having the best selection of commercial yarns I've seen anywhere.  There are 4 or 5 storefronts all joined together.  Malabrigo, Blue Sky Alpaca, Cascade, Classic Elite, Rowan - the list just goes on and on.  Also a place I could see myself in often were I a resident of this beautiful rose city.

BTW  This is Multnomah Falls

and this is my Multnomah Shawl

What did you do on your summer vacation?