Promises

December 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

This month I’m proud to report that not only did I manage to finish one gift in time for Christmas, a hat for my mom, but also that I started my aunt’s sweater and my sister’s hat. Fortunately the latter can pick up her hat in January when she comes back to visit, meaning I can focus almost exclusively on the sweater.

It will be my first knitted sweater not for a baby…and I know what you’re thinking, I’ve been promising completed sweaters for a really long time now. This time, contrary to all evidence presented, is different. This time I will complete this sweater because I have a lure at the other end: if I finish this sweater, I can buy a skein of Super-Soft Shetland from The Uncommon Thread.

But before I fall utterly in love with a base I haven’t even felt yet (and fortunately on her last update she sold out of SSShetland before I could even see it), I can talk about Brooklyn Tweed Loft. While it feels lovely — quite textural and yet smooshy — in the skein, knitted up it’s actually quite different from its older sibling, Shelter. While Shelter retains some of its crunchiness, Loft feels velvety and plush when knitted up using US 3 needles, a light sport gauge I estimate. It is smooth and yet not sleek, thanks to its woolen-spun construction. Definitely check it out if you get the chance, because I am hard-pressed to think of a similar yarn, as the combination of woolen-spun and specific breed blend is unique. Perhaps Imperial Stock Ranch’s sock yarn, spun similarly but from 100% Columbia, not Columbia-Targhee, might be similar, but in the skein the ISR yarn feels a bit dryer and not quite so lush. « Read the rest of this entry »

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The Sanguine Gryphon Open House Day

December 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Or, the day my credit card wept!

It started out innocently enough: driving across the (Chesapeake) Bay Bridge, enjoying the sunny weather, cruising on down the Eastern Shore. Even getting up early wasn’t as terrible as it usually is; yarn is excellent motivation. I got there right at the opening time, or a bit before, and a small queue of cars filed in and parked.

One of the first things I saw was, besides the familiar font of The Sanguine Gryphon’s sign, was an ADORABLE cat, who looks very much like my Kif (all black). And since black cats are good luck, at least in France, I took it as a sign that the day was going to go really well. Immediately after dropping off my potluck contribution (crispix mix), I began browsing yarn. Hagrid was curious enough at what we were all doing that he bravely came forward, sniffed me and my yarn, and then was ready for breakfast.

After my brief feline interlude, I returned to the little store area. I dithered for a VERY long time, agonizing over what colors would make a good sweater, what bases were best for the kinds of sweaters I was planning…oh, it was knitting heaven, especially since I was surrounded by enablers, that special type of knitter who totally understands driving an hour and a half (or more in some cases) to buy beautiful yarn. I helped others pick out yarn colors, they helped me pick out yarn colors, we complimented each other on our SG projects…I was even told I should publish my cowl design, made from QED, my newest yarn obsession. Everyone was excited but focused, and fortunately there weren’t any yarn-snatching episodes or throw-downs over the laceweight. (After hearing about how crowded the Rhinebeck booth was this year on Saturday morning, I was prepared for anything!)

At one point in my yarn shopping daze a bell rang, alerting us it was time to sign up for our custom yarn pots near where there was a table laid out with all our custom-dyeing options. I put my name in for a custom dyepot of Skinny Bugga! in Oil Beetle (bottom right).

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