Purposeful Purchases–or not!

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to Stitches West I go!

I was on the fence about it, but I decided I needed to spend some time with my fellow stitchery folks at Stitches West. Not to mention I am way overdue for some time off from work.

Last year felt a bit solitary, but this year I managed to stay at the conference hotel and run into lots of singles—not unmarried folks—but knitters there on their own. So each night I had dinner with a different crafter from a different part of the country. It was MARVELOUS fun.

Zauberbal Sock Yarn in Harvest, Stonewash and Heilix Bleche

This year I had plans in place to avoid the purchasing frenzy that happened last year (mostly project bags). So while I waited for the Marketplace to open on Thursday night, a couple of other “singles” and I swapped strategies (over Chardonnay) for keeping ourselves in check. Mine was, don’t buy anything you don’t a project in mind for and no more bags, which for me meant I could buy a few sock yarns—which I did.

A half hour after the market opened we moseyed over and subsequently threw all those strategies to the wind, dashing from aisle to aisle, burdened by purchases. Perhaps abstaining from alcohol before visiting the Marketplace should be next years’ strategy.

The Stitches organizers were far from sympathetic self-proclaiming to be “devils” and querying what was in our bags as we left the market floor. But as we all know those are really in the details of what to knit next!

I have excuses for each purchase. Miss Babs was because of a scarf my neighbor made out of it in my Ridge Heddle Weaving class. The Malabrigio is screaming to be made into a Spiral Staircase Scarf for resale at the resort next door (no restrictions!). Though I have to call “uncle” on the Louisa Harding. That was simply a fabulous price and fills a hole in my stash for light fingering projects.

Next week I’m back to work, but for now I’m hanging out at home dreaming of what to make and filling up my queue on Ravelry!

Happy knitting!



A Gray Start to the New Year

I hope everyone’s holiday was great! Mine was a bit shaky to start and maybe that’s why my knitting scheme is distinctly gray.

Of course, it is always a bit gray in the Puget Sound in January, but in this case I’m referring to my yarn and projects. And oddly the weather is quite lovely, if cold. I’m really enjoying my new camera and the two (!) pancake lenses I got for Christmas, a 25MM and a 40MM for portraits.

It’s astounding to me, but it’s only January 10th and already I’m onto my fourth project this year—though I’m only in the swatching stage for the latest cast on. I’ll show photos of that project once it is further along. My three completed FOs were quickie projects—mainly because I’ve been traveling and needed a portable set of projects. So they are a hat, a hood, and my first arm knitted project, a capelet.

My New Year’s started off pretty good with a lovely gift of yarn from the mother of my husband’s youngest child—who doesn’t seem very young anymore at 14. Katia Royal Silk is a beautiful baby alpaca yarn. I am actively looking for a pattern to show this beautiful yarn to the best advantage.

The trip was fraught with problems—largely due to the fact I’d been constantly traveling up until we were to go and was too exhausted to pay attention to details. So I only found out the trip was six days long (not four as I was told) after we were there and this meant medication, underwear, you name it, were not right in the right supply for the trip.

On the Brightside I got to go the Kennedy Space Center and being the space wingnut that I am, this was pretty damn cool for me. My only regret was not arriving earlier and staying longer.

Onto the knitting and new yarn additions to my stash.

Last Fall I won a gift certificate to Knitterly from the Woolful blog and picked up some beautiful Sublime baby cashmere, merino, and silk blend in two shades of gray. The gals at Knitterly helped me find exactly what I wanted and were really lovely when my first selections were out of stock. With this purchase I meant to create some Wurm hats for the fam damily, but when it arrived and realized how soft and beautiful it was, I decided it needed to be something as pretty as it is—I’m still on the hunt for a pattern—but I’m tempted to buy more and knit this Andorra wrap. I’ll need to figure out how to change it to worsted instead of fingering weight.

I did knit a gray Wurm, but I used a worsted gray and some leftover black from my stash. I’m sure my nephew will only care that it is wooly and warm.

The hood is for those chilly days on island, but I might send it off to nephew’s girlfriend that inspired me to find a pattern for it. I modified it be a normal rectangle—like the one she’s already got—rather than going with the pattern decreases. If I do it again, I think I’ll use short rows to get rid of the pointiness. As the only non-gray item, I have to admit that this yarn was a Christmas gift from last year—and when Ravelry showed that lots of people had used it for hoods, I thought I’d give it a go. It’s Lion Brand Homespun—which is pretty and washable.

Got the Blues

Boy was I sunny this weekend despite the rain. I finally did it. I talked to the resort next door and asked if they’d carry my knitwear. I’m so excited because they said yes! Then the blues set in.

I’ve considered setting up an online store and decided there was too much competition, not to mention the difficulties and cost to ship from the Island. Living in a vacation destination means people with disposable income visit—frequently. They often want to bring a piece of their experience back, so why not a practical item like a hat scarf, yoga hood, or scarf? Now all I need is a label and I’ve reached out to a local designer for assistance.

For supplies I’ve got scads of grandma yarn (free to me wool) to use for these small portable projects while I’m still commuting and flying around the world for the job that keeps a roof over my head and food on the table. Though I’d never really planned to make a profit, it is still good to have things to keep my hands busy and I’m a bit over hatted, scarved and mitted at the moment. As is my trusty husband.

Yoga Hood I am planning to sell at the resort next door

I’ve already posted about the Yoga hood I cobbled together from gift yarn—which will likely be the first item on sale. The next item I planned to show them was a matching hat and mitts I was making from leftover Tosh DK for my Woolful KAL George Hancock Home and Away sweater in lovely Worn Denim.

The mitts are no problem, because that is my own design. But as I was knitting the waffle hat I pulled out the pattern to look to see the decreases and to my disappointment the pattern says that it can only be used for personal use and non-profit use. And while I wasn’t planning on selling it for a profit (just cost) it seems like that would violate the disclaimer.  

While I completely agree that you should acknowledge where a pattern comes from. I can also completely understand not duplicating it and serving it up as your own design. Which is why the mitt pattern I created refers back to the Violet Waffles hat pattern as inspiration for their design. And while I completely get why you wouldn’t want a huge conglomerate (e.g., The Gap) taking a pattern and mass producing it as their own design, eliminating low-production, in-person sales of garments is a bit hard to understand. After all, the work of knitting it and the materials are my own. That said, this was a FREE pattern. So that might have something to do with it. I’ve written to the designer to ask her thoughts, just to be sure.

I’ll be sure to check this out before I knit up someone else’s design or design something to match. Another lesson learned the hard way!

I guess my sister-in-law will get this set. *sigh*