Aug. 1st, 2010 10:17 pm
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
I've spent the last two days helping out KnitWitches at KnitNation. It was a lot of fun, but very tiring, especially since I started the weekend with some kind of horrible stomach bug that didn't completely go away until sometime last evening.

If you've ever seen KnitWitches yarn at a show or perhaps at I Knit London, you know that it lives up to its name: "Seriously Gorgeous". Eirwen, the talented dyer and creates amazing colourways in luxury yarn that so many UK knitters, myself included, just lust after. It was loads of fun to watch her enjoying the pleasure people got from looking at and touching her work. She's not only an amazing dyer, she's a delightful person, and I enjoyed every minute I spent with her. Her husband, Richard, is also lovely. I'm not sure, but I may have earned the name "snood-chucker", which is probably right up there with "chicken-chaser" in the world of great titles. ;-)

There were loads of knitting luminaries to be seen, but as I was working (and couldn't have afforded any of the classes anyway), I didn't meet any of them. I did catch a glimpse of Beth Brown-Reinsel at the after party, as well as Cookie A, but I didn't meet anybody else. I did score a copy of Janel Laidman's first book The Enchanted Sole, which she apparently was on hand to sign, but ih. Honestly, the classes were so expensive that nobody I know could have afforded any of them, but there were a whole lot of knitters there spending a whole lot of money, so somebody must have been able to. It's too bad: I've been wanting to take BBR's Gansey Workshop for years. That's the only class that really appealed to me: most everything else was stuff I've done before. It didn't really matter; I got to see a lot of friends, and I really enjoyed working with KnitWitches. Besides, I already got to meet my Knitting Idol, and it was just as fabulous as I hoped it'd be.

Both days were busy, in waves. Wollmeise was definitely the rock star of the show; Eirwen said that on Thursday night's pre-show sale, the doors opened and the thundering footsteps down to the Woolmeise booth just made everybody laugh. Wollmeise is hard to get outside of Munich: while they have an online store, they post new wool every week, one a week, and they sell out in less than 24 hours. So, yeah. If you go to the store near Munich, you can get it, but otherwise you have to hope you know someone who's going to Munich (well, Pfaffenhofen) and doesn't mind stopping by Wollmeise for you.

Juno had some lovely things, as did Artisan, Old Maiden Aunt, Skein Queen, EasyKnits, and of course KnitWitches (but you know I'm biased!). Because the KnitWitches booth was just across from Loop, I got to talk to the Loop Ladies, and since the Knitting and Crochet Guild stand was just a little further on, I got to talk to and hang out with the lovely Vanessa, Jan, Yvonne, Penny, Roz, and Various Other People I Can't Remember Right Now.

Good things about the show: Cosy atmosphere, friendly people, mostly good organisation and communication, extremely helpful and ever-present crew. Good mixture of ages, though the event definitely skewed younger and hipper with loads of Ravellers and their youthful enthusiasm everywhere.

Room for improvement: Marketplace seemed cramped from the vendor point of view: even six more inches would have made folk much more comfortable. Shops seemed stacked, and the very smallest stall size was barely big enough for two people and a table. Location in general was not fabulous: hard to find, expensive neighbourhood that probably made accommodation difficult for out-of-towners, we were sharing the space with ICL students and staff, not to mention other events going on throughout the weekend, such poor acoustics in the after party that you had to shout to hear yourself and hearing others was impossible. Classes were £10 more expensive for 3 hours than the I Knit Weekender classes (I admit I may be feeling sour grapes here because I was interested in several and would never have been able to afford them-- I couldn't have afforded to go if I hadn't been working for KnitWitches, so that gives you an idea of exactly how poor I am).

Friday, I was on the stall most of the day, with a half hour break for lunch and little walks around the marketplace to stretch. It was a little annoying not to have a badge, as I kept getting stopped at the door and having to explain who I was again, but nothing's perfect. Marketplace was open 'til 8, but Eirwen let me go around 6. Of course, I spent the rest of the evening hanging out with the ladies at K&C Guild, and then [profile] filceolaire brought me doughnuts! He and I had dinner out, then he went off to do night inspections, and I went home to fall into bed.

Saturday, I was on the stall most of the day, with a half hour break for lunch and little walks around the marketplace to stretch. [personal profile] mokatiki came by, and we had a wander. She bought yarn. She helped Eirwen buy yarn. She didn't buy that much yarn. Honest. After the marketplace closed at 6, we had an hour's worth of teardown, and then Vanessa, Penny, Mary, and I went to Paper Tiger for Chinese buffet (£4.99, yay! long walk, boo!), then back to ICL for the Ravelry Party (which, unlike the Ravelry Talk, we didn't have to pay £10 to get into). We met Meg, whose Ravelry name has the word Smurf in it, and I finally actually got a Ravelry badge. I'm not all that active on Ravelry, but hey. There were lovely raffle prizes, which we didn't win, and some knitting luminaries, who didn't know us well enough to realise that we were much more entertaining than all the people we did know. We left a little after 10, having drunk our fill (a Diet Coke each!), and then we had to work to find the exit to the venue and walk back to South Kensington to catch buses home. I made a poor decision and caught a very slow, tiny bus that said it went to Elephant and Castle. I got off the bus at St. Giles Circus and caught a 188 to Canada Water, so I could get a closer bus home.

Here is a photograph of all the yarn I got, and an explanation of how I paid for very little of it. :D

Here's the yarn I scored at KnitNation. Top Left: Wollmeise Laceweight, in colourway Kornblume. 300g, 1,722 yards. 100% merino superwash. Payment for a lace class to be taught to S. Top Middle: KnitWitches Seriously Gorgeous Cash-anova Supersock, in colourway Woodland. 300g, appx 1,200 metres. Merino/Cashmere/Nylon. Payment from KnitWitches. Top Right: Wollmeise Twin, in colourway Förster's Glück, 100g, 311m. Superwash merino. For a sock for J. Top Righter Right: Wollmeise Twin, in colourway Feldmauschen, 100g, 310m. Superwash merino. For a sock for J. Smack-Dab in the Middle: Tilli Thomas Rock Star, in colourway Stony Mist, 100g, 150 yards. Silk with glass beads. Yarn-seller's gift to a friend who didn't care for the colourway. Below the smack-dab in the Middle: Wollmeise Lace, in colourway Golden Pear. 300g, 1,717 yards. 100% superwash wool. For my Dryad, payment for another lace class, as it turns out. Bottom: KnitWitches Seriously Gorgeous Laceweight Silk, in colourway Lapis Night. 300g, 1,800m. 100% silk. Payment from KnitWitches.

kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
Hi, I'm Gwen, and I am a yarn addict.

(Hi, Gwen!)

That's how all this started, anyway. I was at I Knit London last night to teach my class, and the lovely L let me know that there was Handmaiden Silk in the house. At first, I refused to even get up and look at it, because I worried what would happen.

Well, it's gorgeous. Amazing. The colourways are fabulous. But there's only 650 yards in a skein, and I would be unable to make Dryad without two skeins. At £22.95 a pop, that's much more than my budget (what budget? I'm broke!) currently allows. Then, I had a look at their wool/cashmere sock yarn and was just about lightheaded with yarnlust. L, R, and half the shop were unhelpful; Alpaca Addict pulled me back from the brink and reminded me that in order to be awake and alive to knit, I must also have the money to eat, bless her!

So....I decided that when I got home last night, I'd take a look at the lace yarn I have, assess it for projectworthiness, and satisfy my craving for a new lace project with some of the gorgeous laceweight already in my stash. I know, sounds logical, but if you could have touched this stuff... omgomgomg.


The photo that follows is all the lace yarn from my stash that I might want to use in a new project. It includes some 4-ply (the Debbie Bliss, Artisan Ravelry Red Silk and the Duet Sock, and the DT Craft Designs, although the DT is very light) and some standard laceweight (Cherry Tree Hill, Wildfire Fibres, Knitwitches, Knitting Goddess Cashmere), and one that might fall in the middle but is definitely closer to lace in my book (Mind's Eye). I've noted their yardage in the caption to the photograph below. I left out the Malabrigo Lace (in neon green!) I'm using for Heere Be Dragone!, since I am going to finish that one day; heck, I may even take him along to the convention this weekend, though I doubt I'll give him so much as a stroke. I left out several skeins of cobweb lace yarn because I'm just not feeling up to it at the moment. I may have missed some things in the bottom of the WWII US Army footlocker reserved just for sock and lace wool (and maybe from the three plastic bins that serve as the overflow storage for the WWII US Army footlocker reserved just for sock and lace wool....). (What?! Shut up!)

But this is a good enough stack to choose from for now.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter or Facebook (yes, OK, I may also have an internet problem, but I promise it doesn't get in the way of the knitting: just housework, deadlines, and managing to get out of the house on time, and it has the added bonus of keeping me way up to date on bad American television!), you might have read that I'm looking for a new lace project. I want something repetitive but interesting, stunning if possible. It's not that I'm tired of socks (how could I be? I have something like a dozen pairs on needles!); it's just that sometimes I itch for something different. Well, and when I'm stressed, as I'm stressed about this weekend's convention, I itch to start something new. Starting something makes me feel confident, if that makes any sense.

So take a look at the yarn picture below, if you would please, and then take a look at some of the projects linked to below the cut tag. I'm afraid some of them are Ravelry links. What catches your fancy?

Under Consideration: Lace Wool
Under Consideration: Lace Wool
From the bottom (large white label with lady's face on it), clockwise around and into the middle:

1. Duet Sock Yarn from A Swell Yarn Shop, bought at Socktopus last year; 450 yards. Coordinating heel and toe yarn, but I'm sure I'd find a use for it if I used this for a lace project.

2. Wild Fire Fibres Unicorn Lace, in colourway "Broken Stones". A Christmas gift (2008) from delightful elder stepdaughter who is muchly adept at lace knitting. 1200 yards.

3. Knitwitches Seriously Gorgeous Laceweight Kid, in colourway "Sherbert". Bought at I Knit London sometime last year I think. 1200 metres.

4. Knitting Goddess cashmere lace in colourway "Autumn". I'm hesitant to use this, because it was a gift from Joy when I said I'd design a couple of lace socks for her. Both socks are designed, but the patterns aren't finished and the test socks aren't knitted. 1050 metres.

5. DT Craft Designs hand dyed sock yarn in colourway "Enchanted Glade". A gift from a knitswap from a couple of years ago. Alpaca and nylon, 382 yards.

6. Artisan Yarns Ravelry Red Bright Silk, the last skein they had of it at I Knit Day in September 2009. 600 metres.

7. Debbie Bliss Pure Silk. Bought at John Lewis sale last summer for a very good price, colourway 27015, 500 metres.

8. Mind's Eye Merino Sock Yarn (with portion on needles, leading up to centre). Yes, I started the Hypnosis Sock from Enchanted Sole on this wool, but I'm unhappy with how it's knitting up as a sock and it feels much more lacey to me. So I'll restart Hypnosis in Firelizard (which I should have done to begin with, duh) and rewind this. Bought at Mind's Eye in Cambridge MA on our last trip to the US. 400 yards.

9. (In the centre, partly wound and partly still in the hank—you'll understand why in about 5 seconds) Cherry Tree Hill Merino Lace in colourway River Run, bought at I Knit London last year. 2400 yards.

Lace Project Possibilities:
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)
So, you know. I got yarn. I didn't pay for all of it, and what I did pay for was cheap, cheap, cheap.

Eight photographs below the cut tag )

MCA Direct
The Knitting Goddess
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
It arrived today! Believe it or not, there is enough here to make a cardigan. I will probably use it to make this vest for [ profile] filceolaire. Just imagine it all in shades of blue and grey. I may swap out the 3d box pattern on the bottom, because I don't like it. But we shall see.

Photos below cut tag )
kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (knitting!)
I got a call today from G at I Knit London, who wanted to schedule just about all my proposed classes!

So, here is the docket.

  • Saturday, 7 March: Tunesian Crochet, 12pm-2pm
  • Saturday, 14 March: Knit Fix, 3:30-6pm
  • Saturday, 21 March: Weird Knitting Techniques, 12pm-3pm
  • Saturdays, 4, 11, 18 April: Entrelac Scarf, 12pm-2pm
  • Saturdays, 4, 11, 18 April: Sock Knitting for Beginners, 2:30pm-4:30pm.

Also: I bought yarn. Just look for 'Kauni'. I didn't buy as much as I planned to buy, but it is amazing stuff, and it's further amazing how little you need to make a cardigan! :D


kniteracy: You can get this design on a card or a picture to hang! (Default)

April 2011

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