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  • knitting1105 7:09 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    WTF?!!! 

    Okay, I am a very political person, and I try my best to restrain myself on this site.  But this has gone too far.  Tariffs now on yarn and fabric imports!  But not on Trump hats and Chinese merchandise!  This is beyond ridiculous.

    Everyone needs to vote in November!!!

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    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-09-18/crafters-fail-to-sway-trump-as-yarn-fabric-stay-on-tariff-list

     
    • Diane Hamilton 7:43 pm on September 19, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That sucks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 3:07 am on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Only vote in November if you will be voting against Trump and his supporters. 😈

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 4:18 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes agreed. I implied that, but should have been specific. Yarn is really a small issue, but it is endemic of a much larger problem. I know that there is some US yarn, and that is great, but I think fabric is a tougher issue.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 1:14 pm on September 21, 2018 Permalink

          Yes, you can find usa yarn, but other countries just do a better job making fabric than we do. Just picked up some cute fabric because “ have to get to now, prices are going to increase!

          Like

  • knitting1105 12:32 pm on September 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Japanese stitch dictionary, Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival   

    Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Revisited 

    Finally, after a 4 year hiatus, I was able to return with Dan to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival (why do people always want to get married on this weekend?!).  We drove up and back in one day, something that we are not going to repeat, it is so much more enjoyable to stay overnight and not have the nighttime driving.  It was a long day, but fun.

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    Sheep judging, interesting as always

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    There was a different sheep shearer than we had seen in the past.  Amazing how docile the sheep get when put on their backs.

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    And we got to see a new sheep breed being introduced to the US, Valais Blackness, a breed from Switzerland.  Look at that fleece!  Apparently it is a coarse wool, I wonder if it is like Churro sheep.  This was the hit of the fair for breeders.  They are so cute also.

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    We also watched the sheep dog trials, which is so fascinating.  I am not sure how they train the dogs so well.  My photos were not great of that event.

    And then, on to the market.  The first year that I went to this event in 2010, the market overwhelmed me.  I was a brand new spinner, taking my first class up there, and picking up my first wheel, the Ashford traditional.  That didn’t stop me from ogling over other wheels at the fair.  There were several vendors selling wheels, and so many with big bags of beautiful fleece and roving that you could buy in whatever quantity you chose.  By the next year, I had my eye on a Jensen wheel that was on display at the fair, and finally got it that winter,  I still love my Jensen.  The Traditional was sold right after I got the Jensen, and I still have my Ashford Joy for traveling, both great wheels.

    The market, while still occupying both of the large barns, was different.  There were the weaving and knitting and dyed fleece, but much less emphasis on spinning and I only saw one vendor with 2 big bags of roving.  That was a bit of a disappointment for me.

    Fiber Optic, my favorite dyer for roving was there, as they have been for the last several years.  I hesitate to admit how much of her roving I have in my stash waiting to be spun up, so I was not looking at that.  However, I have never knit with her sock yarn, and this seemed like a good time to purchase it, especially after my Clown Barf experience.  The owner, Kimber Baldwin, has a degree in Chemistry, and a great sense of color.  Plus, if you don’t like the outcome you can call her and return it!

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    Their yarn seems to be more popular now than the roving.  One day I will make it down to her shop, which looks amazing.  I purchased yarn for 3 pairs of socks.  the deep red/brown color is what Dan chose for himself.

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    I have already wound up the multi-color.

    My purchases also were for my Ravelry birthday twin, and then a new book for myself:

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    It is a lovely book, and I looked through it thoroughly.  Happily adding it to my stitch dictionary collection.

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    • salpal1 7:02 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, this post post makes me nostalgic! I went to this show for the first time last year – drove all the way out there (2.5 days each way) for a Ravelry meet up. We had a blast, and I got a Fiber Optic braid which spun up beautifully! I am glad you made it back and had fun, got some goodies!

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 10:20 pm on September 20, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Even though it was a quick trip, it looks like you had fun!

      Like

  • knitting1105 9:44 pm on September 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: clown barf   

    Clown Barf 

    Clown barf, this term was illuminated to me by both a reader of this blog, and a fellow Stitch ’n Bitch knitter, when I expressed dismay at how these socks had been knit up.

    They look nothing like what I thought they would, nor nothing like how they were described.  This was from Bumblebee Acres.

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    I bought this yarn, and others at the local Indy dyer yarn fair, Yarn Con, that I have been attending for years.  This year, I bought 3 skeins of sock yarn, only 1 pleased me, and that was from Lorna’s Laces.

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    I loved these socks, and they were gifted to my DIL.

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    So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to tackle the last of the YarnCon purchases.  This is what the yarn looked like before being wound. From Mode Knit Yarn.

    Let’s just say, that I was sorely disappointed with the results when knit up.  The only reason that these even got finished is that I wanted my beloved signature needles for my next project.  Amazing how you can knit fast just because you hate something so much and want to finish it.  I find the colors combination awful, dreary and poorly thought out.  How is that for a non-reccomendation?

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    I am done with kitchen sink dyers.  Tomorrow, I will post my newest sock yarn purchases which I am sure will please me.  Staying with the tried and true.

     
    • tonymarkp 6:12 pm on September 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      It’s amazing how taste can differ from knitter to knitter. I love how your second pair of socks came out with the colors in the Mode Knit (I had never heard of this yarn, so thanks for talking about it.) The textured pattern still shows up pretty well. The title of your post reminded me (and made me crack up laughing) about when I was a teenager and it was cool to say “doing the technicolor yarn,” like if someone got sick at school.

      Like

    • salpal1 6:50 am on September 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t agree about the yarns! It might be that the patterns you chose didn’t work well in your eyes… I find that with this kind of yarn the number of stitches really matters. Too many and the striped don’t line up. Often two more or fewer will make all the difference. Note the heels, and see if you like how they striped, then next time do a bit of swatching to get the magic number.

      Like

  • knitting1105 10:15 pm on September 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Great Northern Knits, Twin Peaks   

    My Prize 

    A  couple of years ago I entered a few items in the knitting contest at YarnCon, Chicago’s Indy Yarn fair that has been going on for several years now.  My Polar Bear Sweater was the winner of the best knitted sweater, and won the Best in Show also.

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    I was so excited, and received several nice prizes. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

    This sweater was knit during the 2008 Ravelympics.  I knit most of it while sitting at the beach at Lake Michigan, and then knit like a fiend when I got home to the neglect of everything else to finish during the summer Olympics – 2 weeks.  I was really proud of the results, and so happy to win something for my knitting efforts.

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    One of the prizes that I was to win, and receive later was the knitting book Great Northern Knits.

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    I must admit, I don’t even know what Twin Peaks is, but was happy to win a new book.  Then I mostly forgot about it.  I was surprised a couple of weeks ago when a package came in the mail, and I knew that I had not ordered anything.  So to my surprise, this book was inside.  They hadn’t forgot about me after all this time!

    There are some fun patterns in the book, and I will have to delve into it further at some point:

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    But, what caught my attention was this  sweater, knit at a very fine gauge.  Just my type of project.  This is on the to-do list.

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    Thanks Great Northern Knits!

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    • Deborah 9:20 am on September 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That sweater is fabulous. You deserve all the prizes!

      Like

    • canaryknits 11:39 am on September 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank YOU!! 🙂

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 12:38 pm on September 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I will be anxious to see your finished project. I’m glad they remember to send the book after 2 years. Wonder what took so long.

      Like

    • salpal1 4:58 pm on September 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Very nice prize for an incredible sweater!

      Like

  • knitting1105 7:47 pm on September 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: hand knit socks, simple sock patterns,   

    Socks again 

    After a summer of not posting (where did all the free time go to?), I am back again and determined to make this a more regular occurrence.

    In all of my travels this summer, I was making socks and a shawl (details on the shawl to come later).  I accomplished 3 pairs of socks, in addition to the travel shawl and finishing some projects over the summer.  Alas, no spinning or weaving though.  All of these socks were orphans most of the summer, as I started something new for each trip, not wanting to get caught without a project in hand.  Both of these socks were knit with yarn that I purchased from a fellow knitter’s destash.  The price was definitely right.

    The first pair of socks was knit with JaWoll (my favorite sock yarn), this time in a cotton blend.  this is a simple 1×1 ribbed cuff, with a K3, P1 for the body.  I love how this sock hugs your foot.

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    I used an army green superwash wool for the heels, and mixed the red and green for the toes. These socks make me happy.

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    My next pair of socks was a simple 1×1 twisted rib.   This yarn was not fun to knit with and I persevered with the second sock, determined to finish them.  The yarn was very splitty and difficult to knit with.  It does have a nice hand to it, but I will not be purchasing this in the future.

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    Heels and toes were done with a dark green yarn to accent the colors, I was nervous about having enough yarn, and I was correct in adding the contrasting yarn.  Not to mention that it looks much better.  I do like the variegation, and how the socks match, but not really.

    I have never seen this sock yarn in a local store, but will make a note to myself not to purchase it.

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    • Deborah 5:14 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Your socks are very pretty. I like the contrasting heels and toes. I am also knitting a pair with k3p1 ribbing all the way to the toes. It does make the socks fit better than just knitting.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 10:33 pm on September 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, I do think that the 1×3 ribbing for socks is my new go-to for just plain sock knitting.

      Like

    • Diane Hamilton 10:07 pm on September 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Even though I don’t knit socks, I appreciate your persistence and thoughtful comments?

      Like

  • knitting1105 1:12 pm on September 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Beth Brown-Reinsel, Gansey, Knitting Ganseys   

    Knitting Ganseys 

    If you read my last post, you know that Gansey sweaters originated in Guernsey, and the name was modified.  Years ago, I took the Gansey sweater class from Beth Brown-Reinsel.  We made a small sampler Gansey, that I still have.

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    This was at Stitches Midwest in 2002.  At the time I purchased her wonderful book, and she signed it for me.  It was a great class, and I have always wanted to make an adult sized Gansey, but haven’t gotten to it yet.

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    Photos from the original book:

    The book has great History, instructions on how to make the sampler Gansey, and some Gansey sweaters that you can follow the pattern for.  In the intervening years, I have taken at least one more class from Beth on twined knitting.  She is a great teacher. So, when I saw that an updated version of this book was coming out, I was all for it.  This is not the first time that I have purchased a newer version of a book that I already own.  I was not disappointed.

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    This book is hardcover, the first was a paperback.  This is full color versus B&W.  The photography is beautiful, stunning scenery, and gorgeous knits.  I read this like a novel, something that seems to be more and more common with knitting books.  The history that I have garnered from knitting books is amazing.  This has reignited my interest in making a Gansey sweater.  Of course, I found out that there is still a factory on Guernsey Island that makes sweaters after I got back!  I would highly recommend this book.

    I am still keeping my original copy.  Plus it has a note and signature from Beth!

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    • tonymarkp 7:07 pm on September 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I have the Knitting Ganseys book but never took the class. I made the adult sized sampler gansey for myself waaaay back when the book came out. I’ve knit a lot of ganseys since then. I hope you make some. The sweaters in that book are timeless, and even encourage you to try out steeking with a cardigan. If you can find the yarn, Wendy makes a sport-weight gansey yarn that is totally perfect for the patterns in that book. I have some in the stash waiting to be turned into an Alice Starmore gansey. 🙂 Alice Starmore also published a few gansey patterns knit in the round. It’s been so much fun to read about your trip to Guernsey and your plans to knit a gansey. It’s actually my favorite type of sweater construction!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 10:34 pm on September 7, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        You are inspiring me to start one, just as soon as I finish up a few other things.

        Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 10:29 am on August 27, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: guernsey Island, Guernsey sweaters   

    Ganseys in Guernsey 

    This past summer we had a wonderful 2 week trip to Europe which started with 3 nights in Guernsey.  Guernsey is one of the Channel Islands, technically a part of England, but situated much closer to the Normandy coast of France.  We flew into London, and took the ferry the next day from Portsmouth to Guernsey, an 8 hour ride.

    Arriving in the beautiful port at Guernsey, we were already smitten.

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    Why Guernsey?  This question was asked of me more times than I can count.  Originally, our big trip this year was going to be to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.  We quickly realized when we started planning, that due to difficulties getting from one country to the next, we would need more planning time.  Our next choice was Guernsey, Aix-en-Provence and Paris.  I had lived my junior year in Aix, and had been wanting to go back for some time.  And who doesn’t love Paris?  But Guernsey?  Well, it all started with a book that I read, that lead to a fascination with the island.

    8110V2WqqLL During WWII, Guernsey  and the other Channel Islands were occupied by the Nazi’s for 5 years. This is a fictional account of that time period, and how the residents suffered under the Nazi occupation.  After reading it several years ago, and having little knowledge of the island, and none of it’s history, I started trolling the internet to find out more.  What I discovered was beautiful scenery and an island that fascinated me.  That motivated me to have the island high on the “travel to” list.  And, I knew that Guernsey sweaters (later referred to as Ganseys) originated on the island.  As well as Guernsey cows.  Jersey island is right next door with it’s Jersey cows.

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    We loved our stay at Guernsey, definitely the highlight of our trip.  We stayed at the Ziggurat, and this is the view of the harbor outside of our window.

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    And the view at Breakfast

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    My husband is the best at indulging my interests, especially when it comes to knitting.  He found  The Folk and Costume Museum, and thought they might have some of the Guernsey sweaters there.  It was in a beautiful old converted farm.

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    Dan got his history of the island, and I found Guernsey sweaters.  My photos are not the best, the museum was very quaint, but poorly lit.  What I found really interesting is that they are known for these sweaters, but had no sheep on the island.  All of the wool was imported from England.

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    The guernsey is the mainstay of Guernsey’s knitting industry which can be dated back to the late 15th century when a royal grant was obtained to import wool from England and re-export knitted goods to Normandy and Spain. Peter Heylin described the manufacture and export of “waste-cotes” during the reign of Charles I. The first use of the name “guernsey” outside of the island [2] is in the 1851 Oxford Dictionary, but the garment was in use in the bailiwick before that.[3]

    The guernsey came into being as a garment for fishermen who required a warm, hard wearing, yet comfortable item of clothing that would resist the sea spray. The hard twist given to the tightly packed wool fibres in the spinning process and the tightly knitted stitches, produced a finish that would “turn water” and is capable of repelling rain and spray.[4]

    The guernsey was traditionally knitted by the fishermen’s wives and the pattern passed down from mother to daughter through the generations. While commercially available sweaters are machine knit, the final finishing of these machine-knit parts is completed by hand.[4]

    Through trade links established in the 17th century, the guernsey found favour with seafarers around the British Isles, and many coastal communities developed their own “ganseys” based on the original pattern. Whilst the classic guernsey pattern remained plain, the stitch patterns used became more complex the further north the garment spread, with the most complex evolving in the Scottish fishing villages.[5]

    Mary Wright argues that the use and wearing of guernseys throughout the British Isles for over a century and a half almost justifies the guernsey for qualification as a national costume.[6] A guernsey from the Folk Museum Guernsey was included in the 2010 BBC project A History of the World in 100 Objects.[7]

    The term can also refer to a similarly-shaped garment made of woven cloth, also called a Guernsey shirt or smock. There are a number of different names for the same garments, for instance Guernsey frock, Guernsey shirt, smock-frock, or fisherman’s frock. Essentially these are all the same garment, with the materials varying based on the purpose for which it is worn.[8]

    There is still a factory on Guernsey making the traditional style sweaters.  I am regretting not visiting that.  We were, however, so smitten with the island that we really want to go back and visit Guernsey again, and Jersey, Salk and St. Malo.

    Here are a few more photos from Guernsey:

    The walk up to our hotel:

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    View from lunch one day:

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    The German Occupation Museum.  This was really fascinating.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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    • salpal1 5:30 am on August 28, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful! My grandparents had a vacation on the channel islands back in the 60’s or early 70’s. I got a red Guernsey sweater that I loved. As I loved that book! Adding it to the bucket list! I wonder how life will change on the islands with Brexit? I imagine they have liked having the open borders, being so close to Brittany and Normandy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:29 pm on September 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        How cool that you had a sweater from Guernsey! My husband and I cannot recommend the island enough. We are waiting to go back after all the Brexit stuff has settled out. right now, the island feels more French than English, and the boats from St. Malo come regularly.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 7:38 pm on September 2, 2018 Permalink

          I expect that life will be quite different if they can’t come and go to France at will. I will definitely add it to my list. I spent a lovely week in Brittany, and several days in Normandy, I am sure I would love the channel islands.

          Like

  • knitting1105 2:32 pm on July 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: archiving history, navajo rug weaving, silent film   

    Navajo Rug Weaving 

    An historic silent film

     
  • knitting1105 9:30 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply  

    Japanese Knitting – A Review 

    A couple of weeks before we traveled to Japan, which was 5 years ago now, I took a course with Donna Druchunas on understanding Japanese knitting patterns.  While taking a class years ago with CookieA (remember her?, I think that she has gone undercover), she told me that the Japanese pattern books were a great inspiration for her sock designs.  So, when we were going to Japan I wanted to purchase some Japanese knitting books of course, and needed to know how to read/use them.  I would highly recommend the class by Donna if she is still teaching it.  That started my love of and collecting Japanese knitting books.  I could go into many reasons why I love them, but this post by SkeinYarn says it all.

    I recently acquired the book Japanese Knitting – Patterns for Sweaters, Scarves and More. This was shipped to me right at publication time.  Although, I just saw it cheaper at Target.  Who knew that Target carried knitting books?!  After taking the class in the spring on Japanese knitting techniques, I was anxious to get this new book. 

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    So, when the book came, I was excited ot open it.  This is one of the top Japanese designers, and I do love the attention to detail and aesthetics that they have.  When I opened the front cover, I loved the hand drawn designs for each project:

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    And I do like and appreciate how all of the stitches used are standardized, which makes going from one designer to another very easy.

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    But, my disappointment came with the patterns.  They are very boxy, and the majority of them are Crochet patterns.  While I do know how to crochet, quite proficiently, I prefer knitting for many reasons.  This book should have really been titled Japanese Knitting and Crochet.  Having looked at Japanese knitting books I do know that they call crochet books knitting books.  I expect that when seeing them in their own language, but not with a translation.  I know, I know, there is a byline at the top that states Knitting and Crochet, I just did not expect 1/2 of it to be crochet.  And, the irony is that my favorite pattern is crochet!

    That said, here are a couple of pages from the book.

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    Word of advise to myself, pursue the book in person before purchasing it if at all possible.  I will keep this book, but it is just not what I was hoping for.  The few patterns in the Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible book were more what I thought I would be getting, a rich attention to detail and complicated stitch patterns.

    That said, my favorite project at the moment is this crocheted stole.  Just might have to pick up a hook again.

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  • knitting1105 4:26 pm on June 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    End of an Era 

    My beloved Dale of Norway has decided to close their North American operations.

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    This makes me so sad, I learned how to knit Fair Isle with DoN, and it has been my go-to yarn for baby sweaters for years and years.  The Baby Ull is the softest, best wearing baby yarn, and the colors were always amazing and vivid.  When DoN decided last year to only sell to one distributor in the US, Heart of the Mitten, that was a big red flag.  Little did I know that the relationship with them would last less than a year.  So sad.  Luckily, as access to these yarns have become more and more difficult over the years, and I love to knit baby sweaters, I have been purchasing them whenever I see them available, particularly when they are on sale.  My stash of Baby Ull is quite extensive, almost yarn shop quantities I sheepishly admit.  But that did not stop me from purchasing a few more while they were still available.

    And, if any of you like the DoN books, which I must say are amazing, you can purchase them while they last for $1/each at the Heart of the Mitten.  I took advantage of that to add to my already extensive library.

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    I do have a couple of DoN ski sweaters that I knit, and for the Olympic sweaters, they came with a patch.  I will miss looking for what is available for the next winter Olympics.  A friend is visiting Norway right now and was going to stop at the DoN store, I will be curious to see what she finds there.

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    HA DET…

     
    • salpal1 4:02 am on June 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I wondered what would happen there. A shame, it is lovely yarn. But a great reason to go to Norway! And I presume we can pay shipping fees and still get it from overseas? And I have a nephew in Copenhagen… I presume it is still available in Denmark? He’s going to get some strange requests now!

      Liked by 1 person

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