Updates from September, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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

  • 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.

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    • 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 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 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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    • 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

  • knitting1105 10:27 am on June 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Socks again 

    At Yarn Con recently I purchased this yarn from Lorna’s Laces:

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    Lorna’s Laces has traditionally been a solid go-to yarn.  It is soft and squishy, and wears well.  In past years, I have purchased yarns that were seconds at their loft studio.  The colors in this yarn really spoke to me.  When I knit it up, the colors pooled, but did not muddy out.

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    I do wish that the repeats were a bit shorter to have the colors more like ended up on the heel portion.

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    In spite of the pooling, the socks came out really well and were so soft and wonderful to the touch.  These were gifted to my DIL for her birthday.  She loved the yarn when I brought it home from YarnCon.  Hopefully she likes the socks equally well.

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    And, she had asked for some fingerless mitts, so these were knit with some variegated Koigu, and remnant sock yarn.

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  • knitting1105 10:55 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bumblebee acres, variegated sock yarn,   

    Variegated Yarns and Socks 

    I love the look of variegated sock yarns.  So much so that I am constantly attracted to them when at sales, such as the recent YarnCon.  This yarn was purchased at YarnCon from Bumblebee Acres, I loved the colors.

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    It was described as having red stripes, with the rainbows between the stripes, and periods black dots (which are not overly prominent on the skein).  Unfortunately, the vendor had nothing knit up with any of these yarns.  The yarn wound up beautifully into the cake.

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    Then, I started knitting it up…

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    I knew that there were black spots interspersed, although I was not sure why.  The dots were very prominent on the first sock, and then got less as the sock was knit up.  I opted to make a short pair of socks with this, both because I was less than pleased with the color repeat, and because I think that these may make nicer fingerless mitts.  I did love how the heel knit up, and this fell in line with the description given to me by the vendor.

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    You can clearly see a distinction between sock #1 and sock #2.  Not my favorite, but they are cute short socks.  We will see how the yarn knits up into fingerless mitts.

     

     
    • Deborah 11:01 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I think the socks are pretty, but this yarn should make beautiful mitts.

      Liked by 1 person

    • salpal1 11:28 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I like them very much, but I have always struggled with yarns like this – I think my feet are wider than they plan for when they make the stripes – so I get socks like yours, when I want them striped like the heels. I figure if my socks were 58 or 60 stitches around, it would work right. So maybe in the mitts, it will work just fine!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:12 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I consider these an average size, using size 1 needles and 64 sts/round. I just wish that I had seen a knitted version. Perhaps that is why they didn’t have one!

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 2:13 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          I use 64 stitches also, and don’t get the pretty stripes everyone else seems to.

          Maybe it is why they didn’t; have a samples, who knows? I usually like their yarns and colors, though.

          On Loose Threads group in ravelry, there is a thread about clown barf. You might want to go there and check it out. You will find your socks aren’t so bad at all. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:37 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It took me a bit ot find the thread about clown barf – Loose Ends. Man that made me feel better, there are some seriously ugly variegated projects. But the dyers keep reeling us in with those beautiful color combinations. Thanks for the good laugh of the day.

        Liked by 1 person

        • salpal1 5:57 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          Glad I could help! There are some really ugly ones there, but there also were some great ideas and options. I liked the entrelac pattern, kept the colors from mixing too much. 😉

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    • Elaine 2:05 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      What a shame that the finished result isn’t what you were expecting or hoped for. The heels are far nicer looking than the body of the socks and much more what I would expect from a variegated yarn. The stripes on the body aren’t wide enough for me and make the finished socks look far too busy for my liking but they are bright and colourful. I hope the colourway of the remaining yarn works better in your mitts and leaves you feeling less disgruntled 🙂 x

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 2:38 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I think lesson learned, trust the dyers that I really love and know… Perhaps the mitts will come out better. Not wanting to try them right now though.

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        • Elaine 2:45 pm on June 1, 2018 Permalink

          I can understand you not wanting to try the mitts right now – hopefully some of your other yarns will yield happier results for you. It’s a shame that giving a new dyer a chance has had such a negative outcome 😦

          Liked by 1 person

    • Gracey 1:43 pm on June 2, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Was it marketed as self-stripe or variegated? I like both of the fabrics, heel and sock….and my Hubs loves “clown barf” yarn, so I have lots of it! I have the opposite…I have very skinny feet, but also very prominent bunions…ugly feet….

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 12:16 pm on June 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        It was marketed as self striping. How they described it is how the heel looked. I am hoping that the fingerless mitts work better.

        Like

  • knitting1105 2:35 pm on May 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Coming up for Air! 

    Wow, over 2 months since I last posted.  This past semester has been tough, I way over committed myself.  Teaching almost a full load, taking 2 classes myself (Architectural History and Japanese), and doing some private design work left me way over my head.  And in the midst of this, I got a really bad cold that wiped me out for about 10 days.  I could barely keep up with the pace, and I am so glad that it is summer.  It will take me awhile to gather my senses, catch up, and deal with some of the house chaos.   Thank goodness my husband takes care of a lot around here, and I have a cleaning lady, otherwise we would be in serious trouble here.  This summer I am looking forward to finishing some abandoned projects around the house and having lots of knitting and spinning time.

    In spite of my schedule, I have been knitting this entire time, so will have some catchup to do on the posts.  First, I want to talk about Yarn Con this year.  My son, DIL and beautiful grand baby were here that weekend, so I literally rushed down for 1/2 hour to see what was available, and snatched up a few items.

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    Vibrant rainbow type colors attracted me this year. Lorna’s Laces has a new owner, and I have always loved their yarns, this one spoke to me:

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    While it will not self stripe, I love the color combo, kind of like a vibrant spring feel.  I really think that I bought this color combo years ago.

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    And the next 2 were new to me dyers.  The first is Bumblebee Acres, and I came back twice to look a this.  They did not have a sample knit up, so I went with their description of how it would look.  More on that soon.

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    Lastly was this sock yarn from Mode Knit Yarn.   Not quite as vibrant, but still has that rainbow vibe.

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    And how could I resist this cool bag from Bunny Badger for Izumi, looked like it would be a good toy bag.

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    The fabric is so fun.  Kind of wish that I had snagged an extra one for myself!

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    The same vendor had some fun buttons:

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    And I leave you with Izumi modeling one of the baby shower sweaters!  This is the last time that we saw her, she has changed a lot in a few weeks.

    I promise myself to not be away this long again.

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    • Diane Hamilton 6:52 pm on May 23, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Sorry it has been so hectic. Hopefully you can rejuvenate this summer and not take on so much next semester. Izumi is an adorable model!

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 11:24 am on June 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yes Izumi is so fun to knit for. Many things here to sew up that are waiting for her.

        Like

    • Elaine 12:44 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      She is adorable, your little grandbaby 🙂

      Oh what a sumptuous collection of yarns you treated yourself to. I need to think about finding some yarn for my next project ….. need to find the pattern first. It’s somewhere upstairs 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yvonne Creanga 11:00 pm on May 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love your passionate fawning over your first grandchild. I hope to be like you when my time comes to be a grandma.
      Izumi is so precious.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 3:42 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Vogue Knitting is Back! 

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    After a hiatus of 3 years, Vogue Knitting decided to return to Chicago, at least for this year.  I had taken some really great classes there in the past, and finally decided about a week ago to take the plunge and try a couple of the classes.  It is much smaller than it had been in previous years, was put together on a short notice.  Nonetheless, we were happy to have this event back in town.  It was at the Chicago Hilton on Michigan Avenue, so not as convenient as the Palmer House for transit.

    This event occurred at a particularly busy time of year for me; school is busy, taking classes, One Earth Film Festival, and preparing for a trip over Spring Break.  Nonetheless I finally broke down about a week ago and opted to take 2 classes on Saturday (more about that tomorrow).

    Friends Barb and Pam from Stitch ’n Bitch went with me for the morning, they just had morning classes, and we went shopping together at lunchtime.  I was very restrained.  The first thing that I purchased was discounted books from Vogue Knitting.

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    The tuck knitting is a new technique to me, and I thought it was worth a try.

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    And, with a little Granddaughter to knit for, of course I had to get the Doll clothes patterns.  I have 2 of her earlier books, and had knit things for my niece from them.  I love the fantasy aspect of these, and strong girls.

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    A knitting coloring book on sale also seemed like a great option. Good thing to put my Prismacolors to use with.

    For the rest of the market, I was not overwhelmed.  We circled around once, and I purchased this neat cloth box holder.  I think that I would like more of these.  I envision this sitting on my organized counter in my knitting room.  Hopefully the organized thing will happen soon!

    The first pass around, all 3 of us were impressed with a fair trade booth that had fair trade yarn, Merino grown from their own sheep and natural dyes from the area were used.  The yarn is made in Rwanda, and is a women’s collective that helps those who suffered under the genocide, and pays a living wage.  On display was a cool double knit cowl that so impressed us, that we all bought the kit with the pattern, yarn, and a fun bag.  The yarn is all organic, and so incredibly soft to the touch.  This will make a beautiful cowl.

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    And, as I was checking out, a person was looking at this beautiful lambskin leather bag.  When they opted to not get it, I snagged it up.  This will become my good purse when I want to take along my knitting.  It is so soft.

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    The interior has hand stamped fabric.  Made in Ethiopia.

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    I am hoping that Vogue decides to make this an annual event in Chicago again.  It gives opportunity to take classes that would otherwise not be easily available.  Plus another knitting time to hang out with friends.

    YarnCon is next month!

     
    • Gracey 3:46 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      You seemed to have gotten some good things. I went to Vogue NY this January. I hadn’t been in a couple of years.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 3:51 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, I did, and felt good about myself and being restrained. Helped that there were not a lot of booths!

      Like

      • Gracey 3:52 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Yeah our Stitches United coming up at the end of the month doesn’t have a ton of booths, but there are some good ones.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Pam 7:24 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I couldn’t wait until Easter basket season to give Joey his romper/sunsuit. He loved it and so did his parents. You never know what you will find at a knitting market.

      Liked by 1 person

    • knitting1105 8:48 pm on March 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Yes, knitting ever surprises! I am glad that they liked it, it was too cute.

      Liked by 1 person

  • knitting1105 5:18 pm on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    This Sweater makes me sad 

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    To be clear, this is one of my favorite baby sweater patterns, I have made several, and have plans for another.  I love the kimono style wrap, which is very easy for dressing babies.

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    This was made with Baby Ull by Dale of Norway, now Dale Garn.  I have been knitting with this yarn for many many years, it is my favorite baby yarn that I have ever tried, and I have tried many.  The colors have always been so amazingly beautiful and rich, and the yarn is faithfully great quality.  Until recently.  I just heard that they had shifted production of their yarn from Norway to China a couple of years ago.  I have not made a ton of baby sweaters in that time.  Then I was working on this, the brown yarn and the blue yarn were the quality that I have come to expect from DoN.  Then, I was finishing this up last week for a gift, and decided that the lovely grayish purple would be the perfect 3rd color.  Knitting with it, I started to find slubs in the yarn and some poorly spun areas.  Not something that I had ever encountered with this yarn before.  When I looked at the ball bands, the brown and blue were from my older stash, and made in Norway, the Purple was from China; not the same quality.

    I still love how the sweater came out.

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    Here is one that I made several years ago for my Niece Riley.  The colors make it feel so different.

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    Of course, I needed to make booties to go with this sweater.  This is a free pattern, Christine’s stay-on booties.  I have made these before, they are fun and look like little moon boots for those “Fred Flintstone” shaped newborn feet!

    To make matters worse, I recently read that DoN will no longer be selling to the US market.  I do have quite a stash of Baby Ull (for those few who have been privy to my Baby Ull hoarding), but lacking in a few of the neutrals.  I took care of part of that with a recent order to KidsKnits.

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    And while I was there, they had all of their DoN booklets on sale so, I added to my collection.

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    I must say that while these books are nice, they come nowhere near the level of sophistication and color work of the older booklets.  I am happy that I have many of the older ones in my library.

    I think that i will stash up a bit more, and morn the loss of the beautiful designs and yarn.  I am hoping to find some North American yarns that can fill the void.

     
    • Pam 9:10 pm on July 27, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I will check what I have and share with you…if it isn’t made in China. I bought it for a baby blanket.

      Liked by 1 person

      • knitting1105 9:58 am on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Pam, no need. I have plenty for the moment. Thanks for thinking of me. Make that baby blanket!

        Like

    • Gracey 7:42 pm on July 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lovely colors….I felt like that when I found our Manos would no longer make their cotton stria…I stocked up on it whenever I saw it…

      Like

    • Diane F Hamilton 10:17 pm on August 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      It is too bad that they switched to China production, but the sweater still turned out very nice!

      Like

  • knitting1105 11:22 am on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply  

    Yarn Con 2017 

    This year I met up with all my good knitting buddies from Snb at Yarn Con.  Because of a teaching conflict on Monday nights, I have not been to knitting all semester, and it is just not as much fun to knit alone.  It was like reunion day seeing everyone in line, and then we went out to lunch together at Inspiration Kitchen, a great restaurant idea.

    Here is a video showing highlights from Yarn Con.  You will see 2 of my SnB buddies in there, and even a shot of yours truly, which much as I hate photos, I was okay with this one.  Those of you who know my knitting may recognize me by a certain handspun hand knit shawl.

     

    The colors were all pretty, and many new vendors.  However, I was not in the market for any new yarn, and nothing was a must have for me.  Here are my purchases:

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    Some sock yarn from Three Irish Girls, I have seen their yarn before, but never tried it, these bright colors spoke to me.  Sock yarn is always a safe purchase.

    A couple of note cards, obviously reserved for special appreciating folks.

    And little fabric holders to keep my DPN’s all together in their drawers.

    Thats it!  I was so excited to go, and happy with my little purchases.

     
    • Yvonne Creanga 11:52 am on April 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I might need to plan on a visit sometime down the road. It look intoxicatingly fun.

      Like

    • Barbara Mayer 8:11 am on April 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We miss you, Frances! It was a wonderful day!

      Like

    • Diane F Hamilton 12:21 am on April 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Oh my, after seeing all the picture of Yarn Con I am so impressed that you walked away with just a couple of items!

      Like

    • Mimi 4:49 am on July 22, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Great post, Frances! It was great to see a few SnB faces. I miss you guys!

      Like

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