home! part 2– yarn purchases and FO’s

holy god, it’s been awhile since i posted about knitting. well, hopefully this post will make up for it.

endpaper mitts

FO: baby’s first endpapers
Pattern: eunny jang’s endpaper mitts
Yarn: j. knits superwash me sock in providence and bristol yarn gallery buckingham in natural
Needles: US Size 0 and 1
Started: April 2, 2008
Finished: May 1, 2008

endpaper mitts

i mentioned that i’d finished these, and on saturday i finally got a chance to take some photos. i love the way these turned out, and it’s actually given me a new curiosity about small gauge knitting. it’s so much easier on your wrists and shoulders! i gave these mitts fingers because i couldn’t imagine a time that i’d want wool gloves without fingers (either it’s cold out or it isn’t… and in toronto it’s much more likely to be the former). i also cast on using TECHknitter’s genius provisional tail method of 1×1 tubular cast on. i made the wrist extremely small (about 5″ around, unstretched) and then increased more often during the thumb gusset so that it measures about 6″ around the palm. this way, they fit me “like a glove” (for lack of less lame expression). anyways, i love them, and i’m sure they’ll get a lot of use when (god forbid) the weather begins to cool off again.

endpaper mitts

my only complaint was the j. knits yarn. the colourway is absolutely gorgeous, but while i was knitting it made me sort of sneezy and itchy. DH, who’s more sensitive to wool than i am, had to leave the room while i skeined it. after i finished knitting, i washed them thoroughly before blocking and they didn’t give me any more trouble. i assume this is a personal allergy and not a flaw with the yarn, but i don’t think i’ll buy it again for this reason.

one hour camera cozy

FO: 1-hour camera cozy
Pattern: none
Yarn: berroco comfort
Needles: machine knit
Started: May 3, 2008
Finished: May 3, 2008

saturday morning i opened the new digital camera and used my endpaper mitt as a case. which worked fine, except that it was cold and i probably should have been wearing the gloves. when i got home, i noticed my old knitting machine and decided to play around with some of my new yarn. an hour later, i was seaming and adding buttons. i really like the case despite how basic it is, and i hope i get to play around with the machine again in the future (it was too big to take home on the plane)

one hour camera cozy

i absolutely loved working with this yarn. i took a total leap of faith making my first online yarn order with WEBS and berroco comfort was everything i was hoping for.

speaking of that WEBS order, here it is in full:

berroco comfort

berroco comfort. i LOVE this yarn– it’s my new favourite acrylic (sorry caron simply soft!). the gauge is slightly larger and it has a stretchiness and sheen that i haven’t seen before. i don’t even know what to make with this. i just want to wrap up in it. maybe a bainbridge scarf

swtc twize

SWTC twize. this yarn was also a leap of faith. i knew i loved the feel of bamboo but the fibre construction of this yarn is very different. it has a bunch of tiny ply’s in a bunch of different colours that are very loosely spun. from far away, it almost looks like a variegated yarn knit at a small gauge. again, this yarn is unbelievably soft, and has the shininess that you’d expect from a bamboo yarn. i did a swatch on size 5’s (smaller than recommended but they were the largest needles i had with me) and got 6 st/in. my only problem so far is that the first yarn i inspected had a big ol’ knot right on the outside of the skein. not a good sign. sigh. oh well.

classic elite inca print

classic elite inca print. yummy. nice, fluffy alpaca in gorgeous colours. nuff said.

i also had some yarn waiting for me from brooklyn handspun:

brooklyn handspun instant gratification

brooklyn handspun instant gratification

brooklyn handspun instant gratification

it’s instant gratification in “lazy day”. i’ll be honest here– i was speaking to marie about which type of yarn i should get and initially wanted soft spun. she explained that she only picks extremely soft yarn and reccomended instant gratification since it would knit at a larger gauge, and i agreed, even though i really didn’t believe her. let me tell you, marie is NOT a liar. this 100% merino is INCREDIBLE. it feels so close to the inca print 100% alpaca i couldn’t even tell the difference with my eyes closed. i will never doubt her again :). i swatched it on a pair of 4’s and got 7 st and 8 rows/in.

going home to NY also meant shopping! everything here in toronto is way too expensive, so things like wii games, books, and knitting supplies have been neglected up until now.

my first EZ book! i don’t know why i never bought one before, but i flipped through knitting without tears at B&N and no longer had an excuse not to buy it. such great tips! i also got drawn into victorian lace today which sounded kind of dorky and lame, but it turned out to be SO interesting. i guess that makes me dorky and lame. but i’ve been really interested in lace since i knit the swallowtail shawl and haven’t been able to find any lace that was “my style”– everything i see i can only imagine on my grandmother. some of the stuff here is sort of frumpy, but some is so amazingly intricate and modern. i think my first project from this book will be the curved shawl— love those lace circles.

i also made my way around to a bunch of yarn stores. we were only there for two days so i couldn’t get to all of them, but i tried to rate them in importance and convenience.

first in both categories was knitty city. since it opened a few years ago, it seems that this has been the premier yarn store to everyone in the city. i’d been there a few times but they were always very busy so i never felt welcome. i was surprised when i walked in that there were actually only a few other people shopping. the cashier welcomed me and we had a conversation while i searched their DPNs. the store owner came over and introduced herself to me, and after a quick but very friendly conversation she asked if i would be interested in having my i ❤ NY hat pattern in her store. i promptly freaked out, purchased my needles, and proceeded to call my entire direct family to brag. we haven’t finalized anything yet but hopefully within the next week or so i’ll be able to say i have a pattern in the best yarn store in the best city in the world.

after hearing a truckload of good reviews of yarntopia, i trekked all the way up there to check it out. the store was empty, aside from the cashier and her friend sitting and chatting with each other, and i wasn’t terribly impressed by the yarn selection or prices. i’d heard on the ravelry forums that they had addi’s for $13, but the prices had all been ticketed over with a new price of $16.99. i picked up a pack of susan bates DPN sock set and hightailed it outta there. don’t think i’ll be stopping in again.

i also managed to get to stitches east. i was perplexed that there was a store right in midtown that i must have walked by a billion times and never even noticed. when i got there, i realized why i never saw it before. it’s tucked away in a plaza on a side street with no signage at all. the store was empty. there are no prices on any of the yarns, and i felt like i would have been bothering the old lady behind the counter if i asked (she was on the phone and didn’t even say hi when i walked in). there were prices handwritten on a few of the needles and they were not impressive. i think the only way i’d go here again was if i desperately needed something and couldn’t get to the west side or to the yarn connection (again, not a good store– but closer to my parents’ apartment and at least they talk to you!– not to be confused with the yarn co. on the upper west side which i would not go to with a gun to my head.)

on my way to stitches east, i passed lee’s— which experience told me was an overpriced, stuffy art supply store, but curiosity convinced me to at least take a look in. sure enough, prices were still cheaper than curry’s or aboveground in toronto and they’ve expanded their craft section to include felt and yarn. yes, lee’s art store– that pretentious department-style art shop– now carries lion brand. i picked up some eucalan and a dry erase board in the form of a wallpaper roll. if i knew how awful stitches was going to be, i would have taken a closer look at the lion brand organic cotton.

geez, that’s a lot of blogging for one day. time to play with the fun new yarns…

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