actually, before we continue the yarn parade, a quick announcement—knitty surprise is up and my pattern for these cute fallberry mitts is one of the mid-issue bonus pieces (along with ann weaver’s fab oranje sweater—i WANT one, i WANT one!).
the delish pathway sport yarn in colorway roast carrots was generously contributed for this project by susan at slackford studio. susan’s got plenty in stock in this and some other enviable colors, too (there’s also a promotional code you can snag from the ad at the top of the knitty pattern page to get a 10% discount in susan’s shop). she was also kind enough to send extra yarn for a matching hat and scarf, which i’ll add to the pattern for its fall release in our own pattern shop.
so now . . . where were we? ah yes, YARN.
the other day, i showed you everything i brought home from TNNA, so today i’ll take you on a tour of what i brought home from my UK and upstate NY trips, and hopefully we’ll also dive into the boxes that were waiting here when i got home.
i showed you this once before, but it bears repeating—i received a terrific gift bag of yarn from buffalo gold, with a selection of items representing nearly every fiber blend they sell. really beautiful stuff, mmm.
well, first thing after alighting from the plane on wednesday morning, we were whisked off to alice’s house, where yarn was hung to dry in every corner of the socktopus studio, before going into goodie bags for retreat participants.
the weekend colorway is man of rock in sokkusu o for original, alices’s new tight twist merino sock. pictured below as well in a colorway i should know, but can’t remember, because there is no label attached. i just know it’s NOT tree frog.
on friday, we headed down to the retreat in cornwall, arriving in the late afternoon, just in time for drinks in the bar. there we sat with retreat participants, including a few yarnies who joined us for the weekend.
—yarnies with yarn in tow as a treat for the teachers. above, old maiden aunt alpaca/silk/cashmere fingering yarn, dyed by lilith (whose studio we visited in a previous post) in the irresistible pumpkin pie colorway.
sam, from yummy yarn studio came all the way from calgary in canada to attend and brought lovely yarn gifts for cookie, alice, and me. my package included a skein of merino/nylon superwash sock in colorway lego of my eggo, along with some heavenly alpaca/silk/cashmere lace in a gentle peach shade. mmmm
after the retreat, we headed back to london to repack and pick up david for our trip to scotland. as you know, we had a lovely visit in leeds on the way, where we browsed many local and micro-producers represented at baa ram ewe. i was careful to remember my limited suitcase space and didn’t buy, but regretted that later. then again, we’ll be back in the summer for knit nation and the selection could possibly be even better then.
in west kilbride we had an excellent adventure, visiting lilith’s studio and shop, where we dyed colorways of our own making. now that i’m home, i can take much better photos of my resulting yarns, dyed in deep, dark plum and navy over black.
the one on the left above is a chunky weight shetland wool and the one on the right is DK british blue-faced leicester (BFL). i am SO knitting myself a hat and mitts with these yarns to remember that day . . . isn’t the color amazing?
cookie’s yarns were equally compelling, in gray over yellow and black over red (i can’t find the photos though . . . sorry).
at loop london, the dizzying array of lovely wools and accessories almost caused a mental shutdown, when my eyes alighted on something completely different in a column of cubbies in the upstairs room.
i knew it was special the minute i laid eyes on it and immediately sent strong mind waves across the room to cookie that said “you MUST come look at this”. it’s the yummiest yarn i’ve seen in such a long time—a DK blend of british merino, angora, and cashmere, dyed on the northern tip of the isle of skye by an expat american, using natural dyestuffs.
otherwise known as shilasdair.
even the labels are original and unique to each colorway and dye blend.
my resistance broke and i fell upon this combination of hearty-wheaty gold and delicate cornsilk gold. a hap shawl in this would be incredible, wouldn’t it?
i’m kicking myself that i didn’t buy enough for a sweater, but once again . . summer is coming (and i will leave MUCH more room for yarn in my suitcase this time). i did buy two other colors to gift to friends; one deep lilac and the other a greeny-gold. cookie bought enough of a purply-maroon color for a sweater and some deep forest green/blue for a wrap she started on the spot.
i missed seeing the fingering weight downstairs, but alice found it and purchased a beautiful shade of cochineal red.
and that was about it for yarns i brought home from the UK—i was very strict, telling myself i could write about anything i wanted and link to it all from the blog—i didn’t need to buy and carry it to be of help in spreading the word.
then we got back to NY state. again,i was very, very good at restraining my own purchases, but we did receive some generous gifts
karin, from periwinkle sheep brought us each a big bag of yarn, which i had to mail home from albany. when it arrives, i’ll show you what’s in it. i was also gifted a beautiful red skein of yarn in class, from locally raised sheep that i’m excited to share and see again.
i came home to a big stack of boxes, filled with new colors and yarn blends from our favorite stateside yarnies. it was a little overwhelming at first, seeing that stack of yarn—it’s the same amount that arrives in any typical month, but seeing it all at once gave me pause. but soon, curiosity got the better of me and i had to look. so i started with the smaller packets first.
after shamefacedly getting back in touch with him about that, i was certainly looking forward to feeling and knitting this targhee/columbia yarn blend for myself. i asked him to pick out a color for me, since any one of the 17 options was attractive.
and he picked the perfect thing—a charcoal gray named soot (i love gray). the yarn is amazing, as promised. deep, complex color, with little bits of this and that to spice it and a soft, delicious hand—not to sound terrible, but it is much, MUCH softer than i expected form its rustic appearance. much.
i’d knit a sweater with this yarn in a heartbeat, yum.
for now though, i’ll be content to knit something that uses just the one skein—a cozy hat or mitts; something i’ll use a lot.
(and since i finished up my mink/cashmere scarf last night, i think it would be ok to cast on now)
once the small packets were opened, i was ready to tackle the bigger boxes. first up from briar rose fibers was a batch of fourth of july, intended for knitting a sample of the boy’s whitfield shorties i made at christmas.
how gorgeous is that??
wow, chris never ceases to amaze me with her colors; this striking green/blue/gray combination is different for her and i love it. just look at the light coming through that green and turquoise . . . wow.
and she is now restocked with country road, handpainted on the chunky merino laramie yarn base from mountain meadows wool.
you know—this is the one i used for david’s cabled toque; big brother to the yarn i used for my own sprout green version (pattern coming soon). talk about a great yarn—get thee some and see for yourself; i am drained of adjectives to describe it properly. let’s just say it’s good. REALLY good.
the site is also restocked with nate’s sock yarn, the baby of the squishy yummy wyoming merino family. you could knit socks with this, but really, it makes even MORE excellent mitts and neckwarmers, because of its dense, next to the skin softness. it’s favorite weight for accessory pieces, not too thin and not at all heavy.
chris is so good to me—can’t you just feel the yarn love through the screen?
the next box was from our friend kim at the woolen rabbit. this is a batch of her new grace DK yarn in scottish heather, intended for a sample knit
the yarn isn’t listed on her site yet, but it will be soon. i plan to use it to knit the production sample of david’s 2011 christmas sweater (much as we all love the handspun version, we need to show it in a yarn that anyone can buy)
he’s wearing it today, in fact; it looks so good on him.
after christmas, i sat down and made some swatches using the samples kim sent me; i hit a gauge i like on the first swatch—plus, i love the way the yarn colors play out in the pattern, nice and tweedy.
haha, but i won’t be knitting another one in his size—i actually like it so much that i’ll be knitting this one for me and writing the pattern for unisex sizing (i hope).
in it was a sweater’s worth of her lyra alpaca/merino/silk yarn blend, in a colorway she’s calling toadstool—isn’t it lush?? wowie and i need a brown sweater, too . . .
digging a little deeper, i was surprised to find a batch of birte DK as well—jen is too nice to me!
another rich, brown/plum colorway called fig, mmmm (me like figs). this is the same fiber blend which i enjoyed knitting so much into bel air, but in a heavier weight yarn. something a little more substantial for a dressy fall/winter cardigan, maybe . . . hmmm. it would certainly go with almost everything in my closet.
at the bottom of the box were two braids of jen’s targhee top, dyed in colorway caledonian pines. breathtaking, really. as if that wasn’t enough, jen is having a big sale right now—40% of of many discontinued or less-than-perfect batches of fiber and yarn.
that’s it—i’m gonna need to take a year off to catch up with these dyers. next time, i have a couple or three books to tell you about and we’ll get the news on knitting progress (i finished my mink scarf and the inky dinky sweater)
tomorrow is another busy day; hopefully my last day of being behind on desk and paperwork. then i can get going on patterns, yay. see you on the other side . . .