Friday, September 6, 2013


When my brother told me last year that he was planning to move to Austin, I couldn't buy a plane ticket fast enough.  For years I'd been hearing about what a great city Austin is & I couldn't wait to check it out for myself.  And while I think I've been spoiled by Seattle's unique neighborhoods, high walkability & gorgeous surroundings, I will definitely go back to Austin to check out all the stuff I just couldn't fit into my 5-day trip.  

What I did manage to fit in were a few trips to some yarn shops.  I'd heard good things about Hill Country Weavers so I visited them first.  The shop is a converted house within a short drive (or a very long walk) of downtown.  They had a good selection of yarn, including harder-to-find stuff like Brooklyn Tweed & The Fiber Co.  

The preserved house layout made for a fun labyrinth of rooms to explore. 


They even had a full room devoted to books & magazines, including lots of back issues.

They've recently published their own first book, Kismet, which includes weaving patterns embellished by knit & crochet.  I don't weave so I didn't pick up a copy but it's an interesting concept.

What I did pick up was a skein of Hedgehog Fibers sock yarn in the Copper Penny colorway.  This is an indie dyer out of Ireland that Hill Country Weavers has just started carrying.  I don't really have any other colors like this in my stash & I'm hoping it will be a good match for Cookie A's Monkey socks. 

A few days later, I visited Gauge Knits.  Unfortunately I was already packed for my flight home (in fact I was on my way to the airport when I stopped by) so I had to take these photos with my phone.  Hopefully they convey the warm, comfortable environment of this shop, which was enhanced by the awesome, friendly employees. 

This shop also had a wide selection, including a lot more locally-spun or dyed yarn by brands like Little Green Finch (sold exclusively by Gauge) & The Fiber Co-op.  

This shop includes a lending library where you can take out books for about three weeks at a time to decide if you'd like to buy them.

The allure of local yarn (the perfect souvenir!) was too strong to resist so I grabbed one beautiful skein of heavy lace/light fingering weight superwash merino by Little Green Finch & two heavily discounted skeins of sport or DK weight wool by The Fiber Co-op.  The plan is to combine them into a two-tone shrug.

Now that I've wrapped up two long-term projects, I'm getting antsy to cast on or start spinning another, but don't want to get distracted from my Buttony Sweater, which I'm making rapid, if still enigmatic, progress on.  I have a couple of quick projects in mind & really should start the Xmas knitting so I'll let you know next time what I decide.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Finished Objects

Despite all the work & travel that I've packed into the past few months, I've actually managed to get quite a bit of knitting & spinning done!  And I have a few things to show for it, but first things first.

A belated congrats to Connie K. who won the drawing for Melissa Wehrle's debut book, Metropolitan Knits.  Even though I'm behind on blogging about it, I selected her comment via the random number generator & contacted her as promised on August 16th.  She tells me she has the book in hand & hopefully has cast on for her preferred project The Magnolia Cafe Cardigan.  Happy knitting, Connie!  Now onward to the FO's!

These are my Mermaid's Lagoon socks.  These socks have been on the needles for a very long time.  Like well over a year. 

Here I am working on them this past April in Jamaica.  Before that, they accompanied me to Mexico in April of 2012.  Finally, their journey is over.  

I'm still not sure that this was the best pairing of yarn & pattern.  The pattern is awfully hard to see.  Here's a side-by-side comparison of my sock (left) & one of the photos from the pattern (right), knit in a solid-colored yarn.
These are definitely not my favorite socks but I don't dislike them.  Mostly I'm glad they're done.  Of course, I haven't stopped buying sock yarn so there will be more epic sock projects in my knitting future.

My other finished item, which I'm extremely excited about, is the Impossible Dreams spinning.  Behold!

I have 3 skeins & 186 yards of this yarn.  I'm thinking I'd like to stripe it with some grey or brown in mitts or a cowl but I have no definite plans for it yet. The way the colors distributed themselves during plying, with the blue acting as a common thread throughout the red, purple & orange, makes me want to see it knitted up by itself.  However I'm also afraid it'll pool or be underwhelming on its own.  This one probably needs to sit in my stash for a while until inspiration strikes. 

In other project news, I'm continuing to reknit the Buttony Sweater & keeping my fingers crossed that this time, it will fit.

As fall arrives in Seattle, there are lots of great fiber events coming up, such as Seattle Yarn's 15th anniversary & the Whidbey Island Fabulous Fall Fiber Sale, now with free classes!  Not to mention, I still haven't recounted my yarn adventures in Austin, so stay tuned for that next time!