September 29, 2007

Fishbed and chips

Found a yarn store near my house. My actual LYS is The Gifted Purl. It's right on the west bank of the Fox River (as in Prison Break's penitentiary). If you cross the bridge over the river and walk about 3 blocks north there's another yarn store. It never showed up on Google searches so it was totally under my yarn store radar. I finally heard about it in the Chicago Knitter's group on Ravelry, so, I checked it out.
It's called Fishbed Knitting Emporium. It's a surprisingly large space with much yarn, including my coveted Malabrigo. I went in just to browse, but, I always feel the need to make at least one purchase. While I was wandering I ran into Cascade's Ecological Wool. I thought to myself, "this looks familiar..." The price and yardage were a good deal but I couldn't figure out what I'd do with it. And then I realized where I had seen it... If you don't know about the umm... 'significance' of Ecological Wool, it's time to read more blogs. ^_^ Even though I originally had no desire to ride the wave, I decided I'd hop on the bandwagon because it was so soft and so cheap, and I brought a hank up to the register along with this beauty:

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It's Mirasol Sulka. A Merino, Alpaca, Silk blend. So delicious. I have no idea what it's going to be, but, I love the color, like dark denim.

Back to my Ecological story. I set it on the counter and the owner asked what the yarn was for. I was like, "A.. umm... small ..... blanket."
And then she said something along the lines of, "There's a guy who blogs and he designed a lap blanket off of a doily using this yarn."
Shocked, I stammered, "That's what I bought this for!"
I love that the store is Internet savvy. I asked her if she knew about the yardage, she wasn't sure so we decided to look it up. Good stuff. I ended up buying 2 skeins, in a nice, natural oatmeal-ish color.

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I'm slowly falling out of love with Alpaca. (The horror!) I've been knitting with the Misti Alpaca Chunky and it's so soft and lofty, a dream to work with... but it's REALLY shedding. There are hairs floating in the air and tiny hairballs stuck to my clothes and rolling around my room. The worst part is noticing something in my mouth, reaching in and finding Alpaca fiber. It's CRAZY. I've felt this weird lump in my stomach for the past few days, like gas that won't pass o_O and all I keep thinking is: an Alpaca-hair bezoar.

I finished knitting the Branching Out scarf last night, it's currently awaiting blocking. It was such a relief. The scarf has been a WIP for a while now, and, I finally sat down and made myself finish it. Like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. And, despite have a few more UFO's I decided to start the Exchequered scarf.

I watched the Double Knitting video a few times and decided I was ready. It started with a cable cast on... that sucked until I realized that I had to knit REALLY loose. I figured I'd first try one color in my left, Continental style, and the second color in my right hand, English style. This was working out with only slight awkwardness. I'm not much of a Continental knitter, and, I actually have not yet purled Continental style, but, knitting was working out really well. After two rows I changed it up a bit and did two colors on my right hand since that's my style. =) It was definitely moving faster, but, for some reason I couldn't keep good tension on the yarn that wasn't around my index finger so I switched back to double handed. Watching my hands looks really complicated and cool.
After 2 more rows I noticed that my two colors weren't very... contrast-y. So, I'm gonna put it on hold and see if I can find either a lighter blue or a lighter brown. Preferably a lighter brown 'cause the blue I have is so vibrant and perfect.

I'm gonna take a break from my Coach knock off due to the mythical bezoar forming in my stomach. Leaving me with... starting the Hemlock Ring. Hahaha. I'm afraid my ball winder won't be able to handle the 400+ yards.

Wind it up!
and knit hard. ;)


Nichole D. said...

Mohair is the same as alpaca in the shedding department- I always end up with it all over my clothes, in my mouth and nose- drives me nuts! At least alpaca is soft and squishy enough to overlook it a bit....I hope you don't have a hairball, though. That would be enough for me to stop knitting alpaca. And I don't really want to do that.


Yeah. I faced that shedding problem while knitting my most recent hat. But damn it looks good, and feels so soft and squishy!

That Hemlock Ring Blanket is soooo tempting! It's nice you found an internet savvy shop, my own LYS is not so much. A little bit, I mean, she uses the computer but doesn't know about things like Ravelry or blog. Not helpful really.

You're getting in practice for your stranded knitting I see! :) I also chose the two-handed method. Did you read up on yarn dominance yet?? Check it out before you start the Endpaper Mitts.

Eikon said...

Thanks for visiting my blog; where did you find it?

I love alpaca and mohair though the shedding is a bit much. that blanket is a temptation but anything that big makes me think "so many hats and gloves and scarves and less money." Some day I'll do blankets.

Courtney said...

I ended up winding the Eco Wool by hand because the ball winder was making such atrocious sounds from the strain.
I feel the same way about alpaca and it makes me sad, it also stretches out badly. I made a beautiful vine lace scarf for a friend last year out of Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk DK and it looks like crap now.
It is so soft..but almost too least for Portland.

Kenny said...

uhhh...that sure is bad when a yarn is shedding,my favorite shall shedds but the warmness and comfort that it gives to me i realy dont care!Well keep up the good work lady's....