Oh happy day

Today has already been a really great day. First, my boyfriend is home from a month-long trip around Asia. I’ve missed him quite a bit.

I brought our cats back from my parents’ house in New Jersey, as well as their cat Oreo, who will be staying with us for a bit. While my boyfriend was out of town, I cleaned and organized the apartment top to bottom, and I think the cats are really relaxed to be here now.

Or Smokey is helpless against gravity. Or both.

We walked to Bergen Bagels for breakfast (Brooklyn’s best bagel), where I got a toasted whole wheat bagel with basil cream cheese. It was insanely delicious.

Seriously. Unbelievable.

And lastly, the thing that actually has to do with knitting (because what is this blogging about my life stuff?!), I got a delicious box of yarn which I was afraid had gone missing. It’s actually been sitting at the post office since December 19th (thank goodness).

Oh, it was worth the wait. This was the last yarn that I purchased in 2007 (and it was all at close-out prices!), thus kicking off my no-yarn-buying year of 2008. I gotta say, if I’m only knitting from my stash, I’ve got some brilliant choices to work from.



Rowan Big Wool, 100% merino bulky, color 24 Cassis



Elsebeth Lavold Chunky AL 50% FS alpaca / 50% Peruvian Wool, color 010 Turquoise



Classic Elite Alaska 50% alpaca / 50% wool super bulky, color 1515 Hot Springs (heathered teal)



Classic Elite Alaska 50% alpaca / 50% wool super bulky, color 1503 Mogul (light gray)



South West Trading Company Gianna 50% soysilk / 50% wool bulky, green

And then a whole bunch of Regia 4-ply, all 75% superwash wool / 25% polyamide, about which I am officially nuts. (All these photos enlarge).

Now I just have to finish some stuff so I can start playing with all this beautiful new yarn!

Perfect Day, indeed

(Sorry this entry is just popping up now – I saved this as a draft and realized I neglected to post it).

I find myself rushing to finish my father’s shooting gloves, now that I have in my hot little hands some of the most beautiful sock yarn I’ve ever seen.

Do you think I can crank out a pair of socks for him, too?

The yarn is from Perfect Day Yarns, a wonderful indie dyer I discovered on Ravelry. I’ve never purchased from an indie dyer before, sticking usually to WEBS and the Loopy Ewe for sock yarn.

Everything about this transaction was a pleasure. The site was easy to navigate, and the descriptions were clear and charming. Each yarn has a story, and I found them really entertaining to read. I especially love those named from poems and literary sources – it really speaks to my inner lit nerd.

I ordered one skein of Free Verse, in the Jungle colorway, which is a wonderfully manly wool/nylon 3-ply. Unlike most “masculine” sock yarns I’ve seen though, the colors are richly saturated and not at all muddy. There are highlights of vibrant greens that are evocative of the real lushness of a jungle. It is a spectacular array of shades and tonal variations along a subtle spectrum, and I cannot wait to knit it up.

If I don’t make these in time for Christmas (and let’s be honest, I probably won’t), I’m sure I’ll find another occasion to make this delicious yarn into socks for my father.

The second yarn I got is just pure fun, a superwash 100% merino 2-ply called Beat Sock in the color Xanadu.

Though I originally thought of Olivia Newton-John and roller skates, I loved the actual inspiration much more:

This beautiful colorway is inspired by Coleridge’s Kubla Kahn or, A Vision in a Dream, A Fragment, surely colors from a vision in a dream.
Blues mix with golden orange and purples.

Once again, the color is intense and lovely, and feel like this is going to become one of my favorite pairs of socks.

I had a feeling I would be ordering from Perfect Day Yarns again, so I got a skein of both of my favorite yarns to compare. The Beat Sock yarn is slightly thinner and seems a bit more tightly spun than the Free Verse. In contrast, the Free Verse is a little squishier, with a texture very similar to Dream in Color Smooshy. Naturally, I love both and couldn’t possibly pick a favorite.

The shipping was lightning-fast and included a highlighted note asking the mailman not to leave the package unattended outside my apartment (at my request – packages notoriously go missing in my building). The yarn was carefully packed with a sweet hand-written note.

I really couldn’t be happier, and even though it may create more competition for me the next time I go to buy these gorgeous yarns, I thought I should share.

Now, back to my regularly scheduled Christmas rush!

Fiber Therapy

I got a few more birthday cards and with them, I bought a lot more yarn. I am seriously beginning to question my own sanity, as storage becomes less and less available in our already seriously crowded apartment.

Can you tell I’ve got a major thing for green?


Debbie Mumm for JoAnn, Traditions 75% acrylic / 25% wool worsted weight, in Pine Needle.

I saw this yarn on a few blogs and around Ravelry and just had to try it out. I’m glad I did because the colors are even better than I thought, and it’s much softer and silkier than I expected. I’m planning to make a hat and fingerless mitt set.


Bernat Softee Chunky 100% acrylic bulky, in Gentle Green.

I bought this in case I didn’t like the Nature’s Way which I’d ordered at the same time, and I had a heck of a time deciding between the two. I really love its softness and it’s a pleasure to work with. This will probably also become an Unoriginal Hat, using Stephanie’s modifications.



Bernat Satin 100% acrylic, light worsted weight, in Sage.

This yarn is gorgeous and a really perfect shade of green. Sagey without being too minty or too gray, just a hint of blue but still warm. I’m planning to use it for a Molly Ringwald top, to wear over a lacy white blouse.

This morning, I was awoken early by a postman, bringing a package full of treasure from the Loopy Ewe. I absolutely love the Loopy Ewe and think they are just a first-rate fabulous operation. I recently set up a Wish List for sock yarns, but I couldn’t resist buying a few, along with some adorable sock blockers.

And man, this stuff is like magic.


Regia Design Line Kaffe Fassett Landscape 75% wool, 25% polyamide superwash fingering weight, in Caribbean.

I’ve had my eyes on this yarn for a while, and I’m thrilled that the colors are every bit as saturated and glowing as I imagined they’d be. Kaffe Fassett is a genius with color, no doubt, and I’m excited to see how this knits up.



Opal Neon, 75% wool / 25% polyamide superwash fingering weight, color 1937.

This yarn is so cheerful and bright. It is positively electric with happiness, glowing with warmth and intense color. I feel as though it would be impossible to have a bad day when wearing socks knit in such a merry yarn.



Trekking XXL, 75% wool / 25% polyamide superwash fingering weight, color 155.

I love every single color in this yarn, and I imagine they will be just gorgeous together.



Dream in Color Smooshy 100% superfine Australian merino, fingering weight in Petal Shower.

This is the yarn about which I’m probably most excited. It is so soft, almost creamy and wonderful in the fingers. I bought it in two colors, this one being perhaps the most unabashedly feminine, simply lovely yarn I’ve ever bought.



Dream in Color Smooshy 100% superfine Australian merino, fingering weight in Good Luck Jade.

The second color is much richer, deeper, and complex, yet every bit as lovely and ephemeral in its subtle blends of color. If I had unlimited funds, I would buy every single colorway of this yarn immediately, as they are just wonderfully dyed and a pleasure to touch.

I never thought I’d become such a stasher, nor that I’d indulge so much in gorgeous sock yarns. I have one more big shipment coming soon (what can I say – I don’t just stumble, I leap into financial ruin), and after that I think I have to start a major yarn-buying moratorium around here.

I know I’ve said this before, but for real, I have yarn to keep me busy for years already, and I can only see myself wanting more! Now off to petting and swatching for those Christmas gifts…

Unfaithful

I just can’t stay faithful to a single project, even when I only have a month to complete it.

I’ve been cheating on my sweater with socks. Not only did I finish one of my toe-up socks, but I cast on for the second and have made quite a bit of progress up the foot. They are like a compulsion, I can’t keep myself from them.

You know what else I can’t stop doing? Buying yarn.

Lots and lots of delicious yarn.

Knit Picks has some kind of spell over me, and this time I went overboard with the thin stuff, all in fingering and lace weights.


Knit Picks Shadow 100% merino lace weight 2ply, in Sunset Heather

This is such a warm and inviting red with flickers of purple, orange, and yellow. I just love Shadow, and I look forward to slipping it through my fingers.


Knit Picks Gloss 70% merino wool / 30% silk fingering weight, in Serengeti

I had picked out some Palette in Twig for my boyfriend’s Henry scarf, but it just seemed too pinkish of a tan. When I held it against his olive green coat, it almost seemed a salmon color, and I had major misgivings. I’m thrilled with this yarn’s color – it’s exactly the shade of tan I wanted – and I think that the Gloss will be much nicer against his skin than Palette.


Knit Picks Gloss 70% merino wool / 30% silk fingering weight, in Woodland Sage


Knit Picks Gloss 70% merino wool / 30% silk fingering weight, in Dusk


Knit Picks Shadow 100% merino lace weight 2ply, in Vineyard Heather

I was surprised at the deep saturation of this purple when compared with their website photos. Knit Picks is notoriously inaccurate, and I realize that purple is very difficult to photograph, but it was a delight to see such a rich and complex shade when I was expecting something grayed out. This makes me think that the other colors they have on sale would definitely be worth checking out, as they’ll probably be similarly delectable.


Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud 100% baby alpaca lace weight, in Iris Heather

This is the sleeper hit of this purchase, if not my entire yarn-buying career. I bought it on impulse, despite a suspected alpaca allergy. And I am so glad I did!

My goodness, what a beautiful yarn. It is softer and dreamier than I ever imagined yarn could be – luscious, silky, and just plain decadent. Its richness and depth of color is phenomenal, and I just can’t stop touching it.

I am so happy with all of these purchases, and I feel I must seek out more lace shawl patterns so I can buy up every colorway of Alpaca Cloud and Shadow they make. These yarns are so pleasant to touch and look at, and I can only imagine what a treat they will be in knitting.

Now that I have sufficient incentive to finish, I must stop neglecting my Tilted Duster if I’m going to get to play with all my new yarns!

Silk

While I am plugging away at my Tilted Duster for NaKniSweMo (and I plan to have progress photos soon), I find myself staring at one of my birthday presents to myself, a gorgeous cone of 100% silk DK that I purchased from Colourmart.

It is so intensely beautiful, and I keep running it through my fingers to enjoy its decadent feel. The color is “moss green,” and it is one of my absolute favorite colors. It is every bit as lovely as I hoped it would be, if not more so.

I’m kind of amazed at the value, as this is (supposedly) enough for a cute top I have in my queue, yet the price (with shipping included) was extremely reasonable.

If this is anywhere near as pleasant to knit with as I suspect it will be, then I will definitely be buying a lot more silk in the future.