Movin' My Hips Like Yeah

Lots and lots of knitting progress this week...aside from finishing the Trellis Mitts that I previously mentioned, I (finally) completed Little C's Little Gems Mitts. Behold:

I assumed that I would have some issues with the sizing, as I tend to knit tightly (made even worse by over-tight floating strands behind the pattern) AND the yarn is superwash merino, which I thought wouldn't block so well. But, it did! It actually got quite a bit of stretch after wet-blocking, making them a perfect fit for my sister. I think she'll really enjoy the gift she was supposed to get 2 years ago.

Speaking of overdue gifts, there was actually a hat to match these gloves which I completed before I left for Japan in 2009. I picked a gray superwash wool of pretty much the same color as the Little Gems gloves, and made Stitch N' Bitch's Kittyville Hat. The cute nature of this hat suits Constance's style, and I've been wanting to knit one ever since I saw the pattern years ago. So, a complete matching set for winter 2008. In 2010. Oh well. Better late than never.
In other news, I finally went to Looped Yarn Works on Saturday, which was the beginning of a lovely day in DC. Blake and I had lunch at a Mexican bistro, took a stroll through the Hirshhorn with friends, and just walked around in the lovely weather. After the mild winter I experienced in Japan, this winter will be quite rough, I imagine. But, all the more reason to knit (and buy yarn). Anyway, I really enjoyed Looped. They had some yarns I haven't seen available at other LYS in DC, including a very nice Malabrigo selection and a whole mess of Cascade. The shop consisted of 3 rooms, all of which had knitters in them conversing and working on their latest project. It was nice! I think I'll take my mom there this weekend to check it out while she's visiting.
These are the two hanks I bought at Looped, both of them a first for me. The first one is a teal colored hank of 50% llama and 50% wool called Classic Elite Yarn Montera
. It has a really great texture similar to alpaca and it's my first llama yarn! The second hank is Malabrigo Worsted in a beautiful royal blue color...I'm going to make a nice hat with this one. I've never purchased Malabrigo before, but Looped had it in a million different colors. So, pretty eager to use these.

Despite the fact that I haven't finished the August is For Melody scarf or the Noro Entrelac scarf I started in Japan, I did decide to cast on a new project tonight. A little back story first: Blake is always complaining that I never knit him anything. I have knit him a hat in the past, but it was years ago when I barely knew how to knit in the round...so his complaints aren't unfounded. So, since winter is on it's way and Blake loves how alpaca feels just as much as me, I decided to make him a pair of his very own Beer Gloves. He's always admired mine, and I have 665 yards of Misty Mountain Farm Baby Alpaca DK
that I've been itching to whip out. So, now I can reward him finally for accompanying me to various yarn shops and for being patient when I say things like, "Hold on, dear, just one more row." Check out the yarn to be used:
So, that's what I've been working on. I suppose I just need to accept that I will consistently have three WIPs on my needles at any given time.

In other news, I had an interview at Lush Cosmetics
this week, and it went really well! It feels weird to go back to retail since I have a degree and all, but, it's just temporary and I think it will be fun. I have a floor trial on Sunday which I'm excited about. Other things that are excellent are my abundance of guests coming in the next few days...my mother on Friday, and Lauren/Renee on Monday. I'm so excited to see them! This is Lauren's (my bffffffff) first time visiting me in DC and it's going to be so much fun.

More later. I don't know why I have Miley Cyrus in my head.



I'm not sure if I've shared this detail about myself, but alpaca is my very favorite fiber. I love the way it knits up and how it feels against the skin. It's one of those things (only you knitters/crocheters will understand) where one's love for something straddles a fine line between healthy obsession and creepiness. You find yourself having dreams about jumping into a big pile of your favorite fiber (for instance, a bed made up of knitted alpaca), and becoming extremely picky about the fibers you wear close to your skin. It's a Scrooge McDuck-like fantasy that I think anybody with obsessive tendencies can relate to.

So, my recent FO has made me incredibly happy, as the yarn is handspun from a local alpaca farm and feels like a dream.

I do have issues with these gloves, though. First off, my choice of yarn wasn't the best for showing the pretty trellis lace pattern of the mitt, as the two-ply nature of the yarn distracts from the stitch detail. But, here's the thing: I can't just knit something that's ONLY ribbed or ONLY stockinette stitch. My attention span is too short. I need lace patterns, cabling, etc. So, I chose a pattern that was simple but had something aside from stockinette to keep me interested. Despite the fact that the yarn doesn't quite do the pattern justice, these are very nice. I will definitely be wearing these when it gets cold out, for sure. And they feel like a dream. I wonder if I could knit a whole body suit out of alpaca? Done. Fantasy achieved. Starting to see that fine line cross over into creepiness...

Nice, no?

So, BIG NEWS. About a month ago, a new LYS opened here in DC. Right in Dupont Circle. Only 3 miles from me. Previously, the only LYS in DC proper was Stitch DC, which is lovely, but it's not so close to where I live and the selection is a little limited. Anyway, it's called
Looped Yarn Works and judging from the website, it looks amazing. I plan on going in very soon to check it out and (as always) spend too much money. If you're in the DC/VA/MD area, you should go, as it seems to be run by really great people and the DC SnB holds meetings there occasionally as well.

Wouldn't it be excellent if I could satiate my temporarily unemployed status by working in an LYS? Would that be great or what? One can dream.

I've decided to finish some WIPs that I've had in the works for waaaaay too long. Namely, the August is for Melody scarf and Little C's Little Gems Mitts. These projects are so damn close to being done, and yet I've dragged my heels for over a damn year. So, going to complete those, give them to their proper recipients, and move on to my next project, which will be a pair of Beer Gloves for Blake. They were so fun to knit when I made a pair for myself years ago, and Blake has been bugging me for some cozy winter wear, so, it's next on my list.

Also, I've decided not to stress out about knitted gifts for Christmas this year. I may make a couple, but honestly, not many people appreciate them as they should and more than that, getting it done stresses me out. So, regular gifts for friends and fam this year, for the most part. It means I can enjoy knitting rather than stressing out when I inevitably fail to finish all my intended gifts.

Otherwise, all is great. Already missing Japan and its beauty. But, Blake and I are having lots of fun and all is good in the world. More later with some long-awaited FOs!


Adventures in Plying, part two

So, I'm back from Japan, and back from a 5-week backpacking trip through Southeast Asia (Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Malaysia) that occurred afterward, and I find myself unemployed and subsequently spinning/knitting again! Well, I always make time for those things, but at present the time I have for hobbies is seemingly boundless. So. I have pictures and fun things to share.

First up...remember that makeshift lazy kate I created that had 3 spools for my first experiment in plying? No, of course you don't, that was a long ass time ago...anyway, this is the result. The white, which ran out about 1/3 of the way through, is mohair, and the rest is wool, all of which are recycled from mill-end rovings. It's really nice! Plying my first skein was a lot easier than I thought it would be, so I think I'm going to try and always ply the yarns to sell in the Etsy shop (which, btw, is back up and running).

Craft-related news #2: Although I currently have like, 6 WIPs going right now, I decided to start up another one last night. See, there's this 2-ply black and white alpaca that I bought at the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in 2009 that I've been dying to do something with. Thing is, my choices were somewhat limited as the yarn is sport weight and I only have 200 yds of it. So, I landed on a pair of fingerless mitts for the upcoming winter. Knitting up really quick and lovely so far.
See those lovely yarn over holes? That's another reason why I started this project - I have no lace knitting WIPs currently, and I wanted one. Bam, done. It's the most simple pattern in the world, but as my knitting has been on a bit of a hiatus over the past 13-14 months, I felt simple was better.

I also have some really nice Noro that I bought in Japan to share, but it's still packed up at the moment. I'll also post a few pics of my SE Asia trip on here once I get around to editing them. Basically, this past 13 months has been the best of my life. I missed my people back home, but I grew so much and learned so much about culture. Now I'm 51 lbs thinner than when I left, almost conversational in Japanese (still studying!), and although totally broke, it's good to be back in DC with Blake and the kitties. And, before I returned to the east coast, I spent 2.5 weeks in KY with friends and family. It's been magical.

I'm gonna start updating this piece on the regular again. Ya heard.