Last Wednesday I made a trip out to Coordinated Colors in Yorktown to pick up a few more skeins of Plymouth Boku for a future mitered square felted knitting bag that I've been dreaming about. The colors are ohhh so pretty and cost a fraction of what it would cost to knit it up in Noro. Now that my camera battery is charged (finally!!!) I may have to post some more yarn p*rn pictures! :D While there, I oohed and ahhed over the new goodies and kits that Sherri brought back from the TNNA show.

I offered to do some sample knitting for her and took home a ribbon/metalic-ish handbag kit from Muench Yarns. The pattern was obviously translated from (I'm assuming) Spanish, since that's where the yarn was made. When I first cast on for it, I cast on using US 9 needles as the pattern stated, but then reading through again, it said 9 mm needles... so... yeah. Rip and redo! I've since finished knitting the bag and after calling Sherri to tell her it's done, we agreed that she would do the interfacing and lining because my sewing skills are way less than stellar. I'm taking the bag in with me tomorrow for the Thursday sit 'n stitch. I'll make sure to get a photo of the bag while there's some sunlight tomorrow.

As I was leaving the shop last week I unlocked the Suburban, put my purse and yarn lovlies on the passenger seat, double locked it so I could remote start it to get the AC running and I closed the door. Before the door even slammed closed it registered that my keys were on the seat and the car was still locked. Numerous profanities started flying through my thoughts, but I didn't panic. My name's not on our AAA card, so Sherri called out a locksmith. Half an hour later and much fumbling on the locksmith's part, I was back in the car and headed home. It could have been so much worse - Lucas could have been in the car. With the remote start the engine cuts off after 10 minutes. I would have broken the window to get him out. It's upseting to even think about it. I haven't locked my keys in the car in over ten years and the last time I had mom's husband #3 to fiddle my lock open with a wire hanger. Anyways, I didn't make it to knitting last week because by the time I was home it was the little one's dinner time and I was so over the outside heat.

This Wednesday ended much nicer than the last, thankfully. While Lucas was napping and I was putting the last finishing touches on my makeup, Kristy called and invited me over for dinner. In my rush to get out of the house I packed my knitting projects in a Target bag. Haha.... kinda ghetto! While we were enjoying a lovely squash spaghetti and salad meal, Kristy whipped this out of her bag:

A Namaste bag from the TNNA show, packed with little yarn samples! Yummy! Isn't the bag gorgeous? I heart Kristy!

Right after dinner I took a peak at her stash and proceeded to tell my husband, loudly, that he should see hers if he thinks my stash is bad. What is it with husbands and stash-hate? It's so unfair. Me loves the yarn, he should, too!

Knitting group tonight was fun as usual, though I got nothing done but an inch or two on my Dad's wedding blanket. It's in its preemie stage and I hate it already. I've had a really difficult time finding an affordable acrylic yarn in dark reds/burgundy. It has to be very washable because I've been told by a little birdie that she's a laundry fanatic and it has to be affordable because it's 7x7 foot and crocheted. Crocheting uses way more yarn than knitting. So, I hate the yarn, I hate the fact that it's so big and I'm starting to really dislike crochet for certain things. I need to find a solution for the blanket issue, because with as little time as I have for fiber crafts, I need to enjoy what I'm doing in order to do it at all! So... if anyone has any suggestions, I'd be much obliged.
Wow. Transitioning from winter to summer is like going from 10 to 100 miles an hour! The past winter felt like one of the longest in a long time, which is probably due to the fact that I spent way too much time indoors with the little one. We still have to spend a lot of time indoors for naps, meals and indoor playtime, but our ventures outside have been increasing in number.

Lately I've wanted to blog more, but haven't been doing so because I've been lazy and haven't charged my camera battery. I feel that blogging about knitting without photos can be awfully boring, don't you think? What's the use of telling you about the beautiful new additions to my yarn stash without obligatory photos? Or how can I describe in words the lovely Noro tank top I have on the needles, the gorgeous ribbon handbag sample I'm knitting for a local yarn shop, or the crazy-big afghan I'm crocheting for my father and his wife? Words don't do fiber art much justice.

Now that we're at about the half way mark of the year, I have to sit back and laugh at myself. I remember now why I don't make New Year's resolutions - because I don't think about them enough to stick to them! Duh!

Awhile back I was commiserating about my lack of time to knit. I was going through some serious withdrawls. To break that, I cast-on for a shrug pattern that I altered to suit my taste. I've been very happily wearing it about once every ten days and have since cast on for four other projects... which is totally unlike me. I am a one-project-at-a-time kind of woman with a couple UFOs lounging on the needles for "some day." I've been proactively making time for knitting and turning off my worst distraction - the laptop.
Everything, when it comes to yarn.

I remember the first time that my friend Kristy and I made a day trip to Knitting Sisters in Williamsburg. We embarked on the 40 minute journey to arrive at a lovely brick shopping village with a wine and cheese shop down the block from the yarn store. It had a boutique-like set up with a lot of open space and hanging hand-painted fibers. It felt easier to browse, unlike some yarn stores that have easily twice the inventory and half the breathing space.

Previous to that visit, I didn't have much experience with anything but the big-box stores that sell yarn. While living in Germany I would pick up random balls of acrylic at a big department store and now and then I would fondle the expensive, non-acrylic balls of Lana Grossa and colorful wools at a specialty shop.

From what I remember there were three local yarn shops in Heidelberg/Mannheim that I visited - one on the Hauptstrasse (Main Street) in Heidelberg had mainly sock yarns in all fibers. The large one around the corner from the tattoo studio I was apprenticing at in Mannheim had a large selection of yarns, many of which were luxury novelty yarns. Unfortunately, back then I didn't have a very discerning eye for buying yarns that related to projects I might actually knit. I still have assorted balls of pricey and soft furs in fushia, gold, green and probably a few others, too. The last LYS, my favorite, was located on the other side of the Neckar River in Heidelberg, across from a park square and surrounded by boutique shops and cafes. The whole shop was no bigger than my living room, but that woman carried some of the prettiest yarns and the widest selection of worsted weight wools that were stocked all the way up to the ceiling. She was also the only LYS owner that smiled at me and didn't treat me like a thieving guest.

The only other yarn store that I visited in Germany was in Worpswede, an artist village in the northern part of the country, close to where I was born. That store remains the one with the most hanging knit garments I've ever seen in one place. It was also the first time I had come face-to-face with my coveted fondness for Noro. I'd read about Noro, seen people on Ravelry and Craftster post projects with Noro, but I'd never seen it. It was love at first sight. Then I looked at the price tag. I just about had a cow when I read 22 Euros. 22 Euros at the time was about the equivalent to 35 dollars for a single ball of regular Kureyon. Ouch.

Fast forward to Virginia, our present home. Soon after moving here I researched the local yarn shops and visited Coordinated Colors in Yorktown with my husband and the baby belly. For the first time I really started looking at more than the colors and price tags. Silk, cashmere, hand-dyed bundles of yarn... it was all rather new to me. I was still scared of the prices, too. It's difficult to go from $5 balls of yarn at craft stores to $25 hanks of luxury yarn. CC is a large store with a ton of yarn and for me, it was easily overwhelming because my husband wasn't too thrilled that I wanted to spend an hour touching, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over string.

So what was the point of rambling on about all this? Love. For yarn. Although I think acrylics most definitely have their place in fiber arts, I really discovered a love for yarns with natural fibers and yarns that feel good and last. Kristy made jokes that I was going to turn into a yarn snob.. I may very well be on the way to being converted. I no longer consider paying $20 for a hank of yarn outrageous, in fact, I think it's funny that I reason with myself that "it could be more expensive."

I've taken on a different view of my knitting and the tools that I work with. Now that I am making more than slippers and scarves, I care about durability and overall quality. Like anyone interested in specialty hobbies, I love the exclusive and the foreign, the hand-wrought and twisted. I know how much time it takes to make yarn and knit a garment, it's well worth every second. I want my knit items to last for awhile and I don't want them to collapse into a pill-covered pile of string a year down the road. I'm becoming increasingly interested in trying out new fibers and picking up hand-painted/dyed hanks instead of factory dye jobs. Yarn, for me, is constantly interesting and there's always something new.