Monday, January 28, 2013


Yesterday's post was a very positive one about yarn colors.  Today's is the opposite as I'm very disappointed.

Now, first, I know that you take a chance when you order yarn online.  You all know that disclaimer about colors looking different on individual monitors.  However, I ordered yarn online based on colors I already have.

Case #1:  Years ago I bought a skein of Koigu KPPPM, color #P124.  I really like the color and kept pulling the partial skein out of my stash, wondering what I might make with it, thinking it would make something wonderful.  I decided to order 3 more skeins and then I'd have enough for a project.  With so many colors in the skein I wasn't worried about dye lot, but I figured that the colors would at least be similar.  They weren't.

Take a look at the ball I bought years ago, on the left.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it.  It's dark and lovely.  Now look at the one on the right.  It's a bright color and looks entirely different.  The colors are different, not just a lighter version of the earlier ball.

Case #2:  This earlier yarn is one that I talked about yesterday - the Navajo Sky colorway from Done Roving Yarns.  I loved the earlier one, shown on left, below.  It's rich in color with it's orange, turquoise and deep red.  Now look at the current version on the right.  The label isn't the only thing that's now different.  It's changed to a muddy looking, dark brick brown, green and only a tiny hint of a dirty turquoise.  Again, I wasn't worried about dye lots, but I did expect to get the same colorway.

If there is going to be such drastic changes in color, shouldn't these companies give the yarn a new name and number so the knitter doesn't buy their yarn and find that it's so very different?

I don't know what I'll do with my new, disappointing colors.  Everything I liked about the earlier versions is missing from the new ones.  I kind of like the new Koigu color but I have no plans to make anything with it.  It'll likely take up residence in my stash for a long time to come.  As for the Done Roving color, I just don't know.  It doesn't appeal to me.  I would not have bought it if I saw it in a store.

Two thumbs down to both Koigu and Done Roving Yarns. I won't be buying yarn from either company unless I see it in person and love it...and it's going to have to be spectacular.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Southwest Colorways

I wonder if there has ever been a study into why people like one color and not another.  Or... why you will like a color now, dislike it later, or vice versa.

When I was around 11 years old everything had to be mauve.  I wonder if it's because my birthstone is the amethyst?  I went through an orange period in my teens.  I wanted to paint my entire room orange but my parents thought it was a bad idea.  (Do you think?!!)  They did allow me to paint the inside of my bedroom door orange, however.

For the past couple of years I've been enamored with turquoise in all it's shades.  I love going to New Mexico and turquoise and salmon/coral/orange colors are everywhere which, to me, is a wonderful combination.  Actually, I like all of the Southwest colors and have brought home a number of things that remind me of the Southwest.

So now, this brings me to my latest yarn purchase - hand dyed yarn from Expression Fiber Arts.  The funny thing is, this yarn that puts me so much in mind of the Southwest was dyed in North Pole, Alaska!  The official color name is Caribbean Sunset, but it will always be "Santa Fe" to me.  I love, love, love this yarn!

I'm thinking ahead to making another afghan but I haven't yet worked out the design details.  I may knit the same pattern that I used for Makayla's blanket, "Floyd", the Sock Yarn Blanket, and the in-progress "I've Got The Blues Blanket" (30% complete).  Ravelry links:  Floyd, Sock Yarn, Blues.Yes, I do like the pattern.  Then again, I may try out something original.  That's the way I'm leaning today, tomorrow may be another story.

In the meantime, I'm collecting the yarns, which is a good part of the fun.  You can see the similarity to the Expression Fiber Arts yarn (below, bottom) to the colors of Frolicking Feet "Navajo Sky" (below, top) from Done Roving.  They are very similar except for the addition of dark reds in the latter.  I'll be on the lookout for solid colors to match the two variegated colorways I have now, and any other Southwest colors (sand, just the right blue, red, yellow or green, for example).

I'm heading back to Santa Fe in early May (Cinco de Mayo!) and perhaps I'll see something that speaks to me at one of the local yarn shops.  New Mexico is known as the Land of Enchantment and I couldn't agree more.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Music 2012

Months ago I mentioned that, in August, I was going to go to a concert to see Buddy Guy and what a wonderful concert it was.  He is an amazing performer.  There is a reason that he was recently given a Kennedy Center Honor which is given for "Lifetime Contributions to American Culture through the Performing Arts".  Not only did he sing and play the guitar, but he interacted with the audience,  leaving the stage to go up and down the aisles, even to the balcony, never missing a note.

He joked with the audience and was wonderfully silly at times, even playing his guitar with a drumstick.  He's a crowd pleaser!

He's been around for decades and I feel very lucky that I finally got to see this blues great in person.  I hope that I'll have another chance one day.

Then, in October I was in New Orleans.  It's like no other city I've ever visited.  I was hoping to hear some good music and it was everywhere.  It seemed like every bar on Bourbon Street had a band that was so good that I'm surprised that they're not doing big world tours.  In one place I was drawn by a group that was playing Pink Floyd's song "Comfortably Numb".  It's one of my absolute favorites.  David Gilmour's guitar solo at the end is amazing!  To me they sounded almost as good as the original.

Even on street corners there are talented musicians.  Imagine my surprise when I spotted someone I recognized.  Twice I have gone to see the group Playing For Change.  This is a band of musicians from all over the world who play together, embracing the philosophy of Peace Through Music.  Not only do they perform, but they give back...e.g. building music schools in Africa.  One of the star performers is a blues singer called Grandpa Elliott.  He was discovered playing on a street in New Orleans....and there he was, back in his hometown between tours.  I was excited to have a few words with him, telling him how much I enjoyed his music.

I found the perfect t-shirt in New Orleans:  "I may be old, but I've seen all the cool bands"

Last year was a good year for listening to live music.  The best part of all was to finally hear The Allman Brothers Band in person.  I can only hope that 2013 will be just as good and that there is lots of music ahead.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Blanket Needs a Border

My sock yarn blanket is patiently waiting for me to knit the border so that I can call it done.  I've really enjoyed making the afghan.  It may seem like a lot of work, and it is, but knitting all those little diamonds and triangles has been relaxing.  It's been fun to see how the blanket was evolving as I added blocks of random colors.  I had no idea how the finished afghan would look.  I still don't, and won't, until I knit the border.

All the ends are woven in except on the edges.  I'll leave those until the border is done in case they are needed to close up any small gaps. 

Now is the time to make a decision about the border.  I've already decided that I'll do it in garter stitch, working one side at a time, increasing on the ends on every other row to make mitered corners.  I've ruled out using a striping yarn as I'd like each of the four sides to match and I don't want to try to make each of the sides line up.  It would be particularly difficult since there will be so many stitches.  I've pretty-much ruled out a solid yarn. After knitting with so many colors I'm not ready for miles and miles of just one color.  I want to keep the color momentum going.  I guess that leaves a variegated yarn, but what would be a good central color?  I'm thinking of burgundies or blues.  It's time to go and check out the stash and see what I have on hand.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Good News!

I'm very pleased to say that my blog is back at this address:

I hope you will come back often and will update your bookmarks.

~ ~ ~

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Lilleput Jacket

There's been an overload of pink in the past few months!  I now have my first FO (finished object) of 2013, the Lilleput Baby Jacket by Lene Alve Designs.  This was meant to be a Christmas gift for my granddaughter, Makayla, but it didn't work out that way.  For various reasons it took longer to complete than I thought it would, but that's okay.  If you look at the pattern you'll see that there is an embroidered patch on the jacket.  My daughter has opted for a patch-less version and I wouldn't have known that if I'd finished in time for the holidays.  I showed her the incomplete jacket and the pattern at Christmas and she liked the plain version.  As a gift, it's better late than never, I say.

Thanks to Gwendolyn for letting me know that the ability to upload pictures works with Chrome.  I also see that it works with Firefox.  The picture uploading problem was between Explorer and Blogger - so, finally, here is the project picture.  By the way, the white area you see on the sleeve of the jacket is light streaming in the window, nothing to do with the color of the jacket.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.


Pattern:  Lilleput Baby Jacket
Here's the Ravelry link (you have to be member to access it, membership is free).
The pattern is also available though the designer's blog (link is above).

Size:  The pattern claims that it's a 0-3 month size but to me it looks more like a 6-month size, which I'm pleased about.  Other knitters have also claimed that they thought theirs were also larger than 3 months.

Yarn: Sandnes Garn Lanett, two balls each of #3911, light pink, and #4505 dark pink.  I had leftover yarn in both colors.  For the trim I used hot pink, color #9436, Schoeller+Stahl Socka 50 from my stash.  I'm wondering if #3911 is discontinued as I couldn't find it on the Sandnes Garn website.
Needles: US 0 / 2.0 mm & US 1-1/2 / 2.5 mm

Notes:  This is a very clever pattern.  Sometimes I doubted the pattern but I decided to trust it and just do as instructed and it worked out just fine.  I did make a few changes, but they were just small ones.  The jacket is knit sideways, starting at one front edge and ending with the other edge.  The pattern tells you to purl the first row of the second edge, but I found I liked the look of it better if it was knitted.  I thought it matched the first side better this way.  Also, I worked two ridges less on the second front piece to make the pattern on both sides match up better.  The two ridges are only a fraction of an inch wide and you can't tell the difference.  I did the gusset in one of the two main colors instead of the hot pink trim color.  I didn't have to buy any extra yarn by doing it this way.  Two balls of each of the main colors were enough.  The last thing I changed was how I joined the underarm seam, opting for a Kitchener stitch closure rather than the three needle bindoff.  I'm pleased with the results and in awe of the mind of a person who can think up such a pattern.  This pattern is a bit of an adventure, one that I recommend.