Wagons Ho!

Like many blogophiles I have hopped upon the bandwagon for my projects recently.

It started small. Dear Yarn Harlot’s obsessive love of the Tulip Baby Sweater started it. It wasn’t the first post, but the one in which she was uneasy about trading away her last girly kit that did it. I too, had to have one and was so pleased I did. Fast, wonderful yarn, and I want to do it again.

Then came the Heartbeat Sweater Kit with Yarn Place’s Vivace Bamboo yarn. Beyond yummy, this just pleases the eye and hands so much during knitting that I have to be careful or I will end up with a huge size, distracted by the fun of the yarn.

And more Jaywalker Socks.

But the newest sock jumps on three, well four bandwagons all in one. First, the yarn is the amazing Panda Wool and I admit that I want to go out and buy binloads of this stuff. It slips through the fingers with such sensual pleasure that it should be done behind closed doors. I was a little intimidated by making socks at such a fine gauge as I usually prefer thick ones. But this project is flying along and makes a soft and supple fabric. Inspiration came from Smoking Hot needles Lacy Zig Zag socks. She didn’t give full directions but gave a lot of hints; however I didn’t have the pattern calendar she referred to in her post. I rooted through Barbara Walker and came up with the very close Herringbone Lace. Oh, and they are toe-up using two more bandwagon links. Judy’s magic cast on (love it, love it, LOVE IT and have used it so much that I have a stack of 20 toes sitting on my knitting table). And Maia’s Toe-up Gusseted Heel Tutorial, unusual and so far, appears to be working. I admit here that being struck with something new that I was dubious, but found, as usual, that I was wrong. This is quite a good idea.

Anybody want the recipe for these baby’s when done?

I wish I could say that was all, but with 4 sweaters and about 20 socks going right now, it is enough. In spinning I have become obsessed with The Black Lamb’s superwash merino. Man, this is just so nice (and inexpensive). I have been blending it to mix colors and to mix fibers. Pink Alpaca legs and black superwash are very nice. I thought I wouldn’t like the texture, but it is spongy and superb. She runs actions at quite a good price and I just can’t recommend this fiber highly enough. Over 20 lbs live here with me and I am not sure it is enough yet. I may need more colors…


Bendigo Woollen Mills

Having scouted around, I realize that a lot of US knitters don't know about this great resource. The biggest comment is that many wished Bendigo Woolen Mills have a website. They *have* had one for quite a while. Don't people ever search???


Their yarns are wonderfully inexpensive and extremely nice quality. Cables really pop on the Colonial wool. It is made from Merino and Merino cross sheep and is a very stable cabled yarn. Shipping is cheap and really fast.

While sampling, do not be discouraged at the hand until you wash it. This yarn transforms more than most yarn I have ever used. It just stands right up and will wear like Iron but remain cable perfect - no floppy cables here.

This yarn was one of my inspirations to learn to spin. I wanted to make cabled yarn. And now every time I do, I think warmly of my wonderful projects knit with this yarn. Gee, I am gonna grab my needles right now and swatch.


Wooly Board

My first use of the Wooly Board. This was a delightful find. A 'new in the box' Tomato Factory blocker sold during the Starmore era. I think that makes it a Jamieson & Smith, but I am not sure. I am just learning to use it. The unit folds to get the sweater on and the arms and sides are adjustable. The sweater is quite damp and floppy, but I measured it dry and tried it on the board beforehand. I will not be using it in the sun, it was just out here for photos. Anyone have one of these? What is the rectangular wooden bit for? I have it sitting on the dowel that holds it open, but I am guessing.

And why is it wooly board instead of woolly board?

And another visitor. This time it was on my keyboard. New Mexico has some largish spiders. This one is about 3 inches across toe to toe. It could be a grass spider or hobo. Big and hairy with large sex organs (those lumpy bits that look like fangs). I still fight to not yell and run away. Spiders are my friend, spiders are my friend. Yeah and if I say it another thousand times it may be true. Primal instinct makes me wanna scream like a little girl, of course.