Thursday, February 22, 2007

Get Thee Behind Me Cashmere/Silk Tierra!

Gosh, have you seen that stunning multidirectional scarf on Julia's blog? It is absolutely beautiful. Still musing on it, I was browsing back through Denise's posts and found another one, just as stunning. TWO of my friends have made these! And for all I know, the rest of you too! I have to try that technique really really soon. But could I get the colours? Should I rush out right now and buy some more, just in case?

(Who am I kidding? You don't rush out and buy yarn in West Cork. You dream about it. Fantasise about it. Maybe make a major trek to a far distant store for something that vaguely resembles it. But the real Mecca, the Nirvana, the Paradise of shelves and shelves of different colourways in the same fibre, the same weight - forget it. Maybe the next trip Stateside.)

All is merry as a marriage bell chez Celtic Memory, though, because YO!!, the spring Interweave Knits has arrived! Please please tell me I've got it around the same time as the rest of you. I had resigned myself to getting the spring issue in the summer and the fall issue around Christmas, but this does look as though IK at least has got its act together in relation to its hangers-on in misty outposts across the Atlantic. When did yours arrive?

Actually there doesn't seem to be anything in it that I really really started hyperventilating over, but that isn't the point. It's having it at the same time as the rest of you, so that I can know what you're talking about, that's what matters. I did see one rather cute thing - on Page 9, if you have it handy, this issue's Knitted Artifact is a Miser's Purse from the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It's delightfully knitted in Italian silk, but what struck me about it was how like a sock it is. A long thin tube, with one small opening in the middle, closed at both ends, and with two rings to slide up and down to control the filthy lucre.


I'm not sure it would be entirely practical for containing a day's mad money - for one thing, we eschewed the hugely practical paper one dollar/Euro/pound whatever you want to call it, long ago in favour of a heavy coin. You in the New World have very sensibly held on to yours and long may you continue so to do. Our pockets on the other hand are laden down with heavy metal. A silk purse couldn't cope too well with that. But it would make a stunning statement as a belt-hung evening bag.

Oh look, I'm sorry, don't go out to Joann's at this hour of the night to find a copy of IK. Wait - I'll Google around and see if I can find an illustration for those of you who don't have it to hand. (Am I being knittist here? Am I unthinkingly discriminating against the IK-less?) WAIT, will you?

Ah, got lucky. Here are two shown on the Morning Glory Antiques page?

Aren't they absolutely sweet? The one in IK is a little more sober, but the idea is still the same. You could start as a toe-up sock, work along, make the necessary gap in the centre for extracting dosh, then work to the other end and finish with toe-shaping and grafting. I must try it out in some bright silky yarns. When there is time. (When is there ever time?)

And a nice package arrived in the post from my friends at Yarn Paradise in Turkey. I am of the firm opinion (in which I am joined by Angie) that YP and others like them are in fact the makers of many of the yarns labelled and passed off by major brand names in the market. I know at least four or five they make which I can see on the shelves in our few Irish yarn shops which claim to be the products of (better not name names, but fill in one of the top six for yourself). ANYWAY, I had ordered something delectably enticing a week or so ago, and it has arrived.

It's a bit difficult to see, isn't it with all the reflections on that cute little plastic tote. But you can see the alpaca picture, can't you, and the name Inca?

That's the clue. This is a glorious blend of 70% alpaca and 30% cashmere, about what I would call double knitting and you would call - whatever the next one up from fingering is - a bit thicker. Here's a close-up of the contents.

This feels so gorgeous you wouldn't believe. I took one ball out of its tight little corset, the better to fondle it, and it burst out with a sigh of relief and relaxed into its warm wide fuller shape with delight. 10 30g balls, about 60m to each ball, which gives me 600 metres of indulgence. What will it make? Haven't the slightest idea. But having it here is pretty nice. We're talking alpaca and cashmere here! What a combination of luxury!

Huh? Oh, I paid £12.99 stg. for the 10 balls in their little totebag, plus another £5 for postage from Turkey. Look up their site. A lot of novelty yarns, but then you find something like this and that's got to be worth it. Wonder if I should have another tote-ful just in case...?

Having yielded to Angeluna's diktat and signed up to Sock Madness, what did I then find in my email box but another message from the said A, this time highlighting the amazing CookieA's sock designs. Does she think I live on triple time? That I somehow have more space in my day than the rest of the world? But look at them all the same. What do you think of Thelonious? And the cabled ones! How can you live without knitting those? And then Angeluna wants to know if the Celtic Vest is finished!! How she has the face...

I have been working on that CV all day. I've been ordered to finish it, I want to finish it, but it is taking a bit of time. Working up the left front, and have just got to that stage where a Lavold motif has to be worked at the armhole side while at the same time a complex series of decreases are carried out inside the cable edging at the other. It's like trying to move one hand in staccato jerks while gracefully waving the other in fairylike gestures. The two series of instructions are pulling me in opposite directions.

I had promised myself that if I finished this left front tonight I could do a teeny tiny swatch for the violet Tierra step-fronted sweater. I want to start on that Tierra so BADLY. It's calling to me.

I even yielded to the urge and wound up two of the newly-dried hand-dyed skeins into one huge ball, so as to be nice and ready. I like using my little nostepinne. It feels good in the hand. (Although I have got nice and handy at winding a centre-pull ball on my thumb by now.)

But then I was going through the stash, hauling out cones for next week's yarn sale on eBay, and came across a particularly dishy slub cotton in a nice denim blue shade. It grabbed my wrist and hissed, 'Crop Aran sweater, divine for summer over white shirt. Go. Now. You know you want to!' (My yarns are always this talkative. I think it has something to do with being stored in the basement.) Here is the chatty fellow:

It would look nice in a casual crop Aran, wouldn't it? But no, no, NO!

(Don't you love that moment in The Devil Wears Prada when Emily glances at her cellphone, sees that Miranda is on her way an hour early and gasps No, No, NO! Got it on DVD now, and have already watched it twice. Love that movie.)

It's bad enough to be so tempted by the violet Tierra, but if the denim is going to get in on the act I'm not sure how long my willpower is going to hold out. Think positive, think Celtic Vest, get back to those damn decreases...


Anonymous said...

Glad you got your IK. Mine came days before any of my friends, but it hasn't been that long. And I also didn't find much of anything to my taste, but it's always a good hour's entertainment. Also loved the money "bag". Had just seen references to them in a couple of old books, too; one was a sock book. They would be a fun knit and highly decorative. Tissues and a lipstick for the opera? You are indeed out of luck with those heavy coins.

Love, love, love your violet. With just a wee tad of concentration, that CV will be behind you (well, on your back) and you will be FREE to dash off onto Tierra, plus that very nice denim cabled crop you are contemplating. I'm being tough on myself, too. Forcing myself to finish my half knit Blossom cowl neck tunic from last year, so I could finish it and wear it before winter was over. Can you believe, it was 17F four days ago and is 86F right now? CRAZY???? This is why I dropped it last year to work on the summer weights, and here we go again.

If you can imagine, I cast on and knit 10" on a sleeve before I realized I was knitting from the top down (always do) but had cast on for bottom up. I was too exasperated to scream, just frogged it instantly (not so easy with Blossom), recast and started knitting again. Have major recalculations to do before going any further.

LaurieM said...

You are an evil temptress! I was soooo close to the check out at Yarn paradise with some alpaca silk. Now I'm wondering if I will regret my escape. Fiend!

I just got my IK today. A friend who lives in the same city as I got hers yesterday and you can bet I was a little miffed!

I didn't find a single project to knit in the magazine. I think the Swan Lake cardigan is so sweet, and I would really like to make the cable down raglan, but it doesn't go to my size! Phooey. And IK is one of the better magazines when it comes to a range of sizes. Oh well. I'll still have lots of fun reading the articles and looking at the pictures.

Anonymous said...

That Turkish yarn looks fabulous Jo .I love those purses but have long wondered about the design being practical . I am such a klutz at finding my purse then I can see me spilling my coins all over the L.Y.S . I bought a fabulous men's briefcase with a shoulder strap in T.K. Maxx recently which has so many pockets I can't fail to organise it .I have never been one for dainty handbags and this will allow easy carrying my of knitting too !

Cornflower said...

I posted about my own IK saga just yesterday. What is the matter with that company?
Love the violet!

Artis-Anne said...

No I wasn't inspired by much in this issue of IK either.
I too have got some of Yarn Paradise's goodies :) and I am sure they make for other companies

Marianne said...

I received my IK a couple of weeks ago, and find this issue disappointing in their designs, I guess it all evens out, some issues are picnic packed cover to cover, then an issue like this. That alpaca/cashere looks luscious, the violet yarn is quite striking, and oh that blue..sigh...we call is DK also, how does it go?
lace, fingering, sport, DK, worsted, Aran, bulky, superbulky

Anonymous said...

thank you for the link to Yarn Paradise :o) there are some beautiful gems amongst all the novelties.


Denise said...

Jo, the title to your post had me laughing out loud!

Those multi-directional scarves are a quick knit,quite fun and a bit addictive. I've knit several for gifts too. The version on my blog is the all wool Noro Kureyon but the one I wear almost every day is done in Silk Garden. The colors in the Silk Garden aren't as bright but the feel is much softer.

That alpaca/cashmere yarn sounds lovely and I could just picture it relaxing once out of it's tight jacket and settling in!. Like Laurie I *almost* clicked the link to Yarn Paradise but I pulled away just in time. :-)

And that violet yarn! The color is so rich and pretty, I can see why your having a difficult time resisting its siren call.

I haven't really looked at my Spring IE yet and was planning to do that this weekend. Sounds like I had better approach it with lowered expectations.

Oh, and I loved The Devil Wears Prada too!

Tracy said...

Well, I haven't received my IK yet, and I live in Boston! Clearly, it has nothing to do with whichever continent you live on. I understand the temptation to start something new while being mired in the difficult part of the current project. Myself, I'm re-constructing an Aran sweater I knit for myself years ago (about 3 sizes too big). I'm hitting brick walls now and am sorely tempted to dump it in a heap to begin something new and delectable, but I must stay strong. You stay strong, too!

Peg-woolinmysoup said...

Jo - I live on the same continent as the offices of IK and I do not have the Spring issue yet. A gal in my town got hers two days ago, but maybe my postie has turned into a knitter!
Sure am interested in the blue denim cotton. I have a cropped summer cardi in mind!
I did get a gardening magazine today, so while I cry over IK, I can drink wine and look at the possibilities in my garden!!

Charity said...

I've come over to leave a comment 3 times, and keep getting swept away by the links in this post! All sorts of fun. :0)

My IK just came the other day, too, so you're in good company. I wish their service was better.

Ms. Knitingale said...

Don't worry, Sweetie--my yarn talks to me, too! It rather hisses at me as I walk into the room, like a criminal in an old movie talking out of the side of it mouth saying "Psst! Hey, you, Kid. You wanna make a sweater?"

Dez Crawford said...

I'm with Ms. Knittingale, my yarn talks to me too, except it doesn't hiss in a conspiratorial manner. Instead, it hollers out to me like a barker in front of a strip club on Bourbon Street. :)

Love the miser's purse. I've seen antique ones. Hmm ... make it in a washable cotton and you'd have a lovely bag to hang over your belt for dog treats.

Dez Crawford said...

P.S. -- I forgot to say ... oh, the purpleness. I am SO seduced.

picperfic said...

oh yes...we are all the same! As I am knitting something I keep thinking and longing to start on the next project. When i was younger, about 18 with ababy to knit for, I used to thinkI was a bad person for continually thinkin about the next little dinky pink item I was going to make. I also felt bad for asking my new husband for some pennies to buy a couple of balls of wool. I soon learned to earn a bit of money to feed my need! Anyhow, I still have that feeling, it has never left me and the yarns these days are far far better than anything I used in the past. It's like a new hobby...and I love it to bits!! I really like the sound and look of one of those darling little purses....

Anonymous said...

IK update...breezed by my LYS today with a friend, actually two of them, LYSs...not friends. Neither one had yet received their copies of IK to sell. I really don't understand how they work. Early on in my subscription I was the very last person to receive my mags, now I'm the first.

Cindy/Snid said...

Hey! Cookie is one of our local gals! She, Kristi (the other Knit-anon blogger) and some other knit friends are doing a great business at Stitches West this weekend - which is awesome by the way. Those socks are pretty amazing.

Speaking of socks... Have the "sock Madness" people e-mailed you yet? I still haven't heard anything.


LornaJay said...

Did you get to the rugby? Enquiring minds want to know!

Also, if you wouldn't mind, a proper recounting of the reasons why army games weren't allowed there, please. The BBC started to tell the story yesterday, but I was in a pub full of grumpy old men.

I know the bare bones, but I'm hoping your facility with words will fill in the gaps.

TutleyMutley said...

Thanks for the Turkish Yarn Paradise link (as if I need stash enhancement!).
Talkative yarns ay? hmm. Your basement and cupboards must be deafening.