Chiagu Blog

Stitches East 2006 Redux

Posted on November 06, 2006 | 2 Comments

I just got back home a couple of hours ago and went straight to bed to take a little nap. What a weekend! Between setting up the booth Thursday afternoon and breaking it down Sunday afternoon we saw tons of knitters, petted lots of projects and sold lots of yarn. The Koigu Cashmere was very well received (there were people who rushed into the booth saying, "We hear you have Koigu cashmere!" It was great to see everyone so excited!) and as you can probably imagine flew right out the door booth. Don't worry, we still have plenty in stock!

The crowd was significantly smaller on Sunday than on the other days (I suspect because there was a football game going on next door and traffic had to be a nightmare!) so I got to wander around and do a little shopping . . . here's the damage:

Stitches haul

The photo's overdeveloped b/c of the flash but it's the best I could get (stupid daylight savings making it dark at 4:30!).

On top is a Strickwear kit which I had never seen in person before. I'd seen it in the Patternworks catalog but I wasn't willing to order it before feeling the yarn because I had no idea what kind of wool was in the kit. Turns out it's quite soft and the colors are just as amazing in person as I had hoped! This is a kit for a bolero in their Sunset colorway, you can see it shades from yellow to purple. I won't be knitting their pattern, I just wanted the cool yarn! I'm planning to knit a short-sleeved pullover with this.

On the bottom you see 6 skeins of Koigu . . . I really can't justify this purchase other than to say that I'm addicted! My boss laughed at me when I came back to the booth with them. But some of these are colors I've never seen before! And the rightmost one doesn't have a color number, it just says "NR" on the label, so I suspect it was a mistake. Too cool!

And leaving the best for last, on the left are two skeins of Tanglewood Fiber Creations' handspun Merino. I'd never heard of them before but I fell absolutely in love with the yarn. Trish (who blogs here), the spinner/owner has great colorways and this plied Merino is cushy and soft like good sock yarn but at a bigger gauge, and the barberpole color changes are to die for! The only problem with buying handspun stuff is there's never enough of any color to make a big project, these two skeins aren't exactly the same but I'm planning on doing a 2-row jog with them and filling in with a solid navy blue.

Speaking of which, I spent all weekend knitting a new project with the Koigu Cashmere in a navy blue sort of color. I think I'm in a blue period . . .

Oh, and before I forget, I got to meet a bunch of people IRL whom I only knew online! Several readers walked up to me and introduced themselves, thanks for saying Hi and thanks for reading! And at one point Cara came in and I recognized her immediately. She came in the booth while we were kind of packed and she was in a hurry but I insisted on giving her a hug and then instinctively looked down to check out her knee socks, which I bet is what everyone does when they first meet her! And Blue Moon had her blanket hanging in their booth and it's beautiful, but that awful lighting made the bright green GLOW, it was kind of spooky.
In comparison with Rhinebeck, there were not nearly as many bloggers around. At Rhinebeck it seemed that everywhere I turned someone was saying hi to me or I was recognizing someone. At Stitches, I met up with a bunch of people I know IRL but never see, but only met 3 or 4 virtual friends . . . there definitely seemed to be more bloggers at Rhinebeck. I wonder what that says about bloggers? Or about the events?

Either way, it was an exhausting, fun-filled weekend. Thanks to everyone who came by the booth to say hi, and if you couldn't make it be sure to check out the String blog for pictures of our booth! They should be up in the next day or two.

Posted in Koigu, Yarn

Going slightly buck wild.

Posted on April 29, 2006 | 2 Comments

Slightly buck wild is an oxymoron, isn't it? Well, maybe I'm just deluding myself by saying "slightly."

Witness recent additions to the stash:

Sweetgeorgia, Koigu, Lace cashmere, Lorns's

On the left we have two skeins each of two gorgeous colors from Sweetgeorgia yarns. They're both superwash sock yarn, in colors River (left) and Kissed (right). Don't look for them on the site as she's sold out again. This yarn is yummy, supersoft, plied similarly to Koigu but less tightly. The colors are glorious and clear, and perfect for some cheery socks. I can't wait to try this stuff out and see how it knits up! It seems slightly thicker than Koigu, probably because it's not spun tightly, and has a more superwash feel than Koigu does, but otherwise the uninitiated might confuse the two!

Next in the Parade of New Yarn is Koigu KPPPM in color P432 with matching Karabella Lace Cashmere to make, what else, another Halfobi. I decided the first one is a bit dark for spring, so I'm making a lighter one to wear with my summer wardrobe. And no, I haven't lost my mind, this makes perfect sense. Plus it's a really quick knit!

And last but not least, rightmost in this picture is a new-to-me yarn from Lorna's Laces called Swirl DK, which is a merino/silk blend. This isn't an intimate blend, meaning that the silk and wool weren't carded together before it was spun; one ply of silk wraps itself around the wool, giving the yarn a marled appearance (that's the technical word for yarns that are made of different-colored plies, as opposed to tweeds, where the plies have flecks of color). The silk and wool take dye differently so that gives it the look of different colors, when it actually isn't. This is my favorite Lorna's colorway, Black Purl, I've also used Lion & Lamb in that color for a shawl and the sock yarn is somewhere in the stash for an eventual sock. This is earmarked for yet more socks.

Seems like a lot of new yarn, no? What's really bad is that this doesn't even include the Manos I bought this week, nor the stuff that's coming from WEBS (Cascade 220 and Malabrigo). I must have been feeling withdrawal symptoms, because even for me, this is a BIG HAUL in a short amount of time. (In my (pathetic and rather feeble) defence, I bought the Sweetgeorgia stuff before I left on my trip, I just hadn't gotten it yet)

Now to just knit it all. I wish I had more hours in a day.

The Giotto cuff-to-cuff cardigan is almost done, it's just missing front bands. I'm at the stage in every project where I think it sucks and isn't gonna work, but I'm going to charge on, because I think it could potentially be great. We'll see. I'll show it to you as soon as I can, which will hopefully be tomorrow.

My Chinese food is here, gotta run! (cold General Tso's is nasty!)

Posted in Koigu, Yarn

Stash Flash!

Posted on April 01, 2006 | 6 Comments


Happy April Fool's! It's Flash Your Stash day, so here's a stash flash for ya -- that's my "linen closet" which serves as my stash hideout. It looks really messy, doesn't it? But actually, all the yarn in there is separated by type or project. Let's take a quick tour:

See those two drawers in the middle? The top one holds dark-colored oddballs and the bottom one has light-colored oddballs. I plan to use them for a big oddball project.

To the left of the drawers you can see a big bag of Kersti oddballs, which will eventually become some sort of blanket.

Above the drawers is some shetland that I bought to knit Point Reyes, but decided isn't soft enough to wear. I may felt with it.

Above THAT is a big bag of Classic Elite Charmed, bought on big sale. This will be another blanket.

Pretty much everything in here lives in giant hefty bags, my favorites for organization (you absolutely need to be able to see through your storage bags, in my opinion). I've posted about my love for them before. I'm not a "neat" person, which is so blatantly obvious from this photo, but my stuff is organized. And I'm pretty good about putting all my yarn in this closet, there's almost no yarn everywhere else in the apartment. If my mother saw this closet she'd have a fit, but I'm actually pretty proud of it!

Back to the closet tour: (WARNING: This is the best part!)

On the floor in those clear boxes is lots, and lots, and LOTS of KOIGU. Wanna see how much?

Koigu stash

Isn't my Koigu stash beautiful? Actually, this isn't all of it, these are just my oddballs which I buy for future shawl projects. I end up buying a skein of almost every new color that comes in at String, and will often buy random skeins anytime I see a color I've never seen before. With Koigu, you've gotta buy it when you see it!

But I do have more elsewhere: there's an entire dye lot of a color in its own ziploc, it's going to be a hoodie. There are 8 skeins of a burgundy that's going to be the Frost Flowers Shawl (that's in its own bag, too). There are also, in another bag, 2 each of 3 different colors, earmarked for socks. AND there are about 6 or so skeins with matching Laceweight Cashmere playing together in another bag, they will become a kicky cropped cardigan.

I'm exhausted from all this touring, go check out everyone else's stash flash!

Posted in Koigu, Yarn

Ok I need your help!

Posted on January 22, 2006 | 8 Comments

Gentle readers, I need your opinions. I tried to pick a color for Little Rivers yesterday, but the best I could do was pick TWO colors and not make a decision. I took one skein of each home, made a swatch, and this is where you guys come in. Which one should I do?


See that? That's my swatch, using both colors. That's Aurora 8 in 13, the blue, and 138, the grey (the color numbers being similar is some kind of strange coincidence, try not to read into that too much!).

The colors are pretty accurate in the picture, the blue is very demin-like and the grey is sort of brownish-grey heather. I like them both, and they both fit my criteria for this pullover, but I can't seem to pick one. I am ever so slightly leaning towards the blue, but only be a smidge. My worry about the grey is that it's a bit too dark, and this was the only grey I liked. So yeah, I think I'm going for blue. But I'm not sure.

So help me out here, readers, please?

What do you think? And keep in mind, this is the only project you'll see on this blog from Feb 10 - Feb 26th! ;o)

Thanks in advance!

Posted in Yarn

What I bought in England (part 1)

Posted on December 30, 2005 | 0 Comments

So a week late, here's the first part of my shopping rundown from my recent trip to England. The first thing I wanted to show you was my Patricia Roberts visit, here is a (strangely lit because the sun was going down) shot of the storefront:

Patricia Roberts storefront

The store sells both finished sweaters as well as her private label yarn, and was wonderful to browse through. I had only ever seen her cashmere and angora in person before, so it was a real treat to get to see and pet all the yarn that was in stock in this store (you can see it on the left of the picture, that entire back wall is yarn).

Unfortunately she hasn't come up with any new pattern books recently, but her designs are so intericate and interesting, even old designs still manage to make me drool a little bit. The finished sweaters are handknit on size 2 or so needles, and have boobles, colorwork, you name it. There are, of course, appropriately priced and WAY out of my price range (especially factoring in the exchange rate), so I focused on the yarn wall instead of the ready to wear section. I know, no big shock there!

She has some new colors out that I had never seen before in cashmere, but what really caught my eye were all the colors of lambswool and the silks and cottons. I don't enjoy knitting with either silk or cotton, but it's always nice to check out the selection. Her color palette is gorgeous and it was a lot of fun to look through everything they had. In the end, I did buy something, and the saleslady packed it up for me. There's something to be said about presentation, and I couldn't resist taking a picture of my shopping bag to share with all of you.

How beautiful is this package?


And what's inside is beautiful, too!


That's 4 skeins of her lambswool, 1 pale pink and 3 in a gorgeous chocolate brown that I just couldn't leave on the shelf. They sell their yarn by grams, so when I asked how much something was I was quoted "x per 100 grams" -- that's when I realized that the skeins aren't a set weight, when they ring you up they look at the label and multiply the weight by the price to charge you, which I thought was really interesting.

I'm not sure what gauge I'll get with this, something about 5.5 stitches to the inch I'd guess. I have an idea to do a mostly brown sweater with small bits of pale pink fair isle at the cuffs and neckline . . .

Posted in Yarn

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