Chiagu Blog

Ohh, shiny!

Posted on April 09, 2008 | 3 Comments

I am about to say something I haven't been able to say in over 4 years:

Until this week, I had not bought yarn in over a month and half.

I know, shocking. You can pick yourself up of the floor now.

It's not that I was consciously not-buying, it's that I was busy doing other things. And I obviously have plenty of yarn already. And not having a discount anymore makes me think a little harder about buying stuff I don't need and won't be able to knit for a while . . .

Although that only goes so far. I can't resist brand new yarns!

Koigu Mori and Flat Feet

That's 3 skeins of Koigu Mori, the new 50/50 Merino/silk blend that Koigu just released. It's really, really gorgeous! Very soft with a wonderful sheen. This is color M223, bought at Purl, and it will become a lacy scarf. Eventually.

Underneath is a new novelty sock yarn called Flat Feet. This, my friends, is one of those products that I really wish I had invented! Not because it's groundbreaking or anything, but because it's perfect enticement for sock knitters -- we always want the latest and greatest sock yarn, and changing it's physical put up? So simple! So brilliant! I had to have it! Here's the link to the manufacturer's website if you've never heard of this. I'm not sure I'll be able to knit with the kinky yarn without driving myself crazy though, so I may hank it up, prewash, and then knit. But hey, I'm crazy like that.

BTW, I'm doing some blog redesigning, so please let me know if something looks wacky! The picture on the upper right won't always be of the shawl, I just have to resize a bunch of other pictures to fit so I can rotate through them . . .

Posted in flat feet, Koigu, Yarn

New babies!

Posted on June 20, 2007 | 3 Comments

That's what I said when I opened the order that came today from Woolgirl! See what I got!

I only just found out about this store recently from reading the Knitty boards and I was really pleasantly surprised with the selection! Lots of yarns I'd never heard of before, and lots of the really hard to find ones that always seem to be out of stock. So I had to get me some . . . cuz you know, I have absolutely nothing to knit right now.

On the left, the pink/black/white skein is 75% superwash merino/25% nylon from new-to-me Vancalcar Acres. It is REALLY soft and I like the simple color palette, although you can tell that not much went into dying this particular skein of yarn -- there is just a blob of pink and a blob of brownish black, with no shading or anything. It's definitely not as interesting or stunning in person as some other hand-dyed sock yarns, but it feels really good (I think they use the same base yarn as Cabin Cove, it's ridiculously soft)

At the top, the 3 skeins of turquoise/brown are chunky fine merino from Three Irish Girls, another new-to-me company. I just fell in love with this colorway (it's called Donegan if you're curious) and couldn't NOT buy it. I'm planning to make a super easy seed stitch scarf with it, since the crazy color will do all the work. The yarn isn't super soft (considering it's fine Merino) and it has a bit of a felted texture, but the color is GORGEOUS and it's definitely soft enough to wear as a scarf.

Last but not least, at the bottom right you see 2 skeins of the DIET COKE color of Spunky Eclectic's Super Sport yarn. I had to buy this one because it's called DIET COKE. How could I pass it up? This yarn reminds me of STR because it's tightly twisted and thick, although personally I wouldn't have called it sport weight. It's barely thicker than Jitterbug, actually, I just checked. It's nice and cushy, with the great sproing (that's the technical term) you expect from 100% Merino sock yarn.

I was very happy with the service from Woolgirl, and they give free shipping if you reach some minimum amount (I passed the minimum by a bunch). They even sent a little sheep stitch marker! My one complaint is, again, too much packaging. Almost every skein was individually wrapped in tissue and tied with ribbon, which is very pretty and all but just seems wasteful to me. Minor complaint though, I will definitely be ordering from them again!

Posted in Yarn

Yet more stash enhancement

Posted on May 02, 2007 | 4 Comments

What you see above is just SOME of the yarn I bought last week and this week. What's not shown here is enough black Twinkle Cruise to make the Little Black Dress from the new Runway Knits (you can see it in this book review post), 4 odd skeins of KPPPM that I just had to add to the color stash, and 3 different so-called dk weight yarns that I bought with Nicole in mind, only to come up empty time and time again.

What you DO see above is the most recent part of the stash enhancement (minus some Jitterbug yarn which is hopefully in the mail as we speak . . .)

The tweedy orange is a new to me yarn called O-wool Balance, a 50/50 blend of organic merino/cotton which I'd read about online but never seen before. It has a nubby texture similar to Rowan Summer Tweed but it's very soft and seems like it will work up into a light, perfect-for-spring sweater. I bought 9 balls in this funny orange that seems to defy description - one minute it's sherbert, the next it's more like burnt orange. The plan for this yarn is some sort of light, comfy cardigan to throw on over everything instead of my sweatshirt hoodie. I'm fighting the urge to wind a ball to swatch, because I already started the other yarn!

What you see up there is the humble beginnings of Nicole, knit in Rowan Wool Cotton. Which, by the way, gave me a gorgeous, spot on 22 sts to 4" gauge without looking loose and sloppy (unlike several other contenders who shall remain nameless for the time being). It's kind of shocking to me that I've never knit in Wool Cotton before considering how many yarns I've tried, I can't remember even swatching it before, and I have to say I'm convinced. It's absolutely gorgeous, makes crisp, defined stitches, has enough spring to it that you forget it's half cotton. I can't say enough good things about it. After knitting the swatch I was completely won over and am already planning to buy enough for a few future sweaters. . . assuming it launders moderately well. I'm a bit worried that it might stretch out, but only time will tell. I'm glad I held out for the perfect yarn for this project, I'm really happy with the Wool Cotton!

Nicole, by the way, is a pleasure to knit and I'm having fun watching the pattern develop. Since the body is knit in one piece to the armholes, it is slow going the first few rows but then when I got to the second stitch pattern it's going faster. I'm lengthening it by 1" but otherwise following the pattern as written and I can see this being done pretty soon, too (unless I get distracted again). I plan to wear it over a black tank top or long sleeve shirt and I'd like to wear it NOW, so I'm trying to be good and not start anything new (like the LBD) before it's done . . .

I may also have bought several books, enough fabric for two throw pillows and some shirts to sew for myself (the pillows are almost done), and who knows what else.

And I'm not feeling at all guilty because I'm in a hugely productive phase right now and the projects are coming off the needles almost as quickly as I'm adding to the stash. I'm still paying my bills on time and I don't owe anyone money, so I'll keep indulging! It's not my fault that so many wonderful things keep coming on the market . . .

Pictures of the pillows tomorrow.

Posted in Yarn

When the going gets tough, this knitter buys yarn

Posted on April 06, 2007 | 3 Comments

Recent stash enhancement

That, dear readers, is just some of the yarn I've bought over the last week. Clearly I am self medicating. I'm exhausted and cranky. It's dangerous working in a yarn shop when your medicine of choice is yarn . . .

On the upper left is Twinkle Soft Chunky in black. I bought this to make the Shopping Tunic from the Twinkle book, which is definitely in the category of "knitting I want to wear" and not "knitting I want to knit". I don't like knitting on humongous needles, and the pattern sucks, to tell you the truth. The only redeeming quality of this project is that it's FAST (duh, why else would anyone knit with broomsticks). I finished the body in one evening's worth of knitting (I'm making it shorter than the picture). I'm trudging on, inspired by Another Shopgirl's tunic success.

ASIDE: I keep reading everywhere that the Twinkle book has insane sizing. Apparently no one bothered to read the fit section at the beginning of the book, where they explain that all the pieces are meant to have a stretch to fit shape. They explain that the largest sizes, even though they have a finished bust measurement of about 33", are meant to fit up to a 36" to 38" bust. It's funny that I'm considered a "Large" in this book, but frankly, I can't imagine anyone much bigger than me wanting to wear these super chunky pieces. Actually, I'm not sure this sweater will work on me, but only time will tell. (I'm worried about uniboob syndrome) / end ASIDE

To the right of the Soft Chunky is Schaefer Martha in the colorway Toni Morrison. This is brand new yarn that literally arrived today (I do have a track record for impulse shopping, you may not have noticed yet) and jumped right into my bag. I adore this colorway, and this giant hank of aran weight cashmere/angora/wool will likely turn itself into a vest. Maybe even soon. Don't put any money on it though.

And last but not least at the bottom you see 3 balls (1 wound) of Hello Yarn's handpainted sock yarns. The colors aren't exactly what I was expecting, they looked brighter/less dark on the website (at least on my monitor), but the quality is superb, especially the 100% merino. It is a bit thicker than Koigu but not as tightly twisted/solid/thick as STR, and it's really really soft. The merino/nylon is more tightly twisted than others I've tried, and not as soft as Cabin Coves, but will probably wear well. Assuming I ever make a pair of socks again . . . it's only been 2 years.

Posted in Yarn

Um. Oops?

Posted on January 04, 2007 | 2 Comments

I did it again.

I was looking for buttons (how is it possble to always be looking for buttons?) at another LYS and somehow managed to buy even more yarn. Oops.

On the left are two skeins of a wool/silk blend I've never heard of before. It's called LoomInEssence (not sure if they want it spelled together or spaced out), and Googling brought me no additional information about this company . . . the yarn is 50/50 merino/silk, like Noro's Cash Iroha, but it doesn't have that uneven, sometimes-flat look that the Noro has. It is one of the softest silk blends I've ever felt and the color is gorgeous, just slightly tone-on-tone. I am going to swatch and see how much it pills (almost all silk blends pill like crazy) and then we'll see what it wants to be when it grows up.

In the middle are 3 skeins Debbie Bliss Pure Cashmere which I've heard of but had never seen in person before. I was doubtful of this yarn when I had seen it online but it was a very pleasant surprise in the skein. It has a nice twist to it and no halo at all, so it passed my initial inspection with flying colors. The true test will be to knit it up, I'm going to make myself a hat out of it. The one negative about this yarn from the get-go is that it comes in 25gr skeins which means more ends to weave in. And we all know how much I hate weaving ends.

And last but not least is a lonely ball of Blue Sky Alpaca's Bulky alpaca/wool. This yarn I not only know I've even sold it before, I just bought it because I have an idea that I want to swatch out in really chunky yarn . . . if it works I'll have to order myself a project's worth.

At least today's stash enhancement wasn't sweater quantities of yarn.

And of course I didn't buy any buttons at all . . .

Posted in Yarn

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