Friday, January 06, 2006

Nakiska; Knitalong stuff (down below)

The socks are no longer. (Where has my sock mojo gone?) The striping pattern was too busy for the cables, I didn't like the ribbed heel flap, the heel turning method was messy, and the whole project was just bothering me. Did I mention here that there were two breaks in the yarn, in less than 10 grams? Blech. So I frogged them. I was happy to find that there were no further breaks in the yarn, which is something, at least. I undid the (very loose) knots where the breaks were, and separated those bits out into two smaller balls. I think I'll just make some plain ribbed socks with the yarn, and see if I can get away without using those smaller bits formed by the breaks. The whole yarn saga (result of a trade almost gone bad, all the breaks, bad pattern match) bothers me so much that I'll leave it at that for now. On to better things.

One of those slightly better things is alpaca. I spent the past couple of evenings knitting with alpaca! My first time. Yum. I guess the one good thing about the almost-bad trade was that I got an apology ball of sportweight alpaca. I wasn't sure what to do with it. Only 120 yards? But I remembered about Nakiska, and all is well.


Pattern: Nakiska, by Amy Swenson
Yarn: Blue Sky Alpaca, sport

The stitch definition isn't what I had hoped. It's obviously better when less stretched, but that's not how it was meant to be worn. Plus, I bound off super loose, out of the fear that it would be too tight to get over my head, making it look really weird when I'm not wearing it. But it's warm and comfy, so I can't complain. The last time I wore a headband on a regular basis was junior high. For at least a year, I wore these ugly, cheap plastic headbands every single day. I don't really know why, but I remember at some point realizing that I had worn them every day, and would be embarrassed if I stopped and someone noticed. (Heaven forbid someone notice you in junior high! This is never a good thing.) So I didn't stop. I usually can't wear headbands well because my hair is so thick and frizzy. They can sit there, but usually don't do anything useful. My hair wins out. Nakiska stays in place. Yay!

Believe it or not, I have over half of the 50 gram skein leftover. I was originally thinking of making little wristwarmers with the full skein, but wasn't sure if I had enough. I guess I would have, but now I'm not sure if I'll have enough of the leftovers. Maybe I'll make another headband. Knitting with alpaca is so wonderful. I've been wary of using it because I know it doesn't have the memory that wool does. I think I'll eventually have to buy some for a nice hat and mitten set.

I'm not sure what to knit next. I just woke up to an email from Jean at Alpaca Fleece saying they finally got my black NSS from Brown Sheep, and are putting it in the mail today. I was hoping it would have arrived there a bit earlier, but at least I know it's on its way to me, for sure. (I trust Jean to get it in the mail to me, but I didn't quite trust BS to get it in the mail to them.) I'm guessing I won't get it until early next week, unless they spring for some fancy shipping. (I kind of hope they will, since I've been kept waiting so long. But the wait hasn't been their fault, so they don't owe me overnight shipping or anything.)

Adding to the complication of what to knit and when, my LYS owner just announced that she's doing quarterly contests. The theme for this quarter is socks. Knit socks with yarn bought from the store (or at least yarn that is available for purchase at the store), submit by the deadline, and have them judged by shop patrons. The winner gets a $25 store gift certificate. I think this means I'm pushing up the gorgeous blue and white Komi socks from the mitten book. I think the deadline is March 1. The store is having a 20% off sale next Wed - Sat, so that should spare me a bit. I'll still be spending close to $20, for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate. But I'll also be spending that money to knit some of the most gorgeous socks ever designed, so it will be worth it. I'm almost positive that I'm going to use fingering weight superwash merino. I forget the brand name, but it's almost identical to Dale Baby Ull, though with a little bit more yardage per skein. I took a peek at the color options at the knitting group last night, and there is a white and dark blue that look fabulous together, so I may have to go with the colorway in the book.

If any of you live in or near SW New Hampshire, I'll share that the LYS in question is The Knitting Knook. So if you're looking for a good sale, you know where and when to find it.

While I'm babbling on about that, the LYS owner mentioned that it sounds like the book (Knitting Marvelous Mittens) is going out of print! She's been carrying it in the store for a while, and was told this by the supplier when she just tried to re-order it. That sucks! She said she's never had trouble moving it off the shelf. It's such an amazing book, and this really bums me out. I'm happy I have my copy now. So if any of you were thinking of getting it, you might consider buying sooner rather than later. The book may soon become the victim of the same ebay price inflation syndrome as the OOP Starmore books. What a shame!

Some Knitalong stuff:
I have a lot of stuff to respond to, and don't have the time this morning to go through it all, and do a thorough job of it. It's something I'll take care over the weekend or Monday. So if you have a question lingering out there, don't worry. I haven't forgotten you, and all of the things I need to attend to are sitting in my gmail inbox, with little stars next to them.

I have had the time to update the sidebar with some of the participants. It's not a complete list, as I've had a couple more replies since I updated it. But it's complete as of when I had the time to do it yesterday afternoon. So if you're curious about who else is knitting along with us, check out some of the blogs on the right.

There have been several people who have commented or emailed with technical questions. I've tried to answer some of them, but I want to remind you that the Yahoo group is also a great place to bring up technical questions. When I have the chance to go through everything, I'll try to check and see if the question askers have joined, and maybe bring up some of the issues there, so the answers benefit everybody.

One last short note about the knitalong: I know there are a couple of participants who don't have blogs. That's perfectly fine. One thing I did want to say, though, is that there are still options for photo sharing for non-bloggers. You can get a free account at Flickr, to upload photos, if you still want to share photos when you have progress. If you don't want to do that, I'd be willing to host some photos on my Flickr account if they were emailed to me. And those people who are only participating through the Yahoo group should feel free to email me with text updates, if they wish, once the knitalong has started. I'll be happy to share your progress updates, even if you choose not to blog or to share photos.

My email address is now in the sidebar, but I'll repeat it here: bowerbirdknits AT gmail DOT com


Blogger savannahchik said...

hi rebekkah! i've been curious about this book and your KAL. i can't find a copy locally though. do you happen to know of any source online for pics? i've tried poking around with no luck.

1/06/2006 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love the idea of a quarterly knitting contest! (I think I love the idea of a 20 percent off sale even more.)

Speaking of sales, since I see you're in New Hampshire, a knitting store in downtown Nashua (Ewe'll Love It) is having a 41 percent off EVERYTHING in the store sale on Super Bowl Sunday. I hear it's a mad house (they do it annually), but I wanted to give you a heads up in case you wanted to make the trip!

I actually like the amount of stitch definition in the headband. Makes it look sort of cozy and well-worn, in a good way.

1/06/2006 12:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear you're finally getting your yarn for Ingeborg after such a long wait...hooray!

1/06/2006 1:10 PM  

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