Yarn Crawl 2015

The SoCal Yarn Crawl was a couple of weeks ago, and while I had a grand time in just one day (March 27), I spent a FORTUNE and am totally not allowed to buy yarn again for awhile. And seriously, I only visited four stores!

My first stop was Compatto, which is very near me and yet, I’d never been to it. It’s a compact store with plenty of light, and some wonderful yarns, but I must say, it’s a little expensive for my budget, and will have to remain a special occasion store for me. Most especially, I can’t allow myself to be in the vicinity of their amazing selection of Red Barn Yarn Llama Sparkle. Holy geez, I want to be buried with this yarn! Soft and sparkly and hand-dyed–simply gorgeous. And easily the most I’ve ever spent on a single skein of yarn (let’s just say it was north of $40). But seriously, could you have resisted this amazing marshmallow-y awesomeness?

Red Barn Yarn Llama Sparkle in Anemone
Red Barn Yarn Llama Sparkle in Anemone

My next stop was my favorite local store, The Knitting Tree. I love this place because it’s wonderfully busy and still cozy, and the staff are totally low-pressure. Of course, once I got there, I saw the Yarnover Truck in the parking lot, so I had to stop in there first, as it was another new-to-me experience.

The Yarnover Truck
The Yarnover Truck

Despite the heat of the day, they had enough fans going to keep the inside quite comfortable, and I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect yarn for my Sophie’s Universe–and I found it, in Baah!’s La Jolla line. But of course, I was in yarn crawl mode, so the price, while it would’ve freaked me out any other time, did not stop me from buying four skeins in gorgeously bright colors.

Four La Jolla skeins (the bright ones) and one Anzula Cricket (the left one)
Four La Jolla skeins (the bright ones) and one Anzula Cricket (the left one)

So bright and beautiful, how could I resist? I also had to get that Anzula Cricket, a super-soft cashmere/merino blend, that I know will make something nice for my sister–she loves those types of colors.

Then I headed into The Knitting Tree. I’d been in there just a week earlier, so I technically didn’t really *need* anything, but for Yarn Crawl weekend, I like to buy something from every store I visit, and what do you, they *also* carried Baah! yarns. So I picked up a lighter pink skein and a more solid green one to add to my Sophie colors.

La Jolla in pink and variegated green.
La Jolla in pink and green.

And that was all I had time for that weekend. But once I started my Sophie (that night), I realized it was going to need some lighter colors to offer some relief from the bright. I spent that Saturday working on my taxes, but Sunday, I stopped at an LYS on my way to a party. A Major Knitwork did not have any La Jolla in the colors I was looking for, but I found some nice substitutes that I thought would mix well (and at half the price!), so I picked up these lovely off-white and light-green skeins.

Frog Tree Pediboo
Frog Tree Pediboo

Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock in soft lime
Cascade Yarns Heritage Sock in soft lime

And so far, they’re working out quite nicely with the La Jolla colors. All told, I spent a bit more than $300, on just eight skeins of yarn. Yikes. No more yarn spending for awhile, for shizzle.

But to end on a high note, here’s the most recent pic of my Sophie:

Sophie's Universe, as of 4/13/15. I'm actually a little further along now, but I have tendonitis and have had to stop crocheting and knitting for awhile.
Sophie’s Universe, as of 4/13/15. I’m actually a little further along now, but I have tendonitis and have had to stop crocheting and knitting for awhile.

Sophie’s Universe is a mystery crochet-along, although I’m so far behind now, it’s no longer a mystery. See for yourself!

So that was my yarn crawl weekend. I would’ve loved to have hit up a few more stores, but to be honest, I’m not sure I could’ve afforded it. ūüôā

Man, this site needs work!

Neglect, neglect, yadda yadda.

I pulled my blog up to look at some of the widgets for another site I’ll be working on soon, and realized how very out of date this thing is, and not just the posts. For one thing, one of my favorite yarn stores closed last summer, so I have to remove that link. My bio needs an upgrade, and honestly, this whole site needs a facelift.

Sadly, my life these days is way to the busy. Work is swamped, personal time is usually spent on my current freelance project, and any other time leftover I’d rather spend as far away from my laptop as possible. (Seriously, I finished four books last weekend, three of which I’d also started last weekend.)

But soon, I promise, my dear two or three readers. Of course, I also need to upgrade JaneEspenson.com…. *sigh*

Just not enough time, dammit.

And in knitting news, I’ve been scrambling away at scarves, scarves and more scarves–and haven’t taken a pic of a single one, dammit. I suck. Someday that’ll change. I hope.

Until then, a pic. No blog post is complete without a pic.

Lioness

Isn’t she beautiful? I went to the San Diego Wild Animal Park two weeks ago with my sister and b-i-l, and this lioness was just hanging out on a crate right next to the observation window of the lion hangout. What a ham!

As time goes by

Wow, have I been lax! My most sincere apologies for not updating for two freakin’ months. I tend to forget that I actually do have some readers.

The last time I posted, I mentioned the horror of finding out the yarn I was using–Bernat Satin in Palm green–had been discontinued. Well, Decherd Needleworks sent me their last four skeins, and right quick too, so they are ROCK STARS. Unfortunately (through no fault of theirs!) I’ve become distracted from the star afghan and have instead been making puffy slouchy hats, as they are easier to carry around now that the afghan is so big, and the pattern is easy to remember. I made one in variegated pinks and reds with the puff-stitch rows in cream and another a solid bright red. (No pics yet, but soon!)

Another “unfortunately” is that I couldn’t get my act together enough this season to make something for the annual charity auction at the company holiday party (it was last night). And from what I saw, many of the usual knitters and crocheters that donate each year also had a hard time coming up with something this time, as the pickings were slim for yarn items (fortunately the slack was covered by the paint-inclined artists).

Things are sucking all over this time around, not a great way to end 2008. Is it too early for new year’s resolutions? ‘Cause I’m thinking 2009 needs to have more knitting, more crocheting, and more blogging. And maybe a site redesign–the pink is starting to wear thin.

And as for the past two months, allow me to nutshell that for ya: painted a wall in the living room; went to a wedding on Jekyll Island, GA, and had a great time; psyched about the results of the presidential election; bought a laptop (green! I named it Lorne); went to D.C. for a conference and had a great time; knee is healing slowly but steadily; cats stopped like their food and we’ve been taste-testing for the past month; had a great Thanksgiving with lots of bourbon-flavored sides; and I intend to have a great Christmas. And to post more. ūüôā

Talk to the Palm

Yesterday I learned that the lovey Palm green Bernat Satin that I’m using for Hailey’s star afghan has been…wait for it…discontinued. Can you say panic? My usual supplier (Stitches from the Heart) was sold¬†out, and had been out for quite some time (damn you, tedonitis, for making me skip the summer!), so when I got home last night I’d barely put my keys down before heading for Google.

Fortunately not everyone is sold out yet, and I found a lovely store¬†in Tennessee named Decherd Needleworks that was still listing it. I ordered five skeins, not because I expect to need five skeins, but because I love that green and want to stock up before they’re all gone. They emailed me today to let me know they only had four skeins left and did I still want them (Hells yes!). Here’s to hoping their follow-through is as quick and efficient as their follow-up, since I only have two more rows to go before I need the green again (although I probably have enough left to last me¬†about three¬†rows before running out).

Honestly, I’ve been using that green for nearly four years now, about as long as I’ve been knitting–never in a million years would it have occurred to me that they’d discontinue it! Such a pretty color. *sigh* Sad now.

Off the yarn wagon….again

So last week, as I had mentioned, I went yarn shopping at Stitches from the Heart, and as we all knew would happen, I bought more than I’d planned. That’ll teach me to carry my vacation credit card with me when I’m no longer on vacation! First it took me forever to decide on a yarn for Haley’s blanket–cool colors, soft texture and machine washable is a tough combination to find!–but I finally chose Universal Yarn’s Classic Worsted LP (20% wool/80 acrylic) in the variegated¬†“purple allure” (aka 11418)¬†pallette.¬†But before I decided on that, I’d kept returning to the Bernat Satin wall o’color. So many bright and beautiful colors! I’d been wanting to do some amigurumi work, but you need a good acrylic for that, so the stitches don’t stretch and leak stuffing all over the place. In the end, I couldn’t resist all those beautiful colors, and ended up with twelve balls of Bernat Satin, in twelve different colors.

Of course, now that I have all I need for a cute amigurumi doll, I can’t decide on a pattern.¬†Sigh.

But yes, I bought a ton of yarn last week, so hopefully that’ll carry me over the summer. There have been many yarn sales lately–at WEBS and at Unwind (one of my LYSs), but I haven’t even glanced at either one, so as not to tempt myself.

So back to Haley’s blanket–I started a crocheted log cabin, but so far I don’t love it. The yarn is great, but it’s the pattern–no matter how many of these I do, I still can’t nail the right number of stitches to add when crocheting across the side of a row, so some sides are longer than others, and there’s a¬†folding/pinching issue where I picked up too many/didn’t pick up enough. I’m thinking of frogging it and making a star afghan instead. If I do that, then I think I’d switch to the Satin, ’cause the pattern would benefit far more from different colored yarns than from one variegated pallette. And the more I think about it, the more I like the idea of a “Haley’s Comet” blanket. Hmm….

In other yarn news, I haven’t done anything lately with the sparkly market shawl, the too-big pink slouchy hat, the pseudo fair isle tam from Knitty, the scratchy my so-called scarf, or Kristen’s hat. I really suck at finishing, yo.

And finally, on a completely unrelated tangent, I rejoined Weight Watchers this week, and had my first meeting yesterday. My plan is to relearn¬†how to eat properly. Lindora did great things for me the first six months I was on it, but it just went downhil from there, and I’d like to be able to look at a potato again without freaking out or binging on them (or is it bingeing?).

That’s all I got for today. Have a great Memorial Day tomorrow!