The best: I won some yarn!!

Yarn contests. They are ALL over the internet. Blogs, Facebook pages, Twitter, and even Instagram: they’re all fertile spaces for bloggers, yarnies, indie dyers, and designers to share yarn, patterns, and other prizes with the people who follow them. I can’t even count the number of yarn contests I’ve entered over the years. A couple of weeks ago, I WON ONE!

This package arrived…

Yarn win!

…with my prize in it!

Yarn win!

The contest I won was run by Anna from Mythic Yarns, and my prize was this gorgeous skein of merino, cashmere and nylon yarn (Anna also very generously added some delicious chocolates to my package!). The colourway is called “The Golden Fleece”, and I REALLY love it! The golden, slightly mustardy yellow with little hints of white throughout is super super pretty. Miss New Zealand definitely approved!

Yarn win!

Yarn win!

Yarn win!

Yarn win!

I am SO excited to use this pretty pretty yarn. It’s totally my kind of yellow, and it’s lovely and soft as well! You should definitely check out Mythic Yarns. (Here’s their etsy store!) I love a lot of the colourways – and their names! Like, “Aphrodite was made of seafoam?” and “LEPRECHAUN BARF”!! – so creative :)

Yarn win!

I feel crazy lucky to have won!! Yay :) Yarn is the best thing you can get in the mail, I think.

By the way, Anna, the dyer at Mythic, is also a pattern designer. She recently released a very pretty fingerless glove pattern that would pair perfectly with my winning yarn, or with most fingering weight yarns you might have in your stash. Check out Twisted Scarlet!

And on that note, I wish you all excellent luck in entering yarn contests in the future; I hope you win something someday too!

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To Sale Shop or Not to Sale Shop?

Hi! Are you keeping an eye out for yarn sales right now? I’m not a big fan of the craziness of Black-Friday-Weekend-Whatever shopping, but I have noticed some pretty tempting yarn and fiber sales being mentioned on twitter…

For example, did you know that RainCityKnits (a huge favourite of mine) is offering 20% off ALL of their yarn for the next few days? AAAH! See this tweet for the deets!

I’ve been plotting and planning to order some RainCity Merino Worsted for a while now. I want to make the NEON SKI BONNET with it, for several reasons:

1. Neon.
2. Cool stitch patterns and construction
3. POMPOM RIGHT?!!
4. It will make me look even more like an adorable tiny child.

This image of the hat is from the designer, Lacey Volk’s, blog:

Neon Bonnet

Ooooh yes. So! I know I want to use RainCity’s yarn and Lacey Volk’s pattern. The remaining questions are:

1. Which colour of yarn?!!
2. Should I buy it now, while it’s on sale, even though it’s right before the holidays (when I should be buying things for OTHER people…)?

Colour-wise, I’ve narrowed it down to…

Lemon Yellow
Lemon

Electric Coral
Coral

Kelly Green
Kelly

Wasabi
Wasabi

OR Apple Green
Apple

(**ALL images of RainCity’s yarns belong to them and are from their Etsy shop, which you should go and check out!**)

I just cannot decide which colour or whether to hold off until the New Year… it’s not like I don’t have PILES of yarn already, and I have plenty of projects on the needles. Even if I got the yarn now, I wouldn’t have the hat ready super soon or anything. But it’s so pretty!!

What do you think, readers? Would you pick it up now, or wait until later? Which colour would you choose? Leave me all of your opinions in the comments! :)

Neon Confetti Obsession!

I had a tendonitis flare up this weekend (SIGH), probably from too much computer work on Friday, so I haven’t been able to knit a single stitch this weekend. But I’ve been thinking thinking thinking about what I’d like to cast on next. Not that I’ve finished anything recently – sloooowest progress on my Chevron blanket and my hexagons blanket and my greeny-gold Cold Mountain and my spinning and everything else…

BUT. I’ve been thinking about this yarn.

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

Remember this? I picked it up back at Fibrations in August (which is when I took those sunny photos). It’s a 75% superwash merino, 25% nylon blend sock weight from the FANTASTIC Rain City Knits (seriously go over there right now… if you love bright colours and rainbows and happy saturated yarn… you’ll be into it.)

IT. IS. SO. PRETTY!!! So cheerful and happy and amazing.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

I wound it up.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

Neon Confetti Amazing!

It’s not even depths-of-winter yet or anything (and even when it is, where I live, it’s not super cold). AND I like cold, gray weather. But this bright yarn is making me super happy! LOOK at all of the little speckley coloured bits! It’s mostly pink, yellow, and blue, but then there are surprise flashes of green! and orange! and purple! Loooooove. I think the colourway is called Confetti.

Neon Confetti Amazing!

I’m pretty sure I’ve decided what I want to make with it: Clincher! Here’s a picture from the designer, Ash Kearns’ blog (which you should definitely check out):

Clincher

The pattern requires a little bit of contrast yarn for the loops, which are added at the long, cast of edge of the shawl’s triangle shape. I’m thinking of using some bright blue that will complement the blue bits in the Confetti skein! Very excited. Now if only my dumb body would co-operate!

Share Season: Juniper Moon 2014 Spring Share Time!

Hi! It’s been a hot minute since I last posted! The last month has kicked me right in the butt.

I got the BEST mail recently: YARN MAIL! My 2014 Juniper Moon yarn share arrived! YEAH!

(Are you familiar with Juniper Moon and their yarn CSA? 2015 is the last year they’ll be offering shares, so if you’re into it, get one while they still exist! There are other similar systems now, but JMF is the original and, in my opinion, the best.)

Anyway – my share yarn! Ooooh :)

YES!

This is 100% cormo wool – cormo is a breed of sheep, and they grow wool which is squishy and soft and amazing. I love it. The 2014 share is the 5th annual share I’ve had the pleasure to receive (mostly as gifts from my amazing family – Hi Family!). This year, the share came with a super cute stamped project bag and a customized measuring tape! It also shipped in a box, which my cat was very interested in.

Bonus awesome bag!

Feline yarn supervisor.

Shareholders have the option to have their yarn sent to them undyed (I did that last year!), or to have it dyed in a very limited range of colourways which change each year. This year, I went for the Orchid colourway, which is this gorgeous gray-toned mauvey colour.

Orchid gorgeousness

Oooh purpley

Mauvey

Soooo pretty. Yes.

I have some fairly firm plans for this yarn. Every year I’ve had a share, I’ve knit a sweater out of it. (Here’s 2010 (blue), 2011 (pink), and 2012 (green) – I still have last year’s undyed 2013 share waiting to be knit up, because I focused on finishing Shepherd last winter!)

TRUE BLUENANTUCKETMy new favourite sweater! High quality tags :)

The 2014 yarn share in Orchid is, I think, destined to be a cardiganized version of Knitty’s Beatnik pattern. I am a huge fan of the Beatnik cables, but am also a committed cardigan wearer. (Check out this amazing version!) I may not have it finished this winter, since I have such drastically reduced knitting time (to keep my wrists healthy), but knitters are patient people, right? ;)

FIBRATIONS Recap!

On the weekend, I got to do one of my very favourite things – attend a local fiber festival! I’m lucky to live in a place that has a thriving, excellent local yarn and fiber culture. Our most awesome local event is called Fibrations, and it’s pretty delightful. Vendors, artisans, and community groups set up at St. Ann’s Academy, and there is tons to see and do and buy (and eat – there are even food trucks)! The whole thing is run by one of our best local yarn shops, Knotty by Nature.

Unfortunately, every year I end up getting sidetracked by all the yarn and fiber and taking too few and mostly terrible photos.

Terrible photo of vendor tents!

Raffle Ticket Tent!

See? You can’t really tell how awesome the event is from those. Oops. This one is a lot better:

Humming Bee Farm's incredible banner

Isn’t Humming Bee Farm‘s banner AMAZING?

Even though I did not take great photos, I had SO much fun :)

Excited Fibrations Face!

I DID take lots of photos of the yarn and fiber that came home with me. Here’s my haul!

Fibrations Haul woooooo!

Let’s break this down, shall we? My first stop was the RainCityKnits booth. I’m a pretty unabashed RainCity fangirl – I even knit a sample sock for them last year in their Local Sports Team colourway. Krista is the mastermind behind the company, and she is SO sweet! She was totally lovely to chat to :) I had planned to get something neon and solid coloured from them (I want to make the Neon Ski Bonnet for myself this winter, and obviously RainCity is the place to go for NEON!), but in the end I was seduced by THIS, which is on a merino/tussah silk base:

Rain City Neons + Vic skyline

RAIN CITY AMAZINGNESS!

AAAAH NEON SPRINKLES!!!! I loved this skein SO MUCH that I kind of walked around the festival with it around my shoulders. Isn’t RainCity’s needle gauge cool, too? I love it! If you haven’t seen RainCity’s full neon awesome line, check it out right now! (Warning, everything is beautiful and vibrant and you are going to want all of it basically.)

My next must-see stop was JOMA yarn, new to me and sooooo full of gorgeousness. I picked up a skein of stunning one of a kind hand dyed sock yarn (the CRAZY BEAUTIFUL colourway is “Wild Child”, and the base is Glam Panda – merino, bamboo, and nylon) – it’s greeney and yellowey and has spashes of teal and bright happy red/pink and yeah I love it. I also got some mini skeins at the JOMA booth, because they were beautiful and super affordable and perfect for my Six’es blanket!

Joma, huge new crush.

The mini skeins are (top to bottom) are Circus Clown, I Fought the Law, and She Wore a Raspberry Beret. So darling!

I also got some spinning fiber. First, from Humming Bee Farm, 2 ounces of green, hand dyed Corriedale wool! This may be a surprise but I am into green ;)

Corriedale from Humming Bee Farm

From Ba-a-ad Ass Textiles, I also got 4 ounces of super pretty Romney wool!

Fiber scores!

The colour makes me think of winter ocean at Dallas Road :)

Even though I’m still only knitting and spinning a tiny tiny bit because of my sensitive, sore wrists, I’m really excited about my new yarns and fibers. Ahhhhh, fiber festivals :) I’m already looking forward to next year!

The good kind of spoiled!

Hi friends!

Life has been BUSY! I had some work related travel, and was able to squish in some family visit time as well. I also had a birthday, and was throughly spoiled with gifts and kindness (and home made desserts… including pie, cheesecake, and my favourite, piecheesecake – which is a bottom pie crust, fruit pie filling, a layer of sort of cheesecake [cream cheese, whipped cream, and sugar I think], all covered with chocolate. It is. Amazing.)

Other than the desserts, a lot of gorgeous presents landed on me! Show and tell? Yes!

Mug + tea!

Super sweet mug!

Tea strainers!

Charming tea strainers! (I drink SO much tea. Especially because I’ve mostly gone off coffee in the last 6 months.)

Notions case!

Notions case!

Amazing notions case! So sparkly and green and useful!

Book!

YARN FARMY READING! :D

Leaf bookmarks!

Happy, green, leafy…

Leaf bookmark in action

BOOKMARKS!

Super special hand dye made by mom!

Yarn! Hand dyed! BY MY MOM! IN GREEN AND YELLOW!

Waterloo Wools prettiness!

In the Jungle!

More yarn, from Waterloo Wools, in a colourway called “In the Jungle”, which is super super pretty and amazing!

SO SPOILED!!!

Are you lucky enough to get yarny gifts for your special occasions?

Travel Knitting

Hi! I have good news :) My (dumb) wrists & forearms are starting to feel better! I’m still trying to be patient & cautious and not overdo anything. I’m still not really knitting again, yet. But feeling normal without any knitting is a good first step!

I also have some travel coming up soon, and I’m hoping I’ll be 100% better and knit-ready in time for that. Knitting is one of the things that makes travel fun for me! I always give myself permission to spend any time I’m in airports/waiting in lineups/passenging in cars for a long time/[other travel bothers]… I spent those times knitting, which makes the time pleasant instead of tiresome.

Another special permission I give myself is to choose an entirely new project and START it at the start of the journey. That way I have something exciting to look forward to, and a way to distract myself from worrying about delays or stuff I forgot to pack or the hundred other details I can obsess about.

Travel knitting is tricky though! For me, it has to be several things:

1. Small & lightweight! No use packing the giant, in-progress blanket, or 6 skeins of chunky yarn for a sweater. It must fit into my purse.

2. Exciting! I like to choose new yarn to wind, a new pattern to explore, something that really makes my heart go pitter-pat.

3. Diverse! I do make a point to bring at least two, usually three different things with me, so I can have some variety, especially if it’s more than a day or so of travel. Something engaging for long quiet spans (like lace!); something extremely easy/memorizable (a sock, or a plain scarf or cowl with no shaping); something else that makes me happy…

4. No overlaps! Ideally, none of the projects I bring need the same needles, so there’s no swapping around needed.

I’m having a really hard time choosing, this time. I poked around my yarn closet to see what yarn I was feeling into, and two skeins jumped out. One sock weight, and one lace weight, both in stereotypically springy colours.

Pink & black sock

This one is wool/nylon sock weight, by miss gusset, and I loooove it. I’ve had it in my stash for a while, and it just makes me super happy.

Pink & black sock

Coral Lace

The second skein is beautiful 50% wool, 50% silk lace weight by Vancouver Island’s Sweatermaker!

Coral Lace

I’m having the worst time choosing patterns though, mostly because the yardage for both yarns is lowish.

The lovely sock weight is around 330 yards, and the lace weight is around 380. I’m also thinking about avoiding pooling, with the sock weight, and showing off the beautiful subtle tonality of the lace weight. I’d like to use both yarns to their best advantage! Maybe a simple seed stitch cowl in the sock weight? Maybe the Campanula Scarf in the laceweight, since it looks so great in pink?

What do you think? What would you knit with these yarns? Do you bring knitting with you when you travel?