Book Yarn, Part XIV

Last, but definitely not least, this is the lovely Nate Sock Yarn by Briar Rose Fibers in the color 110 (such a romantic name).  It’s a slightly rustic fiber with just a tiny bit of variation in thickness from one spot to the next.

I’ve worked with Briar Rose before.  I first heard about it on Brenda Dayne’s marvelous Cast On podcast.  I sought it out at last year’s Great Lakes Fiber Festival.  I bought three and immediately turned one into Propitiate for The Boy.  I just cast on with the second a few days ago for an (as of yet) secret project.  It’s lovely to work with, and just gets better with washing.

So that more or less sums up the book yarns (there may be a tiny last minute addition, but this stuff will all be there for sure).  Now that all that’s taken care of, I’m free to let you all know the theme of the book.  And I shall.  Very soon.  Just not today.

Book Yarn, Part XIII

This lovely temptation is Classic Merino Superwash Sport by Knitting Notions in the color Dark Rose.  My camera decided to lie the day I took this picture. The yarn is actually a bit darker and, well, rosier, in person – more pink and less red.

Knitting Notions shows at several of the fiber events in my area, and I’ve been lucky enough to see all of Catherine’s yarns in person.  Her booth is unmistakable and irresistible.  She does a really beautiful job of displaying all her yarn to its best advantage.  If you’re going to any of her upcoming events, you should be sure to stop by.

I already had a small stash of her yarn when I started the book (this one was among them), and knew I wanted to use it if I could.  Catherine was marvelous, as expected, and even indulged my fit of shameful indecisiveness.  I know you’ll love this, it’s worth seeking out!

Book Yarn, Part XII

These are wicked good fun.  Let me explain.  I believe I may have mentioned my feelings about colorwork.  I just don’t do it.  I don’t get it.  I don’t (generally) like it.  I don’t know how to do it well.  It eludes me.

But I do occasionally go ‘ooooooh, pretty colors…I want pretty colors’ (admit it, most knitters are swayed by pretty colors).  So this seems like the perfect compromise.

These are part of the gradiance collection by The Unique Sheep.  The gradiance collection is sets of different yarns in colors that shade subtly (or not so subtly) into one another.  They come in groups of 4 or 6 colors and are available in all of The Unique Sheep’s base yarns.  There are examples of lovely socks and shawls over on the page for them.  It seems like the perfect way to get some of the fun of different colors while not actually having to master the technical challenges of the more traditional approach.

I got myself a set back at Sock Summit (I obviously need to stop buying yarn and start using the yarn I already have) and knew right away I wanted to use it for the book.  Two more yarns to go, and then I’ll finally tell you what the book is all about!

Book Yarn, Part XI

This is the marvelous Dream in Color Smooshy in the color Chinatown Apple.  I love this yarn.  It is a perfect example of truth in advertising.  It is absolutely totally 100% smooshy. That is exactly the right word for it.  It feels marvelous and knits up beautifully.

Now somehow, I’ve yet to make my own pair of socks out of any of the Dream in Color yarns.  A quick perusal of my stash reveals at least half a dozen skeins (including one duplicate color that I apparently loved enough to buy twice).  I will have to do something to remedy this.  I just wound up Cloud Jungle and I think it will be my next sock.

Book Yarn, Part X

This is Serenity 20 by Zen Yarn Garden in the color Cherry Garcia.  And unlike last time, there are no lies here.  Zen is exactly the right word to describe this yarn.  It’s a lovely merino, cashmere, nylon blend, and it’s just about irresistible.

Zen Yarn Garden is another new company for me.  I noticed that an awful lot of the socks I was clicking on on other people’s sites were made with their stuff, and I had to check them out.  I’m glad I did.  Their blends are lovely, they have a beautiful color sense (reds…lots and lots of reds), and their customer service is phenomenal.  This is another one I’ll be returning to when the (massive, never-ending, ever-growing) book project is done.

Book Yarn, Part IX

This picture is a blatant lie.  It shows the lovely Shibui Knits yarn in Sock in the color Honey.  That part that’s all well and good.  The lie part is the color.  In a fickle moment, I ended up switching from the Honey you see here to the equally lovely Sand.  Alas, I shamefully neglected to take a picture of the yarn in Sand before sending it off to get knit.  I’m really hoping that this is the biggest organizational snafu I encounter in doing this book.  The chances are small, but a girl can dream.

I first found Shibui Knits last year in Maine. I just went and looked for the picture I took of all the yarn I bought on that trip.  I was sure I’d posted it, but I couldn’t find it on the website.  Since it’s my site, and I totally use it help keep track of when and where I bought what, I’m posting it now.  You can see my inagural skeins of Shibui Sock just there on the right, one up from the bottom.  They were the first.  They were not the last.  It’s excellent stuff, and it comes in a whole host of marvelously wearable/reasonable/grown up colors.  I love purple and pink and sparkle glitter fluff as much as the next girl, but blue and gray and brown fit a whole lot better in my wardrobe.  Shibui makes those colors and they make them well.

On a side note, do you see all that yarn? That’s a fair bit of yarn.  That picture was taken in the hotel room the night before we flew home from Maine (note the extra ugly hotel upholstery fabric visible in the upper left corner if you doubt me).  That was the trip where I managed to cram all that yarn, plus 12 bottles of adult beverages, plus all the unimportant stuff we had brought with us like clothes and shoes and books into two wee suitcases.  The sort of suitcases that would have been carry on bags until about five years ago.  Not one thing broke.  Everything fit just perfectly.  When I said I was good at packing, I meant it.  The resentment over the honey incident is apparently still with me.

Book Yarn, Part VIII

Next up is Silk Crush Sock by Sweet Georgia in Cypress.  I’m going to take a dramatic and unexpected position here and recommend you not click on those links.  Not, that is, unless you want to fritter away the next 45 minutes and who knows how many dollars in a sweaty, sticky, yarn-drenched daze.

Sweet Georgia is new to me.  I’d not seen their yarn or even heard of them before I started the book project.  Then someone involved with the book sent me the link.  I don’t really remember the hour or so after that.  A bit later yarn showed up in my mailbox, so things must have gone well.

The only downside is that I had to turn around and immediately send it off to my genius sample knitter.  Heartbreaking I tell you.  I kept back a few yards to fondle swatch.  When this project is over and I get to go back to recreational knitting (as opposed to book knitting), I will be heading right back for another dose.

Book Yarn, Part VI

Today I’m showing off Three Irish Girls’ lovely Kells Sport in the color Brennan.  I’ve not worked with this specific base before, but I have used (and very much enjoyed) their Adorn Sock in my Calcareous socks.

I first found Three Irish Girls’ yarns at Sock Summit.  Their combination of beautiful colors and a wide choice of base yarns was irresistible.  I knew I wanted to include a variety of yarn thicknesses in my book, and Three Irish Girls makes one of the most sock-suitable sport weight yarns I’ve ever found.  It can be hard to find sport weight yarn that comes with enough yardage, but theirs does.  It’s also (like all of their bases) available in any of their glorious colors.  What more could you ask for?

Book Yarn, Part V

Today we’ve got an appearance by another old favorite, Hand Maiden.  The light gray yarn on top is Bess, a merino / cashmere blend that I’ve not worked with before.  The darker gray yarn on the bottom is Casbah, a merino / cashmere /nylon blend I’ve loved for a long time.  One of my first patterns, Slant, was made from Casbah, as was Graupel, one of my more recent offerings.

I have a soft spot for Hand Maiden and their sister company Fleece Artist.  When I first started knitting, I used the standard yarns available at Joann or Walmart and other big box stores.  Eventually, I began to suspect that there was better stuff out there.  Shortly after that I happened to stop into Romni Wools in Toronto and had my suspicion confirmed.  Fleece Artist’s Nova Wool was the first ‘fancy’ sock yarn I ever bought myself.  It was a rather marked improvement.

When it came time to pick yarns for the book, I knew I wanted to include one of theirs.  Now the only difficulty is picking which one!

Book Yarn, Part IV

I’ve never quite managed be one of those people who are always up on the newest or coolest things.  Perhaps I’m not attentive enough or I don’t try hard enough or maybe I just don’t care.  I’ve come to terms with that, and I don’t even think it’s a bad thing.  Most of the time.

Alas, in this case, my blithe dismissal of buzz led me to miss out on Sanguine Gryphon’s Bugga for far too long.  Now that I’ve got some of it in my hands, I see what all the chatter has been about.  This stuff is really marvelous.  It’s thick, the cashmere makes it super soft, and the color is fabulously rich and saturated.  This may be the first time I’ve managed to get ahold of it, but it won’t be the last!

In other news, I’m headed off to Columbus tomorrow for Knitter’s Connection to take Franklin Habit’s course on photographing fiber.  Should be fun.  Anyone else going to be there?