Sunday, May 2, 2010


Journey's End- final day of the Knit and Crochet Blog Week. Lots of talking. Interesting fun.

Day 7 - What a Yarn

"There’s one love that we all share: yarn. Blog about a particular yarn you have used in the past or own in your stash, or perhaps one that you covet from afar."

I have thread. Lots of thread. It's what I do. I've just never really gotten into the yarn too much. I mean, I love the soft and fuzzy, it's just I don't like the idea of bothering baby animals for it and then paying through the nose to get it to my door. I do believe that the price is fair and justified when considering the care and feeding of the donor sources and the costs of harvesting, processing, packaging, marketing and etc incurred by these products. But I'm cheap at heart and also a genetically sweaty woman to whom the idea of donning a garment actually called a "sweater" seems to be flouting the vindictiveness of fate.

But I do love the unusual and am currently borderline obsessed with certain fibers: Bamboo, Sari Silk, Banana Leaf and Nettle.

I haven't bought any bamboo yet because I'm saving up for the wildly fantastic 100% stuff from South West Trading Company by way of Yarn Market:


That's the color that keeps me interested. There are several other colors I like in that line, but this is the one that keeps smacking me upside the head and saying, "Over here, stupid."

I like to say that it is the price that keeps me from saving my pennies with any efficiency for this purchase, but I have to admit that there is also a lot of "it's too popular" going on. If I'm gonna spend Serious Bucks on something (and believe me when I say that $16 bucks a hank is SERIOUS Moolah to yours truly), it is going to be something I think is cool and that flies under the general radar. So last year, I figured recycled Sari Silk yarn wasn't too popular yet and bought a hank from The Wool Peddler:

Kathmandu Sari Silk

Gorgeous isn't it? Shiny and colorful and exotic. Uhm, well the one I received was more like a lovely vomit color partially obscured by a haze of hairiness that felt a bit like thick sandpaper when crocheted on my J hook. Ultimately used it for the heel and ankle of some franken-socks I made for avoiding impaling my tender diabetic feet on hidden caches of power-shed kitty claws. To be fair, my ankles are always cold and my rough dry crone's heels tear through yarn like wet tissue but the sari yarn is warm and tough enough to solve these little problems. Now if my feet weren't so ginormous that I could get a whole sock out of 1 hank it would be worth getting more for this purpose. But as it stands, it would take about 4 hanks and I will not pay $64 dollars for a pair of house socks - not even if they came with a naked man to don them lovingly on my feet each morning. Well... No! Not even.

But I was so happy to find Wool Peddler because they also carry some oh so imagination- capturing fibers: Banana Leaf and Nettle.

Pretty weird and odd and funky - what's not to like? According to the web site promotional blurbettes they have a lot of good karma associated with them too:

Made from fibers reclaimed from the clothing industry and spun by hand by women in India.

Banana Silk Yarn

Chemical and pesticide free, made from wild plants in Nepal:


They also sell hemp yarn but which is too eco-trendy a fiber for my taste right now and besides, nettles remind me of a favorite fairy tale - The Goose Girl.

I am making something from this combination, but it is incomplete and incredibly heavy. I'll post a pic later.

... like now
Banana Nettle Swirl
CAL 5-6-10

I'm thinking of taking it apart and making something smaller. I love the interplay of these 2 fibers. The thick-thin, broken in several places but totally worth it Banana and the super thin, scratchy nature-in-a-roll quality of the Nettle.

So that's what I'm jones-ing on right now yarn wise. That and the discontinued Berroco tape yarn discussed ad nauseum a few days ago.

MMMM. It is good to have plans.

Hook On!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

knitcroblo6 & Wild Card

Day 6 - Revisit a past F/O

"Bring the fortune and life of a past finished project up to the present. Document the current state and use of an object you have knitted or crocheted,..."

Hmmmmm. I don't make things that get used. I've had three pieces travel a bit - which is more than I get to do these days - lucky string! Even had one piece go home with someone for keeps. A couple of ATC trades, a couple of "thinking of you" thingies, a couple of informal swaps. I guess I could track any one of those items, but I don't know that it's all that exciting. Plan, sketch, make, hold on to forever, mail (which can also take forever especially if it has to pass through customs - I'm on a list. I think.) and wait ever so impatiently for word that it was received. That's kind of what the whole of this blog is about anyway. So I thought I'd offer this paragraph for the official Day 6 topic and then tackle the Wild Card topic:

Wild Card - All Tooled Up

"Do you have a particular knitting/crochet tool or piece of equipment that you love to use?"

This is my trusty size 9, 1.25 mm steel crochet hook.

Photo to Come Here!

I use it for almost everything. Not sure why. Just love the way the stitches, matrices and finished fabric look when I use this hook. I have a size 10 I would like to try as well but I like sticking to one hook. Must be my hangup about loyalty, fidelity, honor and respect. Sheesh! Go figure.

Some of the finish is worn off of the size 9 from the constant use and the added injury of the acidic guiding finger-tip. I slipped it into a length of clear tubing. My father got that tubing for me millenia ago when I mentioned in passing that I was looking for a way to make crochet vases that could stand on their own without starching as I like the soft feel of the thread. In passing mind you - and he scoured the hardware store coming back with a coil of this and a sturdier type as well. He was a kind and thoughtful man under the guarded and secluded personality. Miss him. We drove each other a little nuts, but only because we were too much alike. Way too much for comfort. No one likes a good mirror. Still. Love and miss.

What was I talking about? Oh, the hook sheath. The tubing fits perfectly at the thumb rest but is a bit loose everywhere else. I crochet with a heavy hand: have broken a white plastic hook at the 1/3 way mark and broken the tip off 2 separate size 12 steels. What can I say? I like a firm matrix and can't stand seeing air between my stitches. Anyway, the hook slides around inside the sheath due to my tight and harsh style, which exposes the metal to my hot little fingers and smudges the surface with the inevitable bio-oil. There's a lot of stitch, stitch, stitch, push back up, stitch, stitch, stitch, push back up in my work day. But beats the livin' heck out of the ooey, gummy, shredded mess that those incredibly expensive blue rubber guards that are sold commercially turn into.

I do have a handful of other steel and aluminum hooks and even an acrylic one. I'm trying to collect only dark blue "regular" crochet hooks but having no luck. Boye's Crochet Master kit has ads were the kit in the photo has all dark blue aluminums, but I can't find the one in the picture for sale anywhere. Not even at my go to online suppliers. It is worth it to me to pay for steels that I already have just to get the all dark blue theme completed. Hell, even my one clear acrylic one is dark blue. All I can seem to find is that icky metallic pastel "blue" that's out there. More green than blue if you ask me and so frigging pastel it makes me want to drive it through my eye socket just so I don't have to look at it anymore. I don't care for pastels.

So that's my hook-story. Hook history get it? All together now - commence groan at pun-itude.

Hook On!