Category Archives: Yarn Shop Finds

Yarn Store Review: Baa Baa Sheep

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A new yarn shop opened up in the area, so I was excited to check it out! Baa Baa Sheep is located right in the center of Ghent, a really nice area of Norfolk, VA. I think it’s the perfect area for a yarn store (lots of well-off clientele and other artsy shops are restaurants to attract them), so I hope she does well. I always think that you can learn a lot about a yarn store from the type of service you get, so I’ll start with that. Even though she was helping someone else when I walked in, the owner still greeted me. After she finished with the other woman, she asked me if I needed any help. Once I said no she stepped back and let me meander around the store, which was very nice. I’m not sure if it is because I’m young, but I’ve had people follow me around yarn shops before, trying to “advise” me on things that I already know. Once I was ready to check out she helped me immediately and wound my yarn (once I asked, though). She was very chatty and I felt like a valued customer- not an invader! Yeah!

As for the decor of the shop, that was interesting. It’s a smaller shop, and she has all of the yarn on the walls with tables and sofas in the center of the room. I saw a couple of people come in and sit down with their knitting to a ask for help. The owner helped them, but wasn’t shy about abandoning them for a customer who needed help (they weren’t there for a paid lesson or anything, I don’t think). The only strange thing was that the samples were mostly on top of the yarn shelves, which was probably too high for someone as short as me to really see. Personally, I didn’t really care as I don’t spend a whole lot of time looking at samples, but it might make it harder for other people to see them.

Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Water Green

Malabrigo Merino Worsted, Water Green

Finally, there was the yarn. For the size of the space, she had a pretty sizable selection, although she had limited color options. Most yarns only had about 4 options, which was a little disappointing as I was considering a buying a sweater quantity of a couple of things, only to not like any of the colors she had. I’ve seen other stores buy a lot more colors, sometimes keeping larger quantities in the back. I was surprised about which yarns she had, too. She ordered from a pretty large range of companies, from a few indies to big ones like Cascade. It was odd, though, that she only had one or two from each company. For instance, she had Cascade 220 (worsted weight 100% wool) and Plymouth Galway Chunky (chunky 100% wool), but not Cascade 128 or Galway Worsted. There was nothing wrong with the selection, it was just odd. In the end, I kept inside of my budget, only buying 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted (pictured above). I think it will make a great sample for a design I’m contemplating- we’ll see!

It really is much more green then it looks like in this picture

It really is much more green then it looks like in this picture

In the end, I highly suggest you stop by Baa Baa Sheep if you’re in the area. It hasn’t dethroned my favorite LYS’s, but it has a different selection and great service!

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Wip Wed & Yarn!

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I’m chugging away on my Coquette Vest. The lace pattern is pretty intuitive, and I think it’s coming along nicely. My progress was somewhat impeded by the dog getting hold of the yarn and tangling it up a little while I was home last weekend, but I straightened that out pretty quickly. I’ve probably gotten another 3ish inches since last week, which is pretty impressive considering I’m using lace weight Filigran and haven’t had a whole lot of knitting time.

Coquette Vest

Unfortunately, it’s probably going to have to go on the shelf for a while in favor of Christmas Knits. I finally got the HUGE order that I put in at Webs a couple of weeks ago, so now it’s time to start working on that.

Berocco Vintage DK

First, there’s a single skein of Berocco Vintage DK (50% Acrylic, 40% Wool, 10% Nylon- 288yds/100g). It’s much more of a cranberry color than you can tell in the picture, I promise. This is destined to be a beret for a friend. Ok, it’s for her Birthday, which was a couple of months ago, but it still counts. Honestly, we were on opposite ends of the state, so I like to think that I’m doing ok.

Valley Yarns Superwash DK

Next, there’s about 9 skeins of Valley Yarns Superwash DK (100% Extrafine Merino- 137yards/50g) in a minty green color. This was more of a guilty purchase for me than anything else- I think I’m going to use it to make myself a sweater! It’s incredibly light and lofty, so I bet it will make a comfy cardigan.

Berocco Vintage DK

This is another 6ish skeins of Vintage DK in fuchsia (a little darker then this) for a Hanukah sweater for my mother. She picked out the color online, so this time she can’t say that she doesn’t like it!

Valley Yarns Northampton

Next, there’s a single skein of Valley Yarns Northampton (100% Wool- 247 yards/100g) in Lake Heather. It’s much greener than the picture! This will probably make someone a hat at some point in time- it’s a just-in-case yarn. Ok, so it will probably end up in my stash. What’s wrong with that?

Valley Yarns Huntington

Last but not least, there’s two skeins of Valley Yarns Huntington (75% Fine Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon- 218 yards/50g) for future socks. Yes, this is also stash, but let’s be honest- I make a lot of socks! They would go really well with one of my crazy-er yarns to make the Stitch Surfer socks from the new Knitty, wouldn’t they? Those socks are really cool, so if you haven’t seen them yet, check them out!

That’s about all for me on this WIP Wed. I know that I haven’t been blogging a lot recently, but life has been really hectic. I’m trying! Hopefully, I’ll have a long overdue blog WEEKS in review this weekend. Hopefully. If you want to see MORE WIP Wed. posts, check out Tami’s.

Yarn Acquisitions!

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Before I go back to unpacking (I just moved into my first apartment!), I wanted to share my newest skeins with you 🙂 Sorry about the quick post, but there is a lot lot lot to do, plus I want time to work on the delightfully addictive socks that I’ll talk about Wed.

Windswept Farms Knitter’s Choice

First, there is one skein of Windswept Farms Knitter’s Choice (100% Merino Wool- 250 yds/100g) in the Cinnamon color, a lovely brown. The yarn is really thick and luscious- exactly what you would expect from Merino wool. I think that I’ll make a Windschief with it- I got the pattern for 1/2 off a couple of weeks ago! I’ve been pretty jealous of everyone else’s, and I think that it would make a great Hanukah present for my father.

Zitron Filigree

The second yarn is two skeins of Zitron Filigran (100% Merino- 600m/100g) in a lavender color. I’ll probably use it to make myself the Coquette Vest, which I have been lusting after ever since it came out in the summer issue of Interweave Knits. I bought the yarn not even noticing that it’s exactly what is called for in the pattern. I don’t think I’ve ever used the required yarn for a pattern before. I’ve always thought that I am a tight knitter, so now I’ll get to compare my guage to someone using the exact same yarn!

Ahh- there’s no picture on the ravelry page! The Coquette Vest is on the right.

Yarn Swag!

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Does it count as swag if you got it from a blog contest? All I know is that my winnings are completely amazing. For those of you who don’t remember, a couple of weeks ago I was the grand prize winner on Tami’s blog for the anniversary of her yarn company, Candy Skein. I’ve bought from Tami in the past and absolutely loved her yarn (most of my skein of Arctic Mint went into these socks) so I was increadibly excited to see that I have another chance to work with her wonderful yarns at a price that works pretty well with my tiny, tiny budget…FREE! I was so excited to see that package in my mailbox when I got home from work the other day.

April Colorway of the Month

First of all, there are two skeins of her sock yarn, Yummy. She does a colorway of the month kind of deal (Arctic Mint was January, I believe) and I’ve been eyeing them as each month goes past and I can’t afford it. Ok, I can afford it, but if I ended up getting it then I would have to eat a whole lot more pb&j’s. Anyway, I got both the April (above) and May (below) colorways. Butter Mint on top and the special anniversary colorway, 1st Birthday. They are both bright and gorgeous. I know that they will make some pretty fantastic socks (I’m not even going to lie and pretend that I am planning on making something else with these babies).

May Colorway of the Month

The other part of this prize was two sets of mini-skeins. I got both the older set of greens and a preview of the may set! At first I wasn’t quite sure what I could make with about 14 mini-skeins, but now I think that I might try and make a striped shawl with a solid color in the middle. I was gifted a copy of the Technologic Shawl a while ago (wow, aren’t I lucky!), so I think that I may be able to work with the stripes already in that to make something very unique and special. What do you guys think?

Greens

Sorry guys, but that’s it for me. With work and my computer in the shop, it’s been really difficult to keep track of my favorite blog posts. I’ll try better for next week!

Unnamed Set

Yarn Haul

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As you may remember, I ALSO won a contest over at Learner’s Per-Knit. Thanks so much for such an awesome haul! Today, I just wanted to do a quick post to show off all of my swag, and maybe talk about ideas for the yarn. There’s a lot of it- so be prepared for a long, picture-heavy post!

Spud and Chloe Sweater

First up we have a skein of Spud and Chloe Sweater (55% Wool, 45% Organic Cotton- 100g), a worsted weight yarn in the Turtle colorway. It’s not quite as pastel as the picture suggests- slightly darker and deeper. Right now, I’m thinking that it would make a good hat. Maybe a new design? I feel like it would fluff up beautifully with some texture. Maybe garter ridges? Hmm…I shall think on the matter.

Wool of the Andes

Next, there’s a single skein of Knit Picks Wool of the Andes (100% Wool- 50g) Worsted in Aurora Heather. Interestingly, I have a skein of fingering weight in the same color. I don’t know if there’s anything I can do with that. Or maybe I’ll just keep it handy for a last minute present. It is a guy shade. Maybe something for my dad for Hanukah? Well, that’s pretty far in the future. I have plenty of time to figure it out!

Malabrigo Lace

Next, there is a skein of (gasp!) Malabrigo Lace (100% Baby Merino Wool- 50g)! The colorway is called Verde Esperanza, but for those of us who are color-challenged, it is definitely teal. I’m not too sure what I’m going to do with 50g of lace-weight yarn, but this would be a pleasure to just keep in my stash and pull out to stroke when I’m feeling sad. I’m not joking- it’s that soft.

Plymouth Mushishi

Next, there’s a giant skein of Plymouth Mushishi (95% Wool, 5% Silk- 250g). I have no idea what I’m going to do with it at the moment, but I love the tweedy flecks and how it switches between blues and greens. It’s pretty soft, so maybe it would make a good infinity cowl? Something thick and luscious to get me through those few days were it gets really, really cold.

Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk

Next, there are two skeins of Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk (50% Alpaca, 50% Silk- 50g each). I think the color is just a bit more rusty and less bright than the picture shows. Also, they are two different dye lots, but I can’t really tell the difference at all. They are somewhere around a DK weight, so I could probably find a fantastic lace pattern for them. Looking at it now, I can tell that they will have just a slight halo- and that’s exactly what you want for lace!

Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering

Second to last is a skein of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering (80% Superwash Merino, 20% Nylon- 100g). I have been coveting this yarn forever! I know that this is supposed to be a sock yarn, and I know that the label SAYS that it’s superwash and even has nylon, but there is no way that you can feel it in the skein. Add that to the fact that this skein might just contain all of my favorite colors (purple, green, rust, oh my!) and I have no idea if I will EVER be able to part with it. I can already tell that it will be some special project!

???

Finally, there’s some blue/green/yellow mystery yarn. It’s probably about 50g of worsted or chunky weight wool- it definitely feels like a rough wool- that’s been spun into a single ply. Does anyone have any ideas about what this is? I have no idea what I will do with it…

And she also added in a personalized needle converter magnet! I’m really excited about this- I’m always losing my converters, and I can just keep this one on the fridge so I’ll always know where it is!

To close, I cannot say how unbelievably grateful I am for this entire package. I love each and every skein, and cannot say how much it makes me happy that there are other people out there who want to share their love of knitting so much. Thanks again!

Shopping PLUS a trunk show!

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So, this weekend I decided to hit up one of my LYS’s and spend the rest of the gift certificate that has been burning a whole in my pocket for almost a year (OK, don’t blame me- it’s not exactly ‘local’ to me at home, and definitely not local to me at school). Of course, it helped that she was having a trunk show for Dragonfly Fibers, which was just…unbelievably spectacular. The only thing that was kind of unfortunate is that the store was too busy for them to skein my yarn. While I understand, that is definitely going to make things a lot harder on my end. I am slightly reconsidering buying a 100g skein of sock yarn…it might have been nice if they had a sign posted or something. They did offer to have it ready in the next couple of days, but the store isn’t exactly around the corner from where I live.

stitch markers in action!

First things first: the Yarn Club always has a great selection of Knit Picks brand needles and notions, which is a major draw for me. Who wants to pay half the cost of a pair of needle tips in shipping? The night before, I was noticing how the stitch markers that I had made from some leftover yarn were not up to par, so I got this package of really, really cheap Knit Picks markers. They probably won’t fit on needles over size 8, but they’re doing just fine on my 6’s. So that was a good find!

Knit One, Crochet Too Brae Tweed

And now, the yarn. First, a skein of Knit One, Crochet Too Brae Tweed (60% merino, 20% baby llama, 10% bamboo, 10% donegal) in color number 879…a sorta dark muddy brown. If you remember correctly, this is the luscious yarn that I used to design the free Leafy Tops Hat (which, by the way, I’ve made some changes to the pattern). My sister fell in love with my original sample, but I’ve been craving a soft, go to hat lately. This darker yarn won’t be quite so flesh-tone, and it will go with a bunch of my jackets! Plus, this way I can take some more pictures. That page needs some serious updating.

mmmmmmalabrigo

Next, a skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted (100% Merino) in Whales Road, a mix of blues with a touch of purple. The skein was already untwinded when I grabbed it from the pile. I probably should have asked if they had another one in that colorway, but I don’t think it will get tangled or anything. And worsted weight yarn is a lot less tedious to hand-wind then sock! Since I made my first skein into a cowl (secret, by the way), I’ve been thinking about doing another one. Hell, I may just made a collection!

The bright sun took out a little bit of the depth of colors, so it's actually MORE beautiful than that, if you can believe it!

And then, finally, for the main event, a skein of Dragon Sock (100% Superwash Merino) from from Dragonfly Fibers. The colorway is called Admiral Benbow, and I just fell in love with it the second that I dug it out of that giant pile of yarn. It it simply spectacular! The colors are so deep and vibrant, it’s just really hard to describe. I think this one will have to be a pair of socks- maybe some plain-jane stockinette ones to show off the color? I don’t know, exactly, but I’m sure whatever I made will be amazing, judging by the yarn.

closer up on the gold end, which is so radically different from the dark blues and greens in most of the skein.

Finally, for my Locke St. progress report, I’ve finished the first sleeve! Wooo!!!!! The numbers for the sleeve cap shaping were a little off- I know I started with the correct amount, so I must have just done a couple too many decrease rounds or something. Hopefully, it won’t be too different from the second sleeve. But really, it would only take an hour to fix it if it was! Now one more to go…and then the rest of the whole sweater body. I can tell that this project is going to take a good long time, but I’m pretty hopeful about the finished project.

Locke sleeve number one- it's curling so much, I can tell it's going to be a bitch to sew.

Locke St. Cardigan pt. 1

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So how did you like that quick succession of designs? I hope you guys go try some out. Remember, the Kaylee hat will only be free until the end of the week, although the Twist and Slouch hat will be free forever!

So what have I been working on in the mean time? Well, there’s a secret project that I can’t really tell you about, so I’ll show you something else…

Swatchy...and I actually washed and blocked it BEFORE I measured!

That’s my swatch. What is it for? Well, it’s the Locke St. Cardigan. Knitting to Stay Sane put this pattern out a couple of weeks ago, and judging by the fact that I keep going back to the ravelry page and staring at it, I think it’s a keeper!

a nice, heathered dark green. I don't think it's too dark to see all of the nice detailing, though.

I grabbed 15 skeins of Swish DK in Forest Heather from Knit Picks, and it came in really, really quickly. They were having a sale on the bags of 10 skeins, so I had to grab one of those and then get 5 separate. I probably should have just sprung out a couple more dollars for a whole nother bag. I would have most definitely used it the extra at some point, and then my yarn would all be from the same dye lot. Although the numbers are very different, I haven’t been able to tell the difference, so hopefully you won’t be able on the finished cardigan, either. In the end, I’m pretty happy with my yarn choice. Even though the Swish is superwash wool, you wouldn’t know it with the feel. It’s very soft, and I’m pretty happy with that!

sleeve! Sorry it's upside down, the light was...backwards

While the pattern for the Cardigan is…long…I printed it all off. That way, it’s much easier to knit while watching TV on my computer. It is definitely a very complicated pattern, so I’m very glad that I did. Luckily, she starts with the sleeves. I think that’s a pretty good idea- it’s like dipping your toe into the shallow end of the pool! Plus, I won’t have that time when I feel like I’m almost finished with the sweater and then end up astounded that it takes so long to do the sleeves.

I don’t envision this pattern going very quickly. Between the crazy cableing and DK yarn it will definitely be a long-term project. That might be what I need right now. I have been stress-knitting a lot, so I need something that I won’t burn through very quickly. Hopefully, though, I’ll have some progress to show you this Wed. It might be a quick post- although the stress is high, the time for knitting and posting is not. Sorry!

Technically, the colorway is moonlight or something like that. I think I'm changing the name to Birthday Party!

And, by the way, I wanted to show you the other thing that came from Knit Picks. I grabbed a skein of self-striping Felici Sock Yarn. It’s surprisingly soft, and I’ve been coveting other people’s striped socks for a while. I bet this is gonna make a fantastic pair…eventually!