Tag Archives: Plain and Fancy yarn

Pollyanna and the Potawamie … PommyTommy … Potimoni … Cookie A Socks

Hey, Anna-Liza here. Just finished the Pomatomus socks, the Cookie A pattern from Knitty.com’s Winter 2005 issue. I actually started them in April of 2008, intermittently made great progress, then put them aside for some forgotten reason at some point … can’t even remember when, exactly. I had already turned the heel on the second sock!

I finished some other projects for other people recently and really wanted to work on something for myself. I also want to keep whittling down my UFOs, either by deciding to frog them or actually finishing them (gasp!), so I picked these up again. I was afraid I’d put them in time out for some insoluble problem, but I couldn’t find anything wrong! I couldn’t even find a dropped stitch (and believe me, in this pattern, a dropped stitch is a major deal).

So I finished them. And they are beautiful! See?

Not my feet, darlings, the socks. The details are on Ravelry. If you’re not a Raveler, the yarn is Zitron Trekking Pro Natura in colorway 1604. Such an evocative color name, is it not? Anyway, Trekking Pro Natura is made with 75% superwash wool and 25% actual bamboo fiber, not processed bamboo pulp. Better environmentally and, I hear, better durability, as well.

I love love love the way these turned out. This is the first project for which I’ve used the Pro Natura, so we’ll have to see how well it wears and how comfortable it is for a full day’s wear. So far, so good!

I’ve got a Baby Surprise Jacket on the needles for Wee Sprite, using some pink and green mystery sportweight I had in my stash. (You can buy the pattern, updated and with extensive notes and photos, at Schoolhouse Press). I’ve also got a couple of half-done projects for other people, but what am I actually working on? This:

That gorgeous yarn is Plain and Fancy’s sportweight singles in Turquoise and Brown. (They don’t have a website, but this blog post shows a good picture of this yarn in another colorway).

You know what? I don’t even feel a teensy bit guilty.

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Pollyanna Is a Restrained and Discriminating Yarn Whore

Hi, Anna-Liza here, of course. I call myself a “restrained yarn whore” because I had $6 left over when I was done shopping, but I decided to just eat the muffin I brought with me (Morning Glory from Java Stop, yum) rather than getting a full meal for lunch, so I could spend my lunch money on fiber. (The meal would have cost $7, so it turned out to be a good idea.) Lyda would like to be a yarn whore, too, but she’s too busy at the moment preparing to be a yarn whore creating room in her house and collecting weird links for you. Speaking of yarn whores, have you read this post of Franklin’s? Probably, because if you read here you very likely read there, but if you missed it go read that first. Really. I’ll wait. You can even come back here tomorrow if his thoughtful musings put you out of the mood for fiber shopping reports.

The fiber photo was, of course, a still life of all my purchases at Wool Market. We’ll work our way through them. In fact, I may have to do a couple of posts, both for reasons of very little writing time and of not wanting to hypnotize my readers. Not very much, anyway. Falling forward into your monitor or keyboard can be a very painful thing indeed.

Knitting Sprite had wanted to come with me to the Wool Market, but she couldn’t get anyone to trade her shift at work. Driving up by myself was actually very pleasant. You saw the scenery I was driving through, and I had Kirsty MacColl’s Tropical Brainstorm on the stereo all the way up. (Another bonus to being the only one in the car–I sang with it all the way up there and back. Loudly.) Estes Park is only about 30 miles from my house, but it’s mostly windy mountain roads, so it takes about 45 minutes if the traffic cooperates.

My first order of business was to deliver some books to Laura at Textiles a Mano. (Who’s a good little CSR?) Then I started my first scouting circuit around the vendor barn. I kept running into people I know, not surprisingly. First I saw Terri Lynn of Larkspur Studio, then I ran into a very good old friend I hadn’t been in touch with for a while. (She’s not a fiber person, but she was there with a friend who is, which makes it even odder and more serendipitous. And I guess I’ll have to call her Not-Fiber-Jean, as my knitting friend Jean–hereafter known as Fiber-Jean–has the same last initial and both of them are redheads.) And then I saw Laura and Connie from work and inapproprately hugged them both, but they said they didn’t mind. This is Connie and me–Laura took the photo. It reminds me that there’s a reason I don’t wear crew-neck t-shirts very often, but it was the first time I’d worn my white Ravelry t-shirt–the one with “where my stitches at?” on the front.

That was during my first scout through the Plain and Fancy booth, and that place always makes me a little high. Such beautiful colors, such soft yarn! Oddly enough, with my love of strong colors, everything I bought before lunch was natural-color wool. The very first thing was a sample pack of Navajo Churro wool, very suitable for a beginning spinner. Churro has a long staple and isn’t too slippery, so it’s really good for learning to spin. It’s also a bit rough, not used for next-to-the-skin items like scarves. It felts well, and is used a lot in weaving. I don’t know yet what I’ll make with it–I’m just hoping not a mess. Aren’t these great colors? Black and two shades of beige …

     I got this from Woolly Designs, run by Tracy and Jean Eichheim from Crawford, Colorado. Jean and Tracy were both there at the booth, and they gave me a lot of really excellent advice on hand-spindle spinning. I also got my hand spindle from them, after I’d gotten some encouragement from Ana Carranza of Entrelac Stitch Markers, who let me play with her hand spindle at Wool Market last year and is therefore the earliest known source of my new addiction. Tracy makes beautiful hand spindles, and I really love buying handcrafted items from the crafters themselves! Here’s the spindle I bought:

         I’ve had just a little bit of time to play with it, and it’s beautifully balanced. I don’t have the question in my mind anymore whether any problems I am having are due to me or the spindle–it’s pretty much all me, all the time at this point. Tracy even bends the hook just slightly, so the yarn is at the absolute center of the whorl–if the hook were straight, the yarn would be very slightly off-center. Is that not an elegant thing? And even his most detailed, fanciest spindles are cut by hand on a scroll saw, not using a laser or a computer program. Even the Dragons! Which are my new objects of lustful fiber desire. Haven’t you always wanted a dragon spindle?

Three ounces of Churro will last me for a while, but I’ll eventually use it up. While Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins has a very nice selection of rovings (and everything else), I decided to get a little more to feed my new spindle. At the Mañanica Farm booth, I bought an ounce of roving from Teeswater/Cotswold crossbreeds.

    That’s going to be fun to spin, I think.

The last thing I bought before lunch was this:

   Pure Colorado Cormo wool from Elsa Sheep and Wool Company. It’s 700 yards of laceweight woolen-spun, which cost all of $17.00. Such a deal! I might actually make a small shawl with this. It’s lightlightlight and just lovely. I suppose the grey is pale enough for dyeing, but I love it the way it is.

And you know what? It’s already Friday, and I’ve been working on this post in bits and pieces since last Sunday. So I’ll tell you about what happened after lunch later, and get this thing up where you can see it. Knitblog!