I have new pretties to show you for “Stash Enhancement Saturday”. It’s all Alice’s fault, of course. I’ve mentioned Alice, right? She’s been my partner in yarn crime ever since I taught her to knit a couple of years ago. We go out for coffee, we end up at a yarn store. It’s inevitable. It’s a good thing our respective schedules keep up from getting together more than about once a month.
Our coffee date in February resulted in me taking her for a first-time visit to The Needle Nook, one of my favorite yarn shops in Atlanta. I managed to limit myself to one skein of sock yarn. That bit of loveliness is Sprout by The Fiber Seed, a “heavy” sock yarn — heavy in the sense that it’s slightly denser than your usual 90% merino, 10% nylon blend, but it still works up at 32 stitches in 4 inches. The colorway is “Spanish Moss”. Isn’t that a lovely name for a lovely hand-dyed yarn?
The next time we went out was in March to the Atlanta Spring Fling, an annual event held in the ballroom at one of the hotels at the north edge of town. This was a dedicated yarn event, so new acquisitions were no surprise.
The two colorways at right were bundled together as a “kit”, more or less, but the shawl pattern they were intended for was not part of the deal. I bought them anyway because they’re spectacular together and equally gorgeous on their own. The yarn is a 65% superwash merino/35% bamboo sockweight called “Aura” from Silver Threads and Golden Needles, and clocks in at a generous 560 yards per skein. The greenish colorway is called “Northern Lights”; and the purple is “Sweet Violets”. I haven’t decided if I’ll use them together or separately. If history is any indication, they’ll marinate in stash for at least a couple of years before I make any sort of decision about their fate.
The other Spring Fling purchase was Birdsong, a pattern book from Classic Elite. Twelve pretty patterns, mostly pullovers and cardigans, designed for use with cotton and mostly cotton yarns. I’m totally in love with the cabled top shown on the cover; I even have yarn suitable for it in stash. The cabled V-neck cardigan with short sleeves and a casual rolled-edge hoodie are going into my Ravelry queue as “must-makes”, and a couple others are on the bubble.
The news that Hancock Fabrics is going out of business and closing all of their stores was surprising. I’ve shopped at Hancock Fabrics for decades, and had no idea the company was in trouble. Of course, I seldom pay attention to business news, so my surprise isn’t surprising. Anyway, last week was the beginning of their clearance sale, and I went to check out the bargains. I rarely sew these days, but I wandered through the aisles of fabric to see if something jumped off the rack into my arms. Nothing appealed. I looked through the patterns; nothing spoke to me there. I knew most of their yarn wouldn’t be to my taste — I have become a yarn snob, and I’m not ashamed to admit it — but I hoped to find one of the acrylic brands that I like to use for blankets. No luck there either. Just when it looked like Hancock wouldn’t get any of my money that day, I wandered into the button aisle. Success!
These abstract purplish floral buttons screamed at me, so I grabbed all three cards. They’re 1.25″ in diameter, made out of a layered laminate-type material. I envision using them on a flyaway cardigan, maybe, or even a rustic button-up cowl.
The button aisle held other temptations but I held back; my time was a little short and I had somewhere else to go. Hancock wasn’t done raiding my wallet just yet, though. On my way to the check-out line, I passed by the rack of books and magazines. One of the Interweave publications I had eyed over the last couple of years jumped off that rack and into my hands, so I brought it home with me as well. New Vintage Lace by Andrea Jurgrau is chock full of gorgeous lace accessories, mostly shawls, based on vintage doily patterns, and even several doilies themselves. My favorite of the patterns is Diospyros, a rectangular stole; and I’m rather taken with the half-circle Blue Dahlia shawl, as well. The Clematis and the Peaseblossom hats will probably end up on my gift-making list. (“Peaseblossom” as a pattern name makes me smile: it’s also the name of a fairy in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I never played one of the fairies, but I’ve been Hippolyta and Philostrate.)
Finally, there’s the membership gift that came when I renewed my Rowan subscription: the scrumptious and versatile Rowan Colourspun in the Hubberholme colorway. Because I managed to buy two years rather than just one year (and duplicated my subscription), there are three more balls of this same colorway to come. And Rowan’s excellent customer service department fixed my goof, extended my subscription through next year as pre-paid, and didn’t make me return the duplicate issue of Rowan 59. If I weren’t already impressed with this company, I certainly would be now.
I gave the duplicate magazine to Alice.
I have just one or two more book reviews to write and then I’ll be caught up. I hope to get those done in the next few days and schedule them for publication. Our anniversary trip is coming up shortly and we’re headed to New York for almost a week. I can hardly wait. Along with the usual tourist attractions, I have a line on a vintage button store near Central Park, and I hope to visit at least one LYS while in the Big Apple. If the spouse doesn’t mind. Probably even if he does.