I decided it was the ideal time to put up a few Ebay auctions; I am offering some vintage pattern books, some cotton/rayon yarn and some sock yarn that are leftovers and would be better off sitting around in someone else's stash..our auction ID is "slaterange" so go and check them out.
I also got to take some indoor photos for you:
Can you believe that this...
... will turn out looking like this? If it weren't for all the felting I have done in the past year, I wouldn't either! This felted sample shows the texture when I am done with a long stretch of "plain" knitting to create the Felted Vest from Felted Knits, by Beverly Galeskas. You can see Eunny's version here (that Eunny, she can do ANYTHING; check out the lace tutorial she is running now, as well as her steeking encyclopedia). It will be fabulous, and this brief bit is what I have been able to accomplish at Spinning Saturday, and last night at Linda's Monday Night Knitting (Linda is a fellow quilt guild member, who informed me at our retreat last week that she has been hosting knitting nights weekly and I should come; who knew?!).
Felting is magic!
I also got to have some email conversation with my dear friend Sallee, about a subject dear to her heart, and now to mine too....
What is this mess o' yarns from my stash? It may not be readily apparent that there is a method to my madness here, but I am in the process of sorting through to select yarns for the ruana pattern in Folk Shawls (Cheryl Oberle). I have been a fan of ruanas for a few decades, dating back to when they first started appearing here, imported from Peru. They are like a cape, only two long rectangles that are joined in the back and open as they drape over your shoulders, allowing you to pin them in front, wrap one over a shoulder, use the ruana as a blankie for a wee one, or to keep your lap warm in a chilly airplane, or even to serve as a comforter if you are stuck overnight on a friend's couch (are you hearing the voice of experience speaking here?)
Ruanas have been popular with weavers, as they don't need to cut into that hard- earned length of cloth to shape the garment. Cheryl created a knitted version, with advice about duplicating the fabric variations, usually subtle, narrow stripes, in the woven ones. Plus, this pattern calls for carefully, but randomly mixing a variety of stash yarns, approximately 2500 yards in all, to get the woven textural effect of the Peruvian original. What could be better for a knitter on a stash diet?
Sallee has been setting aside yarns for the past year, but I am more gluttonous, and discovered that I had a lot to draw upon stored in my chest of drawers upstairs. Since I get to mix textures, I settled on lavenders (you can see this is a heavy favorite of mine) and neutrals ranging into browns. I managed to have a lot of leftovers in these colors... and the eyelash yarns are holdovers from items I made as felted purse orders in 2005. I also turned up several gifts that could be put to use, including the alpaca and hand spun wools my Better Pal Beth sent me recently. Then, there's the large cone of Sally Fox's organic, colorgrown brown cotton at the top of the photo, and another cone of brushed wool/mohair that has been languishing for years, since it was part of an afghan project for DH. In the plastic bag at the bottom left is an interesting find I have not been able to put to use in several years - a nice boucle DK weight cream with gold metallic... will add a sparkly surprise, don't you think?
Anyway, I started off sorting into two piles, one for each side of the ruana, then realized that I would need to divide many of these into halves, and set up a basket for each, and since I have a few projects in line ahead of starting this "mindless" knitting, decided that my little table could serve as an "objet d' art", or fiber sculpture, for the next few weeks till DH's vest is done.... what a lovely site a pile of fiber is to us fiberholics! My own touchy-feely yarn shop at home will help keep me on my stash diet.
Today is dear Margene's birthday, and when I left a shout, was the 92nd person to do so; if you haven't yet, go by and leave felititations of the day (don't you just love that 19th century terminology?) so that she gets at least 100 good wishes! You will also love the cake photo...