Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Sock Yarn Trap

I have finally figured it out. All these years, it never occurred to me to wonder about the placement of the sock yarn shelves in relation to the door from the classroom at Kiwi into the rest of the shop. Never crossed my mind. And yet every time I teach at Kiwi, be it a project class or Knit Dr., I walk right past the sock yarn shelves. Only I don't walk right past them, if you follow my meaning.

Now, Lynn knows of my deep and abiding weakness for sock yarn. Do I require additional sock yarn? No. Does that stop me? HECK no! Yesterday, as I finished playing Knit Dr and walked up to the front of the shop I saw these...

These babies have to be petted to be believed. Called Socrates and made by Alpaca With A Twist, this yarn has a blend of 30% baby alpaca, 30% merino, 20% bamboo, 20% nylon and measures out to 400 yds per ball. All of the colors have a very subtle heathered look, and I can see myself making socks for me out of any of the colors, and for my husband out of that beautiful blue and the grey. Because this is a hand-wash yarn, you might use it for beautiful lace pieces, as well. This could become an amazing lace scarf. Of course the alpaca and merino contribute towards making this yarn very plush and soft with the merino also adding elasticity, bamboo gives a very pretty sheen, and the nylon makes it extra durable. One ball would be enough for most pairs of socks, or a lovely scarf.

No sooner had I finished oohing and aahing (and frankly, drooling) over those, than I saw these!

New colors from Regia in the Kaffe Fassett line! By the way, that is pronounced kafe, like cake with an 'f', as I am reliably told by an old friend of his sister. The fiber content is 75% superwash wool and 25% polyamide. I'm not a fan of handwashing socks, and usually will machine wash on gentle even my handwashable yarns, and lay them flat to dry. But when you have the ease and convenience of superwash, life becomes even easier. The yardage is approximately 229 yds per ball, and two balls will make most pairs of socks.

And that is when the penny dropped, as they say. Lynn puts those right next to the door because she knows I walk past the sock yarn shelves and give everything therein a thorough going-over every time I'm in the shop. Sometimes I buy, sometimes I don't, but I always look at the sock yarns. Very clever! Like a sock-knitter version of fly-paper.

Also, have you heard about the Sock Summit? This coming Aug 6-9 in Portland, OR, with classes, vendors and just plain wonderful sock overload. Our own Heather Ordover is one of the teachers! Sounds like a heck of a lot of fun. Details are still being worked out as far as fees and hotel info, you can sign up for email notifications on the Sock Summit website or just keep checking back at the website. There is also a Ravelry group all about it.

Finally, because of my classwork load, I am now playing Knit Dr on alternate Fridays. I was there yesterday, Feb 20th, and will be back in two weeks. When I'm not there, Marianne plays Knit Dr. I think it's a great opportunity for you to get more exposure to various ways to skin the proverbial knitted cat. Remember, Knit Dr happens every Friday from 10 - 12, and is a free service.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

New Kits at Kiwi

I am a big fan of knitting kits. There is something pretty wonderful about having a little package that contains everything one needs to make a jewel of a project, except the needles. Pattern, yarn, accessories, it's all there. And right now at Kiwi you have some wonderful choices.

First up are a trio of wonderful little kits from own our Jill Holbrook and Brookmoore Creations. You can choose between the 'Arizona Barrel Cactus', which makes a whimsical barrel cactus complete with flower; the 'Lizard Tales Lace', a very pretty lace bookmark; and the 'Arizona Treasure Bag', a beautiful little beaded lace drawstring bag. The yarn included is a natural cotton handspun by Jill, and all that is required for any of the kits besides what is included is a pair of size US2 knitting needles. The Arizona Treasure Bag even includes all the beads, with a choice of either multi-colored or turquoise beads.

And they come in a great plastic case that would be perfect for a knitters tool case after the project is finished. If you are looking for a gift that says 'Tucson' to the giftee, these would be a delightful choice.

Also available at Kiwi Knitting is a new kit for the Cat Bordhi 'Blissful Baby Booties'. These cute little booties are miraculous in that when you are finished with the project, you're finished. There is nothing to be done once you set down your needles - all the construction and even the drawstring is completely finished on the needles. And there is a variety of sizes available in the kit.

There will be a class on this project at Kiwi in the afternoon of this coming Friday, the 13th. And Lynn is planning an Easter version of the kits, so keep your eyes open for seasonal variations on the theme.

Happy Spring Knitting, everyone, as we wait for our promised winter storms to come through!