Tragedy and Triumph

My in-laws leave tomorrow, so hopefully my online life will return to normal soon. Until then, here’s the sad and happy and elated story of my weekend.

On Saturday night, I was all set to steek the ladybug sweater. The hems are sewn, everything is blocked, it all looks adorable. I even knit a swatch, so that I could practice my stitching and steeking.

I daydreamed about showing the cute finished set to the knitters I was meeting at Stitches the next day. I plugged in my mother’s old sewing machine, got it threaded with some help (okay, I watched my m-i-l do it :), turned it on, and stepped on the foot pedal…

…nothing. Some time in the last 5 years, the machine has stopped functioning. So the ladybug sweater is on hold until my wonderful friend in San Jose loans me her machine. So very sad! Since the knitting for the ladybug sweater is done, though, I cast on for something new–the Peapod Baby Set (link in the sidebar) by Kate Gilbert. I’m doing it in the recommended Cotton Cashmere, and even in the pictured green. I finished most of the hat on the drive back from Stitches and it’s blocking now–totally adorable.

Stitches was simply amazing. My class with Lily Chin on short-row bust darts was one of the coolest experiences ever. There’s no mystery to the process anymore, and I feel totally capable of modifying any pattern I knit to fit me perfectly. I really just can’t describe it–take a class from her any way you can, you won’t regret it.

But you really just care about the loot, right? 🙂

The shopping was less overwhelming on Sunday, and I definitely found myself able to purchase a good deal more than I could on Friday. I stayed with a luxury fiber theme. This is 11 hanks of Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk, in a gorgeous navy-violet color. This is the first sweater-yarn I’ve ever purchased without a specific sweater planned. I feel like I’ve crossed some kind of barrier and it will only get easier to buy yarn from here on out, and soon I’ll be hiding it in the cupboards.

400-odd yards of Jade Sapphire Cashmere-Silk, in the Forest Glen colorway. Definitely going to wind up as a simple scarf, maybe something like the Chevron that’s going around the blogs?

One solitary hank of Fiesta La Luz, stunning turquoise color. I bought it to get over a discount threshold and wound up getting this for around $3. I have NO idea what I can get out of 200-ish yards of this stuff. Maybe I’ll just ball it up and take a yarn portrait, a la Brooklyn Tweed, and then pet it until it disintigrates?

I stopped by the Habu booth and couldn’t resist this wool-linen blend. The color and feel are so perfect. This is the second sweater-yarn I’ve bought without a pattern in mind. Maybe a tank, something long and reasonably figure-skimming but drapey? We’ll see!

This is the first yarn I’ve ever purchased that I’m honestly not sure I could knit. Women’s size 6 thin wedding band included for scale. It’s 100% silk, it feels like slipping into cool water, smells like tea, and is the most amazing indigo color I’ve ever seen. It’s seriously as thin as thread. It’s my “dream yarn”. Maybe I’ll knit with it, maybe I won’t. But I couldn’t leave it behind.

So that’s the haul! Quite a bit to knit through, eh? I love each and every bit of it, though. And now I have to share my triumph with you, even if it feels like boasting. I wore my Forest Path Stole to Stitches, and got many nice compliments on it. It’s always really special to hear nice things about my knits from knitters, who really know the effort involved.

But one compliment in particular on Sunday sent me flying through the roof–I don’t think my feet touched the ground for the rest of the day. I brought my copy of Victorian Lace Today to the XRX booth to get it signed, and after Ms. Sowerby signed my copy, she noticed the shawl. She exclaimed over it (!), pulled over another person in the booth and showed it off to her (!!), asked where the pattern was so that she could knit it herself and made a note (!!!), complimented me on it again (!!!!), and moved on to the next woman in line. I was beside myself and I’m sure my face was a rather fetching shade of red to go with the cream shawl. I had to ask my friend later if it had really happened, and thinking about it still brings a goofy smile to my face.

Well, that’s enough rambling. Hope you all had a great weekend, and happy knitting to you!

6 thoughts on “Tragedy and Triumph

  1. Sounds like an amazing experience! And that stole is stunning, I am not in the least bit surprised that you were complimented on it!

    The yarn you picked is beautiful, too. I’m afraid to say, though, that after all this time you have finally slipped over the edge. Better find a nice corner for that stash now, before it starts to take over. 🙂

    That’s too bad about the sewing machine, but I know there are lots of little places out here that repair them, and I’m sure there are lots in California. If you don’t have luck finding for “sewing machine repair,” look for “vacuum cleaner repair.” They go hand in hand, for some reason. Assuming, of course, that you want to repair it.

  2. What a great complement on your stole!

    Mmmm…Habu… One of the dangers of living in NYC is that pet skeins of Habu tend to accumulate. Though in my case it seems to be pet cones of laceweight wool.

  3. When you started that story and got to the part about getting ready to steek, my heart just about stopped… because, having never done it, it just sounds like something that laws of physics would deem impossible, and all I could think was, “Oh my god, something happened to the sweater!!”

    I’m glad I was wrong. I also have faith in your steeking, I swear. But sewing machines… something I DON’T have faith in, so the rest of the story didn’t surprise me at all.

    That yarn is gorgeous. Especially that last one. Wow.

    Oh yeah, and that is SO COOL about Ms. Sowerby and your shawl! Woohoo!

  4. Yarn goodness, Mm’m. That Jade Sapphire Cashmere-Silk looks heavenly.

    That is so great that she noticed your stole! There’s nothing quite so flattering as to have another skilled knitter comment positively on your finished pieces.

  5. Your Forest Path Stole is so beautiful. It is a piece of art, no wonder you got so many compliments.
    Enjoy all the beautiful yarn. I love the color of the Blue Sky Alpacas Alpaca Silk. And the Jade Sapphire Cashmere-Silk must be gorgeous. Ellen just ordered the Jade Sapphire line into Purl Diva. They are so hard to resist.

  6. I don’t think that I can be your friend anymore if you are going to post stories like the last two. I am so so so so soooo jealous. But your yarn is gorgeous, you’ve bought lovely stuff, I can’t wait to see it all knitted up. I have some of that alpaca in the duck egg blue to make a shawl of some kind with, it’s so so soft isn’t it? xx

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