October 31, 2015

Wollmeise Fall Sale

Despite the fact that I'm not exactly short on yarn, a couple of months ago I decided I wanted to go to the Wollmeise fall sale, if for no other reason than to have an excuse to travel. I'd visited the brick & mortar shop a couple of a years ago, but never a special sale. In general, I try to avoid stores during their busiest sales, because I don't enjoy shopping in a crowd, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone for a moment.

At the Wollmeise Fall Sale

For practical reasons it was most convinient for me to head to the sale on its first day. Luckily I wasn't aware that apparently the first day is usually the busiest! When I got there on Monday just a few minutes after the sale had started, it was already full on. The first few hours were so busy it made browsing slightly difficult, and moving between the shelves was at times impossible. By the afternoon it had cleared up a little bit, and it was more comfortable to shop. I ended up staying for almost five hours, by which time I felt I had found the yarn I wanted, and had had time to think which yarn made sense to buy and which didn't.

At the Wollmeise Fall Sale

I was a bit surprised that, of Twin and Pure, there were quite a bit more multicolored than semisolid skeins available, and apparently, as the sale week goes on, the portion of multicolored yarn grows even bigger. The best part about being at the sale, versus online shopping, was getting a chance to see all the interesting variations of the colorways. There were so many different versions of some colors available that I could have spent hours just comparing them, had I had the space and energy to take the time to do that. However, at some point I just had to decide that the shopping was done. But I will almost certainly do this again in the future!

October 23, 2015

Ysolda & Stephen Finland Tour

Ysolda's Beyond the Raglan Class

The local yarn stores TitiTyy and Kerä decided to combine their resources and organize an Ysolda & Stephen Finland Tour, bringing them both to Jyväskylä and Tampere to give classes and offer Finnish knitters a chance to meet some international knitting designers. As soon as I heard this is happening, I decided this cannot be missed! I've been a fan of both of them for years, and of the classes available, I picked Ysolda's Beyond the Raglan and Stephen's Color Play the Westknits Way classes. In hindsight, I wish I had picked a few more of them, but initially I just wanted to make sure I get to take part in at least one class by each.

Ysolda Teague

On Wednesday October 21st I arrived at Kerä in Tampere for Ysolda's Beyond the Raglan class. It was apparent she's a genius at knitting design, which wasn't news to me, because I've thought that way ever since I first knit Rose Red back in 2009. And while I've knit relatively few sweaters and cardigans, I've knit her Cria pattern twice, because it has, by far, the best fit of any garment I've knit. She gives  a lot of thought to how knitted items fit the human body. Her class inspired me to get back to sweater knitting again. Which also makes me realize my stash isn't really built for sweater knitting, which, naturally, means I need to buy some more yarn!

Stephen West's Color Play the Westknits Way Class

On Thursday October 22nd it was time to meet Stephen. Based on my online experience of him, I knew to expect a ball of energy, but I still didn't know exactly what I was going to get into! His class was all about the joy of knitting, and I can't remember having spent a more entertaining set of three hours any time recently. He's such an artist and a personality, and has something nice to say to everyone. One of those people who light up the room. It's hard to imagine him doing anything else, because he's such a perfect fit for his current job, a knitting icon.

Stephen West & Me

For some reason I hadn't brought along any of my Westknits finished items, so for this photo I borrowed one of Stephen's samples, which is why I'm wearing a bit of peach. I believe this is his Jag in Garter Stitch, which I now absolutely have to knit for myself (in non-peach colors).

October 4, 2015

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.

It appears a sure way to get me to knit a mystery sock is to put beads in it.  Also, a moderately complicated pattern is more appealing if you receive it in four or five parts instead of all at once.

I wanted to use the Cookie A Sock Club yarn from June, because I love the color. The green seed beads go with it nicely, although they are kind of hard to see from afar. I used a 0.6 mm crochet hook to place the beads. As usual, the beads were not uniform in size, and the hook and yarn would not fit through some of them, but luckily the majority of them worked. I do prefer the 8/0 as opposed to 6/0 beads on socks.

Ravelry project page