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I’m at home in bed and sick, but since I’ve been sleeping for a big chunk of the day I think I can muster the energy to talk about knitting for a little bit. Let me show you one of those backed up FOs I’ve been talking so much about lately.

I started this scarf last spring and was loving it for awhile, but two thirds of the way through I burnt out on it.  The lace pattern is very simple and 80″ is pretty long in fingering weight yarn.  The repetition just go to be too much.  But once I picked it up again a little while ago it felt new enough again that I could power through to then end.  So here it is…

Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf

Source: Knitty Spring 2008

Yarn: Louet, Gems Fingering Weight

Needles: US 2.5

Started: May 4, 2008

Finished: January 30, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

Although I did reach a point of burn out on this project there were long stretches of time when I found it very soothing.  The easy lace pattern made for good relaxation knitting and it had a flow that I generally don’t feel from scarf patterns.  I love scarves, but they tend not to be the most enjoyable knits.  It was only the length that made it hard to finish.  But with a break the soothing feeling was back and now ti’s done and spending a lot of time around my neck.

Another factor that made this scarf more manageable was the yarn.  Gems Fingering is a definite contender for my favorite yarn of all time.  I made my Pleated Skirt out of Gems Opal, a previous incarnation of basically the same yarn.  And as much as I love beautiful hand dyed yarns, Malabrigo and so many yarns out there, I love Gems for it’s feel and it’s versatility.  Gems is incredibly soft.  It feels just as good to work with as it does to wear.  It’s machine washable and dryable.  It comes in a wide range of lovely colors.  Variety is nice, but Gems is a yarn I know I can come back to again and again.

So by now it’s no secret that I really love yarn. Of course I love knitting, but I also love yarn as an independent entity. Yarn makes me happy, and not just because it will someday be knit. Yarn looks nice, feels nice and often smells nice (oh no I’ve outed myself as a yarn sniffer). So while I’ve been participating in a many months long Stash Down competition with the Enabler’s Anonymous group on ravelry, it’s yet to really affect my yarn buying habits. Mostly it has just made me finish projects faster to offset the yarn I buy. Which is good in a different way than I had in mind when I signed up. So while I have many backed up FOs to show you, let me today, take a minute to show you some of my new pretties instead.

Yarn: Colorful Yarn, Merino Sock

Color: Ocean & Sage

Dye Lot:

Amount: 2 skeins at 410 yds each

Purchased at: online from Colorful Yarn

stashed on ravelry here & here

It took a bit to sort out some color selection via computer screen issues but Jana of Colorful Yarns was lovely and incredibly helpful while I figured out what I really wanted. In the end I’ve got two colors I really love that I think will blend together in a really interesting way for the Tapestry Cowl I have just begun. Because while there is always more yarn, there are also always more projects.

Things have been so crazy around here lately (I know I keep saying this, but it’s true) that I’ve gotten very backed up on FO posts. I’ve really been quite productive and have many things to show you, but until recently I haven’t had a chance to block, get good photos or post about what I’ve made. So it’s time to start catching up.

Pattern: inspired by Silk Kercheif

Source: Zeitgeist Yarns

Yarn: Kitty Grrlz Handspun Yarns, Navajo 3-ply

& Jo Sharp, Silk Road Aran

Needles: US 8

Started: January 1, 2009

Finished: January 29, 2009

Find it on Ravelry here.

When Liz gave me the Kitty Grrlz gift certificate that lead to this yarn purchase I knew I wanted something simple to really show it off. Inspired by Zeitgeist Yarns and her many kerchiefs, I decided to make a kerchief of my own. Or as I’ve been calling it an “angle scarf”. I picked up some simple Jo Sharp yarn to stripe in (both to show off the angle effect and to stretch the relatively limited yardage of the handspun) and I set off. It was very straightforward and laid back knitting, but the end result is an accessory that is neutral enough to wear often, but still gives a splash of color.

After my trip to London, I found myself unexpectedly flying to the San Francisco Bay area. Unfortunately it was not on the best of terms, but there were still some very nice moments with family and friends. One such experience was an outing to Oakland for snacks at Bakesale Betty’s and to check out Article Pract.

Article Pract has been very high on my list of knitting stores to check out for a long time now. I’ve often seen photos of the shop and been envious of those who get to frequent it. The store is deifnitely gorgeous. It is filled virtually to the ceiling with luscious yarn.

Not every knitting store has a defined and distinct aesthetic. I don’t really perceive this as a problem, plenty of my favorite LYSs don’t focus on aesthetic, but instead on having a really solid collection of yarn. That is my number one priority, but sometimes it is nice to go into a LYS that focuses on presentation as well. And in this department Article Pract is spot on. I can’t help but love the way it looks.

As for the yarn itself they definitely had some very nice choices. The slight bummer was that most of the things I really wanted were significantly out of my price range. And some of the most interesting things I could afford were a bit picked through in the color department. I overhead one of the shop girls attributing this to post Christmas rush selection, which of course is completely understandable. But I had to wander for awhile before I found some things I really could take home. Of course, in the end, I did.

Yarn: Koigu, KPPPM

Color: 429

Dye Lot: 83

Amount: 1 skein at 175 yds

Purchased at: Article Pract, Oakland, CA

stashed on ravelry here

Yarn: Pear Tree, 8 ply

Color: Moss

Dye Lot:

Amount: 2 skeins at 107 yds each

Purchased at: Article Pract, Oakland, CA

stashed on ravelry here

Since I’ve recently become obsessed with berets (mostly since I convinced myself I could pull them off) it’s distinctly possibly that’s what both these yarns will become. The Koigu was purchased to be the Purl Beret, but I’ve yet to choose what the Pear Tree will be. Stay tuned to find out.