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So last time I posted I promised to show you some pictures of actual knitting and here I am pulling through!  I hope to include a few more projects, but hey, here’s at least a glimpse at what I’ve been working at.  I’ve been shawl obsessed of late, so the two things I have to show you are of course shawls.

Here’s a little close up of my Ulmus that I’ve been working on for the KAL over in the Fans of Through the Loops group on Ravelry.  I’m getting close to finishing.  As you see here, I’ve started the edging.  At this point I’m about 15 rows into the edging, making me 19 rows from calling this an FO.  It’s turning out truly beautifully.  The pattern is fantastic.  The main body of the shawl is just a 2 row slip stitch pattern in stripes, which is great to do while chatting with friends or watching TV, and just when you start to get bored with that, the leaf themed edging comes in.  It’s really been wonderful to work on and as I believe I’ve said before, I always enjoy a good KAL.

Sometimes I love photos with too much contrast.  I know not everyone will agree with me, but this would be one of those times.  As you heard, this yarn was a special treat, and so was starting this project.  My week had been a bit of a bummer, so on Friday night I gave into the my startitis with reckless abandon and cast on for this Shetland Triangle.  I have been incapable of finishing things lately, and starting new projects right left and center.  I had no business starting this, but it sure did make me feel better.  And it’s a total dream to work on.

Some friends mentioned devoting June to finishing, so I’m going to try and do just that.  Since I didn’t finish a single project in May and have far too many to say on the needles, it would be a good idea.  I’ll let you all know how it goes.


So much has been happening lately that it seems like forever ago that I finished the GRE & ordered myself a little reward. In fact it was about two months, which how long it takes for Sundara Year in Color offerings to show up after being dyed to order.

Yarn: Sundara Yarn, Fingering Silky Merino

Color: Poppy

Dye Lot: Flowers From my Mother’s Garden, March ’09

Amount:1 skein at 500 yds

Purchased at: Sundara Yarn website

stashed on ravelry here

What better way to reward oneself than by ordering yarn you would normally feel incredibly guilty buying?  I’ve been wanting to try the FSM for sometime now, but it’s not normally budget friendly for me to spend $50 on one skein (even if it is a hefty skein).  However, when rewarding myself for hard work, I occasionally allow splurges of this nature (to be clear I recognize that this is psychological, if I spend $50 on 2 skeins, I have still spent $50, it just seems like it goes farther and so I feel less guilty).  This one is from the Flowers From my Mother’s Garden offering from March 2009.  It’s called Poppy, and is a bit lighter than I expected (although the second photo is more true to color), but still seriously pretty.  I long ago hatched plans to make a Shetland Triangle with this one.  Conveniently, the dyed to order nature of the Year in Color set up delayed this yarn until a week ago, allowing it to function as a reward for my news as well, thus saving me from buying another $50 skein of yarn (although not saving me from picking up a few things with lower price tags from the recent Sundara Limited Edition updates).

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve posted any photos of actual knitting.  I promise I have been knitting, just not getting good photos (or actually finishing much).  But I swear I will show you some soon!

So I have some news, that I’ve been holding back for a little while now.  All through the process it was hard not to say why I was so busy, but I also didn’t want to talk about here until it was real.  But now it is, so…

I am going back to school in the Fall.  I applied and I got in and now I will be getting a Master’s in Textile Design.  And this change will be taking me to Philly (now you know why my quick trip recently).  I’m so excited about these new things.  I spend so much time thinking about the next steps.  But in addition to my excitement, there is a lot I’m sad to leave behind.  One of these things is my beloved DC.  I have built a home here and it will be very hard to move away.  That said I’m determined to make my experience in Philly a great one, so any info about the city, your favorite spots, your favorite neighborhoods, is much appreciated.

In the meantime, I’m planning to spend my summer relishing in all the best bits of DC during its most action packed season.  Which leads me to something knew for the blog.  Since my blog is after all called Knitting Pretty in DC (a name I plan to keep, since DC will always be my home in my heart), I’m going to start a blog series where posts are devoted to all my favorite things and spots in DC.  A Best of DC if you will, and a version that is all my own.  I know that I’ve talked about these things from time to time already, but I think making a formal series out of will be a great way to say goodbye (for now).  So stay tuned for more knits and some DC highlights too.

Yesterday was a really perfect day. It was absolutely gorgeous out here. And Liz, my best friend ever, is in town for the week, which is pretty rare. So we spent the day hanging out, first at Big Bear Cafe (best coffee in DC if you ask me, and totally solid in the atmosphere department), knitting and munching. And then we went back to my house, where she helped me work out some of my drop spindle problems. Later the boy and I made this for dinner (yum!), and then watched the first half of There Will Be Blood. I always love it when we cook together, and the curry was so yummy. A great day all in all, but here’s more on the spinning…

I’ve tried to use the drop spindle a few other times, once after watching a youtube video, once after watching a whole tape, and a handful of other times. None of them yielded results other than frustration. In the past I had drafted the roving some ahead of time, but was trying to draft more as I went along. This wasn’t going very well. I would end up with the twist traveling up into the section of roving that hadn’t been drafted out yet. And then I wouldn’t be able to draft it anymore because of the twist, etc. Ultimately I would give up. Liz just learned to spin on a spindle recently and had been told to predraft fully, so she got me going that way and guess what, it worked! It might not be the speediest system once you really have the hang of it, but for now it works for me.

Because in the end I actually spun some yarn. It’s just a wobbly single for now, but it (mostly) looks like yarn. And that’s enough for me. This triumph was just one fun part of a wonderful day spent doing things lovely things with lovely people.  I feel like a very lucky girl when days that good come along.

Maryland Sheep & Wool was a week ago and I can now manage to think about it without shivering. My Mom and I went on Sunday & it poured basically the entire time as I’m sure many of you can attest. I was pretty chilly and my feet were soaked, but I managed to have a good time none the less. And pick up some pretty awesome loot along the way.

Because of the weather I didn’t take many pictures.  I did get a group shot of Ysoldawith some of my creepy internet friends, but it didn’t come out too well so I’m withholding it for personal use only.  By the way, she was very sweet about us swooping in for a photo and telling her about how much we liked her designs.  And she was very tickled that my friend Betsy was wearing her Coraline.  I also got to meet Lolly, a co-mod and lovely lady.  I could have gotten a picture with her since we were in the main barn, but I failed to think of it since I was mid-gyro.  But regardless it was so great to meet her in person.

Since I’m largely without photos of the day, I’ll just show you everything I brought home.

Yarn: Brooks Farm, Riata

Color: 9R

Dye Lot: M13

Amount:3 skeins at 375 yds each

Purchased at: Maryland Sheep & Wool, Brooks Farm Booth

stashed on ravelry here

This was my most awesome acquisition at Sheep & Wool.  I took home a sweaters worth of this lovely yarn in a color that is oh so me (in fact I only really bought variations on blue & green yarn that day, not that this is unusual).  I have been having so much fun entertaining ideas for what I might make with these lovelies but it will be a while before I get to it.

Yarn: Tess’ Designer Yarns, Cultivated Silk & Wool


Dye Lot:

Amount:1 skein at 200 yds

Purchased at: Maryland Sheep & Wool, Tess’ Designer Yarns Booth

stashed on ravelry here

My main goal for the festival was to stash dk and worsted weight yarn.  It’s what I never seem to have in stash when I’m looking to start a project.  I didn’t completely stick to this goal, but I did pick a few lovely things that fit that bill, like this super soft and shiny yarn.

Yarn: Tess’ Designer Yarns, Superwash Merino Lace

Color: 871713

Dye Lot:

Amount: 1 skein at 500 yds

Purchased at: Maryland Sheep & Wool, Tess’ Designer Yarns Booth

stashed on ravelry here

The Tess’ Designer Yarns booth used up the last chunk of my budget on our way out the door.  I am pleased to say I did still come out $7 under budget!  I picked up this skein with something specific in mind.  After getting home, I decided to use something else for that project and now I’m thinking about using the lovely Spring Things pattern with this little skein.  I love the super bright green!

Yarn: Tess’ Designer Yarns, Petite Silk


Dye Lot:

Amount:1 skein at 450 yds

Purchased at: Maryland Sheep & Wool, Tess’ Designer Yarns Booth

stashed on ravelry here

My last purchase from the Tess’ booth was this little guy.  I just could not say no to blueish-purple lace weight.  It’s shimmer lulled me into submission while it’s brilliant color coaxed my hand into picking it up.  I was so tempted to buy a second skein to increase my options, but it would have busted through my budget, and I’m proud of myself for sticking to my guns.  Besides there really are plenty of shawls one can make with 450 yds, and even more options if you just make shawlette versions of patterns that call for more yardage.

Yarn:Kipparoo Farms, Raggles


Dye Lot:

Amount:1 skein at 165 yds

Purchased at: Maryland Sheep & Wool, Kipparoo Farms Booth

stashed on ravelry here

My Mom has known Annie from Kipparoo Farms long enough now that I consider her a friend of the family.  She’s an awesome person and a great dyer (a great shepherd too!).  And I saw this little gem.  I loved the mix of natural and subtle colors and it fit within my stashing criteria so I let it come home with me.  I know I’ll find just the right project for it sometime soon.

Yarn: The Unique Sheep, Tinsel Toes

Color: Mirkwood Gradience Set

Dye Lot:

Amount: 4 mini skeins totaling 360 yds

Purchased at: Maryland Sheep & Wool, Cloverhill Yarn Shop Booth

stashed on ravelry here

Beyond just my goal to stash heavier yarns, I had a more specific goal not to buy sock yarn.  This was the one exception I allowed myself since it was a gradience set that would make up for our mostly unsuccessful attempt at gradient dyeing.  Besides I don’t plan on using it for socks anyway.

So those are the beauties I picked up.  Not so over the top, but not really restrained either.  I really need to try and slow down on the yarn buying for awhile, but something tells me it’s not likely to happen.  But as I like to remind myself in these moments there are far worse addictions to have than yarn.  So I might just cut myself a break.

I feel like I’ve been making excuses for my absence a lot lately, & I’m sad to say I’m going to keep making them.  Things have been so crazed, I’m just going to have to catch up with the blog as I can.  I have some things from MDSW to show you, but for now I want to share my little trip to Philly with you.

I recently went up to Philly for a one night stay.   We packed loads in, visited a bunch of different neighborhoods, had numerous snacks, and check out a yarn shop or two.

After a quick stop through Bella Vista and a swing by the Italian Market (not to mention a fabulous ice tea at Chapter House), we headed over to the truly beautiful (and fantastically merchandised) Loop.  It’s a really lovely store.  The look of the place is fantastic & they have tons of great yarn.  The most appealing yarns of all were the sock yarn selections.  I am on a self imposed sock yarn diet so I steered clear.  Somehow I used the knowledge that MDSW was fast approaching to steel myself and I left empty handed (save some grapefruit Eucalan).  But it was not without experiencing constant temptation.  I’ll be sure to pay Loop more serious visits in the future.

The other shop we hit was Rosie’s Yarn Cellar.  Rosie’s has a very different feel than Loop, but I love it’s coziness.  It was jam packed with yarn (similar to another LYS that is near to my heart).  We met loads of lovely ladies who made my yarn dreams come true.  As I’m sure many of you know Rosie’s carries yarns from The Fibre Company.  I’ve been wanting to try Road to China for ages, but everytime it had been far out of my price range, but it was there for a mere $15 a skein.  I didn’t see Lapis (the color I’d so longed for), but when I asked I was told it could be there shortly.  Horray for me!  I sucumbed despite Sheep & Wool anticipation.

While we waited, we popped around the corner to Capigiro, land of to-die-for gelato.  I really wish I could remember exactly what I had, but it’s slipped my mind.  I know I had to fruit based flavors.  One of them was some version of orange and cardomom.  Either way, I sampled many things and every one was fantastic, so I feel relatively confident recommending pretty much anything they have.  After we went back to Rosie’s to hang out and wait for the yarn to arrive.  When it showed this was what appeared (sans sushi, that came later).

Yarn: The Fibre Company, Road to China


Dye Lot:

Amount:2 skeins at 69 yds each

Purcased at: Rosie’s Yarn Cellar, Philadelphia, PA

stashed on ravelry here

The gorgeousness of this yarn is pretty much indescribable.  The color is basically like the perfect color in the Christianna universe and it’s so soft that I honestly never want to stop touching it.  I’m currently searching for just the right pattern for this, and I’m thinking it might be a hat.  No one will be able to miss it if it’s on my head, and its softness will be close to my face that way.  It seems like a good plan to me.

We packed so much into our trip, that I think it’s fair to say it was too much.  But we checked some out some cool things & I’m sure to be back to Philly soon, for some more laid back exploration.