Sunday, August 16, 2009

Fall Yarn Acquisition

Over my two weeks of vacation -- one at Leadership School, and one truly on vacation -- I have done quite a good bit of knitting. But before I show that, I'm going to give the details of the yarn I bought in my fall yarn binge. This binge missed my LYS's fall sale by two weeks (note to self: plan a little more next year), but I was seriously low on projects going into vacation weeks, and that just couldn't be allowed.

First, the yarn for the 2009 Christmas Surprise Project:

Plymouth Yarn Encore, worsted weight, 75% acrylic, 25% wool. I needed to pick a machine-washable yarn, and on the only day I had allotted for shopping for this, there happened to be not a huge selection at the LYS. I am, however, very happy with this yarn, and probably would have chosen it even from a much larger selection. The color is named 0668 and is a wonderful heather green with lots of light orange, and little hints of blue.

I swatched for this project on Vacation Week 1, going back and forth between size 8 and size 9 needles. I forget now what I decided and Leadership School took enough of my mental energy that I neglected to write it down at the time. I believe size 8 will be what works best. I have yet to sneak satisfactory measurements for this project, so work has not yet begun in earnest. The picture may or may not show all of the yarn - I'm trying to keep even the size of the project secret. Last year's secret went very well and I'm hoping to repeat that performance.

Next, the yarn for the Guitar George Strap and for my socks:

On the left is Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy (designer's choice), approximately sock weight, and 34% hemp, 41% cotton, and 25% modal. This color of orange (named 015), is just the right shade for my brother. I'm significantly modifying a belt pattern to turn it into a guitar strap, so the amount of yarn was a bit of a stab, but I think it will work well.

One skein of this has already transformed into the beginnings of a strap. That brought me to a point where I needed more information on guitar straps and it looked like I was nearing some decision points, and it felt easier to start my socks.

On the right above, Malabrigo sock yarn, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, in color 204 "Velvet Grapes." On my monitor, this picture looks significantly darker than the yarn. I absolutely love this yarn. I spent a long time choosing it and I'm very pleased. I'm making knee socks, so I needed to buy two skeins, making them quite the most expensive socks I've ever owned, but they are definitely going to be worth it! I finished the first sock on Vacation Week 2, and am almost at the end of the calf decreases on the second sock.

Also in this fall's acquisition I bought a set of 6 Brittany double pointed needles - size 1 and 5 inches long. These are the right size for both the guitar stap and the socks, so my brohter's gift is being pushed back a little more while the socks are on the needles.