Preface: there is knitting in this post, I promise, but there is also a story leading up to this week’s WIPs. I tried to include lots of pretty pictures!
It’s been a long summer of not very interesting WIPs. When you live in a tent on a non-existent budget, it’s hard to get excited about knitting. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed what I’ve been working on, I am just as much a process knitter as a product knitter; even when I’m working on something “boring”, I still find it enjoyable. But it was my birthday last week, and for my present, my mom took me to Anacapa Fine Yarns, a real, genuine LYS! I’ve only once bought “nice” yarn that didn’t come from a box store, but it was still a multi-craft store and not a dedicated yarn store. Lots of inexpensive acrylic in my stash.
Stepping into Anacapa, I was overwhelmed by the choices! I only vaguely knew what I wanted to knit, but as this was a birthday treat, all options were suddenly open for consideration. This was the first time I was handling brands that I had read about online but never seen in person, brands that other knitters, knitters that aren’t flat broke hippies, get to knit with all the time! Debbie Bliss, and Noro, and Malabrigo, and Misti Alpaca were all there under my fingers and against my cheek. My mom asked if I felt I was meeting long-distance friends, like pen-pals, for the first time. I said I felt like I was meeting celebrities in person.
Let me briefly interrupt myself to give a shout out to this little store and it’s awesome people. I had been intending to visit this store for some time, but lack of disposable income and a 20 minute drive when I can never afford gas always kept me from going. And now that I’ve finally visited, I can happily say Anacapa Fine Yarns did not disappoint. If you’re ever making a SoCal yarn crawl, definitely hit this gem up (the above picture links through to their website). Now back to the yarn selection.
For a long time, I had wanted to knit my mom a lacy shawl. I love shawls for their coziness, but I don’t have a lot of use in my wardrobe for very fancy shawls. My mom, on the other hand, is several inches taller, a prominent writer in the children’s book community, and can pull off dramatic clothing very elegantly. My mom said buying me yarn to make her something didn’t feel much like a gift. I said we needed to work on her definition of gift, but I knew better than to start an argument, so I just started putting soft skeins into her hands and asking if she liked the color.
This eventually lead to us sitting in front of two big bins of Malabrigo Sock and Arroyo, with about six different colorway choices laid out for examination. Every time I reached into the bin and pulled out something new, my mother would gasp and make a grab for the yarn. It tickled me to no end seeing the universally magical power of lovely yarn. We finally settled on two skeins of Malabrigo Sock in Arco Iris.
Here it is all caked up from the store, and below is a photo of it in the skein. I think I’m going to attempt a Wirbel with this.
I also got three balls of Crystal Palace Mini Mochi. I have knit once before in this yarn, and I gravitated right to it in the store. I knew I wanted at least two balls of it, but I hadn’t decided on a project, so my mom insisted I go get a third ball (my mom used to sew and cross-stitch, I don’t have to sell her on the idea of having a stash).
This is going to be a Sockhead Hat for myself, and any leftovers will go to my long neglected Mochi blanket:
And finally we get to the actual WIP. My mom has a lot of friends who are having babies or grand-babies, so she decided to officially commission me for organic cotton baby washcloths. Now, I’ve been gung-ho to start an indie business with my fiber crafts, but babies aren’t exactly my thing. However, my mom was buying the yarn, said she’d pay me a reasonable fee if they sold, and as far as project difficulty is concerned, washcloths are pretty ace.
So we picked out four colors of Debbie Bliss Eco Baby Organic Fair-trade Cotton, and I started knitting washcloths:
However now it feels like I’m tinking more than knitting; the past three time I’ve sat down to work on these, I’ve discovered mistakes in the pattern and had to tink at least two or three rows before I could go back to knitting. I’m starting to feel like I’m knitting the same section of yarn over and over and over. I really hope this come to some financial fruition for me, but worst case scenario is my mom gets a set of really soft washcloths.
To round out my trip to the yarn store, I also got two sets of needles and my first real project bag. The needles are Knitter’s Pride Dreamz circulars, size 3 and 5, two sizes I had lacked. And now I’m spoilt for life. I’ve always been fond of circulars, but I’ve only ever used metal or plastic from Michaels. These needles really live up to their name and are a dream to knit with. I totally know what I’m asking Santa for this year.
And finally the project bag:
This was an impulse purchase by my mother, the sheep on it was too irresistible. That, and she couldn’t stand the idea of me keeping my projects in grocery bags hung on the closet door handle. And I will say, it does make me feel rather like a grown-up knitter.
Check out Tami’s Amis for other WIP Wednesday posts!