2018 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl

2018 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl

I almost did not get to go because CSNanaCat is going out of town for the entire month of May and she has been preoccupied with cleaning and packing. Luckily, I knew that KTia had plans to go and had left her a message inquiring about accompaniment. She returned my call and we made plans to go on Sunday.

My Budget: USD $100.00

Stop 1: Alamitos Bay Yarn Company

I love going there, though I’ve never bought anything. I never seem to “find” anything that makes me impulsive enough to spend the money. The one time I almost bought something, I had already spent my allocated money. Today nothing grabbed me. I was thinking distance may be another deterrent…hm?

Stop 2: Jennifer Knits and Needlepoint

2018 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl Gift To Me
Baah La Jolla; Colors: Gold Rush & Sunshine

I love this store, having worked there before as a crochet instructor. Now that the clutter aspect has been removed the store has a very open atmosphere with lots of lovely light. After four years of crawling, I finally consulted my patterns before making any purchases. The shawl I am eager to make most – right now – is the Meadow Grass shawl by Heidi Alander. I had the assistance of a friendly and knowledgeable associate that pointed out to me their prepackaged kits: their yarn crawl special. Each kit contained two skeins of Baah La Jolla and a coupon for the Local Yarn Shawl pattern by Casapinka, as a free gift from the store. This made color choice easier. If you know me, the brighter the better and the minute I saw the orange (Sunshine) and yellow (Gold Rush), I thought sun. Nothing gets much brighter than that! The bonus was Baah! yarn: a yarn I have coveted since I met it when I worked at The Local Yarn Store Which Must Not Be Named.

USD $65.00

Stop 3: L’Atelier

2018 Yarn Crawl Mother's Day Gift Option 1
2018 Yarn Crawl Mother’s Day Gift Option 1

We ran into Ms. Sara from the El Segundo Sliptstitchers guild, knitting with her new yarn on a new project. I loved the braids of 17 skeins/hanks that were hanging from the wall and discovered that it was not a new display strategy, but a project to make an afghan. Nice! I also discovered this little piece and thought of mother. I know mom likes pink, but they had zero skeins. I was told it could be ordered and discovered today that it comes in 50g balls (minimal yardage)/USD $30.00. That means the piece pictures is USD $90.00! I don’t think so, as mom want’s a longer piece, as seen at Twist. Well, now that I think

Stop 4: Twist Yarns of Intrigue

Here I saw my favorite piece of the day. Unfortunately, having already bought some yarn, I could not justify the USD $170.00 “Twist” yarn expense to make it. The color – pink, mom’s favorite – got me thinking about her. I could justify the expense of some cheaper yarn to make her something.

2018 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl Favorite
2018 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl Favorite

I love “Twist” yarns and colors! I understand they are “hand-dyed.” While I love them, I am a price-based person and cannot justify the additional cost just for color unless the color was a “custom request.” Having typed that, please be advised that I am still rationalizing the cost of yarn to make that, now elevated to – cue the choir of angels – shroud! 😀

2018 Los Angeles Yarn Crawl Gift To Mom
Malabrigo Sock; Colors: Light of Love & Aniversario

I had such a pleasant time talking with – again, can’t remember her name – that I found a cheaper option which would allow me to at least pay homage to such beautiful yarns. I had seen the Malabrigo Sock colorway Aniversario at Jennifer Knits and Needlepoint, but didn’t buy, wanting to space out my purchases for best browsing/pricing options. Even cheaper than Baah!, I was able to double my goodness by adding Light of Love. I think my choices may be to bright for mom’s taste, we might have to go back so she can see what else is available.

USD $40.00

Stop 5: Needlepoints West

Fish Tin, Cascade Nikki, Euro Night, Sirdar Dune
Fish Tin, Cascade Nikki, Euro Night, Sirdar Dune

OMG! Guess who I saw here? Carina! ❤ And, of course, Carrie! ❤ It felt like a reunion with Kathleen present, as well. And lest I forget, Billy came into the store later.

I also got to meet Alexandra of Alexandra’s Crafts Yarn. I had purchased the Black Butte to finish Over The Rainbow. The more I think about it, I would like to frog the Olive lace and re-knit with a celery or dark silver color. We talked of yaks and taboo.

I also met Miss Purl, who made that wonderful little fish tin, pictured above. I was searching for a chihuahua with no luck. My crawl partner was nice enough to trade with me, as this was the only other ideal choice. Later, I learned that if I sent her a picture, she would make custom tins. Aha! Great gift idea, right? Sh!

Because I did not have cash and had to use plastic, I had to throw in some other items – Cascade Nikki, color #32404; Euro Night, color #201; Sirdar Dune, color unknown – to meet the limit. I was having a blue and brown moment. 🙂 I also found another interesting shawl pattern that I may actually purchase. :O

USD $25.00

Stop 6: The Local Yarn Shop Which Must Not Be Named

Kathleen wanted to go, but I think she was hesitant, concerning my feelings. I told her straight out that I would not mind if she wanted to go. I could wait in the car and knit, as I always have a project with me. In the end, she changed her mind.

Money Spent: USD $130.00

One Way Or Another: Inception

One Way Or Another

Objective: [One Way Or Another I was going to] turn a cone [ROCHELLE DYERS – PROD DATE: Jan 19, 1998 – LOT #: 1857 – COUNT: 1/16 – COL: FAIRWAY ROYAL – BLEND: A/P – P.O. #: MP11-14D] of 1-ply, natural fiber, thread into a 4-ply natural fiber thread to match a 3-ply, presumed natural fiber, grey thread.

I’ve spent more than half the morning trying to accomplish this.

Aiyaa! The minute the cake flew off the winder, I knew I was in trouble.

When my 2-ply cake thread broke, I resorted to winding a second cake.

Upon my final 4-ply, I kept pulling up clots, which at first I broke and knotted. After getting too many in succession, I figured I would just make a knobby thread, but that won’t match. I will just cut off excess.

The picture shows my waste on the left. I dare anyone to try untangling that much thread.

This will be my new carry-along project, which I will create with a simple repeating stitch and no pattern.

In the end, I discovered that the presumed natural fiber grey thread was actually a man-made fiber…aiyaa!


ODDBALLS . . . created from up-cycled materials

I have recently become affiliated with Neighbors by Design, a community-centered design project that uses design as a tool to bring neighbors together and in the process create products made out of materials donated by the neighbors. I have already participated in a pop-up yard sale, where I had an opportunity to sell some of my fiber products and sit-in as a hands-on instructor for the associated pop-up work shop.

I had previously been aware of their mission – to use the resources of our community by recycling and creating products made out of materials that otherwise would end up in the landfill. Most of my product is project based, but I do enjoy “up-cycling” yarn scraps to create something new. As such, I am starting a new line: ODDBALLS . . . up-cycled products hand-made from “up-cycled,” odd balls of yarn . . . from which a percentage shall be donated to a charity/cause, amount and organization to be announced at a future date.

I am hoping the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers will allow an announcement in their newsletter, as I only have scraps from my recent history of stuff I’ve made, and which have already been “up-cycled” into other projects. If they do, I am sure I will have enough to start working on something immediately and then throw a design into the queue with my other projects.

Feedback appreciated.

Winnie The Pooh Baby Beanie: Inception

Love Knitting Blue Fibers Worsted Cotton

At Mini-Mikey’s baby shower, Roxanne asked me to make a special hat for a photo shoot, where she will place the baby in a Hunny pot with the beanie…at least, I think that’s the plan.

I searched “mercerized cotton worsted weight” because I wanted something lustrous and this came up: Love Knitting Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton. The colors – True Red 641 and Dandelion 638 – are perfect, but I am always hesitant to order online, due to extravagant shipping costs, I searched local yarn shops and discovered that out of the possible three stores near me: one was closed; one I was banned from; and the other had no cotton. The one I was banned from probably has what I want, but screw them! Besides this is for my grand/great nephew and I am willing to skip a meal for him – I shouldn’t miss it.

I will be using “Baby Bear” Simple baby beanie pattern, © Rachel Glassco 2015. I hope it comes out the right size. I have a problem with my baby hats not fitting. Too small last time. Wish me luck. Can’t wait for yarn to arrive because in order to avoid shipping, I threw in a set of crochet hooks for me.

Mr. Blue Sky: Ready, Set…

Mr. Blue Sky

…just waiting for the gun to go!

While the yarn was still wet, after dyeing and still in a ball, I started wrapping around my thumb and elbow. That got tiring very fast and I recruited mother to stand in while I wrapped around her spread apart hands. She got tired and I ended up wrapping around the bottom of the dye pot.

I now need a niddy-noddy! 😀

My hank was very small – too small to fit on my swift. Fortunately, I had a coffee can that was the same circumference as the pot. I put the yarn around the pot on the floor and wound it on to the swift. When I came across knots – as this was pieced together from several balls Ana had created for her dye class – I untied them and felted them together. As the yarn was still damp in some spots, I left if on the swift over night with a fan on it.

Today, in an effort to maintain an organized household, I decided to wind Mr. Blue Sky up in a cake. During the process, I had about four to five breaks. I just knotted them – frustrated. I can always try to felt later.

I only used blue food color and I am so happy that I got a lighter shade of blue than expected as I am not a true blue fan. The yarn is from Newton’s Yarn Country and I some of their DK wool.

Mr. Blue Sky: Inception

Newton's Yarn Country DK Wool

Mr. Blue Sky by Electric Light Orchestra has been born with the creation of my first hand dyed ombre yarn. I don’t know what it will be and whether or not I will combine with another yarn for something spectacular, though on its own, I think the shade of blue I obtained is right on! I am not exactly sure of the yarn name, but I think it’s from Newton’s Yarn Country. It is definitely wool, per a burn test , and i think the yarn weight is DK.

Old Hooker Learns New Trick

Interlock Crochet Sample

I did it!

Now, what am I going to make?

I have a bag of Schoeller + Stahl Portofino Soufflé I picked up along the way. I am thinking baby blanket due to color and yarn weight, right?

But because I don’t have a pattern, I don’t know how far each ball will go, so now I need to learn to interlock crochet in-the-round!

Which, I will have to teach myself!

Make it so!

Schoeller + Stahl Portofino Soufflé
Schoeller + Stahl Portofino Soufflé

Giving Yarn to Your Good Cause

YarnCanadaYarnCanada.ca has started what will hopefully be a yearly event of giving yarn to individuals and groups who knit or crochet for good causes.

They’re giving away $2000 worth of yarn and are hoping to get as many applicants as possible to ensure it goes to whoever it will have the maximum impact.

  • 1 x $500 of yarn to a Canadian group who knits or crochets for a good cause
  • 1 x $500 of yarn to an American group who knits or crochets for a good cause
  • 10 x $100 of yarn to Canadian or American individuals or groups who knit or crochet for a good cause

The details and application page is here: https://www.yarncanada.ca/for-good.

My First Guild Workshop

Adventures In Dyeing

Was made possible by luck.

I did not have the $10 fee back in October when the class was being announced at the El Segundo Slipt Stitchers. Fortunately for me and at least one other member, there were enough supplies to participate: A skein of Knit Picks Stroll Fingering Bare (75% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Nylon) and a mason jar.

I thought I was being clever by folding the hank into the mason jar and applying color on top of each fold; it might have worked better if I had followed the rainbow. Upon completion of the workshop, I was THRILLED with my outcome, née colorway: Leonardo.

When I got home, my impatience got the best of me and I put my yarn in the microwave for three minutes on high to set the color. Guess what? My beautiful orange got muddled with the green above and created a brown…aiyaa! I presume – for ego sake – that had I left the jar in the sun for a week, as instructed, it still would have muddled, but not as much. My other complaint is that the colors don’t seem as saturated now that the yarn has dried. Finally, the outcome is very similar to my Adventures in Dyeing back in May 2015.

Yesterday, I searched for a pattern and could not find one for the amount of yarn I have (462 yards). I am considering purchasing a second skein (Total Yardage: 924), preferring a black/white ombre – make my own? – to alternate with Leonardo. Now that I think about it, maybe I should use a solid with Leonardo, which already is very colorful, reminiscent to me of a garden.

Which color do you think complements Leonardo?

Adventures In Dyeing
Adventures In Dyeing

Yarn Standards

Yarn Weights
Ravelry Yarn Weights
Ravelry Yarn Weights

I love Ravelry, but not their yarn weight determination system. Though as I write this, I think it may be very handy when a yarn weight is unknown. Ravelry’s yarn weight system is based on WPI (wraps per inch). Now that I have learned how this correlates to yarn weight I have a better understanding and will definitely use this when the yarn weight is not clearly identified on the label or that information is missing.

Craft Yarn Council Yarn Weights
Craft Yarn Council Yarn Weights

The tool I use most often is the Craft Yarn Council‘s chart, but I can already see how it is not useful in helping determining the weight of a yarn; unlike the WPI method, one must know or have an idea of what yarn weight one is using.

How do you like that? In the matter of minutes, I have finally cleared up this issue for me.


I knew there was something I was missing. WHAT IS THE DIAMETER OF THE TOOL USED IN MEASURING WPI? There must be a standard. I have seen images of wrapping around a pencil, a tool (standardized), but in reality the diameter of the measuring instrument makes a difference in the wrap count. I should look into a WPI tool.