Summer Yarn

Minnesota Yarn Stores

How do I love thee?

Thou art more lovely than a summer day

And more numerous..

We Minnesotans take our summers pretty seriously since they are so short. I am loving summer here. I always forget exactly how lovely summer is. Each week different plants start blooming. Birds are courting and nesting like crazy. Mornings are sweet with bird calls and the smell of peonies.

And equally sweet are the amazing yarn stores here in the Twin Cities. It was such a treat last summer to discover a new yarn store just a few blocks from my home. BeYaGi has beads, yarn and gifts. As I mentioned earlier, they were kind enough to have a sale my first week home. I bought most of my yarn for the upcoming year.

I focused on sock yarns so I can make socks for Kent since he actually needs them.


Plymouth Rockin' Sox


Fortissima Socka

I also bought yarn to make a baby sweater for Kate,

Cleckhaton Cocoon

premmie hats for the babies at United Hospital,

Fortissima Socka

and a few gifts, and bit of yarn for me.

Plymouth Yarn Jeannee Sugar'n Cream

Now I need to get it all back to Singapore without spending more than I saved at the sale.

I also visited Borealis Yarns with Louise. They keep expanding their selection, but I was good and just looked.

Finally, I visited Yarnery and only bought a few sets of Hiya Hiya circulars for projects I want to work on now. I forgot all my needles in Singapore.

That is probably it for my yarn store visits this trip. I don’t have much more time in town. I didn’t get to the Sheepy Shop, Depth of Field, Double Ewe, Three Kittens or any of the other yarn delights in town. I keep dreaming of the Singapore Knitters visiting here and touring the yarn stores. That would be dangerously fun.


Early Summer Projects Update

I have been trying to maximize time with my family since I am only home for a short time. On Tuesday I head down to Dallas, Texas to see Kent and his family. Then he and I will head to San Antonio, Texas for NECC, an enormous educational technology conference. 20,000 some people are registered for this year.

On the knitting front, I am having fun. On the flight from Singapore to Tokyo I worked on the forest canopy shawl. It is still very small, but it is making more sense. I love the Dream in Color Smooshy yarn. I’m using Ruby River. Although lots of people in Ravelry have knit it with lace yarn and it looks lovely, the pattern actually calls for yarn the weight of Smooshy. I saw someone who had knit it with this colorway and I liked how it looked. Of course, with my loose gauge, I had to go down a couple needle sizes. I know it is supposed to be lace, but my looked more like a fishing net.

forest canopy shawl

forest canopy shawl

I had lunch with wonderful Louise who patiently helped me understand how I will knit the border if I ever get to that point. Turns out I was viewing the shawl upside down. We newbie knitters never run out of new mistakes to make!

From Tokyo to Minnesota I work on the heel flap and heel turn on Kent’s socks. This is the first time I’ve ever gotten it right when knitting 2 socks on two circular needles. There is a Ravelry group for Antje Gillinghan’s book Knitting Circles Around Socks. In there, she has written an extended explanation of how to pick up the gusset stitches. I had that with me on the plane.

I wasn’t able to follow it exactly because the pattern I was using was not written for knitting both socks at once. However, her directions were so good that I was able to think through what to do. I made one false start and then realized I needed to start on the opposite side of the fabric and add one extra row when I was done so I’d end up on the correct side of the fabric for my directions. As per usual, it took me hours and had to retry a couple parts, but it worked the best it ever has. I think my next pair won’t be any trouble.

I am now done with the gusset decreases and am just working my way down the foot. Am eager to try them on Kent’s feet when I see him on Tuesday. I hope they fit. (Pay no attention to that gusset hole…)

Kent's socks

In honor of Summer of Socks I have cast on a new pair. It is the Chunky, cozy cotton socks in the Knitting Circles Around Socks book. I want them as a pair of house socks. Our marble floors get cold and I had a pair like these long ago. They weren’t hand knit but I wore them out they were so comfortable.

The week I arrived in Minnesota, BeYaGi had a 20% off sale. I was able to get the exact yarn the pattern calls for, and get it at a discount. It is Patagonia Nature Cotton from Araucania. I don’t have the label with me so I can’t tell you the colorway. It is a riot of yellow, golds, greens and dark blues. I can tell that no one who has seen me knitting it particularly likes it, but I love it and since they are for me, that’s all that matters.

Araucania Patagonia Natural Cotton
Since Kent’s socks are being knit on US #0 needles, it is a big kick to be knitting chunky yarn on size 6 needles. They are already a few inches long. It took me many many hours before Kent’s socks were this long. It is a thick/think yarn so it is being very forgiving of gauge.

Chucky cozy cotton socks

And here’s a shot of someone who tried to stow away in Kent’s suitcase. Luckily we found her in Singapore.

Take Me With You!