Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Knitting and Stitching Show

should really be called "The Stitching and Knitting Show" because there was much more stitching than there was knitting. Nevertheless, that didn't stop me (and Ann-at-work, who was acting as my chauffeuse) from having a most enjoyable day.

I promised myself that I wouldn't go mad because, as you know, I have enough yarn to start my own yarn shop as it is. I saw this safety pin with the loops under it and thought it would be ideal for fastening the Kimono Jacket (to replace that hat pin that was forever piercing my attributes). There were hundreds of little charms to choose from but these three express my feelings perfectly.

I had a vague feeling that I might find some lace-weight yarn to make into something or other - I've joined both the Secret of the Stole KAL and the Secret of Chrysopolis. I told Ann-at-work to keep me well away from sock yarn and variegated yarn. Sock yarn is to be avoided because although I like the idea of knitting socks and I like wearing hand knitted socks, I don't actually enjoy the fact of knitting them. Variegated yarn is more or less the same story - it looks lovely in the ball/skein but you really need to choose the project with care - something simple and classic that will showcase the yarn. I mostly knit lace and I have yet to see a lace item in variegated yarn that makes me swoon with delight. If you know of any, send me a link, I'd really like to use variegated yarn for some lace.

Nothing was really striking me. There really was hardly any skinny (technical term) yarn to be had - plenty of frou-frou stuff; plenty of "ecological" cotton (you know my views on cotton - the devil's work); lots of alpaca - not skinny enough for my purposes; plenty of mohair ("What sort of an animal is a Mo?") - again, not really suitable for lace. I was starting to think that the cash would just have to burn a hole right through my pocket when I saw these beads:

which put me in mind of a mermaid.

Now, I'm not a great fan of beads on knitting - I have used them occasionally but I haven't really been bitten by the beading bug. A stole floated into my mind. Some sort of skinny, blue-ish, green-ish, shiny stuff (all technical terms) with a pattern like fish scales and with some beads to add a bit of shimmer.

I bought the beads and then I recalled the Uppingham Yarns stand, where I had seen cones of skinny (tt) silk:

I bought a blue and a green with a view to using the yarn double to make my mermaid dream come true. More of that in the coming days.

When I say skinny (tt) I mean skinny. Here are the two strands of yarn with a strand of sock yarn for scale.

Hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew.

Skinny yarn calls for skinny needles. I was more than pleased to come across the KnitnCaboodle stand and discover they had HiyaHiya needles.

I think this is the only UK source for these needles, which we have heard all about from our American friends. Everything they say is true - very light, very pointy (tt), uncoated (so no chance of the coating wearing off), very flexible cable, great joins. Best of all? Much cheaper than Addis! Soon to be available in ebony, rosewood and bamboo (but bamboo is nails down a blackboard for me). I'm already test driving these 2mm circs on a swatch (yes, you read right - a SWATCH) for my mermaid dream and there will be pictures of that later.

Just as we sank exhausted in the bar, we were approached by a fellow knitter, who asked "Are you Kate?". She turned out to be Annie of "Up Knit Creek" (still the best name for a knitting blog, ever). I showed off the Kauni to Annie and her mum:

and Annie showed me her purchases (and I'm sure you'll get to read all about it on her blog).

She also made Ann-at-work's day. When I introduced them ("Anne this is Ann. Ann, Anne") she said, "Oh, you're Ann-at-work!" I have not heard the end of it ("I'm famous. Am I as famous as you, do you think? I'm Ann-at-work. I'm famous.")

Speaking of the famous "Ann-at-work", we have finally managed to get the secret item cast-on:

Bet she'll be even more famous now.

Off to dream of mermaids.


Nautical Knitter said...

The beads and yarn you have chosen for the Secret of the Stole KAL are just gorgeous! The stole is going to be beautiful. Welcome aboard!

Annie said...

It was so nice to meet you and Ann-at-work on Sunday, but she won't be as famous as you until there's a finished item to display, preferably on her own blog!
Can't wait to see the mermaid.

maryannlucy said...

You certainly seemed to have a very good day. That yarn is soooooo skinny, the colours are gorgeous - very mermaidy. Thank you for the link too, a very interesting site that I haven't come across before. Looking forward to seeing some photos.

Lisa F4Y said...

Hello kate, Cant believe you were at the Stitch N hardly no knitting show on Sunday ! so were we and it would have been great to meet you, never mind ! mermaid sounds and will look great !
Lisa (First4Y)

allisonmariecat said...

Oh my goodness! Mermaid is going to be gorgeous. I tried beading once, only to realize that it's best for everyone if I knit without them.