Saturday, May 24, 2008

Total score

So in my last post I mentioned the spectacular online sale I took advantage of at the studio (which is not only an online storefront but also a LYS in Kansas City, Missouri). Well, on Friday the yarn arrived.


I'm practically giddy, I don't know what to do first!

Okay, well, firstly, we have the yarn that drew me to the sale in the first place - Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Wool. This is a gorgeous sportweight yarn that's 65% wool and 35% silk. I'm using it in a couple of projects already and it's terrific to work with. As I mentioned, it was going for $1.75US a skein at this sale, and the regular price is at least $6.99. Now, by the time I hit the sale, there weren't a lot of colours left, and none of them were colours I would wear. Their golden undertones were, however, perfect for my redheaded mother-in-law, so I figured I could snarf a bunch and really save on future Christmas presents for her. Unfortunately, I kept getting 'whoops, sorry, we don't have as many skeins as you want to buy' messages every time I tried to add the amounts I wanted to my cart. Given the incredible price of this yarn, this wasn't surprising, so I just snatched as much as possible of everything I was interested in: 2 of one colour, and 3 of two other colours. However, by the time the store started trying to pack up my order, it turned out that only one colour, this one...

...was left. (In the 3 skeins I'd asked for.) Cindy at the shop was incredibly apologetic in her email, but I wasn't really broken up. I'd obviously discovered the sale late in the game, and I'm sure orders were flying thick and fast. If they didn't have a back-end that was whizz-bang enough to handle it all instantaneously and with 100% accuracy? Totally understandable. 3 skeins of gold were not what I'd hoped for when I'd accessed the site, but for $1.75 a skein I knew I could find something fun to do with them.

So imagine my surprise when four showed up. Yep. Cindy had found an extra skein kicking around the store and tucked it into the box as a bonus. So that was four skeins for $5.25US.

Isn't she WONDERFUL? I tell you, if I'm ever in Kansas City, this store is going to be my first stop. But wait, there's more...

In order to "make it up to me" for not having all the Silky Wool I wanted, Cindy told me I could choose something else to substitute, for the same price. She suggested Elsebeth Lavold's Silky Tweed. This is another sportweight yarn, this one a 40% silk, 30% cotton, 20% extra fine merino and 10% viscose blend. I've never worked with it before, but I'm sure it's awesome. There wasn't a lot of colour availability, but I found something that will suit my mother-in-law really well:

Five skeins to replace the five Silky Wool skeins I couldn't get. For a total of $8.75US.

Of course, having found these marvellous prices, I had to check out what else was on sale. I have no self-control whatsoever.

Cashwool from Baruffa: 100% merino laceweight in a strong orange:

I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do with it - my monitor made me think I was actually getting a muted red. But there's enough to make the small version of The Princess Shawl, so maybe this will also be for my mother-in-law? Or maybe I'll overdye it? Anyway, who knows. The point is that I snarfed three skeins for a total of $10.50US.

There was also sock yarn at ridiculously discounted prices. I got enough to make two pairs of socks for a total of $7.50US:

That's Regia Jubilee and ONLine Afrika. I'd actually ordered two of the Jubilees in two different colourways, but again, they ran out of stock so Cindy offered a substitute, and I chose the Afrika (I felt that picking Colinette Jitterbug would be unreasonably greedy and gouging, and unforgivably rude). My husband was very impressed with the sock yarn and indicated enviousness, so I offered him whichever one of the balls he liked more. (Share the wealth, right? Enjoy the generosity with the stash while it lasts, honey!) He's thinking about it.

I also found some Kashmir Aran from Louisa Harding, an aran weight yarn with a 55% merino, 35% microfibre and 10% cashmere blend, six balls for a total of $12US:

And finally, there was the real splurge: the Angora Extra. The gauge on the ball bands suggests it's an aran weight, but from feeling the strands I think it's more like a light worsted. It's 70% angora, 25% wool and 5% nylon, and comes in 25g balls. I went absolutely nuts and ordered 29 skeins: 19 blue and 10 red. That's 725g for $72.50US.

So if you haven't already guessed, I am now a total fan of Cindy and her store. She even sent me a lovely little note tucked in with the receipts and a business card; and a cute nail file, too (always handy) with the shop's logo on it. I think the folks in Kansas City must be very lucky to have her and her shop there. Of course I always try to support my own great LYS, but if I ever need/want to buy yarn online again, this will certainly be one of the first places I go! Great buying experience. Highly recommended.

I know, I know, I'm crazy. I plead a combination of extreme discounting, fever and virtual yarn fumes.

Speaking of my fever, thank you very much Knitika and Carrie K for your well wishes. Unfortunately, the party did not go off as planned. We had to reschedule it a second time. This cold is seriously bad. After taking off work most of the week before, it actually came back last week (more fever) and I had to take another sick day. DD2's nose is still pretty drippy. But DD1 and DH are doing fine, and DD2 and I are over the fever and on the mend, so we're going ahead with the party tomorrow and anyone in the family who doesn't want to risk that we're no longer contagious can stay away and no blame to them.

So, all gloating over the stash enhancement aside, has there actually been any knitting going on around here? Why yes, of course!

Lliclla for MIL
This has been the focus of most of my knitting time lately, and it's in the final stages. The main body is all done, and I'm just starting to pick up all around the outside (772 freakin' stitches) to make the edging.

I adore it.

Christmas socks for Dad
This saw a bit of action this past week. Nothing huge, but progress is progress.

Fistula armbands for bro
My brother called me up at work about a week and a half ago and told me that I needed to knit him something. My hackles were immediately raised, and I figured I would let him tell me all about this 'request', and then at the end tell him where he could shove it. :)

However, once I understood what he wanted, there was no way in hell I could say no.

Background: my brother has zero kidney function. He was born with only one kidney, and the one he did have lost function as he got older. Unfortunately, due to rampaging incompetence on the part of his pediatrician, this wasn't detected until my brother was about fourteen, at which point it was impossible to prevent further deterioration. (This was when the raging incompetent died and my brother's file got transferred to another doctor in the practice. You can imagine our impotent fury.)

So my brother has been on kidney dialysis for years. (You know that scene in Star Trek IV where they go back in time to the 80s, and Bones sees this lady in the hospital who's on dialysis? "Dialysis?" he exclaims in horror. "It's the stone age!" And then he gives her a freakin' pill and she grows a new, functioning kidney? Yeah. That scene always makes me want to cry.)

His dialysis is of the kind that requires a fistula, which is where (I think) they sort of fuse a bunch of the vessels in the arm together to make one big 'rope' that the dialysis machine plugs into. (Do not take my description for it, though, my understanding of it is very limited.) This results in a kind of freaky-looking thing on my brother's arm, it looks like there's a U-shaped snake living under his skin. He doesn't seem to like the way it looks (understandably), because he likes to cover it up with armbands. But they're uncomfortably tight for him, and he recently had to undergo some corrective vascular surgery on the fistula that increased the girth of his arm even more, so now the armbands are really too tight.

So he thought I could knit him some. Of course I could never say no to that. Geez.

So, based on the measurements he gave me and assuming 10% negative ease, I doubled up some laceweight crochet cotton in my stash, and knit up the following tube in 1x1 rib:

He ADORES it. Yay! The only problem is that it is too loose - when he flings his arm forward, the armband slides down to his wrist. So he came over a few nights ago and we figured out that I should only be casting on about 56 stitches. All other aspects of it are perfect, apparently.

I'm planning to make a bunch, in different colours. Navy, white and black to start, and then later maybe red and dark green. All from the stash, so no problems there.


Carrie K said...

Silky Tweed, Silky Wool, either yarn - niiiiice.

The armbands are pretty nifty.

The J said...


I'd try swatching with the Angora Extra - I thought the same thing about some mohair I had - this is fingering-sport, not bulky!! But knit up, it did behave "bulky"!

Isn't it great when your skill can help someone out, with so little trouble? Makes you sad about everyone out there who doesn't know how, and could solve their own wants easily if they did :(.

LLB said...

The Lliclla is absolutely gorgeous!


emma said...

Sorry to hear about your brother. Is he waiting for a transplant? The "fistulas" are a great idea though.