Posts Tagged ‘madelinetosh’

Purple power

February 19, 2012

Once upon a time, there was a little girl named L who loved the color purple.

L was a spirited and clever girl.  So much so, that when doctors found something very scary, everyone knew that such a strong and brave girl would fight hard to be well again.

Rosebud for L

But those who loved L knew that the road would be long, and they reached out to their friends for help.  They said, “Our L loves the color purple.  This family is full of talented knitters.  Can you please use your gifts to make her purple hats?  The hats will keep her head warm, and and remind her of all the people who love her.”

And so, as a member of the Knitter’s Review family, NutmegOwl went to the airport and cast on a purple hat for L, a scaled-down version of her favorite-of-late Rosebud, executed on US 4 and US 6 needles

madelinetosh Vintage - Blackcurrant

and madelinetosh Vintage in Blackcurrant.  The purple is there, blended with hints of blue jeans, the right thing for a young girl in cool weather or warm.  NutmegOwl knitted it in airports and on airplanes and late at night on vacation, watching the moon shine on the Gulf.

May it bring L currents of purple power as she journeys along the road and reaches a triumphant destination.

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Unintended

December 15, 2011

Oops.

That wasn’t supposed to happen.

If nothing else, I am predictable.

Here I sit, with more than one work all-nighter logged of late, a publishing deadline looming, and days since I touched my needles …

… I really did. not. mean. to open that email.  Not when I know Nutmeg Owl’s Theorem of Yarn Acquisition has yet to be proven wrong.

But I somehow opened the email from Jimmy Beans Wool when I meant to click on the one from Quince & Co. with the new collection of patterns.  The one I opened had madelinetosh Vintage discounted for the skeins being 10 yards short – but still with perfect yardage for hats and mitts.

Someone with a better sense of humor would joke that I found a “short sale.”  Only this short sale has been consummated.  Unlike the other one that will drag on into a new calendar year.  ~  S i g h .

I “need” more yarn like I need more holes in my head.

I knew this as I clicked and clicked and deliberately placed my order.

It didn’t stop me for a nanosecond.

But really, I didn’t mean to do it.

 

*  For those who track my knitting deadlines better than I do:  I have turned the heel and moved to the instep of Dreaded Heirloom Family Christmas Stocking #4.  NO MORE COLORWORK and T-minus-six days to finish and block it.

Interlude

June 7, 2011

Having lived a rather nomadic existence for my first three decades, there is one place that will always be home: Chicago.  With family roots there and important years of my personal history, it has a special place in my heart.

Even dirty windows can't mar the beauty

Just passing by landmarks of my life on the el makes me weep for no reason other than that they are dear to me.  Fortunately, none of my fellow strap-hangers notices or if they do, they give no sign.  After all, it is mass transit in a major city and you see just about everything.

When I do visit, there are certain “musts,” which are all people I need to see.  On this trip, however, I built in just enough time (work crisis notwithstanding) for some yarn-crawling around town.

Windy Knitty - get the word play?

My first stop was the newest entrant to the Chicago yarn scene.  Windy Knitty occupies an incredibly sunny storefront in the Andersonville section of the North Side.  It was a pleasant eight-block walk from the el through a shady neighborhood to get to Clark Street.  There, I found owner Mandy poring over color cards for more stock to add to her already bursting cubbies.  Windy Knitty has yarn to satisfy different price points and tastes.  In particular, there is significant stock of various madelinetosh, Malabrigo and Three Irish Girls yarns, as well as some local dyers like Fleur de Fiber, who has her studio within walking distance.  The space is clean and uncluttered and the yarn is well-organized.  Mandy gave me a friendly greeting and we chatted a bit before she helped me

madelinetosh Pashmina - Burnished

dig through her madelinetosh Pashmina to try to match two skeins in the colorway Burnished.  What grabbed me was the hint of color that looks exactly like the patina on aged copper and bronze.  It doesn’t photograph well here, but it’s pretty amazing IRL.

Alas, the aforementioned work crisis 500 miles away ate into my time significantly (requiring me to go to a public library computer lab to build a web page on the fly …), and with one more LYS and happy-hour appointment, I had to leave before I wanted to.  If I were living on the North Side, Windy Knitty would be a LYS where I would be happy to teach.

Loopy Yarns

The last time I visited Loopy Yarns, they had not moved into their home in historic Dearborn Station.  My previous visit had left me a little lukewarm.  No so this time. I received a warm welcome and much-needed directions to the rest room so that I could enjoy my time there.  The space suits the shop’s needs nicely, with actual classrooms on the lower level. I did go with a specific desire: to add the new size 3 and 4 Signature circular needles to my toolkit.  Alas, the shop had yet to receive them.  Rats.

Alisha Goes Around Richness (of Martens) Fingering

However, I was delighted to lose myself in the “lace room.”  Although the yarns ranged from cobweb to fingering, the sock-weight fibers were not the kind to put on your feet.  While some of the yarns were familiar, others were not.  Loopy Yarns carries a variety of bases from Alisha Goes Around, which I had never seen in person before ~ one of the hazards of living sans LYS.  I brought home a skein of Richness (of Martens) Fingering in Nile as a souvenir.  It seems similar to Spirit Trail Fiberworks Sunna, one of my favorite yarns of all time.

Swans Island Organic Merino - Fingering

In addition, Loopy carries Swans Island organic merino, a yarn I have only seen online.  This fingering-weight is incredibly soft, with nice yardage and natural colors.  (The colorway is labeled “Brown” but the tag says “Russet” – more descriptive, by far.)  Although there are myriad skeins of similar colors in my stash, this one spoke to me in a way the others did not, so it was promptly wrapped in tissue to leave with me, too.

Locals swear by Loopy as the mothership of all that is good about Local Yarn Shops.  I was happy to find interested and interesting people there.  In a retail setting where personality sells more yarn than any display, Loopy clearly is selling plenty of yarn.

I had an impending date with a Churchill martini, and scooted on my way, glad to have done just a little yarn crawling in my home sweet home city.


 

YarnoraMama III

April 18, 2011

It’s somehow not at all surprising that for both Luann and me, our periodic YarnoraMama meet-ups fall during what seem like the worst possible times ~ when the work schedule is out of control, home life is crazy and the last thing it seems one should do is take a day off.

Which is precisely why it is the absolute right time to do so ~ for two working moms to walk away from every responsibility for One. Precious. Day.  (Previous YarnoraMamas are here and here.)

Victoria Station Cafe

Her charge this time: Tell me where to be and I will get there.   “There” in this case, being the charming and friendly Victoria Station Cafe in Putnam, Conn.  Dubbed “The Quiet Corner,” northeastern Connecticut is home to agriculture and tiny towns.  Putnam is a town that has quietly evolved, with new life for old downtown spaces that have one foot in the past and another in the future.  Virtually every menu features gluten-free or vegan fare from in many cases locally raised produce.

Here, the mismatched furniture, exposed brick and original woodwork all make sense.  We parked on a couch in a front window as a steady stream of patrons made their way in for “the usual” or one of the too-tempting selections in the endless display cases.

What more do two gals need?

Funny, but even our food choices were rooted in fiber … The cinnamon rolag at left, being a term for a roll of prepared fiber ready for spinning.  Those are the remnants of a sfogliatelle at right, in the wake of a powdered-sugar explosion, in case you’re wondering.   (Pink boxes of treats left for home in both directions …)

MadelineTosh Pure Silk Lace in Lichen

And birthday presents, too!  Lucy Neatby’s terrific tome on fabulous finishing and a stunning skein of MadelineTosh Pure Silk Lace in the colorway Lichen.  Truly, it is the colors of an heirloom lilac in bloom.  Breathtaking.

It’s been too long since my cyber-sister and I were together ~ last November’s Knitter’s Review Retreat to be precise.  As efficient as online communication is, there is simply no substitute for sitting down, face-to-face, for hours of catching up about the mundane and the life-altering.  Among her many talents, Luann always serves as a (barely) older, wiser sanity check for me at a time when that sanity is in question every third minute.  And that’s before we get to the mommy advice I so sorely need now that we are immersed in the Tyrannical Threes.

How did five hours pass so quickly?

Woolworks

Other than meeting in a place with an endless supply of caffeine, YarnoraMamas must always include a yarny destination.  Woolworks fit that bill.  Tasha (sp?) could not have been more welcoming on the phone or in person.  The knitters inside were warm and friendly, and the reasons this shop has become a local destination were clear.  It made me long for the days when I actually had a local yarn shop in my world.  Sigh.

All too soon, the fact of rush-hour return traffic was all too real.  Time to separate again for our respective homes and uber-busy lives.  But I feel better ~ saner and clearer ~ than I have in a long time.

And that is what YarnoraMama is all about.


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