stash

sin city knit shop, las vegas

The second LYS I visited was the

Sin City Knit Shop

on E. Windmill Ln. From the look of it, this shop has been around for quite some time. I think I recall being told that until Mirage Fiber Arts opened its doors it was the only one in Vegas for a while.

I had the immediate feeling that the people relaxing and knitting were all good friends, and was greeted as if I was a part of that circle too.

I can't tell you how at home I felt here! I said I was looking for some sock yarn, and everyone there sounded off with great suggestions of what was in stock! It may have been for that reason that I wasn't even entirely sure who was the owner of Sin City Knits, it was like everyone was at home, I was a guest, and there happened to be a ton of yarn around. The atmosphere is too charming here.

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I decided to pick up one of Sin City knits' own dyed sock yarns in that lovely blue-green colorway, and a sale skein of Viking Raggen for some Christmas knitting (time-willing). Oh, and some point protectors. They just keep disappearing back home.

Thanks for such an enjoyable visit, Sin City Knit Shop! If anyone's in the area and are looking for workshops, classes, events and the like, or simply a place to knit, chat and find squishy skeins to adopt, the Sin City Knit Shop is a great bet.

​ mirage fiber arts, las vegas

While on my thanksgiving weekend trip to Las Vegas with Nick, I took advantage again of Ravelry's fantastic LYS finder resource and found two shops to visit.

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The first was Mirage Fiber Arts on S. Buffalo drive. The moment I walked in, I was warmly greeted by the ladies knitting on those adorable rocking chairs.

Their full walls suggested a generous and well curated selection of squishy yarns. I spent most of my time there handing skeins of alpaca or mohair to Nick and insisting that he squeeze and appreciate them.

While convincable, I was mostly on the hunt for something more local than the usual staples of Malabrigo or Berocco, and found what I was looking for.

A skein of Nerd Girl Yarns Swagger in "I Ain't Nobody's Bitch", and Ethereal Fibers' Dark Matter Sock, a 70/20/10 Merino/Yak/Nylon yarn, which is unfortunately not the most well catalogued yarn on Ravelry.

I'm learning, however, that the wonderful thing about picking up a yarn without an existing and well-documented record of projects online is that my project will definitely be a nice little surprise to see all knit up. I'm not entirely sure now the Swagger Yarn will turn out, so I'm probably going to let it have its say on a vanilla sock or something. (Or maybe give the Stranded Show-Off pattern another try?) I'll share my second LYS experience with you very soon! For now, I've got an Ease sweater to finish weaving in and blocking.

places : toronto, ontario

With just my iPhone in tow (tried to travel light), I spent a rushed three days exploring Toronto on foot. Naturally I had to ask Yelp where the nearest LYS's were.





First stop was Yarns Untangled. This small shop is gorgeously lit and incredibly well curated, I wanted to bring every one of their skeins home.


I took this yarn lust as an opportunity to manage my stash. I took a good look at the entries in my Ravelry stash section, and carefully assigned the relevant ones to projects on my queue. Once that was done, I had the conscience-clearing parameters needed to make my special souvenir yarn purchase -- it's gonna have to be a skein of super soft fingering wool for the Slide socks by Cookie A.

My choice of yarn is Zen Garden Serenity 20, in a OOAK colorway. (Photos of these stash-quisitions were taken at R2, with a fantastic Spanish Latte).

My next stop was Romni Wools, which was an overwhelming experience. The first floor was absolutely brimming with yarn of all weights and colors!

I chose a Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in the Sequoia colorway, entirely for sentimental reasons--for Nick and my first year, we visited the Sequoia National Park and had a fantastic and unforgettable experience. This was the perfect yarn to commemorate that experience and I had to get it, even if it betrayed my personal mission to grab local yarns while 'abroad'. Photos from that trip are coming soon for sure.

This skein's perfect and accurate hue is going to become a pair of How Come That Blood socks. With the gorgeous tree-knot like motif, making this match was a no-brainer. I also grabbed a circular needle, so I could get started on this pair on the flight back home, as well as to be able to have two magic loop projects going on at the same time. I'm glad I made that choice.

I also paid Porch Swing Yarnsomniacs a visit, and met its kind and quirky owner! His store was currently in the middle of a move about 6 doors west of the original location, with big plans to become a knit café! I refrained from taking any photos yet because of the hard work underway, but am entirely excited to drop by when I next come to Toronto. The world needs more knit cafe's. If you're in the area, do let me know how it turns out!

places : solvang, santa barbara

Nick and I decided to celebrate our 6-month weekend by making a two-hour drive over to Solvang, CA. I took on navigating and shotgun-knitting responsibilities for the ride. An absolute burden, I know.

Coming along with me were my Two-at-a-time Toe-Ups on the magic loop bought while on my stop in Ashland, Oregon. (I regret not properly documenting that awesome little LYS adventure!) It's awesome to not have to worry about a tiny DPN falling right out of my project and falling into the crumb-filled crevice between the seats! Seriously people, if you are a victim of stopping mid-project to fish through crap for your lost DPNs, learn magic loop. It just might change your life.

I've only been to Solvang once in the last decade or so, but distinctly remembering getting to feed ostriches. So when I saw this big obnoxious OSTRICHLAND! sign, we had to stop to feed those god awfully ugly yet fascinating living dinosaurs. The feeding bowl + dust pan combination is a little high-tech for my tastes, but I did my best to grasp that we were living in an advanced age.

Anyway. Solvang! Big beautiful horses! Delicious food! Walking!

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And, wait, did I just hear you say there were yarn shops here? Fuck all else, let's go there.


Village Spinning and Weaving would be number one of two that I knew of in Solvang. The moment I smelled that wool I knew I was home.

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Despite the cosy space of this particular shop, there was quite a nice selection of yarns at Village Spinning and Weaving. I was most impressed by the gorgeously cushy skeins of local undyed alpaca offered by the shop itself. Next time I come around here it's in my plan to get at least a sweater quantity's worth of the stuff. Those colors are what I'm all about for garments.

Because of my recent interest in my very own Operation: Sock Drawer, I had only an interest this trip to acquire nice fingering weight stuff.

Wildfoote is a very new line to me, so I opted for a pair of skeins in each of these two lovely muted colors here. I promised Nick that I would make one of these into a pair of socks for him, but I haven't decided which color to reserve for myself (or, let's be honest, whether or not these both will just end up as selfish knits).

I also learned about the wealth of locally sourced alpaca available here. Here was a gorgeous palette of undyed sweater quantities just calling my name. Some even had the name of the animal sheared for the skein. These I will have to come back for when I make the room in my stash bin.

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The next shop that I insisted we visit was Rasmussens, which on the first floor features gifts and toys, but offered fabrics and crafts supplies upstairs.

The modest space was put to good use--everywhere I turned there were gorgeous linens and colorful yarns, as well as many vintage pattern books and magazines.

I was dead-set on whatever sock yarns there were on offer, and came across a little basket right in the center of a glass display labelled SALE. I think two out of these three were discontinued. They're gonna make great additions to my future collection of self striping/scrap ankle socks.

After those two yarn-shops were checked off my list of must-see places, we just strolled around until we were tired. The day ended with lounging on a beach in Santa Barbara to watch the sun set.

wip: rhubarb + another stash acquisition

GD is a joy to see progress and all, but it's past the point of being really hot and cumbersome now, so I've been gravitating hard toward this nice and portable kindle-friendly sock project.

The Rhubarb socks are slowly growing, I'm pretty sure I'll hit the 75% mark by the end of this coming week. I'm aching to get these off the needles and on my feet already. Metal or plastic needles might help lower the frustration level of this project, but I have this entirely irrational need to finish these socks with the same needles with which they were stared. That way it'll know who's the boss, right?

Oh, and about that new Regia skein! A good knitter friend and I were driving over to a café for some sketching and she reminded me that A Major Knitwork was just a block up from where we were that very second. We just had to check it out. I saw that particular skein in those particular colors, and just needed to see those become a part of my sock drawer. Me and this yarn? We're meant to be. That's all to really say on the matter.

wip: GD


GD is very slowly, but very surely growing. It's shaping up to be a charmingly ugly piece, and I'm just itching to see it become my indestructible go-to-way of keeping warm. Hopefully this hardworking set of 5.5mm circulars doesn't give out before that day comes.

About 10 months ago I created a thread in the Scrap Happy! Group on Ravelry asking fellow knitters if there are any worsted-weight yarn scraps they wouldn't mind parting with. Willygal, Bigbadbrenda, and Sugarmagknowya very, very kindly delivered! I can't thank them enough! Here I have the what's left of the yarn they donated, all tied together and wound into cakes.
10 months later, GD is measuring up to right about 44 inches (~118cm), meaning it's a little bit less than half the length of my bed. Here's to 50 more inches of double-thick stockinette scrap knitting.

wips: lassie and GD + stash addition


The Lass socks are still happening. I thiiink I might not be much of a lace person right now, as I'm a little too nonchalant to make sure the pattern's made as intended. It's just too comforting a think to know that the sock will still be perfectly wearable, even if a yarn-over is off by a couple stitches, or some diamonds don't line up perfectly.

Blanket update! GD's been growing quite a bit! They're at 30cm now (about 12in). I've run out of worsted yarn, so the smaller quantities of fingering weight have been held double for some of the more recent stripes. I've been making a lot of works for shop for the sole purpose of using the leftover yarn in the blanket, so many things are in stock and ready to ship when ordered!

If you have any yarn scraps (anywhere between 1-25m) sitting around your home that you want to get rid of, don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d be happy to repay the cost of postage to you as thanks. At the rate I’m knitting regular projects with my tiny stash, this blanket might not be done for another...decade, so I’d love to help take care of your yarn stash too! Acrylics are preferred but I won’t say no to animal fibers or wool-blends. GD’s already a healthy mix of both so I won’t mind at all. Just no cotton please!
Speaking of stash yarn, I went out and bought a pair of skeins for my first shawl pattern. I’ve been thinking a lot about which yarn to use for a shawl I intend to wear often, and while the fine wools at our LYS’s would be a joy to knit, dryer-ability would have to be the key for me. Heartland seemed like the best bet for now. I’m planning to use the Stingray pattern by Evan Plevinski. This pattern's been sitting in my queue for months now and am excited to start on this once Lassie’s finished (let’s just disregard the existence of my Regia Handpainted sock for now…I'm still trying to forgive its frustrating splitty yarn after all this time).
So this concludes my personal knitting update for now. It has really been one hell of a stashbusting month for me. I’ve been piling up some charity knits from the more obnoxious looking yarns people have been donating to me over time, expect a update about those once I’ve successfully eliminated that stash.

loop

Just days before having to board my flight back home, I was determined to visit London and find Loop, the gorgeous LYS I’ve heard just too much about on Ravelry. We bought our London Underground day passes (which I highly recommend if, like us, you’re prone to getting a little lost), and checked every map on the way to make sure we were on the right track to Camden Passage.
loop in london
And there it was! We picked the right day to randomly bus to London, as it was International Knit in Public Day, giving me 10% off my yarn purchase (which meant I really had to make my souvenir purchase)! You’ll find whenever I make the time to upload the rest of the London trip photos, that other neat events coincided on this day too, there was a lot to see and do!
loop in london
I just don’t know what it is with the rain and finding yarn shops— Jason and I were wet from the brief shower while walking the small streets of the passage, so walking into this nice warm shop felt wonderful. I’m proud of Jason for being such a great sport about it, and had no blame to place on him for dozing off a little in this warm peaceful little yarn shelter. :]
loop in london
loop in london
I had the chance to fondle even more yarns I only read about on Ravelry. Skein felt like a dream. And BT’s Shelter has got to be the fluffiest, most airy worsted wool I’ve ever handled. Ugggghh~
bought from loop
It was tough to not break the bank, but I made my stash-addition choice. Two balls of Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball in Domino and River Bed. Domino will become some nice socks for Jason, and the other ones for me. :] I'm a little against keeping much of a stash, especially after having gotten new yarn from Ippikin just a few weeks ago, but as long as these become socks by the end of the summer it'll be okay I think! A little stash should be fine anyway.
Before leaving for California I casted on Anne Campbell's Show-off Stranded Socks with that Regia Hand-Dye effect yarn I bought from Ippikin. Unfortunately they didn't grow much as they would have, since I decided against risking confiscation at the airport, but they're steadily growing now that I'm home! I've had the pattern sitting in my queue for a while, waiting for the right skein. The pattern is tedious for me, but easy to understand and to remember (just simple yarn-overs and pulling them over stitches). I also have mixed feelings about how fun the new heel design's going to be, but the gorgeous look of the socks have been keeping me going. :] I'm looking forward to having these on my feet.
rhubarb show off's wip
If you remember my Botticelli socks--I finished them in just two days! Problem is, I think I worked too many gusset rows, leaving the heel much too wide and saggy, and the foot much too long for me. The plan today was to frog, rewind and just make some regular heel flap nilla socks, but the yarn winder's busted AND I think I might have left one of the finished socks in England. They will have to wait. For now, I'll enjoy my growing souvenir WIPs and the hot cali weather. :]
With time I'll be a tourist in my own town and visit some more LYS's (and make more stash acquisitions to share with you all--I'm thinking sweaters in the near future!)
a gift from karla
Some unrelated but wonderful news--I had an unexpected but very thoughtful package from my older sister waiting for me here in Cali! A Knitter's Pride size 9 circular needle, and a skein of this very soft baby Llama yarn by Mirasol Peru! I hear the Knitter's Pride yarn is very similar in quality to Knitpicks Harmony needles, because a similar manufacturer (?), so I'm looking forward to using them. The yarn itself is just gorgeous. It looks like the perfect yardage for a nice pair of little wristwarmers, but I think they'll be better suited to a nice slouchy beanie like Opus Spicatum. I'll keep an eye out for another skein of this lovely yarn. 1000% excited to knit with this once my sock projects (and Bapsicraftspieces) are bound off.

Ippikin

I have a million thanks to give to the LYS Search feature on Ravelry. I'm lucky to have the map light up like a little christmas tree in Los Angeles, but around Bridgnorth, it's a slightly rarer sight. So when I found out about Ippikin, I had to sink the £20 travel fare to visit!

Unfortunately it had to rain on the day we set out, but I was determined to travel anyway (and Jason was such a great sport about it too!) The moment we spotted the shop I snapped just one photo and ran inside for shelter. You'll have to see for yourself if you get there--the place is a little yarn haven!

Among local brands carried are Rowan, Lion Brand, Opal, and much more. I had a great time squishing skeins that I've only seen photos of online.

There's also a nice little nook to knit and chat. On the day I visited, a small crochet class was currently in session.

Lesley was a fantastic host and was a tremendous help to me. I let her know I was looking for some local yarns and she showed me big parts of the wall devoted to these gorgeous skeins of soft wool! I chose 4 skeins of Woolyknits' Aran for Bapsicrafts. These skeins will each turn into lovely Condyle wristwarmers that I'll have for sale in the shop. :] Woolyknits' yarn is spun in their mill in Saddleworth, Yorkshire in the valleys of the Pennines in northern England. I'm more than excited to have this part of Britain on my needles and to share it with shoppers of Bapsicrafts. :]

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And, of course, I made a rather large personal purchase. I don't allow myself the luxury very often at all, since I'm kind of in practice of not having a personal stash when I can help it.  But these yarns! I've seen sock after sock knit in Regia or Opal yarns and, crap, here's my chance! The Rhubarb colorway, and this variegated bluish shade of the Opal yarn are going to look fantastic as socks.

I'm not going to cast any of those on just yet, since they'd most likely be in progress for a while. I anticipate not being allowed to knit at all on the airplane back, so sparing myself of a sock wip in the suitcase will be the best idea.

As for the DK Knitcol yarns, well..

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...my hand slipped.

5KCBWDAY7 - Looking Back, Looking Forward

Day Seven (Sunday 18th May): Looking Back, Looking Forward

While I did participate in the KCBW last year, I didn't complete the Day7 prompt. Somehow I wasn't even aware of it! I do want to participate next year, though so here's my miniature list of things I hope to have achieved by then:

  • A second knit sweater (either for me or a gift for someone else)

  • My first crochet project completed (with some measure of comfort with the craft)

  • My first published pattern maybe?

Not a very long list of expectations, but I'm okay with this. :D

On the Kindle:

White Fang by Jack London

On the knitting front:

The Irish Wellington Socks by Aileen Cahill. I felt the straight up stockinette pattern would complement the self-striping yarn really well. I'm working with Drops Big Fabel in Forest, a fitting colorway with which to remember all of my forest walks while here in England. :D Jason's going to have a pair as well, in his chosen shade of..wait for it..plain black! The simplicity of this pattern will work really well for that too.

I just might gnaw an arm off if I had to work anything like cables with a jet-black yarn. The smaller skeins(?) are elastic thread I plan to use for the cuffs of Jason's pair of socks. Wool is pretty springy, but I think he'll enjoy socks that do a better job of staying up. We'll see how that goes..

Both yarns are 75%wool and 25% nylon. Thanks for your suggestions! I'm very optimistic about the durable quality of these yarns, and am doubly glad to know that it comes in a worsted weight as well! These socks are gonna fly right off my needles, without a doubt.

I made another small stash addition last friday from Quilter's Quest in Bridgnorth. It's a lovely self striping sock yarn by Four Seasons Gründl, and I've got my eyes on the Vanilla Latte Socks pattern. This'll be a nice little change from all of these thick socks I've made this year! There isn't much info on Ravelry about this yarn, so I'm excited to see how this will look all knit-up. :D

This post is part of Eskimimi Makes' 5th Annual Knitting & Crochet Blog Week. To find posts by other participating bloggers, simply google 5KCBWDAY7 and explore away!

Also part of KCCO! I think I may participate from now on with this. :]

fo: john's short footies

short footies

pattern : John's Short Footies by Rosemary Chapman
yarn : Patons North America Classic Wool Worsted in Dark Grey Mix
needle : US 4[3.5 mm]
size : 9.5
I took so long to blog about this mini sock project because I was just too damn busy wearing them around the house. Now they're all pilly and extra wooly and a little felted, just how they should be.
short footies
short footies
I am definitely planning to make about a billion more pairs of these. The pattern is clear and easy to follow, the project itself very quick and satisfying. Patons Classic Wool is a FANTASTIC yarn for warm socks and other accessories. So awesome in fact that I bought two more skeins for my "her" pair of Hunter's Socks to go with the ones I made for my boyfriend. :] grey mixes
There's gonna be a whole lot of sock knitting going on this season. I've got 2013 resolutions to achieve!

new sock yarn!


The semester finally ended! I still have momentum from the rush of finals [and frankly, there's a feel that there is still much left to do], but I did count some change from my knitting jar and went to get these gorgeous skeins of Patons Sock Yarn. The pair on the left is in the colorway called Grey Brown Marl and on the right's Pumpkin Spice Jacquard.
Words fail me when I try to describe why I love these color schemes. Looking at these skeins really excite me. I'm sock/sock yarn addicted!
I casted on TDTU Vanilla Socks again with the Marl colorway, since I really want to see those color shine with a simple pattern. As for the color on the right, some Globe Trotter Socks might work well with them, but I'm not really sure.
Many of these lovely patterns that I see on ravelry involve motifs that move from the cuff toward the toe. I feel horizontal blocks of color might break what is trying to be achieved with that look of a pattern. Tempted to just work with another simple stockinette pattern with them, but something a little less mindless might be for the better. Don't hesitate to throw some suggestions my way!

P.S. I will be participating in this, starting tomorrow!
Do let me know if you're joining in as well so I can keep up with your beautiful posts.

stashbusting!


behold, the amazing shrinking yarn stash! with the exception of stuff for my shop [those skeins are used up and sent away within the week],  i haven't made any personal yarn purchases in a long while. it's all been stashbusting and i'm proud to see the basket overflowing a lot less with each passing week!

have you been stashbusting too? have you had any little victories lately, or has your yarn basket grown? do tell!

[i don't know how i have managed to blog daily this month--hope i'm not expected to blog that often by any readers i've been lucky enough to have so far..]
i had a little bit of that finished knit syndrome, a feeling that i haven't got anything to do now that i'm done with my most recent project. sure, there are four wips on the shelf waiting for attention but i just didn't feel like touching those. i wanted the excitement of a brand new project! so here we are with a little grey thing on my little circulars, a simple little experimental wip based on one of my design sketches. 

as a sort of beginner knitter and someone very new to publishing any knitting designs of my own, i feel like i run the big risk of reinventing the wheel or stepping on someone's toes in coming out with anything less than a super intricate pattern involving never-ever seen before patterns and inventions and the like, which to put it lightly has discouraged me from publishing anything in the first place.
after some thought i realize that it may be a little silly to think that on my own i will design the exact copy of something that already exists if i've never looked that that existing design before so..hey. where's the trouble or harm? at worst, i suppose there will just be another version of a look that fellow knitters can make for themselves. so a-designing i will go. hopefully someone will like what i come up with, and even make a  really awesome adjustment of it to suit their tastes or needs. that's an exciting part of sharing a design imo~
you can click through for the listing for that new washcloth btw <3
to throw in a different topic out of the blue, i've noticed in my two months of being a knitter that my stash has been growing quite a bit, even if i'm knitting pretty steadily and finishing at least a thing or two a week. so i'm trying a little experiment to limit my yarn/notions spending, by only allowing a purchase after finishing ten projects, instead of just letting myself fall prey to those wonderful little knitpicks sales emails or a gorgeous colorway someone's blogged today. so far i've got three out of ten projects down, with the 4th on the way!

i'm optimistic here about this little plan here, and feel that if i don't make it to ten before ordering more skeins, i'll at least be a bit more aware of what i do and don't really need to have right now in my stash.

do you have any ways to curb your yarn buying? anything that's worked? anything that's absolutely failed? is it a worry at all for you, or is a big yarn stash to be welcomed? i'd love to hear how other knitters do it!


my new camera arrived right after a knitpicks order! couldn't help trying it out with some stash pics. being only slightly familiar with shooting manual, this camera's been a challenge to work with so far, but i'm sure shooting comfortably will come soon enough. anyway--4 little skeins of comfy sport in sweet potato! my plan for these is to make my first pair of socks using silver's tutorial.

i have a few wips lying around waiting to be finished so sit tight for a post about them once i do! in my spare time i'll be around learning how to use this thing and build some photo skills. <3

yesterday i received the ball winder by knitpicks in the mail and was thrilled to be able to finally deal with my unruly, tangled yarn stash. i remember spending a lot of time thinking about whether it was a good choice or not, it cost me around $20 for it, and i've seen most other winders for up to twice the price--maybe i'd be getting my money's worth to order the cheapest one i've seen? anyway, after much thought i decided to just get it and decide. after about two hours of turning the little crank of this thing and feeding all of my yarn, i was really happy to see the results. i went from an overflowing shelf stuffed with random wads of yarn that wouldn't stop rolling out and onto the floor[i wish i took the time to shoot a before shot but i was too excited to use it as soon as i saw it on my doorstep!] to this beautiful sight--

what you see here is essentially this plus another half dozen or so of newly stashed skeins of yarn, in the form of these nice little neatly stacked little cakes. feels good to make room! i don't know if more expensive models would have done any better but i'm already more than happy with what this little ball winder's done for me. paired with this yardage counter i bought a bit back, i made a nice and tidy tally of just how many yards i've got in there [7272 !]

i'm sure it'll help me along with picking projects to use this lovely stuff up. i want to argue that the attractive presentation of these wound balls have made it easier to put lovely color combinations as well, i see a lot more opportunity in my yarn stash than before.

if you want to organize your stash, free up some room, or even count up how many yards you have left of something to better know how to use a skein, i highly recommend this little thing for you, it's done me very well so far !

in other news, i've been stashbusting with some fun little hairclip projects that have been on my mind for a while. there's something therapeutical about the making of these bows, not sure how i can explain it, but what i know for sure is that there will be more on the way. i really like how the ones so far have turned out, and hopefully someone will too.

these sets of three are currently for sale on my etsy--have a look !


here's a photo of the old stash I got at 13 when my best friend taught me how to purl.
some were purchased, many were gifted, All of them Red Heart acrylics.

i would love to get my hands on some wool or cotton yarn to knit with, but first, stash
busting to minimize guilt!

it's mostly been cowls, scarves and seamed hats so far, but i think i may dive into the world
of dpns and circular needles [once i find a set i really like]