All the News That’s Fit to Stitch: the Third in the Trilogy so far

  •  This weekend we celebrate Yarn Crawl LA, a four-day event where yarn-loving Los Angelenos pile into their cars and drive all over the Southland (that’s what we natives call the Los Angeles area) visiting participating knitting stores and getting their “passports” stamped in order to be eligible for prizes. Along the way, they socialize with other fiber fanatics, eat snacks, buy yarn, sample local cuisine from parts of LA they rarely get to, buy more yarn, take mini-classes, collect free patterns and other little free trinkets, buy even more yarn, and, in general, have a lot oYarn Crawl LA Bannerf fun and return exhausted and happy. While many Ravellers, especially members of the West Hollywood Stitch n Bitch group, have made it their personal mission to go to all, or nearly all, of the participating yarn stores, I am only going to a couple this year. My budget and the pile of ungraded papers on my desk simply won’t allow me to go gallivanting around Los Angeles fondling yarn. Yesterday, I went to Needles & Niceties in Upland, and Sit n Stitch and Unwind, both located in “beautiful downtown Burbank,” as Johnny Carson used to say.* Needles & Niceties is not actually participating in Yarn Crawl LA, but I needed to go there specifically to ogle some hand-dyed cross-stitch floss; it’s nearly impossible to get a good idea what the floss looks like online. Although I found all the floss I needed for my 2014 goals, I did not have any luck finding the right linen for my cross stitch projects. It was still worth the trip though, and not only for the side-trip to Donut Man in Glendora, an LA culinary institution, for their famous strawberry doughnuts.
Strawberry Donuts from the Donut Man
The trip was soooo worth it!
  • Good news from Wildfiber! The Santa Monica yarn store has been saved from closing! The store is under new ownership and will reopen after a remodel and restocking. They are starting off with what they are calling a “pop-up shop” this weekend, the same weekend as Yarn Crawl LA (coincidence? I think not). Mel Clark, the former owner and co-author (with Tracy Ullman) of Knit 2 Together will be there and they have a bunch of new yarn from Zen Yarn Garden, Elemental Affects and Chic-a. They are also having a raffle and giving away discount coupons. Stop on by!
  • And here’s an endearing story about a doctor, Dr. Bob Sansonetti, who knits little hats for each of the babies he delivers.


*Of course, the Tonight Show didn’t actually film in downtown Burbank, but instead in the Media District a couple miles away. Johnny Carson must have referred to “beautiful downtown Burbank” sarcastically since the actual downtown Burbank is completely unimpressive and is famous largely for its IKEA. Burbank really does have to be one of the most character-free cities in America, if not the world. And I say that as a current resident.

Purl Dreams Finish!

Purl Dreams FinishedI bought this pattern at my LYS–Unwind–just a couple weeks ago and I had to start it right away, even though I don’t really have any plans for it. I just love the idea of creating a square blanket in plain ol’ stockinette.

This blanket is an example of my favorite kind of project: it’s (relatively) easy to knit and yet the finished product looks elegant and complicated. It was perhaps a little tricky at the beginning to juggle the dpn’s and get into the “swing” of the pattern, but once you get going, it’s quite easy. This is a perfect “sit in front of the TV” project.

This is “Purl Dreams” in a slightly less complete state:

Purl Dreams WIP

The only difficulty I had was deciding how to join one skein to the next. Since the piece is seamless and knitted as one piece in the round (or, I guess, technically, in the square), there are no edges or seams to hide the loose ends in. I used a variation of the “Russian Join” so the joins would be very secure and stand up to all the wear and tear it’s bound to be subjected to by an active toddler. My final photos were taken pre-blocking, but it’s still difficult to tell (especially on the front side) where one skein ends and the other begins.

Although the pattern called for ivory, I chose a pretty mauve/pink with a chocolate brown border because those are such popular colors right now for girls. I would gladly do this pattern again, however I would probably arrange to do all my joins in the diagonal furrows of the yarn-over increases. I think that would hide them better and probably create a smoother final product.

Overall, though, I think this is adorable and I can’t wait to do more patterns like this square shape–next time with stripes?