I found out about a new fiberarts store in the area, and yesterday I went to see it. It's called Nature's Yarns Inc, and it's in Fairfax, almost directly across Route 29 from where my friend, Nancy lives.
What prompted all this was the realization Sunday night that I was working on the sleeve for the Celtic sweater, and it wasn't going to get any narrower than 16 inches at any point, and the two 24 inch needles I was using were giving me ladders.
It shouldn't be happening.
I've knitted hats, socks and much more with the two needle method and never had a problem, but here I was having a big problem. And I hadn't even gotten to the Celtic knot that I plan to put on the sleeve the way I did for the second version of the sweater.
The cross will be like this one with a cross that has the cables come right off the knot and provides a way to tie the sleeve (which will be straighter, but still full) and add a ruffle abound the wrist. So, I'm already going to be coping with an extra cable needle (yes, I know you can do it without a cable needle, but I always drop most of the stitches when I do that), and I don't need an extra needle to cope with while I'm doing all this.
So, all of a sudden, I really needed a size 7 needle in a 16 inch length! I called Nancy, and she met me over there, and I was talking to her and the nice lady that sold me the needle, and feeling really happy that they had Addi lace needles in the right size and length. With all the talking to everybody, I didn't really read the packaging with the needle, and I should have. Although the needle looked awfully short, the package said it was 24 inches long, and when I got home, I discovered the packaging was correct. It's really 24 inches long.
Well, an Addi lace needle is a thing of beauty and a joy forever, even if it did cost $17, and I kept pulling it out and admiring it last night. Here's a review of Addi lace needles when they first came out. Since then, there are more sizes available, down to 000, and also a 16 inch length, not to mention that the cords are now a pale blue. Very pretty. They copied the points from the old Baleen needles. The people at Boye really got the points perfect on those needles. Even though the Baleen needles aren't available anymore, you can also get that point on Bryspun needles.
Early today (for me), I went back on over to the store and discovered that if you buy a knitting needle from Nature's Yarns, you need to be very careful and make sure it's exactly the right needle because they not only won't let you return one, the won't even let you exchange one you made a mistake on! As it turns out, they didn't have a 16 inch needle in the store in size 7 (except for bamboo ones, which I hate). I was so convinced that I'd seen one there yesterday, but then again, I thought I'd bought one.
Nature's Yarns also has stuff to spin, and some of it's drop-dead-gorgeous, plus all the beautiful yarn and miscellaneous stuff. I also bought some nice, plastic yarn bobbins while I was there yesterday. One of the best knitting tips I've come across is to put the yarn tale left after a long-tail cast on in a butterfly or on a bobbin as soon as you finish casting on. That way, you don't get to the end, or halfway through the first row and discover that you've been knitting with the tail instead of the working yarn. Putting it on a bobbin also keeps it from dragging everywhere and getting dirty and unspun. The bobbins I bought look like this:
So, that's money down the drain. I'll use the needle, of course, but I didn't need it at the moment.
But I need a 16 inch one.
So, I'm trying to decide how to handle the problem. I could try to find a 16 inch needle at another store, but after the expense of this one, I really can't afford one until next month. The day after I get my money for the month, though, I'll be going to the Fall Fiber Fest (on the second of October), so maybe I'll find the needle I need there.
In the meantime, I bought the yarn for my version of the wrap with wings in Vogue's Fall issue.
I wanted to do it in mohair, as they did in the magazine, but although I've looked everywhere, I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that Classic Elite has discontinued the particular mohair yarn that was used in the magazine. The few places I've been able to find it at all, what they have is obviously clearance yarn with only a color or two left, and nobody seems to have all the colors needed to make it. I tried substituting a similar mohair, but nobody makes all the colors needed.
So, I'm going to make it with some brushed acrylic yarn (Jiffy) in black, dark grey, light grey, and off white for the wings (one shade more than was in the original) and a different brushed acrylic/nylon (Dazzleaire) for the background instead of the white mohair. The color I chose for the background is Thistle.
I'd rather use mohair, but I think it's going to be one of my favorites!
I picked up the last of the yarn I need for the wrap today, so I have the choice of abandoning the sleeves of the Celtic sweater for now and working on the body for a while, or abandoning the whole thing for a while and working on the wrap. And let's not even mention how many UFOs are floating around here that I can work on.
Oh, and while I'm at it, I've gotten to about 12 inches of length in the body (past the armholes) and a little bit of the left sleeve done on the Celtic sweater. The whole Saint John's cross on the back is done, I've got the start of the cable that goes down the sides and starts under the arm done, and I've finished the cable on the strap at the top of the shoulder on the left side with a loop that makes it look finished. More photos soon!
I didn't mention all the other little annoying things that have been driving me crazy today, just the one.
Seeing Nancy yesterday was so much fun! I've known here since about 1980, and she's always been one of my favorite people ever! We got to talk and have dinner together, and I got to see her trailer. It's very small, but luxurious, and it's smallness makes everything right at hand so she doesn't have to get up to get anything. Her family recently gave her a nice, big high definition TV, too, and I'm very impressed! I've got a TiVo like hers, but she has the terabyte hard drive that I want to get.
We had so much fun!
Tonight, the two hour season finale of Covert Affairs will be on USA. I'm really looking forward to that, but I'll be sad when it's over, although I'm sure that USA will be rerunning the whole season.
The season finale of Warehouse 13 will also be on Syfy, so there's that to look forward to, also.
In the meantime, I'm going to heat up a personal size pizza for dinner and stay home and veg out in front of the TV and knit. I don't know what I'm going to knit, but I'll knit something!
And I'll think about what I can sell to make some money. If anybody out there is interested in a Canon camera body (film), a TiVo or a 2001 Buick Century, let me know.
In the meantime, have as nice an evening as I plan to have!