Thursday, 6 March 2008

K1 Yarns, Jenner's and Mavis

Monday's visit to K1 Yarns was good. It turned out to be a bit of a dry run, because one of us wasn't feeling very well, and another was saving herself for Skip North, but it was a satisfactory start and I'm sure we will do better next time. Jean liked it so much that she went back the next day and bought more wool. I got a pair of the Addi lace needles which I have been keen to try out, not just for lace but because I find the regular Addi needles a bit too rounded and blunt. I haven't tried them yet but I'll let you know when I do - in excruciating detail, no doubt. I might be going to Bristol in the next few months, Gretchen, and that will give me an excuse to go to Get Knitted and acquire some KnitPicks Harmony needles.

One of the things I like about the K1 in Glasgow and this one is that they don't stock any of the stuff you can get easily elsewhere - I like Rowan yarns a lot but it's sort of liberating to go somewhere which doesn't have any at all. Everything they have is a treat - Jamieson's, Artesano, Fyberspates and 100% angora lace-weight. I didn't get any yarn because of the awful queue of plumbers, electricians and a dentist who are standing with their hands out in expectation - it's one of those spells where I feel I might as well stand on the street corner with my wallet open, you know? But K1 had some aran weight alpaca which I can't get out of my mind - in a soft orangey red. I'm pretty sure it was Artesano Alpaca, but their website doesn't mention an aran. When I'm solvent again, I can go back and check. (I couldn't wait and I've checked online, it's that shade at the far left called Sunset.)I went into Jenner's on the way home, to check out the new yarn department and it has to be one of the most dispiriting places in town. If you were selling yarn (just Rowan and Patons, one either side) in a supermarket, this is what it would look like. They do have exhaustive colour ranges of the yarns they stock which I must remember for the future, but it's not somewhere I would go for a browse. In fact the whole store, which used to be an independent and was taken over in 2005 by a chain, is already beginning to have that terrible homogenized look. Given how much money stores must spend on re-vamping and decorating their branches, it amazes me how often they end up being barn-like and depressing. Except for the new styling for Marks and Spencer food halls, which is claustrophobic and depressing.

Anyway, back to knitting. I've been keepin' on with the Victorian Lace Today scarf. I've finished the first skein, which wasn't complete, and I'm at 40 inches. The colours are so beautiful; I've decided that is because they remind me of crocuses that I find the colours spring-like. I've wound another skein and the colours aren't quite so sharp, but part of the joy of scarves is that it won't be noticeable.

I cast on for the toning border at one end, far from convinced that it would work, but actually I think it looks good - that's a Boye needle you can see there, in a carefully matched shade of silvery green, of course.

And Mavis has begun blocking; she's pinned out on the bed, without her arms. And yes, as soon as I saw this photo I went back through to the bedroom and moved the pins; I hadn't noticed how crooked the hem was. I don't know if it's because I have prisms in my lenses, but I can never see if things are crooked; I once stuck posters up in my office and everyone who came into the room burst out laughing because they were all at different angles. Oh well. I didn't have too much trouble getting her pinned out to the required dimensions and if she needs to grow a bit further I think that will be do-able. As soon as she's dry, I'll get on with the sleeves.


Emily said...

That sunset aran would have called out to me, too. K1 sounds great, and a real contrast with the dept store (is it House of Fraser that have taken over Jenners? They seem to be getting everywhere).
The scarf is very crocus-y indeed.

beverlyanne said...

Hi Helen,

What a lovely blog you have! Those jigsaws are amazing and all too fascinating.

Thanks for the information on the Knitting the New Scarves Knit Along. I will check it out. I am sure you'll like the Weston book. There are 40 projects, all total classics. I was able to put together her fair isle motifs and sweater shapes and make up a sweater in a new design and colorway.

ToOday I checked out The art of Fair Isle Knitting by Ann Feitleson from the library. I had never seen it before. It's looking good.

Knitting Linguist said...

Ooh! That yarn store sounds amazing; I always love finding a place that stocks different things than I'm used to. But it's a bit depressing to hear about the other one (Jenner's, did you say?); chain stores depress me in general, there's just something so (not to state the obvious) generic about them.

I am so loving that scarf from Victorian Lace Today. It's definitely on my list of Things To Knit, but I'm on the same sort of yarn diet you are, so I'll probably hold off for a bit...