Pink Alpaca

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Aloha bib

I already posted this on the Mason-Dixon Knit-a-long, but here it is just in case you're not a reader of that blog.

This is my second bib, created for some family friends of ours. My husband's former boss is going to be a dad for the 4th time , and they know that it will be a boy. (Four children ages 7 and younger! Oi!) So, to celebrate, I picked out some bright orange and blue from my stash and set to work.

The yarn is Needful Yarns' Kim, which I believe is 55% cotton and 45% acrylic. I've made a ballband cloth from it and after two months of use it's holding up well. The colors are losing their luster but I think it's due to our ridiculously hard water. But it dries quickly so that's a plus.

I used US size 5 needles and it helped my slipped stitches to stay tight and uniform. They were getting loose and bunchy with a 6.

The button is special because my husband collects Hawaiian shirts (aka Aloha Shirts). I found the button in a tropical-themed pack at Michaels. I think it'll make them smile. :)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Back from London

Hubby and I spent a week in London and it was wonderful. Too fun and amazing to put into words. Since this is a knitting blog primarily, I'll focus on the fiber side of our visit. Pictures are good to start with, so here's something I purchased:

The front

The back

Isn't he cute? He matched my decor so I just had to have him. How much was he? £16. It sounds much better to say £16 than $30 US, doesn't it? Well, vacation is a time to splurge. He's filled with lavender but no way am I going to tuck him into a drawer for freshening my laundry.

I bought it at Loop, a store that someone recommended to me via the M-D KAL. Loop is in a northern London neighborhood called Islington. I was hoping to find a cozy shop brimming with tons of yarn and lots of knitters. Loop is more of a boutique - good yarn, good products, but no place to sit and knit. So if you're traveling to London you might want to look up some knitting groups if you're hoping to really connect with some new friends.
I had heard that Rowan and Debbie Bliss would be cheaper across the pond. Well, it wasn't at this store, perhaps because of its locale and the 17.5% VAT (value added tax) they slap onto everything in London. Loop had a wonderful small assortment of natural and synthetic yarn and haberdashery, and it was full of completed projects for purchase - pillowcases, sweaters, children's toys, felted brooches, ceramics and even knitted jewelry. I would have taken pictures but I didn't think the lady behind the counter would have appreciated that. You can visit their site for pics, though:

I also purchased two crocheted cushion covers (no pic because I can't get the color to turn out right). They matched my living room and they were on sale. So that justified the bird purchase. :)
I was inspired by their handknitted jewelry and I think I need to try my hand at it. And I love my bird. I want to try to make a friend for it.
Oh, by the way, if you're flying out of London keep in mind that they won't let you carry your knitting needles on board. Luckily, I'd planned to read and sleep on the plane so I'd put my knitting in my checked luggage. But imagine if I'd had to pull my favorite circulars out of my project and just throw them away! (By the way, has it ever occured to them to place the full details of forbidden items at check-in? They had a short, generic list there but didn't show the exhaustive list until we were at the metal detectors.)