What a week!

It's a bit difficult for me to believe that Friday has finally arrived, and I'm still more or less in one piece (barring my still-injured right hip, but the less said about that, the better). It started with a lovely Mother's Day, marred by bad news (more on that next week), then the build up to a shop update (always tiring), then a lovely trip to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia yesterday, and culminating in a fabulous morning doing a spinning demo at the Campaign for Wool's Wool House exhibit at Somerset House. I'm exhausted!

Since there has been so much this week, I'm going to spread out the events over several posts, otherwise this post will be waaaaay too long. Let's start with the easiest first:

The Spring Knitting and Stitching show at Olympia Kensington, running from 14th-17th March


I went to the Ally Pally K&S Show

in October, 2011, but I had an even better time this go around. Maybe it was because I had company, maybe it was because I managed to find some goodies to take home. In any event,


and I had a fabulous time.

We arrived promptly at 10:00, and headed inside. First up were the quilts. Many, many amazingly fantastic and glorious quilts. Here are a few of my favorites.

Olympia 2013 quilts
Olympia 2013 quilts
Olympia 2013 quilts
Olympia 2013 quilts
Olympia 2013 quilts
Olympia 2013 quilts

More pictures in

this Flickr set

. After the quilts, we did a strategic walk through of the entire show. Which is to say, we wandered up and down the aisles dreamily for a couple of hours.

I first fell off the wagon at the

Textile Garden

button booth. Alli actually wandered off for a while because I was so obsessed. I came home with plenty of buttons for at least 5 sweaters...


That's ten buttons each of five different styles.


I love the jumping sheep (hello baby sweaters!), and the others are all slated for various sweater designs.

Next falling-down point: a pile of bagged yarn at

Black Sheep Wools

. And Alli actually did fall down in it to reach a particularly fetching shade of red (sadly I was not quick enough on the draw to snap a photo).

Yarn pile!
Yarn pile!

Bags and bags and bags of wool. I ended up with three bags (oops). Two bags of Rowan Wool Silk DK in a lovely pale lilac.

Rowan Wool Silk DK

And one bag of orange (!!!) Luxury Cotton DK - Alli insisted it was my color.

Rowan Luxury Cotton DK

I keep telling myself that my fascination with orange is a recent thing, but

clearly that is not the case

. It might be time for me to actually make myself a freakin' orange sweater just to get it out of my system.

Final purchase: an alpaca dress (!!!!) from Toft Alpacas. No picture taken at the time, but you can see me wearing it today at

Wool House

 and babbling on about my miniSpinner. More on that next post...

A dilemma

If you've been floating around the knitting blogosphere for a while, you may have come across Anne's shawls. You know, Wing o' the Moth, Morning Glory, Casino lady. On Tuesday, she posted her Bee Stole pattern for sale.

If you haven't seen this pattern yet, go look now. Go ahead. I'll wait.

OK, are you back? Caught your breath yet? Yeah, that's how I felt too. I needed a few minutes to get myself pulled together, and in those few minutes somehow I found my way over to Paypal and forked over my $8 for the pattern. And now here's the dilemma:

What do I knit this with? I've made it 7.5 months in TGYD2007 without buying any yarn, and before Tuesday, I was damned if I was going to break the trend. But I must start this project immediately! The only lace weight in the stash is some Knitpicks Bare, but only one skein, at most two, which is definitely not enough for this baby.

One solution presented itself yesterday when Iron Man returned from Peru with 30 skeins of approximately fingering weight Baby Alpaca for me! Bless him, he went in to an actual yarn store to get it - the hives have almost completely faded. Two colors, a sort of light camel and black. Neither is what I would necessarily choose for this project, but it is so soft and yummy. There's definately enough of the black for this project. And alpaca is good for lace, in my opinion, since it's pretty warm as a full-on fabric. But I feel a bit meh about this solution.

Another possiblitiy is to (gulp!) spin the yarn for this myself, since there is no moratorium on fiber acquisitions. I am nowhere near being able to produce lace weight by any stretch of the imagination, but I might be able to do fingering weight. However the prospect of spinning 1400+ yds of fingering weight any thing is enough to make me crawl under the bed for a few days until it's safe to come out. Then the next issue is what to spin it out of? Merino? A blend? Aaaaaaargh! I don't know enough about what fibers are good for what to have any clue where to go with this (other then to say it will not be done in anything coarse).

And what colors? I'm torn between something honey colored, or something darker (dark blue, purples, etc) - yellows and oranges aren't colors I wear too often. I could get some already dyed fiber, but I'm more inclined to dye it up myself to make sure I get what I want. If I do that, this project could conceivably take the rest of my life and I want it NOW! Or at least, I want to be knitting it now.

I told Iron Man yesterday that this pattern might be the downfall of the diet, and he just shook his head. Any suggestions you may have are greatly appreciated! What would you do?

Stash enhancement

Last week, after a particularly trying day at work, I arrived home to find a large package wrapped in brown paper sitting at my doorstep. A package I wasn't expecting. I opened it up to find this:

Rest assured that what was in the bag bears absolutely no resemblance to Maine potting soil. My aunt, a former knitter, has finally come to grips with the fact that she doesn't knit so much anymore, and had sent me some of her stash. I guess she heard about my Yarn Diet. Look at these goodies...

Good baby yarn, 100% acrylic and soft.

Some gorgeous colors in Lamb's Pride Bulky (these colors are so Aunt L).

Three skeins of Brown Sheep Cotton Wool (now discontinued?), that I think she got at the local Goodwill, because the price tag on them says $2.00. Why doesn't my Goodwill sell yarn?

Seven more skeins of Cotton Wool in a lovely brown, that didn't come out so well in this photo. At 160 yds/skein, there may be enough here for a sweater, as long as I don't get too adventurous.

Sigh...off to dream of what to do next...

(WIPs? What WIPs? I don't have any WIPs! Shhhhhh....)