Yarn, Ho!

My yarn order arrived, and you can see that I was pretty lucky with the colors.

This is Telemark, the new sport yarn from Knit Picks. The representative skeins are posing with their related fabrics for #2 daughter’s and my SWAPs.

The delivery was quick and accurate, which has been my experience with Knit Picks in the past as well.

As soon as I complete Jasmine, I will swatch with this and give you a report. But, just from examining the yarn in its skein form, it appears to be a hard-finish, smooth yarn. This is what you want for color and texture stitches, and this stuff is destined for Fair Isle.

I continue to be a bit nervous about how it will wear; the Knit Picks yarns are so inexpensive that you just have to feel like some corners were cut somewhere. I have sweaters that my grandmother knit 20 or 30 years ago which still look great, and I would like to have the same experience myself.

But I like being able to knit a sweater for under $20, too. As I say, I’ll report.

I am now distinctly in the position of having both WIPs and a stash. Still, it is all part of the SWAP, and not a random collection, so I am not feeling too bad about it.

There has been no further sewing, but there has been a further addition to the SWAP cupboard.

Hancock Fabrics has McCall’s patterns at 99 cents, so I took my pocket change to pick up a couple. #2 daughter and I had bought a sensible selection of basic wardrobe elements at the last 99 cent sale, but I wanted something for the August SewRetro challenge, and perhaps something trendy for #2 daughter.

The new patterns were in, and it was tough to decide. Something a little bit a la mode would be good to liven up #2’s SWAP, but which one? The piratical jacket? a slip top? the new generation of trumpet skirt? a corset-style vest, or one with a hint of androgyny? It was at this point that I made a bit of a discovery. The experienced seamstresses will probably already know this, but I did not.

While the newest and trendiest looks are in the single-item patterns, the modified versions are in the new “wardrobe” patterns. One of the wardrobe patterns has the flared skirt, the shaped jacket, the slip-style top, and a pair of classic pants, too.

The individual skirt pattern had a slim tweed skirt with lace godets and one with a ruffle at the knee. You could wear one of those exactly twice before people started talking about “that really unusual skirt you have” and by spring it would be completely dated, but the skirt in this pattern is just enough to be fresh-looking without screaming “Fall 2006!”

A bit more perusal confirmed the pattern. Cropped jacket with 6 inches of lace at the hem and the sleeve: individual pattern. Shaped jacket with pleated pockets: wardrobe pattern. I picked up a couple.

I think we are now completely set for the SWAP. Apart from the fact that we now live in two different states and will have to rely on marathon sewing weekends, I suppose. And apart from the fact that I am still too uncertain of my skills actually to cut the fabric for the more complicated garments I have planned. I did ask at Hancock’s about classes in the fall, but they haven’t scheduled any yet. Maybe I can swap teaching a knitting class for taking a tailoring class. Or at least learn how to make buttonholes on the machine.

It is possible for the nervous neophyte knitter in our community to show up at the LYS on Monday nights and hang out with more experienced knitters and ask questions. This is what I need for my sewing. I still have complete failures with about 10% of my sewing projects.

#2 daughter is expected at the weekend. We have a lot planned, and a sewing marathon is not one of the things on the list, but I may suggest that we fit in a little bit of cutting. #2 daughter’s accuracy level is much higher than mine.

My first book for this (9th? 10th? I’ve lost track) week of the Summer Reading Challenge was God is My Broker by Christopher Buckley. It is a spoof of self-help books, and was well done as all of his books are, but the plot suffered a bit from its attempt to follow the model of self-help books. I am currently reading Evan Blessed, the latest in paper from Rhys Bowen’s series featuring Constable Evan Evans. This is a good traditional mystery series, set in rural Wales. If you like a straightforward detective story which follows all the rules, you should like these.

The traveling sleepover was here last night. There was a poker game going on when I went to bed last night (the boys had gotten back from rock climbing), the noise of a video game at 3:30 a.m., and the detritus of popcorn and egg rolls all over the kitchen this morning, so I guess they had fun.#1 son and I looked at old photo albums before he went out, and he was back in time to join the poker and egg rolls episode. Today I have errands and the gym before work, and gardening and Jasmine in the evening.

And I hope to hear from #2 daughter that she is settled into her new apartment.