Posts Tagged ‘angora’

24
Jun

A Verb for Keeping Warm

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, lys, travel, yarn

While I visited a lot of museums, my first stop when I go to a new city is the LYS. It makes me feel like I’m part of the community, like I could picture myself living there a little bit. Every store I’ve visited is different and really shows what the area is all about but at the same time it’s very familiar. There is no better home away from home for me than a LYS.

Speaking of homes away from home, I was just about ready to move in when I got to A Verb for Keeping Warm. I’d always wanted to go after seeing photos by other bloggers and it was so exciting to finally be able to make the trip. I decided to dedicate a day of my adventure to Oakland so that I’d have a good amount of time to spend at Verb. It was way more than what I’d expected!

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Verb is just a lovely shop with a great selection of the higher-end delicious yarns we all love. The fabric selection is something else. There were so many bolts that caught my eye, everything from organic, natural-dyed cottons to Japanese Nani Iro prints. There were a lot of things that wanted to go home with me. Verb recently released their first sewing pattern so I had to pick up a copy of that.

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Sarah gave me a little tour of the shop. Verb specializes in natural dyeing. They sell dyes (which I was VERY tempted to buy but have promised myself that I will not take up dyeing. I can’t have another hobby!) as well as their own line of natural-dyed yarns. I’m absolutely obsessed with these yarns and spent a long time petting them. Sarah explained that the fleeces come from a nearby organic cotton farm which is fertilized by sheep. The mill is also located within 90 miles of the shop and everything is dyed in house. I don’t think it can get more local than that.

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I wish I could’ve taken one of the natural dyeing classes while I was in town. Luckily, Verb’s owner Kristine Vejar is busy finishing up a book about the subject. Those of us who are not lucky enough to be in the Bay Area for lessons will soon be able to learn at home!

This bold red “Transitional Fury” really stood out to me so, I had to have it.

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My favorite thing about the shop is the garden. Not only is there a beautiful and sunny place to take your needles, there is a little garden of plants that can be used in natural dyeing. It really made me want to make better use of my window garden. Maybe a project for next summer? I got to meet Verb’s very own angora rabbit, Marcel. He was the sweetest! So soft and happy. He’s sheered four times a year and the angora yarn quickly sells out every season.

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I’ve certainly seen my share of LYSs. This one is definitely one of my favorites. I love it when a store not only is beautiful and friendly but has a really solid identity. Verb is really dedicated to being a great resource for all crafters and you can tell just by spending a few minutes in there. I’d love to take another visit (maybe when I can afford to bring more souvenirs home) and attend one of the classes there!

Have you been to A Verb for Keeping Warm? Do you want to learn more about natural dyeing?

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01
Apr

Introducing Bridge and Tunnel Yarns

Written by Sarah. Posted in holiday, that gif post, yarn

This has been a long time in the making but I have a really exciting announcement today! After months of work, I’m ready to introduce to you to Bridge and Tunnel Yarns!

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Inspired by the subways of New York City, this yarn is spun from 100% American angora rat fur. Angora rats are incredibly friendly and clean. They are terribly smart! I think they’re going to be the next big thing in knitting. Super soft and durable, our first base is a lofty fingering weight perfect for socks and shawls.

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When I first met some happy angora rats and pet their luxurious fur, I was captivated by the idea of making yarn! I’ve partnered with Moonflower Ranch, a sustainable angora rat farm located in western Pennsylvania, as well as the 100-year-old, family-owned Quickspring Mills in New Hampshire.

Hayleigh, owner of Moonflower Ranch, has told me all about the tradition of rat shearing. This almost-forgotten domestic art is gaining a new following with the homesteader movement. While the numbers of angora rat shearers and spinners has grown, it’s always been a very homemade operation. It’s never been done on a scale like this but the yarns will still be more “small batch” as we grow.

In case you haven’t caught on already, April Fools! That’s actually Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud Lace Yarn. I wouldn’t really ask you to knit with rat fur.

I mean, would you?

angora hamster photo via ravenmind

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25
Oct

Further Reading 10/24/13

Written by Sarah. Posted in further reading

Vienne

photo via Quince and Co

I think I might start doing this weekend-ready post of further reading. There’s a lot of fun knitting stuff going on out there and not enough time to write about it all.

Here are a few links and things that I’m thinking about.

>> Pictured above is my pattern obsession of the week. Bristol Ivy’s Vienne in Quince and Co Chickadee. I’m not a shawl person but I absolutely love the colors and the interesting construction on this!

>> According to Science! this is the fluffiest angora rabbit in the world.

>> I’ve recently fallen for BFL yarn. I’m not terribly familiar with it as opposed to other breeds but this is a great primer on BFL versus Merino!

>> Well, it looks like Fred Perry has made some changes to their beautiful/disappointing “patterns.” And by changes I mean taken the pattern page off of their site (you can still access them if you have a direct link). I feel it’s my duty as a blogger to cover the topic but I think everyone’s said what needs to be said. All I can add is that it’s amazing how intimidating pissed off knitters can be. There are plenty of other vintage-style patterns out there already so fret not, dear knitter!

>> I love drawing out colorwork charts and writing notes in my sketchbook. I’ve been debating about whether or not to switch to a grid sketchbook (I’ve been using blank ones for years now). Seeing these gorgeous Doane Paper grid notebooks at Fringe Supply Co. has me ready to make the change!

Anyway, lots of knitting to get to this weekend! And possibly even some sewing! What will you be making this weekend?

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05
Sep

THROWBACK FO: IRENE SOCKS

Written by Sarah. Posted in FO, holiday, knits, life, new york city, photos, socks

Last week was my birthday. Jon and I finally went to The Dutch. (Try the Devil’s Food Cake!)

Last year we had planned to go to The Dutch, too. In fact, Jon made reservations. But then there was this hurricane that everyone lost their minds over and the whole city shut down and they cancelled our reservation and closed the restaurant for the weekend and we never bothered to go. Remember Hurricane Irene? It wasn’t a very big deal in the city once it was all over but at the time, everyone was freaking out. (I know it effected more people up north and I hope they’ve recovered over the past 12 months!) That was my birthday.

Since the mayor decided to shut down all of the trains, one thing lead to another and Jon was asked to stay in a hotel near his office for the weekend so that someone could be around from his department if no one else could go in on Monday morning. So he called me and asked, “Do you want to stay at the Dream Hotel for free for your birthday weekend?”

Um. Yes.

Because everything was closed and also because it was my birthday and no one could tell me not to, I spent most of it in a bath robe watching National Geographic shows about being in prison and sipping on wine (so classy, I can’t stand it) while knitting these socks. And I haven’t posted them yet. I didn’t even make a project page for them on Ravelry or take proper pictures. How did that happen?

The pattern is the Traveller sock by Diana Gates. They’re the first toe-up socks I attempted. And, frankly, I fell in love. Toe-up socks FOREVER! I used some stashed Aslan Trends Invernal yarn which is awesome although thick for socks, now that I’ve made a few pair. It’s a worsted angora-merino with nylon so it’s super soft and squishy but durable. I honestly don’t remember which needles I used. The pattern calls for size 5…that sounds right. Who knows!

I wore them a ton over the winter. I’m sure you can tell because they’ve felted a little around the toe and bottom of the cables (It’s kind of gross to picture my socks felting from my sweaty feet rubbing around inside my shoes. You didn’t just come here for pretty yarn photos, did you?) They’re perfect weekend around-the-house socks or perfect throw-on-loafers-and-get-bagels-Saturday-morning socks. And if you follow me on instagram, you probably saw a lot of them. I’d definitely make another pair in a minute. I’m not all about fussy socks so these are just what I like. Pretty simple with a nice clean detail, super soft and cushy, and quick to knit up. Ravelry project page forthcoming!

Have you ever spent a birthday knitting?

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10
Nov

Stash-aholic

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, no clutter, photos, want, yarn

What are your stash-collecting rules? I’ve been really good recently! To be honest, I read Yarn Harlot and I got a little nervous about my stashing tendancies! I’ve been very careful to only buy yarn that I actually need for projects. So I’m proud of myself.

But when Susie of Juniper Moon Farm tweeted that her friend was having a sale, I couldn’t pass up the Aslan Trends Invernal (50% Angora, 25% Merino Wool) that was $6/skein. I bought 3 skeins of Rouge and Raspberry each. I figured that it was enough yardage to make a striped sweater and the colors go quite well together. I hate stash of an awkward-weight single skein I can’t do anything with. But I might just break down and make six pairs of socks using it..

How much stash do you have? Where do you keep it?

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20
Apr

All Work and No Play makes Amigurumi

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits, life, toys

It appears I cannot get away from Amigurumi. But for my final college assignment, my teacher said we could do ANYTHING we wanted.

For the past semester, I’ve been taking a class about the Horror Genre. We’ve watched the old greats like Frankenstein and I Walked with a Zombie and some new classics like Dawn of the Dead. It’s a really fun class, the teacher is incredibly knowledgable and is genuinely passionate about the gruesome nightmares and laughable special effects.

And so he said our final (and only) project is to emulate the genre in any way we’d like. Of course, there are an infinite number of interpretations from poster design to comic books to photographs and short films. I, of course, wanted to do a knitting project. I love themes. I love creating ideas based around them. I had about a million ideas from a soft and cuddly severed hand to a noose scarf to a zombie-killing shotgun cozy (I’m so dark sometimes, I love it).
I love Kubrick. I love The Shining. It’s probably the most terrifying film I’ve ever seen and I watch it every time it snows. It’s also incredibly brilliant from a cinematic standpoint and I would be pretentious enough to tell you about but I won’t get into it today. I remembered my favorite of Scott C’s Great Showdowns. I think his illustrations are so clever. I just love how each character is smiling.

So here you have it. I’m having a bit of a “second sock syndrome” with her twin. And I’m really avoiding the hair because I’m not sure how it’ll work. But overall, I’m pleased with how she’s going. I’ve never really designed anything more complicated than a scarf so I’m pretty proud that this resembles a doll of some sort.

I’m using size 4 double pointed needles. I’m trying to bust some stash with this. I’m using some baby blue Zarina from Jon’s sweater, Vanilla LB Collection Angora Merino, and Tan LB Collection Baby Alpaca. The gauges are definitely less than perfect but I’m quite sure I’ll get an A on my project.

Knitting is incredibly tedious. I mean, I love every minute of it. But building string into a toy or a sweater or something as immense as an afghan takes time and patience even if those hours are spent wasting away in front of Law and Order: SVU. Those repetitive motions of putting the needle through, wrapping the yarn and moving the stitch to the next needle are hypnotizing. Making the tiny stitches makes me think of Jack’s frantic typing.

I can’t wait to share the finished dolls! (Poor bald thing!)

“What’s your favorite scary movie?”

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30
Dec

Angora Yarn

Written by Sarah. Posted in knits

I took a little trip to Lion Brand Studio (wow I really can’t stay away from the place) to stock up on some baby toy supplies. Of course, that meant buying some more angora merino yarn. Since I’ve been knitting with this yarn so much recently, I wanted to post this video I found about sheering angora rabbits for spinning. My mom is a spinner and she’s always wanted angora rabbits. Maybe someday her dream will come true!

ps. At the Lion Brand Studio, one of the women told me that the angora merino is hard to rip out. She heard that if you put it in the freezer, it makes it easier to do so. Has anyone else heard of or tried this method? I wonder who thought it up…

Rabbit photo by Angoria.

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