Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Yarnarian Brings You Dragon Jewels.

You've been most patient, so here they are: My latest, greatest yarns. (I know, they are all my latest greatest yarns, but this one really really is the lgy.)

Yarn: Karen Cashmere! 80/10/10 Superwash merino/cashmere/nylon. Approx 430 yards. $25/skein. Yes, the cashmere makes an enormous difference. The yarn is beyond buttery. Sock yarn, scarf yarn, baby yarn. That soft, that delicious, and I finally can carry it. I know it's superwash, but I would hand wash this; it's that gorgeous.

Colorways: Dragon Jewels! Dragons hoard all sorts of stunning jeweled items, and if I were a dragon, I'd hoard these yarns. Short color changes, blending into each other, but every now and then, giving a bit of sparkle. Overdyed to blend, but not all of the yarn was overdyed. And now you know. I wish I could show you these live; the pictures cannot do them justice.

Inspiration: Those wonderful little triangular scarves with much of the work done in garter stitch. Here's where variegated yarns shine; garter stitch blends the color work so well.

The Multnomah scarf blocked so that you can see what I mean about garter stitch and colorways:

So, the Yarnarian Dragon, aka PennyRose Yarns, presents Dragon Jewels! (2 pics apiece so that you can get an idea of the colors)











Yes, 2 of the yarns are pastels. We are talking baby dragons and their baby hoard. And an orange sneaked in when I wasn't looking. Dragons like orange. They told me so.

You want? email me at fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com.

By the way, if you like these kinds of yarn, but don't see colorways you like, let me know and I'll work with you. I just loved playing with this method and want to do it again and again.

Ildiko and Dante are sharked!
Faldor is grabbed.

Hanna is mine. Hey, I dyed it, I want it. Also I need to hold onto it so that I can attempt to duplicate it. Oh, woe is me. giggle.

Scrabblequeen - Avery is yours.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Yarnarian Has More Vacation Tidbits.

Ah, Stitches East! What can I tell you? For the first time in many, many years, I took classes, all with Merike Saarniit, the most wonderful expert on Estonian stitches going. I learned fiendishly difficult stitches (yup, they were), elongated stitches, and nupps and bobbles and such. I need to do a sampler again, not the one in class, but one in a quiet time and place where I can concentrate on the methods. Some of these are the most convoluted stitches going. I felt like a pretzel turned inside out with my knitting on my feet and my hands waving in the air and totally confused. BUT, I'm not confused any more. Some of these stitches are mind-bending; you have to put away what you know and let the good stuff in. Great for keeping the brain alive.

When I finished the 2 classes I took on Friday, I told the Hubbo: "Leave me alone. Don't talk to me. Don't ask me questions. Don't expect me to make decisions." Did he listen? Nope. The poor guy was on his own in the wilds of Hartford and vicinity and just wanted to chat, and I kept glaring at him. That's how tired my little brain was.

Merike Saarniit is wonderful! What a teacher! What a woman! And she's kind and patient. If you ever have a chance to take a class with her, go and do it.

So, purchases at SE: a skein of sock yarn (stop laughing) from my friend, Dianne, of Creatively Dyed. She with the 16 different versions of green in one skein. I didn't buy that one, but something equally as pretty. Dianne does evil things with yarn; I swear she has wicked ideas when she gets those dyepots heated up.

Then a bit of odd and end yarn called me. Nothing special, just pretty commercially dyed yarn. For what? Who knows, but I liked it so I bought it. And that was that. No books, no tools, no anything else.

My take on both Rhinebeck and Stitches East: This are just my personal feelings here, so feel free to disagree, which you are going to do anyhow. I think that there were less vendors at each event. Now it could be that venues had the vendors spread out differently; I don't know. But I did have the feeling that there were fewer at each show.

I find that Stitches has tons and tons of beautiful commercially-dyed yarn as well as a nice amount of indie dyed yarn; I thought that Rhinebeck is the place to go for many more indie dyers. If I had to choose only one venue to attend, I would pick Rhinebeck, just for the variety of yarns available. There were some folks who were represented in both places, Dianne for one, Skaska and a few others also. Webs and The Fold each had lots of STR yarn.

Stitches is physically far more comfortable than Rhinebeck: well it's all indoors, so you don't worry about the annual freeze-off at Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck has animals, lots of the critters, each one looking cuter and/or sillier than the next. And for the carnivores, Rhinebeck has lamb burgers, stew, and any form of lambie-pie it can sell. Food at Stitches was typical convention fare: boring, forgettable, and that's that. Rhinebeck is a foodie experience. OK, not gourmet, but there are lots of choices. Rhinebeck is family-friendly. Yes, you have to pay for them to enter the fairgrounds, but there are lots of kid acivities, the guys manage to survive all that pretty yarny stuff (well mine did). Stitches is a convention.

Classes? I've never taken any at Rhinebeck and don't plan to. This is a shop/lamb food event for us. Stitches had some nifty classes, and you know that I was in Estonian heaven here.

Cost? It all depends on whether you stay over or commute.

My final take: I can do Stitches every couple of years, unless there is a class that calls to me. Rhinebeck is an every year event for me. I just like the ambiance, and the crazy knitters all bundled up and carrying bags and bags of yarn, and the woolly sheep and goats and llamas and alpacas, and the food. So what was wrong with Rhinebeck this year? Someone is now running events on a professional basis at the show, and the famous bathroom lady was not there. That's it. Everything else was quite Rhinebeck-ish.

I'm sooooo yarned out! OK, at least for the next week or two.

Knitting News: Look what actually might get finished! Yep, the gansey I started last December. It's taken me long enough.

Dyeing News: You remember this pic from yesterday?

Everybody and his/her uncle and aunt are knitting these little triangles and I've been bitten by the bug too. I've done a couple of these and in so doing, realized that either they should be worked in almost solids, or if worked in garter stitch, the color repeats should be small and kind of mush into each other.

I did a lot of yarn peeping on vacation and figured out that people are truly into darker colors of yarn. It's killing the Pastel Queen here, but even I want more autumanal and wintery colors. So with that in mind, plus this desire to make many more of these adorable little triangular shawls, I dyed up yarn with just those deep shades and short color repeats just now. The yarn is cooling off and waiting for me to rinse, etc., so no pics, but tomorrow all will be revealed. Well, I did do 2 pastels and one orangy thing because I couldn't help it, but the rest are these deep jewel shades underdyed, overdyed, and everything else in between. Took me forever to dye them too. Not quick jobs, not with this particular method. I like the way they look, and I think they will knit up beautifully.

Oh, and did I mention that the yarn is my new Merino/Cashmere/Nylon sock yarn? The one that feels so soft and lovely? The good news is that it is lovely; the bad news is that it costs me more than the other sock yarns. So, it'll sell for $25/skein, which is still affordable. Name of the new yarn? Karen (one more family female to go, and then we move onto middle names)

Karen Yarn: 80/10/10 SW merino/cashmere/nylon. approx 430 yards. Price: $25.

Picture at the top of the blog? Our fake fire in our actual fireplace. It was chilly and the odd fake fire looked so nice.

Ria - I'm with you here. Rhinebeck of course, SE occasionally. Of course tell me that next year and I'll have to go to both. I'm weak. My secret: I would love to vend at Rhinebeck. Not big enough, don't know the powers-that-be, and do I want to do that kind of prep at this stage of the game. But still, wouldn't it be neat?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Yarnarian Went Yarning and Vacationing

It was such a nice week off. I'm ready to go again - right now - anything but having to face real life and cooking and the never-ending laundry. Sigh.

We started off going to Rhinebeck on what was supposed to be a cold, rainy, snowy day, but was in fact, chilly but very nice. All those folks who knitted Rhinebeck sweaters had to cover them up with coats. There were a very few hardy souls shivering with just their nifty new sweaters to keep them warm. The rest were much more sensible.

So of course, the Hubbo headed off to lamb burgers and lamb stew land, and I sailed off to Building A, my favorite building, where it is a real building and not a barn. Yay, heat. And of course, I shoved my way through the crowd at Brooks Farm yarn. And I bought enough yarn for a sweater for me. Are you shocked? Here are a couple of pics, but they don't do the yarn justice. It's a single, which I'm truly not fond of working in, but so pretty that I just decided to go with it. Wait until you hear me complain; it will not be a happy moment when I knit on this, but oh, those results better be awesome, because the yarn is! Solo Silk:

That was my yarn purchase at Rhinebeck. There were lots and lots of pretties around, but when you dye your own, you are not going to buy fingering wt yarn. Well, not too often.

And then I treated mytself to 2 books. When I'm on vacation, I will pay full price for a book if I really want it immediately. I consider the time browsing and dreaming of new projects to be part of the vacation experience. So, here they are:

There are some very intriguing ideas in both these books. I won't make anything exactly like the projects, although I may come close. At any rate, the browse factor has been wonderful, and well worth the bucks. I did not buy a couple of others. As much as I wanted them, I am willing to wait to buy them on Amazon or Knit Picks. Hey, cheap is good. And this way I have more money for the essentials of life. yarn, and dye and yarn.

We had a happy couple of hours at Rhinebeck and then headed north to MA to visit the kids and grands. Spent the night, and I caught the Principessa's cold. This I did not need. Ah well, it's a cold, not the flu, and certainly not a bad cold. It was a 2-day wonder, and now when the drip stops, it will be gone. She, on the other hand, is still coughing away. Not a happy moment for a little kid. Poor little thing had no energy at all. Her brother, The Kid, was his usual 9 year old self. I love 9 year old boys. They are so goofy.

And then off to Keene, NH, where we love to go and explore. We stay at a neat inn right on Main Street, and can walk to downtown and all sorts of fun stores, and then onto the library, and a great book store, etc, etc. Nothing exciting, but we like it. And we took side trips to Brattleboro, VT, and other Vermont places, including, ta da, King Arthur Flour in Norwich, VT. (pronounce nor-wich, not norrich). And what were my exciting purchases at KA: Fleischmann's yeast in a 1 pound pkg. This will get frozen and will last me a year, easily. And even more thrilling, reusable parchment paper. I can get 8-10 uses out of one sheet of this stuff. We are talking some bargain here. And then, I bought a bread form. I've wanted one of these forever. Never find them on sale anywhere, and here we were, so piffle, I just bought it. Hah.

You flour the thing very heavily, plop your dough in it, and let rise, and then gently upend it onto your baking sheet or whatever, and bake it. It will keep its groovy appearance. At least that's what I've been told. I'll let you know, maybe even take a pic.

On the way to Norwich, we somehow found ourselves at Simon Pearce. Oh my goodness! Wow! We watched them blow glass, and it was simply amazing. These are awesome craftsmen. I would love to be able to do this. And then we checked out the shop, were blown away by the prices, and ended up buying 2 pieces that were "seconds". The regular prices, by the way, are entirely proper. These pieces take a very long time to make, and the quality is beyond amazing. But we are not rich folk, so we went to the seconds tables, and found 2 pieces that looked very good to us. A real Simon Pearce fan would know the faults, but we don't, and we love them. So, yippee for reduced prices.

Here is a pic of the pitcher we bought. We got the medium one, and it is a perfect pitcher just for the two of us. Water with class! I'm using their pics, because mine looks dopey.

Oh, and we did make it to Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, VT, but I bought a pattern only. A very cute hat, indeed.

And then, after all our New Hampshire/Vermont adventures, we headed south again to Hartford, CT for Stitches East. To be continued tomorrow or whenever I get the time.

Knitting news: Yup, I got some knitting in. Started and finished a little triangular shawl in someone's fingering wt yarn. It was in my stash drawer, it's not mine, but I lost the label. Anyhow, here it is unblocked, and I think it will be cozy around my shoulders. The pattern is the Multnomah shawl.

Oh, and the top pic of the sock is my Lacy Waves pattern. Elder DD walked off with the socks, and I liked them, so I'm knitting them anew for me out of a skein of Linda BFL. Such amazing yarn.

Ria - Maybe I saw you in Rhinebeck? or maybe not. It was pretty busy, wasn't it?

itsJUSTme-wendy - I like hats, but I look ridiculous in them. Little head, thin hair, I look like a dork beyond dorkishness. I love knitting tams especially, and look equally stupid in them too. Only a baseball hat does it, and even that's not great. sigh.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The Yarnarian and Rhinebeck!

It's supposed to get to the mid 40's here in my neck of NJ. Does this make me happy?

And the Hubbo and are are going to Rhinebeck on Saturday for the NY Sheep & Wool Festival, and guess what? Rain turning to snow. I thought we were in the midst of global warming here. Apparently not in NJ or in the Hudson River valley. It's just way too cold for mid October. Minnesota can keep its frigid weather, me I am a NJ weather wimp!

Clothing to wear to Rhinebeck: sneakers (forget the cute Mary-Janes that show off my socks), jeans, turtleneck, sweater (which no one will see under the jacket), winter jacket (nope, not the MN coat; that's for the frozen northland), baseball hat (it will keep the wet off my head), gloves (you think I can wander around with frozen piggies?), and SCARVES! Multiple scarves. I can just flip them around so that I constantly make a fashion statement. My wonderful woolly socks!

What to buy at Rhinebeck: I'm out of black dye, so if I find some Jacquard dyes, I'll buy black and turquoise, because I'm out of that one too. Maybe some wool. Shocking, I know. Or mohair at the Brooks Farm booth in Building A. Bless Bldg A! It's a real building, not a barn. Warmth. What else? I have no idea. Part of me wants to buy some Briar Rose sportwt yarn, the other part says that I can dye my own. The first part says: but Honey, you don't need to do the work. And the colors are lovely. The other part says: You're going to spend what on yarn? Have you lost your mind? The first part says: But it's soooo pretty. The second part is working on an answer.

And of course I need to visit Creative's booth. Poor Dianne is outside this year, so she and all the other outsiders had better dress warmly. Her yarn is unlike any yarn you've seen. And anyhow, I need to say hi.

Otherwise, maybe I'll buy or maybe I won't. It doesn't' matter. I just love the ambiance, although this year we may have more ambiance than anyone needs.

Ria - If we don't freeze our little bottoms off first!

itsJUSTme-wendy - Bummer! Good thing you are north of Rhinebeck, although I suspect that we'll have snow there too. If the weather is really crummy, we'll go on Sun, or not at all. I've been the last few years, so it's OK if I miss this year. What I'm really looking forward to is Stitches East. Haven't been since they moved to Baltimore. But now in Hartford, it's pretty much on our way visiting family. STay snug and warm today.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Yarnarian Dyes for You!

Wow! You are cleaning me out! I guess evil yarns are loved by one and all!

Here is what's left: Goblin Baby, Ghoulish Ghoulash, Grumpy Witch, and Pumpkins and Squash!

Here they are: wickedly, ghoulish, ogeriferous yarns! All are in Alexa yarn: 80/20 superwash merino/nylon. Soft, comfy and delicious to wear. And now also a bit wicked!

Dragon Blood and Banshee

Goblin Baby and Ghoulish Ghoulash

Grumpy Witch and Goblin Blood

Night on Bald Mountain and Hexen Tanz (witches' dance)

Pumpkins and Squash, and Orc Blood

Tricky Orc and Sorcerer's Apprentice

Witch Blood

If you want, email me at

fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com


Johanna - thank you. I had fun dyeing them.

Heathwitch - thank you. They are a bit bold for moi but they were delightful to do.

Dragon's Blood is sharked!

Goblin Blood is grabbed.

Banshee, Orc Blood and Hexen Tanz are all grabbed.

Witch Blood is taken.

Night on Bald Mountain, Sorcerer's Apprentice, and Tricky Orc are taken.

Monday, October 12, 2009

The Yarnarian and Tomorrow

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow is only a day away. What's happening tomorrow? You ask. This: brand-new, drying even as I write this, yarn. Halloween yarn. Spooky yarn, crazy yarn, ghoulish yarn, vampirical yarn. Yes, boys and girls, tomorrow it will appear here as if by magic. I shall wave my magic wand, say the magic words, and POOF! the yarns shall appear.

All this provided the computer works, the camera works, the yarn is dry enough for pictures, and the creek don't rise. Fortunately, I don't live near a creek, so we don't have to worry about that.

I'm guessing sometime between 10-12, I shall upload pics of those creepy yarns, and you can tell me what you want by emailing me, and abracadabra, it shall be yours. These are all one of a kind yarns, never to be reproduced (because how in Hades can I possibly remember what I did!).


Henya - Hang in there; the pics are coming!

itsJUSTme-wendy - Those are my favorite colorways to dye. I adore pastels!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Yarnarian Wishes ....

Happy Thanksgiving to all Canadians! Eat too much, nap, eat some more, nap some more, and don't forget to help in the clean-up and dish washing.

Ruth in Ottawa - I hope you enjoyed the day and ate entirely too much. Thanks for the maple leaf offer, but I have my own. However if you want a rotten groundhog, I could try to capture the useless one and send him to you. ;-)

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Yarnarian Has a Few Good Yarns!

The sharks got a lot of the yarn, but I have some very pretty ones left, so here they are. If you want, email me at

fritzl234 AT yahoo DOT com

The Apprentice's Sorcerer and Ogling Ogre

Trip Trap Troll and Vlad the Impaler

And here's a striping one that I have to turn into a normal skein: Ipswitch.

All the yarns are Bambi, 70/20/10 merino/bamboo/nylon except for Ogling Ogre. That one is Linda BFL. All are superwash, excellent yardage and lovely to knit on and to wear.

I'll be dying lots more at the beginning of next week, and you'll get the first posting instead of the Ravelry group.

If you are on Ravelry, (and why aren't you?), I'd love you to join the PennyRose Forum. This is where a lot of the chatter about colorways comes in. We are never on topic, tend to rant about useless groundhogs, handome young men, and such. Come and join us. BTW, I'm ruth on Ravelry.

Apprentice's Sorcerer is grabbed! More wicked yarns next Tues (I hope)

Ogling Ogre is ogled and grabbed.


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