Testing Yarns

When scrolling on the forums I would sometimes see posts calling for testers for a new pattern, and after looking at it for two seconds, I would scroll on.  Until a couple of weeks ago, when I seriously considered signing up as a tester for the designer Frank O’Randle.  He’s the one with the ‘Rings of Change’ series.  After reading through his tester requirements, I filed it in the back of my mind.  I didn’t think that I would be able to dedicate any amount of time and work on what he designs, however much I would like to be a tester for his designs, which are all beautifully intricate, which is what I like.

And then came a call to test a shawl pattern … and just for the heck of it, I wrote in and ‘auditioned’ … and got accepted!  What??  I hadn’t done much crocheting recently, but I guess from what they saw on my previous projects were enough for them?  Hmmm ….

So, that of course set off a frenzy to look for the right yarn … fingering weight.  *sigh*  That means that it’ll take me a while to finish this, although crocheting with fingering weight isn’t so bad as knitting with fingering weight for me. And as luck would have it, the NJ Wool Walk was going on last weekend.  More trouble …

I had some free time over the weekend, but I purposely didn’t go to any of the LYS on the Wool Walk.  I’m trying to stick to the budget, see, and going to the yarn stores is not going to help me stick to the budget, right?  But, since I know I didn’t have 1,100 yards of fingering weight yarn in my stash, I had to go and get some, right?  *sigh* good thing Sunday was the last day, and I could only visit two LYS’s …

So, here’s what’s been added to the stash …

At Patricia’s Yarns, I came across Madeleine Tosh Light – fast becoming my new favourite yarn to work with. I thought I could use these for the test pattern shawl. Love that deep blue (Stargazer) …

At Yarndezvous, I came across sparkling yarn … This green I knew right away that I wanted to make a scarf/wrap with it … And maybe I already have the pattern for it …

These are other colours that caught my eye, and will probably end up as accessories as well … Although now that I see them laid out, they all link to each other nicely.  Subconsciously, my brain had already matched them up.  So … now … maybe I can use these for the test pattern … hmmm … 

And these?  Well, I just had to get these … they looked so yummy and creamy and fresh and springy … I have no idea what to make with these, but I’m sure I’ll come up with something …

  

And there goes my budget …

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All Wound Up

Well, since I started to wind up the Pendragon yarn for my Sunset Scarf, I ended up having too much fun, and so I took out all the other hanks to wind up into balls.

This is Cascade Casablanca.  I wound up the first hank I pulled up by hand, and got tired.  It was a lot of yarn!

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So I took out the manual (again) winder to wind up the other two hanks.  It wasn’t too bad; although there was too much yarn and it wouldn’t stay on the winder, so I just took it off and wound the remaining yards around the ball.

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As I looked at the balls, I remembered that the Casablanca Poppy was so similar to yarn that I had before.  The Cascade Casablanca Poppy shades are a little deeper and darker, but they seem to be the same colour palette.  hmmmm … my eyes or my brains certainly pick out the same or similar colours, don’t they?

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And so I kept on spinning, pulling out those hanks of yarn that I had purchased but didn’t have time to wind up before I went travelling last year.  There’s more hanks to wind up, but I can start with these.

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Now I can start looking for patterns to go with these yarns, maybe try some new stitches …

Trip Projects

So, I narrowed down the projects to take with me during my trip to San Diego on the knit not-quite-entrelac scarf, and to start a new crocheted cowl with the lattice pattern.

I started crocheting even before take-off.  
This is how much I had done by the time I got to Charlotte for a stop-over.  Soon after take-off to San Diego, I crocheted for three hours on the plane.

During the week, I would either crochet or knit, depending on the mood.  I finished the one skein of yarn for the cowl, and would have gone on crocheting if I had brought another skein with me.  I think my tension is getting tight again, since it’s curling at the edges.  Something to work on with the next skein.

On our last night in San Diego, as we sat around the kitchen table chatting, I knitted as fast as I could (which wasn’t very fast) to finish up the skein that I had brought with me.  But with only about three yards left on the skein, we had to turn in for the early morning flight.  I did get a lot done, though.  This will also finish quickly, once I settle down and start up the WIPs again … after I catch up on what went on while I was away.