Tuesday, April 29, 2008

One skein of everything!

Anyone who's seen my flickr site the last couple of months knows I've lost it with regard to yarn. I can't get enough of the stuff. All sizes, all colors, all fibers. I seem to have lost all ability of discernment, I don't care, gimme gimme gimme. My new goal is "one skein of everything!"
Here are some of my favorite online vendors:

Knit Picks
ab-soooooo-lutely dead cheap wool & alpaca. their "wool of the andes" for less than $2/skein is just incredible. I can't wait to felt with it.

Little Knits
I find their website a little weird, but look thru the text on the front page for hidden "promo code" deals like free shipping. use the search tab to search by fiber if fishing thru the left sidebar gets tedious. I learned the joys of alpaca/silk blend from these folks.

Direct mill supplier. Even cheaper than knit picks but since they're canadian, keep your order to under $200 or you'll have to go thru customs. Their full bag deals bring some yarns into the less than $2/skein as well. I bought a bunch of their "highland bulky" for felting projects (100% peruvian wool for less than $3/skein!).

Fabulous Yarn
I adore silk and FY's selection/price on "Artyarns Regal Silk Yarn" is the best around. and the stripey artyarn ultramerino sock stuff. yummy!
At first glance, they appear to be "all acrylics" but look closer. I got great prices on alpaca, books and tools.
Knitting Warehouse
Splurge on Patons wool.

Got Yarn
Better price on Regal silk but selection is very limited. kind of a remainder place, but seconds is fine by me!

Yarn Country
Lots of variety.
Jimmy Beans Wool
Great customer service.
Simply Socks Yarn Co.
I like browsing the sale stuff.

Yarn Market (http://www.yarnmarket.com/) and Bargain Yarn, their seconds house.
Yarn Market has good prices on Noro and Crystal Palace (love that Fjord stuff!)
Bargain Yarn has nice stuff but you have hunt a bit since it is discontinued/remaindered/oddball. check out their "Imperfect Books" section for good book deals.
All About Yarn
Local boutique with online presence. Somewhat strange selection, decent prices.
Great prices on Cascade 220!
My faves for the basic big yarn places (Lion, Red Heart, etc.) are Addicted to Crafts (http://www.addictedtocrafts.com/) and Jo-Ann (http://www.joann.com/joann/). Jo-ann's often offers free shipping in that upfront rotating display space. Wait for it to roll around and then click on box to capture the code. As much as I like the specialty small-producer wools, Lion brand wool & wool-ease is really great stuff.
and then there's my ombre/variegated acrylic fetish, but let's not discuss it. :-)

and last but not least, Amazon.com. Not only does Jo-ann sell thru amazon but a bunch of other small suppliers you might not have heard of do as well. I got a full set of chinese bamboo doublepointed needles for $20 (5 needle sets in 14 sizes) and a full range of 16" circulars for $20 too.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Yarn makes cats crazy

Bear with me on this leap. Yarn makes my cats crazy. Not just because they can't play with the "string" (...see that shoelace, Sparky, that's your string, this here $45/skein silk is my string...) but because Flexall 454 makes my alpha kitty insane. Like catnip-on-acid insane.

With the help of some good friends (cough, enablers) I learned how to knit in December. Spent January messing up samples, er, perfecting my craft. Finally knocked out my first piece, a recreation of a medieval pouch in late February (see pic).

Now I've got knitter's elbow. so I used some ointment. Flexall is so potent it makes my eyes water, but for aches and pains (like my "old embroidery injury" which is the back strain I did at July Coronation 1994 which ocassionally acts up during serious bouts of sewing and/or camping) it really helps.

The problem is Ramona thinks the stuff is candy. I hid it from her the last time I used it and in the process inadvertantly hid it from myself. I spent the weekend wandering around moaning about my elbow until I found the stuff a little while ago. Now the darned cat is sitting on the computer desk snoofing my elbow and trying to get me to sit still. She wants to eat the stuff and it can't be good for a cat's insides so I keep shooing her away. No such luck.

But now my elbow feels better at least so back to the Obligatory First Scarf project.