Sunday, June 9, 2013

Yarn & Fabric Shopping Overload + 2 Cardigans in Progress

Visiting Hub Mills yarn store on my birthday

Don't look at me like that, it was a birthday yarn shopping emergency!

Part 1: A Tale of Two Yarn Sprees

I've been TRYING to be a good little stash-buster. The first two tops I made last month were from the stash, as were my TARDIS socks AND the denim Hummingbird skirt I've almost completed.

And I deliberately chose the Delancey cardigan I'm knitting now to use up some lovely DK-weight merino I'd had lying around for over five years. Here's a progress shot (it is SO fun to knit, you start with two triangles and then join them to get the chevron effect going:)

Delancey Cardigan pattern by Alexis Winslow—progress!

But last weekend while riding the Bolt Bus to Boston with my husband and daughter, I reached into my purse for the Delancey AND IT WAS GONE (left at the office, thankfully, and not at the bus stop!). That meant two five hour bus rides WASTED and LACKING IN CARDIGANS.

Worst of all, it meant NO KNITTING on my BIRTHDAY, which was the following day. My husband came to the rescue, and gamely agreed to take me yarn shopping as a present.

Which is how, on my 33rd birthday, I ended up desperately pawing through the shelves of the...

Hub Mills yarn store (see photo at top) at the Classic Elite yarns distribution center in Billerica, Massachusetts.

When I was learning to knit in high school, Hub Mills (located in a scenic canal-side factory in downtown Lowell) was my Local Yarn Store, but although the new Billerica location isn't as nice, the yarns are still soft, colorful and yummy, there are lovely samples on display and the staff are super-helpful and knowledgeable. I came away with:

My husband (man knows what I like) also got me a gift certificate to a local yarn store for Mother's Day. So today I went to:

La Casita Yarn Shop Café in Brooklyn.

This tiny little store and café/bar is just blocks from my home. It's jam-packed with all kinds of beautiful yarns from budget to super-fancy-expensive, some of them tucked into cookie jars and little baskets just to find space.

I especially love that they are so kid-friendly and even have kids' knitting classes and a kids' summer knitting camp. (I say this because I've had some unfortunate experiences with staff in another local yarn store that I won't name who were really rude to me and my daughter even though she hadn't touched a single skein).

Anyway, after some deliberation I bought:

  • Enough yarn for my NEXT cardigan, Cherry by Anna Bell.

    I decided to make a candy pink Cherry, with a coral for the body and a slightly brighter fuschia for the ribbing and belt. The yarns shown are Sublime Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK, a mostly merino superwash wool blend with a hint of cashmere and silk, and Filatura di Crosa Zara, a soft merino superwash. (I'm going to knit it extra-small to combat the growth properties of superwash).

    Candy pink DK yarns...

Part 2: Mood Print Madness

Oh, and the fabric. Yeah. So I already have quite a bit of knit fabric, but I have a lot of summer tops and dress plans, and I'm getting a little sick of just solids, stripes and polka dots. So last month I went on a printed knit binge at Mood and got:

  • A lovely monochrome purple-and-white rose print rayon/lycra jersey:

    Purple and white rose print rayon/lycra knit from Mood
  • Pink and purple chevrons! (also rayon/lycra jersey):

    Pinka and purple chevron rayon/lycra knit large print
  • The print of pure color chaos... I'm thinking a sleeveless Jalie scarf-collar top (I know, AGAIN).

    Amazing chaotic rayon/lycra print knit

  • Not to mention the Hummingbird-esque fabric I used for my second Hummingbird top:

    Hummingbird-esque rayon/lycra knit large print
  • And for slight balance, some soft stretchy double-knit (or ponte?) RPL for a Bonny top:

    Blue doubleknit RPL

Phew! Confession time over. I think I have a lot of stash-sewing in my future before I can justify setting foot in a yarn or fabric store any time soon...


  1. What beautiful fabrics and yarns! (Happy belated birthday, btw.) The first floral is AMAZING. And I am miserable on your behalf that you lost the first version of the Delancey. OMG - that must have been very unhappy-making. But your attitude is very good. I guess after the kind of stresses that you've had over the last year, it's easy to keep things in perspective :-) It seems like everyone is feeling quite healthy and improved lately, which is wonderful.

    1. Oh, I didn't lose it after all—I just left it at work. I just didn't have it on the bus ride!

    2. I'm so happy to hear this (did I read badly?!). That would have been so horrible, especially since the work is so lovely. I'm waiting to see your version of this before I make up my own. It's great having a boob twin sewing/knitting friend :-)

    3. Totally! I also emailed the designer and got some great tips on shaping and sizing that I will share later too.

  2. I love the Heartfelt patterns! Your purple chevron project is looking amazing!

    1. Thank you! I originally bought the book because I love the different peplum cardigans but now I am seriously tempted by the light-as-air mohair-silk pullover...

  3. Happy Belated Birthday! Love the fabrics that you chose. These are going to make some great pieces!

  4. i have been on a yarn diet lately - not imposed really, just i have so much i cant stand to buy more. i have curated my stash several times over the last year and now have really only things i want in there. and besides im in the knitting doldrums. but i know it's fun everyonce in a while to stash a little ;D
    ive been stashing fabrics as i had very little - i now have four smallish baskets of fabric and will NOT buy anymore lol; i dont want it to get to sable level like my knitting yarn. happy birthday.

  5. What a feast for the eyes! Especially love the yarn you chose for the Cherry, and the rose print. Have fun, and happy belated b-day.

  6. This post was like a smorgasbord for my color-lovin' heart. I especially love the "pure color chaos" knit, natch -- it's beautiful combination. Oh and happy belated birthday!

  7. Happy Belated Birthday!
    I did the same thing with my knits. Realized I had all solids and bought some prints.. Ooops! Thankfully Cake patterns keeps up the good work so I have plenty of projects to use them in. Love all your vibrant color choices! Have fun sewing and knitting them all up!

  8. You deserve it!! Consider it a celebratory offering to your mojo for returning and inspiring you to make so many awesome things, lately! Must keep the mojo happy!


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