My First Venture Into Hand Painted Yarns

So I went to a LYS this morning in Plymouth (Michigan), Michigan Custom Boutique and Fine Yarns. This was my first ever visit to a proper yarn shop and boy, what a difference to shopping at JoAnns or Mikes! I took my husband along to help me, a)because he would be bored after 20 - 30 minutes and that would stop me camping out in the store the entire day, and b) he’d stop me from buying three of everything I touched, and believe me, I touched a LOT of yarns. Actually he’s very good at picking out colours and quickly working out yardage of the different skeins too.

I only own a few types of yarn really, cotton for knitting dishcloths, fingering weight for socks, ruffle yarns for scarves and the 2 skeins of Rowan 100% wool that I mentioned in that hat I posted here the other day that I made hubby. So I decided to take some prospective patterns to the store and ask what to use to make them with.

I came home with this…

Malabrigo Arroyo yarn in colour 870 Candombe. 100% Superwash Merino in DK weight. There were so many beautiful colour ways that I didn’t know what to pick so Andrew (hubby) picked for me. Great choice. I also got a set of Knit Picks straight needles in the size I needed.

I have two things in mind to make. The first is the Damson Cowl, or these Autumn Garden wrist warmers. I’d like to make the cowl in this pattern too but it needs a bit more wool. The only qualm I have with the wrist warmers and the wool I got is that they might look quite different colour wise, I think I might need something plainer for them. What do you think about that? But that gives me a good excuse to go back to the knitting store! :cheering: They had a particularly nice llama/cotton blend that felt amazing. In fact, I’ve never seen so much wool in all my life! I won’t be taking Andrew next time, lol!!

Yeah, it’s a different world isn’t it? Our store closed due to family problems, but I used to knit with a group on Friday for years.

That’s beautiful yarn!

Mmm-mmm, gorgeous yarn. As my Grandmother used to say, " You couldn’t leave it in the store.", as though it were a rescue mission. Those wristwarmers will be lovely in these colors. i love my several LYS!

My youngest DD is moving to MD so I’ll have to look around for a yarn store. My per DD lives in DC and has one near her I think, too.

I’d be lost without my LYS. Not only do they have a huge amount of yarn packed into a small space, they have a very knowledgable staff that is very helpful. They also have 3 2 hour sessions a week where you can go and get help on projects, or just hang out and knit. The gal who does them, a staff member of the store, is great at helping no matter what the problem/question is. Guess it’s partially from being a former elementary school teacher and having to deal with 30 kids all demanding attention at the same time.:rofl:

If you ever get to the west side of our great state of MI, there are several good LYS in the Grand Rapids area.
I bought some Malibrigo yarn for a sweater at a LYS in Austin where my daughter lives, can’t wait to get started on it.
The colors in the yarn you bought are very pretty. Good choice.

We usually whiz right past Grand Rapids on our way to Holland! In fairness, we’re loaded up with camping gear, have kayaks on the roof and bikes on back too and really don’t want to try and stop!! But if you know of any yarn stores in Holland let me know!

My colour choice would have been one of the two green colours they had, or the orange/red/gold sunset colour way. I wouldn’t have picked this one, which is why I let Andrew do it, that way I get something that’s going to be great but I wouldn’t naturally be drawn to… even though it’s beautiful.

I’ve decided on the Autumn Garden wrist warmers and have been viewing Amy’s videos for the best M1, think I’ll use the M1L. I saw David’s thread about this too, no hole. Just about to cast on and do the rib, will (hopefully) be back later with a progress report!!

That sounds like a great experience! I recently visited a LYS that’s about an hour away. It’s fairly new (opened in 2011), and I found out about it quite by accident. It had lots of scrumptious yarn, but I was with a friend whose parents were kid-sitting, so I didn’t feel at leisure to look as much as I wanted. Maybe next time.

Meanwhile, that’s some beautiful yarn!

I’m not naturally drawn to purple–although I really like it’s close cousin, blue. However, the color your hubby chose is gorgeous! Way to go, Andrew!

Have fun working with it (I know you will). I recommend using a lifeline so you don’t have to repeatedly rip back and possibly ruin some of your yarn.

Well, I said I’d give you a report, so here it is, warts and all!

Let me start by saying that knitting in the round has COMPLETELY ruined me for knitting rib! I got it right on the third attempt, after I’d had some coffee and got my brain in gear! I then read about the lifeline (thanks Antares)… so I dashed upstairs and came back with some spare sock wool and a darning needle. I’d already ripped the rib out twice, I didn’t hold out much hope for the pattern going well!

I watched Amy’s videos for the M1 and did two pattern rows, with 5 M1’s… it looked like I was knitting lace. The next two rows didn’t have any M1’s so I wondered if they would tighten the holes up, but no, it still looked remarkably like lace. So I ripped it back to the lifeline and started again after lunch. This time I sat at the kitchen bar top, with the laptop and my knitting, and watched the video about five times, before attempting the M1 again. This time it looked good, so I did the next row, still good, then I did the next two rows (no M1’s) and moved the lifeline up to that point.

Yesterday was a very dull, grey day. We lost the light early and had the inside lights on from about 3pm, I was finding it very hard tbh and did the last two rows standing up with my nose pressed to the patio doors! In about four hours I’d only managed 10 rows of rib and 4 pattern rows! So I put it down for now, at least I can pick it up again and know everything is right.

The wool is looking very pretty though, can’t really see the pattern yet, need a few more rows for that to appear. I spent my evening sock knitting, which seemed incredibly simple in comparison!

Progress is progress, even if it’s two steps forward and one-and-a-half steps back. Oh, and by the way, for almost every project I’ve ever knit, I generally frog the whole thing AT LEAST 5 or 6 times, sometimes more.

So, take a deep breath and do something relaxing for awhile. You’ll get these done–just maybe not as soon as you wanted.

About the lifeline, I often leave one in and then insert another several rows above it. Then I leapfrog them by pulling out the bottom one and reusing it. This is just an added safety net for me–and one I’ve used several times before, too.

You can also use dental floss if you don’t want to use your good sock yarn.

I think I’d lose the will to live!

Two lifelines! I’ll try that tonight! I’m using offcuts of sock wool from the first pair I made. I left too long a tail when I cast on and must have left about 3ft for the first toe graft! The bits came in handy, got in the way a bit that first row but I think their usefulness more than outweighs that.

Great yarn! Great colorway!

and dental floss is easier to work around in the row you put the lifeline in, say if your pattern repeat ends on row 8, I put the lifeline in that row, immediately, while it is still on the needles, and the dental floss does not “mess” with the stitches on the needles, or the next ones I knit.

11 more rows done, no more mistakes, and a second lifeline in use! But I did come across the stitch from hell that even Amy’s video said was rare for a decrease and not at all intuitive! It was P2togtbl! Really, I think if I’d had more knitting experience I’d have left this pattern alone! They say ignorance is bliss but in this case ignorance was just plain ignorance! :teehee:

The yarn is also coming out darker than I expected. The photo of it on this thread makes it look quite light, but in reality it’s knitting up quite dark with lighter highlights. I don’t think it suits the pattern but it could be one of those things that looks a lot better finished than in progress.


P2togtbl! Yeah, I know! Ouch. It’s difficult! Tricky. Futzy! I’ve regularly run into P3togtbl. On my Ariosa cardigan (just recently finished) I had to Purl 15 together! Yes, you read that right. 15. They were long stitches created by triple wraps the row before, but still…are you kidding me? 15?

Anyhoo, the point is…what helped me is using pointy needles, especially for P2togtbl, and P3togtbl.

Sounds like you’re meeting the challenge and thoroughly whipping this project into shape! I admire your stick-to-it-iveness!

Purl together 15! That’s crazy, you probably wouldn’t have been able to do that if they were normal stitches.

I’m using my new Knit Picks needles, they’re coping ok. Got in late last night so didn’t have a chance to work on them at all.

OK, first one is finished and cast off, second one is already on the needles!! :woot:

We need photos of what you’re working on! Please!

We have a lot of knitting shops in Michigan!