I’m back home and mostly recovered from my whirlwind 7-day, 2-city tour. In case you’re wondering, I did do some knitting — although shockingly little. In the air between Phoenix and Indianapolis, I knitted a hat. (Ok, 7/8 of a hat.) Rebekka Seale had sent me some of her gorgeous handspun alpaca and this adorable baby hat pattern. After knitting a good chunk of the seed stitch for the hat, I didn’t feel like it was the best showcase for the black and white marl. So before I left, I downloaded the Caldwell Garter Cap pattern instead, which is plain enough to let the yarn shine. Because bulky 100% alpaca is heavy, I cut down on the number of crown rows to make a shorter hat, but I wish I’d also gone down a needle size. In any case, it’s lovely — and how great does it look on Rebekka, who I had the pleasure of meeting while in Nashville.
I picked up the yarn for Bob’s Fort upon my arrival in Indianapolis, and despite spending three late nights surrounded by knitters, I only managed to cast on one sleeve and knit a few rounds of ribbing. But between a pleasant evening knitting outdoors with Nashville friends and the flight from Nashville to Las Vegas, I finally started making some progress on a sleeve. Unfortunately, I made it a little too small so I’m sizing up the second one and making sure it’s right before redoing the first. I was brain-dead enough to welcome the stockinette on the return trip, but I have to say, the increases and that rib detail running up the inside of the sleeve are just enough to keep it from being too monotonous. (Don’t forget to keep an eye on the #knittingforhimalong tag in Instagram — projects are just getting started.)
Of course, a little bit of yarn also followed me home from Indianapolis. It was a yarn trade show, after all. There’s a little retail event on the first night of the show, where I bought the two skeins of Cestari cotton-wool sock yarn (for $5!) and the denim-blue skein of Swans Island’s new American-made rambouillet-alpaca. Then during the course of the show, I was given the hot pinky bulky from Made in America Yarns; the two skeins of chunky, undyed, Italian-spun, Tibetan yak down from mYak (the most delicious shade of brown nature ever thought up); and the new Knightsbridge from The Fibre Company in a sagey brown-grey. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of the previews of the pattern collection Kelbourne did for this yarn — releasing in a couple of weeks (and you’ll definitely be hearing about it here) — but it is magnificent, and the yarn itself came as such a surprise to me. It’s baby llama, merino and silk, and feels so marshmallowy soft in the skein I would never have believed it would offer any kind of stitch definition. But the patterns are all manner of textured and cabled goodness, and the yarn pulls it off magnificently. I can’t wait to knit with it, and the same goes for that yak.