Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Sleepy Eyes Top 20...and Periwinkle!

Here is my long awaited list (though I'm totally blown away by "The Other Gina's" list which you can see here)....hope you find some new and wonderful inspirations!

(Separating them into catagories...for those of us who like organization....)

ONLINE STORES:

1. Purl Soho for gorgeous, luxurious, and unique yarns plus the best (and sometimes very expensive) accessories....also great pattern selections and the yarn photography is excellent...they've also opened a new fabric online store, which is just as wonderful as the yarn store!

2. K Pixie for one-of-a-kind yarns, fibers and anything else you can't find anywhere else. LOVE this shop...I visit every day...there's always something new....it's easy to navigate and everything is fun to look at...I buy from here regularly.

3. Knit Picks for great yarns at unbelievably great prices....the inexpensive (and sometimes free) patterns are interesting and wonderful...I've had only positive experiences with their yarns...I look forward to getting their catalog every month and carry it around daily until I place an order. The more luxury yarns are very high quality...I love them all...the laceweights are just as nice as ones from an expensive store, though I wish they'd have a few more colorways in funky colors.

FAVORITE BLOGS:

4. Grumperina is so creative...always doing a new and exciting project that I wish I had the time and energy to do...she's funny (I loved when she called Addi Turbo needles "Blunty Stumpos") and seeing all of the new things she creates inspires me....not only adorable clothes (which she has the figure for, damn her) but cute toys and lace....oh, the lace!

5. The Yarn Harlot, of course, has been my favorite for a LONG time...always hilarious and interesting...I love the way she talks about her life and everyday issues, as well as spinning and telling us new things she learns.

6. Scout's Knitted Swag is one of my new favs....she is hosting the DYEORAMA swap right now (which is a great experience) and dyes the most amazing sock yarns...oh, you just have to see them to believe it...plus her blog is fresh, lively, and fun.

NEEDLES:

7. Clover Takumi Bamboo needles are my favorite straight knitting needles...as well as for dpns. Super light, very smooth and totally affordable. I can even find them at ACMoore in a pinch.

8. Skacel Addi Turbos and, also the Naturals, are the best for quick knitting and my favorite for circular knitting...I use the natural ones for laceweight...not as slippery. I also like Bryspun circs, which are new, but they are a little heavier...I like the tips and the connection isn't bad at all...the cord is very flexible and they're white, which is nice to use with darker yarns.

BAGS/BASKETS:

9. Lantern Moon has the most wonderful baskets and bags for knitting...plus gorgeous, exotic wood needles and accessories. I have the smaller rice basket and the taffeta wrist bag and I love both. If you wanted to get a special knitting gift for someone, this would be the place!

SPINNING SUPPLIES:

10. I am in LOVE with Spunky Eclectic! Not only does she offer bulk, natural roving, yarn and fibers, but amazing colorways (and near solids) for her fibers, yarn and roving....I'm addicted to this place and, if you want to start spinning, she has some neat beginner spindle kits and also fun, fun patterns. Her selection of knitting bags is mouth watering....very cute.

11. Our own, Lis of Yarn Botanika is one of my new favorites for handpainted fibers. I've ordered LOTS...and every single thing has been beautiful....her delivery time....super quick. You should check out her sock yarns and handspun, too...oh, I love the Lemon Lime sock yarn....might end up buying it at some point. She also has beginner spindle kits with handdyed and also natural fiber to start with. The spindles are definitely worth seeing!

12. The Fold is a spinner's paradise...lots of things here...fibers, wheels, spindles, bags, yarns, and dyeing products...you can also get Socks That Rock here, too! This place has gorgeous stuff!

YARNS:

13. If you like cashmere, you HAVE to try this....Jade Sapphire. They offer various weights of the most beautiful cashmere...buttery soft with a nice halo while knitting...the colors are to-die-for. They also have cobweb weight lambswool, which is the stuff of dreams. I have LOTS Of this yarn...and I'm not sure I will ever use it!

14. I fell in love with the Malabrigo yarn I got at the Ewe'll Love It yarn store yesterday (pic below)...it's a merino wool worsted weight yarn...but you have to FEEL it to believe it. I'm thinking of making a nest out of every single color to sleep in....sounds weird to some, but oh, so wonderful!

15. Berroco Softy is one of the very few novelty yarns that I still can't stop touching. It's like a baby kitten with puffs of silky soft nylon, fuzzy eyelash and a soft, braided main base yarn...(pic below)...I'm going to make a scarf out of it but I've got my eye on the "Potion" color and would love to make a shawl or cardigan out of it. Yummy!...Purr....

16. Of course, I must mention Socks That Rock, which is the best yarn ever for socks. I don't know what's better...the colorways, the fact that it's superwash, the texture or the skein size...it's all GOOD!

17. I can't get to the near end of this yarn list without mentioning Cherry Tree Hill yarns...the silk laceweight and superwash sock yarn are so silky, very pleasurable to knit with and the colorways go on and on...how could you not love them all?

18. Angora, angora, angora...my first love....my favorite angora yarn is probably Anny Blatt's Angora Super. Fuzzy, soft, and a great yardage....thinking about making a blanket out of this someday....very warm, too : )

NEEDLE CASES:

19. Our own Heather of A Crafty Kat makes the best, and I mean it, the BEST needle holders...I love my dpn and circular holder more than any of the other bags I have. Cute, easy to use, great price and holds LOTS of needles. Plus, Heather is one of the nicest people I've met in a long time and goes out of her way to make something special for you. She also has an ebay store and etsy shop. Oh...and her stitch markers....you HAVE to buy at least 5 pairs!!! I can go on and on about those forever.

EXTRAS:

20. (and 21..oops)...forgot to mention two sites that are essential...Knitty for all the patterns you could ever want...new styles, fun toys, gorgeous lace, unlimited scarves, sweaters and more sweaters and even a knitted womb...yes, you read correctly. Lastly, to find patterns to knit the most adorable, squeezable and lovable toys, go here for Jess Hutchinson's knitted arts & crafts dolls.

DONE!!!! Go take a quick chocolate break and come back for an update and 2 pics of the stuff I got/did yesterday...okay, back?

Here is the yarn I got yesterday (Ian took me to lunch at my favorite chinese restaurant and then over to Nashua to the yarn store...what a hubby!)....



Last, a picture of the newest self striping merino worsted yarn that I dyed the other day...it's a giveaway for the DYEORAMA swap to some lucky gal (or guy)...not sure of the colorway name yet...got any ideas?



You wouldn't believe how soft it is...AND it's machine washable and dryable....eeek!

Update on eye: doing well, taking my antibiotic drops and resting it...wearing my glasses to maximize my "geekiness"...missing my contacts but thanking the Eye Goddess for my sight and for sparing my eyes that don't really work well in the first place (I've got 20/80 vision!)

Have a SuperTop20 Day and can't wait to see more lists!

~Gina : )

8 comments:

GamecockDoc said...

Awesome list. Lots of places for me to visit! Isn't malabrigo the best? I want to use it as a pillow.
Your yarn for the swap is beauiful. You have a very lucky swap partner!
Glad your eye is doing well. Hope it's all better soon!

Julie said...

Malabrigo Y.U.M.M.Y! I made a sweater out of some a couple months ago and absolutely LOVE it. Sooooooooo soft!
Glad to hear your eye is doing better. Hopefully it'll be back to normal quickly.

Karen said...

What a top 20! You seem to have covered all the bases pretty well. Lots of my favorites are there as well as some I haven't seen before.

Glad to hear the eye is healing. Glasses may be geeky, but they offer great protection. I have a friend whose son wears glasses because he is blind in one eye and needs to protect the other one, even though his vision in the other eye is fine. Having said all that, I miss wearing contacts myself - I have tried several "bifocal" arrangements but the results are just not as good as wearing glasses.

And the new purple colorway? How about "Clouds at Twilight"?

Laura said...

Holy crap! I always check in the morning (only checking this late today because had to boogie out of here for a truck appt. first thing after chores) so didn't know about your eye! Maybe it will be one of those freak things though where it heals up to better than it was before? Fingers crossed.

The sock yarn you died is really pretty. Maybe I'd call it tranquility? Or maybe that's just because it looks so soothing and peaceful on it's little bed of clovers.

Your top 20 list is awesome. I can't wait to look at each site. Being as new to this as I am they are virtually all unknowns to me. Will get to looking through them as soon as I've finished with the other Gina's. I ended up at that youknitwhat thing (which is hilarious) and that ended up with me going to cuteoverload or whatever that one is and then stuffonmycat and the evening got away from me. So once I've finished THAT I'll be checking all these out for who knows how long. You guys are trying to make me spend $ aren't you?

trek said...

Gosh I hate memes. Do I really have to do this meme for the contest?

Heide said...

Beautiful yarn! I'd name your newly dyed fiber Irises or Crocus' because of the colors. But I've never been very creative with names, so perhaps somebody with more imagination can help. Anyway, it is lovely and your dye-o-rama pal will be very lucky indeed!

yarnophiliac said...

Ok-- i'm posting, but not very coherent .. just had a destressing session at A Knitter's Garden and am now ready for bed! Thank you so much for the continued wonderful things you say about me! You make me blush, Gina! (Girls -- she is every bit as wonderful in person herself as you might imagine, you know!) I LOVE the sock yarn, and I think Twilight Clouds is a great name. Thinking long and herd on my list -- hope to post tomorrow. love ya! h

YogaGardenGirl said...

Thank you for the wonderful comments! I think I'll be using a combination of Karen, Heather and Laura's suggestions....calling it Twillight Serenity. You gals are awesome! Blogging later today...have a great one!