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Field Trip

   This past week I've been knitting lace swatches, trying out patterns, yarns, and needle sizes. I eventually focussed on two patterns that are very much alike: Eunny Jang's Print O' The Wave Stole and one from the book Victorian Lace.

Armed with my swatches and samples of yarns for comparison and help in determining yardage requirements, I went down to Purlsoho's warehouse in Costa Mesa. Fortunately I went with my friend Theresa, so the trip was much more pleasant.

At Purlsoho, a very friendly Jennifer helped me find what I was looking for: two kinds of 2-ply cashmere yarn. I looked at Habu's and Jade Sapphire's 2-ply cashmere and almost immediately decided for Habu. The Jade Sapphire yarn was slightly thicker and the colors mostly variegated, to various degrees. Some solid colors, too, but I really liked the Habu yarn better for the lace stole I have in mind.

I was undecided between a charcoal gray, a brown and a golden yellow. I almost chickened out and went for the brown, but everything I bought this year clothes-wise has been either brown or dark gray so, what the heck, I went for yellow. Habu yarns come in cute little balls so, even thought the price of the two yarns was comparable, it's easier to get closer to the desired yardage with Habu because of the smaller quantities. I'd hate to have a lot of cashmere leftovers. So I bought four yellow balls (728 yards) and one charcoal, to make samples and see if I can knit it without losing my eyesight.

I bought also two Addi Turbo circular needles in size #0 (32") and #1 (40"). They don't carry Addi Natura, so I couldn't get the #2 I wanted. On the trip home, Theresa showed me her Holz & Stein rosewood DPN needles and now of course I have to have those! Well, I don't use DPNs, but I understand Holz & Steins make circulars as well. They are just damn hard to find in the US. I looked around the Web and there seems to be a lot of confusion about those needles. For one thing some people say that they are being marketed in the US under a different brand name, but a very thorough review of Holz & Steins, Susanne Bates, and Lantern Moon at sock prĂ˜n. dispels that notion. Now I only need to find someone who sells the small sizes, because the vendor mentioned on that blog doesn't seem to carry the very small sizes I am after. Theresa got her set from a former secret pal and told me that the needles are made from the leftover wood used to make musical instruments. I guess I must find this romantic, because as soon as I heard that, I wanted them even more.

After Purl Soho, we went to the Kinokuniya bookstore and bought some Japanese craft books. I bought a knitting book, an embroidery book (no, I haven't started embroidering, but that won't stop me from buying books) and a language book.

The titles losely translate as Knitted Accessories from Scandinavia and Embroidery Designs. Pictures from these books later today or tomorrow.


oh oh, show the embroidery first! that yellow yarn is beautiful. that wrap will be gorgeous.

Purl Soho's warehouse in Costa Mesa? ::: cursing ::: How come I didn't know about that? I even called them when I was in CA. last Spring & she said something about being just the web designer!!

I'm so mad now I'm not going to visit the NY shop in April!!!

aww, you went to the purlsoho warehouse?! no fair! **pout**

but wow, beautiful habu - i will definitely have to get some of that habu stuff one of these days. a cashmere stole sounds amazingly lush, go you :)

Francesca, if you are still looking for the Holz & Stein needles, here's where I got mine.


You still can't order directly from the website, but if you email the company, you can order by email (address on the website). Her name is Ursula, and her English is quite good (much better than my German!). They make circulars in both ebony and rosewood, in every imaginable size. I can email you the most recent pricelist if you are interested. They also do custom needles, so if you are looking for something other than the basics, this is probably where to get them.