Creativity · Knitting · Memoir · Yarn

Twirling Around

After the Raw to Ready fleece class last Saturday at the Hand•Made Studio, which I wrote a little about in my last post, I made sure to stop into one of my favorite local yarn shops, Knitterly, located in Petaluma, which is a little over an hour north from SF.

I first visited the shop at the beginning of the summer during a local yarn crawl, where a group of us visited four different yarn shops in one day and spent money money money on stash yarn and fiber. Since then, while on our Sonoma County travels, I have casually demanded that my husband drive us through Petaluma, even if it was 30 miles out of our way, so that I could stop into Knitterly and feel around their yarns happily and blissfully.

What I love best about Knitterly is that they offer local natural and naturally dyed yarns, including the owner’s own line of lovely wool and delicsious alpaca yarn called Radius.

But my main goal this past Saturday was to pick out a few balls of Twirl, a yarn that I have been hearing so much about this year. As I have been spending a little bit more time in the North Bay, particularly at fiber and wool festivals, I have slowly been learning about Twirl and its wonderful owner, Mary Petis-Sarley and her flock of 200 sheep (and many more animals). All of the fiber, natural dyes, and labor that are needed to create her yarns are 100% local. In fact, most of the fiber comes from her very own farm.

Twirl’s fiber blends and colors are always changing. The staff at Knitterly say that they never get in the same exact same colors twice. So if you ever come across Twirl  yarn in a shop and fall in love with a blend and/or color, you better snatch it up while it’s there or you’ll never see it again. I learned this lesson the hard way. Oh, the regret.

The Knitterly staff were very patient with me while I carefully and painstakingly picked out five balls of Twirling Petals, Twirl’s newest yarn. They had a brand new stock of Mary’s yarns, so there were a LOT of choices. I fell in love with all the different shades of yellows and golds in particuclar. I think I held up every single ball up to the light and next to each other so that I could really see the nuances and uniqueness of each one. I ended up buying three different shades in the yellow family. As you’ll see below.

After much of this deliberation, I finally narrowed it down to my five choices: Freddie’s Gold, Rupert’s Drunken Walnuts, Carmen’s Redwood Bark, Drunken Eucalyptus on Matilda, and Carmen’s Marigolds.

(Did I mention that Mary names each line of yarn after the animal that produced its wool? It’s so quirky and awesome, and it really brings across her appreciation and unique connection with her animals.)

Twirly Pumpkin
From Left to Right: Freddie’s Gold, Carmen’s Redwood Bark, Rupert’s Drunken Walnuts, Drunken Eucalyptus on Matilda, and Carmen’s Marigolds

I apologize for our slightly cluttered kitchen in the background. It was the best lighting in the apartment at the time that I took these.

Beautiful Fall colors, right?

I know, I know, Christmas is two weeks away and our own little tree is decorated with red and gold presents underneath it, but I am really trying to cling to Fall this year.  I mean, the first day of winter isn’t until December 22nd!  I am determined to keep wearing my Fall colors.

You could say that I am grasping at Fall leaves.

From Top Down: Drunken Eucalyptus on Matilda, Carmen's Redwood Bark, Freddie's Gold, Rupert's Drunken Walnuts, and Carmen's Marigolds
From Top Down: Drunken Eucalyptus on Matilda, Carmen’s Redwood Bark, Freddie’s Gold, Rupert’s Drunken Walnuts, and Carmen’s Marigolds

Hey, and know what? I was a good girl and I actually had patterns in mind when I bought these!

For Drunken Eucalyptus on Matilda and Carmen’s Redwood Bark (the top two in the above photo) I am planning on making the large version of Vega hat pattern by Alexis Winslow. It is going to be my airplane project when I fly out to visit my parents in a week and a half. It should prove to be a cozy hat and a fun getting-back-into-colorwork-project, since I haven’t been doing much of that at all lately.

A bit more Christmas-y, right?
A bit more Christmas-y, right?

For the remaining colors, I am making at least a pair or two of Cold Morning Mitts by Heidi Iverson, which was designed with Mary’s yarns in mind. I purchased the pattern through Ravelry, but you can also get it as a kit on the Fibershed website. The mitts are flat knit with Japanese short rows to flare the hand part of the mitt. I knitted up one mitt in the walnut brown last night while watching a few classic M*A*S*H episodes with my husband. I used a bit of Freddie’s Gold to do the three needle bind off seam, which really pops. I have just started on the matching mitt today.

I’m very aware that I will have leftovers of the Twirl, but that’s okay. I figure I can come up with a small colorwork project, maybe another hat, to include all five colors.

Project pictures for the mitts and my initial review for Twirl to come in the next post. 🙂

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