Great News! The orders Suzanne placed at Market are beginning to arrive. Just in are two products to please and excite you. These are:
Japanese pattern books from Select Yarn. We had a great time talking to the Select Yarn folks. And for my part, I am a huge fan of Japanese design. (I'm also a huge fan of the Japanese concept wabi-sabi, which, as I understand it, is about seeing beauty even in the flaws-- that's how I can appreciate some of my less-than-perfect projects**.) Though these books are not translated into English, they are based on charts, with clear explanations on what symbol indicates which stitch so you won't have any trouble understanding them. You should visit the shop soon if you want to get your pick of the litter.
And, on the super soft front, we also got a shipment of cashmere from Jade Sapphire. I'm hoping to educate myself a bit this year on types of yarn. If you, too, care to join me, here's a link to our first lesson about this very soft yarn brought to us by Kashmir goats. Admittedly, that link takes you to some pretty dryly delivered info, so if you want something slightly more lively, check out this link.
As for those **above, you know I like to share my personal knitting tales here, so here's a short one. For the past couple of weeks I've been working with some yarn I picked up in France, using a design I adapted from a pattern for a hat I made last year. I found myself getting increasingly cranky with the whole thing, dropping stitches, getting lost in the hairiness of the yarn, and realizing that my despair was leading me to avoid my knitting. One part of my head argued for continuing as part of my effort to get better and better. Another part chimed in that old advice about life being too short, and didn't I take up knitting for fun? So I put down that scarf, picked up some sample yarn I'd gotten at Market, and dove into making a pair of very basic socks. The yarn is fabulous, the pattern super easy, and the result is I am a happy knitter once again.
I really do plan to learn some new patterns this year, and tackle at least one really tricky project. But there's something to be said for right-time-right-place. Am wondering if any of y'all are on the fence re: current projects that you're wrestling with. Do tell.