August 07, 2007

AUGUST 7, 2007

Monday of last week, I phoned Westminster Fibers to place an order for more yarns. Among other things, I was looking to order some Jaeger Siena, having in mind that crocheted sweater from Cool Crochet. (My blue swatch in the previous blog entry is done in Jaeger Siena.) I was stunned when my customer service person told me, "We don't have any." It was all news to me, but what he told me was that Westminster recently decided to no longer be the US distributor for Jaeger. Unless and until another distributor picks up the line, I can't get any more Jaeger.

I've been totally bummed about this news all week. Jaeger yarns are really high quality yarns! I hate to lose them.

Jaeger Roma is what I chose for the sweater I'm going to make for my daughter Allegra (Project 3 of the Nihon Vogue class). I'm still swatching:


The swatch at the bottom was my first, stockinette attempt. On a size US 6 needle, it came out a little dense (remember, I'm a tight knitter). I've been trying some different, very simple stich patterns on a size US 7 . . . the little purls keep reminding me of beads. I'm definitely going to incorporate some beads into the next few inches of swatching. And, since my sister is here visiting from Arizona, and since she's a beader, there's nothing else for it but for us to make a road trip to the world's largest bead store, which is right here in Washington State! (I think we'll be going, early next week.)

I've put all the Jaeger yarns on clearance. Pattern booklets, too. And I'm really, really hoping that some other distributor recognizes that these are high quality yarns that deserve to be in the hands of US knitters, and picks up the line.

Also on clearance are the last of my stock of Ellen Originals bags. The people who owned and ran Ellen Originals retired earlier this year and closed their shop. You've seen these knitting bags around for years . . . hard to think that these, too, won't be available any more.

* * *

It was an all-musical weekend for the Campbells. We saw a production of Kiss Me, Kate at a local community theatre on Friday night (this is one of my all-time favorite musicals). We saw the new movie Hairspray (very fun!) on Saturday night. And we saw Children of Eden -- although this was a kids' production, it was superb! I'd never seen this show before; I thought it was utterly charming.

My waiting-for-the-show-to-start and intermission knitting throughout the weekend was the first in the pair of Short-row Slippers:


When last I blogged about these, the multicolored yarn, Lakeview, was color pooling. At first I had the idea to knit alternating rounds from the inside and the outside of the ball. While that did, indeed, break up the color pooling, what I also noticed was that the yarn coming from the inside of the ball did not seem to color pool, or at least, not nearly so much. (The first, majorly color-pooling attempt came from the outside of the ball.) I remember one of my customers having a similar experience with Lorna's Laces sock yarn . . . she was knitting two socks at once on two circulars, and one sock was tending to pool and the other not. We figured out that she'd wound one skein of yarn one way, and the other skein the other way. I'm wondering if any of you have had a similar experience.

Anyway, in all this experimenting with trying to avoid the color pooling, I had one of those Aha! (or, Oh, duh!) moments and realized that I don't have to slavishly follow the pattern and knit the foot in the multicolored yarn only. What I think most makes the slipper is a little stripe of chartreuse (i.e., Carol Green) every few rows. So now I'm making stripes, using Lakeview from the inside of the ball, with a stripe of Carol Green every fifth round. I am very happy with this project, now.

* * *

It's practically an avalanche of new products around here. I can't believe how many new yarns I've listed on the website over the past four or five days. (16 colors of Simply Shetland Silk & Lambswool; 16 colors of Simply Shetland Lambswool & Cashmere; many shades of Crystal Palace sock yarns, we're just beginning to list on the website the Jamieson & Smith 2ply jumper weight yarns . . . .) Many thanks to Allegra, who's taken on the task of photographing the colors and uploading them to the site for me. (I feel like I've cloned myself! O happy day!)

Yesterday it was a whole big box -- 12 colors! -- of the new yarn from Regia. It's Regia Design Line by Kaffe Fassett. 6 of the colors are self-striping (they're called 'Landscape' colors) and 6 of the colors are variegated, producing a mottled sock (these are called 'Mirage'). You can mix and match them!

If you've seen all those bright and happy sock yarns I've gotten in recently from Crystal Palace and you've been rolling your eyes, thinking, Oh, no, more candy-colored sock yarn from Karen -- let me assure you that these Kaffe Fassett colorways are more sophisticated. No namby-pamby pastels in this Regia Design Line. These are a grown-up's colorways.


Posted by Karen at August 7, 2007 12:50 PM

I'm afraid I don't think it is just your distributor. I have heard on several mailing lists that Jaeger is being discontinued as a brand. The UK stores that stock Rowan and RYC so far seem to have their autumn (fall) collections up but with no mention of an autumn collection for Jaeger. They will be much missed, I really enjoyed knitting with Jaeger yarns, at least I still have a fair bit left in my stash!

Posted by: Heather at August 7, 2007 02:54 PM

Thanks for the report from the field! That is all very interesting -- and a little sad, too. I hope the new Rowan DK will be as good in quality as the Jaeger Ex Fine Merino was.

Posted by: Karen at August 7, 2007 08:20 PM

yes, I'd heard the same news: no more Jaeger. But I'm pretty happy to see these new Jamieson's offerings! AND the sock yarn....

Posted by: Janine at August 9, 2007 08:36 AM

sounds like you are having loads of fun! i really like the looks of that regia landscape, it is really interesting and i love that it isn't stripey.

Posted by: marti at August 16, 2007 04:46 PM