This might have been the fastest yarn shopping I've ever done. Knit1Oxford is one of my very favorite yarn shops---great yarn selection and super friendly staff led by owner, Patsy. I was really afraid last week's trip to Oxford wasn't going to allow a visit....we were scheduled really tightly....but one morning, PapaGeek produced a hardware store list and I was real quick to volunteer to head to town to fill it. I grabbed one of the other admins---who just happens to be a new knitter, and who just happened to have been given some letters to mail......and off we went.
Finished at the hardware store just as the yarn shop was opening. So, I knew exactly where we could go to mail those letters! (hee hee!!!) Twenty minutes later---with a much lighter pocketbook but much fuller stash (and minus the letters--thanks, Patsy!) we were heading back to camp.
Decisions. Decisions. What to start first??? I wore my kusha-kusha scarf a lot last summer, so got some Habu for two more. Got yarn to knit PapaGeek a sweater---but I'll definitely put that off for awhile---no one wears sweaters in Kentucky summers. Got some Shibui linen, but still need one color to do another scarf. Ordered some Habu cotton for the twisted shell (there was a sample/I even changed clothes and tried it on---very cute!). And surely there is some fingering wt something in the stash for the rill scarf. Lots of options.
So until I decide......I dragged out Bridgewater by Jared Flood. The center of the shawl is a giant garter stitch square....great mindless knitting to do while reading Three Junes or listening to the end of Z (biography of Zelda Fitzgerald).
joining Ginny for yarnalong and Tami for WIP Wednesday
When I finish a fingering weight project, I roll up the leftover yarn and toss it in a bag. The bag hangs in a closet. It doesn't get jostled or tossed around. It doesn't get dropped. It doesn't get rummaged through. It just sets there.
So.....HOW DOES IT GET ALL TANGLE-Y????
I really thought I could just knit through the mess. I couldn't.
I pulled out every single smidgey bit---rewound what had participated in that play-date--
and c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y placed it all back in a basket. It just fit. It looks good.
I typed that....and then sat and looked at it for w-a-y-y-y- too long. Trying to come up with something that doesn't sound like every other new year's resolution I've made for the past ????? knitting years and broken before the month is out. Maybe if I said, this year, I really really really mean it, it might make a difference? Maybe.
:: before 2013 ends, finish the current 6 WIPs in Ravelry (one has been hanging out since 2010); things can come and go---but those 6 have to be finished THIS year.
:: knit from the stash. This will mean that other than the two sweaters that are currently UFOs, there will be no adult sweaters unless they are scrappy ones or unless I unravel one. Do I need another sweater? (you've GOT to be kidding.....!!!!!)
:: be less frenetic (I love that word!!) Yes, LESS. 2012 was a very productive knit-year (well over 150 FOs--if you count all the multiple things that got made but only rated a single Ravelry picture) ....do remember that there were a LOT of American Girl doll clothes in that number, several dishcloths, and over 50 little pouches for the Kenya trip---they all still count! But, there were sweaters, and shawls, and 14-hour knitting days, and knitting at 2 am........!!!!!!!!!! (being less frenetic with the knitting might open up some embroidery or sewing or baking hours!!)
:: so, if #2 and #3 actually happen, this might free up some time to enjoy some long-range projects--and of course, I have a couple of things in mind.
yes. another mitered square fingering wt afghan. It will be my third. (frenetic, remember?) I gave the first one to a friend whose home burned--the easiest knit I've ever given away. But, I missed it, of course, so made myself another---and promptly gave away all the bits of fingering wt yarn to a couple friends who decided to start their own blankets--because I was crazy to have done two and will never do another. HA.
But look what happened...
I've been tossing odds and ends into a basket, and it's full. Some are rather large partial skeins that might turn into something else, but for the most part.....there are just bits and bitty skeins.
I thought about doing
a hexipuff blanket...I really hated doing these. I'm sure they would get better with time, but I'm also not sure I want a puffy blanket. If anyone wants these, I'll stick them in the mail.
then I thought about
a logcabin afghan, but that didn't cut it either.
ah, yes. Mitered squares. I LOVE mitered squares.
But, there was also the crazy amount of partial skeins of worsted hanging around.
I gathered up some colors that I thought looked OK together and am going to try to do the springtime throw in Cute and Easy Crochet. This will necessitate ordering more white worsted at some point, but ordering yarn to finish something doesn't count, right?
Now, if I can just pace myself and not decide that this needs to be done by spring.
When #1 Daughter was young (maybe 3 or 4 years old) I came home from an early morning meeting to find her on the porch stoop with big crocodile tears and a pout-y look. "Daddy dressed me. I don't look nice."
She was right. I don't remember her looking quite this mismatched, though.
Making American Doll clothes has been great fun--using bits of leftovers, partial skeins, odd single balls--without a thought as to what went with what. What I had going was a PapaGeek look----and it wasn't nice.
SOOOOOO......the weekend was spent knitting up things to turn these odd pieces into 'outfits'. I don't expect to create runway worthy designs; just something a bit more pulled together!!!
I'm not sure exactly why this was in the stash (of course, I know why---did you see the price on that??!) because I pretty much hate knitting on needles larger than a size US 4 or with yarn heavier than dk. But there it was (actually 2 skeins!! I must have had something in mind for it at purchase time other than grabbing a great deal), and it was perfect for these.
I found myself with no competition for the television this weekend....and there was a Castle marathon going on---and before I knew it...
two pairs! I guess that bulky yarn has something going for it after all. A sweater out of bulky---and I look like the Marshmallow Man in Ghostbusters; but fingerless mitts in bulky work for anyone, and I got the two pairs from the one skein (with almost nothing left over). Stash busting--holiday gifts--hours of Castle....that was so much fun, I went out and BOUGHT another skein of chunky, and made
the Hampstead wreath while listening to the latest Stephanie Plum, Notorious Nineteen. It is exactly like all the other Stephanie Plum books (and I've read/listened to them all)--totally mindless, nothing whatsoever to redeem it stylistically, but I could wander around the house and let it keep running and not really miss more than a couple cars or vans getting blown up--and by the end of it, I had a wreath--and the stash had less in it than when the weekend began.
:: Lots of cookie making.
*Bourbon balls (a bit potent....little people were banned from tasting)
*cut out sugar cookies (Darth Vadar with sprinkles all over his face?!)
*spritz cookies we couldn't get through the cookie press (I dumped my old press last year for a new and improved electric press---but we must have needed new batteries---and it was Black Friday---and we weren't going to ANY store THAT day for batteries) so we turned them into thumbprint cookies
*my mom's chocolate drop cookies.
(First time ever.....more sprinkles ended up on the COOKIES than on the floor. Major success. Note the concentration on those faces....I obviously wasn't concentrating at all.)
They don't look the least bit like Christmas cookies, but we only make them at the holidays because they are so good we always eat waaaaaay too many and who needs all those calories? Special treat. Once a year. (Well, we usually end up making three or four batches of them during the holidays, but we count that as ONE.)
CHOCOLATE DROP COOKIES
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup cocoa
2 cups flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 tsp soda dissolved in 4-5 tbls hot water
Drop by the teaspoon and roll in granulated sugar. Bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. The cookies should be puffy.
I had so much fun with the embroidery last week, that....
I pulled out and started the third (and final) piece I bought at Squam.
Third is the charm...I did a little blog surfing, and found someone suggested basting your piece onto a wonderful piece of fabric and stitching through all layers. I got this old feed sack at Canton last year and just love it. It gives the work a bit more stability. I don't know what this will be when finished....maybe just pretty.
But, no---couldn't stop with just the pieces in the stash. I had to join the hundreds (thousands???) of others who are stitching Alicia Paulson's woodland sampler. I used to cross stitch a LOT (as in--I stitched store samples for a large company; designed for an artist co-op); but that was all many years ago, and most definitely pre-trifocal days, so I honestly wasn't sure if I could see well enough to do this. You know the beauty of that?.....I can't see well enough to know if I'm doing it well or not! I'm having a wonderful time, and it looks just fine to me!
So far, the only problem I'm finding with my new-found love is I can't read and stitch at the same time (although I'm still listening to Under Wildwood, and it's still entertaining me well).
So, that brings me to my reading book. The Book of Air and Shadows (by Michael Gruber) is getting really REALLY good. (If you love stories about books, rare manuscripts, and cryptography--this one is for you.) Had to cast on something simple, so that something is another garter stitch cowl, this time using some superwash bouton d'or baby yarn from the stash.
It's a win-win-win-win--reading, knitting, stash busting, and holiday gift making! Isn't multi-tasking great?
joining ginny for yarnalong and tami for WIP wednesday
Last fall some friends and I went on a little yarn crawl.....I blogged about it here. At one of our stops (Knitorius) I saw the funkiest scarf---made from a mesh-type yarn. The scarf, itself, didn't appeal to me in the least; I'm really not a frou-frou-y kind of girlie girl, but the whole idea was somewhat entrancing, and of course, I had to buy a skein of the novelty stuff to give it a try. I'm not a novelty yarn knitter. I HATE knitting with anything over a size 4, so of course, this was not going to be a match made in heaven. What was I thinking????
I made it. I hated it. Every stinkin' minute of the knitting was pure torture. And I was pretty vocal about it.
Skip ahead several months to our knit-nite Christmas exchange. Oh, darn---you guessed it. In the "swap" I got
It actually was a pretty funny moment.....sitting around the table were lots of women totally lusting over this yarn. (Not sure how many of them had tackled it yet!) There were offers to swap with me---to knit it for me---but that just wouldn't be right (and how could I subject an unknowing friend to this stuff???). The first one I made I gave as a gift---and it was loved. I can do this again. (but it has S-P-A-R-K-L-E-S in it --gag--I'm so NOT into bling!!! and it's acrylic -- double gag,gag-- yes, sadly, I'm a yarn snob) It was immediately banished to the depths of the stash....
Fast forward.....it's been nearly a year since I knit (and I use that term very very loosely---it's more a craft project than a real knitting one) the first scarf. Surely it wasn't THAT horrible (neither was childbirth or getting my wisdom teeth out, right?) AND--there are only 33 yards in the skein. I can do anything for 33 yards.
Just in case you have no idea what I'm talking about with this yarn.....
it looks innocent enough---sort of ropey, but you have to pull it apart.....
and knit into one of the top mesh loops. This does not flow well. You cannot just knit. You have to keep pulling it apart, looking for the loop, and flipping it over the needle. BUT---there are only 6 stitches on the needlel. 6 stitches and 33 yards of misery----I can do this.
Note: I have now knit at least 19 miles of this stuff---and the ball refuses to get much smaller. I'm thinking I'm having a 'loaves and fishes' moment.
But, finally.....It's done! I'm DONE. (It's a miracle)
I think it's going to a friend whose hubby is a lay pastor---she's totally going to get the spiritual thing.
I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany so much that I decided to pull out another classic that I should have read years ago, but didn't. So here goes.....A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I've only read the introduction, so have absolutely nothing to say about it yet.
I was able to get two cowls from two skeins of Madeline Tosh light; I'm thinking this may be a great way to use up some of those orphan partial balls of fingering weight yarn that are kicking around from the shawl frenzy I was on earlier in the year!! I grapped two of the larger ones--enough? Maybe. Probably. We'll see. I think I could add another color without messing up the design too much. So---on the needles--a third cowl.
See the crochet hook in the picture? A crochet cast on (there are a gazillion tutorials on the internet--I just grabbed one) is the only cast on that mimics a traditional bindoff. I think this is rather important with something like a cowl where you can really see both edges. (This is a great provisional cast on, too---so it's definitely worth trying if you've never done it before!!!)
And the holiday knitting just keeps right on going. (I must start early, because I guarantee I'll be very very very bored with this cowl-love SOON!)
joining Ginny for Yarnalong and Tami for WIP Wednesday! (for anyone linking from Yarnalong---the giveaway was last week; the gremlin in the computer decided to add that to my name again....sorry.)
This book appeared in the mail yesterday--gifted to me by a dear friend. Leave it to a former librarian to find a fiber-lover's treasure of a reference book! Fleece & Fiber by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius is not a book I'd ever attempt to read cover to cover, but between those covers is everything you could ever want to know about over 200 fiber producing animals and their fleeces. While I think this book might be actually indispensible to a spinner (with fleece weight, staple length, fiber diameters, and lock characteristics about each animal), each entry also contains a statement on how the fleece holds up to knitting, the most appropriate kinds of uses, and overall softness of the yarn. It really makes me want to try to find some Dalesbred or Hog Island or Lincoln Longwool, or maybe Svardsjo or Dleu du Maine--- or how about Pygora or Pycazz (they are goats). It's a fascinating reference and makes the Zephyr that I'm knitting with now (50% tussah silk/50% merino wool) seem simply mundane.
On the needles.....that black blob will someday be Featherweight by Hannah Fettig. After seeing Karen's at pumpkinsunrise I'm a little sad that I didn't choose some other lace weight yarn in the stash with a bit of color; hers is quite gorgeous; mine will be very utilitarian---but, who can't use a BASIC black summer weight sweater?
Joining Ginny for Yarnalong and Tami for WIP Wednesday! Come get inspired!!!
Is it possible that it was just a week ago that we met? You were the love of my life! Every waking hour I wanted to spend with you!! Oh, those few hours we were apart, you were in my every thought. I dreamed about you. I loved everything about you. Your yarn (using stash yarn is always a bonus) brought back such wonderful memories; your pattern was easy (I read Wildwood and Midnight in Madrid while working on you!). I could knit on you forever!!!
So tell me, dear Dusk, what happened?? Was it your wooly wool (and what seems like 10 pounds of it) sitting on my lap in 100 degree temperatures? The realization that said fingering wt wool is never going to knit up like the Isager lace weight? The fact that I really can't tell how big you are and I keep running out of colors that I thought would carry me through to the end?
Are you too big? Are you not big enough? I'm just about to the point in our relationship that I simply don't care anymore. Your 800+ stitch rows (which seem more like 2000) are wearing me down. You hardly fit on your 40" needles anymore. I'm only halfway through your chart, but... I'm pretty done with you. So there.
OK. So you turned out rather nice.
And when not doubled over for a shawl, you make a very cuddly throw. You are versatile.
But, you are still very very HOT. Off to the cedar chest with you! Maybe some of the love will return by November.