Wednesday, December 20, 2006


So, last night I was cleaning the apartment in preparation for my parents coming over for dinner. Since my knitting corner was getting a little disorderly with all the bags of yarn, baskets with projects, etc. I figured this would be a good time to clean it out a bit better. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that the cats (maybe one of them, or even both of them) had been marking some of the baskets, especially the cloth ones. Luckily, most of my yarn was safe. I had to get rid of the baskets, which kinda hurt, and some yarn that wasn't all that great anyway, so that didn't hurt. BUT, there was one set of things that got soiled that REALLY pained me.

Do you remember that sweater I was working on a long, long time ago? The Kyoto one from Knitty? Well, I haven't finished it yet, but I did buy the yarn to do so, and was most of the way through the last sleeve. Well, the sleeve was ruined, and had to be thrown out. The extra balls of yarn that I have? I wasn't totally sure if they were ruined yet, but I think one ball of the two was soiled and will have to be thrown away. So, the sweater can't be finished now because I don't have enough yarn. That dye lot of Misson Falls is long gone.

I thought about maybe washing it, but all my past experience with cat pee is that the smell just doesn't go away, even after multiple washes. So, I think after some mourning, I will frog all the pieces that I have completed, rewind the yarn, and think about what I want to do with it. The nice thing is that I probably have enough yarn to make a cute short sleeve sweater, and since it's cotton, it'll probably be good for the summer. What do you think? I'm thinking I want something that I can knit in the round that's mostly brainless, maybe with some cute detailing here and there. Who knows. I'm still a bit in shock over what happened that I haven't really wrapped my brain around what to do next.

Suggestions welcome!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Be still my knitterly heart....

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Behold the latest and most lovely addition to my knitty equipment, courtesy of Jason, possibly the most intelligent and discerning man on the planet. He noticed the looks of envy I was directing towards Lorelai's swift on Gilmore Girls one evening (Knit-a-thon in Star's Hollow!), asked a couple of careful fact-gathering questions about swift use, poked around on the internet, and voila, a very much appreciated birthday present! This is a photo of the inaugural winding, and boy is it ever glorious. No more fiddling with chairs and swinging my arms around to desperately prevent tangling!

Oh, and the yarn? Koigu, one of my very favourites, purchased from Lettuce Knit over the summer. Look at all the beautiful greens! I'm thinking a lacy scarf.

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Sunday, November 26, 2006


All my Christmas knitting? ALL DONE, as of tonight, except for the blocking. Ends woven in and everything. Wahoo! There are 4 scarves, 2 hats, and 1 pair of socks. Hm....I guess that doesn't really sound like such a triumphant achievement, does it? I may throw in another scarf-and-hat set, but that really depends on whether I feel like doing it or not.

No pictures right now because I'm too lazy, but I'll try to get some later if I feel like doing a little photoshoot.

Monday, October 16, 2006


OK, so I knit a hat this weekend. There was some yarn marinating in my stash that I wanted to knit up, so I picked a hat pattern that looked interesting, and started knitting away. Problem is, I didn't realize that maybe the yarn + pattern wasn't the best combination until I was halfway through the hat. And then I figured I might as well finish it anyway, to see how it turned out in the end. So here it is. What do you think, acceptable, or fugly as hell?

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This is the Short Row Hat from the Winter 2005 issue of Interweave. If you click on the link to the pattern (a pdf), you'll notice that the knitter has chosen a softly striping yarn which gives the short row squares a lovely entrelac-y look. What did I choose? Crazy variegated goodness, you can't even see the stupid diamond-things. I should have saved myself the short row hassle (although now I'm pretty good at YO short rows!) and knit something in plain stockinette instead. But now I don't care enough to rip it all out. I will probably wear it anyway, even though I suspect that it should really stand out as an example of what not to knit. =)

But it hasn't been all disasters over here Chez Chen, here is a lovely Irish Hiking Scarf knit in Rowan's new Tapestry yarn, a Christmas prezzie-to-be. I love the way it stripes (should've used it for the Short Row Hat!). I wasn't such a huge fan of its splittiness while knitting it, but I definitely think the end effect was worth it.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

A little bit of fall fun

So, I really should have done this a while ago, but I wanted to post up a picture of something my good friends Elaine and Carolyn gave me for my birthday. I took a picture really close up (remember the whole Eye Spy thing on the back of OWL Magazine? ^__^), so see if you can guess what it is. You ready?

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Ta~da!! Needless to say, I am loving it and send huge thank you's to them.

Also, while Mita came to visit me at PMH, she happened to see me wearing some wrist-warmers. It's bloody cold in the office, so I can't get by without them. Well, this prompted her to ask me if I could make a pair for her, and who was I to say no to a request? So, we went off to Lettuce Knit to pick out some yarn. Silly me didn't take a picture of the yarn after I bought it, but here's a nice little pic of the FO (along with me being silly)
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Lastly, I am getting closer and closer to finishing my Clapotis after having frogged the entire thing all the way back in...uh...I think it was July. I have one more 'official' straight row to go, but I might make it longer considering the fact that I decided to make this Clapotis a bit more narrow. I haven't decided yet. How much more do the decrease rows and finishing rows add?
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I've also started the Icarus Shawl from the Summer 2006 Interweave. I'm not quite ready to show pictures of it yet. It hardly looks like anything yet. But I'm finding more and more that lace weight yarn makes me annoyed. Next time I make lace stuff, I might pick a slightly weightier yarn.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Some FOs

Right-o. Got off my lazy butt and took some pictures.

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Here's a Branching Out scarf that I made for myself out of Cotton Patine. It's a nice fall scarf and I wear it a lot right now. The only thing I don't like about it is the fact that you don't always seen the pattern clearly when you're wearing it.

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And here's a cable hat that I made out of Blue Sky Alpaca (it's hard to see the cables because of the color choice. sorry). I used two strands knit together to make it nice and warm, and super soft. I originally made it for Jamie, but he doesn't want it because he can't fold up the bottom and have it still cover his ears. Never mind the fact that you're not supposed to fold up the bottom. Oh well. It was fun to knit up. But yeah...see what I mean about knitting things for people who won't wear them? Guess that means I should only knit for myself since I'll be sure to use whatever it is I make!

2006/09/13 Edit: Guess I was sufficiently ticked off last night that Jamie decided to reconsider not wanting the hat. He said that he'll give it a try, and maybe change is good.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Hello, blog....

So I've been sort of absent lately. But I've still been busy with knitterly things!

I've learned how to graft....

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I've been knitting on things....

Fleece Artist socks!
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Lotus Blossom shawl (just needs to be bound off and blocked)!
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I've also been stashing....

Noro, Koigu, Rowan:
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I have been stashings like mad (I just remembered a couple of sock yarns that I forgot to photograph) because 1)looking at yarn and planning projects relaxes me and 2)I aim to start a new, budgety thinking-of-the-future type of existence wherein the goal is to put away at least 10%, if not more, of my stipend into savings each month. Not sure how successful that will be, especially during those plane ticket-buying or estimated tax-paying months, but it certainly means fewer yarn purchases on the whole. So I have to get it all out of my system now!

I am also starting to think about Christmas presents, and while I would love to knit those from stash, there are very few people that I knit for (read: my sister) who have even the remotest chance of sharing my tastes in yarn/colours. And my mom doesn't want any handknit socks. And I don't stash boring boy colours.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Productive weekend

I have decided that long car trips are great. While Jamie drove us to Ottawa, I got myself a lot of knitting done. Little by little, I will chip away at my stash!!

Okay, so first up we have the multidirectional scarf that I had pretty much finished, but decided to frog.
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I ended up decreasing the number of stitches in it, as well as increasing the needle size to US11. Those two changes ended up making a huge difference in the way the scarf turned out. Using just two skeins of Silk Garden, I was able to make what was pretty much a 8-9 foot scarf. So, now I have a third skein of the same stuff that I had bought just in case, and I need to think of something to do with it. The photo of it didn't really turn out that well, but I think you've made enough multidirectional scarves to know what they look like!

Next, is the a 2x2 ribbed hat that I made from the Alchemy that the wonderful Adrienne gave me in our yarn swap, which I can't really call a swap because she never took anything from my stash in the end!
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I originally thought I'd make the hat for Jamie, but he decided that the colour of the hat was too girly for him.

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It's sometimes hard to try and take a photo of your own head!

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The thing I'm most proud about the hat project is the fact that I started it in the car on the way back from Ottawa (including winding the yarn), and was pretty much done by the time we got home. It was a nice, fun knit, and the Alchemy yarn was great to work with. It's really soft when it knits up, and the hat itself is quite squishy feeling due to the slightly larger than recommended needle size that I used. Unfortunately, it doesn't match with any coats that I own! Ha ha!!

Friday, June 30, 2006

Right...I promised photos

Because I totally suck, I have been delinquent in putting up these photos. But as I promised in my last post, here are the photos I took of the peacock feathers shawl. The pics were taken while I was blocking the sucker, and let me tell you, it's not easy blocking something like that when you've got two curious kitties around. The computer room wasn't big enough for me to do the best job with the blocking, but I still think it turned out okay. I was running out of room to stand in if you believe it!

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Here's a closer look at the lace pattern taken from a slightly different angle.
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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

OMG, Karen actually IS still knitting!

So, I actually managed to finish that Peacock Feather's shawl for my dance teacher (photos to come). It definitely was a learning experience. I learned that while I love my Denise interchangeables, they can be a pain for large projects where you need to chain a whole bunch of those connector pieces together. My loops would get caught on the joints, and it kinda drove me nuts sometimes. Also, I learned that you can't always trust what they say on the pattern for the amount of yarn that you'll need. I got two skeins of the Jaeggerspun (which is REALLY nice to work with, and I highly recommend it), but it turned out not to be enough. I had to end the shawl early and thankfully was able to finish the crochet chain binding (another new thing that I learned!). And even still, the shawl turned out HUGE! It was just kinda weird though, cuz that made me feel like I wasn't knitting tightly enough, but they even say in the instructions to knit more loosely. Oh well.

I think I'm going to move back to smaller, more recreational projects soon. Blocking that sucker was pretty hard. And back to stash busting!! I really need to make a serious dent in it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The lazy knitter

I just finished a sock. A toe-up sock. And I started the second sock. Then I discovered that the first sock is actually too big. More specifically, the toe on the first sock is knit too loosely and that resulted in the rest of the sock being too big (I always knit a certain # of rows for the foot, that is how boring I am when it comes to knitting socks, it appears that I always do the same damned thing because I like the mindlessness of it all). Now the second toe is done, and it is much tighter and smaller. So what to do with the first toe? Rip out the whole sock? Cut the yarn and reknit the toe, and graft the stitches back together? Both of those things will really awaken the anxiety-ridden perfectionist monster in me and make me cry and cause way more stress than I need right now. So it looks like maybe I will just have to learn to live with yet another pair of mismatched socks.

It's a funny thing, I pretty much lose interest in my socks once I'm done knitting them. I fret incessantly about minor imperfections when I'm actually working on the socks, but then I completely forget about them afterwards. I do wear them sometimes, but I don't really knit socks for the pleasure of wearing handknitted socks, but more for the joy of working with pretty yarn. Process knitter indeed.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The solution to knitting-related RSI.... to knit something that drives you absolutely batshit crazy, so that you can only work on it in small doses at a time. Here is my current project of woe:

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Lovely, isn't it? That's Alchemy Silk Purse, and the scarf is this pattern. I bought it because I've always wanted to try it, and it was on super-duper-irresistable sale. It is currently known as Jason's Mom's Scarf (see, getting around the stash guilt by making into a gift!), though whether I'll actually finish the scarf before I go completely insane remains to be seen.

The silk is lovely and soft, but it is also slubby and a single ply so there tends to be a lot of snagging and halo-ing (especially if you've had to tink back as much as I've had to). Also, the silk totally sticks to my bamboo needles, so much so that I'm considering giving metal needles a try, even though I find them icky and hand-hurty. Lesser of two evils, perhaps? In addition, the two balls of yarn are completely different shades of purple (not sure if you can make it out in the picture), so I have to do that annoying alternating rows thing. One of the drawbacks of buying handdyed yarn from an online store, I guess.

Anyway, the yarn is yummy, and the pattern is quite attractive, but the knitting experience has not exactly been a walk in the park so far. Then again, I'm supposed to be doing this in small doses (if at all), and this is definitely keeping me from overexerting myself. =)

Saturday, May 20, 2006


Hurrah, hurrah, some finished knit items! All knit from stash, enabling me to subtract around 20 skeins (23 if we count all half-skeins as "used" =P) from the stash total. Which should make me feel really good and free to go buy more yarn, right? Funnily enough, I don't really feel like it. I like this knitting-from-stash thing so far. Of course, I'm not actually supposed to be knitting right now....and I'm not really, I promise!

OK, onto the unveiling. Here is the Mission Falls Log Cabin Blanket, finished and bordered and with all the ends woven in (which are in the back, of course):

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Next up, a quickie garter stitch scarf knit in Colinette Zanziba using 7 mm needles (fun pink plastic Crystal Palace Daisy needles!). I used 2 skeins, one in colour 100 (Gauguin) and one in colour 101 (Monet), alternating every 2 rows. These skeins were my very first Colinette purchase, and will probably be my last, since I've discovered that I'm not really the hugest fan of bulky yarns.

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And finally, a sweater! My second sweater! A fun cabled short-sleeved Michael Kors sweater, from the Holiday 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting. Knit using Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran, colour 552. The seams still need a light steaming, but I thought I'd show it you anyway. It was hard to take a picture of myself wearing it.

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Here is a closeup of the 3 patterns used in the sweater. A diamond-with-berry thing, regular ol' braided cables, and a berry stitch pattern that was quite the pain in the arse. I'm very glad that I knit this thing in the sweater class, because the directions for the neck shaping in the front were just plain wrong, and I probably wouldn't have been able to figure it out myself. I'm finding that a lot of patterns have mistakes in them.

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There is this one glaring (to me) mistake in the sweater, but everyone insists that they would never see it unless I specifically pointed it out to them, so I'll resist the urge to point out my deficiencies as a knitter and just leave it at that. =)

Where is my first sweater, you ask? That blue cardigan-thing? Well, it's completely done, except I haven't sewn the buttons on yet. I'm debating whether I even want buttons. That thing was such a chore to knit. Pictures some other time, when I feel like lugging it out. =)

So how do I feel, with two sweaters under my belt? I'm not sure I'm really a knitter-of-sweaters. I feel like I get bored too easily, that the novelty wears off. It was only having the sweater class that kept me motivated to keep knitting. So I'm taking a break from that for now, since I've been having wrist issues, and turning my attention to smaller projects and thinking about Christmas presents. It's never too early to plan!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Can't I stop pipetting instead?

Well, guess what. This girl has got to take some time off from knitting. I think I've been doing it too much (not too much by itself, because I really don't knit all that much, but too much in combination with doing benchwork and writing at a computer) over the past few months, and it's starting to show. I had a bout of wrist pain about a month ago, but chalked it up to mad sweater knitting + mad manuscript writing/editing, and it got better eventually (I should mention that I wear a wrist brace thing while knitting most of the time). But I think I reaggravated it by knitting the Mission Falls blanket -- a few days ago it hurt to turn a doorknob, and sometimes it hurts to pipette, and tonight when I was sewing my sweater together it sort of hurt too. So I think I need to take a break, even though there is stuff I'm dying to knit up, and even though knitting has been a stress reliever lately.

Which brings me to the question of, what do I do instead? I've been playing around with the idea of taking up some other sort of crafty hobby to complement the knitting, like maybe needlepoint or quilting? Buying fabrics for quilting would be SO MUCH FUN, don't you think? I feel like I need to get better with a needle and thread, my sewing skills (and therefore seaming skills) are absolutely atrocious. Hm, maybe not quilting then, that seems like too much of an investment only to screw it all up. =)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Mindless knitting

Hey look, a blog post!

So after the Great Apartment Flooding of 2006 (hopefully the only one!) I started going through my things and dispairing of just how much CRAP I have. I had an excuse to throw a lot of it away due to flood damage, but some of the things that are left, that I don't really want but can't really bear to get rid of, are still hanging around.

Which brings me to the yarn stash. It's not really a ton of yarn compared to some stashes, but it's stressing me out. I love all my yarn, really I do, but there's a lot of stuff that I know I'll never knit. I keep telling myself that I'll put it up on eBay someday, but I just never get around to it. Which brings me to the Mission Falls Cotton. I bought a bunch of it when I first found out it was being discontinued, because it looked so fun to work with and came in such delightful colours. I didn't know just what I was going to make, just something. Then I found out that hey, Mission Falls is back!, and I felt like a bit of a jerk for jumping the gun that way (BTW, have you seen the "new" Mission Falls cotton? Does it feel....harder and twinier to you?). So I had to knit up what I had, ASAP. And hence the birth of the Mindless Mission Falls Log Cabin Blanket (log cabin tutorial courtesy of the fun new book from Mason-Dixon Knitting). It is VERY mindless knitting (great for long car trips and watching tv!), yet very fun at the same time. And the yarn did indeed live up to its promise.

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I have a couple more edges to do before I run out of yarn, and I'll probably do a border using the red yarn in the central square.

Who/what is the blanket for? I have no idea. I just like looking at it and petting it. Maybe just a lap blanket. Or maybe I'll have a nice surface to decorate with it someday when I have actual furniture. =)

Here is a gratuitous sock shot. Remember those socks I was knitting at Christmas, out of the Lorna's Laces?

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

You know you're a knitter when....

....your apartment starts flooding and the first thing you throw on the bed, after your tote bag and laptop, is your yarn stash.

Yes, that's right, my apartment got flooded on Friday night! Something on the toilet in the apartment upstairs flew off, and water started gushing everywhere, and ended up flooding our entire apartment with at least an inch of gross brownish water. I'm happy to report that nothing too valuable was harmed, some shoes, books and papers, in addition to all the area rugs, and that all the yarn was saved. Our ceiling is quite a piece of work right now though, and I'm not sure how the living situation is going to turn out, but at least the important things are safe and sound. =)

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

'Puter Issues

I've been having some issues with my computer at home, where all my knitting photos live and from which I make blog posts. As in, the computer is infected with something horrible and I don't know what to do about it, and I am very tempted to just wipe the whole thing and never use it again, because it is 4.5 years old and a piece of crap anyway. Though I've been rather busy running about lately, and haven't quite gotten around to figuring things out yet. Perhaps I will just survive with a laptop for a while? Anyway, until I decide what to do, blog posts with pictures will be a little sparse. Here is a picture-less update:

1) I finished the Lorna's Laces Rainbow socks I was working on over Christmas (finally!)
2) I have one more sleeve to knit on sweater class sweater #2
3) Sweater class sweater #1 is just waiting for buttons
4) I am knitting a little Hufflepuff scarf for Snoot (Jason's dog), it's going to be so cute!
5) In order to knit the scarf as a tiny tube without using dpns, I managed to learn Magic Loop. It is indeed very magical and loopy, though I don't think I could knit socks using that technique since I don't think they make Addi Natura circulars that small, and the cords on other circulars aren't flexible enough.
6) I have seriously broken all my no-yarn-acquisition resolutions.
7) I think it's pretty much settled that we are coming back to Toronto over Easter! Which means I can bring the Alchemy with me, and mail it from home.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I lose at stash busting, you know how were were saying that we were gonna try a work on clearing our stash? Well, I took a trip to Lettuce Knit with my friend Elaine...and bought more stuff. I suck *hangs head in shame*.

I wound up buying one more skein of the Silk Garden for my multidirectional scarf. But I'm still going to frog the old one and start over. I'm going to knit it on size 11 needles to get a lacier look, and make it a touch narrower. Then make it really, really long because I'm discovering that that's how I like my scarves.

Here's the other stuff I got:
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I got this Koigu Kersti so I could make some wrist warmers. The yarn looked like too much fun to pass up.

Then I got this merino/silk blend. It was 50% off, so all 5 skeins were only $25. How could I say no?
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I'm thinking about making a cute little tank top with it.

So, instead of shrinking my stash, I just made it bigger. I lose, for sure!

Anyway...I'm off to start frogging! Ribbit!!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Stash Offerings!

Well, I finally got around to pawing through the stash. I gotta say, looking at the stash on an Excel spreadsheet and looking at it in person is completely different. There was a lot of yarn that I thought I wanted out of my life, but then I dug them out of storage and fell in love with them again. Someday I'm going to have a yarn cabinet, with glass doors, so I can keep my stash in a contained location but still be able to admire its beauty. This hiding yarn away in dark closets where I forget they exist thing has got to stop.

So, here is some yarn that I would be willing to send to a better home. Not because it's unloved or unworthy, but because I can't see what I would make with them. I had some ideas that didn't quite pan out though, and I'll share those with you:

Firstly, 2 skeins of Artyarns Supermerino in colour 110. This is lovely sproingy yarn, I had originally thought ankle socks! (I think you probably need 3 skeins for a full pair of socks), but then I realized duh, I won't wear merino ankle socks ever, will I? One example of making-up-projects-to-justify-the-yarn-purchase. Other possibilities include a hat, or mittens, or a short scarf.

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Secondly, a single skein of Alchemy Reservoir (wool and mohair), in the colourway Scarlett's Dark Secret (sorry for the fuzzy pic). I came across this lonely skein in my LYS and felt sorry for it, so I brought it home. Originally to be a headscarf. It would make a lovely hat with its subtle colour changes.

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Next we have a skein of Rowan Plaid, colour Sea Thistle (#164). I bought this because the pink and purple exactly matched a scarf that I have, but 1)I haven't worn that scarf this year yet, and 2)I question how a chunky hat made out of that would actually look on my head. I'm still willing to find out, but there are about a million other things that come before this yarn on the to-knit-next list.

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Next, 2 skeins of Lamb's Pride worsted in a white/off white colour. Originally purchased because I wanted to play with KoolAid dying. I also have the unused packets of KoolAid. =)

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Finally, Jaeger Matchmaker 4-ply, in shade Bloom (#547). I bought this to knit a short-sleeved sweater, but I've pretty much admitted that that's never going to happen. I have 5 skeins of this, there are about 200 yards per skein. 2 skeins would make fun pink socks. Or probably some adorable baby garment. There is also enough for a lace shawl of some sort, but I don't think I'd ever knit a shawl in this particular shade of pink.

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OK, that's it. Sorry for the rambling! But as you can see, each of these yarn purchases was carefully (or not-so carefully) thought out, and at least I avoided the sale bin and novelty yarns. =) Anything you might be interested in, just let me know!

I need a second opinion...

Okay....I've pretty much finished the multi-directional scarf that I was making. BUT, what that really means is that I've used up the 3 skeins of Silk Garden that I had bought. The scarf that I have so far is wide enough to cover my entire neck easily, and is long enough that when I wrap it so both tails are in the front (does that make sense?), the tails hit just under my boobs (such as they are). And when I finish up the last triangle, that's pretty much where it would end.

So, the thing is, I'm kinda thinking that I want the scarf to be longer, which leaves me two choices. Go out to buy more of that yarn, if I can find it. Or frog everythingt and start over and make it thinner. How much do you think I could gain by dropping 12 to 15 stitches off the width? The only reason I'm even considering the re-start option is the fact that the scarf is meant to go with my early spring (or late winter, however you wanna look at it) coat, so having it be really wide isn't as important. And I've got a great scarf for the winter that I love already.

What to do?!!!

And I'll post an update on the Peacock Feather's Shawl soon! I wanna finish a bit more before I take the photo because you can't really see the pattern all that well when it's not blocked.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yarn swap anyone?

Well, I took a look at my stash for things that I haven't got already pegged for projects, or don't really feel inspired to use at the moment. You are welcome to anything there (except for the nosey kitty ^__^ )

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I should probably have taken a picture of stuff individually, but maybe providing a description for them might help.

The yellow and blue in the top row are Elisbeth Lavold (or however that's spelled) Cotton Patine. I only have two balls of each colour. The pink stuff is the mohair-y stuff that I used to make my kitty hat that I cut the hole into when moving the ear (remember that disaster?). I have a total of two balls of that too. The Noro there is Kureyon that I got to make those armwarmers for Miranda. I had to use a bit of it to finish the armwarmers, but the skein is mostly untouched. I like the bright colours, but I just can't think of a project to use it for. The ball of black is this novelty yarn that I got. What doesn't show well in the photo is the fact that it's got metallic silver glints woven into it. It's really thin stuff that I got on a whim, but never figured out what to do with it. I wound it, but now I can't remember how many yards there are in it. It's pretty thin stuff so the size of the ball is a bit deceiving. And lastly, that turquoise-y yarn is something that a nice lady from dance class gave to me. I originally thought to make a Clapotis out of it, but changed my mind. It was also a bit too thin a well (I think it's sport weight). I've got about 8-9 balls of that stuff. Any suggestions as to what I could do with it? It's not bad looking, and has these neat hints of pink in them, but I just don't know what to do with so many balls of it.

And there you go. If you would like clearer pictures of any of the stuff shown there, let me know. Or, if you have any ideas of what I could do with any of it, please feel free to voice them!

In Which I Confess My Limitations As A Wearer-Of-Accessories

To a knitter, accessories can be fun, portable, quick-to-knit projects. Hats, headscarves, headbands, neckwarmers, mittens, wrist-warmers, what-have-you. For me, they were also an excuse to buy yarn. Tiny amounts of yarn, a ball or two here and there when I couldn't bear the expense of an entire sweater's worth, or when I "had to have" something that I didn't already plan a project for. I'd think "oh, I could make wristwarmers! And a matching headscarf, if I bought 2 skeins!", or "sock yarn can also be used to make gloves!", all in the name of justifying my impulse shopping.

But you know what? I hate most accessories. I can't go out between November and March (or more realistically, October and April) without both a scarf and a hat, but I'm pretty picky when it comes to what I'll wear on my person. Here is a list of things that I don't really like wearing:
- mittens
- gloves (I will, but only when it's too cold for just hands-in-pockets)
- wristwarmers
- headscarves
- headbands
- tiny insubstantial scarves that scrunch up and get super-skinny
- novelty yarn scarves
- neckwarmers
- I've never tried one, but I'm sure I'd hate cowls

That pretty much limits me to these things:
- long, warm scarves (yarn-eaters, all of them!)
- lace scarves long enough to wrap around the neck twice, to make up for the lack of bulk
- hats
- plain store-bought gloves

So, that's it. No more haphazard yarn purchases to make accessories I know I'll never wear. I feel so mature and level-headed. Now if I could only stop buying sock yarn....

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Clapotis #2

Yes, I know that's a boring title, but I'm not feeling very inspired today. =)

Clapotis #2 is done! The knitting got really tedious towards the end, but I think the final product was totally worth it. She still needs a good blocking (maybe, I'm tempted to just leave her the way she is because I'm lazy, but I've heard that Silk Garden softens up a lot after being washed), but she looks perfectly lovely otherwise. I love the contrast of the horizontal stripes with the vertical dropped stitches!

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And a poorly-taken photo of her being worn around the neck:

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Project specs:
Clapotis pattern from Knitty
6 skeins of Noro Silk Garden, colourway 34
I did one fewer increase section, so the scarf would be a little narrower and I'd get more mileage out of each colour change, and I think I did 2 or 3 additional straight sections. I wish there were a little bit more purple in this dyelot, but I still love love love the colours.

P.S. WTF is up with all the popups? Are you getting the popups? How can we get rid of the popups?!?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Core Stash

I've been obsessing over the stash lately. In trying to keep with the resolution to keep the stash under control, I've been evaluating the relative merits and knitability of every single skein. And you know what? There is a lot of yarn in the stash that I know I'll never knit. Either because I don't know what to do with it (what to do with 2 mismatched skeins of Colinette Zanziba I got on sale?), because knitting with it will likely drive me to insanity (early in my knitting career I thought 4-ply sweaters would be a good idea, um, no thanks), or because it is just too beautiful to knit.

And that's where we come to the Core Stash (terminology blatantly stolen from the Yarn Harlot). Yarn that will never be knit because we are unworthy of its beauty, that exists solely for inspirational purposes. Surprisingly for me, saver/hoarder extraordinaire, there are only 5 skeins of yarn in my own personal Core Stash so far. 3 skeins of Noro Silk Garden in colour 36, and 2 skeins of Koigu KPPPM in a particularly beautiful dyelot of colourway P118.

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These yarns are so lovely that it makes my heart melt to see them. I may also add my last ball of Noro Silk Garden 34 (leftover from Clapotis #2, which I will post about soon) to the mix, but I haven't decided. As for the other yarn-I-will-never-knit, I don't quite know what to do with it yet. Give it away (to who? Would you like some random yarn?)? Sell it on eBay (I'm too lazy for that right now)? Abandon it on the street (nope, it may be unloved yarn, but it's still yarn)?

How about you, have you started to accumulate a Core Stash?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Yarn shopping: Cheaper than therapy

Well, so much for resolutions. But I lasted a good month before buying more yarn, that’s something, isn’t it? Not to mention that it was a very LONG month, what with craptastic things happening one after another. So behold my latest yarn acquisition, 4 skeins of Claudia Hand Painted sock yarn from kpixie, in the Stormy Days and Pink Dot colourways. I need more sock yarn like I need a hole in the head, but who could resist this gorgeous stuff?

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In the interests of full disclosure, let’s take a look at the rest of the sock yarn stash, shall we? There’s Koigu, Lorna’s Laces, Fleece Artist, and Trekking XXL. Yipes. The Koigu is not necessarily for socks per se, but these are the colourways that were bought in pairs so they could conceivably become socks (or mittens, or scarves, or lace-somethings….). What I’m not showing is all the single skeins of Koigu that I’ve hoarded for other purposes. OK, so I’ve knit precisely 5.5 pairs of socks, and I have enough sock yarn for more than twice that number. But that’s ok, isn’t that what we knitters do? Stockpile yarn for a rainy day?

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But it’s not all glorious shopping over here, there is knitting too, albeit very slow knitting. Behold all my WIPs in a pile:

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The dark thing is my Edda cardigan, or as I lovingly refer to it, my big blue blob. It’s in the seaming-up and sewing-in-ends stage right now, I sure hope it fits when it’s done. The red thing is my new sweater-in-progress, a sweet little cabled tee from the Holiday 2005 issue of Vogue Knitting. It’s going to be loverly when it’s finished (I hope), but the knitting is such that I can’t lose focus for even one second or else I make horrid mistakes. I'll try to take more detailed pictures later. The yarn is Jaeger Extra Fine Merino Aran, rather squooshy and yummy. The green and purple thing is another Clapotis, in my very favourite and recently discontinued Noro Silk Garden #34. I’ve realized that I could never knit a Noro sweater (too anal about the striping), but I also couldn’t let this colourway disappear off the face of the earth without getting some. So, another Clapotis it is. The knitting is even more boring the second time around, but it’s fun to watch the colour changes. =)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

New Projects

Well, with the New Year, comes new projects. The first thing I should probably do is to go through and do an inventory of all the yarn I already have! Ha ha! But anyway, that can wait...

I started myself a multidirectional scarf out of Noro Silk Garden that I purchased at the Lettuce Knit Boxing Day sale. They were taking 30% off, so I just couldn't resist. Here's what I've got done so far...
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At that very same shopping trip, I bought some Lorna's Lace for some socks, but I haven't started those yet either. And the reason why I'm not going to get to for a while is because of....

The Peacock Feathers Shawl. I wasn't able to get the yarn from Lettuce Knit (well, they said they'd order it for me, but they weren't planning to order from Fiddlesticks in a while so they didn't know when that would be), so I ordered it off the web. It arrived yesterday, so I'm itching to start the shawl for my dance teacher. I have until June, so I figured that if I start now I should be okay. Here's a picture of the yarn.
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I've also decided to hurry up and wrap up that baby sweater that I was making. I'm pretty much done, but never really felt the drive to complete it. But now one of the medical fellows who sat in my office has become a dad, I figured that I could give it to him! The sweater is knit for a baby about 1 year old, so it'll be a while before he can use it, but it's good incentive to get it done. It's not going to be the best looking sweater, I'll admit, because I didn't really do the best job in doing ths stripes, but oh well. You live and learn. I've learned that if I'm going to knit that sweater again, I'm going to use variagated yarn! Ha ha!!!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

When love ain't enough to keep you warm

Sometime over the Christmas holidays, I completely lost my knitting mojo. It might have been burnout from all the present knitting, or the endless sweater class cardigan being knit in hard-to-see navy blue (which I'm in the middle of seaming, I swear), but knitting just wasn't fun anymore. The wisdom teeth saga might have had something to do with it too (did I tell you that one of the wounds got infected after I returned to Boston? And that I had to have it drained? Fun times). Anyway, Adrienne = not a happy knitter. So to counter the knitting blues, of course I went shopping (before I made the resolutions, I promise!):

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Yummy Handmaiden Cashmere from Colorsong Yarn. A Devin's Toque kit in the Mineral colourway so I could knit a hat for Jason, because he is utterly lacking in winter accessories. If that's not a knitter's siren song, I don't know what is. And plus, cashmere! So, a few days of knitting later:

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A delectably pettable hat. At first I was having serious pooling issues, but then I think my tension changed somewhat and I ended up with this fun swirly pattern. The yarn is super-soft and slippery, and breaks really really easily. I had to be pretty careful with the knitting, even on bamboo needles. But I think it turned out pretty well, it keeps the head warm and wards off wind-induced headaches, so mission accomplished. And we are knitting again, I'll have to list all the UFOs that I'm working on sometime. =)

Friday, January 13, 2006

Knitty Resolutions

I'm not normally a very resolution-y sort of person, but this year, I'm turning over a new knitterly leaf. Whereas last year seemed to be all about being a Bad-Ass Knitter, about buying whatever yarn whenever I wanted and not feeling guilty about it, so there (although to be perfectly honest, I still felt guilty), this year is going to be a little different. For one thing, I've catalogued the stash and there's too much of it, I've got yarn exploding everywhere. For another thing, I've started thinking somewhat about the Future, about maybe someday moving beyond this poor-yet-single-and-fancy-free-living-in-the-present existence, and part of moving forward will probably involve not spending money like a drunken sailor (not that I do technically, I never spend more than I have, but let's just say that I could spend less, shall we?). So, here is my current list of Knitty Resolutions for 2006:

1) The stash is not to grow beyond 100 balls of yarn. It is currently at a little over 100 balls, but I am setting that as its maintenance level.
2) To help maintain the stash at a reasonable level, we will start actually knitting from stash instead of finding new and novel things to buy because we are bored with everything we already have.
3) We will stop inventing imaginary projects in order to justify purchasing yarn which is either on sale or newly discontinued.
4) We will try our very hardest to not use shopping for yarn as retail therapy. We will try to find comfort and satisfaction in buying inexpensive or practical things, like, say, scotch tape and tampons.

I think that's all for now, it's been 13 days in January (Happy Friday the 13th!) and I haven't bought any yarn yet. Perhaps there is hope after all. =)

ETA: I just realized that all those resolutions basically amount to one thing: No more haphazard yarn accumulation. =P

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year!

Wow, I've been a delinquent blogger, haven't I? Sorry for the absence. To make it up to you, here are some photos of all the Christmas prezzies I knit this year:

A cabled scarf for my dad using Karabella Aurora 8 in a manly gray colour (shade 26 I think, my camera makes it look sorta brown here). Pattern courtesy of Yarn-A-Go-Go.
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A mistake rib scarf for my mom using Manos del Uruguay colour 106 (I had to search many a LYS to find it).
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A cabled scarf for my sister using Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (which I bought ages ago). Pattern is Vintage Velvet from Scarf Style. I think this one was my favourite. Maybe I'll have to make another one for myself sometime!
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A farrow rib scarf for Jason using Morehouse Merino 3-strand, colour Brown Heather.
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And lastly, toe-up socks for my godmother using Fleece Artist Merino. I didn't want to give these away.
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As for knitting resolutions this year, who knows? Maybe I should resolve to actually finish a sweater sometime soon (the sweater class puts some pressure on me, but I still hate finishing). Or maybe I should resolve to knit through some of my sock yarn before buying more. Or maybe we should actually enforce a yarn budget this year. We are still thinking about it. =)