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?