Thursday, May 31, 2007
A: Knit something entirely different of course!
I've been kind of "off" the knitting thing for a little while, but with the mother-in-law's help, she got me back on the knitting train. When we decided to spend some time in New York, I knew I was going to need something to distract myself on the ride up. However, given I've been a little lethargic in the knitting as of late, I knew I was going to need something that could be immediate and satisfying.
Enter the self-striping yarn.
I love self-striping sock yarn. I literally get giddy with excitment as I watch the patterns appear before my very eyes. Literally. Goose bumps. Every time. I also love that all you need to do with the self striping yarn is just follow a basic sock pattern and knit and knit and knit. And with mindless knitting like that it's easy to get addicted. Really addicted. And before you know it....
A sock is born!
I think I'd be able to enjoy the fact that I finished this sock in less than four days more if I didn't have anything else looming over my head to knit. But nonetheless, here's a sock, before anything else. AND... this is even a bigger bonus, I actually used yarn from my stash! THIS IS ACTUAL. STASH. YARN. I'm so proud.
Now if I could just get something that I'm SUPPOSED to get done, I'd be patting myself on the back pretty hard!
Thursday, May 24, 2007
However with my impending move back to Calgary, (oh- did I tell you I was moving to Canada?), and the news from Canadian knitters being slightly disturbing (BARELY ANY KOIGU THERE... AT ALL!!!!), there's something bubbling up in me, I can feel it.
My mother in law is in town as of this evening. Technically she's here for the husband's graduation from Yale MBA school, (TECHNICALLY), but I really think she's here for the yarn store tour of her dreams. I've been bragging a lot about the yarn shops in Connecticut. I also may have bragged about the shops in New York. The plan... is to show here a select sampling, (like wine tasting for the yarn fiend) and watch her struggle to not buy! Buy! BUY!
First off is School Products in NYC, where I'm going to watch her try and not buy the cashmere at such low prices that it makes me giggle every time I go in that store. Then off to Purl Soho, where I will watch her (and may horde myself) try not and buy every colorway of Koigu that they have. (And oh my god do they have Koigu!) The Connecticut hi-lights include; the Yarn Barn, where I have yet to leave empty handed and the Yarn Garden (they of the legendary 40% off ALL YARNS IN STORE sale), where I have been known to use two credit cards so that the husband won't immediately see just how much I bought. And then, on her second to last day here, the MOTHER of all yarn shops, the MECCA to knitters- WEBS, where we will not only be enjoying the always delightful Harlot, but I'm certain that we will become overcome by "yarn fumes" in their massive warehouse and where I'm convinced that I'll be moved to tears in it's awesome beauty.
What kills me is that these are only a few of the awesome places that surround me- there are so many other great little shops within 20 minutes of me and in NYC that I would love to take her to all of them... but time and budget only allows me to hi-light the few, the proud, the glorious, but I feel like a major binge is fast approaching. I feel like I might buy. I feel like I'm ready. I feel like the stash which has now expanded to TWO large boxes, may have a third in it's future. I'm feeling that compulsion to store up yarn for my move to Canada, (despite that fact that Calgary has WONDERFUL, reasonably priced yarn shops on it's own!).
I blame all of this compusive neediness on Koigu. I wonder if you can sue for yarn addiction?
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
I just got back from our very relaxing Miami South Beach/Playa Del Carmen Cruise and I feel very relaxed. I didn't even take knitting, oddly enough, and it's a good thing too, because I doubt I would have worked on it. Now, however that I'm back, I'm looking around at what I need to knit and not feeling really excited.
I need a quick fix... a distraction from what actually needs to get done. My deadline for Tasha's baby blanket is quickly looming and I'm not even at the half way mark yet. And, the Nennie Sweater, while it needs to get done and worked on, I'm just not feeling motivated. Like at all. Like when I look at it, it drives me to the stash in search of other projects that will monopolize my time.
The weather is one thing, but I'm feeling a little messed up today also. As I mentioned, I was on a cruise- and for some reason since I've been back, I still feel like I'm rocking back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth and aside from making me unbelievably dizzy, I'm also incredibly nauseous. Apparently this is a common cruise side effect and should disappear in a day or two. (PLEASE GOD EARLIER RATHER THAN LATER... I should not need dramamine to hang out in my apartment!) Also distracting me is a very sore arm, thanks to the Tetnus shot I got today. I have a funny little rash on my foot and while the doctor and I both think that it's nothing, she decided to error on the side of caution and suggested a Tetnus shot. My left arm is essentially un-useable at the moment because it hurts. (A side effect, interestingly enough, that is also supposed to last one or two days.)
Anyways, in the famous words of Mike Meyers: "WE HAVE A KNITTER DOWN"... I just hope I get back up soon.
So yes-- all those big knitterly plans I had for when I got back from the cruise are on hold, at least until the room stops spinning and my arm starts working again.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
First off- to both my mom's- HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY... I sent cards.... I hope you got them, if not... you will.
I've been promising pictures of my sweater design for a while now- and time is just permitting now. The picture is old, as there is a lot more of the sweater on the needles, but below is a shot of my sweater pattern design and the yarn "in action". The picture isn't great, but as you can probably see, I've designed a wrap sweater, only instead of having ties to close it up, I want to do a wrap with buttons to keep it in place
Progress is slow, and I will admit I'm suffering from a little knitting burn out, so I haven't been as "hard core" on the needles as of late, but I blame the busy schedule and the nice weather on that.
The pattern design progress has been a little frustrating. I've got two classes left in NYC, and she's already suggested that I scan pictures of my pattern and email her with questions so that she can help me move along on the work. I love the instructor of my class, but I feel like her teaching style is a little all over the place and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the things that she told us we'd be learning. I'm disappointed and very concerned that I won't get a whole sweater pattern out of this- but I'm going to think positively.
Knitting posts may be a little scarce in the next two weeks- the husband and I are going on a much deserved vacation next week and the week after is the husband's graduation from school- knitting time = zero. Not to worry though- I will be back. (And yes, that is a threat.)
Thursday, May 10, 2007
This week was kind of a stressful week for me- there seems to be a million social events to attend with the husband's pending graduation as well as I had to plan a baby shower... on top of all that I needed to knit 13 inches in the very mysterious "Nennie Sweater", (Phyllis... I swear there are pictures coming...) to continue getting the most out of my Knitting for Pleasure class.
As you can well imagine, time for knitting was scarce this week and last night I finally was able to come home and work on my knitting homework.... on the remaining 8 inches I had yet to conquer. It's the back of a sweater... and there are 120 stitches... progress is slowish. I managed to eek in a few hours last night- and did up 4 inches... which is a miracle in itself. The plan for today was to wake up early and finish the rest.
1) Husband did not set the alarm clock for my 8:00 wake up call... and instead I pulled my lazy butt out of bed at 10:30.
2) I finally got around to knitting up and had to join in a new ball.... only to discover the dyelots are different, and while it's fairly subtle... I can still see the difference. There's a line-- and you can tell a new color was added. *Begins SOBBING*
I had to knit 66 stitches... I joined the color at 35- I was at 43 when I discovered the problem. I now how to rip back and a) either find a skein that's closer in colors or b) rip back even further and alternative knitting with the two slightly different colors so anal retentive knitters like myself will not lose their grip on sanity upon viewing the back of my sweater.
And please no one remind me about checking dyelot numbers on the skein... because I'm usually VERY, VERY, VERY, VERY, dilligent about that- however these skeins did not have labels... at all. NO LABELS to be found-- and to the untrained eye, they all looked in the same color family.
So- afterall the knitting cram sessions I had, and all the stressing I've been doing about getting my 13 inches in... I'm going to class tonight with an incomplete assignment. I'm hoping that I can still make progress anyways... but MAN- is it ever disheartening to discover that problem.
Monday, May 7, 2007
Yarn: Main Color: Claudia's Hand Painted, Pink Color: Koigu KPPM
Needles: US Size 2
Well... they're finally done! The Candy Necklace Socks (my very first original design) are finally off the needles and if I do say so myself- they are awesome! The yarn I used reminded me of candy, specifically found on the necklaces we used to devour as kids... hence their name. I included a small cable running down the side to mimic the look of the candy "o's" that loop around your neck.
*CAUTION* do not look too closely at my legs... there may be hairs- and you don't need those scars! I'm not quite sure why- but in the photo above they don't look the same length... even though they are... I SWEAR.
Look how cute my feet look in them! LOOK! I find when it comes to knitting socks, I prefer a simple look to the pattern- nothing that's so complicated that it takes away from the actual "warming your feet" part... which I'm sure we can all agree is the reason we make socks in the first place. Hence, I usually shy away from lacey socks- and this one is perfect for me- both pretty and delicate in their look.
As I've mentioned several times over the time I knit these, the yarnS were both DREAMY to knit with. The sproigy-ness they provide is a knitters dream, and their warm and light all at the same time.
The design process, once I worked it out and knew what I was doing, was actually pretty easy- and I'm definately looking forward to designing my next sock-- especially since I have more Koigu burning a hole in my stash-- although I'm also very distracted by a tonne of other patterns out there also.
SO MANY PATTERNS... so little time!
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
So- I bought yarn for my sweater design class- and here it is, pictured below.
Yes... it is pretty isn't it? It's a lovely 50%silk, 50% cotton blend from Italy, procured at School Products in New York. (Mental note to mother-in-law $15 cashmere hanks!!!!!!!!!!!!! We may need to detour there on your visit!) The problem is, I wasn't really thinking with my head, (in this case my Amex was doing all the talking), and I failed to notice how the hank was wound.
This is an extremely crappy picture to give you an idea of where the disaster occured. You see the hank is doubled, and criss crossed over each other- making placing the hank on a swift IMPOSSIBLE. So, when I went to place the first hank on the swift this occurred- (AGAIN, I warn the sensitive to exercise caution)
The hank split. (You just gasped, didn't you?) And, as I began to pull out the single strands of yarn- the knots started. (The picture below is rated "R" for REALLY bad) For those non-knitters who are reading this let me explain what has happened here. I was pulling out a yarn end and as it went through the hank, it gets tangled, and tangled and tangled and tangled and tangled and tangled.
The only thing to do to remedy this situation, (beside cut into the mess 96 zillion times, rendering the hank utterly uselss), is to slowly, one strand at a time- untangle the mess. If you've ever done this- it takes H.O.U.R.S. It takes patience. It takes ALCOHOL to cope.
Below you see the yarn, spread out over my entire living room floor- so that it will not tangle while you're un-tangling the other mess. (You would not believe yarn's ability to untangle and TANGLE again when you're not looking.)
Over the NEXT. SEVEN. HOURS. (I wish I was exaggerating- I am not) I proceeded to untangle. I'm not going to lie. I'm no hero. There may have been some tears. There may have been some swearing. There may have been a bottle of wine opened. Seven hours of painstakingly pulling a strand of yarn and untangling it from a ridculous knot over and over again is enough to make anyone insane.
Above is progress-- around hour 4. More untangling.... more cursing, more tears, more alcohol. At this point the husband had the AUDACITY to come in and suggest I step away from the nightmare for a while. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS MAN?! SUGGESTING THAT I LEAVE A DISASTER LIKE THIS AND STEP AWAY TO CLEAR MY SANITY!? IS HE ALSO INSANE!? DOESN'T HE KNOW THAT I AM SUFFERING THROUGH THE WORST NIGHTMARE OF MY LIFE AND NEED TO SUFFER IN LOUD, ESAPERATED SIGHS AND SWEARS!? (As you can see here emotions are still a little raw.)
Success... sort of. I eventually sucked up my pride and cut into the hank of yarn, so instead of one ball I have three- but I think it's a miracle that I didn't end up cutting and having more balls. I'm not sure WHAT I'm going to do with the remaining SIX hanks of yarn that I'm going to have to attempt to wind into balls. I'm absolutely TERRIFIED at the possibility of spending six more days untangling rats' nests. *shudder*
In the mean time, I'm going to knit a gauge swatch and focus on happier things and try not and think about what will happen when I run out of yarn.
*sigh* Moral of the story-- don't take your Amex to School House Products.