It has been since I last bought yarn!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fran the Enabler

I've had a falling down of sorts. I don't suppose I was on any actualy yarn diet, but I do have enough sitting in the stash that it didn't warrant a yarn purchase. And yet- here is the stash's latest... Cherry Tree Hill's sock yarn in Spring Frost.

The last post I went on and on about having no time to knit, then Thursday I got to my argyle sock class and this yarn practically jumped off the shelf into my arms from the moment I walked in. See- I actually almost bought this yarn 8 months ago. It was after the first Cherry Tree Hill socks I ever knit and I was absolutely enamored with the yarn. After doing a little ebay shopping I found the Spring Frost color and heavily debated buying it. I was sidetracked by a negative ebay online knitting purchase however and never did buy it.

Enter Thursday and I walked over to the yarn display and there it was. I knew it was "spring frost" before I even looked at the label. It was beautiful. Simply beautiful. I picked it up and said "oh look it's spring frost"- which I think kind of freaked out the yarn shoppers who were like "who is this weird person who knows the names of yarns by sight only?" The colors were beautiful and I immediately thought to myself... "self, this is too coincidental to let pass by."

Except I did. I restrained. I sat down, away from the yarn and focused on knitting my sock. Only... I also sat next to Fran in my class. Fran who saw me pick up the yarn and covet. Fran who watched me put the yarn back like a good little knitter who already has a monster stash. Fran who watched my eyes move over to the sock yarn even while I was supposed to be paying attention and knitting in my class. And that's when Fran started... "you should buy that yarn"... "you really owe it to yourself to buy that yarn"... "you need to celebrate your first pay cheque with that yarn"... "you were meant for that sock yarn".... "take it home.... take it home... oh look, I'll bring it over to you!"

And that's when I crumbled. I could resist purchasing the yarn when it was a fair distance from me, but when Fran, the ENABLER, brought the yarn that I covet for one "final" inspection, she knew what she was doing. I could not restrain any longer... helpless in the face of the pretty, pretty yarn, I caved and bought it.

Fran, for all intensive purposes is a pretty nice woman- funny, obsessed knitter, what's not to like, but I'm going to have to watch out for her... she knows my weaknesses and she doesn't respect my budget. (In the interest of full disclosure Fran also left with yarn which she found while picking up my "spring frost" yarn- so I suppose technically my obsession enabled her... but I digress.) I have one class left... and there was some other stuff I really liked in the store, if Fran enables me again, I'm going to have to take her home with me so she can explain the yarn purchases to the husband!

Monday, September 24, 2007

No Time to Knit

*sigh* the title says it all- I’ve had no time to knit. Since the start of my brand new shiny job, there’s been very little time to pull out the needles and devote 5 hours straight to creating stitch after stitch like I used to. Don’t get me wrong, the new job is good, but I’m also going through serious withrdrawl for the time I used to spend on my knitting.

I hate how unproductive I’ve been vs. how productive I want to be. I have three projects on the go and an impeding baby blanket that I need to hurry up and start not to mention the Sunday Hat project which I’ve, *gasp* neglected for two weeks in a row!

Here’s the breakdown:

Un-Finished Object (UFO) #1- The Tilted Duster

*sigh* (again!) I was so excited about this project. I didn’t just look at yarn, I LABORED over what yarn to order, comparing and contrasting the finer points of each one. I jumped into it wholeheartedly- and then came the time to sew up the seams. Since the seaming delay, and being stalled to block the fronts and backs to continue on with the lower part, I haven’t touched the sweater. At all. I’ve looked at it longingly, SEVERAL times, even wound balls to pick up and knit the stitches, but then something always comes up and I can’t work on the thing. If I can make some time on UFO #2, then I can devote some quality duster time this weekend, but again, that’s probably going to prevent me from working on the hats. (I have to keep reminding myself that I planned on knitting ONE hat a week, and the fact that I’ve averaged 2 hats per week, I’ve built up some good will on the hat front.)

The sick thing is that I had hoped to finish this sweater quickly, enabling me to wear it around during the rather “crisp” Calgary fall weather we’re having. At the rate I’m going, and with other projects trying to fight their way out of the que, I’ll be lucky if I get this sweater done NEXT fall.

UFO #2- The Argyle Sock

I went to my first argyle sock class this last Thursday and it was awesome. I always enjoy surrounding myself with “knitters”- people who “speak” my language and understand the compulsion that comes over me when surrounded by a room full of yarn. I nearly cried with joy when the yarn shop owner told me to pick out my 3 skeins for project. What’s sad, is that I totally knew BEFORE HAND that I had to pick out my three skeins of yarn, and even though it was totally expected, being told to pick out three colors and use them for some reason made me endlessly happy.

Anyways the sock is rather interesting, if not a little complicated, (oh the ends I’ll be weaving in!), but it’s a nice change in the socks that I have been knitting. I have, for the longest time, wanted to have someone walk me through the whole “intarsia” thing since I’m worried I’m not doing it correctly. The nasty thing about this little project is that I need to get a certain amount done before my classes. While the instructor was adamant that homework wasn’t necessary, in order to keep up, I need to get through at least one pattern repeat, if not TWO before the next class if I want to be sure to learn all the techniques that she’s offering. This basically means that UFO #1 and certainly the baby hat projects need to go on hold until visable progress is made on the new sock.

UFO #3- The Whisper Lace Socks

I couldn’t help it. This yarn was just sitting there, calling to me- begging me to knit it and make it into something pretty. (I am helpless in the arms of pink Koigu.) Realistically I couldn’t take the sweater on the plane ride to San Francisco, (um… yeah… I went to SF this weekend… did I not mention that?), it was just too big and the argyle sock was just too finicky to work on the plane. BUT, I wanted to knit something. It has been so long since I’d knit (seriously a week and a half), I just wanted the joy of seeing something that I’ve worked on come to life. And so, last minute, 5 minutes before I’m supposed to leave for work, I’m winding the Koigu at break neck speeds so that I can take it with me on my plane ride. (I ended up being late, apparently winding yarn at break neck speeds means you are destined to screw it up and spend twice as long.)

I made fairly decent progress on the cuff while waiting for my flight- but progress was delayed ON the flight thanks to the worst turbulence ever. (I have never been on such a rough flight and I’ve flown A LOT.) Thank god I had my knitting which did keep me somewhat calm, but as the turbulence got worse, (and worse still!), my ability to knit and clutch the seat in supreme panic lessened. I eventually had to put the knitting away, and haven’t touched it since.

On the upside, a) I survived the flight, despite thoughts to the contrary and b) I finally got to tackle a picot edging, which is both cute and interesting to knit. Sadly this little project will be filed in the “low priority” que until the argyles and duster get some attention. On the upside it’s in my “portable project” bag, meaning if I take my knitting out of the house, (I usually bring it to work, not that I’ve EVER worked on it), that’s the one that travels best.

All that and I haven’t even addressed the projects that SHOULD be on my needles, but aren’t. It seems my lull in need for baby blankets is over as new friends have announced an impending arrival, bringing the need up to 2. I have patterns, hell, I even have the yarn, I just don’t have the TIME to start these up. One baby is due in January and the new baby is due in March… I’m certain there will be a rush in baby announcements in the next few weeks because that’s apparently how it goes. My goal is to have a blanket on the needles, (not finished mind you), by the end of this month. I know what it’s like to have a rush on blankets and I have long maintained that this time I will be prepared! (Although I will admit that I’m thinking of doing the same pattern for both since they’re fast… how lame does that make me?!)

Trying to figure out a new way to squeeze in as much knitting time as I can is going to be a difficult challenge for me. (I also need to squeeze in the gym at some point too!) Geez, squeezing in enough time to WRITE THIS BLOG ENTRY has been a challenge- please bear with me… I haven’t stopped or given up, I’m just looking for any spare time I can find!

Anyone want to pay me my salary now to knit all day? Because that would be awesome.

*sigh* back to work for me!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I Don't "DO" Patience

Some pretty pink hats for hat Sunday! One is plain and boring and the other is a very cute little basket weave. I've been rather lazy on the whole "creative hat" thing as of late... perhaps I'm losing a little of the "steam" I once had for such an addictive little project.

The Tilted Duster is at a standstill... and I can hardly stand it. I moved along on the fronts/back and sleeves quickly, but now I can't really go further, until I can block the fronts and backs at least. Viola... I call this "Duster in Pieces"

Sadly, my blocking supplies... ie TRUSTY WATER BOTTLE, are in a box, somewhere in a warehouse in Calgary. (Hey... at least they're in Calgary... took them long enough.) Our stuff is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning, meaning that I can finally a) be reunited with my stash and b) UNPACK and settle in this one horse town. All this vigor and unpacking is not going to leave a lot of time for the Duster to get attention until sometime around the weekend. *sigh*

The thing is, this sweater pattern, so far, has been pretty fun to knit, and I'm DYING to get it off the needles and on my back! So, it sucks that I have to be patient and put some other things, like MOVING INTO MY CONDO after a month of living without stuff, ahead of the knitting project. (It also doesn't help that I've started my new job, and so my days will be busy with this whole "working thing" that people apparently do EVERY DAY. {I'm kidding}) I'm already missing my knittery life of leisure in New Haven, where I knit when I wanted and where I wanted essentially.

Hopefully I can get a little sweater time in this weekend, I might even sacrifice a "hat day" if it means making some serious project on my sweater.

Oh yeah?? Remember how I said I was sick of socks? That lasted all of about 28 minutes... because I'm totally "jonesing" to cast on the "Whispering Lace" sock in my pretty varigated pink Koigu, despite my COMPLETE lack of time to give it. Not to mention that I start my Argyle sock class next week and will have to commit to that one for awhile. Can I be patient enough to wait? OR do I cast the sock on now and watch it get neglected for the next month? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Hat Sunday and the Tilted Duster

Yup. More hats. You should have expected this. The cute little checkered hat is the one I completed last week and the two others were actually knit on Saturday, instead of Sunday but I've decided that it still counts. That brings the hat total up to 13! And, if that wasn't enough, my friend who's a doctor at Peter Lougheed is going to let me know if they want baby hats too. I'm a MACHINE I tell ya!

So much has happened in the last few days, I don't even know where to begin.

I guess I'll tell ya- I got my yarn.

Yes, it's lovely, and maybe slightly brighter than I thought I was ordering. (I will admit that I am rethinking the red over grey, but have decided to surge forward and see if I surprise myself with how much I like the red in the end.)

While I'm pleased with the yarn, I'm a little bummed about the company. Here's the thing: I love WEBS with my whole heart. When I lived in New Haven they were an hour and a half away, and any order I made they sent almost over night to me, it would arrive so quickly. The staff is unbelievably nice and friendly, (witnessed first hand at the Harlot event they held), and in general I believe it's a wonderful company. Sadly, I don't think I can order from them anymore. They are great and wonderful to order from if you live in the US, but I was a little less happy with them when ordering from Canada. Not only did I end up paying $20 in shipping for my three skeins of wool but I also got dinged $8 GST charges from customs (not WEBS fault might I add.) With the savings I had ordering from their company, I completely lost on shipping and tax. In fact in general, I ended up spending $15 more than I would have buying it from a yarn store here. (Not that anyone actually carried it in Calgary, but in general, I over-paid.)

I'm frustrated and a little sad about this loss. I love WEBS. I love their products. I really love their prices. I love that they're good at what they do... in the US. But, being in Canada, it's just not economical for me anymore to order from them. I will continue to order if I know I'm going to be in the US and send it to the location I'm staying at, but in general, there probably won't be any Canandian orders anymore... it's just too expensive. That really makes me sad, because, well, I like to support businesses I like. I just wish the shipping hadn't been so astronomical.

In happier news, now that I have the yarn, I can finally start the project I have been obsessing about ever since I bought the fall issue of Interweave Knits: the Tilted Duster. Oh my goodness I have been DYING to begin this project. Yesterday, after a successful gauge swatch, I finally got down to making the back. (Which I'm almost done!) So far the wool is knitting up nicely and everything is working out lovely- I'm sure there will be much discussion as I continue.
Given that is going to my last week of freedom to knit for awhile, (surprise! I got a job!), I'm also casting on the Alphabet Blanket pattern by the very creative Debbie Bliss. While I will not be using Miss Bliss' yarn, (one cannot buy the yarn in good conscience when one is unemployed... hopefully this will now change), I will be using the Bernat Baby Soft. (While I may be a yarn snob now, I still prefer this stuff to knit Baby Blankets... it's just soft and pretty and knits up nicely and I'm not going to defend it anymore!)

September has started with a bunch of new! exciting! projects!, and surprisingly, no socks. I just need a little sock break for a bit. (But not to worry.... neither of the two new projects are very portable, so there will be a new sock soon.) Either way, I'm really happy to be sinking my teeth into something new. Must dash.... the Tilted Duster is calling me.....