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April 13, 2009

Fiber Infusion

It's that time of year again! On Saturday Wendie, my friend Deb and I made the yearly pilgrimage up to the Fiber Event in Greencastle, Indiana. There was fiber. Oh yes.

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also, there were alpaca. did you know they hum?

Saturday the weather cooperated and we had beautiful sunny spring day...a bit chilly but just perfect for poking fingers into bags of fiber and squeezing everything wooly in site.

I resisted buying a raw fleece (I am so Not Allowed to have more than one of those floating around the apartment) but I did buy a variety of yummy lumps for sampling.


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Reading from left to right: black Shetland, aqua Coopworth/silk, light brown superwash Merino lamb, light gray Shetland lamb/silk/cashmere, aqua Shetland/linen, light brown California Variegated Mutant/silk (I was sold as soon as I found out that the "M" in CVM stands for "mutant"), gray Shetland.

Like last year, my goal was to get a variety of breeds but somehow I just ended up with a goodish bit of Shetland and stuff blended with silk. I may have gotten a little careless there at the end. Must have been all the fiber fumes.

Now, to find a place to buy more bobbins so I can spin some of this up!

February 13, 2009

<3

A certain husband of mine just showed up at work with a smile and a bouquet.

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hallo! we are luscious long-stemmed baby alpaca!


Sorry ladies...I've found the perfect man and you can't have him.


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nothing is more romantic than a jumping sheep (an homage to one of my favorite You Tube clips).


I love you, Thunky!

October 28, 2008

Cashmere Recycling

Over a year ago I unraveled most of a thrifted cashmere sweater. Hooray, right? You'd think I'd be all over that yarn. Not so. I'd pull it out occasionally, but my love was still poisoned by thoughts of the unremarkable bag of a sweater that it started life as. So this weekend I decided to change things up a bit.

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hello. we are impossibly soft (and not entirely color-accurate).

Once I got the whole thing unraveled and wound into balls (I heart you, ballwinder) I assessed the situation. I had about 150g of laceweight-ish yarn. So I rewound 4 strands of the yarn together, into 25g hanks (I heart you too, niddy-noddy). So! Six, 25g hanks of approximately fingeing-weight yarn ready for the dyepot.

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the end of the unraveling job

I dye fairly infrequently and, like most of you, I don't have the tools or the setup for the fancy stuff. So, once again, I pulled out my trusty bag of KoolAid packets and got to work. 12 flavors (and three empty vials of food coloring) later, I emerged on the other end of a Sunday afternoon with six little bitty bundles of colorful cashmerey goodness. I have to say, I'm rather pleased with the outcome.

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this is a more accurate representation of the colors

I got my best results when I dyed each skein multiple times with different (yet closely-related) colors. It gives a bit more depth of color. Also, the original aqua played a bit of a role in the final result. You'll notice that my attempt at yellow came out as more of a chartreuse, and the orange has some greenish notes to it as well.

That's it! Reject sweater + fruity drink mixes = vibrant yarny love.

October 25, 2008

Happy Saturday Rundown

Things that make me happy today:

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1) Finding another antique bone crochet hook at the thrift store yesterday


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2) Surprise gifts in the mail from across the Atlantic


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3) Another surprise gift! This one reminding me to read my Tintin.


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4) Knitting with my own homespun


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5) My new Amy Ruppel


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6) Glass birds. Not just for Christmas!


And to make it an even 10...
7) Realizing that there is lasagna in the fridge that we can heat up for dinner
8) Watching Saturday afternoon home shows on PBS
9) Weather that is just the right temperature to not run the AC or the heating (if I wear wool socks)
10) Knowing that this blog turned three yesterday. Wow!


Hope your Saturday is as lovely as mine!

July 8, 2008

Stash Attack: Spring 08 Edition

In spite of my efforts to keep my wool children to a minimum, I've accumulated a bit of stash over the last couple of months. But it's all souvenir and gift yarn, which I think is perfectly acceptable, don't you? Behold:

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I went all the way to England and bought...Kidsilk Haze.

When I was in York in March I visited a cute little shop called Sheepish and fell tookuus over teakettle with these three colors of KSH (629, 582, and 578). So I bought them. Yum, yum! I want to design a ridiculously garish, yet fabulous shawl.


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Hello. I am British. Mostly.

Gift yarn from Philippa! It's called BFL Dazzle 4py/Sock and it's from The Natural Dye Studio. It has text all over the label saying "British Wool!" and "British Wool from British Sheep!" and then on the back in teeny tiny print it says "contains not less than 50% British Wool." Tee-hee. Regardless, it's gorgeous and soft and a lot more British than any other yarn I came across on my trip. Destined for socks, naturally.


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When I grow up I want to be a pair of mittens.

I don't know if I mentioned that I left Thunky in England for a month. Well, I did. When he finally returned, he brought me some yarn (I believe Phillipa was instrumental in making this purchase possible). He informs me that he would like colorwork mittens, so mittens he will have! The yarn is Artesano 100% Alpaca 4 ply. I must say he has excellent taste.

Saturday I dropped Thunk off at the train station for another month of scholarly frolicking in archives, so I'm on my own again. Maybe there's a yarn store in Massachusetts too (hint, hint)?


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Llama, llama, llama...llama

This is the yarn I bought at Yellow Wood Llama Farm (it's Farmhouse Fibers Super SIlky 100% Llama Yarn). It's feels fantastic and the blue color makes me all swoony. I have no idea what to make with it, but I bought one skein of white so that I have the option of doing colorwork. Because I'm all about the colorwork lately. Any ideas? I have approximately 800 yards of sportweight.


That's all for now. I have some FOs to show off soon. Stay tuned!

April 15, 2008

Algernon*

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greetings, knitters. we are single and on the prowl.

So I made some yarn, and frankly I'm a little underwhelmed. Granted it's been a couple of years since I've spun anything and I did pick the crappiest of the recently-purchased roving to practice on (some hairy el cheapo Romney with a goodish bit of v.m., short ends, etc.), so I'm not giving up yet.

The deets: 4oz Romney, 2ply. A tad underspun, but surprisingly balanced. Not worth measuring WPI yet, I think.

What I learned:
-Making a little reference card with a sample to refer to does in fact help me spin a more consistent thickness.
-I should probably split the roving by the number of bobbins I plan to fill so that I can minimize the leftover singles.
-Buy nicer fiber!

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Abe Lincoln agrees that this is quite possibly the most unremarkable yarn ever.

The plan: plain old mittens look like about the only option here. I'm going to definitely knit with this so that I can see what I need to do differently.

Question for all you spinners out there: do I need to wash it and set the twist before I knit with it, or can I just knit and block?


*I figure if I name my yarn, I'll be more likely to keep track of it. So I'm starting with the beginning of the alphabet and moving on from there. We'll see how soon I make it to Xavier, Yul and Zebadiah.

April 13, 2008

In which there is much fiber

Did you know I have a spinning wheel? Probably not. It's been a while since I hauled her out. The truth is that I've never practiced enough to become consistent and I have a bad habit of buying quantities of white fiber (with the intent to dye and spin up enough to make a garment) and then never quite having the confidence to get started. So you could say that things have languished in the spinning department.

Fast forward to yesterday when Wendie and I made our annual sojourn up to the Fiber Event, in Greencastle, Indiana*. Wanna see what I got?

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Romney, Alpaca, Cormo x Border

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Blue Faced Leicester & silk (indigo/osage), Corriedale & silk (osage/cochineal/madder), Corriedale (indigo)

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more Romney, Shetland lambswool (from Theodora the sheeplette)

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Clun Forest, Wensleydale, Border Leicester

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Icelandic handspun from Schacht Fleece Farm (spun by Mandy from Chloe the sheep)

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the coolest cotton towel ever, handwoven by a fellow named Ivan, purchased from his granddaughter and great-granddaughter

That's mostly fiber, isn't it? All natural and local and (best of all) in small enough quantities that I can just mess around and see if I like it...kindof like a fiber buffet. Looks like my inner spinner may have woken up (or alternately, my inner misguided fiber-buyer may have just gone on a wild rampage).

*proof that I was actually there can be found on Nicole's blog. I did not take pictures. In my defense, it was horribly cold and rainy and I didn't want to take off my mittens. Had I taken pictures they would have been of the gals (Wendie, Orata, Nicole, Kalani, Leigh, and Bloggless Norma), the poor frightened sheep that was bolting around the grounds with people running after it (strangely enough, the ONLY live sheep I saw there yesterday), and my blue lips. Thankfully we had boys and a nice lasagna to go home to. There was also a Wendie-made blueberry pie for dessert which was FANTASTIC. A good day.

November 14, 2007

in which we excavate the crazy

New yarn, peeps:

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hello. we are mauvelous.

Things you should know:

1) This yarn is for this vest.
2) It is fingering weight.
3) I have never knitted intarsia before.
4) There is intarsia on the front AND the back.
5) I am going to modify the pattern.
6) It is a Christmas gift.

No problem-o, right?

In other news: Kricket wants me to show you the Corpse Bride costume I made her for Halloween because she craves fame and stardom. Who am I to deprive her? See? The costume is made of Mum's old nightie, an old bra, two of Dad's old undershirts, some lace, gauzey stuff, a bit of stretchy white fabric, and some ribbon. Krick used a dry-erase marker to do the blue details. All thrown together the afternoon before we left Seattle.

September 10, 2007

A little bit of everything

I went into the weekend thinking that I'd see how much of the Chicago cardi I could crank out, but I got a little sidetracked. What's new? I did finish the back though:

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Hello. I am soft and smooshy.


Saturday morning was devoted to thrifting:

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Fall colors and fabrics!

There is enough of the blue and white herringbone to sew a nice-sized project (am I crazy to want a jumper?) and the tweedy orange wool is destined to become a cushion.

And just when I thought my days of bringing home odd balls of thrifted yarn were over, two skeins of vintage alpaca/nylon found their way into my basket (they're sneaky little things). I reskeined them and gave them a nice wash to get rid of the fusty smell and now they're ready for action...whatever that may mean. Then there were some vintage pattern pamphlets and zippers that didn't make it into the picture. A darn good trip for $4.83, wouldn't you say?


Inspired by the fabric, Sunday afternoon I decided that I had to knit some herringbone mittens. Here's where I was by 5pm:

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Hello. We are fuzzy-wuzzy.

The yarn is some leftover lamb's pride worsted and I'm making things up as I go. We'll see if it works!

July 31, 2007

Show and Tell

Good mail seems to come in clumps around here. I'll go for weeks with nothing more interesting than a bank statement and then I'll hit a happy patch and something nice comes almost every day. Lately things have been pretty terrific in the mail department...

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Hello. I totally rock.

Circular needle case from Dan of Spin | Knit. I won his blogiversary contest and I'm not ashamed to say that I totally played to win. You're kinda jealous, aren't you? Maybe he'll make some and put them in his shop if you ask nicely enough.


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Sample-sized Soak packets from Chris in three promising-sounding scents (citrus, aquae, and a scent for celebration). I plan on doing a very faux-scientific review of these when I get a chance. Maybe next week? Everybody loves a good product test.


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Rowanspun Aran, for the next big sweater project...which I'm already six inches into. Any guesses? Clues: it's for me, and it's cabled (what a shocker)!

July 18, 2007

Goings on

Wow! It's kind of hard to come down from that Demi post, but I guess it's time to move on. Thanks much for all the thoughtful comments; I'm all pink and blushy here.

Getting back to the slightly more mundane...here's the latest Plain Old Sock project I've been carrying around with me:

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This is Luna Park, color 203* and you're looking at sock number two. I haven't posted about this project yet because, well, let's just say that I'm a bit underwhelmed. The colors aren't quite as charming knitted up as they were in ball-form, and the yarn is annoyingly unbalanced which means both socks have a bit of a twist to them. Also, for merino it feels an awful lot like regular old sock yarn. Nothing special folks. Move along.

In other project news, I finished the first half of Hanami, picked out the provisional cast-on and started knitting the second half. Everything was looking lovely...I got a few inches in before I noticed that I was getting some nasty pooling. What gives? Needless to say, Hanami is in time-out for a while.

Fortunately, I have (relatively) new yarn to console me:

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Hello. We are an impulse purchase.

Two Saturdays ago I may have spent some quality time in the sale section at Stitches and Scones in Indy, and we all know I'm nothing if not helpless in the face of discounted lambswool. I blame Wendie for taking me there and Jared for making a cameo as the little voice in my head who kept saying "but it's Tweeeeeeeed...**"

All right, I'm off to go knit now. More new-projecty excitingness coming soon!

*Didja see how I remembered to tell you what yarn I'm using for a change? 10 points for me!
**I'm sure he's not this whiney in real life.

July 6, 2007

Anatomy of a fuzzy purple post

Part I: Salutation and a Lame Excuse

Ahoy there, knitterly people! I know things on the blog have been about as exciting as watching ice cream melt on the sidewalk, so you guys all get ten points for hanging around. The knitting has been chugging along at a leisurely summerish pace (slowly, and without deadlines) and, well, you know how it goes.


Part II: Attempt at Distraction and Pacification with Pretty Yarn

Find here a picture of my lovely new angora to ease the shock of reentry:

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Souvenir yarn from Paris, courtesy of the Parents du Thunk.


Part III: The Knitting Bit

Ok, down to business. The Modified Hanami is progressing nicely...I'm nearing the end of the first half. Here's what things look like currently:

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Hello there. I am warm and fuzzy.

A slight aside: it suddenly occurs to me that this is the second year running that I find myself knitting a shawl out of kid mohair in July. Could it be a subconscious rebellion against over-air conditioned workplaces, or perhaps just a coincidence?


Part IV: Tardy Finishing Disguised with Positive Spin

I bought buttons and sewed them onto Demi yesterday! Stay tuned for FO shots. Finally.

June 5, 2007

Five happy things

1) I finished sewing up Demi! There won't be any pictures until I locate some buttons and do a little seam-steaming, but she's almost there! Do you know what this means?

2) I am down to ONE unfinished project! Just one! I'm still a little shocked about this. This in turn means that...

3) I can finally start some new projects! Swatching has ensued. Plans are being made for yummy projects which involve...

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4) Stashbusting! This is some Alpaca Cloud I overdyed on Sunday evening. It used to be "sunlight heather" (aka blah beige) so I took care of that with a whole pile of lemon and orange flavored koolaid. I am really happy with the results and I'm hoping that it'll be just right for the project I have in mind.

And since we haven't had enough babies around here lately...

5) The nephewling is cute. So is my dad.

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April 20, 2007

I went, I froze, I stashed

Wendie and I had a lovely time at ye olde Fiber Event on Saturday. It was indeed cold as all getout. And rainy. And muddy. So yucky, in fact, that it seems that most of the animals stayed home and I didn't take a single picture the whole time I was there. So if you need your cute fleecy beasts fix, I'll refer you to last year's post.

Here's what I came home with this year:

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Fingerling wool/llama/mohair, Fleece Artist sock yarn.

My first purchase was some Fleece Artist. I found a lovely skein of sock yarn in shades of green. When Wendie started making covetous noises I absolutely knew I had to buy it. Sorry Wen. You know you have too much sock yarn already.

In another hugely cold corner of an unheated exhibit barn I found a whole shelf of yarn that was going for $1/ounce (which on one hand triggers my "wheee! affordable yarn!" response and simultaneously trips my "what aren't they telling me?" alarm). Most of it was pretty uninspiring, but I found myself drawn to a few lonely skeins of orangey 2-ply fingerling-weight wool/llama/mohair. And then I spotted the same yarn in a natural brown. So now I have 19 ounces of this stuff and no plan. Socks maybe? Anybody know much about llama? I'm going to have to swatch it up and see what sort of itch-factor it has.

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More fingerling wool/llama/mohair.

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8 oz of alpaca-y goodness, 8 oz of Icelandic roving.

My favorite find was some really soft and lovely dark brown Icelandic roving from a farm right here in Bloomington. They've got a nice website where you can read about the sheep (my roving was a blend from Huldah, Saphira, and Shua). They've also got an amazing looking adopt-a-sheep program which gets you a whole fleece (raw, processed or as yarn), an adoption certificate, quarterly letters about your sheep, and a bunch of other stuff. I find myself sorely tempted.

The plan for this weekend is to regroup and get knitting on some of those UFOs. I've been a little lazy lately and have just been knitting away on some plain socks. *Yawn* Coming soon: more finishing! Less futzing around!

April 4, 2007

More Babies and Knee Highs

So I’ve been avoiding blogging a bit because I’ve been a bit on the tired and complainy side (see last two posts). But I promise, only nice things today!

Nice thing No. 1: Yarn

YaiAnn did a little shopping for me at Stitches West. I pretty much asked her to stage a mini-raid on Cookie's booth and she thoughtfully obliged. To feed the kneesock fiend in me, I now have my very own German Stocking sock kit:

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Mmm.

I also had her nab me the Twisted Flower sock pattern (no pic, but it’s here if you haven’t seen it yet.) and some of Cookie’s handpainted sock yarn in a green colorway I’d been coveting since I first saw it up her blog. YaiAnn also surprised me with a skein of Lisa Souza merino sock yarn in a gorgeous almost-solid colorway called “pumpkin.” Yum! I’m currently obsessed with the idea of turning it into some snickets.

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we are delicious.


Nice thing No. 2: I have a new nephew! Actually, I’ve had a new nephew since March 25. If you know me in real life I’ve probably already made you look at pictures. But for the rest of you, here he is:

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I am delicious too. (picture by Krickie)

He belongs to my older sister Rae and BIL Natey. I think they did a rather decent job, don’t you? We’ll go up to visit his humongous adorableness and the rest of the family this weekend. I am very excited. Here's the other picture Krick sent (I want his hat).


In other news, the yellow soaker has been done for weeks and the cabley baby sweater is pretty darn near completed. More on those when I get my act together.

February 22, 2007

Mail call!

Guess what? Thunk's saddle shoulder aran cardigan is finished, blocked, be-buttoned and ready for action! Unfortunately, we still haven't gotten out to do a photoshoot. So I thought I'd take this opportunity to distract you with some pictures of the unexpected knitting-related surprises that have shown up at my door lately. It's been like Christmas over here, people.

First there was some yummy yarn from my MIL. You know you've got it good when the in-laws start sending unsolicited fiber.

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I am soft and fuzzy.


A couple of days later my friend Deb swung by bearing a copy of the 1943 Red Heart classic "Woolies for Babies" which, aside from having the single most petulant-looking baby in all of creation featured on the cover (though you can't blame her as she is sporting the Wynken, Blynken 'n' Nod Toe Toasters, Hug-me-Tight, AND Cuddly Cap), has a couple of patterns for "Soakers" inside.

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For those of you who haven't run into a soaker lately, it's basically a pair of wooly underpants for your baby to wear over a cloth diaper (which explains the name, though I'm told it's not really as gross as it sounds). Anyway, my pregnant sister Rae (pics here, if you need a refresher) has declared that she's going the anti-disposable route and wants some soakers. I've found a few patterns online, but if any of you have soaker experience and can share any tips/recommendations/favorite patterns/whatever, just drop me a comment or an e-mail. This would be a good time to point out that I've finally put my e-mail up in the sidebar over there. Took me long enough, didn't it?


But back to the mail. A little over a week ago, I received an extraordinarily lumpy package from my cousin Jessica (pic here if you need a refresher) and this little guy was inside!

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Hello. I am here to kill you with my adorableness.

Think he's cute from the front? Just wait until you see his little backside:

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We decided to call him Max for obvious reasons. Tee-hee.

January 17, 2007

Stash Stats 2006

I’m a big fan of maintenance. It makes pretty good sense that if you keep an eye on things, they won’t get out of control. So this past year has been all about keeping the stash in check. Not that it’s too far gone, but a little bit goes a long way in a teeny little apartment. Thank goodness Thunk considers vases of knitting needles and shelves of yarn to be legitimate decorating choices.

I'm also a big fan of spreadsheets. Yes indeed.

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my latest additions to the stash

So! Let’s do the numbers…(cue “we’re in the money”)

-Yarn spending for the year was down 31% from 2005 (and it would have been down more if I hadn't gone to Imagiknit with yaiAnn on December 31…not that I’m complaining).

-Total knitting-relating expenditures were down 20% for the year. This is good. Very good. It means that I spent money on other stuff. Like clothes. And food.

-In the grand scheme of things department: I knitted (or otherwise disposed of) a bit less yarn this year than I brought in, ending the year up just 1146g. Which really isn’t too shabby if you think about it. Think of it as a bag of nice aran-weight and some dk-weight for a baby sweater.


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the needle collection has grown as well...but that's another post entirely


Broken down into categories of intent:
55%* of yarn this year was purchased for gift knitting.
31% was for me or had no specific intent.
14% was gifted to me (thanks!).

Other interesting stats:
I acquired 72 skeins of yarn in 2006.
40% was Rowan. Wow.
10% was sock yarn, including my first 3 skeins of STR.


That said, knitting resolutions for 2007 are:

-Use what I have (bet you didn’t see that one coming).
-Finish out those old UFOs! Demi’s making a comeback people. Flowerbasket’s in the wings.
-Keep the WIP list short. The goal is 3 projects at once. Four max. No more projects which languish for peetsake.

Whew! Enough of the serious stuff. Time to get knitting.


*these percentages calculated by number of skeins, not by weight.

November 6, 2006

Mail!

This past week was a bit on the unproductive side…it’s amazing how much less I get accomplished when I have a cold. A bit sad really. But I’m all healthy now.

One thing that wasn’t at all dismal was the mail. Early in the week a package arrived from Lois (all the way from Singapore!) with my prize from her birthday drawing. Thanks, Lois!

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See that yummy looking yarn? It’s pretty much a direct sub for Kidsilk Haze. I keep having visions of it knitted up in a simple shawl. Maybe something similar to the bubbly curtain from Mason-Dixon Knitting except, you know, less curtainy. It really wants to be something simple to show off the colors. Still, it’ll be a couple months before I have time to cast on for that. Plenty of time to think, but suggestions are always welcome if you have any!


On Friday another package was waiting for me when I got home, this time from the lovely Angela! Guys, she knitted me socks!

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Do I have the whitest white-person legs or what?

Hooray! We had to have an artsy-fartsy photoshoot to celebrate (Thunk is really a good sport about this whole knitting photography thing). The socks are absolutely perfect…and I’m talking down to the very last stitch. Here’s the proof:

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Beautiful, eh?

I took them on a test run to the doctor’s office this morning. Nothing’s better than a pair of nice hand knitted wooly socks to keep you warm when you go in for your yearly lady-parts appointment. Though a heated examining table is nice too.

If you want the specs and back-story on the socks, check out Angela’s post for today…it’s pretty funny, actually.

Thanks again Angela!


In other news:

Saturday I felt a sudden inspiration to cast on for Beau (gotta get those Christmas gifts in gear!) and cranked out a goodly sized patch of knitting while listening to Sarah Vowell’s Assassination Vacation (which I loved). It’s amazing how quickly things go when you aren’t knitting cables or lace.

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At this rate Beau should be done in no time. Hooray for mindless knitting!

October 17, 2006

It's dark.

Ok, I spent the entire sunny weekend not taking pictures of the current projects. I just kept putting it off. So now it's depressing and rainy and dark, dark, dark. Blech. Oh well, I've got a few saved up...

Recent stash acquisitions:
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Socks that Rock in Lemongrass and Star Sapphire. Since the pic, I've knitted almost an entire Elfine's sock (link to pdf here) out of the Star Sapphire. (But do I have a picture? No! You'll just have to use your imagination. But it's stunning. Trust me.)


I also finished a secret project over the weekend, but I'm not going to post about it until my family gets the e-mail I just sent out re: Christmas knitting, reading blog at own risk, blah, blah. Last year it wasn't really much of an issue since the knitted gifts were mainly for people who didn't know about the blog yet, but this year it's a different story. I just can't tiptoe around for 1/4 of the year not showing you guys what I'm working on. That would be silly.


In the mean time, here are more vintage needles to soothe your poor wip-/fo-shot deprived souls:

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July 26, 2006

Yarn. Lots of yarn.

Hmmm…I seem to have bought yarn. This is why I never tell people when I'm on a stash diet.

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On the left there we have Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran* in Tusk (cream, 8 skeins), and Muffin (yellowish, 9 skeins)...I got enough of each for Christmas sweaterage, but I'm not telling which sweaters until I figure out how Christmas on the Blog will be handled this year. The Briggs and Little Heritage 2-ply (6 skeins) was an impulse purchase…I snapped it up when moon tea Julia was destashing a little while back. I didn't have a specific project in mind, but it's also an aran weight and I was rendered powerless by its slightly-heavier-than-worsted-weight siren song.

This package arrived last week as well:
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It's from Steph (she of the beautiful FO shots), who was in a lovely and generous mood and giving it away. I know, I know...crazy, right? I'd never encountered Soft-Kid in the wild before, but imagine something impossibly soft and sportweightish and you'll be mostly there. This begs to be something super-snuggly in the neckwear department. Thanks so much Steph!


Continuing in the theme of giving stuff away, I have an extra Spring 2006 Knit.1 here. This would be the "Travel issue" (the one with all the piratey patterns). The best feature is the "knitting dictionary" where they translate common knitting terms into 10 languages. V. useful stuff. If you want it, leave me a comment and I'll have Thunk draw a name on Friday, ok? Excellent. I'll ship to wherever (as long as you have mail carriers). While you’re commenting, tell me something interesting or funny about yourself…Caitlyn did this a while back and I loved reading the responses she got.

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In actual knitting news: River is almost finished. Almost.

*Rowan is discontinuing all the Yorkshire Tweed yarns which is tragic, because a huge number of patterns from Rowan Vintage Knits call for it. Fabulous deals with free shipping can be found here.

March 28, 2006

Trials and Sock-u-lations

Who knew that introducing simple cables to a sock (and making them for largish boy feet) could suddenly turn socks into a three week process? I wouldn't be surprised if, after I finally finish the green cable and rib socks, I don't knit another patterned sock for the rest of my life. It'll be plain old stockinette socks from here on out people. I know they're not that much fun to look at, but it's not as if I've got much to show as it is. The second sock pretty much looks like this one right now.

What is it they say about taking hair from the dog that bit you?

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Socks that Rock in Olivenite (more accurate color here). Obviously too nice for just plain old stockinette socks. I think this skein is going to go and sleep in the stash for a while.

March 4, 2006

Big Spender

I now fall into the category of people who spend too much on sock yarn. That's ok though. Up until today I'd only spent $1.22 on yarn so far this year. Pretty good, huh?

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This would be Mountain Colors Hand-Painted in Juniper. If you look behind the yarn you'll see the new sofa which we finally got yesterday. I love it. It has nice flat arms. I know it's a little crazy, but I'm really excited about the flat arms because I can set things on them and the stuff won't fall into the couch the way it does when you set it next to you on the cushion.

Before we got rid of the old couch I stuck my hands down the cracks and I found all sorts of stuff...a couple of cable needles, a crochet hook, stitch markers, a dpn, and the ebony hairstick my dad made me that I had given up for lost. And I'm someone who vacuums under the cushions semi-regularly. Come to think of it, my mum was telling me that she found my brother-in-law's stuffed fanged rabbit in her couch a few months back. And it had been lost since Christmas 2004.

In fact, I bet there are all sorts of great things in your couch too. Go check. The best way to do it is to remove the cushions and stand on the couch so that the weight of your body opens up those deep crevices. Then stick your hands in. You'll probably find all kinds of things you thought you'd lost, plus a lot of crud, and enough change to buy a pizza too. Let me know if you find anything good.

January 26, 2006

Back to the basics

I learned to knit way back when I was a little kid. I still knit exactly the same way--I grab the yarn with my right hand, and I move my whole right hand to wrap it around the needle. This method is so unsophisticated that I don't think it even has a name.

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This isn't going to work for the Fair Isle. I already knew that it wouldn't, but I tried it anyway. Aside from making me feel like a big knitting loser, it made a big tangly mess out of the yarn and I found myself spending a lot of time unsnarling things. This weekend I'll try the real way. The way that fills my heart with dread. I'll let y'all know how that goes.

In happier news, I won Angela's stash guessing contest!

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Sweet prize, eh? If you can drag your covetous eyes away from the delicious yarn, you will notice that she also sent chocolate and little trial-size samples of things to slather on myself, with scents like chamomile and buttercream—yum! Thanks, Angela!

November 21, 2005

Weekend Knitting

There wasn't as much weekend knitting as originally anticipated...but I bought yarn!

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Funky colors, eh?

On Saturday, Thunk and I went to see the LOTR exhibit with our friends Jason and Wendie. It was v. cool, though the museum wouldn't let us take any pictures. You'll just have to use your imagination...lots of costumes and props and one very creepy wax body double of dead Boromir in a boat. Wendie is a knitter too (yay!) so we hit Mass Ave. Knits in Indy after the museum. I was v. restrained and bought only the Regia sock yarn (which was on sale) and a pair of long size 6 Brittanies.


Sunday I resisted casting on for the socks and finished the back of Mum's Laurent instead. I really hope it doesn't grow much when I block it. It is the perfect size right now.

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I started on both Laurent fronts last night. I'm working both at the same time so it feels like things are moving pretty slowly, but it's just mental. I'm past the fancy edge bits now, and on to the miles and miles of stocking stitch. Provided I remember to read the pattern (not always as easy as it sounds) things should be fairly zippy from here on out.

November 8, 2005

Stash Attack!

You know how sometimes good things come in 3s? Yesterday good things came in 3,050s. As in 3,050 grams of lovely new yarn:

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Artie the mailman brought two boxes for me yesterday. The first one was from Cindy. You would like Cindy. I met her at a conference I was attending for work last month. You know how you head into a vendor reception (lured there by free drinks and egg rolls) and buckle down for a not-so-exciting couple hours of mixing and mingling? Imagine discovering that the person you are talking to just happens to be a fabulously talented knitter who makes fair isle sweaters like a pro and may just have a bit of a stash overload and is willing to part with some of it for a song. It happens people. She sent me 17 skeins of Rowan Magpie and 6 skeins of Patons Classic Merino.

Cindy shall henceforth be known as my knitting fairy godmother.

The second box was from KnitPicks who, aside from being a little evil for trying to put all our LYSs out of business, make pretty decent yarn that I buy more often than I'd like to admit. They sent me 14 skeins of Merino Style for Mum's intarsia-less Laurent, and one skein of Apricot Shine to finish my Heirloom Bag (which you haven't seen yet because I'm sneakily hiding WIPs. Lots and lots of them, actually).

So what am I going to do with all of this? All I will say is that I have Plans. One of the plans may or may not have something to do with the turquoise Magpie Tweed and Diana's Demi knitalong.