Saturday, May 31, 2008

5 Months - 50 Balls

The good news is, my stash progress makes math really easy. The bad news is, I had hoped for more progress by now. Of course, considering I have even slightly less yarn than I started out the year with is huge progress for me--not to mention a real first.

Today I finished THE PROJECT OF MISTAKES. Seriously, if there is a mistake that can be made on a quilt, it's on here.
The blocks are done backwards, so the cool intertwining circle motif doesn't exist, I decided I didn't want to have to bind the quilt, so I sewed the edges together much as one would sew a pillow together, which in turn made it impossible to lay out flat to quilt. I tried out some machine embroidery in the center of the circles, not noticing until too late that some of the embroidery designs were set as squares & some are on point like a diamond. I started this thing about 4 years ago & all the mistakes had banished it to the Project Time-Out Bin ever since. I have occasionally taken it out, made some progress, made more mistakes & threw it back into the bin in disgust. Today it is done--complete with edging problems. But it is done & in the washing machine. All it needs now are the colors to bleed into the yellow & it will be a complete & total disaster.

And Theo utterly loves it .
I guess even the ugliest project can have a fan.

Friday, May 30, 2008

50!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I finished the Fruity Pebbles sockswhich brings me to 50 balls of yarn used this year!!!!!!!! HAPPY DANCE (in some sporty new socks even)!!!!

Just think how exciting that would be if I hadn't bought 75 balls of yarn in December....that would actually be a net stash decrease....but I'm still hopeful for a net decrease overall. I do still have 7 more months.

In a fit of resolution, madness, or total rebellion because I really did have other projects I needed to work on, I even finished a fall table runner that I started about 3 years ago:which means I average about one square a year. Truly a scary concept if I ever decide to make a king-size quilt--does cotton rot in 50 years?????

And the latest obsession--

the Lady's Circular Cape, which is now at the border stage. I love the cleverness of knitted-on borders--it's such a great way to finish lace. Even if it does take FOREVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Four Mile Mark!!!!!

Last night I finished and blocked Sweet Peaand am now stuck with trying to figure out a way to wear a wool scarf in the summer because I am STILL madly in love with this scarf & really, really, REALLY want to wear it.

And better yet--I have now used 49 balls of yarn and over 7000 yards of yarn from the stash!!!!

Happy dance!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I Have Been 'MEMED"

I have no idea if "memed" is a word, or if "meme" is a word (spell check is saying no), but basically there's a large-scale game of blogger tag, and I'm "IT," having been tagged by Jill and by Toni in Florida.

The Rules:
Rules are posted at the beginning. At the end of the post, the player tags 6 people and posts their names. Then the player goes to each of the “named” people’s blogs and leaves a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog. If you’ve been tagged, you do the same, letting the person who tagged you know when you’ve posted your answer. Your answer, of course, is the answer to the following questions. Here we go!

1. What was I doing 10 years ago?

I believe I was working for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a contract fundraiser (I would later become permanent staff for a total of two years.) I had been in telecommunication sales, but that was during the frenzy of telecom mergers, and I had lost my job in the shuffle. I was burned out & tired and looking for a new challenge, and I decided that charities would be completely safe from mergers & acquisitions, as who would ever want to buy an organization that openly declares it doesn't make money?

2. 5 things on my to-do list today?

Hold on to your hats--this is exciting stuff....

* Unpacking - we just returned from a wonderful time in Colorado at midnight last night.

* Laundry

* double checking to make sure that the "welcome home" dead vole is the ONLY gift from the cats during our absence.

* spending some quality time with my latest love interest--

to which I am still showing amazing dedication. OK--you're right, it is not the ONLY thing I have on the needles (a form of monogamy I am not capable of), but it is the only one I worked on this weekend--which is sort of monogamy. I am capable of great dedication when it's the only knitting I have with me for 4 days......

3. Snacks I enjoy:

snap peas, cucumbers, watermelon, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, apples, pickles, pretzels. I would eat potato chips daily if they didn't hurt my stomach, add inches to places I don't want them, and make my face break out, but as they do all three, it's hard to really say I "enjoy" them.....

4. Places I’ve lived:

Not a very wild existence, I'm afraid:

Midvale, Idaho - home of Larry Craig and 150 other people who do NOT foot-tap in public restrooms
Moscow, Idaho
Richland, Washington
Boise, Idaho

There were a few other stops when I was too young to really remember them, so we'll be skipping those.

5. Things I would do if I were a billionaire:

Possibly die of shock, as I haven't ever played the lottery and don't know anyone with that sort of loot, but in Hypothetical Land:

1. Get off this yarn diet and just buy the house next door for my yarn & fabric stash.

2. Travel

3. Buy my entire subdivision & make it mandatory that anyone wanting to live here has to admit that Idaho is a desert and front lawns are completely pointless and a waste of time, energy, and water.

4. Put all the nieces and nephews through college, provided they spend two years in some sort of community service. I don't believe anyone should get a free ride in life--no matter how much money their relatives have.

5. Spend every-other year living somewhere new.


Now it is my turn to tag 6 people to play (or not--Blogland is pretty lax on such things):

J.P.
Georgi
Donna
Angie
SusieH
Alison

Whew--now off to that laundry....

Friday, May 23, 2008

I Can Be Monogamous After All

My love affair with the scarf continues....
to the exclusion of all other projects, including the birthday poncho, which I really truly have been working on until I met Sweet Pea here. Why can I only develop good habits when it's a really inopportune time to do so?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A Little Visit From Reality

After deciding to do The Year of The Stash, I allowed myself one last purchase from Knitpicks in December of 2007:

Today is May 22 and I have not yet used up the number of skeins I bought in just one order. I'm not even that close.

Yardage-wise I might be a little bit better (though there was some lace-weight in there, so that might be even worse), but it is going to take me at least a total of 6 months of knitting to use up the yarn I added to the stash "just in case." Granted, it was a much larger order than I normally would place (sale + not getting any new yarn for an entire year), but under normal circumstances, I would have purchased a similar amount in smaller orders by now--AND have not knit any faster than I currently am.

Anyone ever tried knitting from stash for 2 years????????????????????????????????

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

I'm In Love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ever since casting this on last nightI have been completely obsessed with it!

Details: Knit Picks Gossamer in "Sweat Pea," which unfortunately was discontinued (Sorry RobinH--and yes, I have counted my stash yarns and would know if something suddenly went missing.....). Size 6 needle--though for some insane reason, this is a 4.25 mm size 6, not a 4.0 size 6, which does indeed prove that some people just like to mess with knitters' minds. Simple moss stitch border and simple faggotting stitch (yo, k2 tog on odd rows, yo, p2 tog on even ones). Not quite mindless, but pretty close.

Sorry, I've been away from it long enough......must keep knitting!!!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

If You Aren't Making Enough Progress, Cast On More Projects!!!

Somehow, this makes rational sense. Not sure HOW yet, but it does.

So last week's hat was looking a little,

well, small....

Not that size matters, but it does look an awful lot like a child's hat.

Not that there is anything wrong with children's hats, or children for that matter, but I have several young nieces & nephews and refuse to be Aunt-Toni-of-the-boring-knitted-hat-as-a-gift. I'm a great lover of hand-made gifts now that I'm an adult, but as a child, they were a pretty big let-down--especially at Christmas.

This is just the ribbing of a stocking cap, which can stretch, so........is it wrong that I'm more excited about using up a ball of yarn than in getting a hat out of it??????? Yikes

Sometimes, we all need a little motivation. Sometimes, it's a pep talk. Sometimes, it's an idea. Sometimes, it's bribery.

Tonight I made a deal with myself. I can cast on this

AND this

if I will quit sulking about not being able to buy new yarn.

Sometimes being in touch with one's "inner child" is not really a good thing.

225 days left.........

Monday, May 19, 2008

Know What I Need?

50-yard balls of yarn.

My main motivation in knitting has become to change the stash progress tally.

End up with a sweater? Fine. Finish some socks? Whatever. Use up another ball of yarn? Whoo hoo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I realize that bigger balls of yarn are accounted for by the total yards used and that I am still using up stash which was SUPPOSED to be the idea, but it takes SO much longer to knit up 200-400 yards of yarn than say, 80, so I don't get to change the tally as often. And THAT has become my main focus this year. Did you see how close I am to 50 balls???????

This is what happens when "Type A" personalities knit.

Now I'm going to go find the project with the least yarn left on the skein......

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Heat & Wool Don't Mix

It's May and this weekend it was over 90 degrees!!! I had not even turned the heat off yet. I guess we're skipping spring this year & going straight to nasty-hot.

So, even the most devoted/obsessed knitter can't be too excited about wool in times like these, so today I finished this:

It's actually a red & white patterned cotton--not pinky-orange as it looks in the picture. Chalk up another 3 3/8 yards used up from the fabric stash--which even I have the sense to not tally up. Let's just say that I'm not going to run out of fabric anytime during the "aught" decade...

Speaking of stash, if you follow my main blog you are aware that I ordered 3 balls of yarn yesterday. :( I had always told myself that the only yarn I would be allowed to buy this year was IF and only IF it was to finish a project that I had started in good faith (no starting a shawl with 200 yards of sock yarn or something like that), but it's still depressing. I have decided that the new yarn doesn't get to count in the stash depletion tally--having not been there at the beginning of the year--but there was no denying that I, like so many other knitters before me, am going to run out of yarn on the Lady's Circular Cape from VLT. The yarn is being discontinued, so I ordered 3 balls just to be safe. Some knitters have actually needed even MORE than an additional 680 yards, and if I still run out I will be extremely upset. I have already come to the conclusion that I won't be buying anything from this designer again--there are too many designers who double check their work to bother with someone who doesn't.

So, not a great stash week, but not too bad.

PS. My little waitress friend was even more excited about the Fruit Loop socks, so I will get to keep my Fling scarf after all. YAY!!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Oh Dear.....

Today while waiting in the drive-through of my regular coffee place, I worked on the Fling scarf--which is the only scarf I've ever made that I wanted to keep. It's sparkly, it's fun, and there are tons of things it would go with. When I got to the window, the server was a girl I've gotten to know fairly well, and she LOVES the scarf. She even wanted to feel it (I think sparkly things have that effect on people).

I'm never going to be able to keep this scarf now, darn it. She's just a great young lady and she's working to put herself through college, and it would TOTALLY make her day. If I don't give it to her, I'd always wish that I had, and I don't like those sorts of regrets.

So, let's hear it for Random Acts of Knitterly Kindness! As Alison put it, RAKK 'em up!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

It's Finally Happened.....

Last night I was up until 10:30 (which is really late for us since we get up at 5:00AM) working on the "Fling" scarf--not because I was getting close to finishing it or had a deadline looming, but because I wanted to finish up the ball of yarn so I could change my tally on the side.

It's obvious--The Year of the Stash has done away with whatever shreds of rationality I had left.

At least last year my all-consuming goal was number of projects completed, which is a little easier to understand. Staying up late to finish a SWEATER sounds a whole lot better than staying up late to finish up a ball of YARN!

And yet, all I can think about now is finishing up 3 more balls of yarn to hit 50.....and maybe I'll even get a scarf out of it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Toni 1, Washer 0

Aha!!! The part for the washer has arrived (just under the wire for the 90-day purchase ban), and will be installed tomorrow. BUT, if one checks regularly and moves the dial through the cycles manually, it is possible to wash clothes at Chateau Sutton-Goar. So:

complete with buttons AND the stabilizer removed. A close-up of the pocket detail:

I'm really pleased with how it turned out--especially since I didn't have to cut out a 3rd pocket because my attempts at embroidery botched one of the original ones. This is great progress for me--and a first.

My "fling" is progressing:

It's S. Charles's Galaxy, and it has little gold metallic threads woven into the "yarn" (as it's really more fabric than yarn, I'm not positive what to call it), and the only size 9 needles I could locate are metal, and the combination results in a scarf that is sliding around so much it practically leaps off the needles if you look at it crosswise. And maybe if I knit fast enough, I could either produce a spark or pick up FM radio?

Friday, May 9, 2008

It's Friday Night and I Need a FLING!



Mature & lasting relationships are truly wonderful, but sometimes you just need fast & easy.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

An Evening to Myself

Andy is out with the boys, so I have an evening to myself. I'll be picking out an old movie and working on this,

which is the alpaca cardigan if you can't see it through Theo, who would not stay off of it long enough for me to get a clear picture. The ham.

And there is a new hat....

made with a Bernat acrylic that I am almost embarrassed to admit I am completely besotted by. I love these colors! I don't know exactly why I only bought two skeins--showing so little restraint at all other times--but this might be one of those things added to the "when I can buy again" list. I generally avoid acrylics, but I think I could make an exception for this yarn.

I haven't quite determined the pattern yet--ribbed cuff, followed by maybe some off-white snowflake color work? Or maybe an all-over duplicate stitch "flecked" pattern? Or maybe a tapering pattern of some sort? Or maybe colorwork in black?

We'll see what it looks like when I get there. For now, I think it's time for a little Cary Grant

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spring and Starteritis

Spring is in the air, and a reasonably-young woman's thoughts turn lightly to.....

NEW KNITTING PROJECTS!!!!

For the first three months of The Year of the Stash, I made a new project every month--FINISHED and all--which is very good for the knitting psyche. April was the WIP month, in which I didn't start anything new, finished 2 WIPs, and frogged 5--definitely NOT good for the knitting psyche.

Today Dana blogged about some great hats she had made & mentioned what great portable projects they are.....

But I have SO many projects on the needles.....this one needs sleeves:

That would be portable...I can just think of it as a really ugly hat (like I haven't made plenty of THOSE before), and the yarn comes in these puffy 120-yard balls that knit up pretty quickly and I can add them to the Yarn Used tally....
Reasoning which did at least get me this far.
But it's black. Black isn't spring. Spring is......

Hm.........................

......................................Absolutely out of the question! I am NOT casting on a whole new sweater right now--there's that half finished alpaca cardigan, and the black mohair, and the poncho, and don't even get me started on all the lace on the needles....

None of which makes good Stop Light Knitting. But a hat would.....

I bet my favorite needle for hats is being used though......

Nope.

But it would have to be acrylic....I don't like working with wool in warm weather.....

Sigh......

Well, at least it will keep my mind off that yellow yarn.....for a little while......

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Finished Project

Today I finished this:

A fleece jacket, started sometime last year. Whew! Good thing it's done as it reached a nippy 75 degrees today. My timing is obviously not that great, but sometimes a FINISHED PROJECT is more important than a useful object....

OK. Some of you have noticed the stabilizer still in place and the lack of buttons, but I would have already washed it had the washing machine not started holding laundry hostage yesterday. (Those front-loaders are devious, let me tell you.) The lack of buttons is because of the washing machine issue. When the stabilizer is washed away, it may become obvious that white buttons are the only way to go, or it might be that a subtle wooden button would look best. No way of knowing really until I can wash it, and the repair man can't be here until Tuesday. I realize that this really shouldn't count as a "finished object" just yet, but while I am used to getting my "arse" kicked regularly by the sewing machine and the serger, I am not willing to concede a crafting defeat to the washing machine, so voila! A finished object!

My blog--my rules.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Lady's Circular Cape

The good news: I just finished the third ball of yarn on the Lady's Circular Cape, which brings me to 6,432 yards of yarn, or just over 3 and a half miles of yarn used so far this year. YAY!

The bad news: I'm not quite to the edging, and it seems that a lot of knitters are running out of yarn on this project--even ones who made it farther than I did with that third ball of yarn. The ones who had purchased clearance or discontinued yarns for this project have resulted to weeping, bartering, and knitting voodoo dolls of the designer, which they pierce repeatedly with size one knitting needles. I don't think my yarn is out of stock, but buying more yarn would be breaking the rules of The Year of the Stash, and having made it 4 months already.....

I don't know for certain that I will run out of yarn, but if I do, it will result in putting this away until 2009, which would be really, REALLY irritating as I am totally enamored of this project. It's soft, it's got sparkles--this is knitter porn. (It being a little safer to make that joke on my knitting blog as Google doesn't generally have as much with it as with my main blog.)

So......with all due regards to Ms. Sowerby and the publishers of Victorian Lace Today, I am opting to distrust them and their advice and am changing the pattern. If I eliminate 2 stitches on the edging, that should reduce the yarn requirements without significantly changing the pattern, and the fact that the edging goes on FOREVER, two stitches less on every row really ought to matter. If it doesn't, I'm making one of those voodoo dolls and digging out my size 1s!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Found it!

After some extensive digging, this
was located in my nightstand shelf, and the French Poodle received some attention tonight.

Now I would be ready to cast on for the sleeve if I could just locate those size 8 DPNs.....