Tuesday, September 30, 2008

8.75 Miles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Or 15,419 yards of yarn--whichever sounds bigger.

At this rate, I could use up over 20,000 yards of yarn this year--having only purchased 1400 yards to finish existing projects! (For the sake of bragging we are ignoring that little December episode with the computer & the Visa.....)

I'm no longer quite sure of the exact size of the stash--some things not being accounted for and the total still reflecting yarn that has been used--but I believe I probably started the year with somewhere around 120,000 yards of yarn. I know--it's a frightening number even when guessing, HOWEVER, if I have used up 20,000 yards by the end of the year I will have used up 1/6th of the existing stash!!! By the end of next year's yarn ban, I could be down to a 4 year's supply of yarn! THAT could be considered a "reasonable" stash amongst my knitting friends (Note to those with stash issues: hang out with people who have a larger stash than you do. Trust me on this one).

I HAVE NOT YET REACHED S.A.B.L.E!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy)

We with stash issues cling to what we can......

Monday, September 29, 2008

Sleeves? What Sleeves??????

My ability to ignore projects is second only to my continued inability to estimate how long it actually takes to knit things. 2 sleeves in 3 days......HA!!!!!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Caution, Objects May Be WAY Freaking Bigger Than They Appear

Sleeves seem like such small things--you don't cast on many stitches, and only add more stitches gradually, so occasionally an unwary knitter is foolishly sucked into believing that she could finish a sleeve in one day. That, however, is not really the case.

Today I have spent WAY more time than I care to admit working on the first sleeve, and I'm not even at the half-way mark.
All that knitting completely wore Theo out,

so I was able to get some cat-free shots of the Fir Cone shawl now that it is blocked.
It's not quite square, and no matter how I pinned it, the edging doesn't lay completely flat--it would probably have been good to skip a few stitches on each side. But, it's still a lovely shawl that will look fine when it's worn. A few close-ups for detail:
And now I'm going to go do something--anything--as long as it doesn't involve sleeves!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

3 Days, 1.9 Sleeves To Go

As of 6:00 PM on Saturday, the front & back of Andy's sweater are done and the shoulder seams are doneand the first sleeve has been cast on.
3 days left in the month.......

....and really, don't you think this whole "sleep" thing is overrated anyway??????

Friday, September 26, 2008

4 days, 2 sleeves

So, there are 4 days left in the month and I'm to here:

on Andy's sweater, which translates into almost at the division for the neck on the front of the sweater. I have the rest of the front, 2 sleeves, and the collar to do in 4 days. What are the odds?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

#9!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Early this morning, my trusty sidekick and I washed the finished Fir Cone shawl,
with Theo stopping briefly to smell some flowers I received for my birthday a couple weeks ago,

though he was on-hand to make sure there were no washing disasters,as this wool does felt if you stare at it too hard.

And voila!
Finished WIP # 9 in a row!!!! YAY!!!!!!

Andy's sweater might get a little quality time this week after all.....

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Look At This!!!!!!

I am this:close to being done with WIP #9!!!!!

AND, I'm still loving the pattern--Fir Cone by Cheryl Oberle. Love it, love it, love it! For a little bit, I thought I might be creating a blanket, but folded in half, it will make a reasonable shawl. For those of you who remember that September was going to be Knitting For Men Month....I still have 7 days left and I believe in Santa, the Tooth Fairy, and knitting miracles--probably in that order.

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Home Stretch!!!

I have rounded the third corner and am on the home stretch!!!! Finished WIP number 9 is so close I can almost taste it......

......which would probably be distinctly awful as it's wool and wet wool generally stinks, so it would most likely taste really bad....

....but you get the idea....

....must...go....knit....

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Christmas Gifts

It's late September, and about the time that the true crafter creates an insane list of projects that she really thinks she can complete by Christmas morning. Luckily, I am on a knitting WIP marathon and CANNOT cast on any new knitting. Boy, I didn't think I'd ever be glad to say THAT.

I did, however, work on my part of the friends/family Christmas gifts. Andy and I have decided to alternate years with who makes the gifts, and this is his year. I did promise some nice bags to go along with his woodworking creations, so tonight I made this:It's made from a wonderful black & red brocade that ravels like crazy, and I don't like the gold ribbon drawstring, but aside from that, I think it's a decent prototype. I decided to go ahead and cut out the rest of them and
Theo had claimed the lining. I got in about an hour of knitting today and he completely ignored me. I turn on the sewing machine and WHAMMO!

Obviously, all crafts are not created equal in kittyland.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Closing In On Number 9!!!

I have almost finished the third side of the edging and might even have WIP number 9 done by next week!
Did I mention I'm trying to get to 20?

Friday, September 19, 2008

Showing SOME Amount of Maturity

The 90-day spending ban has been over Since August 16, and I have only purchased one knitting book:
It was even a used book, since this is sadly out of print.

I have been knitting for about 28-29 years (depending how old I was when I actually learned), and in that time have accumulated an astounding number of knitting books/patterns/magazines. When new books come out, it's relatively easy to resist buying them by remembering that 1) I have nowhere to put them and 2) I already have at least a 10-15 year project list in my possession already--not to mention that I could stop being lazy and simply design my own sweaters again. I used to design quite a bit of what I knit--especially in those early knitting years when I was a lone un-hip knitter hiding in the closet with my metal size 6's and scratchy Red Heart yarn. Kmart actually carried yarn at that time, a store in the Ontario mall called Sprouse Reitz could be counted on for yarn and popcorn--not necessarily in that order. I was lucky to get most of my first knitting projects/disasters out of the way before blogging became popular. Still, in the interests of not overwhelming readers with my current knitting ability (ATTENTION KNITTING GODS: THIS IS SARCASM--THERE IS NO NEED TO RETALIATE!!!) , I thought we'd share my very first sweater:

The pattern called for a ribbon-type yarn. I used Red Heart acrylic worsted which is oh so ribbon-like. Yup, I got gauge and created the world's first bullet-proof sweater.

Sweater attempt number two also called for something light weight and summer. This time I used 2 colors of Red Heart worsted acrylic. It was supposed to be some sort of shell. Instead it looks like someone attempting to clothe herself in potholders. I'd correct the sideways photo, but it's such an awful project that being right-side up won't help any.

In my defense, the third sweater turned out rather well--though I still substituted a wildly-innapropriate yarn--and I still wear it.

I wish I had pictures of my first "designed" sweater. It was a striped sweater with a polo-type collar for my sister, and somewhere in the middle of the sweater I had a massive gauge epiphany of sorts--not that I understood gauge, but my gauge changed to a somewhat tighter and better-looking stockinette stitch. Unfortunately, it did this between the back and the front. The front turned out at least 2 inches smaller than the back. Totally undaunted, I matched the stripes and sewed the pieces together, creating one of the most ridiculous-looking sweaters ever. I think my sister might have worn it once before throwing it away, and who could blame here--though to be honest I'd have liked to have undraveled that back and tried again.

Ah, memories!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Fir Cone Getting There

I just rounded the second corner!!!!!

OK, that might need some explanation. On the Fir Cone edging, I started right after the last corner, so finishing the second corner means I have finished half the edging already. Whoo hoo!
And the corner was at the top of the picture when I uploaded the picture--I guess Blogger is having some issues tonight. But you get the idea.

Now you can sort of see the first corner
and Abby is right--it would make a great tablecloth. Actually, it would be pretty easy as the center square was done first. Just converting that into a rectangle would probably turn it into a nice size for a table cloth. I wouldn't do it with this one as it's 100% wool and would felt like a champ, but in an ivory cotton? Hm........

Theo refused to knit with me tonight--apparently it was a "male bonding" night:
At least it wasn't beer and football.....

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Take THAT Real Life!

Tonight I've finally had some time to knit, so with Theo holding my place in the pattern book,
I have almost reached the halfway point on the Fir Cone edging.
Theo has been quite miffed since Calisto was featured on the blog and he wasn't, so this is actually the first time he has joined me in the sewing room in about a week. I think the publicity has gone to his head.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Now It's Getting Hard

I have just 3 months left in The Year of the Stash, but I've already decided it will have to be a 2-year project. I do want to allow myself to buy something in January, but every time I sit down to make a list, I come up with about 50 balls of yarn. Now, so far this year I have used up 90 balls of yarn--OF WHICH, 5 were not actually in the stash at the beginning of the year but had to be purchased for finishing specific projects. So let's say I have used up 85 balls of yarn from the stash. In December, knowing I was going to do a year without buying yarn but woefully optimistic about how fast I actually knit, I ordered 75 balls of yarn (that was a really fun box to get, let me assure you). So, I added 75 balls and have used up 85.

IT HAS TAKEN ME 9 MONTHS TO REDUCE MY STASH BY 10 MEASLY BALLS OF YARN!!!!!!

I could just plunge into 2009 without any "reward" yarn, but could I really last 2 whole years without buying any new yarn? And I do want to make another sweater for Andy (big talk since his current sweater has gotten derailed by the Fir Cone shawl), and I don't have the yarn for the one he picked out--that would be 20 balls. I'd like to buy some yarn for a sweater for me as a "reward," but I do already have at least 10 sweaters lined up for me.....

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! Yarn hoarders really do have a tough life....

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A Little Catching Up

The first WIP Contest bag is finished and ready to be mailed tomorrow:Janet has also reached 10, and her bag is cut out but not yet embroidered. Still, I'm progressing!

The Fir Cone shawl got most of the attention this weekend, and I have turned the first corner:

I don't know if it's the slightly heavier yarn--or just the fact that there is so much less edging than there was on the Lady's Circular Cape--but this one is just flying along. Or it could simply be--child that I am--that it is not the project I am supposed to be working on, which of course makes it ten times more interesting than it would otherwise be. I am on to this immature streak in my character, and have designated vacuuming as quite off limits in hopes of inspiring myself. It's been 5 days so far, and as of yet I haven't felt even the slightest desire to clean, but I'm still hopeful...

Friday, September 12, 2008

Friday Night

I have wool, an audio book, and we had pizza. Does it get any better?

I've almost done one full side of the Fir Cone Shawl's edging:
It's actually square with 4 straight sides--not curved--but it's really hard to photograph without taking it off the needles, and I think that's just tempting the knitting fates unnecessarily.

Could WIP number 9 actually be finished in just a few days???

Crisis!

I HAVE NO STOPLIGHT KNITTING!!!!! ARRRGGGGHHHH!

I always keep knitting in my car to work on at stoplights or in traffic jams. It keeps my little Type-A self calm and free from the desire to kill other drivers for their collective stupidity. And I don't have any.

To be stop light knitting, a project has to be a very simple pattern that is easy to recognize at a glance. And my current projects involve a lace chart and a cable needle--not simple knitting, This is a knitting emergency! I'm going to have to plow through the WIP bin this weekend or take some time off from work. I don't think my stress level can take this!

And, for Danielle, this is Calisto.

She's our moth hunter, which would warm this knitter's heart if she didn't actually catch them outside then bring them in and turn them loose. Not that moths aren't better than Theo's vermin gifts, but my stash gets very, very nervous.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Faithful-ish

OK, Andy's Christmas sweater is about 40% done, and I really, really have been mostly faithful, but the Fir Cone Shawl has lately been my Stop Light Knitting--since I can't cast on a sock or anything that would be more sensible--and tonight it just needed two more rows before I could start the edging, so....I admit that after the mohair-knitting-abyss that was the edging for the Lady's Circular Cape, I was a bit hesitant about doing ANYTHING that involved edging, but the number of rows needed for the edging around the entire Fir Cone Shawl is about 60% of just the rows of edging needed for the bottom of the Lady's Circular Cape. That I think I can get through. At any rate, it feels like something new to work on, and that little green stripe of yarn was actually CAST ON, so maybe I can pretend like it's a new project entirely....?

Or maybe rows & rows of edging will drive me--screaming and tearing my hair out--back to that black sweater.....

P.S. To answer a couple questions, the diamond design is created by using a very thin cable pattern--just one knit stitch crossed over the next stitch. It shows up much better than I thought it would on a knit background. And the stray furry foot in the picture is actually Calisto, who does not enjoy being photographed even half as much as Theo does. Then again, I don't think Madonna enjoys being photographed even half as much as Theo....the Ham!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Almost Halfway!

I have just used up the 6th ball of yarn (out of 14) on Andy's sweater, so I think I'm about 40% done--or in a lot of trouble as I only have 14 balls of yarn. I'm still loving the pattern, and it's nice to be working with 100-meter skeins instead of 200-400, but the monotony monogamy is getting to me. There's a really luscious teal alpaca over in the closet that is SERIOUSLY trying to waylay my WIP marathon, but I close my eyes and knit on. Which probably explains the frogging I had to do tonight.

Note to self: You are only talented enough to do stockinette or garter stitch with your eyes closed.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Almost 8 Miles!

This weekend hasn't been very conducive to crafting of any sort, but I have manged to use up a little more yarn, bringing me to almost 14,000 yards of yarn--just under 8 miles! It feels good to think about how much progress I've made this year--especially when pesky things like housecleaning keep me from making any actual knitting progress.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

3 Months To Go

I'm in the 9th month of The Year of the Stash, and to date I've used up this much yarnplus 6 skeins of this which I didn't include in the picture because I don't have anything even remotely similar to represent it in the picture.
That's a lot of yarn. 13,885 yards and 87 balls/skeins/hanks.

Tonight I am choosing to bask in the glory of having used up a really large amount of yarn from the stash, and I'm completely ignoring the knowledge that all that yarn really didn't even make a visible dent in the stash. We with stash issues must cling to what we can.....

What A Fabulous Way To Start A Weekend!

Needing a little motivation, I was just skimming the spreadsheet of what projects I've finished for the year and how much fabric & yarn I have used up and I noticed the Fir Cone Shawl still only listed 2 hanks instead of 3. (I'm now actually almost halfway through the 4th). So I got to add 440 yards to my total without even touching knitting yet today! Whoo hoo!!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ta-Da!

Tonight I have not only finished the back of Andy's sweater, I have figured out how to photograph it to show the pattern!There's no stopping me now! BRING ON THE LACE!!!!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The September Challenge

So I've finished WIP number 8 in the WIP marathon, which would be quite exciting except for the 19 WIPs left. Not that I actually think I'll make it all the way through to 27 without casting on something new. I mean, if I had that sort of willpower I wouldn't have ended up with 27 Works in Progress now would I?

To give myself a little motivation, I've joined a "Knitting for Men" project for September--the idea being I show some traces of project monogamy and actually complete a knitting project for one of the men of our species. Fair enough, one of the WIPs is a sweater for Andy
which takes such boring pictures bur is actually much nicer in person. It's "Gridlock" from the fall 2003 issue of Knitter's Magazine, and since they had the sense to do it in red, theirs photographs much better than mine does.

Judging from yarn requirements, I've almost used up 436 yards of the 1535 the pattern calls for, which means I've knit 28% of the sweater. September is now 13% over, so theoretically I would be in good shape--that is, if I hadn't actually started this project sometime last year and have actually been working on it on & off for a couple weeks. (SIDE NOTE: Have I ever actually done the knitting math when things came out looking good??? I didn't think so) So.....it might be a little while before there's any gloating on this website.

I had hoped to have this finished for the first 10-WIP-finisher, Jennifer, but with the canning/tango lessons/work/sleep stuff going on this week, I'm a little behind. If people can walk in their sleep & talk in their sleep, why can't I craft in my sleep???????

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

19 To Go!!!

WIP number 9 is for Andy,
which works out well as if I get this one done this year, I'll have averaged a sweater a year for him since we got engaged. I don't know what one normally woos a man with, but wool works pretty well--except for the dreaded Boyfriend Sweater Curse. It is a well known fact in the knitting world that the surest way to end a relationship with a man is to knit him a sweater. I don't know what it is about the Boyfriend Sweater, but I only did it once and the only positive thing I can say about the whole episode is that I managed to end up with the sweater and not the boyfriend--a better scenario all the way around. Boys come and go, but good wool is good wool.

Knitting for a husband, however, is another story. This is the long-suffering gent who ends up with a dimpled posterior from sitting on knitting needles buried in the couch cushions; who has to pull over on the side of the road in central Mexico so his loving wife can poor their bottled water over the ball of alpaca she had just dropped in her coffee cup; who pretends to be interested when his wife leaps into the room displaying a perfectly turned sock heel that she wants to have bronzed to preserve for knitting posterity; who has received death threats if he so much as thinks of washing a hand-knit sweater in the washing machine; who has learned that marital relations will be suspended for any comments about having "enough yarn" no matter how full the closets may be; who endures the odd stares when his wife whips out knitting under any and all circumstances that involve lines or waiting--even if it is waiting to enter the Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland; who has learned that there will be far less shrieking and screams about "dropping stitches" if he doesn't move his wife's knitting no matter how many chairs it covers. These are the men who deserve sweaters. Hm, maybe Andy's next sweater should be cashmere.....those size 1s really hurt......

Monday, September 1, 2008

Well, Maybe Not

So I had planned to start on Christmas gifts this weekend, but first I got distracted by some over-exuberant tomato plantsand today so far has been taken up by the normal weekend stuff--laundry, cleaning, and getting ready for fall as it's 3:00 in the afternoon and still only 64 degrees. Even the cats were cold this morning.
I think I need to do a little knitting this afternoon--it's definitely starting to feel like wool weather!