April 2007

in the very recent past i had a difficult time understanding how one’s stash could become so large, filled with a sweater’s worth of many different yarns. why buy that much yarn unless you know what you’re going to use it for? and why buy it if you aren’t going to use it in the near future? i had heard arguments along the lines of it being a really good deal on that much yarn…that’s understandable, but it wasn’t really a complete explanation for me. however, since the completion of my first real sweater, i have been extremely enthusiastic about my next prospective sweaters. there are several options. and i start looking for yarn. i decide on a pattern and some yarn, i place my order, and before that yarn even arrives i’ve found another irresistible pattern that i must find yarn for, or at the very least, search for options. i get the yarn, and sometimes i decide i don’t like the pattern as much as i thought i did (case in point: dollar and a half cardigan). and things start to pile up.

right now, i have the DB cotton dk that was destined for the $1.50, but is now floating in stash purgatory; i have the wool needed for the treeline striped cardigan; i have enough of that reykjavik wool i got at stitches west to make a cute shrug; a barely started hot lava cardigan using 3 skeins of noro silver thaw; and i have manos and lamb’s pride destined for the two-toned ribbed shrug in fitted knits. plus my 3 balls of leftovers from the SKB. now, i suppose this isn’t really that bad. except that i’ve found a lovely lot of some queensland kathmandu DK on ebay that i’m tempted to buy for the somewhat cowl i’ve been plotting for months. and though i haven’t ordered anything from knitpicks yet, my next order will include some wool of the andes for knitty’s ester. i keep finding sweaters that i want to knit, and i get so excited that i just want to run out and buy the yarn immediately. i don’t really think there’s any shame in all this (yet), but i think i’m finally starting to understand how stashes can become so unruly!

i’m working on the hot lava, but i’m in no real hurry to finish it. i want to start the two-toned shrug, because it will be fairly quick, and good for chilly nights this summer. i just joined the ester kal, so i think a knitpicks order will be happening soon (and finally get that purse handle for amy’s purse so i can give it to her!). like i said, so far i find no shame in my sweater yarn lusts, but i can see that my stash will need extended storage space beyond my ikea toy box very soon.


i finished J’s cigar gloves!

yarn: plymouth encore
needles: US4 bamboo dpns
time: these only took about two nights each, but the time between when each was completed was several weeks.
mods/comments: my gauge was a little off, so i made the smallest size, but added a bit of length after the thumb gusset.

he likes them 🙂

yarn owl

i found a new friend at work yesterday. i get the best toys when little kids leave their shit laying around. he is modeling here with my current portable WIP. the yarn is mountain colors bearfoot. the colors looked ok in the ball, but knitted up in this textured rib they are coming out so lovely.

my birthday was pretty awesome, i got lots of calls and text messages. i had to go to a meeting in walnut creek for starbucks with some of the other supervisors at my work. while the meeting itself was lame, we made the rest of the day awesome. i wish i had pictures, but i didn’t bring my camera. which was a real shame when we decided to drive up mt. diablo.

i ended up getting carsick and puking on the way down the extremely winding road, but that didn’t put a damper on my day. we ate hawaiian bbq (i could eat it everyday), and spend a relaxing night in with james. last night i went out with him and some of his work friends and did japantown kareoke. nothing too crazy this year, but lots of fun.

i got a few more presents in the mail. one of them was the offhand designs circular needle case i asked for! i got the cappuccino bloom and last night i put all my circs inside. it’s awesome! now all my needles have a home.

i’m currently having a bad bout of startitis, and i’m finding myself craving yarn for which i have no immediate or set purpose. usually i am pretty good about only thinking about buying things when i have an actual project in mind. right now, i want to go crazy on sock yarn, since i found out some members of my family really appreciate hand knit socks, and after completing my first sweater, i suddenly have this urge to be prepared for all the others i might knit in the next year. considering i still don’t have a definite use for all that debbie bliss cotton i just got (after shunning the dollar and a half cardi), i really need to exercise some control. but paired with the influx of $$ this month from tax returns and some decent paychecks…well, it’s going to be tough.

i’m just going to try and focus on making with what i already have (no shortage there) instead of lusting after what i don’t need. it will still be there when i’m ready to buy it.

my trip down south was really good. maybe i’ll put up a few pictures later. my mom gave me an early birthday present, so i would have something to open, because apparently the rest is coming from internet orders. i tried to wait until tomorrow, but after we got home from the airport and i started unpacking, i couldn’t wait anymore. the goods:

fitted knits by stefanie japel.
i hadn’t had the chance to look inside this book before i added it to my wishlist, but i am loving it. it’s got a ton of great patterns, and the best part is that a lot of them are made with less-expensive yarns, like cascade 220 and cascade pima tencel, which i really want to get my hands on after seeing the projects in this book.

sensational knitted socks by charlene schurch.
i hadn’t ever looked through this either, but i’ve heard such good things about it. this book is awesome, it gives you all the tools you need to create hundreds of socks out of any kind of yarn, for any size foot. it’s a mini stitch dictionary, and a complete technique book. i’ve already started a pair for my mom (after she told me how much she’d like knitted socks of her own). i’m using the corded rib stitch. i might use this opportunity to do a short row heel, or at least another kind of toe. i think i might make some houndstooth ones for my dad for father’s day, because my mom also said he really likes the ones i made him for xmas. i haven’t been that into knitting socks as of yet, but such enthusiam on the part of my recipients may change my attitude.

scarf style by pam allen
i have been lusting after this book for awhile, especially since seeing some gorgeous versions of the “backyard leaves scarf”. there are some real gems in here, and also some i would never knit. lots of good ideas though, and definitely worth it.

i am very happy with all my new books. my cascade 220 from WEBS also came in the mail while i was gone. i still want to use it for purlbee’s treeline stripied cardigan. i want to go to artfibers in san francisco and look at their tsuki yarn to use instead of kidsilk haze. however, i am also toying with the idea of just leaving the mohair strand out, in the interest of saving money. but an excuse to go to artfibers should be exploited, methinks.

it’s done!
i haven’t taken any pictures yet, as it’s currently blocking. it will be dry by tomorrow, and i’ll be able to take it to carlsbad with me.
i finished the knitting and end-weaving on easter evening while at michelle’s house for ham and jewish food (more to come on that subject…). her mom knits, and she was SO EXCITED about my sweater, despite this being the first time i’ve ever met her. in fact, she threatened to tie me up and steal it. fortunately for me, she didn’t. she did, however, show me lots of old japanese patterns she has. she’s chinese, and though she speaks fluent english, she says she can’t knit from english patterns. but japanese ones make sense because they have more diagrams and are laid out differently. that gives me courage to buy some japanese knitting books.

i am really excited to be done, but i also feel at a slight loss. for the past two weeks i have been working on almost nothing but that sweater, so it feels a little weird to not be pushing ahead at full speed and just doing some leisurely knitting. i enjoyed knitting the sweater, but when i get to the end of projects and i really want them to be done, i tend to get a little maniacal.

i haven’t started swatching for the $1.50 cardigan yet (i’m starting to have a few doubts based on what some people are saying about the pattern and its problems. i have the yarn already, and i do like the cardigan, but i also don’t want it to be a total pain in the ass. for now, i am settling with working on the victoria shawl for my grandmother, which i just barely started a few weeks ago. so far it’s slow going, but if i don’t get it done until the end of the summer, it’s just as well because it’s going to be too hot to wear anyway.

i am getting insanely close to finishing my simple knitted bodice. last night i picked up the stitches for the neckline and i’m halfway done with it. i originally intended to do the long sleeved version, but my dislike for the flared sleeves in the pattern, and the fact that it is spring, have convinced me that short sleeves are better. i’ve toyed with the idea of bringing the sleeves over the elbows, but not all the way to wrists, but for now, i think i’ll keep them at the shorter length. if i really think it’s necessary, i can always add on later.

i am really happy that i am more than meeting my goal of completing this before my birthday. it will even be ready to go on my vacation to san diego next week! and that means i’ll be able to start on the $1.50 cardigan. i’ll start with the sleeves because they’ll be easy to transport, and easy to rip back if i run into problems.

simple knitted bodice
this is a picture from over a week ago, obviously i have much more done now, but with as close as i am, i’m not going to take another picture until it’s done.

i got my cotton dk, which, as it turns out, is a lot less taupe and a lot more grey that i had supposed. i was a little disappointed at first, but i still like it, and my cardigan will still rock.

about a week ago i finished my victorian ruby. i still haven’t blocked it, but i have been wearing it out when the temperatures are a bit chilly. i’ve already received several compliments, and i love how fuzzy it is. mohair is a bitch to knit with, but the result (probably) makes it worth it.

pattern: victorian ruby, from victorian lace today, by jane sowerby
yarn: feza kid mohair, color 204
fiber: 85 mohair/8 nylon/7 polyester
amount: about 1.5 balls
needles: 24″ silverlume US7 circulars
time: about two months (off and on)
mods: i didn’t count the number of repeats in the long drop stitch section, i just knit until it was long enough, and until my colors would line up correctly for the second lace panel.

i will block at least the lace panels at some point. i’m not sure if the dropstitch section really needs it, because it will be so easily stretched out. but blocked or not, i’m loving it!