Friday, April 30, 2010

Crazy Crazy

First, I'm headed to Seattle at the beginning of the week for a conference.  I just realized that I haven't even *thought* of looking up yarn shops near where I'll be staying.  I can't decide if that means that I've been very distracted or if I may have reached some semblance of completion with my current stash size.

With that said I did buy yarn today.  And my sister (the new knitting convert) said it was ok.

You see, I also got my first (partial) paycheck at my new job this week.  She said I probably shouldn't spend all at the yarn shop.  I told her that I wouldn't spend any of this paycheck at the yarn shop. She allowed as how that was rather wise of me to specify only this particular check was not going toward the yarn shop.

But you see tomorrow is a Team Battelle Project Linus work day. The local Project Linus website indicated a specific need for blankets in colors suitable for boys.  I didn't have sufficient non-wool worsted weight yarn in boy colors.  I had some pinks, but not even enough of those for a complete blanket.  So I went to Jo-Ann's and bought a couple one pound skeins of Caron acrylic (soft, but not so soft that it'll pill quickly). 

Then I texted my sister and told her that I did a bad thing for a good reason.  She allowed as how it wasn't really a bad thing if it was for a good reason.  She also agreed with my reasoning that it wasn't breaking my earlier promise in that a) I didn't actually spend any money at the yarn store and b) the paycheck in question is still sitting on my desk, waiting to be mailed to the bank so I didn't actually spend any of the money contained therein.

Not only is my sister a knitting convert, she's now heavy into the rationalization of more yarn acquisitions.  This is definitely a sign of a hooked knitter.

I'll see her next week.  I'm going to buy her yarn for the scarf she's decided to knit herself.  Something washable, soft, warm and periwinkle, I believe were the criteria she had. With any luck, it'll be done by the time it's cold in Chicago again. (It took me two years to finish my first project. I'm hoping she won't be as pokey about finishing things as I was.)  Speaking of Chicago....that reminds me that I need to figure out my airplane knitting.  Given that I just put holes in two socks this week, I'm thinking I need to get me some more socks knitted. Though I could probably finish sis' second sock during the trip and then I can knit for me on the way back!

Project Linus Blanket #1
Rather than risking boredom (and an eternally unfinished project) by knitting the same thing ad nauseum the entire duration of the blanket, I decided to try a Log Cabin style blanket as described in Mason-Dixon Knitting.  Up until the drive home from Jo-Ann's, I was committed to the simple same pattern throughout.  Now I've gone from a traditional Log Cabin design to adapting the Moderne Log Cabin Blanket to suit the thicker yarn and two color choices (rather than the four called for in their pattern).  I think it'll turn out well.

Yarn: Caron One Pound worsted weight in Claret and Midnight Blue
Needles: Size 8
Gauge: I have no idea and I don't think I care. I'll knit until it's big enough.
If this project goes well, I'll make more of them.  It's too bad the project won't take anything wool. I've got quite a bit of superwash wool that would make a decent blankie. Oh well.  Perhaps I'll make some log cabin-ish scarves or try a modular scarf.

Alpaca Show
Last weekend, I went to the Northwest Alpaca Showcase alpaca show.  I resisted purchasing any fiber.  I did, however, hook up with the local fiber guild, Desert Fiber Arts, and they seem like a nice bunch of people.  They have a spinning group that meets at the local library on the first Saturday of each month.  I might have to stop by there tomorrow.  I have to return some books anyway. Too bad I also have other errands to run.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Spinderella's Goodies and Creating Two Knitters!!

In an effort to simplify my move across the country, I shipped off the stockpile of spinning fleeces to Spinderella for processing.  Well, the roving arrived the other day.  Oh my goodness is it gorgeous and boy is there ever a lot of it.  I knew they were going to ship me 60-70 pounds of roving back, but it just didn't occur to me how much roving that really is until it was piled up in my living room.  Oh dear am I going to be busy spinning (and then knitting and weaving) for a good long time.

And to top it all off, there's an alpaca show in town this weekend *and* I discovered that the mother of one of Boy's co-workers is a spinner/knitter and raises her own sheep because she's picky about her fleeces.  I knew I shouldn't have told myself that I didn't really need to buy any more spinning fiber in the next year.

There is some bad news though: the yarn shop a mile down the road from where I live may be closing soon.  The owner needs to sell it by the end of May.  The big sale on everythign in the store starts next weekend.  I really don't need any more yarn or needles either, but I'll stop by anyway.  I'll be really bummed out if they close.  I was so looking forward to hanging out at Friday night knitting. *pout*

To end on a more positive note, I seem to have created a monster or two.  I taught my Niece to knit not long ago.  She picked it up rather quickly.  Of course she'd sat in my lap and watched me knit for quite some time previously, but then I went and bought her the Disney learn to knit kit (contains a pair of plain single point needles and a pair of single points with the non-pointy end bent into the Mickey ears shape, plus a few other notions and a how-to book).  We picked out a worsted-weight yarn in a color Niece liked and I cast on about 15 stitches for her.  Over two days, she knit up a couple inches of garter stitch.  My Nephew then wanted to try, but he figured out pretty quickly that he didn't have the fine motor control to manipulate the stitches and moved on to a different activity. 

Now my Sister has taken up knitting, ostensibly so that she can help my niece when she gets stuck.  Sis mentioned to me the other night that she had no desire to turn on the TV in the evening and just wanted to sit knitting or reading.  She also confessed to having picked up Niece's knitting to fix it and ended up putting it down 10 rows later.  Methinks she's hooked.  At the moment Sis is making a doll blanket while Niece makes a scarf.  Niece has planned "a sweater for daddy" as her next project and Sis is going to make a scarf, just as soon as she finds a nice soft washable yarn in a periwinkle blue.  I'm thinking a gift certificate to a yarn shop may be in order....

Traveling Purchases

On my great roadtrip across the U.S., I made a few fibery purchases.  I stopped in Champaign-Urbana long enough for lunch at the Courier Cafe (I had a Darcy's Burger with a Gardenburger and sweet potato fries) and a bit of shopping at Needleworks. I picked up some lovely sock yarn and enough worsted weight Plymouth Mushishi to make myself a nice cardigan for work.  I may end up using the February Lady Sweater pattern, again making the sleeves full-length and deepening the yoke to allow more ease in the armscye area.

I declined to stop at the Amana Woolen Mill in Amana, Iowa to purchase more merino roving. I used three arguments to bolster my resolve:
  1. Stopping would have made me late to lunch with my Grandma and,
  2. I have over 50+ pounds of roving headed my way soon from Spinderella, plus the 10 pounds of roving I previously purchased from the Amana Mill (and the other 30+ pounds of wool, silk, cotton and other spinning fibers in my spinning stash).
  3. I have very limited space left in my car.
 I avoided any fibery temptations until I arrived in Pendleton, Oregon, home of the Pendleton Woolen Mill.  I stopped at their company store and picked up a big bag of worms and a cone of lace weight yarn.  I think nice rugs for the bathroom and living room are in order.