Archive for the ‘yarn’ Category

Free range fresh start

“Wow. Its been a long time since I picked up the needles and started a project. IMG_0335I hope I remember how to cast on. Its simple, right?” were my thoughts this afternoon, though I’m sure I’ll remember. I noticed that at least two of the last three posts on this blog have “long time” in the title so I took it out of this title. I’ve kept this blog alive and paid for, because it was always my intention to come back to knitting, its just been a lot harder than I anticipated.

The last project I completed was my Pinkerton Shawl that I started back in the early part of 2011. Half was stockinette, the other half was lace. It was a project I started as part of a class at the local yarn store. I’d never knit anything that called for so much increasing or so much lace work. I finished the stockinette half, and went back to the lys to get started on the lace half. I went the afternoon of May 25, 2011. Getting the lace half started was a bit tricky for me, and a bit frustrating. The worst part, though, was that my mom died that night. She’d been sick, but I was expecting her to come home. Her death really shook me to the core (obviously). I went on and finished the shawl, very poorly. Mostly I worked on it while my dad was having treatments for cancer, or while waiting for his doctors. Needless to say, my heart wasn’t in it. I think I mention feeling kind of tethered to the shawl, in a way. It took me months to finish it. After it was blocked, I just shoved it in a drawer and never wore it. I actually ended up donating it earlier this year because it was just a reminder of such a painful time in my life that I didn’t want it any more.

At the same time I was working on the shawl, I had Amelia on needles. I was working it up in this gorgeous burgundy worsted from Squoosh Fiberarts. I kept frogging it because I kept goofing, and I wanted it to be perfect, and I think I kept changing the size. Anyway, it was much more soothing than Pinkerton was, and I thought I would finish it. I was going to the lys on knitting night, working on it, so it spent a bit of time in a bag. When I took it out of my bag one evening, I noticed little black specks, which I thought was weird, but not much more. I tossed the partial sweater in my basket that had most of my yarn and a couple of projects that I was working on. The holidays rolled around, and it sat for a couple months. I went back to start again one day the following year, and that’s when I first discovered the moths.

The god damn moths. Oh, I hate moths. Fucking MOTHS!

They were casing moths, which eat animal products, like wool and other animal hair (I have a semi-long haired cat, so as you can imagine, they’ve had a lot to eat). They destroyed hundreds of dollars worth of yarn, a blanket, several already knit projects, a couple of sweaters, etc. I eventually had to go through everything in my room and do a seriously thorough cleaning, including moving all of the rather heavy furniture, to finally (knock on wood) get rid of them. The loss of yarn and completed projects was difficult, but the worst has to be the small hole in my Guernsey Wrap that I can’t fix or have fixed because the moths ate through what little I had left over of the yarn!!! Its small enough I could just patch it with some from a new skein, but still! Its the principle. I worked hard on that. Its flawless except for that one. damn. hole. Ahem.

Needless to say, I haven’t knit anything in quite a while, I started a pretty basic ribbed scarf a couple of years ago, but I still had moths and they got to the yarn. I’ve been getting emails from Eat Sleep Knit, Jimmy Beans Wool, catalogs from Knit Picks, so I’ve had a longing feeling, but I just didn’t feel right starting a new project. I’ve been afraid it would reopen the wound I got when I lost my mom. A wound that will probably never heal. But I have a need to create things. I need an outlet, and knitting has been so good to me in the past, so I’m coming back.

Last month I got an email from Jimmy Beans Wool about a limited edition color from Madelintosh. I adore Madelintosh yarn. I almost cried when I had to get rid of skeins of yarn they no longer make. IMG_0259The color is called Free Range Egg. I don’t usually go for variegated yarn, but something about this one spoke to me. The colors were so soft, yet saturated. I excitedly ordered two skeins of Tosh DK, figuring I could make a scarf with that much yarn, and it would be light weight enough to actually use in Florida. A pattern was available on Ravelry, the Free Range Cowl that was just MADE for this yarn. I got the pattern with plans of converting it to a knit flat scarf. Scarfs are safe, comfort projects for me, so how can it go wrong? I’ve had a couple of false starts, almost went to a knit night to start it, but ultimately chickened out (HA! like a free range chicken? ok, you’re not laughing). Today, though, I asked for pattern changing help on twitter (Thank you, Laurie), wound the yarn, and I’m ready to go. I’ve never knit a chevron pattern before, but I’m hopeful I can make this work.

As soon as I decide what size needles to use.

Give me some time. I’ll get there.



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yarn diet, yeah

So I’ve been trying. I am working on projects that will deflate my numbers, just not fast enough. And the not buying new yarn? Lasted until this month.

I got my first skein of The Sanguine Gryphon! Now I just need to buckle down and learn to knit socks.

I have plenty of sock patterns I would love to try, I’m just hesitant.

Right now I need to finish the decreasing rib caplet, and I restarted Amelia. I’ll try to finish the caplet in the next couple of days if I have time. I have a lot on my plate right now (I save that for the other blog), and finding time to knit is limited. Just as long as I keep plodding along and don’t overwhelm myself, I think I’ll get several things done this year. I’m not going to have  nearly as productive a Malabrigo March as last year, I’m afraid. I’m just doing the best with the time I have.

Happy knitting and crocheting to you all!

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I’m doing Project 365, where you take one picture every day for 365 days. Todays picture is worth sharing with you.

That’s Madelintosh DK in gilded. Its going to become a hat as soon as I finish my scarf (which should be really soon).

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end of the year

What was that I said about Guernsey Wrap last week? That I’d have it finished within a week? Oh yeah. That didn’t happen. I am over half finished with it though (and it’s not as gray as the picture makes it look). It will be done by the end of the year for sure (since that’s only a few days away). Then I have to figure out how I’m going to block it since I don’t have any blocking wires. Guess I just might have to get some. Maybe the LYS has them.

There’s a mitten KAL in January on Ravelry, but I’m not really liking the pattern they picked, so I may have a mitten and hat month of my own, because I’ve got a couple of mitten patterns I want to try and there are always hats. Always.

I’m trying very hard to not buy any new yarn. I have so much piled up for projects already, I don’t need to get more until I complete a major project or three. I should make “not buying yarn” a resolution, but I know I’d break it!  As is, I need to get something new to store yarn in. You’d think not having anywhere to put it would slow me down, but it doesn’t. I just keep piling it up, or storing it in the closet.

Well readers, I hope you have a fabulous New Year celebration, and of course a fabulous 2011. If I don’t get my stuff together I’ll be spending New Years eve finishing my wrap! Not that it would be a bad way to spend the night.

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My mind is keeping me awake so I’ve been up doing this and that. I finished decorating my tree, threw towels in the laundry, and I’e been working on my Noro stripped scarf. Its coming along nicely. I should have thought the colors out a little more I think, because in some places its rather muddled. But the current combination of yarns are striping beautifully. I should have it done in a day or so, just in time for more cold (for Florida) weather.

I ordered some Shelter fro Brooklyn Tweed. I can’t wait for it to get here! I’m dying to see what its like. Ill be knitting the Guernsey Wrap with it. The pattern looks simple enough, just possibly time consuming.

Madelinetosh just released a new cardigan pattern called Fall Away Cardigan. I really love the shape of it. I love cardigans to begin with, and this one is so much different than I any other pattern I have. Plus its done in Pashmina, which is lovely.

Yarn stashers, I do have a question for you-how do you store your yarn? Mine is currently in baskets and bags, but I think I need something new for overflow. Can’t decide on another basket or a rubbermaid container,

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impulse yarn

Good news! I finished the last item I will need to ship for Christmas! This makes me feel somewhat better, I must admit.

Recently, Eat Sleep Knit sent out an email saying they would no longer be carrying Madelinetosh’s Mansfield Garden Party colorway due to changes in the colorway, or it being discontinued, something. Whatever it was they were wanting to sell off the rest of their stock. I’d been hoping they would get some in because I really liked the colors, even though I’m not a huge variegated yarn fan. Anyway, they didn’t have any worsted, or sock, but they had Pashmina. I happily snatched up two skeins. When it arrived , it wasn’t nearly the colors I’d expected it to be-its much brighter as opposed to the pastels I was thinking it would be. Either way, its still a pretty yarn. The yarn info is:

75% Merino /15% Silk /10% Cashmere
5.5-6 sts/inch (US 3-5)
360 yards

I looked up Pashmina on Ravelry and its used in so many different kinds of projects. I’m thinking of doing Shaelyn, but would be open to any other suggestions you might have that would use up more of the yarn. Just don’t tell me socks because I don’t know how to knit those yet!

So this is me, knitters, asking you for suggestions as to what I should do with my impulse yarn. Any ideas?

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on knitting and yarn

I really feel like I’ve regained my focus when it comes to knitting. I’ve completed half of my Christmas knitting. I’m still up in the air about knitting dishcloths for neighbors. I know Lily and Cream is readily available, but I don’t alway find colors that I like. I’m hoping to find some different cotton yarn to use. Any suggestions?

I got this lovely Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in Isadora from Eat Sleep Knit. It looks like the yarn was soaked in a beautiful red wine. I plan on using it to knit up Mara with it. I haven’t done a lot of shawl knitting, so this one looks like a good one to do.

I haven’t had the faith in my ability or the nerve to take on many of the projects that I want to knit. That’s why I have so much of a stash and so few knitting projects actually completed (unless we’re talking scarves). I’ve just got to get past that. I’ve never knit socks, I’ll admit that right now. The reason? I’m afraid of screwing it all up (perfectionist much? Yes I am). I mean, its not the end of the world when you screw up knitting. It can always be frogged and started over. I know this, but I still can’t get it through my thick skull.

You know, one of these days I’ll be a bit less thick headed and thin skinned and I’ll be an unstoppable knitter. I’ll have finished projects coming out of my ears!

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The monster stash

I have A LOT of yarn, as many or you knitters probably do. I have two overflowing baskets and a bunch stuffed into a hanging shelf unit in my closet. A lot of it I bought for specific projects, but a lot of it, I don’t remember why I ordered it. What am I going to do with two skeins of Malabrigo in a random blue?

Sometimes I got yarn for a project, but found better yarn and got that too. I’ve got yarn that I don’t really like anymore that I bought over a year ago. I’ve got to do something to get rid of some of this stuff.

I think my stash is holding me back because I feel like I should knit all the way through it before I get more yarn to start a new project because I’ll possibly forget what it was for. Or I get it and it adds so much more to the stash that I’m now frustrated because theres so. much. yarn. I’m a bit of a tidy freak, too, so I want it all stacked and organized neatly.

This really shouldn’t be a problem for me, should it? I should want to spread all of my yarn out on the floor and roll around in it. I should be inspired daily to knit like a fool. Yet I’m afraid to embark on projects because of all of the new projects that will introduce themselves to me. Ugh.

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Wordless Wednesday

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