Archive for July, 2018

I don’t mean to grouse but I am going to do just a little of that. I’m knitting the neck of the Carbeth sweater when all of a sudden a hole appears to the right of the final two decreases. A whopper of a hole. I try everything to get the decrease to play nice with the stitch before it. I even drop the stitch before it down and crochet it back up to tighten it a bit. No go. To make it even worse, I was following the instructions to remove the markers as the final decreases are made. Now I am faced with ripping back two rows to below where the yarn is making a hole while I try to get the now unmarked decreases in the right places. Why is it that even the simple things don’t go right?

Since this project is coming to an end I am in need of a new one. To that end, I put aside the Carbeth and decided to have a peek in the bins and boxes that hold WIPS. Naturally, the Security Guard of All Yarn knit up or not was right by my side. Yarn Rascal loves going through the bins and boxes because we never know what we’ll find.

This time I came up with a sock and a sweater that I started five years ago at the time of my breast cancer.  I started the sweater just after my mastectomy. Not a good time to start that kind of project because my brain was not fully working what with learning to accept the mastectomy, the cancer medications and the radiation treatment I had what they call brain fog. Because of the mastectomy I thought that everything I wore from then on had to be extremely oversized. Don’t get me wrong, I love loose fitting clothing. But there is loose fit and then there is wow that’s kind of big. Well the sweater fell into the latter category. The body is knit and unfortunately it is so large that I can’t see ever wearing it. The yarn is good yarn and I’d hate to waste it even though it is black. I never knit with black yarn so you can tell what kind of mindset I was in when I got this project going.

Along with Yarn Rascal, I decided if we locate the pattern I was using (another example of how my mind was not working. I usually keep all patterns attached to their wips) I will attempt to undo the whole sweater and start again. Unfortunately it is not a pattern I bought through Ravelry so it is not in my library there. I am looking in all the places the pattern might be without any luck so far. Again, I need to remind myself my brain wasn’t really functioning at the time.

As for the sock we uncovered it was just that: a sock that was three-quarters done. I recognized the pattern as one I have in a book on knitted socks, but as for the yarn…well we can’t find it. I have no idea why I snipped the unfinished sock off the ball of yarn or where I would have put the ball of yarn after doing so. Usually an unfinished sock goes in a see-through project bag with the pattern and with needles and yarn attached. Believe me, Yarn Rascal did a thorough search of all yarn balls and couldn’t find it. So I ordered the yarn and will start the sock all over again.

Of course first I have to finish Carbeth. If the knitting gods don’t throw me another curve it is possible that I could block the sweater this weekend. I can only hope.

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Yarn Stash

Over dinner about two years ago The Skipper was gently discussing the extent of my yarn stash. He ended the topic with the comment, “Soon you’ll have yarn hanging from the ceiling.” I laughed at the idea and said, “When I have yarn hanging from the ceiling then I’ll know I have a problem.”

Fast forward to yesterday. Yarn Rascal and I were walking by the craft room and I briefly glanced in then stopped. I abruptly entered the room, Yarn Rascal by my side, and slowly closed the door behind me and leaned against it. A bit of the stash had escaped its confines and was collecting in the large wicker basket I had by the side of the love seat. Hanging from the tops of tall bookshelves was yarn that I had spun and set to dry. Okay, yarn hanging from the top of bookshelves is not yarn hanging from the ceiling, I thought. Get a grip here. And that’s when I saw it. I had two small spun “skeins” (I use the word in its loosest sense) hanging from two separate small brass hooks stationed in the ceiling. The brass hooks once held hanging plants. They now held yarn. I had yarn hanging from the ceiling.

My heart beat wildly. This couldn’t mean…I mean it just couldn’t be, I thought. I have two skeins of yarn working their way via the mail to me as well as another large bundle of unspun yarn. I don’t have a problem. I just have to think about this for the moment.

One: Bookshelves don’t count. They are absolutely not the ceiling. Two: I grabbed the small step ladder and immediately removed the two skeins hanging from the ceiling. Thankfully they were dry. See? No yarn hanging from the ceiling. But…my mind said, they were there. My eyes swept the room as I thought. No this is wrong. It’s not what it looks like. Then I got it. The spun “yarn” ( I use the word in the loosest sense) is really not yarn, it’s not like true yarn. I wasn’t, technically, hanging yarn from the ceiling. It was an experiment with wool that I was undertaking and I had run out of hanging space so I hung the wool, not yarn, from the ceiling. My heart began to beat normally.

I took a deep breath and decided to tidy away the escaped stash. I opened the closet door and there hanging from the ceiling like a piñata was an unopened package of yarn that I was keeping away from Yarn Rascal. No, No. I thought. This doesn’t qualify as yarn hanging from the ceiling. It’s a package. A package that inconsequentially happens to contain yarn. I can explain. I can explain it all and immediately closed the closet door.

Slowly I opened the door to the craft room and peered out to make sure The Skipper wasn’t about. Then Yarn Rascal and I slipped from the room and I quietly closed the door to the craft room.

Today, all the drying “yarn” is down and stored away in Yarn Rascal’s favorite bin. Except for the stash that is sitting in the wicker basket, all looks normal. False alarm. I really don’t have a problem.

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I knew it would happen. It was just a matter of when.  And when was yesterday. We have a new unwelcome member at the zoo. Yes, a big racer snake that’s taken to curling up on the flagstones of the patio right outside the sliding doors to the kitchen. Obviously, snakes can’t hear, because if they could then this one would have quickly moved out of my sight when I let go my scream. It’s not that I don’t like snakes, it’s that I have a full blown phobia about them.

Years ago when the Bronx Zoo lost its baby asp snake in its reptile house for three days I lived in fear that I would come across the damn thing even though we are nowhere near the Bronx Zoo.

The unwelcome racer positioned himself right in the middle of the chipmunk crossing. I will completely freak out if I see it eat a chipmunk. The Skipper took a broom out and shooed the snake away. Snakes don’t bother The Skipper. He kept them (wild ones) as pets in his childhood.

Is summer over yet? Can’t we go back to the snow and ice when all snakes are asleep or whatever they do during winter? I’m ready for summer to be gone.

In other news, here is a picture of the first *yarn I *spun. (Words with an asterisk in front of them means that I am using the terms in their loosest sense and in no way resemble what the words mean in reality.)

spinning plying yarn

A ton of things are wrong with the *yarn. Too many to actually name. I’m going wrong somewhere in my drafting. I am not able to get the *yarn down to a thin finger weight. Ideally, I want to make a 3 ply fingering weight yarn. Why 3 ply? Because the third ply in fingering weight yarns make the yarn more round and off-set or neutralize the push and pull of a 2 ply. When I buy fingering weight yarn I always try to get a 3 ply because it makes such a difference in the way the stitches look. Anyway, I am thinking of Googling the nearest yarn stores out of the area and see if any give a class about spinning. I’ll start with destinations an hour away and then move out from there. I figure 2 and a half hours one way is about all I can manage as that would be 5 hours round trip. Here’s hoping I find something closer. Other than that it’s back to studying YouTube videos. Oh, and the little bit of *yarn I did make I made into a ball and put it in Yarn Rascal’s favorite bin, the one he opens every night no matter what. I was so happy when I heard his delighted little squeal when he came across it. He immediately brought it to the bedroom door tail thump, thump, thumping. He was so happy with himself.

The Carbeth sweater is at the point where I am decreasing toward the neck. I am very happy with it but for three things. One, I need more yarn which I ordered today. Two, I need another two sets of circular needles in the 16 inch / 40 cm lengths. Three, the way the underarms are formed is going to cause problems with closing up holes. Delicate surgical sewing will be necessary.

Due to the heat and humidity the air conditioner has been running non-stop. It feels good having a winter sweater in my lap and on my legs to off-set the cold. Now if I can just find a way to keep the snake away from the patio and the chipmunks I could approach something close to relaxation.

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