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Posts Tagged ‘yarn’

Just when you think everything has been said or written about yarn and its relationship to a knitter or crocheter another issue pops up. This weekend I came to the conclusion that there needs to be a book of etiquette for non yarn lovers. A little tome on what not to say and how not to act in the presence of the yarn lover’s stash no matter how big the stash nor the number of rooms it appears in. For the yarnaholic, that stash represents a life time of many hours of thought and searching to acquire just the right yarn, weight, color, and composition. The stash is symbolic of possibilities, aspirations, safety and security, not to mention sanity. Every skein, cake, ball of yarn has a story behind it and a future of endless promise.

When in the presence of a yarnaholic and her stash do not glance about and say “Look at all this yarn. What are you going to do with it?” The answer is use it of course, but maybe not right away. It stands between me and the abyss of nothingness. As long as I have yarn I have hope. For if all else fails I still can knit and create. Should the apocalypse come I’m going to be the one with the socks, shawls, hats, gloves and sweaters and the ability to make more. What will you be wearing?

Another comment the non yarn lover needs to avoid is “Why don’t you sell some of this stuff. Do you know how much money you could have?” The answer is if you think the stash is pricey you haven’t been acquainted with the cost of owning and running a sheep farm with five alpacas and cashmere goats and angora rabbits. As far as selling any of it I would no more consider doing that than I would selling my dog or nephews.

Despite The Skippers attacks on the yarn stash this arrived this weekend much to the delight of Yarn Rascal and myself.

Twisted Fiber Art Yarn in Muse in the colorway called Mirage. Composition is merino wool with a hint of cashmere. I bought it with cashmere because Yarn Rascal so does love a good merino cashmere mix and he helped pick it out. What am I going to do with it? Appreciate it for awhile and then work it up into a scarf.

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Knitting Inspiration

As I’ve said, I’ve been in a bit of a rut looking for knitting inspiration. I like projects where I learn new techniques. Lately, I’ve been taken with using multi-colored yarn in ways that break up the usual stripes. Here are three projects that have caught my interest.

I actually purchased some yarn for this particular scarf and am looking forward to trying it out.

This is not a knit. It is a technique called slip slope crochet. It’s been a long while since I’ve picked up a crochet hook, but I can’t resist how well the technique manipulates the yarn. It is the crochet version of short-row knitting.

This is a stitch design by Svetlana Gordon. If your not familiar with her work check out her projects. They are mind-blowing.

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Finished Socks

I’ve had this summer cold for a little over a week now. Just when it seems to be getting better I get hit with it all over again. Nevertheless, I took some shots of the two pairs of socks I’ve finished.

knit socks broken garter rib

These are made from Zen Yarn Garden yarn. Thanks to Yarn Rascal for eating the skein band so I can’t tell you the colorway, but I can say that it is the merino cashmere blend. The pattern is my own and can be knit toe up or cuff down. The pattern is a simple broken garter stitch rib. Round 1: Knit. Round 2: K, p. Alternate the two rounds add your favorite heel and toes and you’ve got the socks.

knit socks roman road

These are also a simple pattern called Roman Road. Round 1- 4: Knit. Round 5: K1, p1. Round 6: P1, k1. Repeat from round 1 and you have the pattern. Along with using your favorite toe and heel this pattern works for both toe-up or cuff down socks.

knit socks roman road cu

Right now I don’t have socks on any needles and it feels like I am tempting fate a bit. I like to keep a travel project or two in the works for those emergency room and/or hospital stays. The large short-row shawl is taking all my knitting time. The shawl is in no way a travel project, but I am reluctant to put it down to start such a project for fear that I might have a moment of sanity in my life and never pick up and finish the shawl. But the anxiety of waiting for the axe to drop, so to speak, is starting to get to me.

Before I forget, the socks above were made with Dream In Color Smooshy in the Lapis Lazuli colorway. Yarn Rascal just happened to leave this yarn band intact.

 

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Catch Up

I don’t know where the time is flying to lately, but I am running full out to try and catch up. It is almost 2 weeks now since I met up with fellow blogger and friend, Salpal of What I’m Up To Today blog. It was wonderful to meet her in person and I really enjoyed the time with her. She is exactly the same nice, caring, sincere person she is on her blog. Naturally we hit a yarn store. Such a treat for me, since I don’t have any near me. To be able to see and feel the yarn before purchasing was so nice. Salpal is such a nice person I found myself wishing we lived nearer one another. I really had a wonderful time.

When I came through the door carrying the yarn in a bag, Yarn Rascal raced over to me and I thought I was going to receive a nice big cuddly welcome home. But no. Yarn Rascal ran towards me and actually dove into the bag and came up with the yarn I had bought. With yarn in mouth, he proceeded to dance around the living room like a horse performing dressage. He didn’t let the yarn get out of his sight all night long. In fact, he slept with it in his bed.

Lately, Yarn Rascal has been in an archeological mode. He’s been taking out long forgotten wips and draping them along the floor in the hallway where I can’t help but see them. All my wips are in their own canvas bags which he also leaves in the hallway. Honestly, I didn’t know I had that many canvas bags nor that many wips.

The picture below shows one of the wips Yarn Rascal dug out finally finished.

scarf knit

I started this scarf 6 years ago when my mother and father were in separate ICUs in separate hospitals. The pattern is by Anne Hanson and is called Rivolo. I remember selecting the pattern because it looked like the rain that incessantly ran down the windows of each ICU. The yarn I used was Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in the Navy Pier colorway.

It was hard to believe we had moved on to 6 years. The trauma still seems near.

Right now I am knitting socks. It’s very obsessive compulsive knitting. I finished one pair and immediately began on a second pair. I am working from patterns of my own making. Pictures are on their way. Like I said, everything seems to be moving faster than me and I am playing catch up.

 

 

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The sock yarn that didn’t want to be socks is finally a pair of socks.

knit socks dream in color yarn

The actual color is not as yellow as the picture. It’s more a creamy butter color. The yarn is Dream In Color Smooshy in the Butter Peeps colorway. The pattern is http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mary-mary-8″>Mary Mary</a>. I don’t know why the http address is not coming out right, but a lot of things have been screw ball crazy on WordPress for me lately.

The modifications I made on the sock are small. I worked both a short-row toe and heel, changed the cable on the sides to a broken garter stitch and did a sewn bind off without a cuff. I knit them on a 9 inch (23) centimeters long US 1 (2.25 mm) circular needle. Despite the fact that the circular needle was 9 inches (23) centimeters I was able to comfortably use it to work my 7.5 inch (19) cm circumference.

I immediately started another pair of socks–anything to delay working on the Shetland Shawl project. I keep telling myself that I just need a little more of a break from intricate lace work.

On the home front, The Skipper has decided to replace all the windows on the second story of the house. I don’t normally get excited over window replacement unless the windows that are being replaced are in the two rooms where my over-flowing stash and wips and all things knitting and crocheting are housed. So let’s say I am really, really excited.

I went into just one of the rooms to contemplate the mess situation. I had a full on panic attack at the thought of having to bring some kind of order to it. The Skipper, trying to help, suggested I sort what I was going to keep from what I was going to get rid of. Get rid of???? Nay, kind sir, there is not a scrap of yarn, nor any other knitting or crocheting accoutrements I can part with. Yarn Rascal sat on his small mountain of yarn and watched as the blood drained from my face and I almost fell into a faint at the thought that I might have to part with any of it. I mean I have plans for all this yarn.

The Skipper said if I lived to be 100 I would never use it all. That, of course, is not the point. Like a connoisseur of fine wine or fine art, all of the yarn—except the bags of yarn from my mother’s weaving stash–so almost all of the yarn, was acquired at a great price and with considerable thought, especially if it was on sale. It takes almost a full three seconds to look at, contemplate, then hit the buy button if I know what I am looking for. If I am unsure, it could be a full 10 or 15 minutes of looking and contemplating. Just acquiring yarn is an art unto itself.

I pointed out that some of the yarn is the only one left of its type because it was discontinued. While I may not immediately have a project in mind for it right now, I am waiting and thinking about what sort of project will perfectly fit it. I mean some of my stash is museum quality. I could see that Yarn Rascal understood but The Skipper did not.

If you want a hot stock tip, invest in the Rubbermaid company. From the looks of things, I am going to buy loads of their containers.

 

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I never thought it would happen, but I’ve finally come across sock yarn that doesn’t want to be a sock. The culprit is Smooshy by Dream In Color in the Butter Peeps colorway. Smooshy, along with MadelineTosh Sock, are my go to yarns for socks and I’ve never had them fight me the way this yarn is doing.

knit socks

I’ve had Butter Peeps in my stash for a long, long time. Yarn Rascal unearthed it when I was trying out the Mary Mary sock pattern on Ravelry. (I’d put the link in to the pattern but WordPress is acting strange lately and won’t let me).

The Mary Mary pattern is the perfect pattern for this colorway. So no matter how hard the yarn fights me I am determined to make it into this sock. After all, masochistic knitting is not new to me.

Since I knit socks from the toe up the first place the yarn gave me trouble was making the short-row toe look right. It did not want to make a nice neat short-row. So each toe of each sock was *worked, ripped, and worked again* repeat from * to * four times. I never have this much trouble with short-row toes.

The second problem is why I don’t “usually” buy sock patterns, though you would never know it what with all the sock books and loose patterns I have in the sock making area of my stash. I could knit socks forever and never complete all the sock patterns I have stashed. Yes, in addition to stashing yarn I stash patterns.

Back to the second problem: I can never get gauge. The gauge will say 9 stitches per inch on size US 1 needles (2.25 mm) and I can only average about 7. I would need to drop down 2 needle sizes to even begin to reach 9 stitches. I can hear the snapping of dpns as I write this. No, 2.25 mm is the tiniest I can go and stay sane. I use the word “sane” loosely.

Because I can’t get gauge and my sock size is 7.5 inches (19 cm) in circumference I need to adapt whatever sock pattern I am working from. This means studying the pattern, deciding how I can adapt it so it looks close to what it was. Sometimes that is easier in theory than in practice. Though, with this particular sock all I needed to do was drop the cable at both sides of the instep and replace it with broken garter stitch. For me, the look is still close enough to the original to be pleasing.

Since I was experiencing all sorts of idiosyncracies working on dpns—holes where there shouldn’t be holes, wonky stockinette stitches, and a strange puckering of fabric every so often— I decided to knit it on a 9 inch (23 cm) small circular needle. It helped tame the yarn somewhat, though the yarn still does not want to play nice with p2tog.

I have about 30 more rows to go before I have to work the short-row heel. I have zero expectation that it will work out well on the first go round. The last heel took three tries before it looked right.

Finally, I thought I’d share this picture of Yarn Rascal with you. Notice the gleam in the eyes, he is planning his evening activities in the yarn vault.

yarn rascal

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Mad Woman In The Attic

The search for the elusive Rowan Glace continues. It’s now turned from a past time activity into an obsessive endeavor. With the blizzard dumping 18 inches (46 centimeters) of snow in a 24 hour period, I had some time on my hands regarding indoor activities and that’s how I ended up in the attic.

I still have a few closets yet to be inventoried but I became obsessed with the idea that the yarn was in the attic. This was delusional thinking since I have never put a Rubbermaid bin full of yarn in the attic since I’ve lived here. But that didn’t stop me.

I folded down the attic steps and up I went. It was the middle of the blizzard and the sound of the wind was so much clearer up there. The sound of strong winds set my nerves on edge so the clarity of the sound was not comforting. In addition, the only light in the attic is in the middle of the ceiling, up high, with a 3 inch (8 centimeters) chain pull. Needless to say, I couldn’t reach it, so I was using the flashlight on my cell phone to see.

What I saw were bins and bins of Rubbermaid. Some were see-through, most weren’t. My first thought was I need to take out stock in this company. My second thought, as I looked at bins stacked on bins with some stacks as tall as me, was that this was an impossible and foolish undertaking. All of the bins in the attic came from my house when I moved here. Not one bin was added– where the heck would I find room to put it– since I’d lived here. Nonetheless this sane thought didn’t stop me.

Thus I began my own archeological dig through time. My allergies came on full bloom the minute I started moving the bins around. Some of what I found were clothes, books, shoes, half-finished embroidery that was set to be a fire place screen, crewel work, half finished crochet projects, the framed invitation to my wedding, wedding album, and so on. At about the fifth bin of fond mementos, I thought I’d caught sight of something white and furry out of the corner of my eye. I heard some scrabbling of nails on the floor coming from the direction where the flash of white disappeared. Now, I don’t mind field mice and with the weather the way it was outside I figured let the poor thing stay. But it did cross my mind that I had never seen a white field mouse.

As I opened the seventh bin, I thought I again saw something white and furry out of the corner of my eye again only it was bigger this time. It disappeared around the corner of a stack of bins I had yet to get to. Again, the scampering sound of nails across the floor. I thought it might have been a squirrels tail, though the color didn’t match that of a squirrel.

Working my way through the tenth bin the elusive creature brushed my legs. I jumped a little only to look down and see Yarn Rascal. Little one is a climber and he had climbed the steps to the attic and was having a grand old time sniffing and checking out a brand new area of the house. It was clear to me, if not to Yarn Rascal, that while he got up the steps, he wasn’t able to get down them. Nor was I able to carry him down without killing both of us.

It took about 15 minutes of calling and thumping on the floor of the attic to get The Skipper’s attention. I handed a squiggling Yarn Rascal to him and told him fold up the steps so Rascal couldn’t get back up.

Around bin number 16 I became tired of my little trip down memory lane and wanted to get down from the attic. Only I couldn’t. Unfolding the steps from where I was wasn’t possible. I was marooned in the attic for a good half hour before I got The Skipper’s attention and had him unfold the stairs.

I have three more places to look, none of which is in an attic or basement. If I find the Rowan Glace I think I’m going to strangle it.

 

 

 

 

 

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