Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Yarn... and another year older

New yarn!! I recently found Yarn Pirate's ETSY shop (who doesn't love etsy?) for hand dyed yarn and found two new colors that I just loved. One color that I bought through a different site is called Malamute and I am still waiting for it in the mail along with a skein from Zen Yarns and something else (can't recall the name at the moment). However, I did receive a skein of the Yarn Pirate swag yesterday and I absolutely adore it!! The colorway is "Mermaid" and the name is very apropos. It's a very subtle mix of greens, silver, blues, and is very soft and shimmery. A 50/50 merino blend makes for a very shiny and strong yarn. I can't wait to knit it up and since this is the year of the sock, I hope I get to it very quickly. For some reason, I am not wanting to wait to knit this up at all. Ohhh... shiny.

Ok, so, I am turning 29 on Sunday and I am starting to feel a little... well... old. Sort of like my young-ish exterior is starting to crack and the old is coming through. I feel like time is starting to slip away... My kid is already 4. I have another one on the way and soon I will be 30. 30 is old. So old. Ok, maybe not that old, compared to say, 50, but it sounds old to me. I have always had this feeling that I stopped aging at around 24. Every time someone asks me how old I am, I always have to stop and think because my first instinct is always to answer 24. And, the other thing I realized about this birthday is that I am deliriously happy with my life. When someone asks me what I would like, I can actually think of nothing that I need to make my life complete. I have everything I need. Weird isn't it? Not to be able to think of a single thing that one wants? Ok, there is one thing. A healthy baby. But, that isn't a real birthday gift is it? And it pretty much goes without saying. I suppose if I could choose one other thing, it would be my own yarn store. But, I doubt I will ever have that and it's more of a life goal than anything right? So, I suppose if pressed I would have to say yarn. Yarn works well. If in doubt, a skein or two of sock yarn will not go unloved. A safe bet to be sure.

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Belated New Years Resolution

I have been contemplating the idea of making a New Years resolution as it seems as though this is still something that people do without fail every year. And the other day, it hit me. I was surfing blogs and was doing some archive reading on one of my favorite blogs (you will have to scroll down to the entry dated November 4, 2006 to read the post that caught my attention) and I realized that I have the exact. same. problem.

I have a serious addiction to sock yarn. I realized it a while ago. I have tried (unsuccessfully) to ignore the nagging guilt that I get everytime I look at the growing pile of yarn and make yet another web purchase. I suppose the first step is to admit the degree of the addiction, but my husband reads this blog and I think he might put a hold on my Visa. Ok, its not that bad, but there is a growing stash and no completed socks in sight. I think that main issue for me is that I fall in love with the way a skein looks when its in its natural state. Once you place it on a swift and wind it up, the properties of the yarn change. Where there was distinct seperation of colors before, you now get a mottled mix and this changes further when you begin to knit the sock.

Another issue that's holding me back is the idea that many sock yarns require, if not scream to be knit in a pattern that shows of its essence to the fullest. And, I must admit, I love nothing more than to knit socks in plain stockinette stitch. Intricate patterns, charts, lace and other complicated designs scare me. I am afraid that I will be unable to master the pattern and it will take forever to complete or that it will be full of glaring mistakes when I am done. So, what's a girl to do?

In light of this (and to get to the original point of this post), I am resolving this year to make it my year of the sock. I know that this has been unofficially done a number of times, and so, I am starting my own year of the sock. I aim to knit one pair of socks for each month this year (with the possible exception of July and possibly August for baby related reasons). That should leave me with 10 pairs of socks. I plan to work it this way - I will start with all the sock yarn that I have balled already with the previous intention to knit into socks. I know for sure that I have at least one ball of Anne sock yarn, as well as one ball of Sweet Georgia Yarn in the Rainforest colorway, and one ball of Knit Picks sock yarn in verigated green and blues all wound and waiting to be knit up. After this, I think I will let Bunny pick the yarn to be knit. Seems like a fair system to me.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Everything Random

It seems as though it has been forever since I posted an actual picture of something that I knit. Although, I think that the lack of knitting is directly and inversely proportional to the amount of puking that I was doing over the last eight weeks. But, since I have gone back to work, I have felt hands down better. So much better in fact, that I have started to knit a storm up in the last week or so. I cast on for this sock before I got sick and have been working on it at work over the lunch hour. I can't say enough good things about this yarn. I was turned onto it by one of the ladies on the knitting retreat that I went on back in November and fell in love with it. The yarn, Cascade Yarns Fixation, is a cotton/elastic blend which makes for a snugly, soft and springy yarn. I am not even to the heel yet and already I can't stop touching, squishing, and fondling the knitted sock. The colors are amazing and the way that the sock hugs your foot while you are wearing it makes this a sock yarn that I can see myself knitting a lot. I have only one small complaint about Cascade Fixation. The packaging that encases these socks is so non-knitter friendly that I seriously doubt many people have gotten beyond the outer shell of the yarn to discover its amazing softness and knit-worthiness. For some reason, Cascade has decided to package the yarn completely in cellophane wrapping which goes against every instinct that one has as a knitter. How can you seriously consider buying a yarn when you can't even touch it to determine its softness. If I hadn't already seen the yarn knit up, I would have never even considered purchasing it and it has been in stock at my LYS for months. Trust me on this, you will be thrilled this yarn. If you buy it and hate it, I will buy it from you. But, you won't hate it. Again, trust me.

I also have some time now to post some pics from the knitting retreat that I went on with Make One (my LYS). This is just some of the fun that was had by all. Both Amy and Sandra (who own the store and put on the retreat) really made us feel comfortable and the knitting workshops put on by Jillian Moreno and Amy Singer were amazing! In one weekend, I learned to customize any sweater pattern to my body, as well as determine at a glance, what commercially designed pattern would work for my body. You know what it all boils down to? Math. And a good gauge swatch. I can't thank these ladies enough. Oh, and how cool is it that I got to meet the creator of Knitty and the authors of Big Girl Knits? Too cool. To think that I have only been knitting a year and a half and already I have gotten to meet two knitting celebrities (and seen them in their pj's). And I have pictures to prove it. I don't want to make this post too photo heavy, so I will post the rest of the pictures sometime later this week. I think everyone had a lot of fun and learned a lot too (I know I did).

There is a lot of talk already about next years retreat, but I don't think I will be able to go given the new addition to our family expected in July.

Oh, one last thing, I have been working a lot in the last week on Bunny's sweater and I think at the rate that I have been going, I will be done very soon. I can't wait to see the look on her face when she realizes that I have actually knit something for her. I am sad to say that this is only the second project I have made for her. Of course, she doesn't give much incentive to make her things. The last thing I made for her were the felted clogs that everyone is raving about. I brought her to the yarn store, let her pick out her own yarn (and she promptly choose a skein of 30.00 yarn) and knit them up for her. Now she won't wear them. The last time I asked her to she told me she didn't like them because they made her feet look like "mitten toes". Kids.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A brief glimpse of my office.

One of the things that I love to do in my spare time is surf assorted knit blogs. I took the day off work today because I caught Bunny's cold at the beginning of the week and its currently kicking my ass and totally aggrivating my nausea. Blah. So, I stayed in bed all morning and this afternoon, I have been surfing blogs and it looks like I am certainly in good company. Every second blog I find tells me that someone is sick in bed for the day. The kleenex companies must just clean up in January and February.

Guess what else I did today? I got a spurt of energy for about 10 minutes and it led me to reorganize my knitting stash. This is what I accomplished in 10 minutes. Not too shabby eh? The top left box has all of my scarf/shawl yarn and anything that has wool content. I realized once I started to reorganize that I have two kinds of Lion & Lamb (in Georgetown and Black Purl) and enough Handmaiden yarn in a luscious green color to make Clapotis. I want to make a number of Clapotis because they are such a great pattern; easy and fun to knit. I also have a darker green yarn from Knit Picks which is destined to become the Backyard Leaves scarf from the Scarf Style book. On the bottom left is all of my cotton yarns. I have enough of the Rowan 4-ply cotton in the greyish color to make the Lucky Clover Wrap from S&B Nation. On the bottom right is all the fiber that I have collected over the past six months or so. There is a mix of merino, silk, alpaca and various other blends there too. On the top right is all the sock yarn that I have bought in the last year. There is a good ammount of Art Yarns, Sweet Georgia, and Lorna's Laces. And then a bunch of various skeins that I have picked up off the internet and gotten in the swaps that I have participated in. Is it horribly obvious that I have a weakness for handpainted sock yarn?

Of course, my small ammount of energy could not sustain me long enough to tackle this mess. This is the other corner of the office that I share with Hubby. Pretty nasty huh? In the various boxes are my knitting books and magazines, as well as all my texts that I have from University. In the tupperwear bins is fabric that I bought when I was sewing that I am still holding onto for no particular reason. And in the white tupperwear bins and in assorted baskets on the floor are my odds and ends of yarn that I don't have room for anywhere else. I need to get a shelf and a system for organizing this stuff. Anyone want to come do this for me? Anyone? Didn't think so. Oh well, one of these days, maybe the nesting instinct will kick in and I will get it all organized in one afternoon. That could happen right?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I'm Baaaaack!!!

I am finally feeling better. This has sure been a marathon. Making babies is hard work. I am happy to report that I have started knitting again. Thanks to the retreat at Make 1, I have a ton of Misti Cotton in color 6314. Enough for a whole sweater actually. Since I don't see the point of making a whole sweater at this point (since I will be getting bigger and bigger), I thought that this yarn would be the perfect softness and shade for a baby blanket. I am making one out of a book that I picked up a while ago: 100 More Afghan Squares to Knit. I love this book. The afghans are not at all "granny-ish" and there are so many patterns to try with tons of different themes. I really like that each square has its own picture because I can never seem to be able to visualize what a pattern will look like when knit up.

I also have to send out a very belated and very huge Thank You to my SP9 pal. She sent me a lovely package with some more spinning fiber in the most amazing purple, green, and teal colors. Its a nice mix of merino/silk and I think it would spin up at a dk weight and be perfect for a lacy scarf. I can't wait until I am feeling well enough to start spinning again. She also sent me some tea (cocoa spice!) and some more bath dye for Bunny. What a great pal I have. The coolest part? It was hand delivered! The doorbell rang and there was the package on the step. I wish I would have been feeling well enough for a visit, but I just wasn't up to it, so I missed out. I was so bummed. I would post some pictures of the swag, but I have used the tea already and the bath stuff was much enjoyed by Bunny too.

Now that I am on the mend, look forward to more pictures from me this coming week. I will be blogging regularly again soon.