Thursday, March 31, 2005

Flashing My Stash!

It's a few hours early, but I decided to do this while I have time and before I lose my nerve:

Except for a few stray skeins that've surfaced since I took the pictures (and the cross-stitching and quilting stuff), that is absolutely all of my yarn and fiber. It doesn't look as bad as I thought it would, probably because I didn't take everything out of the drawers and spread it out at one time like I did a few months back. And I didn't count skeins or make any other effort to calculate exactly how much yarn is in those piles. It's more than the 320 skeins I had in December.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

If you fix a mistake, make sure it's fixed before you knit much further. One of the ladders on my Clapotis got shifted two stitches to one side and made a total mess of things, but I didn't notice it for an entire day of knitting. I wound up frogging the entire thing. There were a bunch of other little problems I'd glossed over along the way, so the new incarnation will be much better than the original.

This is my first project with dropped stitches, and I'm surprised at how much I like the way it looks. I wanted to post a picture of the nice springy colors, but now there's not much to take a picture of. And I was afraid if I took a picture before I tore it all out, I'd lose my nerve and either keep knitting on what I had even though it was doomed, or never start a second attempt.

I've been using every stitch maker I can get my hands on, and I've developed some definite preferences over the past three days. The little round white plastic thingies are best, but I don't have enough and I don't have the energy to drag all three kids to the store for more as long as there's something else in the house that will work. The split markers are too clunky. The little hair elastics, which I've used happily on other projects, get stuck on the cable of my needle and drive me nuts. Little loops of scrap yarn are a pain to cut and tie, but work almost as well as the white plastic things. And they don't cost anything.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Just a Couple More Hours....

I got out of bed sometime before 3am, and it's finally hit me how tired I am. I did try to go back to sleep once I got the baby settled again, but I kept thinking about roving and fleece and yarn and all of the fun things I could be working on, so I just got up and got on with my day. Which has been pretty good, especially since I'm running on about three hours of sleep.

I ran a couple of errands and got a good workout while drooling over an old issue of Vogue Knitting which has a neat backpack that I think might use up some of the bulky brown yarn that's hiding in the bottom of a rubbermaid bin because I don't like the color for a sweater or an afghan and couldn't figure out what else to do with it.

Somehow, a Clapotis jumped onto my needles while I wasn't paying attention. I sort of know how it happened. Alex announced that she wanted a thing that would wrap around her shoulders "just like this," and at about the same time some garage sale yarn that's been sitting in my stash for two years telling me it wanted to be a mobius vest announced that it wanted to be a Clapotis, and by that point it didn't matter that Alex doesn't like my yarn and would rather have the stuff in the pattern picture because now I'm knitting it for myself.

Now that I've found a fun project I got more knitting done today than I have in the past week. And last night, I sat up late playing with the hand carders I got for Christmas. I'd be doing that again tonight, if I wasn't starting to fall asleep here at the computer.

Dinner's in the oven, the baby's been up for hours, and the big kids will go to bed when I tell 'em to. And the Clapotis and fleece will be waiting for me bright and early tomorrow morning.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Birthday Fiber

My husband didn't get me anything for my birthday yesterday. (And we didn't go anywhere because I took the kids to a rainy Easter egg hunt instead.) Supposedly because I didn't tell him what I wanted, but that was only because I was expecting him to ask the way he has for the past couple of years and assuming that since he hadn't asked, he'd figured out an idea of his own. But he didn't do either and I was pouting because if he's not going to buy me birthday yarn, I should at least get SOMETHING! We did go to Borders after dinner to look for The Opinionated Knitter or the Yarn Harlot's book, and they didn't have either, and my parents are in Arizona, so I didn't get anything except a card from Alex and some pretty roving that she bought me on the yarn crawl and gave to me that same day because she couldn't stand waiting. It's GORGEOUS roving, made even gorgeouser by the fact that my 8 year old picked it out and bought it all on her own (and kept half for herself ), but it doesn't quite eclipse the fact that he didn't buy me anything but dinner. I'm going to go ahead and order the Opinionated Knitter from Knitpicks (because that way I can also get the pattern for the smoke ring that none of the LYS's I've checked carry and yarn for it and a couple of other little things...) but I wanted something to play with yesterday, especially since I'd had that something in my hands on the yarn crawl and didn't buy it then.

Then I got this from a wonderfully generous knitting friend (which has nothing to do with my birthday, but was pretty neat timing):

Hi, Michelle and Alex;
I've started my spring cleaning and realized I have several boxes of washed fleece stored in the garage and the shed. If the wool is still in good condition, would you two like to have several boxes of it to spin?

We came home from her house with an entire raw fleece, a paper grocery sack of llama, another grocery sack of kid mohair, a box of something else, a bag of something else, two more bags of carded roving, several skeins of handspun... Just a completely unbelievable amount of fiber! Which she told us to use or trash or do whatever we wanted with.

I've had some roving to play with, but I'm afraid that I'll make a mistake and ruin it, or do things right and use it all up. This just materialized and there's so MUCH of it! I can't wait to play. :-)

I should've played this afternoon, but I was cleaning house and taking pictures so I can Flash my Stash on April 1.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I should get a gold star

I was an extra good mommy today and took the kids to see Robots (which was lots better than the commercials had me expecting it to be, but nowhere near as good as Shrek 2), then to Coldstone Creamery to get free ice cream with the ticket stubs. I didn't get ice cream because I was thinking of how much yarn I could buy for the price of a small bowl. After karate, we spent almost two hours at the library playing in the discovery room, which is set up like a grocery store. No wonder I'm too tired to knit tonight!

I can't even work up the energy to look through the knitting books I brought home. And I can't go to bed until it's time to take my dumb antibiotics.

Monday, March 21, 2005

All the other knitters are knitting bunnies

That's the way the Bunny A Long makes it seem. Easter is coming and I had a partial skein of grey yarn, so it was the perfect time to try the Knitted Bunny pattern at HeartStrings FiberArts.

Isn't he kinda cute? Not as adorable as the one on the pattern and the ones everyone else is making, and not cute enough for me to make two more so all three kids would have bunnies for Easter. But cute enough. Once I got the square knitted, which somehow took days, he finished up quickly.

I think the orange socks are very cute, especially since I made them that color myself by knitting a swatch and then dying it was mango and tangerine KoolAid and frogging it and then knitting socks. I'd like a pair for myself, almost enough to consider repeating the whole process with a lot more wool.

And Alex wants a suede hat in her size.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

When do I get to knit?

I managed to finish the suede baby hat in time to take it to the guild meeting last Saturday and made a pair of tube socks for Quinn out of the orange Kool aid yarn, but that's it. The Raspberry Wrap is no more, after someone upended my knitting bag and it got snagged on something else and lots of stitches (including yarn overs which I don't know how to recover) fell of the needles and now I can't even tell which way I was supposed to be going. Maybe I'll try a different ribbing pattern, since I wasn't wild about this one.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

I've stumbled onto the ultimate weight loss secret -- the Patternworks catalog! I propped it over the console of the eliptical tonight and, instead of spending the next twenty minutes staring at the timer and wondering when I could get off the thing and go home, I stared at pictures of gorgeous yarn with names like Beach Glass and Love Potion. The time flew, even though I think the thing was set to a harder level than I'm used to (gotta flag down one of the physical therapists and figure out what it should be set at and how to get it that way) and I'd already flipped through most of the catalog. I feel so good! My next challenge is getting myself on enough yarn catalogs to keep my imagination fired up three times a week. Let's see....I've got Woodland Woolworks, Halycon, Knit Picks.... Wonder who else I can request them from.

And, speaking of the wonderful stuff in Patternworks -- there's a jacket that goes with the suede hat and booties. Now I REALLY wish I'd bought more of the suede when it was on clearance!

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Should've bought some of the red and black suede...

Berroco Suede is fun to knit with. It feels neat and looks neat and I'm going to be sad when mine is all used up, even though I don't have any idea what I'd do with it beside the Ugg booties and matching hat that I bought it for in the first place.

The hat's almost done except for the flaps and finishing, which made no sense at all when I was trying to figure it out at 1am. I should give it another try tonight so I can free up that set of needles for the next project I want to tackle.

Okay, one of the dozen or so "next projects!" It's a good thing to have patterns and yarn and ideas for more things than I ever expect to finish. Especially when it's nice, cooperative yarn, that doesn't mind what it winds ending up as.

That yarn I bought for the Tri-Aran-Angle? Now it's thinking of becoming a Raspberry Wrap. I've got my measurements. I've got Barbara Walker's Treasury of Knitting Patterns from the library so I can look up the ribbing in the middle. Now I've got to swatch and do math and that's where I always go astray and look for the easy way out.

Besotted is all done, and I need another big rectangle to pick up and work on when there's stuff going on around me. I'm going to have to swatch this time.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

achey but happy

We hiked on Monday. Two hours of trudging up and down a gravel road with the baby in my awful sling, and I made it back to the car on my own two feet. That's the farthest I've tried to go since the accident (not to mention the bedrest and c-section), so I'm very proud of myself. I may get to have some fun this summer after all.

After finishing one Pixie Boot from 50 Baby Booties to Knit, I can't stand the idea of knitting a second one. I should do it very soon, because the first one does fit and Quinn needs something to keep his little toes warm if he's going to wear little outfits without feet. I'm telling myself I have to make another stupid Pixie Boot before I try any of the sixteen other patterns in that book that I want to knit. (And I'm really hoping they aren't as much of a pain!) This pair isn't from the book, though, so I can start them whenever I want.

I want to knit a hot water bottle cozy. Walmart doesn't have real hot water bottles anymore, just things that plug in and things that go in the microwave and cost a lot of money and won't fit the pattern. But Target did have a nice reddish pink one with latex warnings all over the outside of the box. I really wanted a blue one (How silly is that?) but not enough to keep dragging three kids to different stores to find it.

In case anyone was wondering, gruesome red Crystal Lite makes very pretty wool. So do Mango and Tangerine Kool Aid.


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