Tuesday, February 20, 2007

More notes to myself!

I finished the wool sock. Well, I finished the knitting, I have to close the toe still. I hate doing toe grafting but it leaves no seam, and looks great to boot, so I'm stuck doing it. My notes to myself: start toe shaping @ 7" or so from back of heel, finish with 16 sts. total. Ooh, I should go back and update my previous sock post so it's all in one spot, when I get around to doing sock #2.

Oh, and I accidentally lied about working on Hubby's afghan-- I started a Fancy Fur scarf for Margo. She's stolen my purple one, so I thought I could trade with her for colors she would prefer (pinks and blues), but I forgot she told me purple is her new favorite color, plus she's 4 and logic does not apply.

Monday, February 19, 2007

I'm being good (and bad)

See, I'm being good! I'm knitting away on my Afghans for Afghans sock, as mentioned a few days ago on the blog. It's pretty close to being done. I've got a second one to do still, but hey, this is great progress, right? Looks good in the Paton's Merino Denim Marl, right? Pringle is looking on in approval, so all's right with the world, right?

And I'm being a good Mommy, by finishing the scarf Nick requested to go with his bulky hat. It matches perfectly, since it's the exact same yarn and all. He loves it and it turned out nice... it was fun to do cables again.

And I'm being extra goody-good goodsky, knitting and finishing a wool hat for Afghans for Afghans. They had a call out for hats in bright primary colors, and I found this Lion Brand wool "goldenrod". I'll mail it after the holiday today.
I needed all this goodness banked up, because I went shopping. And.....

Michael's was having a President's day Sale. Fancy Fur was still on sale (how could I say no?) and I Reeealllyy Needed some off-white wool. And I lost my stinkin' cable needle doing Nick's scarf. And I used my 50% off coupon for the wool, so it wasn't too bad, right? But then...

JoAnn's. My downfall. I always get suckered in by the 10% off the total purchase. It's never worth it, financially, I spent $28 and only saved $2.90 total (I saved $2.50 at Michael's, and only spent $8 something.) And I bought way too much, considering how much I ranted about stash the other day. But lookie! pretty lime cotton that will become a bag! and gorgeous wool yarn for something or another (socks yeah socks that's the ticket)! and basic black!
The black Red Heart, Fancy Fur (from above) and the bamboo handles will be a funky glam bag like I saw on Knitty Gritty. I have no explanation for the crochet hook, except it was on sale and a pretty color, and you can't have too many G hooks; and the sz 10 circulars, they were clearanced @ $.97. A bulky hat may live in my future! (More YARN!)

I'm bad. So bad. I will knit on my hubby's afghan for the next week as pennance.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Stash Notes

Another rambling post ahead...

So I'm reading a bunch of knit blogs these days. Sometimes these gals(guys) refer to their "stash" and I sometimes wonder if it means what I think it means. People describe large containers, closets, drawers, and roomsfull of yarn. They speak of buying yarn just to buy it, because they like it. They get possessed by the beauty of the fiber or colors or the smell or something and zippity-do! it "follows them home". I... don't get it.

I've NEVER bought any yarn without having a purpose for it. I have, on occasion, admired the yarn IN a specific project; generally, though, I can admire a yarn without buying. Notable exception-- some hand dyed sock yarn I recently bought on Etsy, a gorgeous purple colorway. But, you know, I'm going to make it into socks, so I don't think that counts as a yarn-based decision.

I would say it hearkens back to the type of knitter I am, but it's more basic than that. It's the type of person I am: linear-thinking, literal, and judgemental (in the sense that there is a black/white, yes/no answer for everything, and I don't dither or look back once I make a decision.) I don't make shit up, I follow patterns to the letter, I always knit for gague on the first try. I feel like a freakin' genius when I started that wool sock using only sock principles, not a pattern.

This makes me a very practically oriented knitter, because to me, it's about the finished product. I do enjoy the actual knitting, but to me, why would you do it if you didn't want something to use when you're done? I'm prolific, because I pick LOTS of small projects, and I'm watching 3 hrs of TV a night, so I'd feel lazy if I wasn't also producing something (multitasking taken to new neurotic heights!) The sight of empty yarn labels makes me happy.

I have, therefore, always purchased acrylic yarns. When you're pumping out the sheer numbers of FP's I do, you can't afford $10 for a freakin' 50 g skein. Gimme an acrylic Pounder @ $4.99 on sale, and I'm happy. I did just recently spring for some cashmerino aran @ $8.99 (and that sock yarn! $14! wow!) but I wouldn't be caught dead shelling out $100+ for sweater yarn. And I can't afford (financially or mentally) to buy stuff I might not use. Not enough closure, you know.

This goes towards explaining my stash, and why it bothers me to have one, even though it seems sad and inadequate compared to other knitters out there. It's currently way bigger than I want. My stash consists of the following types (hey, I'm a cataloger, you know I was going there):

1. leftovers. scraps, partial skeins, full skeins. crud that my frugalness has forbidden me to let go just yet. in my defense, my scraps are fewer than they were; I'm more willing to toss a couple of leftover yards than I used to be. this is my biggest pile.

2. things that are going to be knit. there are plans in the pipeline, patterns copied, it's just a matter of when. I would count my recent expensive purchases here, because I bought them with concrete plans to knit them up in the near future. this is a large pile at the moment because I've got a lotta plans, baby.

3. crap people have given me, because "we know you knit so we figured you can use this." the ONLY things I have ever knit from this type of yarn is baby stuff, because I needed some gifts and who wants to go shopping when there's something good enough sitting in the closet? I hate the stuff in this pile because I'll never use it. it's too big at the moment.

4. stuff bought on spec, ie., what most people are talking about when they talk about stash. for me, this consists of 6 balls of Lion Brand Magic Stripe sock yarn I got when Meijer was clearancing them-- regularly $7.99/ball, on clearance for $2-- and when I walked into the store that day I was handed a coupon for 40% off any craft clearance. it was Meant To Be. I only classify them here because it is entirely possible I will not make them into socks.

So there's my definition of stash. "Stuff I'm going to use."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Note to self!

I did it... hehe hehe hehe... I actually am "winging it" on a pair of socks! I sorta cheated in that I've been referring to several patterns, but thanks to the Yarn Harlot & her awesome "Knitting Rules" book, I had the confidence to try an improvised sock for Afghans for Afghans.

Notes to myself, for the 2nd sock, before I forget what I did and the 2nd looks 8 sizes too big:

Cast on 36 sts
Rib = 1 in.
Leg = 5 in. total from begining
Heel flap = 18 sts in stockinette, sl 1st st
Turn heel on row 18, 10 sts
10 sts left on heel
Gussett, pick up 12 sts each side
(on 3 needles: 17, 18, 17 sts)
Dec each side until 9 sts left (=36 sts total); redistribute on needles to 12 sts ea.

This is where I stopped for the night. I plan to finish up the sock @ 7 in. from the heel, shape toe over 12 rows (dec 4 sts at each side of toe, every other row) which should leave me with 12 total sts for grafting. I hope! It should be about a kid's size 2. I'll post pix IF they turn out, if not, no one will know! hehheheheh, i'm mad, i tells ya!

UPDATE, 02/20/07: Start toe shaping at just past 7" from heel, double dec. to end up with 16 sts. That's 16! Graft toe closed!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

More finished items

Completed: three squares for the DIY Superbowl knit-in. The bottom two are 7"X9" double crochet squares; the top is (well, it wasn't done in this picture, but it is now) also 7"x9" done in a 5x5 basket stitch knit. At last, a use for my leftover Red Heart Mexican! I don't remember what kind of yarn the red one is; probably Red Heart also, I have like 5 partial skeins laying around and I love a reason to get of it. I can't remember the specific charity DIY is collecting these squares for, but they're planning to sew a bunch together for women's shelters and such. I'm going to make a few more and send them in later in the month. I've got a new knitting stitch directory and this will be a great way to try some of them out.

My Fancy Fur scarf, in Purple Passion. This Fancy Fur is starting to grow on me (not literally!) because it has those soft puffy nobules, which means you don't need to strand it with some other yarn to give it substance. Fun Fur is, well, fun, but it's only good for accents. This scarf will actually work for nippy days. If only we could get back up to where it's only nippy! Currently it's 15 degrees...
The scarf is in garter stitch, 12 sts. across on 15's. I used 2 balls. I've got 2 more colors to try out (Northern Nights and Rainbow Red) and I'll probably give them to the kids to play with. Purple Passion is just for me, though!

Dulaan charity hat #1. It's actually done now. I made it up as I went along; the top turned out flatter than I wanted, but the ribbing at the bottom is long enough you can turn it up. It's 94 sts. stockinette, done on circular needles. I am now an unabashed fan of circulars! I always figured, what's the point of running out to buy all new needles, when dpns do the job, plus you always have to switch to dpns as you shape the top anyways? Color me wrong-- there's no "laddering" between the needles on circs, and you can go lightning fast when you don't have to switch needles. I lurve them and will make at least 2 more hats in the next month or so.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

knit bloggin' for the kids

Miss Margo's scarf, in WoolEase Rose Heather, done on 7's with a diamond stitch. It curls like a mo-fo, since it's mostly stockinette, but it's still very cute. She picked the yarn and the stitch, so she loves it (guaranteed to be worn every day, then.)

Nick's bulky hat, done with Red Heart heather grey, on 9's with 2 strands held together (sucker is REALLY BULKY.) I made the small women's size, because...

....when I made this one for Margo, it seemed to run small, so I bumped Nick's up a size. It fits him well. This one is done in LB Blush Heather, also with 2 strands, on 9's. I barely had enough to finish this had. These bulky things take lotsa yarn! Makes 'em really warm, though.

Friday, February 02, 2007

more pix, coming soon

I've finished a few projects, and will post pictures soon. I've already got a few things on the needles: Fancy Fur scarf, Dulaan hat, poor hubbie's afghan I started six months ago (oops). I'm off to the craft store tonight, to acquire more Fancy Fur if they've still got it @ $1, and yarn for a sweater for myself. I'm going to whip off a cardigan, maybe in red, or purple,(or green?) it all depends on the colors of Wool Ease they have on hand. It will be nice to do something for myself, after all the charity knitting and projects for my kids.