Thursday, March 31, 2011

Letting Go

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

Today's Topic:  Whatever happened to your __________?  Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

I will admit, I'm a bit of a control freak.  For example, I used to not be able to have my mom or my mother-in-law help me out in the kitchen. (i.e. when they stayed with me after my children were born).  I hated to walk in and find something where it didn't belong. I  never said anything; they were so nice to come down and help, but ohhhh those types of things bugged me.  I guess having children helped me in that department.  Kids definitely have a mind of their own.  And, now, I welcome the help when the moms visit and wait until they've gone home to return things to their proper place.

How does this relate to knitting, you wonder.  Well, it's taken me a while to get to the point where I'd not worry about what would happen to a gift that I knitted for someone....would they lose the socks?  Well, let me tell you...they lose the socks...both of my kiddos have lost socks that I knitted for them. It's just the way it goes.  They don't love me any less.  They don't love those socks any less (maybe they didn't completely love them to begin with...some were too small or too large or really, I'll admit, not very attractive).  Kids lose stuff.  Husbands lose stuff too,  Especially husbands who travel for business.  I can't even tell you how many  of my husbands (store-bought) socks have made it to the Land of Lost Socks.

They lose hats husband left one somewhere.  hmmmm...not quite sure where.  My niece left a hat here at Christmas.  (At least I know where it is).

And, they try to take care of hand-made knits but don't always know how.  For example this sweater hung on a hanger for a while.  The straps have stretched out so much that the sweater is un-wearable.  I intend to fix it.  But I haven't quite figured out what to do...take the original straps off and start again....wash and re-block and hope the straps shrink back to their original size?  Any suggestion about what to do would be greatly appreciated.

So I don't worry about the gifts anymore.  They get lost, they get stretched out, they shrink.  Oh well.  I can always knit more.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Ahhh...The Fine Art of Yarn and Other Knitty Storage

Today's Topic: How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised?

A few months ago, someone on Twitter commented about these storage bags fron Woodland Woolworks.  At $2.50 a bag, I considered them a steal and immediately ordered 6 small and 6 large to store my stash....Love them! They fit under my bed (crazy yarn storage but what can I say?) or at least the part of the bed that isn't taken up with all of my scrapbooking and photos.  And they fit under a chair.  And I can see what I opening or unzipping bags to peek inside!  It's all visible! And, did I mention, inexpensive? 

Storage Bag from
Since receiving them, I have more or less organized my stash....Malabrigo, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Pagewood Farms, Lorna's Laces, Madeline Tosh, Quince and Company... all go in separate bags.  Some yarn is just stored by weight since I don't really have enought of a collection of a lot of brands....sock yarn in particular because there are soooooo many pretty sock yarns out there.  Note to self:  Look for Quince and Co yarn...I didn't notice it when  I was going through my yarn and planning some projects last week.

I haven't been that interested in listing my stash on Ravelry but recently I did go through my knitting books (another collection of sorts, I might add) and I updated my Ravelry Library. I also put all of the knitting books in one place so I would know where to look for them!

As far as knitting needles are concerned, I do confess that until a few weeks ago, most were piled up in a tote bag.  And, by piled up, I mean piled up!  For a while, it seemed like I would buy knitting needles every time I bought yarn at the Local Yarn Stores.  But I ordered a very nice Needle Organizer from Namaste (it no longer seems to be available or I would give a link).  I also bought a 2 inch notebook binder (the kind my kids use for school) and an assortment of pen and pencil holders that fit  inside the binder.  I used the Namaste bag for my smaller needles 0 -5, mostly DPN's, some circular needles, stitch holders, stitch markers etc.  The notebook is filled with mostly circular needles size 6 - 15.  Of course, at any time, you may see some stray sets of needles around my house.

Don't get me wrong though....there is plenty of yarn lying around my house for me to ooogle and pet.  When I get new yarn, it is immediately placed on the counter in the hallway so that I can look at it and plan what I am going to knit with it.  Sometimes, only the yarn/project that I am currently working on sits on that coveted spot in the hallway.  Sometimes, it's yarn that I've had a while that I am interested in knitting.  And, sometimes, I just pull out all of my storage bags so that I can look at all of my yarn and plan, oh, I don't know, the next 3 or 4 or 12 projects.  And, by the way, I still have 2 or 3 bags left to fill!  Hmmmm, where can I go shopping?  Half the fun of having a collection is enjoying it, right?  How do you store your yarn....share here!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Today, I am going to take a look back at my so-called knitting progress over the past year.  (I wish the topic was how my stash has grown over the past year - by leaps and bounds - perhaps too much!  But that will be a blog post for another day!)

Last year at this time I was a Twitter and Ravelry newbie and I probably hadn't even thought about a blog yet.  I was just beginning to get interested in knitting again...I learned to knit from my grandmother when I was about 9 and have gone through knitting phases over the previous knitting phase has been quite like this one though.  I attribute this lasting interest to Twitter and Ravelry.

@Voolenvine's Vinelle

So, about this time last year, I knitted Bella's Mittens, which were my first learn about it on Twitter and find it on Ravelry project.  Then, I knit @Voolenvine's sweater, Vinelle. 

Later came Ishbel, joined a sweater twitablong with @jbee42 and @cheekytart.  And met @knittingknoobie when I visited NYC last summer! 

Test Knit Granny Bomber Jacket
for @Sweatshopoflove

Then, I test knit a sweater with intarsia for @sweatshopoflove.

Irish Hiking Mittens Designed by Me!!

And I even designed a pair of mitts and a pair of mittens. I guess my knitting has progressed quite a bit since last year! Learned to knit lace and intarsia. I had never knit mittens before and here I was at the end of 2010 designing my own! And I am noticing that I am a bit of a binge knitter. Handbags knitted for holiday gifts in 2009 was followed up with hats for holiday gifts in 2010. Now, it's socks. Lots and lots of socks. For me, this kind of binge knitting gives me a chance to develop certain skills and see how different yarns work in similar patterns. Of course, that's not really why I binge's more like...Oh! This is fun! Let me knit another one! Hmmmm.....what's next? Any suggestions?

Monday, March 28, 2011

Knitting & Crochet Blog Week 2011 - Day One

I just found out about Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011.  It runs from March 28th  to April 3rd 2011 and is a week of fibre-arts related posts where many members of the knitting and crochet community worldwide blog daily together on the same subjects and topics.  Wow! Sounds like fun! The BIG question is, think I can keep up?  We'll see....

So today's topic is....A Tale of Two Yarns

My absolute favorite yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport.  Socks and Shawls knit up quickly with this yarn.  And it is soooo squishy and soft using a size 2 needle.  Colors are great and I have found it at Jimmy Beans Wool, The Loopy Ewe and Eat, Sleep, Knit...three of my favorite online yarn stores.

River Rapids Sock in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport in Midway
And then what could I say about Malabrigo worsted that hasn't been said by everybody else?  Soft, soft soft to the touch.  Again, I found some at all of the three yarn stores listed above.  Sadly, most of my local yarn stores do not have much in the way of either of these yarns.  However, one local yarn store has been much better lately about stocking all the pretty yarns that I love to find online.

Brattleboro Hat in Malabrigo Worsted - Verde Esperanza

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Startitis Attacks!

Oh my goodness! I can't seem to stop casting on new projects! I have one pair of socks almost complete...just the toe decreases on the second sock and I'm done.  But....

Almost Done With This Sock!

I pulled out yarn this morning for two more pairs of socks.  I've already cast-on one pair.  Both are just plain, basic socks, the second may have some kind of colorwork but, really, two?  Well, no, maybe three because I'm thinking about a particular skein of yarn making a really nice pair of socks.  What am I thinking?

Socks for My Husband

This moring, I gathered up all of my sock yarn for the purpose of picking out some for upcoming projects.  I'm going to match the pattern to the yarn instead of my usual vice-versa.  Kind of a priority list of yarn - an assortment of what I would like to knit over the next few months.  Not necessarily my favorite yarns...I'm picking yarns for people who will be the beneficiaries of all of my sock-y knittiness.

Really, there's quite a bit more sock yarn around here than I care to admit.  My children even had the audacity to question whether I could ever actually knit that many pairs of socks.  I patiently told them that my stash was as much a collection of something that I liked to look at as it was something that I liked to knit with.  :)  Hence, the big pile on my bed. I may even have to sleep on the sofa if I can't bear to pack it all away today....good thing hubby's on a business trip!

Spring Socks for Me!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Brooklyn Handspun

Yes, more new yarn. to love...and, again, from The Loopy Ewe.   It's so pretty and incredibly soft.  It's called Aquatic and it's dyed up by Marie in Brooklyn, NY. The yarn base is called "Soft Spun Plus".  At about 375 yards, it should make a beautiful pair of socks for me...I love the blues and greens combined with the coppery shade of brown.  It's 100% Superwash Merino and, did I mention, so so soft.

"Aquatic" from BrooklynHandspun
Think I'm going to use this to knit Spring Forward Socks  which appeal to me not only because of the beautiful Spring weather we are having right now in Georgia but also because the pattern is very, very pretty and (I'm hoping) easy to memorize.  Can't wait to start!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Oh Noes! What Did I Do to My Sock???!!!

Sunday night, I finished turning the heel on my second River Rapids Sock.  I turned the heel perfectly.  No extra stitches as sometimes happens.  Wasn't short stitiches as happens on other occasions.  It was perfect.

And, then, I compared it to the first sock.

Oh noes! The heels were not remotely the same at all.


What did I do on Sock #1???

I had perfectly followed the pattern for sock number 2.

So what in the world did I do for number 1???????

River Rapids Sock #1 - Great Pattern!

Apparently, I didn't follow the pattern instructions toooooo closely.

So, what's a girl to do?  I frogged to the end of the more perfectly turned heel, no more perfect, exactly followed the instructions heel.  Even though these socks are for me, I'd like them to be the same (as much as I am capable of doing that).

So rippppppppp.  And then I tried to guess what I did.  Well, attempt number 2 (in which I just repeated rows 1 and 2 of the heel instructions) resulted in too long a heel and the tension was all wrong.  Hmmm...what's next...well, I was fairly frustrated at this point so I frogged back to a point where the two heels are the same length.  The cuffs matched up perfectly.  So, I figure I will take Spindiva's advice and avoid clogs when I wear these socks!

By the way, I am using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sport.  The colorway is Midway and it is perfect for the River Rapids Sock Pattern.  Soft and squishy and I can't wait to wear them!  I bought the yarn at Jimmy Beans Wool, another interned yarn store that I love, love, love!

Hopefully, in a few days, I will have Pics of the finished socks.  Stay tuned!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Yarn Love

I'll admit, I am addicted to yarn.  Just addicted. Love it.  Love to look at it.  Love to knit it.  Love to find new yarn so I love all of my fellow yarnies' blogposts and tweets about new yarn. I could look at yarn websites all day long. Last week, my husband might say I spent a little too much time looking at The Loopy Ewe, one of my fave, fave, fave internet yarn stores. This time, I found some beautiful, new to me yarn,  Yarn Love.  in the colorways, Nirvana on the left (one of my son's favorite bands) and Belle on the right (my daughter's middle name).  Guess I was missing my kiddos while they were at school that day!

The yarn itself is called Juliet, its a sock yarn, 80% superwash merino and 20% nylon, 420 yards.  I can't wait to start knitting my kids some more socks! Guess who gets which socks! 

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

We Did It! daughter and I both finished our Special Olympic Scarves....on time!  Here they are:

Didn't my dughter do a great job on her scarf?  It's the one on the right.  I think I like it better than the one I knitted.  Here's a closer look:

I really love this year's bright and cheery.  We are hoping that it's still cold enough in Virginia to wear them!