Category Archives: knitting confessions

Frankly, my dear, I think I’m in a slump.

Picot Timberline Toes Finished1. I finished my first pair of socks for 2007 while I was on vacation this past week.
2. They’re Lucy Neatby’s Timberline Toes pattern from Cool Socks, Warm Feet.
3. I used ONline Tropic sock yarn, color 924.
4. I loved the pattern and the colors, but the yarn was a little splitty.
5. My only modifications were adding a picot cuff (yay!), and a rounder toe.
6. The garter stitch heel is a tad deep over 60 percent of the stitches, but the fit is so close to perfect that I don’t care.
7. In fact, I love these socks so much that I wore them twice in three days.
8. They make me smile every time I look at my feet.
9. Now I have just two WIPs: the Step Above Socks, and Cable and Rib.
10. I’m at a transition point with both projects (one triangle away from the heel of the first sock and almost done with the back of the sweater).
11. Coincidentally, the bloom is off of both of them; I have the urge to start something new.
12. I could start Lizard Ridge.
13. But I only have the yarn for three squares right now, so it’s likely to be a WIP for a long time. [Dear Santa, Send Noro – ed.]
14. I don’t really need another long term WIP – it might do me in.Picot Timberline Heels
15. I could start a Flower Basket Shawl – perfect summer knitting.
16. In fact, I went through a weeklong period earlier this month where I thought I would die if I didn’t start a shawl.
17. I looked at what seemed like every shawl pattern I had ever bookmarked; I felt the urge to develop a flowchart to define my preferences.
18. Apparently it was “the bigger the better” as far as shawls for me – The Sampler Shawl and the Fir Cone Square from Folk Shawls were top contenders.
19. Not to be obvious, but it seems I have learned nothing from Cable and Rib in all its bigness. 20. I may not be happy until my shawl’s border has a border.
21. See item 14., specifically “it might do me in.” A huge honking shawl is probably not a good idea.
22. I could start a sweater for myself – mmm, fall knitting.
23. I’m smaller than my husband, so I could talk myself into believing that a sweater for me does not really equal a huge, honking project.
24. Starting either Lizzy or the Ribby Cardi would scratch an itch, but I’m dismayed to see knitters reporting in with technical issues with both garments (Lizzy may benefit from waist shaping; the Ribby needs careful attention to sizing for best results).
25. My instincts for perfect fit are battling it out with my desire for mindless knitting.
26. Embarrassingly, I seem to consider math to alter a pattern or paying attention to detail too much work.
27. Honestly, starting a whole new sweater would make me feel like I should admit I will never, ever finish Cable and Rib.
28. Crap. I had no idea a nice pair of socks could do this to any self-respecting knitter.

I hear crochet comes in handy.

Today is my birthday – shh, I haven’t told anyone else. I like the wild rumpus as much as the next person, but I am enjoying the 38th version of my birthday, low key and mellow, as much as the 29th (at which I threw myself a party) and the 21st (at which I convinced an entire movie theater full of people to sing “Happy Birthday” to me – and I have the pictures to prove it).

All of this is prologue to telling you about my day with Lucy Neatby – I had to keep reminding myself of that saying “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” Everything is okay, but I blame the imbroglio in between on crochet.

You see, I consider myself an intermediate sock knitter – but I do not crochet, in any way, shape or form. Yet. So when Lucy started her “Even Cooler Socks” class by saying “Crochet a chain of 20 stitches,” I knew I was in the weeds. Lucy was gracious, kind, and helpful; I was chagrined, and felt like I should have been wearing a t-shirt that said “I hear crochet comes in handy.”

Even with my non-existent crochet skillz, I still managed to find the class mind-blowing; Lucy is the kind of knitter who invents a new technique because she’s bored with the old one or suspects that the same old thing we always do can be done more efficiently. Who could not love that? If you have a chance to take a class with her, I highly recommend it – just make sure you’ve got a handle on the provisional crochet cast on first, and you’ll be all set.

I feel like I walked away from the class with homework: 1. Practice the provisional cast on for 15 minutes a day, and 2. Make a pair of Fiesta Feet socks, which feature two of the stitch patterns we covered in class. Thankfully, Rob and Matt were able to set me up with supplies, so those socks will be making an appearance soon enough.

Turtleneck Shrug sleeve But in the meantime, I’ve started some birthday knitting: the Turtleneck Shrug from Scarf Style in Classic Elite Waterlily, a merino with multiple plies that give a lot of texture to the finished fabric. I was hoping to have it done by now, but the best-laid plans only gave me 14 inches or so. Next week, just in time for summer!

I was going to say a propos of my humbling experience in Lucy’s class that there are two kinds of knitters, those who stay wiith what they know and those who keep pushing themselves to learn – but I think it just means that as many times as I return to projects that feature my beloved ribbing, I’ll want to venture beyond what I know to new and different territory. First stop: the crochet hook.

I am not a knitting quitter, but…

I am not a knitting quitter. I’m not really a quitter, period; I think persistence is a virtue that serves knitters well (e.g. the SlogalongCable and Rib and I are proud members). I have abandoned just one project in my years of knitting, and I was happy to do it, because no one reknits a sweater three times, right? Right?

But here, my friends, is the bitter truth: I am frogging Meadow Flowers.

I really don’t think I have enough yarn, and the fear of running out is outweighing the love for a great pattern. I have ~500 yards (probably less) of small-batch hand-dyed yarn, and the pattern takes 500 yards. Even I admit this is the knitting equivalent of stuffing ten pounds of sugar in a five pound bag. So, so often, I choose the hard thing. I go the long way. I pick the complicated option. I was all set to swap yarn samples with Cassie to see if the extra yarn she had matched mine…Then it occurred to me: I could simply pick a new shawl pattern which requires less yarn. Brilliant! And also, easier!

This handy list, complete with yardage makes the picking of a new pattern fun, in a scientific, research-y kind of way: Shetland Triangle? No – not enough yarn. Flower Basket Shawl? Yes – er, in fact, I already have yarn stashed for this, so planning on knitting two of them might not be the best choice. This PDF featuring arrowhead lace staff projects from Interweave Knits contains the Arrowhead Lace stole (technically more yarn than I have, but it’s an “end-it-whenever” project) and the Little Arrowhead Shawl, a Pam Allen joint that takes just 280 yards of yarn. I could just about make two of them – but then I’d end up with the same nailbiting “will she or won’t she have enough yarn” situation. I can’t tell which shawl I should cast on for quite yet, but I do know it’s time to restash the Twinkletoes sock yarn Au revoir, Meadow Flowers!

PopUp Paws, completed In happier news, even though it is clearly not mitten weather, I have finished the Pop Up Paws, so that’s one project down. Vital stats: 2.375 balls of Bergere Irland yarn to make the largest size in a tweedy brown purchased from toadal discount yarn. Size 3 and 5 needles, with the rounded mitten top option (mitten cuff changed to 2×2 ribbing from garter because I wanted to). I liked this pattern a lot, and would recommend it for the sheer volume of detailed information within, plus the fine fit of the finished product. Thumbs (and fingers) up!

In even happier news, I was the lucky winner of Bonne Marie’s “spring fling” contest, and I am now the proud recipient of the Ariann pattern and seven beautiful blue skeins of Cotton-Ease. If you know of my general ambivalence toward cotton, you might have asked why I would risk winning a yarn with cotton in the name? One word: color. It’s so, so pretty, and I think it will be beautiful as a summer cardigan – one cannot live by wool alone. Swatching has commenced, eagerly. Thank you, Bonne Marie!

Stay tuned for our next episode in which I extol the virtues of Combination Knitting (and the charming Annie Modesitt), and the entrelac sock goes on a road trip to meet Lucy Neatby.

Thank goodness for small favors.

Happy belated New Year! January brought me a case of bronchitis followed by a cold, so I’ve spent most of the last three and a half weeks recuperating – with intermittent bouts of knitting. On the bright side, if only I’d known small projects went so quickly, I’d have started knitting them sooner.

Fig and Plum Hat First up, with my memory jogged by this discussion of decreasing for hats, I whipped out a Fig and Plum ribbed hat. I used 3/4 of a ball of Plymouth Encore Chunky in a nice oatmeal heather (color 240), sizing the stitch count down appropriately for a bulky yarn (I think I cast on 64), and the hat fits Knit One Purl Too’s Chief Snow Removal Expert (aka my husband) perfectly. I’d definitely make this pattern again, because the decrease pattern looks very sharp, yet it’s idiot-proof.

Second, my contribution to the Square-Along – very, very fun, and it went so quickly, it was over almost before I knew it. Vital stats: 1/3 of a ball of Plymouth Sockotta in oranges, greens, browns and yellows – this yarn was almost destined to be Evelyn Clark’s Go With the Flow Socks at one point – after seeing this, I’m glad I reconsidered (and I probably still have enough left for socks).Square-along FO

I’m not sure if I have any knitting resolutions for the new year – if I do, they can probably be summed up as follows: Use the patterns you have, and no saving yarn “for good” – use it, and love it. I’ve bookmarked hundreds of patterns and have hundreds more on my bookshelf – socks from Knitting on the Road, Knitting Vintage Socks, shawls and wraps from Wrap Style, hats and mittens from all over. It’s time to really make the effort to use them (in other words no plain vanilla socks until further notice).

I also have lots of single skeins of yarn, some of which I bought to swatch for future projects which may never get made (the cover aran from Men in Knits was the original designation for the Encore Chunky) – so it’s time to use those too. I have a friend who buys lovely clothes and then doesn’t wear them, saving them “for good.” I thought of her when I wound my most beautifully crafted skein of handspun yarn (the one on the right) to make the Malagaiter from MagKnits. I felt so bold, but think how much more I’ll get to enjoy this one-of-a-kind yarn when I’m wearing it!

Finally, my third project in January was converting this blog to WordPress and implementing the redesign my friend Bran made in exchange for the flowerbasket hat which I am still working on (sigh). If you’re reading this using Bloglines or another news reader, click through and enjoy her handiwork (that’s really me up there!). I’ve been looking forward to this redesign – what a treat, and the hat and mittens and accoutrements are thisclose to being done, so I felt like I could put the redesign together in good conscience.

Leena sleeping Thanks to everyone for your kind comments about Charlie;we miss him, but I know the catnip patch in the sky is treating him well. We were surprised to find right away that our house felt a little too empty without a cat, so I have a new knitting companion, Leena. She’s seven months old today, and just like me, she likes yarn. I think we’ll have a beautiful future together.

Stashless knitting is the new black.

Before I get to the juicy bits in this entry, I’m pleased to introduce you to my latest pair of socks.

If Lily Pulitzer went camping, this is what she'd wear

Finished Object #6 for the year; this ties me with last year’s output with three whole months to go. Stats: Trekking XXL, Color 107, my standard sock pattern with the German Twisted cast-on and the Sherman short row heel and the grafted toe I love so much. Total time to completion: a month and a half. I feel as though there’s at least one-third of a ball left, so I could have made the legs much longer than my preferred 7 inches. I feel a pair of toe-up socks coming on, simply to avoid the yarn wastage. On the bright side, I can add another partial ball to my collection in preparation for my Stashbuster Spirals.

Since all I do is talk about knitting around here, I thought there was little left unsaid, but I was wrong. Ten knitterly things you don’t know about me:

1. I am the only knitter who doesn’t harbor a secret fantasy to own or work in a yarn store. Perfect stash, yes. Yarn store, no. I am too bossy for retail, and I would only be able to tolerate requests for cheap novelty yarn for so long. I wouldn’t mind living closer to a yarn store, though. A knitting friend of mine turned down the opportunity to live in the apartment over her LYS this week, and I remain flabbergasted she showed such restraint.

2. I’m yearning to be a stashless knitter. After the recent discussion that sprouted over at Knitting Simplicity regarding my admission that I’m harboring a fugitive four years worth of knitting, I have been testing out the idea that stashless knitting is the new black. I think there would be such delicious freedom and lack of guilt buying the materials for the next project I’d like to work on when I’m ready to start it and I actually need them. I’d make an exception for a small posse of sock yarns, but that’s it.

3. I’d love to work for a knitting magazine. Dear Pam Allen, please hire me; I am a kickass editor and I’d like to knit staff projects for Interweave along with Ann Budd. Imagine it – a knitalong with Ann Budd. We could braid each other’s hair and gab about American Idol between yarnovers (bonus points if you get that reference). Dear Trisha Malcolm: I am not sure I fully understand the appeal of Vogue Knitting, but I own the big book and I buy at least one issue a year, so I’m really trying. If you hire me, I promise not to make fun of any patterns in the magazine.

4. With the exception of dishcloth yarn, I kind of hate cotton. This is the biggest dichotomy in my personality. I am more than a little fiber snobby, but I knit with the most pedestrian yarn there is and love it. Other cotton? Not so much – the fading, the hand, the firmness, all combine to make me go “ick.” To be fair, I seem to remember touching some Blue Sky Organic Cotton last year and liking it, so I may revisit the issue. I also have half a ball of Tahki Cotton Classic to swatch with because I keep thinking about mitered squares.

5. Elizabeth Zimmerman may be may favorite knitting writer, but I probably won’t knit very many of her patterns. Don’t get me wrong, I love Elizabeth’s Percentage System, and I think the Baby Surprise Jacket is kntting genius, but tunic sweaters are not my thing, and I like my garter stitch in limited quantities. Nonetheless, Knitting Around is like the best novel to me.

6. I find stockinette beguiling; ribbing would be my second choice. I like a challenge as much as the next person and I own a cherished copy of Aran Knitting by Alice Starmore, but I love just being able to pick up a project in progress and knit, even if I only have a little time. No fussing with a chart, no thinking about where I left off, just knit, knit, knit. Nice. Perhaps this is why my husband’s cabled sweater has languished.

7. If I could knit just one thing for the rest of my life, it might be socks. Socks have it all: a chance to sample lovely yarns in manageable quatities, portability, the quick gratification of smaller projects, endless pattern variations and technical challenges – they are, as the kids say, the bomb. Plus, even though many sock patterns are easy once you have mastered the basic technique, nothing impresses a civilian like sock knitting.

8. These are my favorite colors. I’m sure there’s some sort of personality analysis you can do with these squares to show that I’m either going to be President of the United States or a serial killer. I think I was a Winter at one point, if that says anything to you, but now pink and orange sock yarn just makes me swoon. mycolors.jpg wintercolors.gif

9. I save scraps of yarn, even small ones. It seems weird to me to throw away even short lengths of yarn after I’ve cut them off an end that’s been woven in, so I have a baggie of “yarn lengths too short to be a partial ball.” Perhaps someday, I’ll make them into a great Magic Yarn Ball, knit it up and felt it into something fabulous. For those keeping track of my eco-friendly tendencies, in addition to yarn scraps and listening to enviro-podcasts while knitting, I also save and reuse plastic picnic silverware as lunch utensils. Alert the media!

10. Even though I love the knitting books I own, I have knit very few patterns out of books. This always surprises me every time I come to the end of a project and am choosing a new one – I have so many patterns already that you’d think my eye would no longer roam, but I’ve owned Knitting on the Road for two years and have yet to make anything out of it. Knitting in the Old Way, Scarf Style, Wrap Style, and every damn issue of any knitting magazine in my house – I’ve made nothing. Yet you’ll have to pry Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’ book out of my cold, dead hands before I give it up, and if Kathy Zimmerman ever writes a knitting book, I’m first in line – I will step over you (after I have knocked you down) to buy her cabled goodness. Perhaps 2007 will be the year of knitting from my pattern stash.

Before I leave you, I urge you to check out the Lonesome Skein Knitalong, a short-term group dedicated to helping you get the most out of your stash diving with patterns for small amounts of yarn. If you are a fan of the knitting links I am constantly putting in my sidebar, know that I have shared some of my very best pattern finds with this group – if that doesn’t entice you to check it out, you’re a knitter made of stone. Who doesn’t like a good pattern? Obviously, I can’t resist.

No fugly knitting allowed.

As forewarned recently, freelance writing is taking up much of my free time these days, leaving precious few hours when I just get to let ‘er rip and knit away on something without thinking about what else I should be doing. I find this lack more than a little tragic, but I have updates nonetheless:

From the “food for thought” department I offer my latest post over at Knitting Simplicity, The secret? You can only knit so much. I took the time to flash my stash in a different way because it occurred to me that I needed to have a different way to measure how much yarn I had. Not four tubs worth, or vaguely “three sweaters and some projects” but the nitty gritty: how long was it going to take me to knit it up? Now I know, and it’s made me a lot more aware of the difference between knitting and acquiring yarn (which is not really knitting, no?). I feel no need to live the life of a knitting monk and forgo all luxury, but with four years worth of knitting upstairs, I think I should at least use at the same rate at which I buy.

designall.dll.jpg From the “I love the Interwebs” files, I got an e-mail this weekend informing me that I had made $2.39 because someone bought a t-shirt I forgot I had designed and stuck on the internet for the world to see. Dear Person Who Obviously Has The Same Sense of Humor as Me: thank you for making me laugh – if I see you on the street, you’re getting a hug even though I’m not that kind of person. As for the rest of you, feel free to join the Knitters on Wry Humor Club by purchasing a shirt if you like – who am I to say no to the snark? [I had a whole little explanation here about how I hadn’t mentioned the shirt before because I’m generally anti-commerce and anti-blog ad, particularly for my own blog – but 80 percent of the explanation would be that I simply forgot the t-shirt was there, so I’m putting my “knitting and money” soapbox away for the remainder of this entry. – ed.]

So close, and yet so far from being a pair of socks
From the “are you done yet” department, I bring you what I like to refer to as “one plus” Trekking socks. Without a heel as a cue, I am at the stage where, to a civilian, the second sock could be anything, so it’s very handy to have sock number one to pull out and show the uninitiated that I am not making some sort of super-fancy toilet paper cozy. [Note to the Toilet Paper Cozy Knitalongers: I am not mocking you, I am simply stating my priorities. Send hate mail to – ed.] It should also be noted that though imperceptible to the outside world, progress is being made on the Retro Rib. Soon, socks will be busting out all over here, and my knitting street cred will be firmly re-established.

From the stashbusting files, I bring you the thing that is captivating me more than any other during my oh-so-few free hours: The Meadow Flowers Shawl from Knitter’s Stash. Before I tell you about the project itself, it’s probably worthwhile to deconstruct what I consider to be my perfectly normal 15 minutes of project obsession (or, how I knew it was time to start knitting lace or die of longing):

00:01: Find new project on Internet, in this case, the Leaf Lace Shawl; note that I also blame credit the Evelyn Clark knitalongers for the outbreak of lace knitting fever in my house – they have a photo of not one but five lovely Leaf Laces on their home page.

00:02-00:05: Google around for images of the project (why is no one making the Stacy Pullover from Big Girl Knits, or Cozy from Knitty? Very, very hard to feel the project love when you want to make something that has not taken the Interweb by storm).

00:06-00:07: Join the Yahoo group for the knitted item, often discovered when Googling for FO pictures. If there is no Yahoo group, read the entire group blog. This, of couse, blows the 15 minute plan out of the water, but I now consider myself perhaps one of the greatest living experts on the Ribby Cardi without actually having knitted one – yet. Ribbing variations, knitting in one piece, making your own zipper stops? I’ve got you covered.

00:08-00:12: Scour EBay for the appropriate yarn at the best price. Google “[yarn name] yarn sale”. If the total project cost is more than expected or desired, research yarn substitutions. Consider limited stash options.

00:13-00:14: Consider selling off some of the stash to fund the new project. Cringe at the idea of getting pennies on the dollar for perfectly good yarn.

00:15: Resolve to finish current projects and love what I have; file away project obsession on the “someday” list. For the curious, the someday list currently includes Jane Ellison’s Lizzy cardigan (in Silk Garden, rather than Silver Thaw, I think), knitty’s Cozy, and the Color on Color Scarf from Scarf Style (otherwise known as “the scarf that made me buy the book”), among other things – I have enough yarn that is not for projects on the “someday” list that it makes me want to acquire yarn slowly because as evidenced by the 15 minute bonanza above, I have no trouble finding new things to knit in a big hurry.

Wow, is this fun to knit Which brings me back to Meadow Flowers. I love the Leaf Lace Shawl, but thankfully no impulse purchases were required – I had stashed away an equally pretty pattern with what I consider to be a very clever knitted-on border. If I’m lucky, my Meadow Flowers will be very similar to the lovely version that Susan knitted in 2004; I bought the same color of Twinkletoes from the same vendor on Ebay. Helpfully, I did not make any notes about yardage when I wound it into a ball, so I am winging it – when it looks like I’ve used 2/3 to 3/4 of my yarn, I’ll begin the knitted on edging. I’m also using a size 5 needle rather than an 8 because I like the idea of more substantial fabric. While not quite a mindless project, the Meadow Flowers has many plain or nearly-plain rows, so it does not require laser-beam focus at every moment. Huge amounts of not-quite instant gratification and a first lace project that will look beautiful – and it only took me two years to get around to starting it.

The cheap seats.

There were so many people at the Ann Arbor Public Library on Sunday that latecomers (or those who simply wanted to sneak in a side trip to Zingerman’s, like my friend Jen and I) watched Stephanie on TV in the fourth floor conference room. On TV. The view was pretty good from what I referred to as the cheap seats, but I still turned to Jen and said “I think I’ve crossed some sort of line when I drive a couple hundred miles to watch knitting on TV.” Heh. Between the hundred or so knitters and spinners in the conference room and two hundred downstairs at the talk itself, I think a Stephanie Pearl-McPhee book signing now officially qualifies as its own traveling fiber festival, albeit one at which Stephanie is the only vendor.

I was shocked that Steph knew who I was: I guess it’s all the stalking of that sweater that shall not be named. That, and the discovery of our mutual dislike of batwing sleeves. She called me a celebrity; I should have pointed out that even on my best days I can’t get people to stand in line to talk to me, but I just laughed instead. I set aside my Midwestern reticence (the same politness that doesn’t allow me to call someone after 9 p.m., ever) to ask for a photo, which also qualifies as a Retro Rib progress picture (I’m in the middle, the only one not holding a Pearl-McPhee sock) – it’s all foot, all the time now. Jen is holding Stephanie’s other traveling sock, because you can’t take a picture without knitting in your hand if you’re with Stephanie. I’m sure both of Stephanie’s socks are done now – if I didn’t know better, I would say she and Mrs. Weasley shared the “it just knits itself” gene.

But it occurred to me – that’s the beauty of something wacky like driving a few hundred miles to watch a knitting talk on TV. All of the knitting I saw didn’t just “knit itself” – it was made by hand. Someone wanted to make it, picked up needles and yarn, and went to work. Those crazy beautiful lace shawls, the multitudes of socks, the felted bags didn’t just pop out of a shopping bag; they were made by someone who cared about making them. I don’t love yarn or patterns indiscriminately, but just thinking about how much work went into all of those finished objects makes me love all kinds of knitters just a little more. Even if they’re in love with entrelac, or batwing sleeves.

There are no bad sweaters, just temporary fashion blindness.

Mmmm, bobbles I know. Another dishcloth – that sound you hear is surely hell freezing over as I turn around and do everything knitterly I swore was not for me – odds are I’ll bust out with a shawl next. I feel I earned this finished object, though, because after making it through the bobble and eyelet rounds unscarred (after which the MDK book says you can pat yourself on the back, particularly if you were watching TV – which I was, so I did), I promptly screwed up the symmetrical decreases – three times. How freaking hard is it to decrease after a marker? Well, first, you have to admit you need a marker, even on a small project. What can I say? I’m a slow learner. It’s not perfect, but I loved making it, so I’ll probably torture myself again with the pattern before I run out of dishcloth cotton.

So that makes six finished objects in 2006 – which ties me with my total for all of last year. Woo! I have just three items on the needles right now: the Retro Ribs and the Cabled Rib Cardigan, plus the emergency sock I mentioned here, which will be either Nancy Bush’s Conwy sock from Knitting on the Road (you know where to find the book, but have you seen the incredible FO photos that are part of the knitalong?) or RPM from Knitty, with a clever modification that makes it a little more mindless, er, easy to knit while looking like you’re paying attention in software training.

I also have a post up at Knitting Simplicity this week: Stashing, and the “sweet spot.” The project I mention there that I just don’t think is right for me would be the heartbreakingly lovely Salt Peanuts by Veronik Avery you’ll recall that I went through a great deal of work trauma to get enough yarn…only to suspect know the sweater wouldn’t suit me. When life gives you a sweater’s worth of lemons, what can you do but make lemonade? After considering, I think I can make Bonne Marie’s Ribby Cardi using the Muench Bergamo. You know there are many lovely Ribbys out there, but were you aware there appears to be a small subset of genus Ribbyius knitterus who have chosen to make the sweater in an allover 2×2 rib, like this one and this one – that’s exactly the kind of sweater I need. I have no idea why ribbing makes me swoon, but it does, so who am I to argue with my id? To the untrained eye, the Ribby and The Very Thought of Him (which I threaten to cast on for during every entry) look as similar as the cerulean belts featured in The Devil Wears Prada – don’t be fooled! I may need both to be truly fashion forward.

Knitting in Public, on my own porch P.S. Scout? This is where I knit (complete with IPod full of Living on Earth podcasts and a big supply of Diet Dr. Pepper), but only during the summer months, obviously. Adirondack chair = handmade birthday present for me from Knit One Purl Too’s Knitting Environment Enhancement Staff (aka my husband). Must. make. effort. on. his. cabled. wool. sweater. Must show the knitting love. Thank God for air conditioning, or I’d need to knit naked!

Yarn Voyeurs, Step this Way

flashyourstash.jpg Without further ado, I present my stash in four acts, er, bins: Sock and Lace Yarns, Skeins and Small Projects, Sweaters I’m Hoping to Finish, and Sweaters I’d Like to Finish before the Decade is Over. The photos give lots of juicy detail about what’s in each bin, so why not click on the photo below and take a look at the whole thing?

I don’t feel like my stash is too large, but spreading it all out and taking pictures was a reminder that I have a lot, including yarn for several sweaters that may or may not be the right style for me. Surprise! I fear I am too short for Salt Peanuts or The Very Thought of Him, but I’m planning to make them anyway. [Man, looking at Stephanie’s version of that ribby sweater again makes me want to go cast on right now. Now. – ed] I think the moral of the story is “don’t buy yarn for sweaters you won’t get to making for years because you might learn enough about making sweaters to figure out your preferred style – which is not the sweater you originally chose” but if it’s fun, who cares, you know?

Here’s another surprise: without meaning to, I don’t think I’ve bought any yarn since November – the newest addition is yarn for the Pop Up Paws mittens; I’ve bought a set of DPNs and Knitting Vintage Socks, but that’s it. I know, I can’t believe it either, sonsidering that I spend my days dreaming of the perfect yarn for Ene’s Scarf and hoping that a couple of bags of Noro will turn up on my doorstep for Mavis or Lizzy.

I wonder if I could empty any one of these bins this year?

Sock and Lace Yarns

Just keep doing what you’re doing. Knitting!

Mom will get her socks sooner rather than later It’s only February, and already I have crossed two knitting New Year’s Resolutions off my list My apologies to those of you who read via RSS or Bloglines: I suspected that the actual “crossing off” of said resolutions might cause my feed to update prematurely, but completist that I am, I could not resist. This update is “for reals,” as the kids say. The first (finishing a sweater) was a done deal when the list was written, so it gives me great pleasure to say that I have also knocked off the hardest, boringest, scariest resolution: Go through my odds-and-ends bag and reorganize my stash. Result? I felt very virtuous, appreciating what I had rather than contemplating all the yarn that could be mine, but was not yet in my possession. Then I bought something.

(By the way, that’s my mom’s first sock up there, Fortissima Socka Colori 9069 – I haven’t cast off in the verrry unlikely event the sock doesn’t fit – those last stitches on the left are on safety pins.)

If you’re going to buy only one sock book this year…who am I kidding? No one stops with just one sock book. In honor of Sockapaloooza, I added Knitting Vintage Socks to my library; I’m also reading Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch – both are tremendously inspirational while I consider what to make for my sock pal. Or myself; I’m ready to cast on about nine new pairs of socks, including those crazy Jaywalkers everyone’s been up to.

I'm the second sock.  I'll be done by the end of February. And that’s just what I’m doing – considering. Others will tackle mondo marathon projects for the Knitting Olympics, but in the spirit of Homer Simpson, I’ll keep doing what I’m doing until it pays off – I have two pairs of socks on the needles and I’d love to almost finish one or both by February 26 (in the spirit of the Homer Simpson Olympic knitalong, I wouldn’t dream of actually finishing something until after the Olympic torch goes out). Of course, I plan on enjoying the process as much as the finished objects, if there are any. And if this second sock is any indication, there will be.