Monday, June 16, 2008

It could have been soooo much worse, I guess

We had a bug infestation in our rice recently (lesson learned: those big bags of rice Costco aren't such a good deal after all; better to buy small quantities and keep them stored in glass containers). So that made me a teensy bit paranoid about my stash, and I decided to take a look yesterday.

It's a good thing I did. No, my stash hasn't been eaten through entirely, but I was forced to confront The Shame of My Stash. See, long ago, before my wedding even, I bought a very expensive Colinette AbFab Throw kit at the height of their popularity. If you remember those, you remember how expensive they were. Anyway, I bought it and then abandoned the project about six inches into it. I know, I know. I never even entered it into my Ravelry Stash or Project page. I just stuffed it in its original plastic bag in the bottom of my cupboard and pretended it didn't exist. Guess which plastic bag had a hole in it? Guess which project had the tell-tale signs of, gulp, moths, on one of the skeins of yarn?

To my credit, I didn't freak out. I brushed off the visible moth....stuff outside, put the offending project in a new plastic bag, sealed it, and put it in Time Out in the deep freezer in the basement. The rest of my stash appears to be unharmed. I vacuumed the living daylights out of the stash cupboard, put in a ton of cedar blocks, and made sure everything was securely packaged in ziplocks. The sweater quantities are okay. The Precious Sock Yarns are tightly wrapped and then stored in plastic boxes with snap-on lids. I think it will all be all right. I hope.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

A knitter's rite of passage

Was it Debbie Bliss who admonished that handknits can be absolutely ruined by a poor choice of button? Whoever it was, I totally took that to heart, and so projects that are otherwise finished languish in my knitting bag because I haven't found the best, 100% most perfect button for them. Thus, I've had this Baby Surprise Jacket all but done for weeks and weeks until finally, I sucked it up and picked out buttons at regular old Jo-Ann Fabrics.

It's not bad for a first attempt at an Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern (even though I totally used a spreadsheet to keep track of where I was on the pattern and sent several desperate, frantic e-mails to poor Michelle who had taken the Baby Surprise class at Natural Stitches). My biggest observation is that I understand why The Yarn Harlot only does the top three buttons, as I think the way the fabric pulls, at least on mine, wants the sweater to be open at the bottom. I didn't do any of the optional finishing work since the garter edges look crisp and tidy. I can definitely see myself doing more of these....spreadsheet in hand, of course.

The yarn, Brooks Farm Solo, was an absolute dream to work with, very soft and squishy and the hand-dyed colors blend beautifully. The DK weight means this is a newborn sized sweater, so I'm not sure if any of the summer babies will be getting this one. The yarn is also not superwash, so it's definitely for someone who knits and understands how to care for natural fibers.

And finally, the yarn is purple and brown. Is that gender neutral? Talk amongst yourselves. I'm going to be doing a blog post for Go Get Your Jacket about gender neutral knitting for children soon, so I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Okay, really, this is out of hand.

New Knitty came out this morning! Usually I see a lot of things I like that I'll queue for later. Now there must be something in the air because I love these socks and want to cast on for them RIGHT NOW. I think part of the appeal is an easily memorized lace pattern (I have three pairs of Boring Socks on the needles right now...come to think of it, the fact that I have three pairs on the needles at the same time is probably a clue I have no business looking at sock patterns just now); part of the appeal is that it's written specifically for Socks that Rock, so it takes the yarn's tendency to pool into account. All my lovely STR from Md Sheep and Wool is calling me...... Must, not. cast. on. Must. not. cast. on.

Work continues on my February Lady Sweater. I've lost count of how many times I've cast on for this, and I'll have to rip and cast on once more, since Version 2.0 came out yesterday. It's definitely worth it, though. I remarked on Ravelry that this is the perfect Liz Lemon sweater: smart, cute, hip without trying to be hip. I can't wait to wear it. And hey, we have a Ravelry Group KAL for the sweater, so come join us! And stop by the store if you're making this because a bunch of us are working on it there as well.


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Everyone else is doing it

The February Lady Sweater was in 500-something queues when I saw and queued it this morning. When I got to work and showed it to Kelli, it was at 600-something. By the time Lisa showed up and cast on for it, the number had risen to 777. As of now, 6:00 PM, it's in 937 queues. Is this some kind of new record?

Natural Stitches had a run today of Dream In Color Classy because of this sweater. I bought some In Vino Veritas for my Lady Sweater; Lisa bought Dusky Aurora for hers. And then! We got to meet PAKnitWit from Ravelry, who brought in her socks to be measured for our Summer of Socks contest; she took one look at the pattern and bought some DIC for her own green Lady Sweater. We love to enable. It's a KAL after all!

As if the Startitis weren't bad enough

Jeez. I love to start projects, but I rarely see big projects, like sweaters, that make me shriek and exclaim "I must cast on for that RIGHT NOW." Usually I need to ruminate on them, look at the patterns for awhile, see how other people interpret them, think carefully about yarn choice, etc. etc. etc.

Until today.

I logged onto Ravelry and hit my "Friend Activity" tab, which is seriously greater than Facebook and Myspace and all those other things put together, and saw an adaptation of Elizabeth Zimmermann's February Baby Sweater on Two Needles for grownups in, like, five other people's queues. It's the February Lady Sweater!

I need yarn. It's a good thing I work at a LYS. It's a good thing I work in a LYS today, like in an hour. Anyone up for a KAL?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Srsly? My knitting has gotten away from me

Okay, srsly? How many WIPs are on that sidebar over there? I have to finish a lot of those for gifts in the next few weeks, plus I need to start another gift for a baby who should be here any day now. And I haven't even started any of my Rockin' Sock Club projects. And yet this morning I had a hankering to cast on ANOTHER project: The Everlasting Bagstopper from Knitty. I need more market bags. More importantly, I need to do something, anything with the humungous storage container of Sugar and Cream and Peaches and Creme from my days of the Mason-Dixon Bib and Warshrag Crackwhore Period, and wouldn't this be a great way to use some of it up?

I think, no, I know this is the worst case of Startitis I have ever had. Help.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Knitting for children

I've been "invited" to be a guest blogger for a new blog, Go Get Your Jacket, in which a bunch of us take a step back and scrutinize the clothes, gear, and stuff in general that we buy for our small children. I've done a few entries so far, but I thought readers of this blog would be interested in my first of a planned series of posts about knitting for children.