Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yarn squirrel goes nuts

"You know, Soho," I said to myself, "perhaps you're stuck in a self-perpetuating cycle. You don't post that often because your posts are large and time-consuming. But they're likely large and time-consuming because you don't post that often."

"Curious thought," I replied. "Perhaps I'll think about that after I've made this large, time-consuming post."

I thought about calling myself a yarn rat, given that I'm stellar at packing it away (more on that in a moment), but then decided yarnsquirrel sounded far more amusing. And appropriate. I go squirrelly over yarn, and it's getting kinda silly. And disturbing. What long winter looms on my horizon that I must procure everything for every project right now, even though I can't possibly get through all that I've got any time soon? Hmmm. Time for some yarn psychology. And maybe some addiction counselling.

Oh, but I am dire today. Here's some lightness and good stuff as an antidote.

I organised my yarn, for one thing. Picked up a bunch of clear plastic zippy cases in a couple of sizes from Romni, and managed to tidy away most of the yarn cornucopia spilling from the baskets around my knitting chair. I'm in a (good-sized) bachelor apartment, so it's made a huge difference - things are looking far less dishevelled. While I'm definitely satisfied, I'm also alarmed by the appearance of my (narrow) broom closet, which is now piled chest-high with knitting and spinning supplies. Some folks have skeletons; I've got yarn. Which is, I suppose, something of a skeleton. *note to self: consider the possibility of knitting a skeleton out of yarn. Oh look - here's something that comes close.

Finished stuff! Finished stuff!

About a week ago, I finished the hemp tank top. Highly pleased - my first real non-extremity garment that isn't a shawl! Looks great lying flat. Less so on the body, but not unwearable. This is what I get for gaining weight and having a relatively giant chest in comparison with my back. Fits fine in front, but is rather wrinkly around the sides. Must learn more about shaping of garments so I can deviate more easily from the pattern.

Also finished the green Tropicana socks for Ms. Laura. They look pretty good - didn't get a pic, I'm afraid - but the heel instructions were doofus-y. Why oh why oh why would the designer instruct one to put one's short-row heel (hee - typed 'hell') wraps on spare needles on either side, so you're knitting with two needles, and the stitches you've already wrapped are hanging out on two more? Comment est'ce qu'on dit: loose freaking heel seams en francais? I hope they fit her. Laura ominously declared: "I will make them fit." She displayed an eerie level of determination.

And today, oh sweet today now recently, oh sweet recently, I finished my very own summer hat like the one I knitted earlier this year. It took about a week. I knew right off that the base was going to be green, but thought I'd stretch my boundaries and accent it with cream and rose pink. I didn't get far before I realised it would have the effect of making me appear as though I were wearing a salmon-and-cress sandwich on my head. WRONG. Happily, I'd messed up the gauge, so had to start again - and back I went to my usual colour palette: black and purple accents. It looks pretty good, I think.

As previously mentioned, I've been doing Freestyle Fridays at Lettuce Knit with Laura. Here's the product - my first needly stab at Fair Isle. It's the kerchief from Loop-d-Loop, knit in Rowan Handknit Cotton. Kinda Hallowe'en meets Christmas, don't'cha think? People will think I'm a runaway elf. I think next time, I'm going to go for purple, black, red, silvery grey, etc.

t's boom bag is proceeding apace.

Here's the sock yarn I didn't buy at the Lettuce Leap party.

I also went spankaloid for the Lace Wings shawl (see #5 in the link) worn by its creatrix to the YarnHarlot's birthday pardy. Yes, I sed 'pardy'. It's a lovely design, knit out of one skein of Handmaiden sea silk - which seems to excite people (see pattern in close-up shot).

And I went a little mad on a couple of other purchases too. Some Handmaiden Ottawa, which I would like to make into their new short pencil skirt - assuming I can get the pattern...and some Fleece Artist Wild and Woolly (the muppety stuff in my splendid sofa afghan [on hold due to the summer heattm], which I will one day make into a muppet in scarf form.

I also purchased a set of Denise needles - and am confounded. The sizing is crazy, in that the mm measurements are bizarre. For example, say I'm looking for a U.S. size 9 needle (which is 5.5 mm). In the Denise set, it's 5.2 mm. Size 6 is 4.2 mm. Size 10.5 : 6.3 mm. Hmph. Weird, weird, weird. I'm sure they'll work wonderfully, but my precision-oriented self gets all uptight contemplating the use of an off-size needle. When I want a size 9, dang it, all is not right with the world unless I know in my little heart that the needles are 5.5 mm. Knowing it's off is akin to fingers going down my mental chalkboard, or perhaps a mental mosquito.

I've also decided to take on some charity knitting. Knit-o-Matic is distributing donated yarn for knitters to turn into winter gear for Street Knit. You can drop off finished items at Knit-o, the Knit Café and the Naked Sheep. If you're game, it's a good cause.

As a parting amusement, I recently found a fascinating book by a guy that makes custom sock creatures out of people's old sox. The gallery...oh, the gallery. I am still mighty fond of LickLick after 2 weeks of admiration, but man, there are a lot of competitors for his spot at the top of the heap.


Mel said...

Is that hat from the same pattern you were knitting back in the spring, with the linen stiching? It's luverly!

And your fair isle is fair-tastic! Awesome job :D

It's amazing how knitting makes us black-wearing mopey folk venture out to try new colours. I saw a pink and yellow yarn the other day that made me go spazzy 'cuz it was so cool. Two years ago I would have gagged, but now I think it's thrilling and beautiful. Fancy that!

Mel said...

OMG FAB LACE! I'm knitting a dozen dishcloths in this!!!

Needle Addict said...

oooh cute hat... and the kerchief is fantabulous. As for too much yarn- well how much is too much? I am going to have an entire yarn and fabric room in my new place ;)