Archive for July, 2013

stash

July 24, 2013

Everybody does this.  So I shall show you my stash.

stash

A couple of skeins haven’t made it into the photo, but just pretend there are a couple of extra yellow and red balls.  Wow, I’ve got a lot of red and yellow, and almost no green.

This is where the skeins all live.  In plastic bags, in a plastic 66-quart tote.  (Yes, only the best for my yarn.)  My needles and notebooks live nextdoor in another tote.  Books live elsewhere yet again.  (I don’t know why, except for the location of the bookshelves is awkward and the fear that if they co-habitate there might be uncontrolled reproduction of some kind.)

stashbox

I’ve decided to try to keep all the yarn to the tote.  If I’m reaching the limits on size, I will knit down to fit.  This is my portion control.  I do have a habit of buying just a single skein to ‘try it out’ or it’s ‘on sale’ and that’s all that was there.

This is not an awesome habit.  I never really buy the accompanying yarn and I even if I wanted to make a biggish project, I can’t because I don’t have anything but a single skein.  The yarn tend to sit until I figure out what I want to do with them.  (It’s okay, because I’m mostly about hats and socks and the occasional small scarf, but still.  Someday I may make a sweater.  Probably not for me, but a knitter should have at least knitted a sweater some time in their knitting life.)

I just want some turn-over of the stash, because I did like the yarn when I bought it, but yet somehow, I can’t always figure out what to do with it.  This then becomes a storage problem and a potential financial problem.  I don’t like that.  I want to keep in control of this.  I want to become a discriminating yarn buyer, user, giver.

I’m hoping this portion control idea doesn’t lead to the syndrome of knitting all the bulky/fat yarn first to make more room so I can buy more yarn.  😐  (Self, I’m on to you.)

follow-ups everywhere

July 17, 2013

You know how in long-running series in various forms of media, you’re given call-backs to previous episodes (often long-ago) whether it’s characters, or particular themes?

So, in the interest of the 2 people who read my blog, (none of whom knits) I give you follow-ups.

I made some insect/arthropod  dishcloths for a wedding.  This turned out very well, astonishingly well, given that I see the groom once every couple of years and I’ve never met the bride.  They had fossils on the serving table and the happy couple had a bee/trilobite going on with their attire.  Yay!  (In the interest of maintaining their privacy, I can’t say what.  But I will say it wasn’t human-sized bee/trilobite suits.  It was more bee/trilobite accents.)

I re-knit/fixed a couple of things.

1.  I made socks for W a while back.  He thought they were cushy, but never wore them because they were cutting off his circulation, especially in one leg.

wsock2

(I think my gauge here was fairly different between the two socks.  I was trying out a couple of different ways of holding the yarn and tensioning.)  They were also too short, especially to wear to work.  (Ribbing drives me crazy.  It’s annoying.  Give me twice the length of stockinette any day.)  I want these things to be more than artifacts to my hobby, so I fixed them.  I unpicked the bindings on both legs and added a couple of inches, and also a couple of stitches in each row.  This made the ribbing look wonky, but he was much happier and he’ll actually wear the socks now, which makes me happy.  (Even if he doesn’t wear them t work.)  Everybody’s happy.

wsockstake2

2.  I knit this hat.  (I don’t have a picture on the blog previously, but I feel it’s important to mention, because that hat sucked my will to do anything else for a while and I simultaneously loved that hat and hated making it.)  I flubbed the top because I don’t think I was paying enough attention because I was SICK of making the hat and wanted to get back to my life.   I guess literacy isn’t everything – you have to care that you’re also reading it correctly.  (This is a lesson I’ve been trying to teach my son.  But, hey, like parent like child.)  If the image is clear enough, you’ll see the little bit of white that crosses over the dark blue in the very center – that shouldn’t be there.

selbutop

I fixed it within a couple of hours.  Much happier.  It’s a little like having a brand new finished object without actually having gone through the pain of working on it.  (I have mostly forgotten how much I was annoyed by the stranding, because I am thinking about maybe, someday, doing something similar.)

selbufixed

May you have a happy day where it feels like you’ve done something great, but only really did a minimal amount of work!

day dreams

July 12, 2013

So I got an invitation to subscribe to a knitting magazine.

It contained the usual sorts of things you’d expect: descriptions of the amount I’d save by subscribing, the awesomeness of their patterns (from beginning to advanced), knitwear designers, ways to improve your skills, reviews on products.  Then came:   “Inspiring photography that invites you into a yarn-filled daydream.”

Cue image of me with a thought bubble, and the only thing in the bubble is a skein of yarn on some grass, somewhere in the Hebrides or a fjord or something.   (I don’t need cute animals or attractive people in scanty knitwear – I just want yarn on a lovely landscape.)

Knitting magazine, my hat’s off to you.  You really know your audience.

(Conclusion, I didn’t subscribe.  But you definitely got my attention.)

pop goes the…

July 11, 2013

I was thinking about that song recently.  I always thought that the “weasel” in the song meant another animal, like the monkey.

Well, boy howdy, I was wrong.  I was looking something about yarn and skeins and winders in Wikipedia, as you do, and I came across the entry for spinner’s weasel.  It’s a device that allows you to wind a pre-determined amount onto a wheel (a skein).  The important thing in that entry is the part the says the device goes “pop” after the amount is reached.

Voila! Pop goes the weasel.

I was so excited when I read that.  (I would be leading you on to say that is the agreed definitive meaning of the phrase, as it is under some dispute.  However, it was better than what I thought it meant, which indicated some violence done to a mustela.)

Bad mom, bon mom

July 9, 2013

A couple of  weeks ago, as H was heading off to soccer camp, I realized that we had never taught him to tie his own sneakers.  Oy.   (Face, meet palm.)  He’s never owned a pair of sneakers with laces – everything up until now has been velcro.  (It’s not too late, I mean, it’s not like we dressed him in velcro footwear into his 20’s or something.)

So I spent some time teaching him and then drilling him on this.  He is not bad at it now.

The first day of soccer camp, H lost his towel, the cap to his water bottle, lost 50¢ of his snack money, and tore a huge hole in his brand new sport socks.  (I was moderately chagrinned about the towel because I made sure to buy a cheap towel in case of this eventuality.  I just thought it would take more than a day to lose it.)

The second day of soccer camp, H retrieved the towel, did not retrieve the water bottle cap, and lost his required bottle of sunblock.

On the day and fourth day of soccer camp, nothing was found, nothing was lost.

Then came the first day of swim class.  He lost his towel.  It’s been a week and he hasn’t found it yet.  (Good thing I stocked up on those cheap towels.)  He hasn’t lost anything else, but it’s swim class.  He’s only got a couple of things to lose, for heaven’s sake.