Monday, November 15, 2010

Random Monday

I've been meaning to post for several days now but somehow things just kept coming up (little things like work and the fact that the apartment needed cleaning - that sort of stuff). So, to make up for lost time and because I don't have any better ideas for organization tonight, we're going to have Random Monday.

Here goes . . .

1. My yarn diet has been a spectacular failure so far. This happened:

(only the two WIPs on that table are not new yarn)

I had such good intentions last month of going on a yarn diet and working through the stash. And then we went out to Portland where I knew I was going to be able to pet Shelter (and want to buy some, to be perfectly honest) so I made an exception. But no new yarn purchases after that. I was pretty good. There was a rough week at work that resulted in a skein of Dream in Color smooshy in a lovely deep purple (it's a new color - I don't see it on their website). And then I heard about the Dream in Color factory sale this past Saturday. I hemmed and hawed. I love that company, but I should be on a yarn diet, but it's on sale, oh fine. Yes, the internal monologue sounded something quite like that. So DH and I drove out to one of the western suburbs Saturday morning and picked up some new additions for the stash. A delightful time was had by all. And believe it or not, my stash bins are actually rather full at the moment so I'm going to make it official:

2. I'm on a stash diet and I really mean it this time. New rule: no one residing in chez tinks and frogs is allowed to buy new yarn until 2011. That should take care of the little snaffoo I had a few months ago with the casbah for my pea vines shawl. I'm married to a yarn enabler, what can I say (other than thank you, of course)?

3. (more like 1(a)) If you're a yarn company with a website, it would be really nice if you'd update your color page. Posting on ravelry (with a link to facebook) that you've put out new colors is all well and good but if I want to see those colors again a couple of months later, I don't want to have to search forum threads. I should be able to just look on your website. Moving on.

4. I feel the stirrings of a strong case of startitis coming on. 

That's 5 skeins of Groovy in a lovely (but hard to photograph) deep blueish green. It's slated to become a snug for tadpole,  a thorpe for me, and something else depending on how much is left.

Here we have 3 skeins of smooshy, one of my absolute favorite sock yarns (if not my favorite). From right to left, these will become a pair of rick socks for me (it's all I can do not to cast on for those this very instant - does pregnancy cause yarn cravings, too?), husband socks, and something for tadpole.

This delightful skein is Dream in Color's new yarn base. Like smooshy, it's a superwash merino. But unlike smooshy, it is composed of 8 plies (compared with smooshy's 3). This should make for less pilling and more durability in the finished piece. I'm thinking that this little lovely wants to be something from Cookie A.'s sock book.

5. Have you seen Cookie A.'s latest offering? There are some old favorites like monkey socks that have been reworked in various sizes (a welcome addition for those of us with larger feet). Plus there are plenty of new and interesting designs, too. Even better, you can purchase this book as a pdf and then print out whatever pattern you're currently working on and mark it up to your heart's content without having to worry about losing it or defacing a beautifully photographed book. Or you could just read it on the new toy that your spouse is eyeing and that you want to "borrow."

How does a sock book fit in with the yarn diet? Well, it's not yarn but it goes against the spirit of the diet (especially when I have one lovely Cookie A. sock book already that I haven't worked all the way through). I guess the jury's still out on that one.

6. Speaking of socks, I finished a pair of husband socks last week.

The yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine, a nice sock yarn that wears well and has a great price point, not to mention lovely heathered colors. Of course, the 20% nylon fiber content that makes it wear so well also makes this yarn not quite as fun to knit (at least for me - I prefer a softer, smooshier yarn in my hands). But I absolutely despise darning socks so this one might be worth it since it wears so well. DH, who wouldn't take off the socks for the rest of the night after the photo shoot, assures me that they are indeed quite comfy.

What's the pattern? These look a lot like Anne Hanson's Bricker pattern and that's certainly what I was shooting for. But when I looked at the pattern, I realized that DH's feet were way too big for any of her sizing options. I didn't want to rework someone else's pattern so I pulled out my Barbara Walker treasuries and found a similar stitch pattern. Then I just plugged that pattern and my gauge into the basic sock size that fits DH (gigantic, in case you were wondering). It took two skeins of yarn (I do have plenty of leftovers) but now he's got a nice new pair of socks.

7. Which is a really good thing since I frogged everything that I had done on his latest pair of socks because they were too big. DH has absolutely enormous feet and I still haven't internalized their actual size. I started a basic sock in Cat Bordhi's upstream master pattern out of Lorna's Laces shepherd sock for DH a week or two ago and knit happily from the toe until the start of the heel shaping. I kept looking at the sock and thinking "this is really big," so I gave in and had him try it on and it was really big. Note to self: when Cat Bordhi gives you a table, pick a number from the table. Don't do your own math.

8. Second note to self: when you start sock #2, cast on 12 stitches on each needle with Judy's Magic Cast-on.

9. Tadpole hasn't been neglected either. I finally finished something for her instead of just frogging it. I had the day off work on Thursday so after taking care of various other things I started flipping through Barbara Walker volume 3, looking for a fun motif to put on a baby vest that I could knit out of a leftover most-of-a-skein of Dream in Color classy. Seven hours later I had this:

I'm pretty thrilled. Of course, I also have a few changes that I want to make to the design: mostly, I want to switch the bottom edging and seed stitch border out for garter stitch, which should add some more cohesion to the piece. Also, it would be nice to knit the whole thing out of one color. Happily, I have a full skein of classy in the stash so I'll whip up another one of these shortly. I even hope to have a pattern out soon.

10. Last, but certainly not least, two of my good friends have birthdays today. So happy birthday M and N! N, your present is half done. What do you think?

Pillow # 2 is on the needles so they'll be coming to you soon. And M, your present isn't knitted but I hope you like it, too!

Ok, I think that's quite enough for Random Monday. I'd better be going - I've got a stash to work through!


Jonah said...

Yarn oveload. Serious yarn overload. We need to work on that. I'm going to stop enabling as of right now.
Can I get a new toy?

Anonymous said...

Random reply Monday:
1. I'm so glad I didn't know about that yarn sale.
2. I was doing a count of yards knit and yards purchased this year. It got to be depressing, because I am able to buy more quickly than I can knit.
3. I'm only keeping track of the yards knit.
4. I wonder if a yarn diet would work better if I went on record about it?
5. Probably not.
6. She!
7. The link to Cookie's new book is just taking me to blogger.
8. Nice socks.
9. Have you tried Presto Chango pattern? And it took me a ridiculous amount of time to find it, but the ravelry search function is pretty awesome.
10. That vest is adorable.
11. I wish my name was N.

Gale said...

Tadpole's new vest is sooo cute! What a sweet idea.

Peter also requires 2 100 gr skeins of yarn for socks, making man-socks an epic work over here too. Much sympathy for that, but J's new socks are very nice indeed, despite needing 2 skeins.

As for a yarn diet, well, Peter has expressed a desire for another sweater of alpaca, so I am hopeless at loosing yarn weight. The only thing left to do is swear off knitting. That will never happen.

Jacey said...

Where to start? The vest is freaking adorable. Seriously. It's so cute, and I love that the little one is being referred to as Tadpole.

Your pillow is beautiful, and such a generous gift!

And yes, the yarn. Oh, the yarn. How do I love thee? I know we talked about the stashing, and I've got a new pile of fabric that might rival this yarn pile. Enjoy it, but I agree that it might be time (for both of us) for some restraint. :)

And Jonah's socks are very handsome!

elizabeth said...

Wow, you've done so much! And with enormous feet for which you knit socks, of course your husband will treat you to yarn! He's no fool! :o)

Jodi said...

Now this is one full post! I admit to having complete yarn envy right now. I've been on a yarn-buying hiatus since we moved (with a few setbacks); it was hard at first but much easier now. I delete emails about yarn sales right away, and adjusted my internet habits to avoid temptation.

Those socks look so cozy, and the Tadpole will be adorable in the little vest.

Rachel said...

I need to comment more it looks like I'm copying Kathy!
1. Oh my. This may represent a 'fall' but what a beautiful sight.
2. Yeah, to make it work, you have to include the husband in it. But seriously, it's just 6 measly weeks. You can do it.
3. Sounds good to me.
4. FUN!! And so many possibilities...I'm almost as excited as if I'm knitting them myself. Almost. Pregnancy probably causes just about everything (or one can make others believe it at any rate). And I'm swooning over that deep gold skein.
5. On my wish list already trying to ignore that I have more sock books than I'll ever knit socks.
6. LOVE these and immediately thought it was Anne's pattern. Is he a happy husband now?
7. Yeah, Cat Bordhi seems trustworthy.
8. Will this actually help you remember?
9. OH. Oh, oh, oh! This is beyond adorable! I've seen that turtle pattern on scarves but never would have thought to make it on a perfect little green vest. LOVE.
10. Beautiful. Yeah, I'm with Kathy...I wish my name was N.