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Boy I had a busy night last night. I finally made it home only to realize that 3 pies were not going to assemble and bake themselves. By the end of the evening I had a coconut cream pie chilling in the fridge and 2 chocolate bourbon pecan pies cooling on the counter. These are both pies that I hate but since they aren’t for me (and were made in exchange for cold hard cash) I’m not going to whine too much.
I finally decided that 48 skeins of sock yarn were not going to reskein themselves so I set out to at least skein up 12 of them, 1 of each color.
First the holiday inspired colored.
And then for some non-holiday inspired colors. I took colorways that I have dyed for rovings and used them for sock yarn this time. I was curious to see how a color combo would look in a different form.
The nice thing is I mixed up too much dye for this batch of 48 skeins so I have plenty to dye more skeins for the etsy shop. Hopefully I can get to it next week when I’m back in town.
I did get my sister to promise to take me to one yarn store, there is one in Santa Clarita which is close to where she lives. Yay for vacation yarn store trips!
Hopefully when I get back I can actually have a finished knitted project to show you, I’ll be working on the pirate hat and very little else while I’m down in LA.
(edited to add: It is NOT Huskies colors damn it!!!)
I had every intention of my next post being about dyed sock yarn but life as always got in the way. At this rate I’ll be lucky to even reskein some of the yarn before I jet down to LA for a long weekend with my sis. Anyone know of any good yarn stores in Valencia or that general LA area?
There has been some baking going on but nothing overly exciting. I am failing miserably at my promise to bring lots of homemade cookies to work. I come home and pull out a block or two of butter and every evening around 9pm I have to admit that cookies just aren’t going to happen. I continue to be amazed at how much butter I seem to have in my house; at last count it might have been upwards of 8lbs and believe me it has been much worse.
However I’m in a good mood because I decided that I would get my Christmas present a little early this year. For the past 4-5 weeks I have been eyeing a Della Q tote bag at VY&T and every week I make sure to walk by and touch it when I’m there for Saturday knitting. It was $54 and totally in my budget but each week I put it back on the rack because while I loved the fabric I wasn’t in love with the handles. I’m just not too fond of hard round handles that you see on many bags right now. I don’t find them comfortable to hold so I avoid them.
Then this past Saturday I took a stroll around the store to stretch my legs and pet the bag I noticed something I never saw before. The exact same fabric, the fabric I have been petting for weeks, on an actual purse! A big roomy purse, perfect for sitting open on bus rides with enough room for the usual purse junk and the all important knitting.
It was love at first sight but damn there was pause when I saw the price, dare I buy a purse for $95? Back it went on the shelf and I went home to sleep on it. Morning rolls around and I send a quick email to Elaine saying I want the bag. Elaine I would say I love you for buying the bag for me but I think Leslie might have an issue with that You totally get yarn or roving or whatever as thanks!
Want to see what gets me all worked up over a bag?
It’s a lovely chocolate brown with a woven blue and brown fabric.
It has so much space!!! Plenty of room for a Monkey Bag and all those other pesky purse bits like wallets and cellphones. I like that it has structure without being stiff, I can sit with it open in my lap and not worry about it sliding all over the place.
I love it!!!
And I’m not allowed to buy myself anymore Christmas presents for at least a week Vacation yarn shopping doesn’t count towards stash right?
Things I learned today:
1: You will ALWAYS get a lecture on flossing at the dentist.
2: Few things are worse than that disapproving look from said dentist when you admit you don’t floss every day.
3: A knitter should always have a knitted hat in her bag for when she leaves work and it is pouring rain.
4: Taking photos of your stash for Ravelry doesn’t mean you can find all your stash when it comes to cast on a new project.
5: I cannot frantically search for 3 measly balls of Swish while talking on the phone.
6: Putting your feet up and casting on for a new project once you find those blasted balls of yarn is almost enough to sooth any frazzled knitter.
Tonight my one lonely Christmas knitting gift gets cast on, the We Call Them Pirates hat. Knowing that this hat will soon be off my list is very comforting indeed.
In other news…a little something arrived at my house last week.
You’re looking at 20lbs of sock yarn!!! All of it had to be skeined by hand because I haven’t gotten around to motorizing the swift my Dad built. Believe me when I say that is my top priority now. 8 hours later I had this.
60 skeins of sock yarn. Holy crap was that a lot of skeining.
I should have pretty color sock yarn pics for the next post, I now have 45 of those skeins dyed up and I’m crossing my fingers that I can squeeze in some roving dyeing before I head down to LA this weekend. I’m doubtful that will happen though.
It is only Nov 17th but it has become abundantly clear that NaKniSweMo will not be a success story.
I have been mulling this impending failure in my head for the last few days and beating myself up over what that said about me as a knitter. I had set what I thought was a challenging but attainable goal, the yarn was beautiful, the pattern was wonderful, the designer only a phone call away yet I neglected to factor in life and all the little banana peels it likes to toss in your path.
I’m not sure how much of it was my inner knitter rebelling against a deadline or just having so many other wonderful projects and tasks to distract me but it took me until last night/today to feel ok with not finishing the Stacy sweater by Nov 30th. Keep in mind I’m not saying I feel good about it, just ok. I finally had to sit down and tell myself that pressuring myself to complete x number of rows a day and feeling guilt over wanting to pull out Daniel for a short spin session was not worth it. I want to enjoy this sweater, I want to love the knitting of it as much as I will love wearing it when it is done.
The world will not end because it takes me a little longer (at least I hope not) and the knitting police will not come and take my needles and stash away because I missed the deadline. Or at least they better not try.
So last night as a way to distract myself from my decision to be ok with not completing NaKniSweMo I opened up the box of personal spinning stash. It really isn’t as big as you think it would be. I swear! Out came a couple of Abby batts, some Dicentra Designs superwash merino, alpaca, llama, moorit and then finally some Great Balls of Fiber superwash colonial. Holy crap I forgot how much I like that last one, the colorway is Old Boyfriend and is a rich chocolate brown, sky/periwinkle blue and dark teal. Oh so pretty.
Before I knew it the roving was out of it’s packaging, laid out on the bed so I could find the color repeat points, broken into 3 bundles and ready to go. I settled in for an evening of spinning while watching Stargate Atlantis (yes I am a geek). I will likely do another 3 ply fractal stripe approach like I used in my Highlighter yarn. I loved how that turned out and this time I’m aiming for a fingering 3 ply.
This time around my spinning shouldn’t make people recoil at the sight of the colors, hopefully this time I will hear “what pretty colors” instead of “wow that IS bright”
For now I’m off to spend a little bit more time with the sweater, while I’m no longer aiming for completion by month end I do want to see how much can get done.
I had such high hopes for NaKniSweMo. I was off to a great start and sped through the ribbing on the body in record time and made it through the first sleeve with time to spare. Then I started the second sleeve.
Maybe it was the prospect of another 130 rows of 2×3 ribbing on top of the 200+ I had just finished but lets just say progress has slowed. Heck there has even been at least 2 days where the sleeve had nary a stitch knit on!
The sleeve is making slow progress though and is nearing completion. That awesome time buffer I thought I would get by knitting sleeves early on has be whittled away to maybe 1 day. So much for that brilliant plan.
Perhaps if I didn’t keep getting distracted by other fibery fun I could stay focused. It seems like in usual fashion when faced with a goal I did what I usually do…everything else but that.
First there was sock yarn.
Then there was skeining.
That would be the finished yarn from my OFFF batt. The yarn was spun up back in early October and then promptly sat on the jumbo bobbin for a month until I finally needed it for something else. I have no clue on the yardage because my handy little magnetic counter for my skeiner has yet to arrive (7 days and counting for Priority Mail???)
Then there was spinning and plying.
I finally got off my lazy butt and finished spinning the rest of the Happy Hippie Optim that I bought at PKF from Rosie’s Yarn Cellar. I had to forgo the planned plying approach when I realized that between bobbins I had started splitting the roving differently so the original plan was kaput. It’s 4oz of 2 ply fingering weight, yardage also unknown due to the missing counter. Holy crap this stuff is lovely, super soft, nice to spin and amazingly it never had a lost end or broke during plying.
How nice is the optim? Well when it was showed to Mom (who usually mocks the spinning) she asked if she could have it and whether I would make enough for her to make a sweater. Yeah Mom at $30/4oz I will TOTALLY spin a sweaters worth. Ha!
For now the wheel sits empty while I contemplate what in the stash needs to go next. Do you spin by age or by whatever strikes your fancy? I only have 8oz remaining from my first roving purchase and it’s Crown Mountain pencil roving. It is by far the oldest fiber in the stash yet I feel torn between that and my Abby batts and my OFFF purchases.
Don’t mind me while I beat myself up over my own stupidity. Despite Jas telling me to buy my own domain for Dragonfibers I put it off only to have it STOLEN from underneath me. Some (somewhat sketchy looking) domain collector has taken dragonfibers.com and I missed buying it by just a few days. *&&$#*((!!@!!!!!!
I’ll be figuring out an alternative domain to buy now that still fits. And get this my idea for a special luxury fiber name of Emmalicious won’t work either because guess what.. that domain is taken too!
(Emma sits in the corner and grumbles)
I was all set to update you on my sweater progress when I realized I didn’t have any pictures of the knitting to date. I also realized I’m just too lazy to grab the camera and the knitting for a snapshot right now. So you will have to settle for my word (however unreliable that is) that I have accomplished what I’m going to blog about.
Sweater progress as of end of day 8.
Knitting to date includes 2 ribbed front and back pieces, 1 entire sleeve and 4 rows of second sleeve.
Average of rows per day: 28.
Mood about progress: a little smug mixed in with a healthy dose of “this is going to bite me in the ass later isn’t it.”
In Dragonfibers news I finally got around to posting some sock yarn online. Whee!!
I am loving how squishy the yarn is and I can’t wait to hear the final verdict from my test knitter.
And since I have no knitting pictures to share with you I thought I would introduce the other furry critter in my life. I think I have shown plenty of pictures of Nicki on the blog but I can’t recall ever showing Sammy. It might be due to his dislike of cameras.
Sammy is the cat that many people believe doesn’t exist, he runs and hides at the sound of the doorbell and like Bigfoot he is sometimes spotted in the corner of your eye but is gone in a flash. Those who have seen him are fond of accusing him of attempted murder since he is known for hanging out on the stairs until the last second and then he will dart away while causing you to lose your balance. He is the reason why I almost went headfirst into the entertainment center a few years ago after a very rapid (and curse word filled) descent down a flight of stairs. I think it took Nicki much longer to recover from the shock of that fall since he had the misfortune of being in my arms at the time.
He doesn’t look deadly does he….
I’m making some serious progress on the Stacy pullover.
(pic from day 4)
I had worked out that I needed to knit at least 16 rows per day in order to finish the sweater on time. I also counted sleeve rows as having the same value as body rows. After 5 days of knitting I have 124 rows of knitting completed for an average of 24+ rows per day. I think I’m doing ok.
The pieces I have so far make me laugh. I hold up the back piece (2×3 ribbing) and think “This is supposed to fit around me?!?”. Then I grab the sides and stretch it out and voila it becomes something that CAN fit me. Why I find this endlessly entertaining is a source of some concern for me.
I have completed the ribbing portions of both the front and the back.
Plus about 8 inches of one sleeve.
My new needles arrived in record time. Seriously I don’t think I have ever had a KnitPicks order take less than a week to get to me and this time it arrived in 2 days. I didn’t check the mail till Sunday or I would have started on the patterning for a body piece.
I resisted the urge to switch from a 3inch long sleeve to the back piece by telling myself that the sleeve was easy and fast and that I might as well get it over with. It is actually very tempting to knit both sleeves before knitting on the body pieces again. Is that good/bad/just plain weird?
Saturday was a great mail day, not only did the KP come in record time but I got some great yarn from a Ravelry trade.
That is Fleece Artist Merino sock in Cosmic Dawn. I traded it for my skein of STR in Ruby Slippers. Don’t get me wrong, the STR was very pretty but I loved the idea of the colors more than I liked the colors in that yarn. This was another example of lightening fast postal service. Ontario to Seattle in 5 days! Thanks Weetsie!!!
Thank you to all my Saturday knitting friends who were able to come by on Sat. I loved having you over and hopefully I can do it again soon.
I had the pattern, the yarn, the first set of needles (larger size on it’s way to me right now) so there was no going back.
By bedtime the knitting progress looked like this.
38 rows, 6 inches of 2×3 rib for the back piece. Of course the completion of the ribbing created another issue. The size 8 needles I ordered from Knit Picks haven’t arrived yet and those are the needles you need for the rest of the body. Thankfully I was using the interchangeable Harmony needles so the handy end caps were put on and the tips were attached the the second cable. Tonight I will tackle the ribbing for the front piece.
Now I will confess I cheated a little on NaKniSweMo, I couldn’t help but start early. I had cast on the evening of Oct 31st (I don’t get trick or treaters in this neighbourhood) because I wanted to bring the knitting to work and wanted something I could actually knit on while at lunch. Before I knew what happened I had knit 12 rows on Wednesday night. So in the spirit of the KAL I’m going to set a new deadline of Nov 29th, that way I still stay within the 30 day timeframe.
In other news, the clean sweep is going well. Other than discovering that I do not possess the ability to throw away useless pieces of paper the cleaning is progressing. While moving my bed I found a scrap of paper with directions to 2 locations in Portland that I needed for a friend’s bachelor party…2.5 years ago. I did also find my social security card so I guess sometimes being a packrat is a good thing.
Nicki likes the new chair. Sadly I didn’t have the camera handy when he first discovered the chair. There was much rolling around and playful flirting, at one point he was having so much fun rolling around he kept kicking himself in the head. What a goof. I’m thinking I might need to knit a little kitty blanket to put on the chair to keep the fur down to a manageable level.
I also have cool Dragonfibers news.
I got selected as one of the Lime & Violet Etsy Shop of The Day. How cool is that?!?