It has been since I last bought yarn!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Knitting Guilt

The thing is... I should be working on these projects:

In white, is the baby blanket that is for a baby that's essentially due ANY DAY NOW- and I am only half done. Thankfully it knits up very quickly... that is, when I'm actually knitting it- which doesn't seem to be happening much. And the grey blob, (hmmm, perhaps the blue couch not the best spot for a picture of the grey sock?), otherwise known as Dad's socks of SHAME is mere hours away from completetion. Why are these projects, that already have designated homes and deadlines, sitting in various stages of completion?

I am apparently very easily distracted:

Pictured here is the NEW! EXCITING! SOCK! that I couldn't wait to work on. Yes, these are the candy necklace socks of my own design (!) Not only is the yarn a pure pleasure to work with, but I can't help but wondering how they're going to turn out and it if they'll look like how I pictured them in my head.

The only thing that is preventing me from enjoying these socks to the maximum degree is the lingering unfinished object guilt, knowing that there are objects who were technically there first. Why is it half way through a project I'm seduced to do something else? Why can't second socks knit themselves?

I am officially making a bargain with myself. I can finish ONE candy necklace sock, only because I know I won't knit anything else anyways. BUT, once sock 1 is done, I'm not allowed to do sock 2, until the blanket and dad's socks are finished. (I HAVE to get that blanket done, given that I want to make a blanket for a friend who had an early baby, and I've promised her a blanket in June!) That is... as long as I can resist the siren call of my pretty koigu yarn, that is beckoning me to make it into socks too.

I am WEAK!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Must. Horde. Koigu.

I have been knitting for 7 years. Seven years of stitch after stitch. I've been reading Knitty and following knitting blogs for about four years of that time. I've heard people talk about it, but it never quite sunk in with me. I resisted for some ridiculous reason.

We were in NYC this weekend and I decided that I was going to need a complimentary color to go with my newly acquired sock yarn. While doing a little window shopping in Soho I stepped into Purl and there lay before me was a wall of the mysterious Koigu that I had heard so much about. Not only were the colors mind numbingly gorgeous but there was a WALL of that stuff. My credit card jumped out of my purse and snuggled up to a beautiful pink color that matched my sock yarn from the "Represent" day. But I couldn't stop there. Oh no. The colors were too pretty, the wool was too soft, the yarn fumes too strong, and I started loading it into my arms.

Sadly, the husband, better know as the "voice of reason", was also with me and he immediately put a kibosh on the 96 different skeins I was planning on impulse buying. While I restocked the shelf, the husband stepped outside of the very small store saying he needed some air. (Possible yarn fume allergy?) While restocking I saw it lying there, mistocked under a pile (or possibly hidden by another knitter for another time- if it was I apologize!):

It's so pretty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Look at the colors. LOOK AT THEM! So, while husband was outside waiting for me to buy the pink skein I had originally gone looking for, I also tucked this into pile while I was buying it, telling myself yarn that pretty needs to have a good home.

We made it down to the street when husband asked the dreaded question: "so how much was the pink yarn?" I answered, "um, $37?". Husband stopped walking, (maybe even breathing), and then asked me again "that one skein of yarn was THIRTY-SEVEN-DOLLARS!?" And then I had to confess, I bought 2 other skeins, but promised that I would not buy any more yarn until his mom comes to visit. (When his mom is here we're going to WEBS and I refuse to be held responsible for my behavior in a yarn warehouse.)

Anyway, I still didn't understand the signifigance of the yarn purchase, I just thought I had procured some pretty colored yarn. But today.... oh people... TODAY I knit with the Koigu and I think that I had my first out of body experience. I can't really put into words how soft it was to touch and how silky the stitches knit up. It was glorious. I was immediately overcome with the desire to buy as much Koigu as I could get my hands on. Do they put some kind of drug in that yarn to create such an immediate desire for it? Is this stuff even LEGAL?

So, I've casted on a new sock that I'm calling the "Candy Necklace" socks- because the colors remind of just that. And- I'm attempting to design my own pattern. Pictured in the pink is the crack like substance known as Koigu and you can see the sock is in the early stages of progress.

Stay tuned!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Spring Sweater Surprise

I don't know what happened.
This sweater happened in kind of a blur. One minute it looked like this:

A week later it looked like this:

Pattern: FREE from Tahki Stacey Charles- A-Line Cardigan (Link)
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton Silk Color N314
Needles: US size 8

I sort of fell in love with this yarn at a yarn sale. I walked by it several times, and every time I caressed it, I thought more and more what it would feel like to wear it. I dreamed of being chilly on a spring day and using this yarn as a cardigan to throw over myself to warm me up. I finally caved and bought the two remaining skeins, and was able to order the same dyelot from WEBS. I used about 4 and a half skeins on the project and have a remaining 3 skeins I'm not quite sure what to do with yet. (Perhaps donate it to my mother-in-law?) An even bigger bonus for me was the fact that the yarn came in hanks, and I got to wind it up into pretty balls using my beloved yarn winder. Happiness thy name is "swift and ball winder".

Thoughts on the Yarn: It's soft. Really soft. The silk in the fiber just gives it this lovely dimention of softness, making you want to run your hands through it over and over. Knitting it up was slightly less impressive however. There is a fuzz with this yarn that gets on EVERYTHING. Blue fuzz on my pants, blue fuzz on my shirts, on the floor, on the couch, on the pillows, on the towels I used to block the sweater. Blue fuzz EVERYWHERE. Even after blocking- blue fuzz.

Thoughts on the Patten: It's deceiving. I thought I was making an A-line cardigan, instead I made just a v-neck cardigan, and I don't really feel it was my error that caused this. I'm still pleased with the final product, but ever so slightly disappointed since I thought the pattern looked pretty cool. I'm definately getting better at seaming up a garmet, however I'm not pleased with the seams on the shoulder and to the back. (Not pictured) There is still is an essence of the "home-made" in this. Mind you, I'm definately going to wear this sweater, it looks LOADS better than my first ever attempt at a sweater.

I've included a picture of me wearing the sweater, since one of my pet peeves is people who show pictures of their sweaters, but not how it looks on. You'll note that I hate having my picture taken for no apparent reason other than to model... but it gives you an idea of the finished product.

Friday, March 23, 2007


My Hero:

So, after much “hmming” and “haaaaing” and self pity, I sucked it up and decided to “REPRESENT” my knitting pride in New York.

Oh my god, I’m so glad I had the yarn balls to do this.

I originally thought that happiness was cozied up on my couch and knitting whatever I felt like in that moment. I was wrong. Happiness is being around people who are just as insane, crazy and obsessed with knitting as you are. Happiness is talking about gauge without having to explain it to the ‘knitting muggle’. Happiness is someone helping you justify buying more sock yarn, even when you have six skeins of unused sock yarn at home. Happiness is not having to explain why you are stroking the soft sea silk in a manner that could be accurately described as “pervy”. Happiness is knowing that there is also someone out there who is even crazier than you are. Happiness IS the knitting community, actually getting to knit, is a pleasant bonus to that.

I rolled my butt out of bed rather early yesterday morning and took my sock for a train ride into the city. Once I arrived to the city I had less time than originally planned and so decided to hop into a cab instead of search for the subway entrance I needed.

Just a little break from knitting chat to talk about my cab experience for a quick moment. I’ve pretty much run the gambit on NYC cabbies and thought I had experienced just about everything. This time I had a) the cab driver who rejects deodorant in all of it’s forms and b) the SLOWEST. DRIVER. IN. THE. HISTORY. OF. NEW. YORK. TRANSPORTATION. Cab drivers are not usually known for their slow pace yet I managed to get the only one who is actually afraid of his gas pedal.. The man sat in non-moving lanes when the lane next to us was clear and free. He peddled on at such an under-whelming pace that I thought I was going to be late for the picture- and even though I got into the cab almost 20 minutes prior to the picture, I was frantic and running when he dropped me off, hoping I was still going to be in the picture.
I arrived just in time as we all put our socks around the “Imagine” mosaic. I’m not even sure how many people were there, (30? 40? 50?) but it was lovely to be surrounded by excited knitters and socks in various stages of progress. After the group photo, which I’m sure will show up on Steph’s blog any day now, we all kind of mingled around for a bit. (How lame is it that I’m so excited my humble sock is “representing” in the blog picture she currently has up? I am vicariously living through it’s celebrity status.)

This is where it kind of got scary for me. I’m horrible at just being the person who immediately introduces herself and makes friends. I’m not even an all that shy of a person, but, for some unknown, entirely stupid reason, I feel more comfortable if someone initiates with me first. However, since I knew that I didn’t want to spend the afternoon hanging out alone and that yarn shops are best enjoyed WITH knitters, I knew it was time to step out of the “shy zone”. Besides, it’s very easy to strike up a conversation with a knitter; compliment them on what they’re knitting or ask them about their yarn, and you immediately can talk for hours on numerous things that revolve around knitting. Thankfully, this technique worked and I was able to join Jessica ( from Boston, (who was working TWO socks at once… now THERE’S a technique to end second sock syndrome) and we joined up with JENN ( who is the ultimate Yarn Crawl host. (If you’re reading this Jen—thanks… seriously- you should host tours on a regular basis, you were great.)

We headed over to Knitty City where despite my weak attempts at not purchasing yarn, I bought the prettiest hand dyed sock yarn. (I cannot resist sock yarn. What is it about sock yarn that makes me want to horde it in quantities that I can’t even handle?) We also checked out Yarn Company which is such a lovely colorful store, but my yarn guilt kept me from doing further damage.

After our little yarn crawl, we headed back to FIT where we did a little pre-game knitting outside. (The Knitting Gods were clearly smiling down upon us, as the weather was absolutely perfect and cooperative.) While at FIT, I managed to finally get around to registering for the “knitwear design” class, which you’ll be hearing a lot more about when I start it mid April.

While we were knitting outside a woman from came around and was selling these nifty contraptions to hold your dpn’s while you’re knitting a sock. The minute our group saw what she had, we opened our wallets and were buying up a storm. I do believe she sold out of her stash of these little things very, VERY quickly. ($15 well spent might I add!)

We all did the tour at 4:15 of the FIT Machine Knitting Lab. The lab was pretty cool, with all kinds of machines that can produce mass bolts of fabric as well as a “SUPER KNIT MACHINE” that knit things up items seamlessly. To be honest I wasn’t super interested in the machines, but I really enjoyed seeing the colorful walls of thread and yarn on display and that’s now my desktop wallpaper.

Back from the tour, we all headed into the auditorium- where waiting for us were bags with a free skein of yarn and needles donated by the Craft Yarn Council for us to knit up for ***Warm up America*** while we waited and listened to Steph talk. The only thing that excites me more than new yarn and new needles, is FREE new yarn and new needles—thanks CYC! The room began to fill up quickly with very anxious knitters- hearing and hearing chatter and clicking of their needles was just one of those things I wish I could hear all the time. The sound of a large group collectively knitting gives me shivers of happiness.

When Steph came on, it was like a rock star entered the building. A loud cheer rose up from the crowd and from the second she walked on stage, we were eating out of the palm of her hands. (Even though the first thing she said was how nervous she was and how much we were scaring her.) By the way- did I mention “We” were 700 strong? That? Is awesome. Not only was she wearing her newly finished Bohus, (which is lovely) but she immediately snapped some pics of the crowd for her blog. Just as she was about to really get into it, she noticed that her husband had flown out to surprise her, and she immediately ran over and gave him a big hug and kiss- which I thought was so sweet.

I really can’t put into words how great Steph’s talk was. She’s hilarious. Non-knitters could sit there and enjoy it as much as the obsessed folks. She conveys “our world” clearly. She lives in “our world”, she’s like the unofficial president of “our world”, and we hung on her every word. She talked about how much people under estimate knitters and how quickly they are to judge something they don’t take the time to understand. She’s empowering to listen to and you can’t help but feel a strong welling of pride for being apart of such an unbelievably community. I love knitting. I love what I create when I’m knitting. I’m proud and I achieve a great amount of satisfaction from what I create. Steph, in her funny and understanding way, really drove the point home that we need to be PROUD of the craft we love.

Steph was awesome, and talked to us for nearly 2 hours. I wish I could have stayed longer, to mingle with the knitters and take my picture with Stephanie, but honestly, by the time the event ended I could hardly stand up I was so hungry and I needed some food. I practically ran across the street, to the first place that could serve me dinner- and enjoyed a yummy Burger and fries.

After dinner- and the excitement of the day finally catching up with me, I dropped my tired butt into a cab and headed over to Grand Central to catch the train home. I had planned to knit the sock more or read Steph’s book, but ended up sleeping a good portion of that time. You KNOW it was a big day if you’re too tired to knit or read about knitting! When I arrived in New Haven, and had tried my best to cover up the “not-so-lovely-I-just-slept-on-the-train” drool spot I wouldn’t let the husband get a word in edge wise as I chattered his ear off filling him in on everything that had happened.

As a bonus- instead of making the “YOU ALREADY HAVE 8 SKEINS OF SOCK YARN THAT AREN’T BEING USED” face, husband congratulated me on my restraint for only buying one more, saying he figured I was bound to come back with something, and he had envisioned much worse.

All in all- an amazing day and I feel so lucky to have been able to have been apart of it. Now I really can’t wait until the 30th, where I’m taking my mother-in-law to “Represent” at WEBS! (All those interested should go to their website now, apparently you need to register in advance in order to go.)

I leave you with this awesome pic that for me, just kind of wraps up the day right: here is our little yarn crawl waiting in the subway for our train to take us back to FIT:

Knit Blog- Day 1

After spending the most awesome day in NYC at the "REPRESENT" tour hosted by the Harlot, I've decided that I need to have a seperate knitting blog, so that I may "commune with my people" in their natural habitat. And, for some reason, their natural habitat in this case, happens to be Blogger.

Since this is my inagural post- just wanted to say HI and caution you in the next few days it's going to take me a bit to get a hang of this thing, so bear with me.

In the mean time-- I will admit it's very freeing to have a blog SOLELY for the purpose of discussing my knitting- but I am feeling a tad daunted at the fact that I'm also going to have to get better at taking pictures of things on a more regular basis.