Already Sidetracked

I started the big Dredging Out project of 2015 this AM. The stuff around here has gotten a little out of control, it’s time to de-junk. I started with my office.

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Right. Maybe I should have started with a different challenge. But this room is such a holy disaster that it is dragging me into psychosis. I finally got the clutter off the top of the hope chest to get it open.

The Hope Chest of Doom. Really.


Yes, that is my mom’s hope chest. And no, that’s not going anywhere. One of my nieces will probably get it as I get closer to the ultimate retirement. It is currently full of totally useless junk instead of being available for useful storage.

Here are just a couple of examples.

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The tassels are from my graduation from high school and medical school. Don’t ask me why I kept them. And no, I have no idea where the college one went. It’s probably in the depths of the hope chest.

The little ceramic girl was made by my mom. Yes, it’s cute. No, I’m not keeping it. At this point in my life it is just clutter. Sentimental clutter, to be sure. I don’t need this to remind me of what a wonderful lady my mom was.

And yes, I got immediately sidetracked into a blog post. You should see how much time I wasted coming up with the ultimate Dredging Out music playlist.

I figured you’d all want to see all the junk I discover. Just wait until I get to the knitting stuff. Yes, some of that is going out of this house too. I have more knitting bags and tape measures than any one person will ever need.

Back to work.

John’s Old Friend Sweater

I have been working away at this one for a long time. You wouldn’t think a plain stocking stitch heavy worsted sweater would take so long. I finally finished all the knitting today. Here it is (minus one sleeve-not enough clips!)

Now it goes into the washing machine for a soak, then blocking, then sewing together. I think my old friend will look dashing in his Old Friend!



Good morning from Mexico!

We've been here all week. Guayabitos is a small town north of Puerto Vallarta, we are in a lovely bed and breakfast right on the beach. This is a very low key place compared to PV, not much to do besides hang out, stare at the ocean, and occasionally muster up enough enthusiasm to walk into town for lunch or dinner. I brought my flute so I've been able to practice, and of course the knitting.
And it's time for breakfast, so I'm off.


State of the Stash

Here are the results of my Cold Sheep Project for last year. The last time I bought any yarn was February 15th, 2014***, so I am coming up on the 1 year mark soon! For the record the last yarn was this:


And I immediately started a lace stole and haven’t worked on it since. Too many other things going on!

So, I knit or gave away a total of 4701 meters worth of yarn. I bought 1476 meters (that pretty red lace). So the net out is 3224 meters gone from stash. I have 337,503 meters left in the stash, give or take a few thousand in accounting errors. In looking at my database, there are a few yarns in there that I might not have subtracted when they were used up. It’s a close enough number.

I was very tempted to buy new yarn to celebrate the new year, but I went in to my closet and looked at all of those ridiculously stuffed yarn boxes. And considered the stark reality that if I only use up 4700 meters of yarn a year, I am going to have plenty to last me for a very, very long time. I have committed to not buying yarn just because it is pretty or shiny, or because it’s 11 PM and I’m bored. I might consider buying yarn for a specific purpose, such as a gift if I don’t have something appropriate, but otherwise there is bound to be something in that 337,503 meters that should satisfy my new project itch.

What about you? What is the state of your stash?


***Edited later: And the blog doesn’t lie, most of the time. That February date sounded wrong to me, so I searched back a bit. I bought that pretty red yarn on MARCH 16th of 2014. So I am coming up on the one year mark, just not as soon as I thought.

Because I Can


Pink And Sparkly!

I've been trolling around online yarn shops again. I almost caved once or twice in the past week. It's been a bit of a stressful week or two at work, which I'm sure is part of the trigger for retail therapy.

Fortunately, next week I hit the nine month mark without buying yarn, so I stepped away from the computer. Instead, I trolled around Ravelry and found a nice new shawlette pattern. After a false start or two, I found the perfect yarn in my stash to match.


The pattern is Heaven and Space, by Martini Behm. It calls for sport weight yarn, and this is a bit finer than that, but it's all good. It will just be a bit more scarf-like.

And yes, I'm supposed to be studying instead of knitting (or drooling over yarn online). You know what they say about all work and no play.


Crazy Woman Socks

And another pair done!


Project Details:

Pattern: my own jerry rigged sock pattern, tweaked over the years. Plain vanilla socks. I cast on 60 stitches at the cuff. Top down, flap and gusset heel, nothing fancy.

Yarn: Mountain Colors Weaver's Wool quarters, color is Crazy Woman. This is not superwash wool, so these will have to be handled a little more carefully, but it is lovely, squishy stuff. It's about sport weight.

Needles: 2.75 mm sterling silver double points from Celtic Swan.

Started: January 9, 2014

Finished: November 28, 2014

For: Me!

What I Learned: I've learned that I really should be knitting socks faster. I've got an aging sock stash that are starting to wear pretty thin. These will be very appreciated given the cold weather we've been having.

I was snooping around online at shops that sell this yarn. I opened up the handy dandy yarn database that catalogues the yarn I already have. I have this same yarn in eight more colors, to make eight more pairs of smooshy warm socks. Maybe I'll go cast on another pair right now.

Test Post

Now this is driving me nuts. My post from yesterday is really screwy on both of our ipads. John was playing photographer and took the photos of me wearing Colro Affection holding the camera sideways. I uploaded them, and in my photo software (Lightroom), they automatically rotate. When I upload to the blog using WordPress, I have to flip them manually, since they come in sideways. I posted from my desktop computer, rotated the photos, published the blog post, and everything looks hunky-dory.

Then John tells me they are sideways when he looked at the Knitting Doctor site on his ipad. I rolled my eyes at him, but sure enough, he's right. So I'm going to post one of the photos again, using my ipad and the Blogsy software I use to see if it happens again

Here goes. If this works I'll go back and fix the previous post.


Color Affection

And here it is!


Project Details:

Pattern: Color Affection, by Veera Välimäki
Yarn: Swan's Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering; colors are Garnet, Natural, and Oatmeal
Needles: 3.5 mm circulars (ChiaoGoo)
Started: February 27, 2014
Finished: November 16, 2014
For: Me!

What I Learned: Garter stitch is boring, but it certainly does make a nice squishy fabric. I really love this and will wear it a lot. Those last few thousand stitches made me want to poke my eyes out with sharp knitting needles, but it is very pretty done. I might even be convinced to make another one.

And just because I can:


Now I need to finish this:


This is John's Old Friend Peace Fleece sweater. I have it done “except” for the second sleeve, which you see started right there. This is terrific television knitting: nice boring stocking stitch, just like I like it.

And for the record, that is another 1440 meters of yarn out of the stash. I have a little of each of the colors left, perhaps enough for a pair of mitts at some point, but I'm calling it gone.


Done Done Done

I couldn’t wait for this thing to dry to post a photo. I’ll get a model shot and do the whole “Finished Project” thing when it’s off the blocking board, but Color Affection couldn’t wait for the glamour shot.


I think it actually looks like some kind of mutant nautilus thing. Mutant Nautilus, that’s a good name for it. The shape is sort of weird, I know. That big C curve on the left is exacerbated (helped??) by the way the yarns twist around each other in the three-color section. It makes that top edge sort of tight, pulling it into a big curve. I rather like it. I tried it on of course before I washed it, and that curve makes it snuggle up around the neck very nicely.

More details later when it’s dry.

Please Send Whiskey!

And the bind off begins. It's close to 600 stitches. For those of you who are actually knitters, I'm using a stretchy “lace” bind off, as follows:
Knit 2, *Insert left hand needle into the front of the 2 stitches on the right hand stitches. Knit these two stitches together through the back loop. Knit 1, knit 2 together through the back loop.* Repeat between the ** until all stitches are bound off.
Close to the finish line!


Public Service Announcement

This was a conversation over coffee at my house this morning:

Me (reading email): “I got an email from Peace Fleece that ALL of their yarn is 20% off through the weekend!”

John: “And just how much Peace Fleece do you already have in the stash?”

Me (fires up the database, sorts the yarn by manufacturer): “Um, I have enough different colors for six Peace Fleece sweaters. Seven, if you count the one in the knitting bag that I haven’t finished.”

John: “20% off is a great deal. But it’s 100% off if you don’t buy something you don’t need.”

Me (silent for a few minutes): “Point taken.”

Those of you who are NOT on the Cold Sheep–not buying any yarn plan might want to head over to Peace Fleece and get some of your own.

Want to see what six sweaters worth of Peace Fleece looks like? I thought so.

And the close up shot:

Yes, I tore apart the stash to pull those all out. I’m thinking it’s going to be easier to go buy a new yarn box than to try to get those all back into the correct numbered box.

And as long as I’m at it, here’s the seventh color. This is John’s sweater, or what will be a sweater once I’ve finished the sleeves.

No more Peace Fleece for me. Though it is one of my favorite yarns. I guess I just need to knit faster.