Another Distraction

A somewhat eclectic blog by a woman who's easily distracted...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Save Some Cash--Use Your Stash!

I am embarrassed about the amount of yarn I seem to have accumulated over the years. So much, in fact, that I have seriously slowed my yarn purchases over the last several months. This is not to say I haven't bought yarn in the last few months--just significantly smaller amounts. (Pay no attention to that super soft, I-had-to-have-it Malabrigo sitting on the chair--it's only four skeins--it hardly even counts, right?).

This is partially a money thing and partially a guilt thing. I suspect the two are related. But I haven't been willing to give up yarn-buying for any specified amount of time, because I know as soon as I do, The Perfect Yarn will show up and do me in.

Knit From Your Stash 2007
Enter, Wendy's Knit From Your Stash 2007. It's like Weight Watchers(TM) for your stash!

I have adapted the rules to better fit my issues:

  1. The Knit-From-Your-Stash-a-Thon will start January 1, 2007 and run through September 30, 2007 -- a period of nine months.

  2. I will not buy any yarn during that period, with the following exceptions:
    2a. I may purchase yarn at Stitiches West in February.
    2b. I may purchase this kit, even if it's not available at Stitches West.
    2c. If someone asks for a specific knitted gift that I really and truly do not have the yarn for, I may buy yarn to knit that gift.
    2d. If I am knitting something and run out of yarn, I may purchase enough to complete the project.
    2e. I may purchase baby yarn (superwash wool--not acrylic) for specific baby gift projects, and the yarn for my mother's Christmas 2007 gift.
    2f. I may purchase yarn as a gift for someone else.
    2g. I get one "Get Out of Jail Free" card -- I am allowed to fall off the wagon one time.

  3. I am allowed to receive gifts of yarn.

  4. If I receive a gift certificate to a yarn store, I may use it to purchase yarn.

  5. Books and patterns are exempt.

  6. If I start spinning this year (which I'm not allowing myself to do until my home office is clean and orderly--and that will require some de-stashing), spinning stuff is exempt.

So I'll start by finishing what's already on the needles:

After that will be Mariah and the sweater for my mom, and then I'll need your help (if there's any 2007 left after all that). There is yarn in my stash that was either bought for a pattern that I've since decided I don't want to knit, or bought with no specific project in mind. I'll be posting some of the yarn specifics and asking for suggestions.

The other scary thing is that a lot of the stash is from very early on, when I just didn't know any better and bought... acrylic and acrylic blends. Some of them will be just fine for projects destined for me, but a little bit of it is so acrylic it hurts. Not quite sure what to do with that... Any ideas?


Friday, December 15, 2006

Festive Flowers

To distract you from the lack of knitting progress here of late (as well as the lack of posting), here's a little eye candy from my recent trip to San Diego. It's part of the pointsettia display at Balboa Park. Very pretty, even if we got there five minutes before closing, and had to rush through--just barely remembering to snap some quick pictures on the way out.

I hope to have a FO to show you this weekend. Nothing major--don't get too excited.

Have a great weekend, and for those who celebrate it, Happy Hanukah!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

Knotty or Nice?

Like it or not, it's getting to be that time of year again.

And this year, I suspect hanging this little guy on my front door is as festive as I'm going to get. Don't hold your breath for a tree.

Like a lot of other people, I have too much going on this time of year. Shopping (although, any shopping that hasn't been done yet will be done online--it's just safer for everyone involved), knitting (I'm revising holiday knitting expectations daily as I fall further and further behind), visiting, property taxes, year-end projects at work that have to be finished by December 31st or risk losing budget next year--all on top of the chaos my normal life has come to be.

Don't get me wrong--it's not all bad (I enjoy much of it, in fact. But not so much the property taxes or the work projects parts of it)--it's just a little... well, crazy.

While not technically for the holidays (it was supposed to be done quite a while ago), one of the things I'm enjoying right now is this scarf for my DBF (I'm still open to any suggestions about a better blog name for him, but I digress...). He specifically chose the burgundy yarn; he requsted I pair it with black yarn, nixing the first one (a lace weight) I used as too thin, but agreeing on this one; and he chose the stitch pattern out of a fair number of swatches I made.

It's funny, because it wouldn't have occurred to me to pair the black yarn with this pretty burgundy, and when he said he wanted the black to be as thick as the burgundy, I really wasn't sure I was going to like it. And I wasn't crazy about it in some of the swatches, but I really do like it in this pattern (for those of you who are wondering, it's the Yarn Harlot's One Row Scarf, which we each chose independently as our favorite swatch).

At least I used to like it. I may still like it, but my faith has been shaken. The scarf I still love, but I am now wary of this black yarn. It's a nice, soft, warm alpaca, and the first skein went happily along. However, after knitting about three inches of scarf with the new skein, I encounted this:

You may not be able to tell from the crappy picture, but that is a knot. I am not pleased. It is too big to just knit in and hope for the best. (We won't discuss the fact that, faced with the prospect of weaving in two more ends if I did the right thing and cut the knot out, I instead, went the "easy" route and actually did try to knit it in and hope for the best--before ultimately ripping back and cutting the dang knot out anyway).

Now, as much as I enjoy knitting, I don't much care for weaving in ends. You know--in much the same way most people don't much care for lengthy oral surgery without benefit of anesthesia, performed by a guy named Guido, without benefit of dentistry schooling. This being the case, I'm sure you can understand that I try to avoid extra ends in my knitting whenever possible. I was already questioning this black alpaca yarn to start with, because it comes in a tiny 110-yard skein , as opposed to the lovely handpainted burgundy yarn which comes 250 yards to a skein--but it was in the stash, and some stash-busting is seriously in order here, so I'm using it. And now we have knots. Okay--technically, just the one knot. So far. But that's after only three inches of knitting. What if there are more? Ugh! I don't want to think about it.

Why is this okay? Why can manufacturers get away with this? I can't be the only one irritated by this, can I? I would understand if it was a skein of handspun, but it's widely distributed, commercially manufactured yarn. And I've had it happen with other widely distributed, commercailly manufactured yarn, so it's not that rare. In fact, it's happened frequently enough in the past that I can only assume that I am, in fact, the only one irritated by it. It means less yarn and more work for me. The least they could do is label it.

Until that happens, I'll just have to make a list, and with every project, check it twice. That way I'll know which yarn is knotty and which is nice.

Happy Holidays, whichever you may choose to celebrate.

Labels: ,

Friday, December 01, 2006

Friday Again

Friday eye candy.

If it weren't for eye candy Friday, I'd have significantly fewer posts...

I do have some knitting progress to report (scarf-related--not the sock), but no photos at the moment--I'll try to get some at lunch.

I'll be migrating to the Blogger Beta this weekend, so prepare for technical difficulties and other fun that so often results from an "upgrade".

One nice thing about the way the upgrade is supposed to work (as I understand it, anyway) is that I will be able to organize posts by topic. My hope is that I'll be able to organize the blog into several categories that interest me, and post to those "folders". This blog started out as mostly a knitting blog, but I'd really like to write about other things, too. This should allow me to do that, while still making it easy for those of you who are just interested in things knitterly to find new knitting content.

Cross your fingers, and have a great weekend!