Sunday, October 31, 2010

IWTMT: Gaenor

After last week's IWTMT, I'll admit it. I went out and bought the Habitat pattern. And two others. Guess what you'll be getting for the next two IWTMTs?

I am a sucker for sock yarn, as you may know. But really, most of it is way too pretty to hide on my feet. (Not to mention my failure to complete more than 1 pair of socks.)

So instead, I apparently buy shawl patterns like Gaenor (Rav). Gaenor is nice for a number of reasons, which I will list here:

1. Garter stitch that looks pretty and makes variegated yarns look good.
2. No picking up stitches (which I suck at).
3. Reversible.
4. Increase until you hit 1/2 your yarn, then decrease.
5. Start with 2 stitches, end with 2 stitches.

Uh, yeah. Sold.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Math: Or, How I Learned How Much I Don't Know

I was one of those kids who was put in honors classes as soon as they had honors classes. (Third grade, in case you were wondering.) That was also the year I got glasses. Braces and puberty were soon to follow. Thanks, universe.

I worked with stuff like Microsoft Powerpoint and Excel in elementary school. I'm guessing it was Office 95. God, I feel old now. Anyway, these programs have been in my life for a long time. Doesn't mean I really understand how to use them.

My point is, the school system didn't think I was dumb until high school, when my brain hit its math plateau in pre-calc. I believe the first half of my junior year was honors pre-calc and the second half was regular. Let's not get into the debacle that was senior year calc. When I got to college, I only had to take one math class. I took pre-calc. 'nuff said.

Math and I generally don't get along. I think it's that visualization thing. I can visualize one apple plus three apples, but how do you take the square root of an apple? I am not one of those knitters who can look at a pattern and configure it based on their gauge swatch. I am one of those knitters who says "I had 30 stitches on the last row. It must be magic that now I have 33."

As you may know, I've been selling some of my stash. This led to an infamous loss of 17 cents on my first transaction. My original brilliant plan for keeping track of total money earned involved a calculator. I realized quickly this would not be a good idea in the long term. Next I opened up Notepad and started to write in each positive and negative transaction, when the light bulb went off.

Duh. Spreadsheet.

Except apparently all I remember how to do in spreadsheets is type things. None of this formula stuff! Formula stuff is for sissies. My spreadsheet dork of a husband is, of course, at work, and I don't think his boss would appreciate me calling to ask how to add up the numbers in a spreadsheet.

So I look at the help. Help is good. Help usually helps. Help. The help is not helping. Help is a weird word.

Finally something from the depths of about 1995 managed to slosh through my sluggish brain and I figured it out. (With assistance from the help.) I'll be okay until I need to add something in A6, anyway.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sell The Stash: LB Trellis

Not much has been going on in crafty land. I sold 3 skeins of Lion Brand Trellis out of my stash. Two more skeins are tied up in the attempt I've been making at a poncho for at least two years. I think -- and I hate to say this -- that I'll just throw it out. Now I don't have the yarn for it, and the yarn I do have is two different dye lots. Yeah, not a clue about dye lots 2 years ago.

I'm down 5 balls out of my stash, since I sold the Patons Rumor and knitted up a Cascade 220 in the Binary Scarf. My year-end goal is to destash 10 balls, since we're going to be knitting sweaters in my knitting guild. Having never knit a sweater, I don't really know what a "sweater quantity" is, but at the LYS that's usually a bag of 10.

1 Cascade 220 + 1 Patons Rumor + 3 Lion Brand Trellis = 649 yards down. That's not terrible, right?

I hit 50% of the way done on the Binary Scarf a few weeks ago and my brain shut down. For 10+ months I'd been knitting the same way and all of a sudden I had to change it. AND I decided to change the message for the second half. You knit bottom-up for the first half, and I had to read my numbers backwards and bottom-to-top so they'd read right. Now I get to read left-to-right and top-to-bottom, but the numbers are knitted upside down. I don't deal well with change. I just struggled my way through 2 digits/6 rows of this. Only 73 more digits to go. No wonder this is taking forever.

I'm one of those people who needs to imagine exactly how something is done before I do it. This makes me spectacularly bad at things like: driving, cooking, crossing the street and crafting. It's one of the reasons I don't tend to do complicated stuff. I'm trying to get over it.

P.S. If I've been knitting wrong on this Binary Scarf, or if I just started knitting wrong on the second half, it might be better if you didn't tell me.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

IWTMT: Habitat

Something I neglected to mention in my One Green Hat post is that my weakness for hat-amounts of green yarn really only seems to apply to worsted/aran weights. Wow. I need some help.

Anyway, I figured maybe if I found an appropriate hat pattern and used it for an IWTMT, it might help. I know everybody and their brother has made Brooklyn Tweed's Habitat (Rav), but it be so purty. And maybe if I pay for it I'll actually make it.

Oh. Right.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

One Green Hat

Have you ever been at the store and you don't remember if you have a pair of size 9 needles, so you buy some? You get home and realize you have 6 pairs of size 9s. But you don't take them back, because you never know.

I'm apparently the same way. Only with yarn to make green hats.

Exhibit A:


Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk.

I received 2 skeins for Christmas 2008. There's not too much you can do with 2 skeins -- maybe a hat. I was thinking maybe a cabled hat back in February 2009. Okay, so I didn't mention the word "hat" then, but I definitely did in this IWTMT from August 2010.

Exhibit B:


Green Mountain Spinnery Wonderfully Wooly.

I purchased 1 skein of green and 1 of yellow back in March 2010. I was going to make mitts out of one and a hat out of the other. Verified in my most recent IWTMT post. I'm still on the fence about what's going to be what. The hat could be green.

Exhibit C:


Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran. In October 2010, I quote: "I want this to be a hat."

Exhibit D:


Mountain Vewe Coopworths' wool/mohair blend, purchased at the Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival. October 2010. I quote: "I only bought one because I thought I could make a hat!"

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I believe this evidence proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that I have a weakness for hat-quantities of green yarn. I have hidden these yarns in my subconscious when acquiring more and more green hat yarn. I lived in denial. Denial of what I already had.

It might seem harsh, but I believe in tough sentencing. Please sentence me to shop from the stash and actually make a green hat. I may find this cures me from my obsession and I can become a productive knitter of non-green hat objects.

And if it doesn't cure me? Well, ladies and gentlemen, I have one thing to say to that: they're all very different greens.

I rest my case.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sell The Stash: How To Lose Money

Last week I had a lovely gal contact me on Ravelry looking to buy my lone skein of Patons Rumor in Moonstone Heather. Since it was an impulse buy that had sat around for probably two years, I was more than happy to send it off to her. We agreed on $7, which included shipping.

Generally, I don't have shipping materials at home since I mail things so infrequently. I took this opportunity to stock up. I bought an envelope, packing tape and freezer bags (for rain protection -- just in case!) at the store. I spent $5.44 getting materials. Shipping was $1.73.

In case you're about as good at math as I am, I lost 17 cents on that transaction.

Things I have learned:

1. I need to charge more for shipping.

... yeah, I think that was the extent of my life lesson there.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

IWTMT: Sweet Fern Mitts

It was 34 degrees out when I woke up this morning. 34 degrees!!! Two years ago tomorrow I was outside getting married in a short-sleeved sweater. On Friday it ... snowed. Not here, but on the mountain. That means it's coming. Yuck (and other words that rhyme with yuck.)

I was walking today with my Amanda Hat and my Amazing Striped Scarf on but I was still shoving my hands in my pockets because they were freezing. Yes, I'm one of those cold-handed females.

When I went to Green Mountain Spinnery, I picked up 2 skeins of Wonderfully Wooly, one in yellow and one in green. The plan was that I'd make mitts from one and a hat from the other.

I do plan on making the Sweet Fern Mitts (Rav) from Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Wool. That's what I bought Wonderfully Wooly for. Do you think I should make them green or yellow? I'm leaning toward green right now.

If you can't see the Ravelry link, or you'd like to see a nice blog post with the Sweet Fern Mitts, please check out the Easter Report at The Knit Knack's blog. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go drool over her Crazy Zauberball in that post.

(P.S. - Just a reminder! When I post to blogs like this, the nice people there usually don't have a clue. I like to spread the blog love! I'll tell you if I'm pimping a blog, promise.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival 2010

I went to my very first fiber festival this month: Vermont Sheep & Wool in Tunbridge, VT. My pals with the sheep wanted to buy a spinning wheel and asked me to come along. It was a fun, tiring day and I didn't really take any good pictures because I was so busy trying not to buy yarn. (I failed.) I did take a few, though.

We went on Sunday. One of the things they had going on was a Cashmere Buck & Wether Show. I have no idea what a whether is, but apparently nuns raise them. My friend and I agreed that if we were in a competition with nuns, we'd drop out.


Then there was sheep shearing. I resisted the urge to hop over the fence and run off with the stuff.


It was cold in the morning, so I wore my Amanda Hat and my Butterfly Moebius, which I took off as the day wore on. I also bought a sweatshirt. Yes, I left the tape on intentionally. I was thrilled about fitting into a small.


A really nice gal at one of the booths in the "soft barn" (where they had the bunnies) took my picture after I explained the "last small" to her. I later found out she was on Ravelry, since she remembered taking my picture after I posted about it! So Kristen of Gilead Goats -- if that's you -- thanks again!

I did buy yarn, which I was expecting to. I didn't keep track of some of the vendors, so if you recognize any merchandise, let me know!


So I was in Mystic River Yarns in Mystic CT and I ALMOST bought Tidal Yarn, remember? I didn't and I regretted it. Guess who was at the festival? I picked up this little beauty, which is another example of how I need to take things outside before I buy them, because it looked gray in the barn. I realize now how strange this statement is. That's okay, I like purple too.


This one I DID look at in the light and I still loved it. It's a Coopworth wool/mohair blend, semi-worsted, approximately 185 yards from Mountan Vewe Coopworths. Unfortunately they don't have a website, but leave a comment if you'd like their contact information. I only bought one because I thought I could make a hat!

I ended up buying 2 skeins of superwash merino yarn from Biltmore Wool Barn. The woman does all the dyeing herself, and I could have lost it and left with a lot more than 2. Each skein is a generous 430 yards. Mmm.


I started chatting with another lady at the booth and showed her this skein below, which I'd been waffling on. She picked one up too, even though it wasn't what she had been looking at! Of course, I had to snatch mine up after that. Random lady, I hope you like the yarn I apparently talked you into!


I didn't write down who this next vendor was. Sorry! I don't have a button stash, but when I saw she had Danforth Pewter sunflower buttons, I bought her out. I don't really know how 4 buttons will be useful, but I can't not have pewter sunflower buttons.


Oh, right! My friends ended up buying an Ashford Kiwi from The Merlin Tree, on my recommendation. But that's a blog post for another day ...

Monday, October 11, 2010

Finished Object: Butterfly Moebius

It's not often I get to post a finished object that's also an IWTMT. So far, I think it's really only been the Amanda Hat.

When I visited Green Mountain Spinnery back in March, I went equipped with an idea of something I wanted to make. That something was the Butterfly Moebius from Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Yarn. I even found yarn! I bought this gorgeous skein of Sock Art Forest. I even finished knitting the moebius in time for my sister's college graduation in May, right before I moved.

Granted, it ended up being 90 degrees at my sister's graduation. I forgot my strapless bra. I ended up wearing red polyester. My skin is finally beginning to recover from the sunburn, by the way.

My point is that I finished the Butterfly Moebius almost five months ago. I'd lost and found the camera, but I'd lost and not found my project until not too long ago. Then I made my husband take a lot of pictures. Ah, the perks of marriage. Please ignore my tie-dyed shirt, if you could. I was more interested in getting the pictures taken than I was accessorizing.

Pattern: Butterfly Moebius from Clara Parkes' The Knitter's Book of Yarn
Yarn: Less than 1 skein of Green Mountain Spinnery's Sock Art Forest in green
Needles: US size 7 circular for cast on, size 6 for knitting
Timeline: I bought the yarn on 3.26.10. I cast on 04.10.10. I finished sometime before mid-May. Who knows.


Opinions: Love. Loved the pattern. Loved the yarn. It's a little hard to arrange on yourself properly, but get someone to help you and you're golden.


Random Thoughts: Once I found my project and it got cold enough, I wore it to work. I kept track of how many compliments I got without telling the person it was hand-made. I got 6. Not bad.

Also, later that night I got my eyebrows waxed for the first time I ever. I was excited to look vaguely French, so I made my husband do another photoshoot. I neglected to think about how red my forehead looked. This picture is in black and white because of that.


Did I miss my calling as a model?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

IWTMT: Boneyard Shawl

I have a lot of sock yarn. I don't knit a lot of socks. (I've made a pair.) You can usually make a shawl out of sock yarn.

I don't have many occasions to wear shawls. My 2nd anniversary is coming up in a week and we're going out to dinner somewhere nice. All of my dresses are more suited to the spring than the fall. Perfect -- wear a shawl!

One small problem: I've made it a goal of mine to only cast on for charity hats this month. Shoot. But if I were so inclined, I think I could still crank out a Boneyard Shawl (Rav). Simple yet elegant. Good for a time crunch. Did I mention it's free?

Stupid October no new casting on.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

IWTMT: Snowflake Hat

Since I finished the Baby Blanket of Fail, there have been no more excuses. I've been working on my husband's Binary Scarf. And, now that I remember which hand to hold the dominant yarn in (my left), it's going pretty well. In fact, you could even say that I'm ... enjoying it. Gasp. Shock. Awe.

I've been very bored with my vanilla charity hats, and I have tons of partial balls, so stranded colorwork could be a great way to use some up in an interesting way. I know fall just started, but I'm really digging the Snowflake Hat by Carissa Knits (Rav). In fact, it'll be a great way to use up stash yarn, since it calls for Caron Simply Soft and I seem to have almost a dozen skeins stashed. Works for me!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stash: Gift Certificate!

Everyone I know went to the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival today, and I don't get to go until tomorrow, so I took pictures of yarn to console myself. And maybe to guilt myself into not buying anything tomorrow. I don't think it will work.

I did some work for my LYS a few months ago and got a gift certificate. I was trying really hard not to spend it. Then I decided, screw it, what if the yarn I like isn't there anymore? Which is exactly what happened. I still got good yarn, though.


Malabrigo Sock in Abril. Shawl, I hope.


Two skeins of Queensland Collection Kathmandu Aran colorway 183. I want this to be a hat.


Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn in EQ. Yes, I caved for rainbow.


Araucania Ruca in colorway 103. Araucania seems to be a new favorite of mine.

I wanted a skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, the Kauni and the Malabrigo Sock, but someone bought the green Tosh Sock while I was waffling on it, so I had to come up with a new way to allocate my gift certificate. I'm still pleased with my purchases, and I got more yarn out of the deal. I also bought a little "rate of increases/decreases" keychain so I could fully use my gift certificate. All in all, I spent under $2.

I have a feeling that won't be the case tomorrow.