Friday, September 23, 2011

The Best Season

Well, today is the "official" start of fall, even though we've been swinging between 60 and 80 degrees for a while here in Vermont. For any of us who have put down our hooks and needles for the summer, now is the time to pick them back up again!

The Vermont Sheep & Wool Festival is next weekend and I can. Not. Wait. I was talking with the friend I'm going with the other day, and we were joking about how some girls get their hair and nails done, but we go walk around in mud and look at sheep. I am working 13 days in a row before Sheep & Wool, so I need this break!

Of course, I haven't touched the Binary Scarf since I mentioned I had to work on it. It's all this working! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. I've been mooning after yarn for the Stained Glass Window Afghan. It's looking like I'll be able to make it for under $30, which? Is awesome. (Yes, I have a degree in English and I'm mangling my sentences. It's intentional.) But I am definitely not buying that yarn until I have a) gone to Sheep & Wool, b) destashed at least a little more, and c) theoretically worked on the Binary Scarf. Actually, I'm looking at a 2012 purchase date. We'll see.

Before I dash off (not to work on the Binary Scarf -- too early!), I'd like to mention a charity hat drive. My friend (see above) told me about a child in Connecticut who recently had 3 tumors removed from his brain. His family is organizing a charity hat drive for the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital. The event is called Pat Pat's Hats (I believe you have to belong to Facebook to see the event & RSVP). What's nice about this hat drive is that they are taking hats made out of all kinds of fibers, not just acrylic. Check out the Facebook page and please consider donating a hat. I made a lot of loom hats, and I've already decided that any that don't sell will be donated. If you are in Vermont, I am willing to collect hats and ship them down. After all, it's time those hooks and needles got busy again!

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Minor Stashdown Victory

I belong to the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry. Someone recently posted a thread about going stashless, and many people chimed in with their opinions. One person mentioned wanting to give away some of their stash, but feeling bad because it was given to them.

Yep, I've got that kind of guilt in spades. Let's move on.

Another person said that your stash shouldn't be a burden, and no one who has given you yarn wants it to be a burden. Wow! It was like some little switch in me had been turned off, and those were exactly the words I needed to hear to turn it back on again. I'm so grateful people have given me yarn, but I shouldn't keep things just because I feel guilty. My stash should not be a burden. (This is so totally my new mantra.)

I approached a kindergarten teacher I know and asked if she ever used yarn scraps with her kids. When she said yes, I offered her a bunch of mine. Not content to just give her scraps, I also bagged up at least 9 full skeins of yarn that I know I'll never use.

Total stash reduction in one day: at least 844 yards.

My acrylic bin is a lot roomier, as are my heart and head. Yarn is not something that should sit, unused, like it's in some kind of museum. It's supposed to be enjoyed. If you're not enjoying it, find someone who will. Life is too short not to enjoy it.

Monday, September 5, 2011

A New Obsession

I have found a new obsession, and its name is loom knitting.

I bought that set of Knifty Knitter looms a few months ago when my hand went bum, and as you can tell from some of my recent posts, I've been having fun with that.

I've been trying to save my money for the VT Sheep & Wool Festival, but stupidly I kept it in my purse instead of hiding it. When I find cash in my purse, I want to spend it. The urge to spend is greater than the urge to save. I know, I know, I'm working on it.

I recently found out that the Knifty Knitter line is being discontinued, which I don't mind so much since I already have the set of looms. I guess Boye is putting out a new line, so not much is changing. Except then I found out there was the elusive purple hat loom, which lets you work with worsted weight yarn instead of bulky, and that one was not being replaced by a Boye loom. So I went on a quest to find one, and I found one, and I bought it, because it was 25% off and being discontinued and there were only 2 in the store and I had cash in my purse.

And that should have been well and good, except then I decided I wanted a sock loom, even though the sock loom was not made by ProvoCraft, nor was it being discontinued. I bought it, because I had cash in my purse. But I did get that for 40% off (gotta love the day after a sale ends and you get a store coupon to use on a full-price item, eh?).

Willpower, I don't have it.

It's the adjustable sock loom from Authentic Knitting Board, and I cast on for a pair of socks last night. I've learned the knit and purl stitches for a loom, which is nice because making the loom hats I've just been using the e-wrap. I'm using some Red Heart Heart & Sole that I've had in my stash for three years, so that's also good. I'm hoping to see some stash reduction by using the loom to actually make -- gasp -- socks. Sock yarn socks, at that.

You may have noticed that I have not said a thing about the Binary Scarf. Yep. And I'm not gonna.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

ReCrafting Vermont

As you may know, Vermont was hit hard by Irene. Rivers flooded, and roads and bridges washed away, stranding many. People have lost possessions and livelihoods. Luckily, I am fine, but so many are not.

I am not a native Vermonter, but I am proud to say I live here when I see the massive efforts put forth to help others. Volunteer groups have sprung up literally overnight, which is amazing. Even the crafting community has pitched in to help.

I have culled this information from different sources and compiled it here. Hopefully this will make it easier for people to see what is being offered by the crafting community. I've done my best to make sure all information is accurate, but if you have any doubts, please contact the company or individual. I don't take any credit for getting out the initial word -- I'm just helping pass things along.

  • Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney is donating profits of the physical and online shops until September 11th to the Vermont Disaster Relief Fund. I've been lucky enough to visit the Spinnery. It is a lovely place filled with even lovelier people (and some very lovely yarn!). I can personally vouch for the awesomeness of the Spinnery Sock Art Forest, which I used in my Butterfly Moebius. I've also purchased 2 skeins of the Wonderfully Wooly, which is so pretty I've been afraid to use it. Please spread the word about Green Mountain Spinnery's generosity.

  • Green Mountain Fibers in Rutland is accepting 12" x 12" squares to be collected and sewn together into blankets for Irene victims. The squares can be knitted or crocheted, any weight, and any color, as long as they are made of a washable yarn. (I'm assuming they mean machine-washable.) You can see all this information on this image, this thread on Ravelry, or this thread on Ravelry. (I believe that a free Ravelry account is required to view threads.)

  • A group has been started on Ravelry called Warm Hats, Warm Hearts to make and collect a multitude of handknit objects to be distributed to Irene victims in Vermont and New York. There is also an e-mail address for this group, which I am more than happy to e-mail to anyone who can't see the group.

Phew! I think that's everything so far. If you know of other sales/volunteer opportunities for crafters in the Vermont area, please let me know and I will link them here.

Together, we're going to ReCraft Vermont.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Separated at Birth

First of all, this is what I've been doing with my time: 


That, my friends, is a baker's dozen of loom hats. I've used up 3 skeins of Bernat Caress (burgundy and the green/pink), 2 skeins of Jo-Ann's Sensations Margherita (orange), and the remnants of some Bernat Boa (blue). In fact, that blue hat up top? Except for what I snipped off after I was done weaving in the ends, I had nothing left over. Nothing. Do you know a. how lucky I was that I did that without measuring anything? and b. how awesome it is not to have a little ball of yarn left over?

I've been crawling through the stash trying to find more appropriate yarn (a.k.a bulky), and I found a skein each of Patons Cha Cha and Bernat Eye Lash that a friend gave me. Different brands, right? Different labels. Exact same yarn.

In fact, exact same color. I figure that's why she bought them.


Can you tell the difference? I can't.


Actually, I just looked at both labels and the address for Patons is the same as the address for Bernat. So I guess they are the same company. It just seems weird to make the same exact yarn in the same exact color under a different brand.