Saturday, February 23, 2008

If you knit it, it never counted....

As you've read, I've been bad about maintaining my stash vow. It's been a race between knitting and buying, and well, despite my best efforts, yarn purchased has outweighed yarn consumed.

It's not that I've not been knitting...

I've knit like crazy because I was able to this vacation week. I've knit like crazy to atone for the fact that I went to the sale at The Point at the beginning of my vacation even though I was over my stash quotient. I went to the sale and bought yarn even though I knew I was about to embark on a road trip. A road trip that would involve LYSses that were not local for me and thus were bound to be places I would have to buy vacation-yet-still-breaking-the-stash-vow yarn. I went to enable some friends of mine--not to buy anything myself.
Whatever. I went and brought home some yummy yummy way-on-sale-but-still-breaking-the-stash-vow-yarn. This yarn, I have plans for. the Bird in Hand mittens. Notice how well I've strayed from the pattern-suggested colors. harumph. I know, I know. Yarn you have plans for still counts as stash...

So off on my road trip I went. I even returned to one crime scene: Smith's Furnishings and Flooring (uh, and yarn) in Oberlin, Ohio. My college LYS and first place I really remember buying yarn. Fuschia and teal mohair yarn. So sue me. It's still there (I'm not that old...) and still sells yarn. And though I went into the store and assumed nostalgia buying would get me, I DID NOT BUY ANY YARN! Yay me. Instead, I hung out in the Oberlin Inn and knit like crazy on my Gathered Pullover.

In fact, I've finished the entire body of Gathered Pullover to go with the one sleeve (aka "swatchie") I had completed. Here's a detail of the one interesting thing in the miles of stockinette.

I also completed the legs of my Mad Color Weave Socks because I knit all the Gathered Pullover yarn I had brought with me.

Here's where Cleopatra Queen of DENIAL (about her stash vow) makes an appearance.

Feeling pretty good about my knitting and my ability to be yarn-purchase free for a whole 4 days, I went to Pittsburgh and nonchalantly told Poem-man that there was a yarn store I wanted to go to. Nonchalantly, like I hadn't been madly researching the Web and Ravelry for the best yarn store to check out. whatever. So sue me.

So into Knit One I went. I love this place. I think it's one of the best LYSses I've ever been to. Look at the picture! It's huge. It has mad love for yarn and knitters. While I was there, five people (customers and clerks) complimented me on my Juliet--some of them by name of the pattern. One Koolhaas-wearing woman even pulled a half-done Juliet out of her knitting bag! This place is NO JOKE.

I met one woman who works there and has a book coming out soon! And I met another customer who happens to live about 1 mile away from me in Brooklyn. I met her in PITTSBURGH! The two of them are my newest Ravelry friends. I love THAT!

So of course, I had to buy SOMETHING. Stash vow. Sm-tash vow. Poem-man had exiled himself to a nearby Starbucks and when he returned to procure me 1.5 hours later, I had chatted up my new friends, fondled every yarn they had, and still had NOT BOUGHT anything but was desperate to do so.

Luckily, Poem-Man remembered he wanted a new, warmer hat. Apparently a part-yak Koolhaas doesn't cut it when it's freakin' cold (like it had been in Oberlin for two days prior.) So I found yarn. Bought it. Drove immediately back to Brooklyn. The next day, I felt so bad about breaking my stash vow and was so snowed in that I knit Poem-man's hat.


Pattern: Cashmere Ribbed Hat (mad easy, yo! Thanks, Cricket!)
Enabler: Knit One
Knitted on: Size 6 Knitpicks Options magic looped.
Time spent knitting while fretting about the state of my stash: Feb. 21st--4 hours.
Notice that I didn't spend too much time stash-fretting. Notice I knit bulky yarn on Size 6 needles--so that it would be really thick and warm(er) for Poem-man. (Even though he has all his hair, so I don't know why his head gets so cold.) He LOVES it. Wore it today.
And the best part is that I didn't really break my stash vow. not that much anyway...

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I think I've lost control....

When I'm too busy for my own good--even if I'm enjoying the business--things get a little out of control. I'm sure many share of you might recognize these tell tale signs:
The apartment becomes an obstacle course.
Cheetos seem like a reasonable part of a daily meal plan.
The TiVO starts taping ridiculous suggestions like 3 hours of the"HBO on Demand" channel guide.
I want to do nothing but knit.
Instead of doing taxes, I add to the Ravelry queue behemoth.
I break my stash vow.
I begin knitting an entire sweater in sportweight yarn.
I purchase SIX SKEINS (uh, 2790 yards!) of sock yarn to make myself a TUNIC sweater.

It all seems perfectly reasonable, right?

I think it began with my taking 60 high school singers on the road for four days and three nights. Yup-- transporting, feeding, getting them to sleep, and rehearsing and performing with 60 perfectly lovely and imperfectly overly enthusiastic teenagers. It seemed reasonable when I was planning it. In reality, I knitted cabled socks while watching some 40 kids swim in a hotel-(not Olympic-) sized pool and riding a coach bus and watching Monsters, Inc. and Hairspray, the Musical for some 10 hours. The result:

Pattern: Helene Socks
Yarn: Hill Country Yarns Instant Gratification in Russet, stashed November 2007
Yarn Enabler: Hill Country Yarns Sock Club
Knitted on:Size 2 DPNs and Size 2 Knitpicks Harmony circulars.
Time spent knitting when I should have been planning for and more closely chaperoning a lot of kids: 27 days--Jan. 20-Feb. 5, 2008

I HATE DPNs. But I needed size two needles, so I did the first sock on DPNs while waiting for my now-much-loved Harmony circular Size 2s to arrive. And, well, these have an i-cord top and doing a 3-stitch I-cord on DPNs makes WAY more sense than on a circ anyway.

I love this YARN! Sproingy, great color, dense, and the heavier weight on small needles really works for this loose knitter. It shows off this great pattern, too.

I had wanter to start a more mindless project to bring with me on the trip, but because I became obsessed with the Helene socks, I began the Gathered Pullover after the trip ended. The mindless stockinette that comprises 80% of this sweater was a balm to my trip-rattled soul. I coldn't bring myself to really do a swatch, so I just did a sleeve as a swatch, ala Elizimmerman, and it worked out. Because I had fallen in love with I-cord as an edging for the socks, I decided to go with I-cord for the pullover too instead of the rolling stockinette edge. Anyway, here's a picture. Too boring for words.

Oh, and that sockweight tunic extravanganza? Check it out: Abotanicity.
Knit in Trekking Sock yarn. How much yarn for my size? 6 FREAKIN' skeins. Luckily (or unluckily), Webs has a sock yarn close-out of Online Supersocke. It arrived today.

Do I still seem reasonable?

Heck...if it looks to be crappy for a sweater, lots of people are going to get purplish striped socks for Christmas. 1/2 a dozen people to be exact.