Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I am not used to running more than two or three errands in one day, so when I woke this morning, I did not realize how I would feel at the end of the day. I barely had the will to knit a garter stitch shawlette at knit night, which should tell you something, because I am always up for knitting.

I started my day by trying to get some swap yarn put in envelopes to take to the PO after having breakfast with a friend, which I failed to do. Oh, the late breakfast- a corned beef hash sammie from Lou's- was amazing, I just wish I'd managed to be prepared for the day in advance instead of as I went. (Story of my life.)

The lunch was succeeded by dropping off two lemon cakes at my friend's work, where they'd been gifted a box of lemons, but didn't know what to do with them. (And yes, I still have a whole box of lemons in my apartment, waiting to be used.) This was the first installment of many, many lemon foodstuffs. I'm looking forward to challenging myself and trying new recipes, but I think we'll all be sick of lemons by the end. The cake went over very well, by the way. I used this recipe.

I returned home to complete my packaging, set up a presentation of my handspun for a local LYS, and pull together everything I was going to need for the day, including a brand new project and some suitable needles (which involved a Ravelry search for what constituted "suitable").

Then: the bank and the Post Office. Fortunately, the bank is directly across the street from the PO I use, and even more fortunately, the clerks at the PO are efficient and friendly (not something one often hears about postal workers). I got my two international packages off, and for less shipping than I expected.

The yarn store was next; it was a two-bus trip just to get there from the PO, and at that point it was precipitating. Not heavily enough to be rain, but definitely not just misty (and I, out in an overshirt and no umbrella). The yarn store was quick, and I did manage to kill two birds with one stone by purchasing some stitch markers, presumably for the new project I was carrying, but also because I've sunk to using bits of scrap yarn for markers. I think it took me three years to get to this point; hopefully these markers will stay around as long.

The public library was next, where I went in search of a pattern book (it took me a while, but in my defense, the book was in a the next isle, under a different Dewey number than the normal knitting books, which I didn't expect). $0.30 of photocopies later- the charts are still hard to read, even blown up 150%- I sat down  for a little rest, to start my project. Unfortunately, as I had suspected, my yarn was much lighter weight than I need (I immediately ordered another cone), and I think I might've ended up with a shawl 1/3 the size called for. To add insult to injury, just as I was concluding this, my yarn snagged on the cable join of my needle, and the yarn broke.

A sign from the universe, perhaps.

It being 5pm, I had a quick bite to eat and then hied myself to knit night (thank heavens!), where I proceeded to knit maybe an inch in three hours. Happily, good company (and the promise of more social knitting this Saturday) enlivened me enough to hit the supermarket on the way home, where I restocked my fridge and prepared my kitchen for another round of lemon cookery.

Tomorrow: Easter egg dyeing and face painting with 50 1st- & 4th-graders followed by dinner and theater.

The weekend: choir performances and knitting.

In short, busy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rye Sourdough

I was handed a free loaf of bread as I was going home today. It was a very weird interchange, but the bread is good.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sooo Clooose

I've finished knitting the squares on my mitered square blanket. I already miss selecting the next colors; it was so, so much fun to lay out the blanket and pull out my big basket of minis and play with color.

Even after this blanket is finished, I will have 30 skeins worth of minis left. When I look at the mini basket, it doesn't seem like that much, but when I see the yardage in my spreadsheet and on Ravelry, I am overwhelmed. (And I have still grumbled over not having the just-right color!)

The edging is left to go; I'm going to fill in the saw-tooth edges with triangles, and then do a crochet border. I'll be working out my own fill-in triangles, because all the other ones I've seen have been too fussy or ended up with a wonky edge.

I'm already dreaming of what else to make with minis...

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

FO: Within A Shell's Heart Shawlette

 I love, love, love how these two colors interact. They look like the insides of a shell to me.

This was a pretty fun, quick knit. It only took me 6 days (although it always takes longer to get to Officially Finished, because I'm so lazy about blocking).

Pattern: Sideways Shawls by Kyoko Nakayoshi, in the Winter '12 Knitscene
Yarn: Hedgehog Fibres Sock (of course!) in Punch and Wallflower
Needles: US6
Mods: I did the whole thing in garter. I also carried the not-being-used yarn up the edge (instead of breaking it and rejoining the other color each time- yech!). It did end up smaller than I like; the pattern calls for sport-weight, and I used fingering. I'm not sure I'd have liked the fabric if I'd gone up to a larger needle.
My Ravelry project page.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

13 in 2013

Here's my list for the 13 in 2013 challenge in the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry:

13. Stash Diva skeins
12. Teeny tiny knits/small projects
11. green items
10. WIPs dealt with
9. using handspun
8. gifts for others
7. fiber into yarn
6. shawls
5. hats
4. sweaters
3. socks
2. blankets
1. Chuppah

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Stash Diva

Last year, the challenge was called something else, but this use-it-or-lose-it year-long challenge in the Stash Knit Down group is called the Stash Diva Dash. Presumably it's a pun between diva (a temperamental woman) and a heavily-accented version of diver (as in stash diving); I don't really know, and it's not really important.

The purpose of the challenge is to select 13 skeins (some choose 13 lots- insanity!) of stash yarn, preferably "mystery" yarn. Since I went through a period of turning all my hanks into yarn cakes, and discarding the labels because "I will remember," I have plenty of mystery yarn, though I don't limit myself to mystery yarns for this challenge.

Here is a terribly-lit photo of my yarns for this dash. Left to right, in columns: 2 cakes Colinette Prism (Moss and Fire, I believe), 3 cakes of mystery wool, 4 skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in Sand (needs to be overdyed), 1 skein Lang Tosca, 2 cakes mystery-yardage mill-end handspun bfl, a tiny quantity of cashmere-silk handspun.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Stashdown Challenges

Last year, I joined the Ravelry group Stash Knit Down, mostly because I have a large stash of yarn that I bought years ago, which I haven't been knitting as quickly as I'd like. I joined this group because they have a thread (which could probably be its own group, it's so active) called "Cold Sheeping." The point of Cold Sheeping is to not buy yarn. At all. Or, at least, not outside of some planned exceptions. (I tell people about Cold Sheeping all the time, since I am a total adherent. I will no doubt talk about it more some other time.)

The group has many, many other ways to reduce stash and for members to help one another resist temptation and find creative ways to use what we have. There are lots of challenges, craft-alongs, knit-as-much-as-you-can dashes, "virtual retreats," and all kinds of ways to be happy in our own stash.

This year, I was super excited to participate in some special stash-down challenges. (I think I may even have annoyed some of the moderators in my exuberance, heh.)

Here's what I decided to join:
-Cold Sheep (same as last year- not buying any yarn, except the Hedgehog Fibres Sock Club)
-Epic Project-Along (does what it says on the label; I'll be working on my mitered square blanket, and then the lace Chuppah for a friend's wedding)
-"Diva" Dash (a year-long attempt to do away with 13 skeins of mystery/difficult stash yarn)
-A quarterly spinning stash-down (I have been neglecting my wheels something awful!)
and, the thing I was most excited for
-13 in 2013 (where we attempt, over the course of the year, to do 13 of x, 12 of y, 11 of z, etc. A la "12 Days of Christmas")

I'm confident of my ability to complete all of this. Not to mention, I will be doing my utmost to double-, triple-, or quadruple-dip each project into multiple categories and challenges. (Because, despite how it looks, I'm not crazy.)