Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Confession...

This morning I accepted the fact that I have an awful lot of yarn...

maybe more than is normal...

probably more than can be knit in a lifetime...

So, with the kids back in school, and in the spirit of getting organized, I decided to take a serious look at all the yarn I have tucked around the house. Admittedly, this urge to do some housekeeping didn't wash over me till quite late in the afternoon so I only really had an hour or so before the chaos of the children's return from school descended upon the peace and quiet...I should have known better...

As you might imagine, what started out sort of leisurely, ended up kind of frantic, compounded by the realization - once I'd actually dragged out my piles and piles and piles and bags and bags and bags of stashed yarn and really saw what I had - that my husband was just going to freak if he walked in and saw the state of things...

This is sort of how things looked at about the time I realized the kids were going to walk in the door at any second and maybe my husband had been right about there being an awful lot of yarn in the house and did I really need to EVER buy anymore?

Those big plastic tubs on the left there are the ones with the yarn I really like - the yarn I really intend on using because it's either a project for a class or something I promised I would make for someone, or well it's just so gorgeous how could I not use it... (This is technically only a small portion of "The Stash" because there are already 4 tubs in the basement that I'm sort of in denial about: yarn I can't believe I ever liked, projects that I hated almost immediately upon starting, and maybe worst of all (this is part of the confession - the secrets nobody really needs to know about me) stuff, maybe even nice stuff, I ripped off the needles midway through because I needed those needles urgently (?) for something else and the tangled mess left behind was too hopeless to ever sort out but the guilt kept me from throwing it away...)OHMYGOD what a run-on...

That basement stuff really never enters my mind, so I don't realistically, or maybe optimistically, consider it part of the problem.

Anyway, back to the task at hand, that drawer on the right was my allotted space for yarn (what could I have been thinking. Now that I've moved tons out of that drawer and into the bins, I can not only close the drawer, but I can see at a glance the sock yarn I have available should the urge to start another one strike.

Now that's a nice variety!

Also visible in that drawer are a couple of my many knitting bags (and by many I mean it's almost a sickness) that are holding the various works-in-progress that I'm going to need in the very near future for a class. Other knitting bags are holding works-in-progress that I'm not really in the mood for but think I might get back to some day...haha...they are now tucked up in the really really really high cupboards in my mudroom that I need a chair to get to but mostly I just feel better because they're out of my sight - more denial??

It took me somewhat aback when I really thought about it and looked behind every chair, in every closet, under every bed, EVERYWHERE, and there was always another bit of yarn. I'm not going to tell you how many of those plastic Cultured Purl bags I found, still with un-touched yarn in them, because you wouldn't believe it and it makes me a little sick to think about it. Then, just when I thought I had found it all, I remembered the hoards and hoards of that lovely green alpaca I got to make that seed-stitch car coat AGES ago and well, Rita, it's just NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. So I got that out from it's hiding place behind Nana's very large empire dresser in the corner, and hid it at the bottom of the bottom-most bucket. There's that handy denial again!

Here it is, hidden well, by all this beautiful yarn. Aren't the colors and the textures just the prettiest thing you've ever seen? See, looking at this, I just want to keep this all out because I really should be able to something wonderful with it. You know what I mean?

So, I had started out thinking I would actually sort the yarn and label it, organize it, store it sensibly so I could find it later....(....she pauses to consider just how optimistic to the point of ridiculous that sounds knowing herself as she does)...then reality set in (and the clock was after all ticking away) so it all just got pretty much STUFFED in bins and stacked in a dry and well-lit corner of the basement,




sort of prettyish little wooden bowl holding a reasonable, sensible, normal amount of yarn...

The amount any normal person would expect to see in a the home of a friend who knits!

And so, having confessed to my gluttony, and having subsuquently hidden pretty much all evidence of my vice, I can go back to my one, neatly organized, knitting bag, waiting patiently beside my chair in the front room, and knit a few rows on my tablerunner, feeling completely unencumbered my all the other yarn and projects I no longer have to look at!

Yours in knitting,

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Knitting Lace with Crochet Cotton

Chris K, who loves lace but isn't that keen on knitting a shawl, got me thinking about other project avenues waiting to be explored as I forge ahead on this lace journey of mine! This is the start of a table runner done in some ecru cotton that Shirani had in stock at the shop. (Not being skilled at crochet, I've never really paid much attention to it before.)

Cotton is entirely different from wool and I have to admit it's taken some getting used to. It's a beautiful fiber, with a great sheen and smoothness. It's quite tightly plied and cord like though, making it not as soft as the silky wools I've been working with lately.

Still, its firmness and slight inelasticity make it the perfect choice for tablecloths and runners. I'm pleased so far with the way it's turning out. I'll let you know how it goes...especially once I get to the blocking!

Yours in yarn and those wonderful Addi lace turbos,

Monday, September 03, 2007

Blocking Wires

Yes, those are my toes in the corner of this picture...I uploaded it without really taking a close look at it. Anyway...

This is the "Autumn Leaves" Shawl done in Lorna's Lace sock yarn. I have been off socks lately and totally, and with abandon, engrossed in lace. So what better way to deal with the pressure of the MOUNTAINOUS sock yarn stash than to knit a shawl with it!! Okay, as a total aside...I'm am writing this from my husband's new laptop, and I am having some trouble getting used to the flat mouse, not to mention the flat keyboard, so it's going r e a l l y r e a l l y s l o o o o w l y... but isn't technology cool? Thanks to the Geek Squad, we have a network in our house and all the printers talk and the pictures on the desktop can be viewed from this laptop wirelessly and can be uploaded to the Internet in pretty much the blink of an eye...In truth though, Vista is a big mystery to me and I have accidentally left this post and mysteriously gone to various Internet sites or random places on the laptop about five times since starting this post,, so it's going a little slow...but still cool!

Okay so getting back to the point, Sue and Shirani are selling these really useful blocking wires which make blocking something as large and ungainly as a big lace shawl very easy. The trick is knowing where to insert the wires.

Here you can see that I inserted the wires into the main body of the shawl and then used T-pins to pull out the points of the edging. That edging, by the by, is the beautiful and timeless Van Dyke Edging from the Shetland Islands. I have been reading alot about vintage knitting techniques and some things are too lovely to ever go out of style.

The shawl is on display at the shop and the blocking wires are in stock also, so stop by and take a peek.

Yours in knitting,