Sneak Peek

I got a new project on the needles about a week or so ago, and I’m liking how it’s turning out so far. The pattern is Easy Goes It, a free shawl pattern by Finicky Creations that came out last month. Lately, I’ve been working on matching up stash yarns with patterns and building up my queue. That way, when I feel like starting a new project, I already have pre-planned choices to pick from. So, when I found this pattern, I went through my stash to find an appropriate yarn. It just so happened that the yarn I picked was sitting within arm’s reach, so I decided to just cast on.

I’m using Phydeaux Designs Beurre: Superwash Merino Fingering Wool. I got this yarn from a rather fortuitous Goodwill score (that’s a story for another post).

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It’s a light fingering weight, 100% merino yarn that’s plied a little on the loose side. Despite the name, which means “butter” in French, the yarn is a little on the crunchy side. It’s still plenty soft for a neck garment. Its texture is pretty close to Koigu KPM but it has a touch less loft. The colorway is OOAK (one of a kind) Pumpkin. It’s got different shades of a lovely yellowy pumpkin orange mingled with brown and bronze. I thought it would work well with the garter stitch and mesh lace panels of the shawl, and so far it looks like I wasn’t wrong!

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I’ve been working a lot of night shifts lately, which mostly sucks. One benefit, though, is it’s usually pretty quiet and I’ve been able to get some good knitting time in. Above pic courtesy of my work desk and fluorescent lights.

The pattern is, as the name suggests, very easy. It’s not without nice details, though. The edge treatment is simple but effective:

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I have a little more yarn than the pattern calls for, so I’ll just go until I run out. My only worry is that the yarn came to me wound into a pretty tight ball. If I were being more conscientious, I would have re-skeined it, washed it and let it air dry. Over-stretched yarn can do some wacky things when knitted up and blocked. However, it’s not a project where fit and gauge are crucial, so I decided to just wing it. The rest of the yarn from that Goodwill batch is mostly also balled up pretty tightly, so I may have to address that with future projects.

In other news, I will be traveling to Rhinebeck again this year! Feel free to say hi–I love meeting other knitters. I’ll wear an easily identifiable shawl, provided it’s cool enough!

Happy knitting!

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A Knitter With a Plan

I’m organized! Totally together! I’m planning ahead, and starting earl(ier than I usually do)! I’m SUPER KNITTER!!!! Well, okay, I won’t go overboard. But, I did add all my test knits to my queue and matched almost all of them up with yarn. I dug the needles out for the first few and put them with the yarn. I’m going to knit like the wind, weave in my ends as I go, and block stuff as soon as it’s off the needles. I’m going to sew on buttons, dang it! I’m going to channel some of OrangeSmoothie’s speed knitting mojo and get the proverbial ‘er done!

Check out my queue. If you dare. No, don’t–I’m embarrassed. Okay, do it, but don’t look at any of the due dates.

I cast on for one yesterday. It’s the Lancashire Dream cardigan by Gabrielle Danskknit. Being a test, it’s not published yet, but I will share a teaser pic! I’m making the 4 yo size for the little. I decided to use the same yarns I used to make the wifey’s Quicksilver so that they can coordinate. It’s going to be really stinking cute. It’s going to have stripes in reverse stockinette on the top and non-reversed solid color stockinette on the bottom. It’s a top down raglan design.

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Click to see it on ravelry

 

You can tell I like that sort of color combination as it’s pretty similar to the mason jar cozy I made, also in the picture, at least 10+ years ago.

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Quicksilver

So far, I’m very happy with how the sweater is turning out.

In other news, I stumbled into quite the yarn haul a few days ago! I happened to see a freecycle email come through from a person who was giving away three garbage bags full of yarn. Well, if you know me at all, you know I can’t resist a bargain. What better bargain is there than free? So I sent her a response throwing my hat in the ring right away. We emailed back and forth for a bit and eventually agreed I could pick it up the next afternoon. The next afternoon, I already had plans to knit with a new friend I met on ravelry, so I took her along with me to pick up the yarn. We had a lovely conversation with the woman giving the yarn away–turns out she’s moving in a few months and is downsizing–and then took it all back to my friend’s house. We spread it all out on the floor and sorted through it. It was the most yarny fun I’ve had since the legendary Goodwill windfall of 2015! There was sock yarn, worsted yarn, bulky Lopi yarn, wool, alpaca, cotton, silk, blends…in short, a little bit of everything except straight up acrylic. It ran the gamut from very old stuff to new and nice stuff. I’ve started logging it in ravelry but it’s going to be a long job. Much of it is unlabeled so I need to make some guesses about what it might be, weight, yardage, etc. At least I don’t need to do any burn tests as the yarn giver (I think that should be her official title) didn’t include anything 100% acrylic.

It dawns on me now that I should have taken pictures of it spread out on the floor in all its glory, but I didn’t. You’ll have to make do with a smattering of stash pics! Here are some of the highlights so far:

And much, much, MUCH more! She also included several WIPs, many of which were socks. I ripped some of them out but saved a few. There’s a pair of sock toes started that I really like, so I’ll pick up the stitches on them and see if I can finish them up!

I think it’s safe to say that I have my work cut out for me. First, finish all these damn test knits! Second, find something to do with all this yarn! Happy knitting!

“Hearts, Mr. Collins…Hearts!”

I’m guessing at least one or two people will get the movie reference from the title. It’s one of my very favorites–plenty of interesting historical textiles to look at, great one liners, an abundance of proper English restraint, and it’s long enough to accomplish some serious knitting while watching. In any case, I quoted it because my knitting endeavors over the past couple of days have revolved around hearts and love.

First off, I cast on for a project I’ve been planning for a little while. To be exact, since the last time my mom was in town. We were discussing a certain thrift store yarn find we had made together and I realized that I had a pattern that would suit it. The yarn is Rowan Kidsilk Haze, of which I found over two and a half skeins in a brilliant purple shade named “splendour”.

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The pattern is Feathery Lace Stole from a book I’ve had for years and used many times: Exquisite Little Knits: Knitting with Luxurious Specialty Yarns by Iris Schreier and Laurie J. Kimmelstiel. Now, I have no memory of when or where I acquired this book. I don’t really tend to knit with many of the yarns featured in the book, which tend to be high end novelty yarns. I probably got it on sale somewhere otherwise I honestly don’t think I would have picked it up. However, I’ve knit several patterns from it and one in particular several times (Flying V Scarf). I think the reason I’ve found it so useful is that, being for novelty yarns, the patterns tend to be understated and designed to let the yarn’s texture make the piece. So, there’s a lot of garter and stockinette with simple but effective shaping and not a lot of “extra”. This means that it’s easy to substitute other yarns and have it turn out well.

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Back to the Stole. The pattern is actually written for kidsilk haze and I actually have just a little more than enough. I wondered out loud who would possibly want a stole in that shade (not judging–it was an honest question). My mom spoke up. So, onto the queue it went until I had a moment not consumed with deadline-driven test knitting. For the last several days I’ve been knitting away at my Athena shawl (more on that in a later post) and I ran into a snag. I didn’t have anything else on the needles so, while I was waiting for the designer to get back to me, I cast on for the stole.

What exactly does this have to do with hearts and love, you ask? Well, you can be sure that I wouldn’t knit this for anyone that I didn’t really and truly love. Casting on and getting going was a royal pain. The yarn is slippery and impossible to see. By sheer chance I cast on the right number of stitches, although I don’t think anyone would ever be able to tell if I hadn’t. The lace pattern is an easy two row repeat. But, for the first several rows, I questioned my sanity as I yarned over and skp’ed my way through a slippery, hairy mess. It really seemed like I was knitting with something I might have pulled out of the shower drain in my younger Manic Panic infused days. Then, the pattern was established and it got to be a little easier. So far, I’m pleased with the results!

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My other heart and love related story has to stay under wraps for a few more days. I am participating in a Valentine mini swap over at Carol E. Herman Designs. This one involves a small gift, a small handmade item and a card. I will say that this project has made me realize I need better size US1 dpns as the ones I have are, shall we say, sub-par. I am late sending my package off (thank you, record snowfall) but am planning to send it tomorrow. I’m finishing up the last bit of the handmade portion, and I’m really excited! I hope the recipient likes it. I will post pictures here once it’s been received and no longer needs to be kept secret!

I’m Just Not Sure About This or Experiments in Yarn Selection

I cast on a new project last night. It’s one I’ve been thinking about for a few days but just couldn’t settle on what yarn to use. The pattern is Lacy Loo and it’s for a shirt/tunic/dress for the little. It calls for worsted or aran weight at a gauge of 4 sts to the inch. Now, in my mind that’s closer to bulky. But the pattern is, well, lacy, so I’m afraid bulky weight won’t show the lace well. The aran weight choices I already have in my stash in sufficient quantity are some malabrigo twist or some acrylic. The malabrigo is not in a great colorway for this, so I hesitate to use it. The acrylic? Just not doing it. It’s not decent acrylic. It’s older stuff that I want to use for things that won’t be right against skin. So I started looking at worsted, knowing it would have to be on the loose side.

I have tentatively settled on Berocco Linet. I have a ton of it from the legendary Goodwill windfall. I think it could be really cool, but it also might not work at all.


Here’s the first few rows of the neck started. It’s a pain in the ass to knit. I’m using US9s and will be switching to US10.5s shortly as that’s what it took to get gauge. I don’t have circs in that size so I’ll be using dpns. The yarn is a weird texture and construction. It seems like the metallic pieces are less flexible than the rest so it bends in a weird way. It’s kind of splitty. Those six rows of seed stitch took me approximately forever. There’s a good chance the fabric will be too loosely knit to be practical for a garment for a three year old.

At the same time, I kinda love it. It’s shiny and has that linen-y drape. I’m going to keep going with it for a bit and see how it progresses.


If it goes all right on the 10.5s I’ll invest in an appropriate set of circs.

One pro to getting this done is that, according to the pattern page, you can get a free pattern of you complete a Lacy Loo by November 15. I’m totally down for free!

In other knitting news, I have finally finished my second pair of Passport Mitts and have cast on for a third in the same orange yarn. I’ll give the finished pair a review post of their own soon. I’ve also finished and blocked my Tunbridge Hat but have not been able to get modeled pictures in natural light yet.

I’m making good progress on a Color Dipped Hat for my SIL’s bf (not sure I’ve blogged about this one yet). The pattern is from Purl Soho and is the first of theirs that I’ve attempted. I love their stuff, though. Everything has such clean lines and lovely color choices, and most of their patterns are free. It’s turning out beautifully but I am a bit worried it’s too big. I’ve made the decision to carry on (the 3.5″ of brim I’ve done so far have taken forever–fisherman’s rib eats both yarn and time) and to go for long and skinny when I block it. I’m going to drop the blue and finish it with just the charcoal from here on out.



It’s reversible! And so squishy! This pattern is definitely a favorite.

I’ve been trying to reach out and find more knitting community lately. I’ve been hanging out at my LYS a bit when I have time and I went to a fiber arts meet up last night. It’s been good to meet other knitters and fall into the natural collaboration that happens. I hope that once I go back to work, I will still be able to find the time to continue.

There’s a lot more in my head, but my phone is threatening to overheat! So until next time, happy knitting and I’m feeling some healthy jealousy for everyone who was able to go to Rhinebeck last weekend. Next year, I’m going and that’s final!

Cleaning House, Knitting Style

For the past couple of days, I’ve been working on wrapping up some projects I have on the needles as well as getting some UFFOs finished and blocked. I have the secret project as well as the wifey’s Quicksilver (at long last) currently blocking, both with all ends woven in. I’ve been slogging away at the Clapotis for my MIL (just started skein #6 out of 7 last night) and that shouldn’t be too hard to finish up and block once the knitting is done. I’ve been using Russian joins the whole way so I’ll just need to weave in the first and last ends and trim up the joins. That will be three projects completely done! I also picked up buttons for my garter yoke baby cardi the other day so will grit my teeth and finish that up so it can be gifted away and off my to do list. Of course, I will attempt to get good photos of all these so I can blog about them properly.

I’ve also been doing a lot of work getting yarn ready to use. Usually this isn’t something I have to deal with but…I received some yarn I’d ordered a couple of weeks ago, and the bag and everything in it reeked of cigarette smoke. While I don’t want to infringe on anyone’s personal liberties, I will say that I really can’t stand cigarettes or tobacco smoke of any kind and to have a stale smoke bomb hit me when opening a bag of otherwise really lovely yarn–yeah, total bummer. I couldn’t just throw it away because, well, malabrigo! Also, while I didn’t buy it at anything close to retail price, I still did pay for it. So I’ve started the task of washing and drying all the yarn in the bag. Of course it was six skeins of non-superwash malabrigo wool and three skeins of hand wash Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece…no superwash in the lot. I’ve washed two of the skeins of malabrigo and am a little concerned that they started to felt. I’m not sure what to do for the remaining four skeins as I was as gentle as I could be with the first two. I’m going to try to wind them into balls today as they’re finally fully dry and see how it goes. As for the cotton fleece, I’m laughing at myself for what I did. I wasn’t really thinking clearly and just submerged two of the skeins without unwinding them. That was fine for washing them as it didn’t seem like the smoke had permeated past the outer layer (I think the malabrigo was the real culprit) but it wasn’t the best plan for drying them! So I washed them, waited until they dried out enough that I could unwind them into loops, and hung them to dry.

You might be wondering where I got yarn that was smoky. I got it from DBNY, which sources their stock from stores that go out of business, overgrown personal stashes and overstock. There’s no guarantees that anything will be in perfect condition since it may not be new or it might have been stored improperly before DBNY got it. However, I did send an email to their customer service department since this was such an ordeal. I’m waiting to hear back on whether or not they will try to make it right.

So I have the rest of that batch of yarn to unskein, wash, dry, ball, photograph and log into ravelry. I also have a small batch of yarn from Goodwill that I haven’t added to ravelry yet, so I’m going to try to knock that out this afternoon. If I have time and energy, I’ll sort through some of the last random stuff from my stash–mostly stuff without ball bands that needs to be identified and added to ravelry. Then, I’ll put any newly categorized yarn away in its proper bin.

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my latest Goodwill haul

How do people store their yarn? I used to sort by fiber type, but now my stash has so many different blends that’s not really feasible. I reorganized all my yarn recently (I don’t think I blogged about that, now that I think of it) and decided to sort everything by weight. So, I have separate bins for everything (lace, fingering/sock, sport, DK, worsted, aran, bulky and super bulky). A few categories that don’t take up much space are sharing bins, and a few categories that have a ton of acrylic are further separated that way. It’s all in airtight bags inside bins with lids. I think there are eight or nine large bins, all told, and they’re all full or close to it. Time to get knitting!

Anyone else doing some fall “spring” cleaning? What’s your strategy?

Flawsome Sock!

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go to a workshop on internalized misogyny (don’t be scared off–this really is about knitting and it has a happy ending). One of the exercises we did was designed to help people of the female persuasion recognize some of the unconscious misogynistic thoughts that are very, very common. I was shocked at how my typical self-talk measured up when I started paying attention to it. I would generalize that many, if not most, women habitually, internally, unintentionally demean themselves in a myriad of tiny ways. When I started thinking about how to blog about my newly completed sock, I found myself automatically including tiny apologies for the things I did wrong or don’t like about it.

Then I remembered that, for realz, I made a freaking sock. And that is awesome, period. So I am borrowing a term from the wonderful and slightly crazy Tyra Banks and dubbing it “flawsome”. Get it? Flawed + awesome = flawsome. It’s awesome, not in spite of its flaws, but because of them. Furthermore, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the phrase “flawsome sock” just makes me think of “awesome sauce”.

So….yeah. I made a sock! And it’s just what it’s supposed to be. It fits, it’s comfy, it’s a cool color and making it helped me up my knitting skills. I won’t bore you with details of any of its less than perfect features because they really don’t matter (and to be honest, I pretty much covered all of them in a previous post).

IMG_3893I even wove in the ends and everything. How’s that for awesome? Check! And just to make sure that I don’t succumb to SSS*, I’ve already cast on and made it halfway down the cuff:

IMG_3892I used (one size smaller) dpns for the ribbing and otherwise will use magic loop for the rest. Hopefully my gauge is the same! It’s just much nicer knitting on my Addi sock rockets than the aforementioned awful dpns I used for half the last sock.

In the meantime, I have more fun stuff on the horizon. I should get my extra skein of Koigu KPM on Saturday so then I can work on getting my Drachenfels finished. I needed something a little easier on my hands than the socks, so a couple of days ago I cast on for my first Clapotis. Those of you who’ve paid attention to the online knitting community for a while will know that I’m over ten years late on riding that trend, but I would argue it’s become timeless at this point! Plus, it really seemed like the best pattern for the project. I’m making a wrap for my mother in law out of this Plymouth DK Merino Superwash:

IMG_3250_mediumI’m hoping I’ll be able to make it a little wider than the pattern calls for, but we’ll see how it goes. I don’t have the best pic yet of my progress but this should give you an idea:

IMG_3889 IMG_3894Other mods I’m making are to follow the advice of (literally) thousands of knitters ahead of me and to RS purl/WS knit the stitches to be dropped instead of using stitch markers to mark them. Also, while the pattern calls to knit the stitch right before and the stitch right after through the back loops, I’m also doing the purl equivalent on the WS. This is supposed to shore those stitches up even more so that when the stitch column between them is dropped, the edges are secure. The setup was a little confusing but once you get going, the pattern is very easy (and very easy to memorize). I hope she will like it!

I got some really exciting news this morning. Carol of Carol E. Herman Designs and knit = joy has released her Passport Mitts pattern early! Check it out! She’s planning to host a KAL starting October 1:

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Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.

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Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.

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Copyright Carol E. Herman Designs. Used by permission.

When my mom was visiting, she asked for a pair of fingerless mitts. We looked through some patterns and she really liked this one, so I’m planning to make her a pair. I have had the best yarn picked out for it forever: Classic Elite Yarns Inca Alpaca in navy blue. I got it from the Goodwill windfall so I think that will be great karma for a gift for her. I’ve got to hurry up and get some other projects done so I can start these soon!

Happy knitting!

*Second sock syndrome: the often insurmountable inertia a knitter must overcome when faced with making an object identical to the one just completed.

Drachenfels and the Art of Thrifting Yarn

Making good progress on my Drachenfels. I chose to make this a four color design instead of three, so mine is shaping up a little different (which I love). The original pattern starts with two colors and about halfway through, the first color is phased out and the third color is added. So, in the sample knitted by Melanie Berg, the shawl is chocolate and light pink on one and and red and light pink on the other. For mine, I chose to start with colors A and B and transition to C and D, so the two ends of my shawl will look very different from each other. I was not sure initially that that was the best choice, but I love it. I really do. I’ve just phased out the second original color so am working only with dark grey and light blue. So so cool. These pics help show the last color transition:

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And this helps show what the different parts of the shawl will look like together:

IMG_3849I’ve mapped out how much bigger I’ll make it. The pattern calls for continued increasing throughout the garter ridge stripes, then a solid color section, then the edging and I cord bind off. I’ve already knitted to the total number of stitches the pattern calls for but I’m going to keep going for a ways. I’m not a petite person and I want to really be able to wrap up in this. So, I’m going to do a 2 color stripe section for 42 rows, a solid color section for 42 rows, then the prescribed 30 rows of edging. At least. That will put me at around 114 rows and 72 stitches over the pattern. If the solid color section looks like it needs to be longer, I will just keep going. Lord knows I might as well use up some yarn!

Speaking of using yarn, I’m sad to report that I’m on something of a yarn diet. While my mom was in town, we got into a rhythm of checking out thrift stores and just poking around. Predictably, I always found the yarn section and my rate of acquisition increased (by a lot). I tried to limit my purchases to yarn with at least some cotton or wool content and with enough yardage to be useful. I think my best find was at our local Goodwill By The Pound, or GWBTP as we’ve dubbed it. The official name is the Goodwill Outlet, I think. We discovered this place about three years ago, shortly after we moved. Have others found similar places? It’s a Goodwill but instead of items being priced individually, everything is sold by weight. Clothes are a certain price per pound, housewares another, etc. etc. Shoes and furniture are sold individually at very low prices. For someone like me who loves to pick through stuff to find bargains, it’s pretty much akin to heaven. I do have to be in the right mood as it’s labor intensive and, frankly, pretty gross. But I’ve found some awesome stuff there for ridiculously low prices.

Anyway, a day or two before my mom left for home, we stopped by the GWBTP for a bit. I almost never find yarn there and, when I do, it’s usually in really poor condition. The wifey once found a ball of nice kitchen cotton there that became flower washcloths, but that’s it. Well, that day I found a bag of yarn with several unmarked balls along with three nearly full skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I would describe the color as electric purple. I love it. That yarn typically retails for around $15 a skein. I don’t know exactly how much that bag of yarn cost me, but it was well under a dollar. Just call me Charlie Sheen!

IMG_3843I also found a big batch of knitting and crochet needles in a fabric case. I sorted them all out the other night and added the hooks and dpns to my inventory. I haven’t gotten to the straight needles yet. Here’s a shot of the bunch:

IMG_3845That doesn’t include the case or the straight needle orphans. That’s 16 pairs of straights, one circ, five complete sets of dpns, three crochet hooks and two stitch holders. The handful of dpns in the upper right corner are orphans. I’ll keep them so I can supplement some of the four needle sets I have. The bag was $7. Some of the things are really interesting. For instance, the set of 5 tiny dpns half wedged under the packet of red needles is a very old set of sock or stocking needles. Those are gauge 0. I have another set just like them except 00. If I ever decide to knit stockings, I’ll be all set. Also, there’s a set of 10″ red aluminum dpns. I love longer dpns–they come in handy if I don’t have the right size circ and they’re easier for me because I have large hands. The two steel crochet hooks are a bit of a mystery to me. I tried doing some online research to determine what sizes they are but didn’t have much luck. I do know that one of them is the smallest crochet hook I’ve ever seen by far. I suppose I could use it to fix dropped stitches when I start knitting my cobweb-weight stockings with my 00 dpns (ha).

After my mom went home, the steady rhythm of thrift store shopping has slowed. That’s probably a good thing as I don’t really need yarn. I still keep an eye on sales online but am limiting myself to only really lovely yarn at equally lovely prices. What? I can’t just stop cold turkey! At least I have projects in mind for lots of it. I intend to keep it moving and, in my mind, that justifies my stash.

Right?

EDIT: I’m posting from a coffee shop with less-than-awesome wifi. The images in this post aren’t showing up when I try to view it. If that’s the case for anyone else, please leave a comment and I will try to fix it when I have a better connection.

Pushing Myself

This blog is mostly about knitting. However, it is also about my struggles with depression (and the role knitting sometimes plays in those struggles). I am having a rough time right now. My instinct is to not post, not say anything, wait until things get better. But, since one main reason for starting this blog was to challenge myself to actually talk about depression, I am choosing to do just that. I promise there will be some knitting too!

The full reasons behind my current troubles aren’t relevant here, and I can’t go into a ton of detail anyway. The basic gist is that I’m having difficulty at work due to both depression and the recent tragic, unexpected death of a coworker. For the past several days I’ve been having to jump through some pretty serious hoops to try to get things resolved. Two days ago, just before I took my mom to the airport, I got rear ended. The car damage is minimal but I’m having significant pain, and had to go through the process of following up on that. I was coping reasonably well up until the car accident, but that really threw me for a loop. It seems to me like I just can’t catch a break, like I can’t get enough support from my (small) network, and like I just don’t know what to do with myself.

Last night was really hard. I was feeling lonely and hopeless and didn’t have anyone else to turn to. I did something that I am proud of–I reached out to a group on ravelry for people with depression. It wasn’t much, just a post saying I needed more support and didn’t know how to get it. I got a couple of responses with some good advice and some kind words, which really helped. I think that even just posting, just admitting that I was struggling, went a long way to helping me start to feel better.

I wasn’t even feeling interested in knitting. But, I kind of forced myself to cast on for a simple project. I chose the Flying V scarf pattern from Exquisite Little Knits by Iris Schreier & Laurie J. Kimmelstiel. I’ve made many scarves from this pattern and love it. It’s simple but not too boring, versatile, and works well with many different yarns and gauges. I used Knit One, Crochet Too Tartelette from my Goodwill windfall. I was hoping that just going through the motions would help, and I was right. It feels good to be making something from the windfall yarn, and it feels good to be making something I know I will give away. The yarn isn’t really to my taste, but it works well with the pattern and I know someone will like it. So, if someone sees me working on it and admires it, I will know who it should go to. It’s just a low pressure, easy planning, rewarding project. And it is helping.

IMG_3707IMG_3708Thanks for “listening”!

A Goodwill Windfall and Gettin’ ‘er Done

I’ve been busy for the past few days hanging out with my mom (who’s visiting) and acquiring more yarn. We like to go thrift shopping and bargain hunting together, so, well, yarn happens. There are worse things I could hoard, right? Well, sometime in May she was in town and we went to our local “Gucci” Goodwill, so named because it’s in a nice area and tends to have higher end inventory. We’ve had good luck there. I was standing near the staff only area when an employee came out carrying two medium sized plastic tubs. I quickly realized they were full of yarn. I got my mom’s attention and told her we needed to follow. We did and, when we started going through the two tubs, quickly realized we’d stumbled across a bonanza. One tub was priced at $30 and the other at $20. We bought them both.

When we got back to the house, we pulled everything out, sorted it and divvied it up. We took turns picking until everything was claimed. This is not everything, but here’s a glimpse at some of the stuff we ended up with:

IMG_2930IMG_2931IMG_2932IMG_2933IMG_2934Some of the stuff you see there is Roz Houseknecht Handweaving Thick ‘N Thin Wool, Colinette Point 5, Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, Rowan Magpie Tweed, Noro Sahara and Noro Gemstones among many, many others. We added up the total sticker price of everything that had a price tag on it (a lot of it didn’t) and got well over $1000. It was a little insane. A few of my projects so far have used yarn from this amazing haul, notably my Old Shale kids blanket which used Colinette Wigwam.

I have a feeling I’ll always be chasing that “yarn bargain” high! We didn’t find anything nearly so awesome today, but I got a few things.

Since my mom is here, I wove in the ends and blocked her Not a Buff so she can take it with her. I like the finished result a lot:

IMG_3672 IMG_3671She seemed pleased with it. I also finished my Valentine Helix Mittens to go with the Valentine Helix Hat:

IMG_3674Ends are woven in and everything! I must be turning over a new leaf. Also, I decided the Old Shale kids blanket didn’t need to be blocked after all, so that is now officially a FO. That’s three whole new FOs! Even though I haven’t had a ton of time for actual knitting, I’m feeling pretty productive.

The mittens were a bit of a bear. I don’t think I would do helical mittens again. They’re a little funky because the extra rows get a little squeezed when they start and end. I think that helical knitting for hand wear should probably be limited to baby mitts that don’t even have thumbs. I would knit this pattern again, just not the same way. They are supposed to be extra good at staying on (that’s what the long cuff is for) so I’m hoping that they’ll be useful.

Happy knitting!