This is mostly a knitting blog. Sometimes pictures of things I've made, sometimes not. I'm a guy who knits, I usually attend a men's stitch 'n' bitch on Monday nights, and I prefer natural fibres to artificial ones. I have a love-hate relationship with bamboo yarns: I love what they can do and how they look, I hate how they are made. I've been knitting since about 2003, though I really didn't get into it until 2005, while convelescing with a broken leg. I must have discovered something good, 'cause I'm still knitting years later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Making a list, checking it twice

As most many some knitters know, the holidays are a great time to give hand knitted gifties. Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, New Years -- they all are suitable for gifting. Yesterday I created my Xcel spreadsheet for who is getting what. So far one of the gifts is finished, and a second is more than half way there. I've been consulting patterns, yarn stocks, and needles to figure out what's what this holiday season. Ravelry is my new best friend.

I keep thinking I'm going to get it all done in time, even though I know I'm not. I need to keep in mind that some things need to be there by Christmas morning, and others not until January, when some friends will celebrate a reunion (these aren't really Christmas gifts, I'm just calling them that, so I can avoid lengthy explanations). I keep telling myself I'm the Little Engine Who Could -- "I think I can! I think I can! I think I can!" I only hope I don't end up like the Engine in Mr Mike's Least Loved Bedtime Tales (cf. Saturday Night Live, ca. 1977), who, upon trying to go up the big hill, says, "I think I can! I think I can! Heart attack! Heart attack!" Or some such equally macbre ending.

So this year, I'm making the following:
7 scarves
2 handbags
3 lacy scarfy thingies
4 hats
1 lace shawl
1 heavy shawl

It's times like these that I wish I knew how to make socks and mittens. The rest of the scarves should be easy to make, since they'll all be one colour (I think), and just textured. Follow the pattern and voila! a textured scarf! Easy and eventually one memorises the pattern. I will admit I'm a bit stonkered by the handbags. They will be felted, and I've done precious little felting in my day (just some pot holders, to which I'd assign a grade of B+), but with Cascade 220, one can never go wrong. And the colours! So hip! So modenne! So now! Purple and Green. Who wouldn't want a felted bag in purple and green?

I've got about 11 weeks to get it all done. Let's see, if I quit my part time job, learn to live on air, and don't sleep for the next 10 weeks, I should be able to just about finish it. Oh, and I'm not including the double knitted scarf that I started in March. I don't think that will be done til next March.


Monday, September 26, 2011

Bad News / Good News

First, the Bad News. I found out this weekend that one of my favourite yarn stores closed. Sheep Street, in Canton, MA, was a small store that packed a powerful punch. I always found something cool to knit with when I visited Sheep Street. The owner was kind, helpful, and always had a smile. I'll really miss this store.

However, the bad is ballanced with the good. This weekend I discovered a new yarn shop, The Creative Stitch, in Hingham, MA. The owner was extremely helpful, friendly, and made me laugh. She also showed me her personal yarn stash. To say that she has achieved SABLE is a vast understatement. After seeing her stash of yarn, I will never again state that I have too much yarn. Never. I only have 13 bins. She has well over 125 (I think the highest number I saw on one of her bins was 138). A lovely little shop, friendly and welcoming. Whenever I'm on the South Shore, I think I'll tug my friend Lisa's sleeve, and say, "Hey, let's go to The Creative Stitch."

Ave atque vale, Sheep Street.
Hello, Creative Stitch. I think we're going to have a beautiful friendship.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Brooklyn Tweed Noro Scarf

I swore I would never make another Brooklyn Tweed Noro scarf. I made two of them, they came out nicely, and I gave them away. Then while at the yarn store, I saw some Noro Kureyon, and decided that this could make a wonderful scarf, following the pattern from Brooklyn Tweed. I think I like this one best of all. I am almost done with the first skein of Colour A, and almost done with Colour B. I'll be adding the second Colour A soon, as well as Colour C.
Here are some pictures.
Here's the entire scarf. I really like the way the colours blend into each other.

This is the scarf, looking from the cast on end up to the end still on the needles. Because the yarn is kind of schlubby, the width isn't quite the same all the way up, but then, it's a hand made object, not something made by a machine, so a bit of inconsistency is not only expected, but desired.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

What Do You Do With It?

I have mentioned before that I have a large and overwhelming stash. I may not have achieved SABLE, but what I've got would keep me busy for at least ten seven five years. I've got some great yarns in my stash that I don't know what I'll do with, even if I ever get to them. There's the three skeins I got in New Orleans, made of baby alpaca, silk, and bamboo. There's the handspun/hand dyed brightly coloured skeins that I got on vacation in Seattle. I have single skeins of Manos de Uruguay in an eye searing acid green, another skein in a cobalt blue that is just beath taking. There are the six skeins of beautiful black and grey alpaca I got when I was a newbie, that will make a great sweater vest. Except I don't really wear sweater vests. Thern there are the skeins of the more pedestrian yarns, Cascade 220, in assorted colours, Lamb's Pride, in a colour I've not seen since I first bought it, but from which I made a sweater for a friend (I over bought the yarn, and ended up with some extra skeins, and liked it so much, thinking I could incorporate it into a sweater, that I didn't return it -- haven't made that sweater yet, either).

And that last sentence is the kicker. I've got odds and ends in my stash that need something else to make them complete. Like the six skeins of Lopi I got on sale from the yarn store that was closing, and need six more in order to have enough to make a sweater (I'm thinking stripes). But I haven't been to a store that carries Lopi in a long time. If I made all the hats and scarves that I have bought yarn for, I'd drown in hats and scarves. And my friends would drown, too, because nobody needs that many hats and scarves! And the sweaters! Gods below! If I make all the sweaters I have yarn for I'll be wearing a different sweater every day of the week for two weeks running! Green ones, blue ones, black ones. Alpaca, wool, llama/wool, alpaca/wool: everything except acryllic. I look at that yarn and say to myself, "What was I thinking???"

Well, I wasn't thinking. I'm a yarn whore, which is a bit like being a dachshund. If I see it, it's mine. Simple as that.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh, for the time to knit!

Since graduating from library school, and whilst looking for jobs, I have been temping at a local hospital, sort of as a secretary-ish kind of job thing. This week the doctor is out on vacation, there are no patients to be seen, and mostly I answer the phone, tell the patients that the doc isn't in this week, and then fax prescription requests to the doc who is covering. Oh, and the filing is all done, too, since the doc isn't here to generate more crap that needs to be filed. So I have time on my hands. Lots of time. On my hands.

I would love to knit while sitting here. Think of what I could get done. Heather's hat. The Noro scarf (which is now at 29 inches). Several holiday presents. Eight hours of knitting. Well, with breaks to check Joe.My.God and other blogs. But still, I could get most of my holiday knitting done here.

Alas, the desk I sit at is in very public view. In a wee office, to be sure, the ante-room to the doctor's office. But it has an open door, nothing to shut. And everyone who walks by can see me. So if I were knitting, I'm sure I'd be admonished for it.

It's a damn shame. Because I've got some knitting in my backpack. I know I could answer the phones and knit at the same time. Well, not the exact same time. I'd put the knitting down, take a message, fire an e-mail off to the covering doc. Then pick up the knitting again. No problem!

But I'll be good, as dear Queen Victoria promised when she was a mere slip of a princess, and save the knitting for when I get to the library tonight. Because that will be an hour and a half of nothing much to do, too.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Noro Striped Scarf

This is the latest Noro project. Let's face it, as much as I complain about Noro's propensity to tie random colours ont the yarn creating abrupt shifts, the colours are always amazing. This scarf is in Kureyon, 100% wool.

I am liking the way the black has shifted to green and now brown, and the brown from the second skein has shifted into magenta. It's always fun to see what will turn up next with Noro. 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bad blogger, no biscuit!

Since my move to a subset of Boston, I do not have internet access at home. While I can (and have) updated from work, I feel a bit guilty about it because I'm supposed to be, well, you know, working. So I haven't been updating as often as I'd like. No biscuit for me, alas.

So what have I been up to? Well, I sent my second Noro Striped scarf to my friend Mark.

Here is Mark modeling the scarf, made of Noro Silk Garden. Notice the big patch of green under his chin. Luckily, green is his favourite colour! After knitting this scarf, I promised myself I would not knit another Noro Striped Scarf. Ever. Again. No, not ever! Except I was at Mind's Eye Yarns and saw some Noro Kureyon that spoke to me. I bought four skeins, and have started a third NSS. This one is 100% wool, though, and I will post pictures when it gets a few more stripes and the colours become a bit more varied.

I bought a couple of skeins of Cascade Sitka yarn. It is silky soft, and is made of 80% merino and 20% kid mohair. I got two skeins of the black,

 but might go back and trade one in for the light brown and make this scarf:

This is the Nested Boxes Scarf, designed by Betty Balcomb. I did not take this picture, I ganked it off the internet. However, this is an example of Mosaic knitting, and it is something I have not yet tried. I think it would be fun, a bit of a challenge, and would look good when done. The pattern is here:
Of course, that would also be fun to do as double knitting.
So much yarn! So little time!