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.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Stash Busting or. . . Bust!

Some time back I found some beautiful undyed black alpaca yarn in my stash. I thought it would make a beautiful scarf for the husband of a friend of mine. I don't know if he wears scarves, and I've never seen him in the other one I made for him, but I have made things for everyone in our little circle of friends now, and have not made anything else for him (of course, he has a wife who knits). I did not, however, have enough yarn to make the scarf I wanted to make. Serendipitously, there was a business card with the yarn, from the woman who owned the alpaca whence came the yarn. I called her and left a message, and she got back to me that she would look and see if she had anymore of that beautiful alpaca yarn.

I got a text from her today, she has another 250 yards (I only need about 120), and if there is extra, I'm sure I could eke out a hat. I love that she was able take the time to look for this yarn for me. The question remains, however, if I am busting my stash, and the first two skeins I have are stash, but the last skein is new, does this count as stash busting?

If I can score this yarn, it will become part of the Holiday Knitting Madness, and become one of the Irish Hiking Scarves I'm planning to make. Thus far:
Jayson: Tosh DK, fathom, knitted (stash yarn)
Brandon: Tosh DK, scarlet, on the needles, more than halfway completed
Peter: Malabrigo, red, yarn acquired
Julie: Handspun/hand-dyed, purple, yarn acquired
Michela: Tosh DK, Cousteau, stash yarn
John: Alpaca, black, half stash yarn, half to be acquired.

Can I get four-and-a-half Irish Hiking Scarves done in a month? I don't know, but I'm going to try. I'm only afraid I'll get terribly bored with the pattern after a while.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rhinebeck and Where I Am Now

I am a wicked blogger (and I mean that in its original sense, not its Boston sense). I was doing so well keeping up with getting my two entries a month. Ah, well. The well laid plans of mice an men oft gang awry.

My friend Jay mentioned to me the other day that he has found us a place to stay for Rhinebeck. We'll be staying with a friend of his and get to see the sheep and wool festival both Saturday and Sunday. This means we'll be able to see more demonstrations than we did the last time we went. Spinning, weaving, and maybe even dog trials! Wot larks! Of course I've started to put aside some money, just in case there is yarn for me to buy. Because yarn bought at sheep and wool festivals doesn't count when you're on a yarn diet.

The needles: What's on 'em? Well, I'm still working feverishly on Honey Cowl #4. And Irish Hiking Scarf #2. And the sweater. And the lace. And another scarf.

My plan of attack is thus:
August: Finish Honey Cowl #4.
September: Finish IHS #2, start IHSs #s 3, 4, 5, & 6.
October: Finish sweater (at home project), and make simple scarves 1 & 2 (knit night projects).
November: Finish Milanese Loop Cowls, or come up with other projects instead for those recipients.
December: Honey Cowls 5 & 6.
January: Drink heavily.

OK, I don't really drink all that much.

However, this is going to be a stash busting four months! IHSs 3-5 are all stash! Honey Cowls 5 & 6 are stash! The sweater yarn, purchased a year ago for this project might as well be considered stash, so the sweater is stash! Woohoo! I'm gonna bust that stash so much!

Well, not really. I'll barely make a dent.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Mid Year (sort of) Review

Okay, so now that we've got a bit more than half the year behind us (149 days left til New Year's!), I thought I'd assess where I am in my goals for the year. I had said that I wanted to do four things this year:

  1. Write at least two blog posts per week
  2. Knit my stash
  3. Finish up some long UFO projects
  4. Not buy as much yarn
I think I have succeeded in two of these. I have been pretty good about writing twice each week. I've missed here and there, and when I was on vacation in May, I think I missed that week. But by and large, I've been pretty good about the writing thing.

I have been trying to knit my stash. Of the four honey cowls I've made so far, three of them were from stash yarn. The Irish Hiking Scarf in Tosh's fathom colourway was stash yarn. And several of the projects I've got planned for the rest of the year will be from stash yarn. 

I have not really done much work on UFOs. I did a couple at the beginning of the year, finished some old scarves and such, but the rest of the ones I wanted to work on have fallen to the wayside of holiday knitting. So both the blue and the brown sweaters are languishing in a bin. The two Milanese Loop cowls are sitting in bags next to my bed, imploring me to work on them. Maybe they will be my September project. Or not.

Buying yarn. I've actually curtailed my yarn buying, but not to the extent that I had hoped. I have not gone an entire month without buying yarn, but I will admit, in July I only bought the yarn from the farmer's market in Provincetown while I was on vacation. At least I think so. I didn't buy any yarn at the Cascade sale at the Stitch House, even though I wanted to. However, they have cotton on 40% sale this month, and I'm thinking of next year's holiday projects, and they involve a lot of cotton. I should probably stock up, since I don't keep a lot of cotton in my stash (for the simple reason that I don't like knitting with cotton).

So I'm at 50% of my stated goals. Getting those blog posts out, and knitting my stash. I need to start to curtail the yarn buying. People are talking about interventions, and I don't think they're joking any more. And I need to finish up some projects. I would like to finish my blue sweater. Maybe that will be my post holiday goal, since I'll have a week between Christmas and New Year's to work on it (all I need to do is pick up stitches to make the sleeves, and block it). I can make two sleeves in a week, can't I. Of course I can!

So for the rest of the year, I have to channel dear Princess Victoria, and swear that I Will Be Good and not buy (too much) more yarn.