Sunday, November 30, 2008

Such a Good Stasher

I have been cleaning out my stash this month. I sold a large quantity on ravelry in order to fundraise for the Walt Disney World Half-Marathon I am running this January. With the new room, I bought some more yarn (yeah, I know, not the point of destashing) and decided to re-organize my stash and make sure that I am storing my yarn properly. I have read in a few different sources (including The Best of Vogue Knitting) that you shouldn't store wool in airtight containers, because it will mess with the form/consistency (or something else important). Well, I had been storing most of my yarn in ziplock bags. Since I am terrified of moths and other yarn eating monsters, I decided that if I am going to let my yarn breath, there better be some superheroes around. I went to Target the other day and bought lots of lavendar items. I bought lavendar soap and lavendar/cedar chips to store in my central stash hub (a plastic trunk -for a real truck actually) and in the drawers where I keep my knitted goods. I probably went a little overboard with the soap and chips, but I am not losing my wonderful wool to monsters.

Old System...
Everything that could fit in a ziplock bag went in a ziplock bag.

New System...
All knitted items are in drawers with a bar of Dr. Brommer's lavendar soap. The soap is open but in an open ziplock bag, so the soap won't touch the items.

All natural (non-manmade) yarn are in open ziplock bags in my trunk. I should dump the ziplock bags, but I am not ready emotionally to let go of them. Also I feel that the bags keep the yarn "clean" (I don't know what I am keeping them clean from though). The trunk has several lavendar-cedar chips at the bottom. There is some tissue paper covering them, so the yarn has no chance of touching them. There is also an open Dr. Brommer soap in an open ziplock bag on top of everything.

I still need to work on the WiP drawer and the random leftover bits of yarn drawer, but I feel that this is a good start.

Hmm, I better get knitting and shrink this stash!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Under the Sea

Have I told you about Ocean Breezes: Knitted Scarves Inspired by the Sea? I might have, but I know I haven't shown you pictures! I love this book. The scarves and shawls are beautiful but understated. We aren't talking post-modern craziness or needing a hip and trendy life to pull these off. I have started the Fish Net and the Fish Scales scarves. The Fish Net scarf is going to take a while, since although I enjoy the project, I get bored very quickly with it. The Fish Scales scarf is almost finished (it looks small because I had to shove lots of stitches onto a very small needle). I can't bear to finish it though, because...well, I can't think of a decent reason.

You should totally take a look at this book, if you are a fan of scarves. It is very inspiring.

Here is Fish Scales in Yoga...

Here is Fish Net in South West Trading Company Bamboo...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Shopping Fun!

As much as I love Thanksgiving, it's the day after that is usually one of my favorite parts of the holiday season. I love Black Friday. I love getting up ridiculously early in the morning, waiting in line in the "cold" (it's cold for Florida), and racing for the $5 DVDs.

This year though, I haven't had that urge. I haven't seen a $5 DVD that I need to have so much that I need to wake up at 3AM. Instead, this year, I am curling up on my futon with some Christmas movies, some knitting, and hot chocolate.

I got some possible WiP that need some loving like Branching Out and Classy Slip-Up Socks. Hmm, love. Maybe that is what the holiday season is about. Of course, please don't hate me if I break down and go shopping tomorrow. I do need Guitar Hero: World Tour and the guitar for 40% off the retail price!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone is having a lovely Thanksgiving. I am off to my friend's house for a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal.

Have a gobble gobble Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Hat to Match!

My first hat was the Go-Go Garter Stitch Scarf from Stitch 'n Bitch. I knit it with 3 balls of Rowan Big Wool. I loved (still do in fact) this scarf. It is warm and quite happy with the blues, pinks, and white squares. Recently Florida had a bit of a cold snap. Yes! It does get cold in Florida! It has been in the 30s several nights recently. Of course I refuse to turn on the heat and prefer to put on a sweater. The cold weather inspired me to knit a winter hat. I wanted something fast and easy. I dug out the Rowan Big Wool bits I had left from the scarf and picked a pattern (Hot Head, which by the way looked a lot better in person than in Stitch n' Bitch). I must admit that I do love the match-yness of it all. I should also state that the hat keeps my head super warm.

Check out the cuteness and the warmness!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

They Are Coming for You Barbara...

Recently I joined Sunshine Yarns Harry Potter Sock Club. Every other month for 6 months, I will receive a colorway inspired by the Harry Potter books. The first colorway was "Invisibility Cloak." The colorway looks very similar to the cloak in the movies. It has dark blues and gold tones. It is gorgeous. After some careful thought, I went with the Zombie Socks pattern. I thought it would compliment the handpainted nature of the yarn. It is also a fun pattern with intentionally dropped stitches. Sometime in 2009, Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn comes out. There was a pattern from this book in the Interweave Knits Winter 2008 magazine, and it promises that the rest of the book will have great patterns for handpainted yarns.

I just turned the heel of the first sock and only have a little bit let to go. Of course, this is when I tend to get bored with sock knitting. I tend to do better with Christmas stockings, because I know I only have to knit one (and oh yeah, I get to knit them with worsted weight yarn). It has been quite chilly here in Florida, so I am hoping that this (and the zombies banging on my apartment door) will motivate me to finish the socks.


Monday, November 24, 2008

My Very First Vogue

This title reminds me of something Carrie from Sex and the City would say...

I have been subscribing to Vogue Knitting for a while now; however, I had never knit anything from the magazine. Everything seemed more advanced than what I was capable of knitting. Things changed, however, when I received the Holiday 2008 issue. I fell in love with the Bobbled Tam. It looked so cute! I reviewed the pattern and decided that I could totally knit this. I bought Merino Style, DK from Knit Picks in a lovely asparagus color and some needles. I then proceeded to ignore the pattern, yarn, and needles for several weeks. The idea of knitting something from Vogue Knitting scared me something terrible. Is my skill there? Will I be lost in the pattern? Will I totally fail? Finally after some uneasiness, I cast on. It was a quick knit and quite fun. I was so proud of myself when I cast off. Yes, there was a "design element" or two added, but nothing was worse for wear. I am not more confident in my ability to knit the "fancy shmancy" patterns. I don't need to just knit beginner patterns.

Okay, now that the confidence paragraph is over, let me be a bit honest with you about this pattern and Vogue Knitting. Sometimes the pictures in the magazine LIE! The Bobbled Tam looks like a hat in the magazine. Unfortunately, this is not a hat. It is a tam. The project came out much larger than I thought. Much larger. I knew something was off when I cast on so many stitches. I decided inperfect knitter denial, that everything would magically work out with the blocking. Yeah, that didn't happen much. I do like the look of this tam, but next time I will cast on fewer stitches and make it a hat.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ribbon Yarn...Scarves...Fun

Hey all!

I am so excited! On Friday, I got an early Christmas present from my parents. I received a new digital camera! My last one broke and so I could not take pictures of any of my knitted things. It has been quite sad. Now that I have a camera that works, I can show you lots of cute pretty knitted things! :)

I have recently been on a destashing binge. I pulled out all of my ribbon yarn and have been knitting Yo! Drop It! (rav link) scarves from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. I made 3 scarves with this pattern. I made 2 with Ticker Tape and 1 with Yoga. This is a fabulous pattern, because it is easy to remember and uses up some of the yarn I have, which had no purpose when I bought it. This is also a great mindless pattern. There is no thinking required. There are patterns that are easy to memorize, but you need to think about what you are doing. You don't need to do that with this pattern! Once a week, I have to drive out to rural areas of Florida. I have an hour drive out and an hour drive back to Gainesville. Since I need to keep the driver company, I bring this, because I can talk and knit (yep, it fits the mindless knitting category!).

You will notice in the pictures that I have neglected to weave in the ends. Yeah, I am not a fan of weaving in ends. They will get done...eventually. ;)