Knit Picky: August 2006

"properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit...
 and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either."
~elizabeth zimmerman

Monday, August 28, 2006
Still Knittin' on Clapotis

I know I haven't posted in a bit, but I don't have much to share. I've been pretty project monogamous with the Clapotis and I now know for certain that I am the slooooooowwwwwest knitter ever. So.Slow.

I still have three repeats of the 12 row "straight" section, the whole of the decrease section, and the final rows. And I've been working on this since June. I did take off about two weeks in July to knit baby stuff for a friend (I'll try to remember to post pics), but other than that, it's been all Clapotis, all the (knitting) time.

I love the pattern. I think Kate Gilbert is a brilliant designer. I love the construction. I love the yarn. I am enjoying it a lot, especially now that I can knit backward instead of having to turn and purl. But it is going to take me the rest of my natural life, I'm pretty sure. There's not much point in posting a picture since everyone in the universe (except for maybe Pluto-ites) knows what it looks like.

posted by Stephanie at 5:06 PM

Tuesday, August 22, 2006
A Surefire Way

First, a couple of pictures of the yarn stash cleaning/organizing.

My creation
I'm still getting the hang of this.
On the top are the 'Afters' and the bottom are the 'Befores'.
Holy Moly do I have a lot of yarn!

On to the post...

A surefire way to kill my enthusiasm is to make it compulsory. Or at least expected. A couple of months ago, high on having just completed my third pair of socks, I joined Summer of Socks and the Traveling Sock knitalongs. I was just about to get married and leave for my honeymoon.

Confessional Time:

I haven't done a lick of work on socks since then. Sorry 'Summer of Socks'!

I did not take pictures of socks with famous monuments or interesting locations while in England, Ireland, Scotland or Wales. There goes 'Have Socks Will Travel.'

Ugh. I mean so well. And these -alongs are so brilliant and thoughtfully planned and managed. If I'd had a swap partner for this, I would certainly have tried a lot harder because I would never want to let anybody down. But when the only recipient is me (or, um, my new husband), my knitting mojo goes on hiatus.


Because of my failure to complete (or, uh, start) these projects, and indeed my general loserishness, I have removed those links from my blog.

Something New (to me):

Having said all that, I have signed up to join the International Scarf Exchange. No, really. This one I can handle for the following reasons:

a) I'm not currently getting married or going on my honeymoon (I believe this will make a big difference)

b) It's a scarf -- much more my speed

c) I have loads of time to do it in -- it's not due to mail until the end of October/beginning of November

d) It's for someone else (not related to me), so I'm guaranteed to be much more considerate

Wish me luck. No, you don't have to wish my partner luck. I told you, I'm good when it's for other people! Geesh, don't you listen?

posted by Stephanie at 4:47 PM

Friday, August 18, 2006
Meet 'n Knit

Last night I went to the second ever Knitting Meetup near where I work at Whatsamatta U and it was loverly. In addition to me, there was the lovely organizer Ari and two others--Jenny and Pardis (isn't that a beautiful name?)

What delightful ladies! We noshed and knit and there was even a little bit of light tutoring.

I'm excited for the next meetup!

posted by Stephanie at 5:35 PM

Thursday, August 17, 2006
This Old Dog Learned a New Trick!

A few weeks back someone whose blog I read (I wish I could remember who!) was lauding the praises of another knitter (who I would love to give proper credit, if only I could remember who she was) for creating a video clip for knitting backward. It sounded weird but intriguing.

Holy cow! I couldn't wait to put it into practice, but I was finishing up some other stuff I was working on. Last night I picked back up my Clapotis. And I tried backward knitting. It was great! I am incredibly slow (even slower than purling), but there's definitely potential for picking up speed. It was just

So thank you to the referrer, and the video creator! I learn so much better visually, and the demo was perfect. I'm so excited to keep practicing now.

By the way, here's Clapotis currently.


Clapotis drops2

I'm in love with it and can't wait to get to wear it.

posted by Stephanie at 6:48 PM

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Alert the Media!

A second post in three days? Someone check me for fever!

Actually I really wanted to post my pictures before they became too obsolete. :)

Dial-up users BEWARE--loads of pictures upcoming! (Wait, am I the only person in the world who still has dial-up?)

First up: Honeymoon Yarn!


From Liberty, in London

Yeah, okay, I said I wanted to get yarn I couldn't just get anywhere, and this is Rowan KSH which is pretty readily available to me, but does it count that I didn't already have any in my stash? And I luuurve this apple green. In fact, methinks that I need about 4 or 5 more skeins to make something from Vintage Knits, or the sweet camisole from Weekend Knitting


Also from Liberty, in London

Regia sock yarn. Again, yes, I could get this in the states, probably at any of a handful of shops without travelling too far even, but this was in London, people! And check out those fantastic colors!


From Blarney Woolen Mills, Blarney, Ireland

I literally stumbled across this Tivoli DK yarn at the Blarney Woolen Mills. I was looking at the scarves and sweaters in this VAST shop, and at the last minute popped upstairs for a second. GASP! There before me was a big ol' cart full of cream-colored Tivoli worsted weight yarn. I was so darn excited that I bumped into a barrel next to the cart. I looked down into the barrel and found this bag of lovely tweedy burgundy DK yarn--10 skeins (also Tivoli) for 16 euro. I snatched that bag up so fast and hugged it to my chest, refusing to put it back down. And that's where The Boy found me a few minutes later. Drooling over the other bag of 16 euro DK tweed--in a gorgeous navy. How I wish I'd gotten both! But The Boy restrained me with the promise of searching for more yarn later on the trip. But I'd be damned if I was leaving without that bag you see there.

Wanna see it up closer?


I know the plastic bag doesn't make for the best picture, but look at those little tweedy nubs!

York_Aran wt

From Sheepish, an adorable shop with an adorable name, in The Shambles, York, England. The proprietress and the woman at the register were absolutely delightful. The shop was two itsy bitsy little rooms with bags of yarn and displays everywhere. I could have happily moved in with the two ladies and the gentleman stocking the back room (I'm assuming he was married to the owner).

Those are two skeins of Brigantia aran weight yarn in one of my most favorite color combinations. The wool is actually a bit scratchy, but I'm hoping it will soften a bit with washing. Anyway, who cares!? It's from England, from my honeymoon, and from the cutest little shop.

Here's another reason to love Sheepish

York_Summer Tweed2

Yes, a yarn I could buy at home, but one I didn't have. Rowan Summer Tweed. In a beauteous gold color. And the 10 skein bag was about 25 pounds, if I recall correctly.

I found Sheepish on accident when our tour guide finished our brief walking tour in York in The Shambles. As he finished talking about it, my eye caught on the shop right behind him. The yarn shop. Well, that did it for me. I don't recall much of what he told us about that area of York (except that it used to house all the butcher's shops) because from that moment on I was overtaken with the need to!

To illustrate how friendly they were at the shop, when I asked the owner if I might take a picture to post on my blog, she said she would be "delighted". So here it is.

Sheepish shop_York

So if any of you knitters ever find yourselves in York, make your way to The Shambles (very close to the Minster) and check out Sheepish. You'll be so glad you did.

Well, that's it for honeymoon yarn. Not for lack of effort, mind you! We just didn't have a lot of free time on our tour to go hunting for all the shops I just know were waiting for me.

I'm going to leave the pictures of The Great Stash Re-Organization of 2006 until another day. This post is already looooong!

posted by Stephanie at 4:43 PM

Monday, August 07, 2006
Knitting is My Gateway Craft...

Yeah, so you know how you think to yourself, "I sure wish I was one of those crafty types," and then you pick up a craft, and suddenly you've spent a zillion dollars and given over half of your living space to accomodate all of this crafting stuff you're not all that good at anyway?

So that's me.

I spent this weekend cleaning and organizing my crafts area. Because somehow, when I wasn't looking, my crafts multiplied exponentially, and have now taken over a bookshelf, and the top of my filing cabinet, in addition to the dedicated cabinet, shelves and baskets that they had already claimed (pictures to come).

It all started because I wanted to put all my yarn in plastic bags to thwart any moth-types that might get crazy ideas about my silky wool or merino sock yarn. And then I was buying bins, and sorting scrapbook stuff (which I haven't even started to do yet!), beads, knitting supplies, little tins that I've been hoarding just in case, fun ribbons that I seem incapable of resisting lately, and all of my magnet-making supplies. It's a sickness, really.

So it became quite an endeavor. Took me almost the entire weekend. BUT, it is so much more organized and neat that The Boy and I were inspired to do a little bit of other house stuff (which our sty, I mean apartment, really needs right now). We vaccuumed. 3x! The cats were thrilled. The Boy cleaned cat boxes, we went through things that were trash, and things that we will consider giving away. We finally put down the new rug [big rug] we got as a wedding gift. I filled a box and a bag with tchotchkes that have really become nothing more than dust collectors.

I read this clever little idea in the August Real Simple that said if you are one who has trouble getting rid of stuff (who, me?), put all the items in a box near your front door for a week. Once you see the space on your shelves or in your home opened up without those items, it becomes easier to face getting rid of them. I think I may have lots of little goodies for Goodwill!

I'll try to post pictures this week. There are many! I took pictures of the yarns I got on my honeymoon (better late than never, right?!), and the process of digging out all the skeins of yarn (frightening). There was a point where I was surrounded by mounds of yarn on each side of me and The Boy said to me a) There must be at least a thousand dollars worth of yarn there!" (I hesitate to point out that it's probably more than that), and b) He was pretty certain I would never find a home for it all. But I did!

4 XL 10 gallon Ziploc bags, 35 one-gallon Ziploc bags, and 7 tubs later, I have lovely organization! I know this post is sort of meaningless without pictures, but I really wanted to post because it's been WAY too long. I will post pictures of the carnage, and the newly 'renovated' crafting area. Despite all the work that it took, and that I got no actual crafting done because of it, I feel really good and accomplished.

Hard work feels good, I guess.

Or crazy OCD-types like me like that false sense of power that comes from putting things in boxes and bins.


posted by Stephanie at 5:33 PM