It’s been a strange few days. After being gone from the house for several weeks to various corners of the country, one to work on a kibbutz until university starts next week and the younger to army boot camp, both my sons were home sick this past weekend. Many pots of chicken soup were cooked and consumed in a very short time. The noise level was quite remarkable. I couldn’t hear my tinnitus.
When our youngest was drafted last month we had an arm’s length list of things to buy and, as procrastination is our middle name, there were a few items that were no where to be purchased, one of which was a plain watch cap in basic black. As I have justabitofyarn laying about the house, I decided to knit one for him using The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns as inspiration.
Even though I have justabitofyarn, most of it is 100% wool, which in our house has a very tentative existence until its first washing not done by me. So while wool was the natural choice, 100% superwash wool was the best choice, i.e. sock yarn. Not being entirely crazy, I decided to double the yarn and ended up with something between sport and worsted, and no appropriate gauge to be found in the book. Opting for smaller rather than bigger turned out to be a Smart Idea, but still necessitated casting on three times. After fits and starts it was duty knitting right up to the crown. Thankfully youngest was home to try it on and so I discovered that the hat needed at least another inch and a half if it was going to cover his ears. An important feature in a watch cap. Tink, tink (that’s “knit” backwards, for the uninitated) back the crown and several hours later the cap was done!
Sorry for the lack of photos. No doubt that by the time he’ll be home again the watch cap will be a distant memory and hopefully warming someone else’s head.
Lucky I kept notes.
of (gulp!) April 11th:
The Wool Peddler’s Shawl was wet-blocked at last on this finally cool and breezy morning. The other shawl drying in the background is my original, single hank, garter-stitch shoulder shawlette that I knit about five years ago. I fell in love with this particular colorway of Jaggerspun Heather 3/8 yarn and just had to order more for another shawl. The subtle colors at play in this yarn are sadly lacking in the photo, but it’s full of blues, greens and purples. Lucky me, there’s enough left over from the Wool Peddler’s Shawl for another shawlette, but that will have to wait.
I’ve been pouring over my back copies of Interweave Knits, the patterns on my hard drive and the Internet to try and narrow down the possible sweater patterns for November’s NaKniSweMo. My only absolute rules for NaKniSweMo are that the sweater must be made with Stash (with a capital “S”) yarn and that the majority of knitting has to be done during November. Unfortunately for me browsing through magazines like this tends to be counter productive because I keep getting sidetracked by all the lovely patterns that I know full-well haven’t got a chance in hell of my knitting them.
Top picks at this point include (listed in terms of “absolute rules” as defined above):
- Jenna Wilson’s “Banff“, from Knitty Winter ’03
- Ann Budd’s “Pullover Flair”, from IK Spring’06
- Mags Kandis’ “Serape Jacket”, from IK Summer ’04
- Kristi Porter’s “Leo“, from Knitty Fall ’04
- Kathy Zimmermann’s “The Very Thought of Him“, from IK Spring ’00, and which is now available as a single PDF download on the IK site (ignore the Fall ’04 date, it’s incorrect)
- Annie Modesitt’s “Sideways Spencer“, from IK Fall ’04, which I have been itching to knit since seeing it, but of all the sweaters I’ve listed here, this is the most unlikely for NaKniSweMo.
Are you starting to see a trend here?
This is where the beauty of Ravelry comes in. I can check out each of these patterns to see if anyone has knit them, what yarns they used, approximately how long it took them to knit, and if they had any blog entries linked, I can read those too. Jess and Casey deserve a special reward for coming up with the idea. Knitters have been networking like crazy since the early, early days of the Net, via Usenet, mailing lists, forums, blogs and now the very latest version of our own social network.
Another NaKniSweMo update in a couple of weeks, after I make a decision, check for pattern Errata, dig out the yarn and start swatching.
Second Annual NaKniSweMo at knitgrrl
Now that the weather is occasionally on the slightly less than broiling side, I have to admit that I’m rather excited about this KAL. Most of my recent knitting has been small, nearly instant gratification projects. It’s been ages and ages since I knit an entire sweater. The question is what sweater to knit. The main factor, of course, is what stash yarns to use for this project. Being that the NaKniSweMo is in November, at least there’s a little time to decide and sign up for the group on Ravelry.
On a tip from a friend who works at Israel’s largest book retailer, I hopped over to our local branch of the shop and picked up a new knitting magazine published by Vitalgo, formerly one of Israel’s largest yarn producers, now one of Israel’s largest yarn importers. Vitalgo picked up on an idea previously done by Knitter’s magazine of showcasing knitting patterns written by yarn shop owners or employees. The cover sweater, a lovely bolero, was done by none other than our own Orly of The Gourmet Yarn Shop in Ra’anana. With a couple of exceptions, the majority of the sweater patterns are still stuck in the 70′s and 80′s, the heyday of Israeli yarn production. Israeli fashion trends pretty much mimic what’s going on in Europe rather than the US, but somehow I imagine even European knitters rolling their eyes at some of the sweaters in this magazine.
None-the-less, I’m not worried about finding a pattern to go along with the stash. Besides the books, there are several years worth of Knitters’, Vogue Knitting and Interweave Knits lying around here to thumb through and just a few gigabytes of patterns downloaded from the Internet.
Since this KAL has to be completed during the month of November, I better go start looking for the yarn/pattern now.
Which, by the way, is not the same as an unclutterer.
I know I said no more social networking sites, but then my long-anticipated invite to Ravelry arrived.
The Road to Hell and all that…
Over the years I’ve tried to organize and track my yarn stash by various means. This should give you a hint that we’re not just talking about the odd skein or two. My knitting website, Yarnaholic Confessions, was born out of that obsession. (If you want to know how my yarn stash grew and grew, you can find it over there.)
You don’t realize that you are obsessed or possessed by something until you become unobsessed. The event for me (actually two events) was knitting a large, one-piece afghan for my then 83 year-old mother (z”l) in a very short time and then dealing with her death six months after gifting it to her. At the same time my husband was let go from his job of nearly 13 years.
In a move to make my mayhem more manageable, I decided it was time to delist myself from my email knitting groups and suspend most of my knitting magazine subscriptions. (The only exception was “Interweave Knits” and those folks have no idea how much they helped keep me centered during that time.) Once the Siren Song was silenced, my perceived need to buy yarn nearly stopped. I’d be lying if I said that I no longer buy yarn, but the impulse buying has stopped. Besides, I want to support my Local Yarn Shop, now that we have one worthy of the name.
So, what am I expecting to get out of Ravelry? I haven’t quite decided yet; I’m still getting familiar with the interface. My feeling is that I’m probably not going to be overly active in the forums (see note re silencing the Siren Song above) other than chiming in on the odd technical advice. Will I be able to catalog all my projects and yarns in order to use that neat “Export to Excel” function? Not in this lifetime.