Thursday, January 3, 2008

Dreaming of Stashed Yarn

Happy New Year! I'm starting 2008 with a small victory! My stash has been containerized under the bed. Does this mean I'll dream woolly dreams? I hope so.

I used some extra cedar planking left over from lining the Pottery Barn coffee table cubes to cover the bottom of each under-bed box. Of course before they could be used the planks needed to be cut roughly to length, sanded, and damp-wiped clean. I hope that this pungent wood will be enough to protect my precious collection. Really I had wanted boxes that snapped tightly shut as well. Once I tried these boxes out at home I found that they snap fairly tight on the ends, but are pretty loose around the middle. I'm thinking about adding a section of cedar along each wall near the middle of the box, but haven't gotten back to that yet. If anyone out there has any experience or thoughts, please let me know. We must band together against the flying vermin!

Here's the first box, all set for stash.

Here's some stash.
And some more stash.

And more stash.
And yes, more stash.

Hey! I've got two boxes left. Think I'll head over to the Loopy Ewe site…

My red Lace Leaf Scarf is completely knit. The 13.75 pattern repeats that I was able to get from each skein by using smaller needles actually gave me the 48 inches of length that the pattern called for. Plus I finished the project with two skeins instead of three. That's a good thing when two is all you've got, and when the yarn is pretty seriously expensive! It took me a while to figure out why each side was supposed to be ended after row 12 of the 16 row pattern, but the intent became clear when I matched the ends up. Row 12 is the closest you can get to having the leaf edges blend into each other. (Don't you wish patterns would give us the reasons for these things? It would save pig-headed knitters like me from ripping back extra rows added in defiance of arbitrary sounding instructions! Or maybe I'm just part of a minority that's always asking "why?".)

This project's going to be finished soon and I really don't want to face getting all depressed about project selection again, so I've already decided that I'm going to catch up on my Rocking Sock Club kits. The latest and last kit takes me back to a trip that I remember fondly, so it may be the first up in spite of the knit cuff from the Summer sock that's hanging out on the sofa and the already wound Raven yarn from the Fall kit. While I'm catching up on those kits I'll be thinking about designing a sock in one of Cat Bordhi's new "Pathways".

Of course the Surf sweater isn't far from my mind either. I want to swatch a different stitch for edgings, maybe garter, and put it into PaintKnit to find the most interesting color pooling.

Here's the blocking update. Playing with Fire's blocked, as you can see. I ended up wet blocking after spending a few minutes trying to steam the ridges out of the vertical lines. Wet blocking worked really well, but did involve hauling on the sweater's edges pretty vigorously. The sweatshirt-like fit that I had planned morphed into a tunic fit by the time I was done. I'm not thrilled with what it does for my figure, but then again I should really be doing something myself for my figure!!
I also blocked the RSC Summer Sock cuff. Wasn't sure why the cuff must be blocked before continuing with the sock leg, but I think it has to do with determining the length for the ribbing that's to be hidden behind the cuff. When I knit the second sock I'll skip the blocking step, and then I'll find out the hard way why it's in there!
By the way, have any of you lost a special hand-made glove? Check out this wonderful website, onecoldhand, for lucky losers… glove losers that is, in the Philadelphia area. Isn't it nice to know that there's a little extra insurance against the tragedy of separation for hand-knit gloves? What a fabulous idea! They've even started a branch in NYC! Now my gloves will feel much safer going to the city.

I've waited too long to write and now have to stop myself so that something actually gets posted! Next time there should be more on the red scarf, RSC Socks, and maybe even the Surf Sweater. And next time is planned for soon!

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