Knit by Night

Monday, March 27, 2006

Simple work knitting

One of the balls of yarn that I bought in a grab bag at Value Village the other day was an almost complete ball of what looks to be Bernat boucle yarn. The same kind that I used to make Luke and Jenny their Christmas scarves. What better to make of it, I asked, than a scarf like that for myself. After all, knit on size 10 1/2 needles, the scarf ends up nicely thick and long, and doing garter stitch at work is far from taxing. Keeps my hands busy in between calls, at least.

Now yes, I know that the weather's too warm now to be making scarves. But meh, what else can I make at work with limited amounts of yarn when I get about 30 seconds to a minute in between my calls. (Besides socks. But for that, I'd needs dpns and some sock yarn. :p)

The scarf keeps reminding me of two different things. Sometimes, the colour and texture reminds me of an oatcake, and sometimes it reminds me of a dirty sheep. I think, with that in mind, that I'll call this scarf "Sheepcake."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Value Village is my god!

Payday today! Of course, this meant I had to go out and treat myself, which meant a trip to Value Village to get some 'new' sweaters to unravel for extra yarn. Found a nice acrylic/alpaca sweater, in what looks like chunky yarn.

I also decided to browse the grab bags of yarn at the back of the store, the odd balls that people bring in that get thrown into bags to be sold at low low prices. I got three bags. Most of acrylic stuff, but in some nice colours, at least. However, I did manage to score some wool blend dk weight yarn, a very big skein of Alafoss Lopi Icelandic Fleece (in a colourway that seems to be nonexistant, but hey, who am I to complain?) and some violent pink mohair. Probably a blend, but hey, when I only paid $3 for the bag that the mohair was in, I'm certainly not going to raise much of a fuss about it!

Most of the yarn is unlabelled, but hey, I can also use bits and pieces to make an odd-lots scarf or shawl or something. No sense in things going to waste, right?

My only regret is that I don't have any knitting needles with me. I have to go through the entire night at work with a huge bag of yarn beside me, and I won't be able to do a thing with it! It's torturous, I tell you!

On a different note, I have a plan for this year, where knitting is concerned. I'll start to buy a few more acrylic and chenille sweaters from Value Village, and once they've been ripped apart and turned back into yarn, I'll knit them up again into scarves. Come November, I'll sell the scarves at the local flea market, with half the proceeds going to the Empty Stocking Fund. What doesn't sell will also be given to the ESF.

What is the Empty Stocking Fund? I'm sure you've all got something like that in your area, even if it doesn't go by the same name. It's a charity set up at Christmas for unprivileged families, the ones that may not be able to afford presents or a good turkey dinner they way a lot of us are used to. There was a time when my family had to use that program to augment what little we had, and I remember getting in that package a pair of mittens, and a knitted toy. And while I've donated money to the program in the past, it was only $20 or so. This year, I'll donate money and items. Keep some kids warm in the bitter coastal winter weather with my scarves, as well as sending money so that they can eat well on Christmas day.

I'm not a Christian myself, and thus don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday (it's a family/friends/commercial holiday to me, really), but that doesn't mean I have an excuse to not be charitable during the season. After all Yule falls during that time!

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Stashbusting!

My yarn roughly fits inside two garbage bags. Now, call me crazy, but I don't consider that to be much yarn. Some people, however . . . Regardless, my storage space is limited, so I need to start using up some of that yarn.

I have ideas, thankfully. For starters, the laceweight cotton in variegated blues is going to be made into a shawl, just as soon as I find a pattern that I like.

The remaining balls of light green cotton are probably going to make Rachel a DNA scarf.

I have no idea yet what to do with the balls of Peruvian wool that Agnes sent me. Possibly do as she suggested, and make a vest, though I want to lose weight first. No sense in knitting to my current dimensions when they'll change once the pounds start being shed.

The ball of thick grey chenille will probably become a simple scarf.

I want to turn the fuschiaroon (they call it huckleberry. I like fuschiaroon better :p) yarn into hats, just as soon as I, uh, learn to knit hats. (Okay, yeah, so there are a lot of very simple things that I just don't know how to do yet!)

The unravelled crappy wool will go to dyeing experiments, and probably be knit into long strips to replace cotton batting inside the quilts I plan to make. (No better use for cheap scratchy wool, I figure. Wool's good for warmth, and knitting it into strips will keep me busy for hours!)

I need to find a better pattern and better needles to turn the shimmery white yarn into a snow queen shawl.

There. That takes care of about half my stash. Of course, that's not really taking into account the sweaters that I bought to unravel for more yarn. Give me time, and soon I'll be wondering what to do with the laceweight camel yarn, or the miles upon miles of insane-halo white angora. Or the spring-green cashmere (which is probably actually going to be plied with something else and then knit into the softest scarf imaginable).

And, of course, I still do have my crappy acrylic that I'm knitting into small squares during my spare moments at work (except for today, because I was dumb and forgot my knitting at home) that will eventually be pieced into a blanket.

I do need some specific yarn for two projects I have in mind, though. I have two sweaters that I plan to make for Christmas gifts, and I need to do some hunting around for the perfect yarn for them. I need white, pale blue, and green. In large amounts. Ah well. I'm sure I'll come across the right colours eventually. (Let's just hope it's within enough time to actually knit the dang things!)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Branching Out is done!

Finished. Over and out. And just in time for my mother's birthday. I was hoping to make it a little longer, but I was running out of time, and I didn't feel like starting an entirely new ball of yarn for just another 2 or 3 repeats of the pattern. It's long enough to wrap around her neck, and that's what's important.

And I still have 3 balls of that yummy green cotton left. Maybe I'll use it to make the DNA scarf for Rachel.

We're moving on Wednesday! Yee! I'm all happy about that! I can't wait to get all our things unpacked and make that apartment well and truly ours!

I've been tempted to knit some curtains for my room, too. I have a tiny little window there, so something about a foot and a half wide by two feet high would probably cover the whole thing. I've been browsing around, trying to find good lace patterns that I can make. I fancy lacy curtains. My window's high up enough that I don't have to worry about weirdos peeking in.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Stash enhancement!

Since Lewiscraft is going out of business and never will see the light of day again, I decided to be a bit more lenient on my vows to never give them any of my money. I went and took advantage of their Store Closing sale. I bought 5 more balls of Berella, which I hope will give me enough yarn to finish off the blanket I'm slowly knitting. I also picked up two balls of black Gemini yarn. It's a shame I won't be able to get any more of that yarn ever again, since it was a Lewiscraft brand of yarn. Sure, there'll be other yarns like it, but it won't be that yarn.

At least I have two balls for the road. And at 30% off, too, so it made it a little easier to stomach the price. The Gemini's usually rather expensive.

I was tempted to pick up some mohair, too, since it was all on at 30% off, but then I remembered that Cricket Cove has much better mohair. More expensive, I'll bet, but a better blend. Besides, I'm not that fond of mohair to start with. It's soft, but I can't imagine ever really wearing it against my skin. I think it's drive me nuts!

I need to hurry up and get packing. Moving day is on Wednesday, and we don't have nearly as many boxes as we need. Still, I can throw a lot of things into garbage bags in the meantime.

Friday, March 10, 2006

The past week or so has been tough.

I haven't posted here in quite a while, mostly because I've been rushed off my feet and stressed to the nines, to warp a phrase. We've found an apartment, and are moving in on the 15th, provided my parents can get back into town in order to drive the moving van. This is a good thing.

The bad thing, though, is that the dog was put down on Wednesday. He bit someone, and Rachel's parents decided that to be safe, since there are small children that come over sometimes, they just couldn't take any risks, and had to have him put down. He wasn't rabid, or sick, or anything like that. Just old, and a little on the grumpy side, and a stranger tried to pet him at the wrong moment.

It's strange to not have Max in the house. I keep looking at the things of his that are still there and wishing he was there too, but worse is when I see an empty spot where something of his used to be, but isn't anymore, it it feels like the wound in my heart just tears open again.

I'm going to write something about all this on my personal journal at some point, so if anyone's interested . . .

On a milder note, I'm knitting again. Not much, really. Branching Out is halfway done, and I need to get my butt in gear, since my mother's birthday is soon. Lewiscraft is having a Store Closing sale, too (70% off everything!) so I'm going to go in there and take advantage of some cheap yarn, so I can keep working on my blanket squares.

In non-knitting crafts, I'm working on turning a stained glass pattern into a piece of needlework. Satin stitch in cotton embroidery floss, and some random piece of scrap fabric I picked up from the odd-lots bin at Fabricville a while back. I'm doing this project at work, for a geisha swap on Craftster, and it's making the shifts fly right by. Keeps me busy in between calls.

I need to do more craft swaps with people. It's always fun to get mail, and to show other people stuff that I've done. ^_^ I may start that whole crazy Random Act of Kindness thing I see so many people getting in on. If I hang on to this job, I'll certainly have the money for postage and shipping and whatnot. Yeah. I think I will do that!

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I am forever losing the pattern for Branching Out, so now I have to go and make yet another copy. I think this will be the fourth copy of the pattern that I've made, now. Ugh. Must get better organized.

I finally went and bought a new set of knittinjg needles in the size that I need, since I still can't find the one that I lost. Bamboo ones were cheaper than the steel ones I prefer, so I got a set of those. I do like the steel ones, but I've heard a lot of people praise bamboo needles. That, combined with a lower price, made me want to try them.

Still no luck finding the pattern for the horse plushie. Oh well. It'll turn up somewhere. We're moving in a month (we have an apartment set up and everything!) so I'm sure I'll be able to find the pattern then.

So now, it's off to my room to knit. Need to hurry up and get Branching Out finished, since it's for my mother's birthday, and that's only about two and a half weeks off. No worries if I do semi-regular work on it, really, but I would like to hurry up and get it done.