Friday, September 21, 2007

Holy. Crap.

Well, my Ravelry invite arrived the day after I last posted, so at last I know what all the buzz is about. For any of the umpteen-thousand folks still waiting for an invite, know that it's fun but not knitterly-life-changing (thank goodness...enough changes going on here already). It's kind of like squirl on steroids. You can use Ravelry to record your entire stash, all your knitting needles and crochet hooks, your knitting/crochet books...basically, all the minutae of your knitting and/or crocheting world. You can also record your knits themselves: the ones you've finished, the WIPs and your to-dos, complete with photos, links to patterns and/or sources, notes on modifications, errata, yarn and needles used...the list goes on. And then there are the forums, blog links, LYS listings and other features to keep you connected to your sisters-and-brothers-in-wool. It's very impressive, actually, and this is only its beta form.


This is why I really love Ravelry. Somewhere in its labyrinthine depths, I came across the following link, and photo (there are even more at the link itself), titled "The World's Biggest Stash."

Could you just pass out? Seriously, I'm still catching my breath. When I first saw this, I thought, that can't possibly be someone's stash. It's a yarn store that's been mislabeled.

Then I caught a glimpse of the upturned ride-on kiddy car in the lower-right corner and the giant blue plastic teddy-bear-looking-thing on a table beyond it thought, hmmm...unusual decor for a yarn shop.

Then I meditated on the general disarray in the photo, and after much denial and mind-boggling finally forced myself to tear my eyes off the photos and read the accompanying text which explains that yes, this is an actual private yarn stash.

Holy. Crap. Who wouldn't love a website that can link you over to yarn pron like that?

I think I'm going to be spending a lot more time at Ravelry.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Well, I'm number 162 on the list, so it looks like I won't have to wait much longer to find out what the fuss is all about.... :)

Friday, September 14, 2007

Hello, Work? I'd like my life back thankyouverymuch.

Well, the semester has finally gotten up and running, which means I can now begin once again to devote actual time to things like "family" and "eating" instead of working like a crazy woman and sleeping in fits and starts in between.

Fortunately (and this only falls into the "fortunately" category because I'm a knitter), I have a lengthy commute, which means pretty much one thing (when I'm not nodding off on the 1 train, that is): knitting continues even when the rest of life does not.

First finished: a Mason-Dixon Knitting baby kimono in Knitpicks Swish superwash. I picked the colors -- indigo and lemongrass heathers -- thinking I would use them separately to make two separate kimonos, but I liked the quirky combo so much I wound up with this:

Entranced by the unexpected cuteness of the kimono, and quite likely high on the superwash fumes, I cast on for a project I never in a gazillion years believed I'd actually attempt: a pair of Elizabeth Zimmerman Baby Longhies.

For those of you without a copy of Knitter's Almanac, run right out and buy one. It's small and costs under ten bucks but will probably be one of the best knitting buys you ever make. Go on. I'll wait.


There, now that you have your copy, open it to February, the month of knitted baby items. Pause for a moment to ogle the vintage-style baby jacket and take a glance at the instructions for the double-knitted baby blanket, the very same that I used when making Zoe's burgundy blankie. Now, check out the longhies.

They're basically knitted long underwear for kids. Later on in the Almanac, there's even a pattern for a full-sized adult version. For years, I remember thinking to myself, "Knit long underwear?? Who would ever do such a thing?"

Well, folks, here's who. And here's how they look:

Is that not the cutest thing? And not the ginormous pain in the ass I expected it to be. In fact, it's been knitting up quite quickly and easily, right down to the funky little color pattern of my own design at the knees. At first, I'd hoped to make the kimono and longhies a coming-home set for little Zoe, but oops....

While the kimono is probably sized just right for 0-3 months with a little bit of room to grow, the longhies look more like they're sized for a one-year-old. Baby M was big, but Zoe would have to be the size of a baby giraffe to need legs that long at birth. I'm sure I could just stuff her into them anyway -- who looks at how the coming-home outfits anyway when the adorable baby inside is the focus of all attention? -- but I think I may just knit up another set in 3/4 or even 1/2 size to bring her home in. Yes, she'll outgrow them practically overnight, but that's what I'll have the larger ones waiting around for. Let it never be said that I don't have a plan, even if it's only the result of an earlier plan going hopelessly awry.

When I realized I'd be just a few yards short of what I needed to complete my color pattern (which was intended to thriftily use up the leftover indigo from the kimono), I ran right out and bought another nearly-20 skeins of Swish in a variety of gorgeous heathered hues (no sense in paying shipping on one stinkin' skein when Knitpicks will pick up the postage on a $45 order). So in addition to another pair of longhies, I'm also planning on knitting a Fair Isle sweater for Baby M, matching Heart Hats for both sisters (see EZ's Knitting Workshop for that one) and maybe even a Baby Surprise Jacket depending upon how many leftovers I have.

Now all I need is an even longer commute to get it all finished.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Fun Fiber Stuff

It's funny how sometimes things just seem to work out. Like, I've been thinking a lot lately about how much crap I've managed to accumulate over the past near-decade in this house, and how I should really, really purge a whole lot of it, especially as we're looking to turn the under-used rooms in the house into actual living space and not just glorified junk closets.

Well, lo and behold, what should I spot on a fiber swap list but someone looking for a fabric cutter for rug hooking. Now, several years back I bought the gear to hook my own rugs -- not the ticky-tacky latch hook rugs that everyone was doing back in the 70s when disco ruled and shag was everywhere, but traditional hooked rugs made from strips of wool pulled through a backing like monk's cloth. I love hooked rugs, think they're just gorgeous, and had a blast playing with hooks and wool at our county fair every year at the booth set up by the local rug hookers' guild. BUT...when it came right down to it, it just wasn't for me. Don't know why, really, but I found my other fiber passions just took right over and bitch-slapped poor rug hooking into a corner. So, not only did I have a fabric cutter sitting right on my workbench (which worried me since Baby M had the occasional tendency to toddle over to it and twirl the pretty handle, which spun the cutting wheel and which, theoretically in my mind at least, could slice her finger should she decide to stick one in the moving parts -- not entirely likely, perhaps, but you're talking to the woman who, as a young child, managed to reel her finger into the moving gears of a stationary exercise bicycle), but I also had a nice rug hooking frame, assorted hooks, a book or two and several boxes of nicely prepared wool fabric all ready to be cut up and made into rugs.

Not too hopefully (because I've never been much of the salesperson -- more of the "donate it to a secondhand store" type) I emailed telling this person what I had and offering it for sale at a decent bit off the new prices. I also said if she bought both the frame and the cutter, I'd throw in the other bits and bobs for free.

Wonder of wonders, I sold the lot! And for more than enough money to finish paying off my Journey Wheel, which I'll collect in Rhinebeck next month. Woo-hoo! So instead of having lots of items that I'll never use spread all around the house, instead I'll have one really cool item that I'll definitely use. A good deal all around.

Also...remember the dragon spindle I had custom-designed by the Goldings a couple of months back? Well, they asked if it would be okay for them to post the design on their website and offer it for sale to others. Of course, I said yes...and I just received a letter from they saying that since it went up on the site, they've had orders for it, so they refunded me the $30 design fee that I paid plus they sent me a $10 gift cert good on any Golding fiber tool. Neat, huh? The coolest part, though, is that other people liked the design I helped create. I must say, I'm pretty proud.

I'm also pretty proud of Baby Zoe's little kimono, which I just finished up tonight. No photos yet, but it looks gorgeous -- will take pictures and post soon. Next up: a pair of EZ baby leggings to go along with it.