Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I've Been Pinned!

I remember that in the teen novels I read many years ago, the heroine or her friend would get "pinned" by her boyfriend to let the world know they were going steady.  I can't think of anyone I know in the real world who has gotten pinned in this way, so the practice must have died out over 50 years ago.

I have been pinned in the modern sense.  I am the most recent addition to Berroco's Spotted in the Wild Pinterest page.  Andra, the New England sales rep who always supports Webs at Stitches West, took my picture on Saturday.  She is a serious shopping enabler who always gives me accurate info on the Berroco yarns and patterns.  I am wearing Merle, the Norah Gaughan design I knit in November for National Knit a Sweater Month.  I decided that since I always buy Berroco yarn at Stitches, it was high time I wore one of my Berroco sweaters to the event.  My newest completed Berroco sweaters, King and Acey, were just too warm to wear, but Merle turned out to be perfect.  I got more compliments on this sweater than any other I've ever worn to Stitches.  Cables are hot!

Here I am!
Since cleaning up my craft room, I have been busy knitting, which is good since I bought 4-6 months worth of projects at Stitches (not as bad as in some years).  I got yarn/kits for 6 sweaters (I know, I know), but 3 are quickie short sleeve projects for spring and none of the six should take more than 3 weeks based on my Merle pace.  I got a hat kit from The Mannings booth, two irresistable sock kits from Knitters Brewing Company (Watermelon Socks and Vampire Socks), and several skeins of sock yarn for simple socks from Miss Babs, Western Sky Knits, and Invictus.

Thus far this year, I have knit 2 sweaters (one with a detached cowl), 2 scarves, a pair of socks, a hat, and one more cowl.  Here are the photos:
King sweater in Boboli

Knitting friend's toddler ALMOST modeling baby hat

Simple socks

Me enjoying Acey on this rainy February morning

Windowpanes scarf in cashmere and Miracle scarf in Handwerks sock

Cambio cowl (a Laura Nelkin design)
By Northern California standards, it is perfect knitting weather today:  cool and rainy.  Time to get back to my knitting (and justify my most recent purchases)!

PS:  In cleaning out my craft room, I came across several sweater kits that I am unlikely to knit, including a Philosopher's Wool kit, a Cotton Concerto Jacket kit from Great Yarns (think glitz), a few kits from Ram Wools, and one from Shelridge Farms.  I plan to post photos on Ravelry soon.  Let me know if you are interested in any of my excess stash.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spring Cleaning Comes Early, Plus Year End Wrap-up

As I mentioned in my previous post, we had lots of house guests (eight) for quite some time (eight nights) for the holidays.  I also knit like a madwoman in the weeks preceding, trying my best to have a great hand knit gift for each.

My craft room became even messier than usual as I tossed in whatever I had been using for the latest project (needles, patterns, left over yarn) instead of neatly putting in the correct location.  By the time our guests had left, even I knew I needed to work seriously to convert the craft room from just storage to the work space it is meant to be.

Joe (strongly) suggested I completely empty the room and reload from scratch.  He also suggested I get rid of old magazines and replace as necessary with digital versions.  Since I have every issue ever published of Piecework, Interweave Knits, and knit scene, plus most issues of Knitters and Vogue Knitting, that could open up considerable room.  I also have many knitting books, some that I use frequently and some that haven't been opened in years.

I emptied the room yesterday.  Here's what it looks like now:

In reloading this space, I'm going to start with yarn.  Last month I gave away some yarn I knew I wouldn't touch again (glittery stuff to Charity Knitters for scarves, baby yarn to Sylvia for her charity knitting, leftover alpaca from my Thunderstruck shawl to Stephanie after she said she'd use it).  I gave more away on Monday (machine washable yarn to Charity Knitters, a sweater's worth of Sirdar Highland Chunky in berry red to Catherine), and I've set aside nine sweaters' worth of yarn (most are kits) that I am unlikely to knit and have some possibility of selling.

I started an Excel spreadsheet to track my stash back in 2009 (before I was on Ravelry), and plan to continue using it to track what I have.  I'm thinking of restructuring some of the space (eliminating a shelf here and there) and organizing the yarn in different ways (one small drawer for all the baby and child projects instead of scattered throughout, sweater quantities separate from accessory quantities, bins by color or gauge), but that is still in the idea stage.

As for what I did last year, I finished fewer projects than usual, only 55 instead of my normal 65-75.  However, 60% were knit in fingering or lace weight yarn, so my yardage knit might have been similar. I did manage to achieve one knitting resolution:  I have 2 fewer WIPs than I did 12 months ago, and that is purely from knitting, not giving away or ripping out.

I did finish Xmas gifts for each house guest except the 4 year old boy who got dinosaurs and his grandfather who got a special framed photo from Joe.  Here's what I made:
Windschief hat, Ribbed hat, Mohair Bias Loop, 2 Pretty Things,  Quilted Lattice Ascot
 All were well received.  I knit another hat which came out too large for the 7 year old I had planned it for (it's on the gift shelf in the linen closet), cowls for my sister-in-law and mother, and a scarf for my daughter's boyfriend.  My nephew will get a Noro Striped Scarf I knit in 2011-12 and my son's girlfriend will get a Marin shawlette I finished in 2013.  Here are the newer things I knit:
Fairy Snocap

Acacia Cowl for Mom

Purple Drift Cowl for Joyce

Harrison's Scarf
As for current knitting, I am back at work on a scarf I began in December 2010 after ripping out a partially knit scarf started in 2009 in a stitch pattern that didn't do justice to the yarn.  I'm finally past the 50% point.
Handwerks Miracle Scarf
Off to my noon meeting, then back to the craft room!