Jan 20, 2012

five + eleventy billion

At the beginning of the year, I was a woman with a plan. I called my plan "five + one," and the crux of the plan was that I would only have five projects on the needles at a time, with an optional "plus one" project for KALs or gifts or other such time-sensitive projects that might come up. I even set it all up on a white board - a list of projects on the needles, and next to that a list of the next projects in my queue. How could I fail? I mean, it's on a white board! And we all know that a white board makes it official, right?

Well, here we are, three weeks into the year, and it seems that my foolproof plan didn't take into account what a special kind of fool I am. My official five + one projects are:

1. Secret socks for Heidi
2. Agatha Christie plain vanilla socks
3. Gentleman's lozenge socks
4. arabella shawl (been OTN forever)
5. Glasier socks
+1: advent shawl

The secret, unofficial, if-they're-not-on-my-rav-project-page-then-they-don't-exist projects: a featherweight cardigan in wollmeise 100% and a felicity hat in some gorgeous handspun I picked up at the Ann Arbor Fiber Festival (from Wonder Why Alpaca Farm). It's a minor miracle that I don't have several others on the needles, and I can't guarantee that there won't be a few more in the works by the end of the weekend.

I've decided not to fight this acute case of startitis, but rather to just embrace it. I started the year waging war on two different knitting-related issues: project polygamy (casting on too many new projects when I have projects on the needles pining away for my attention) and buying more yarn than I have room to store.  I'm starting to realize that I just don't have the weaponry to fight both at the same time. In fact, I am starting to think that startitis may actually help me deal with my inability to walk away from beautiful yarn just sitting there with puppy-dog eyes, begging me to bring it home. The feelings associated with casting on a new project are rather similar to those of purchasing pretty yarn - basically a sense of "OOOOOH! SO SHINY AND NEW! EXCITING!" So basically I am getting my fix by casting on shit tons of new projects.

If this theory holds, my bank account should be beefier by year's end. Unfortunately, it also means I will be swimming in WIPs, and I'll probably have to buy more needles...

Jan 8, 2012

Let's Twist Again!

The tip of my ring finger on my right hand is tingly and numb, and do you know what that means? I'm working on a twisted stitch pattern! I am a tight knitter as is, but when I am dealing with twisted stitch patterns, my death grip goes up a notch into death-by-shark grip. As a result, the right needles is pressed so hard into my ring finger that the tip starts to lose feeling, and the line embedded in my left index finger from the working yarn takes on the appearance of the Grand Canyon.

I cannot say for certain whether or not all of this should be cause for concern. What I can say for certain, is that the resultant knitted object is gorgeous!

Jan 6, 2012

Loot

Last post I wrote a little about some of the gifts I knitted for others (well, ok, one gift), but failed to discuss the veritable bounty I received! There was non-knitting-related stuff, like the complete DVD set of The West Wing (I am still in awe of the brilliance of that show), but that's not what y'all are here for, eh? Nah, y'all want to see the good stuff, the knitterly swag:


Yeah, that's a pile of signature needles sitting on the books! These mark my very first signatures - circulars in US 3, 5 and 6 from husband, and a set of DPNS in 2.5mm from my mother-in-law! I've used both the DPNS and the size 3 circs already, on the same project: a failed attempt to get a super-variegated yarn to pool correctly. While the project was a bust, I do love the needles. They're so light, with nice sharp tips and the cable on the circs is wonderful!

The books are self explanatory, and were both on my wishlist. I've already started a pair of socks from Nancy Bush's Knitting Vintage Socks, the Gentleman's Sock in Lozenge Pattern:


And I love it (other than the shit ton of stitches on the needle due to the ridiculously small gauge...)!

The project bags are pretty awesome - the TARDIS one is from husband, made by JessaLu. I absolutely adore those little box bags. They are the perfect size for a small project and fit nicely in my purse. I have a few others from JessaLu, which are also geektastic, along with a pile of other box bags littering my knitting space. The big, gorgeous drawstring bag is something super special. First of all, this was again a gift from my mother-in-law, who does a stellar job of shopping off my wishlist, and is amazing. My online-rav-buddy (isn't it strange how the interwebs has fucked up how we define our relationships?), who is an active member of the wollmeise group and by all accounts fucking awesome, makes these bags, "all made out of pure silk fabrics woven at the local centuries-old silk weaving mills of Sudbury, England." Check out the beauties he creates. They're the Ferraris of project bags. I cannot get over how beautiful the silk is, how well crafted the bag is, and how BIG it is! It is currently my blankie of death project bag. I have my section-in-progress, the two sets of needles I use, and a big ol' pile of little balls:






And look how much space there is left! Husband is diligently winding my minis into balls to fill the bag :)

Oh, that iPhone? That is actually my birthday present from husband, and I love it soooooo much that I had to include it! I do use it for knitting - I use the stitchminder app to keep track of rows, and of course use it to surf rav...

The last thing I have to share is kind of odd, and doesn't actually count as a Christmas gift. I include it because it arrived on Christmas day, which still baffles me, as I kind of figured the USPS had off, it being a. Christmas and b. a Sunday. This last thing is perhaps the most beautiful craft book I have ever encountered:








The book has knitting and sewing patterns, as well as recipes. The patterns are broken up by season, and the photography reflects such. The layout, photos and patterns are just beautiful. The mittens on the right are the very reason I purchased the book - I love the delicate lace and that they layers preserve warmth. The only problem that I personally have with this book, and really it is a minor issue, is that it is written in Estonian. I don't speak (or even read) Estonian. Y'all must think I'm crazy for purchasing a book I can't read, but... well... I have no counterargument. I just don't care. The book is beautiful, I can figure out the patterns from the charts (and maybe a little help from google translator), and it is so much fun to flip through, so I am just going to embrace the crazy and keep an eye out for Estonian language CDs at Costco.

(If you happen to understand Estonian, or just want to look at pretty photos and pretend you know what they're about, check out the author's blog here. I really really wish I knew Estonian...)