Knit 2 Par 3

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Yarn Store Employee Made Me Do It

Does this woman work at your Local Yarn Store?

She works at all of mine and was working full time this weekend when Lynn and I "took a quick ride over" to one of our regular knitter bordellos to "browse" at the "little sale" to maybe "find that Knitter magazine".

Everything was suspiciously easy on the trip. All the laundry was done, folded and put away so there was nothing to keep me home. We got a parking space right in front of the yarn store, and there was a lot of time left on the meter.

And when we got to the store, everything was on sale - not just a sad bin of of pilled-out turnip colored cashmerino orphans.

Everything. Even. Noro.

Now I swore that I would not buy any Noro for a while. I do love Noro for the colors, but I have to face it: it's very limited for actual garment construction. Socks made from the sock yarn feel like the paper slippers you get at the gynecologist. The silk blends have no body and are good only for scarves, and while Kuryeon is pretty spectacular, my horizontal stripe days are long past.

I was standing there, in front of the Noro, telling myself all these reasons and struggling with the thought of 20% off when the Devil came up to ask, in a seductive voice, if she could be of any help. I started stammering about stripes and cold feet and fifteen foot scarves and this is what followed:

Me (quietly, fearfully, to no one in particular): I think I will hold out on the Noro until I can justify buying enough Kuryeon for the Lizard Ridge Blanket.

Satan (cheerfully, brightly, directly into my ear): WELL! You know, with that particular pattern, you can just buy two or three skeins every time you go to a yarn store and in a couple of years, you'll have that Lizard Ridge done.

And there I was, undone. Reader, I bought two skeins. But they were on sale.

I fared better than Lynn, last seen running down the street with a garbage bag full of Malabrigo Gruesa and Ozark Handspun .

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Say Cheesy

I am a little tired from dancing the night away at the Inaugural Balls, so when I got home from work I put my feet up on the coffee table, turned on the Bob Hope Classic and cast on quite a few new projects too.

This year, I solemnly swear to bust down that stash and try not to buy too much new yarn, with the exception of this very nice Rowan Cocoon I bought over the weekend. It was an emergency buy because like the shoemaker's child, I don't have even one pair of warm handknitted mittens and it is cold cold cold. I was undecided about the pattern, I am going to use something like this one for the left hand and something like this one for the right hand.

I also sketched out a plan of attack for this sweater, using up some Cascade Superwash I bought quite a long time ago. I haven't knit a sweater for my husband since President #41.

And the final thing I cast on was this nice scarf with the not so nice Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn. Hopefully this year I can break my dependence on foreign yarn, particularly the sock yarn line from Noro, which dissapointed me at every step last year.

For you knitters, the Bob Hope Classic is a match that has professional golfers and amateur golfers playing together in teams, and I was hoping to catch golfer Alice Cooper playing tonite. I didn't have any luck with that, and I might not even be able to watch tomorrow or possibly ever again: this tournament includes a beauty pagent where three "Classic Girls" are selected for some cheesecake picture honor. Is this necessary?

Of course, knitters have their own cheesecake pictures:

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Thought It Would Never End

To celebrate the end of the Reign of Terror I ended the Never Ending Story Blanket. Most of the scrap ends of yarn in this blanket were knitted over the last 8 years. Lots of babies were born in our family requiring many woolly garments; very, very dear friends were acquired who gladly dressed up their whole families in stuff made out of yarn. Looking at the blanket while John was taking pictures of it yesterday I remembered how all that knitting made me feel happy in a world that seemed anything but.

Here I am, letting my freak flag fly:

Tomorrow is a new day so I started a new scrap blanket. I hope this one takes me 8 years to complete too.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Are They Made Out of Money?

Yes! That is what those Madoff mittens were made from. Money. So I decided to make a pair for myself.

It took a few tries, and a few bucks, to figure out how one actually knits with money. As a fiber, money is essentially a carry-along to another yarn. I used cashmere for my base yarn, though: it only seemed right.

As much as I love my Denise Interchangeable Needles, the tool you need for this project is a finger-amputatingly sharp X-acto knife. You can use your needle gauge as a straight edge to cut one-eighth inch strips of money. But please make sure you do this in the privacy of your own home, with the shades down, and the children out of the house. The penalty for defacing money is severe, and you don't want to take a family member down with you.

Because no one wants to waste cashmere, I recommend swatching first. My gauge here was 4 stitches and seven rows per inch, on size five needles.

Using my excellent knitter math skills, I figure it takes 64 dollar bills per mitten. That's $128 per pair, plus two skeins of cashmere totalling $72, for a total of $200.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

$200 Worth of Mittens

I polished off the rest of the sangria I made for a little brunch today, looking for those Madoff mittens with no success. I mean: this is the Internet - shouldn't this information be readily available to an eager knitter?

I figured if you made a pair of men's mittens out of double stranded qiviut, with a pair of rosewood double pointed needles you are still only up to about $198 with tax.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Tipping Point

We don't have a Wii, but this is making me think we should hurry up and get one.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Commerce Imitate$$ Art

Imagine my surprise to see these for sale for $100 by Kate Spade!

It's not like I invented the word "Hi" or anything, but come on! A $100? For mittens? Mine cost about $3 to make. Go make a pair. And send the remaining $97 directly to the "war-torn women" who are alleged to make them for Kate.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Okay, Back to Work Tomorrow

I crammed in the maximum amount of fun possible here at the end of my vacation. First off, I finished that Uncreative Noro Striped Scarf in the waning minutes of 2008. Then, early in 2009 (like 12:05 am on January 1) I decided it needed to be longer so undid the bind off and and added, oh, 18 more inches. Here it is:

It looked really beautiful in the snow on the day we went camping. No really, it was sort of camping: we visited friends who have a very rustic vacation cabin - no electricity, no water, wood stove for heat and an outhouse.

An outhouse in the snow.

Back in the Big City, I visited this store and picked up my xmas present from John - a copy of Charted Sweaters That Talk Back. This is more of a book about knitting and not a a book of patterns but you sure get some ideas about patterns from reading it.

Reading it in your outhouse in the snow.