March 25, 2009

Spend just to satisfy myself

I have been thinking a lot about my stash these days.

Its sheer volume is overwhelming and almost embarrassing.  I know there are a lot of mega-stasher out there in the knitting world, but, thinking about the size of my house and the fact I'm not making any money with knitting, my stash is just too much bigger than me.  I should not be ashamed of, though, because it's not a selfish stash.

Those yarns I salvaged from my mother's house was meant to be something for the families.  Inheriting her yarns means I am taking over her position as "family knitter."  Now I got a good excuse to knit more - it's something I can be happy about.
I think now I knit somewhat like knitters of years ago; Knit with what you have in your hand.  Years ago, before internet yarn shopping, before LYS, knitters depended on local yarn or what they get from agents.  They knit what they need to, adding a little bits and pieces of fun here and there.  Labor knitters had less fun.  
Now I'm a family knitter of modern age.  I can knit guernsey or Nordic colorwork, even lace.  I can knit in any design my daughter likes.  There's no limit by tradition, age, social position on designs.  I am FREE.  I'm only limited by the yarn I have.  Gauge issue have to be solved by double-, triple-, or even quadruple-stranding and choosing one or two size larger/smaller, but those are what I'm always doing anyway.

But still, from time to time, I feel "I gotta buy yarn".  I'm addicted to knitting, crocheting, and buying yarns.
My solution for it is, to buy yarns for my friends.  And for a single, small project as "vent" knitting.  Like buying just two skeins of Noro Silk Garden for a scarf.

I found out another solution just today.  I have never bought on-line patterns (download & pay-pal kinda stuff) before.  I think I can replace yarn-buying with pattern-buying.  Not started yet, but I have a vague feeling this can be dangerous.  Unlike yarns, pdf files doesn't require any storage space.  

March 24, 2009

Challenge and reward

Challenge Socks done
Pattern; Clematis Vine in New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One by Cat Bordhi
Yarn; La Primera Junmou Chu-boso, color 13 (pink) 13g, La Primera Wool Multi Color Chu-boso color 105 (pink-orange-purple multi) 34g, Kanebo Cattleya color 201(white) 40g  - 40g of MC (white) and total 47g of CC (pink & multi)
Needles; US 1 1/2 (2.50mm) Brittany 5 inch DPN, set of five and KnitPicks nickel 24 inch circular

This is my Sock Knitters Anonymous Group Sockdown! challenge for March.  Challenge, it was.  I had to carry the charts and instructions everywhere I go.  I didn't imagine I would say "oh, it's nothing - just K1-K1 stripe with two colors!" 

I'm sure it's a gauge issue, but my socks have extra room (more like extra suite rooms) at heels.  I should have stop increasing for the heels two or three stripes earlier, to make gusset shorter and fit a little more better.  I'm OK with this pair, though, because it's my bedroom socks to wear over another pair.  I love these colors.  Original pair in the book used orange and blue yarn, stunning beauty of autumn blue sky and leaves just starting to change their colors.  Mine is meant to be more like dreaming spring flower garden (too girly?).  I am very proud of myself that I did it and did it from my stash - "leftover" stash, that is.  All the skeins were partial at the beginning.  I didn't have to buy any to finish.  

On the first sock, I read the instruction wrong and made only one round of CC stockinette after the picot row.  I wondered why the cuff rolls up so bad, and crochet SC one round to keep it from showing the gut.  It worked, and I somewhat proudly even took a picture of it, and wondered again, why THAT Cat Bordhi publish such pattern.  I read it again, and found "inch" after "k1" at the cuff instruction.  I deeply regretted while I re-do the hem the right way, not to have been more careful.
The second sock was on hold for days after finishing the toes.  
My daughter had lost Gaspard and I promised her to make the identical doll again, and the demand was enough to wake me up from ignorance (not really ignoring, but y'all know what I mean).
Gaspard new eyes 
After Gaspard, I was all obsessed to make Penelope and her doll Doudou completed with the carry basket for him. 
And I had to finish something for a brand-new big sister of my friend's new baby (Welcome to the world, Ahren Kazuma!).
Lil green cat
Of course, my daughter had to have one for herself.
Lil cat black sitting
Those amigurumi craze made the girls (including the one in myself) really happy, but took longer than I expected.

My mother went home the day before I finished the socks.  I helped her to leave the hospital, do the filling-an-empty-fridge-and-an-empty-pantry shopping with her.  My daughter and I stayed for two nights with her to fill her emptiness a little more  and help her go back in the action (meaning let her cook for us).
I finished the Clematis socks at her home, actually. (It's why the lighting was so bad and the color of the carpet is different.)

I am not so confident about consuming the now humongous stash of mine in my lifetime.  The final (big) box filled with Mom's yarns arrives on Friday.  There are acrylics in worsted and fingering weight, and beautiful wools in rainbow colors.  I am thinking of a log cabin acrylic afghan/rug/whatever and a few wool vests for my daughter to wear under her Kindergarten uniform bolero.
I totally agree with "Life is too short to knit with bad yarns".  Looks like my criteria for "bad yarn" leaves very few yarns in that category.  Acrylics has its own niche.

March 18, 2009

It's all Greek to me

My mom's house is anything but (edited; more like "nowhere near") perfect, but now a couple truck-full lighter than it used to be.  And getting ready for her to come home.  Cleaning up and remodel still on the way (long way, that is), but anyway, Mom herself is ready to back in action.

I was helping clean-up guys at her house and found some more yarn in oshi-ire, which I blogged right from the scene and forgot a picture from too much excitement.
This is the Greek one.  Grey, maybe a little finer than worsted, 2-ply, ....... beautiful yarn.  20 skeins of them.  HEAVENLY, isn't it?

Greek label
This is the label.  Literally, All Greek.
But I think I can find all the information I need. 
Recommended needle size; 4-4.5 mm or 4.5mm crochet hook
One skein has 100 grams.  Length is not provided.  Hand wash warm.  And it must be 100% wool, because I found the words "Pure laine vierge" on the front side of the label.

Of course, I can ask for help on Ravelry to hellas, Greek Knitters Group.  Still, a little detective work first does no harm.  Woo, it's fun.

Other than this, there were four more big paper bags of yarn.  I didn't open them all, but looked like all Japanese yarn (old, or vintage?)  This weekend, I'll help Mom at home to settle, and inspect those yarns together.   Yes, I'm really lucky to have this kind of stuff in common with her.  

March 17, 2009

Should have known

Today, I am at Mom's house for cleaning. Y'all know what I found here? More yarn. Of course. One of them is from Greece.

March 11, 2009

40 years ago

On March 11th, 40 years ago, it snowed in Osaka.

I don't know if I like or dislike more if I were not born on a snowy day.  My feelings to snow is "normal" as a person who was born in a place where she has just one or two snow every winter - a child in me gets verrry excited, and an adult in me, not so much.

Anyway, I love snowflake pattern.  Especially now I'm pretty confident about stranded knitting.

Turning to 40 is - not so exciting, in any way.  It's not good nor bad.  It's just another day.  And I love it.

March 06, 2009

The busier I am, the more I knit (and crochet).

I haven't blogged about my FOs for a while.  I feel I'm behind of everything and still putting off everything.  I'm knitting all the time and still complaining I'm not knitting enough.

Here are my FOs done in these two month or so..

for Junko
Hat from Pea pod baby set and EZ February Baby Sweater on two needles.  I knit it with a  circular, though.

pea pod hat #2
Another hat, 
baby project II green
and another baby sweater for another recipient.

Fishhead decoration for Setsubun (it's supposed to be a real grilled iwashi head, but we ate fish the day before and I didn't save a head.)  

To go done
A pair of socks for my daughter.  It's just an everyday knit, y'all know. No frill, st-st sock with Yarnharlot's recipe.

Mitred Hand Towel trinity
Mitred Hand Towel stripy
Mitered Hand Towels with CotLin.  First three are for my daughter to use at her kindergarten.  Striped one is for my mother to use at her hospital.  (To my friends who's kindly thinking of her, thank you, she is fully recovered.  She could go back home two weeks ago, but for the sake of family's peace of mind, is still staying at a medical facility while her house remodel is going on. )

A baby sweater for my daughter's best friend, Markun the horse.  Another EZ baby sweater on circ.  I had had the pattern completely in mind when I made this one.  

Warm me up on me
Kay's Tess D’Urbervilles Shawl with double stranded Nikke Woolland 7.  Warm, and not scratchy at all.  My daughter wears it over her half-sleeve shirts and doesn't give it back to me.  Do I have to make another? mmm. 

Gaspard II
Gaspard II.  Please don't go anywhere anymore. Please.

And, I am participating Sockdown challenge with Sock Knitters Anonymous Group on Ravelry three month in a row now.
for January (Beaded Socks or Socks from a pattern from an online magazine or Mystery Sock, designed by SKA mod Emmie), I knit Clover by Kate Blackburn.Clover SKA non-flash
The yarn is KnitPicks Essential, colorway is pine.  This pair was adopted by my cousin and she loves it.

For February(Socks for a Cause or Gigi Silva or Entrelac plus surprise designer Chrissy Gardiner), I knit Eleanor by Monkey Toes (Gigi Silva), with Zitron Trekking (XXL) 107.
SKAFab Eleanor
The yarn was a present from Janet.  February challenge theme included "socks for cause", so I am going to add $20 (unused yarn budget) to my donation I'm going to make on July.  It's going to UNICEF, for we are thankful to have a healthy child in a peaceful community. 
I love the color of the yarn flew through my fingers. Pink, red, greens in different shades... so "spring".   I was amused to hear my husband say "oh, autumn color socks, aren't they?"

March challenge is Lace Socks or Cat Bordhi or Mystery Sock designed by Kristi Schueler.  I had long wanted to knit Clematis Vine in New Pathways for Sock Knitters: Book One. 
Mine started
SKAMAR09 on the way
well.  But I almost freaked out and frogged after about half the increase is done, seeing my sock "unusually short and fat".  I just didn't want to frog a whole day's worth of stranded knitting, so read through the pattern again, calculated again, and then I had an epiphany.  It is Cat Bordhi's pattern, my goodness.  Of course it looks unusual.  It IS unusual.  So I went on.
SKAMAR09 after the heel turned, in
It fits.  Heel edge is wonky, but it's because of a wrong choice of needles.  5 inch Brittany DPNs are a little too short to keep all the heel stitches.  I'll switch to 6 inch KnitPicks Harmony DPNs around the widest part on the second sock.

Anyway, I'm happy knitting.
I have some sewing on my to-do list this month (scared) to get my daughter ready for kindergarten, so my knitting has to be set aside to make times for it.  But, there are some added knitting time.  My husband had set out for his 7-weeks business trip to the USA this morning. - more flexible time schedule.  I'll visit my mom at the hospital a little more often now that my sister needs more time at and around her home.  - more time on the train and some sitting time with her.

According to my husband, I am an addict.  He may be right.