Too Many Blogs!

Ok, so what have I been up to?

Some knitting, which I will post about later.

I am ashamed to admit that I read so many knitting blogs. I am not ashamed to say I read them, but that I have had a crappy system for reading them that takes me forever. To give you an idea, I started filing them in alphabetical order in my favorites after I realized there were over 100. I add more to them every day. As of now, I have 60 blogs filed under A-C alone. Yes, I read them all. However, it was getting to be a hassle to read every one and keep up-to-date. (This is also why I don’t post a list of links on my blog. It would take forever to add to them.) Since some are updated frequently, and others not so frequently, it takes me a week to get through all of them. I decided I had to come up with a better way of reading them.

So, I have been subscribing to blogs. I am using Google reader, since I already have an account, and I have been going through them subscribing one at a time. I started earlier this week, and I am now finished. Now, I know who has updated and can read those blogs! I love it!

And if you were wondering if I read your blog, the answer is probably, most likely, yes.

Rethinking the lessons

So after posting a few weeks ago about the lessons in my stash, I got to thinking about that Opal yarn I have. You remember, the one I wasn’t as thrilled about the colors when I got it? I had read somewhere (I don’t remember where, I think it was on someone else’s blog) about how the colors look closer to how they will knit up if you wind a ball from them. So I decided to wind it into a ball to see whether this would change its impression on me.

This is my Opal Herbstmelodie pre-winding. Note the predominance of red.

 

So, being that I have never had to wind a ball before, and I don’t own a ball winder, I remembered reading about nostepinde in one of my knitting books (again I don’t remember where I read it, and no, I am not looking through fifteen books to find out which one) and looked it up online. These instructions were very helpful. My next problem was finding a nostepinde. I was going to make one from a thick dowel rod, however I never got around to it.

One day, I was cleaning off my desk, and inspiration struck! I could use one of my larger needles! So I started to wind my ball, following the above instructions.

I also used a suggestion I read on someone’s blog (Come on! I read tons of blogs, I can’t document these things!) about using a lamp shade if you don’t have a swift. It works great!

 

Slowly, the ball got bigger. I got bored, so then it sat on the table next to the couch for a week.

However, I got a chance yesterday to wind it up. (Plus I was cleaning, remember? This counts as cleaning, don’t you think? Getting the yarn off the table, 2 points!)

Now this is my Opal, all wound up.

   

Pretty good for my first ball winding, don’t you think?

I am now much more impressed by this yarn and excited! I’m thinking again about the prospects of knitting some fall-like socks… (as if I don’t have enough socks to knit!)

Mini-Tour of DC

So yesterday was a busy day for husband and I, packed with fun and discoveries.

First, we went to Stitch DC, in Capitol Hill, to look for yarn. I wanted a particular kind of yarn for socks. They had yarn, but I didn’t end up buying any because they didn’t have what I was looking for. They had some beautiful silk and bamboo, soft merino, and I even saw some lace-weight linen yarn! What do you make with that? It seems kinda heavy and has no give for a shawl. I did get two Rowan magazines that have tons of beautiful things.

(It’s a good thing that I am not hit by Startitis often, or I would have hundreds of projects on the needles. As it is I think I will be hard pressed to finish all of the projects I want to make.)

The girl there was very helpful, making recommendations for the yarn I was looking for, and the shop itself had an awesome feature. A central courtyard that you could go sit in and knit or hang out, with a dogwood tree blooming in it! That would be great to go visit and knit in, if only it was closer to home. :o( Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures to show it.

While at the shop, a girl had brought her boyfriend for the first time. She wander the shop, feeling yarn, while he sat on this couch, calling people once in a while on his cell phone. At one point, she came back to him with a ball of yarn, held it out, and said, “Isn’t this soft and pretty?” He looked at it, touched it, and responded, “Well, it’s soft and I guess it’s nice…” She seemed somewhat disappointed, saying, “I think it is soft and pretty.” He tried to salvage the situation by saying, “Maybe I’m the wrong person to bring to a yarn store.” Cute. There were other interactions that made me laugh. They kept me entertained while I was shopping.

Nearby was a bike store that a friend of our worked at, so Husband went to ride new bikes and talk to our friend while I was looking at yarn. We didn’t realize before we got there that it was right next door to the yarn shop. Sure was convenient, or our conversations might have resembled the above. This way, everyone spent their time with people who share their obsessions interests.

After leaving the stores, we went to a nearby restaurant called Banana Cafe.

It is a Cuban/Mexican/Puerto Rican place with a piano bar. I ordered a quesadilla with plantains, which are like bananas. It was delicious! Husband’s assessment was, “Excellent”.

Then we went to our friend’s for his birthday party. Husband told everyone about my blog, so here are some of the pictures for those who attended. (The one with the cat is the b-day boy)

    

It was a good time. We got home late, very tired.

Somewhere along the course of the day, I finished my paint-box socks!

I wore them the rest of the day, they were soft and warm, very comfortable. They make me want to wear only knitted socks from now on. (Too bad it takes so long to make a pair, and there are many other obligations I have to take care of.)

Well, it was nice chatting, but we are having guests over today, so I have to go clean now.

(Ha! cleaning! more like I am going to shove things in a corner and clear off some surfaces. Fun)

Yarn, knitting, bugs, and more yarn

Much has been happening around here lately.

Thursday, I received some yarn I swapped with Not Hip!

approx 12 balls of Knit Picks Andean Silk. Plus she sent me her color card and a beautiful postcard.

I have also been working on my second paint box sock, which I hope to show you by the end of the weekend.

Yesterday, I had a wish come true. You remember my roaches? Well, they are now parents! I have been waiting for them to reproduce so I can use them in my ecology classes. Unfortunately, I had left my camera at home, so I don’t have any pictures. (I know, you are so upset that there are no pictures, right?)

Today, I get to go to my first LYS! Yay! So I should have more to tell you about later. Come back and visit again!

Sheepishly posting for Stash Swap Round.

Beth, I have your stash choices! Let me know which ones you want. Feel free to choose more than one.

 

2 balls of Gedifra Sock Yarn, colors brown, copper, olive twined with white

One ball of Knit picks orange pima cotton

7 balls of Knit Picks wool of the andes, approx 700+ yards total

Or 4 balls of Knit picks WOTA in hollyberry color.

And finally, One ball of Reynolds Swizzle sock yarn

Let me know so I can get it out as fast as possible!

Hubby and knitting

You know the ‘look’? The one you get from muggles who you try to show your knitting accomplishments to? The look that means you are off your rocker? I only get ‘the look’ from my sister or my dad about my knitting. My husband, on the other hand, is very supportive about my knitting. He brags about it at work, showing his co-workers my blog. (When I have met some of them, the first thing they say to me after, “Nice to meet you.” is , “So, did you bring any knitting with you?”) He is very proud of the things I make him, and is mildly interested when I talk about my knitting. Even so, the following conversation we had this weekend came as quite a surprise.

 

Me: “You know, I was thinking I want to take a trip to a yarn store, since we don’t have one nearby.”

Husband: “What’s there?”

Me: “Well, yarn, and other things. I was thinking I could go next Friday when I have off of work.”

Husband: “Do they have yarn stores in D.C.?”

Me: “Why?”

Husband: “Because we are going there this weekend, and since we’re going to be there, we could go to one then.”

Me: “Really!? You would want to go with me?!”

Husband: “Sure.”

 

So, does anyone know a good yarn store I can visit in D.C?

(Husband has also mentioned on a number of occasions that me buying yarn is not a problem, and that I can buy as much as I want. We’ll see how he feels after our trip.)

Hogwarts Sock Swap!

This is my first swap! I am excited because I can try some new things, and the ultimate bonus, I get some new socks!

Hogwarts Sock Swap Questionnaire

1. What Hogwarts house have you been sorted into?

Ravenclaw

2. Shoe size?

I think a 6 ? (I have small feet and can fit a 7 to a 5.5, depending on the make of the shoe)

3. Foot Length?

9″

4. Foot Circumference?

8 1/2″

5. List your three favorite double-point needle brands, including size and length.

I have only knit with Susan Bates steel needles, usually between sizes 1-3, 7″ in length.

6. Would you like to try a new brand needle? If so, which brand? Size? Length?

Yes, although I wouldn’t know what to try. I do know that I am not a fan of bamboo, I have tried them and don’t like them very much.

7. If you are a RAVENCLAW, do you prefer the colors in the film or the book? Do you have a strong preference?

I think I like them both, so I will let you choose and be surprised!

8. Are you willing to have an international Hogwarts Sock Pal?

Sure!

Anyone else want to join the fun? Go here to find the Hogwarts Sock Swap! You can still join if you are interested.

Feedback

I finished Casts Off, and if anyone noticed, there was a card in the back that asked for feedback from readers. I …

1. typically hate these cards, especially in magazines, because the are obnoxious and are unnecessary if I already have a subscription to the magazine.

2. rip them out with a fervor, even if the magazine was not mine.

..however, due to the fact that I did not discover the card until the end, therefore it is not obnoxious, and that I just finished reading a knitting book I enjoyed, felt warmly to the card. I decided to write my thoughts on the card and send it in. Here is what I said,

“Congratulations for agreeing to publish someone as amazing as the Yarn Harlot! That was an excellent move on your part. I love the illustrations inside, they really brought the idea of this as a ‘travel’ book together. One suggestion though – publish more books by knitters.”

I would have written more, but the space was too small.

I also organized my stash today. I was looking for yarn to swap, and decided (after I had ripped everything off the shelf) to put it back neatly. This is what the organization looked like before…

…and after.

 

It doesn’t look like I have as much yarn now, does it? You know what that means!

I was also playing with an idea I had read about in one of the knit catalogs. They sell those magic marbles (the ones that are cheap kaleidoscopes) to use to imagine color possibilities together. Well, I happen to already have a nice kaleidoscope at my disposal, so I thought I would play with some color combinations. First, I lined up my yarn,

then I took a picture of them through the kaleidoscope (hence the somewhat blurry pic. Cameras don’t focus well through kaleidoscopes. Binoculars though? Different story.)

Now, the colors are more like the first picture, but do you get that these go very well together?! What can I make out of them? I know that there are many people on the Chevron Scarf craze, and I’m not totally attracted to this pattern. I could make chevron socks, there is a pattern in Sensational Knitted Socks. But this is merino, and as far as I am aware, this is not typically what you want to make socks out of. Does anyone have any other ideas?