Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Spring has sprung...

Spring has finally arrived in NASCAR, PA. and it is a joy to behold. When my kids were younger we would always take afternoon walks and look for signs of Spring: daffodils, pussy willow, robins and gnomes (man do I miss Zoloft!). Anyway, nowadays signs of Spring include a dwindling tax refund, dealing with student supplications usually involving phrases like 'extension on my paper' and 'needing to graduate', not being able to fit in last Spring's already unstylish capri pants let alone contemplating buying new ones, and rushing around like a mad hatter from choir concert to orchestra practice to soccer game. But no matter, these things I take in stride because I love Spring. I must say it's primarily due to my affection for the color green and all its many hues and shades. Here you see pictured the back of a baby sweater that I am truly enjoying--note the chartreuse green bush in the background. At first I was attempting one of those '5 Hour Baby Sweater' jobbies, but I quickly discovered that any knitting pattern that has a supposed time limit stated explicitly in the project's title is a recipe for anxiety,frustration and feelings of inadequacy, so I frogged it and am leisurely working at my own pace on this one, which is inspired by the 'Even Danielle did it, again' Sweater from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Kid Knits book. I am doing mine in Jo Sharp Aran Tweed, one of my all time fave yarns. I am very excited to finish this and give it to my assistant, who is a lovely, solid Iowan embarking on motherhood for the first time. I know as a native Minnesotan I am technically not supposed to hold Iowans in high regard, but she is just so darn nice! In any case, I suppose that knitting a baby sweater is an appropriate way to auger in my favorite season. Knitters: Do you find yourselves motivated by a particular season?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Yarn gluttony, or the treachery of the trunk purchase...

For those of you wondering what the devil a 'trunk purchase' is, it's basically a situation where when bringing a newly purchased item into the house would cause your spouse so much tsorris (if he's Jewish) or agita (if he's Italian-American) that the best thing to do is to leave it in the trunk of your car until the coast is clear and you can sneak it into the house without causing him pain. How thoughtful of you!
When does stash enrichment become gluttony? When is too much of a good thing not a good thing? In continually acquiring yarn because a. it's on sale b. so perfect for some imagined future project c. terribly fabulous/soft/unusual/hard-to-find or d. you see some other intrepid knitter who must know something you don't buying it and suddenly have to have it, are we setting ourselves up for a lifetime of excess, awash in projects that will never become realized?
I am a yarn glutton and am on the verge of experiencing yarn gout.
The yarn you see pictured above is one hell of a trunk purchase, all gleaned from my playground pusher errr LYS which was having a mega-sale this week. Note it's location: the trunk of my car! Most of it is Swiss Chalet (discontinued!), Landlord (also discontinued!) and Two-Two (discontinued as well!) and unless I plan on spending the summer in Australia where the temperature would necessitate heavy woolens, these projects are all going to be for next year...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Pittsburgh Yarn Bonanza!

Anyone who is even slightly paying attention should know that I have no business whatsoever engaging in any sort of yarn bonanza, esp. after my recent trip to New York. But I went to Pittsburgh to pick up my parents at the airport and felt that a trip to Knit One was justified because a. I'd never been there before and b. I was in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood anyway and not going would seem weird, like I was trying to prove something. So I went, and I am so glad that I did--what a fantastic place!They were buzzing with enthusiasm after an in-store appearance by the Yarn Harlot herself and the staff were quick to describe in interesting detail her visit. The space itself is large and airy with a great view. Knit One is replete with many inviting, comfy nooks to knit and browse in, and the people who work there are among the friendliest and most knowledgable I've ever encountered.
In any new yarn store I am always first drawn to the sock yarn--for some reason it helps me gauge (ha,ha) what type of store it is. Knit One's sock yarn offerings did not disappoint--what a killer selection! I was finally able to purchase some Claudia's Hand Dyed Sock Yarn--this is 'Eat Your Veggies' and features my all-time favorite color combo of lime green and purple. Love it!
My daughters were immediately drawn to several (expensive) shawls and the staff was quick to suggest cheaper, more kid appropriate versions. My elder daughter chose some Mohair Kiss and is anxiously awaiting her mother to knit it into a shawl for her. Check out Miss Buttermilk in her special Easter Shawl done in Cascade 'Pima Mélange'.We had a great time at Knit One and I especially appreciated the staff's welcoming attitude to my daughters in tow--so frequently LYS types can't deal with the junior set,so I found their attitude refreshing. Two thumbs way,way up for Knit One!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006


Is it any wonder that I can't get anything done with this type of monkey business going on? Honestly! I know that talking about my cat on my blog puts me at risk of entering a new pathetic category of woman in her 40s that talks about her cats as if anyone really cares, but why do cats feel the need to interfere? Granted this Irish Hiking Scarf happens to be taking up space on his special piece of living room furniture, but still....
I am happy with this scarf and it is certainly a lot o' fun to do, but I feel like somewhat of a dipstick when I see that most people have been doing this scarf on big-ass #10.5s and I'm plodding along on #8s. Damn you Filatura di Crosa 501 and your seductive ways! I could have been done with this a long time ago, but then again I wouldn't have been able to find this particular shade of chartreuse in another yarn, I feel. I am forever second-guessing myself with my projects, thinking "why didn't I do X project in X yarn using X pattern?". My best pal Babs declares that she is suffering from Knitting Asperger's Syndrome, which means that as a knitter you become totally overloaded by sensory input which causes you to shut down as a knitter and have to lie down whilst a maelstrom of potential knitting projects swirl about you. I can relate, Babs!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Knitting at work

Sometimes I really am reminded just how much I desperately need to get a life--seriously. You know you've crossed a line when you're knitting at work. I had the sudden realization that I think about knitting and yarn about as much as your average high school guy thinks about sex or beer--which is to say ALL THE TIME.
The picture you see here is my Mountain Colors Bearfoot sock in Ruby River, it's almost done. That's my desk you see it on. Yes, my desk--that place where I'm supposed to be grading papers, writing exams and generally at least pretending to look busy. During a mid-afternoon lull that no amount of caffeine or chocolate could cure (esp. when you're too lazy to even think about hauling your a$$ down to the coffee cart) it suddenly dawned on me that my new cell phone has a camera on it and that I could be using precious office time to post on my knitting blog! Eureka! Another tale of American workplace productivity done in by technology...So now that I've completely crossed this line of acceptabilty, perhaps I'll soon cross other lines, like 'knitting while driving'. My friend told me of a co-worker who saw a therapist that we all know and loathe who was actually crocheting during his therapy appointment. As much as I can't stand the woman, I totally understand how she got to that place. Does anyone else feel like knitting is starting to seep over into areas where it clearly should not?