Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Oh yeah, knitting

It’s been a long time since I’ve bored my non-knitting followers with pictures of my finished projects. But I’m going to do it anyway.

Two weekends ago was the annual Hill Country Yarn Crawl. I made it to six of the nine stores on Crawl, skipping those in San Antonio and Marble Falls. The highlight of the trip was driving out to Comfort to visit The Tinsmith’s Wife. It’s a great little store, even if it does take two hours to get there. I went out there with Elizabeth and Ella, and we made a fun day of it, eating lunch on the main square in town, where Elizabeth left a puddle on the sidewalk. I don’t know that I’ll ever make the trip out there again just to go to the yarn shop, but if I’m ever within 30 miles, I’ll make a detour.

I also drove over to Paige, which is between here and Houston. I stop in at Yarnorama pretty much every time I have to make the Houston run. It’s a nice pit stop. Plus they have angora bunnies in the store, and they are so soft and sweet.

I drove back from Paige through Bastrop, and I was stunned speechless at the devastation from the fires. I was on the phone with Knittergran, and I honestly couldn’t come up with the words to describe how bad it was. I knew it would be bad; I had no idea it would be THAT bad.

But now back to yarn.

yarncrawl2 

This is some of my haul from the Yarn Crawl. There’s some Dizzy Lettuce, Noro, Rasta, Unisono, and Ella Rae in there, along with some skeins of indie dyer yarns. Yum.

Going to all the yarn stores inspired me to just finish Elizabeth’s dang sweater already. I had gotten stuck with 25 rows to knit on a sleeve, and I just couldn’t make myself sit down and knit. I even tried not allowing myself to knit anything else until I finished, but it turns out I don’t follow my own directions.

finished sweater

Finally, though, I sat down and knocked out the last sleeve. Just in time, too. Today’s high is in the mid—70s. Positively frigid.

Last Wednesday, I carefully packed a bag of stuff to take to keep everyone entertained during Lily’s ballet class. I included snacks, spare clothes for Puddles, and a new skein of sock yarn for me. My swift and ball winder are both in storage, so I had hand wound the ball the previous night, and it took forever. At the last moment, I also threw a bottle of water in the bag.

When we got to ballet, I pulled the bag out of the car, and water came flooding out of it. The water bottle had leaked and emptied itself all over the bag, its contents and the car floor. Including my precious ball of Unisono sock yarn.

I fired off a few frantic e-mails to knitting friends, asking if they had any tricks for drying the yarn without unwinding the whole skein. Unfortunately, they didn’t. So I spent half an hour unwinding the yarn around the back of a chair on the porch. It turns out the thing was soaked to the very core. Waiting for it to dry in ball form might have taken years.

wetyarn

And then the next day, I wound it all back up again. But the results have been worth the effort. I am totally in love with this yarn and the way it’s knitting up. I was expecting stripey socks, not color blocks.

unisonosocks

I am having so much fun watching how the stripes turn out. I’ve already ordered two more skeins of the stuff in different colorways.

Finally, during the past month or so, I’ve kept myself knitting washcloths. One of the local yarn stores was collecting them for Bastrop fire evacuees, so I went to Hobby Lobby and bought way too much cotton yarn. I knit four for the collection and then another three that I gave to friends. I’ve discovered they’re the perfect project to carry around.

I’ve also cast on a Clapotis shawl, but it’s sitting in timeout right now. I tend to get resentful of any project that requires four pages of spreadsheets with instructions like “Knit rows 1-12 another 12 times.”

Now I need to get busy on Christmas presents. I think it’ll be washcloths and locally made soap for everyone.

7 comments:

Ann in NJ said...

Would you believe I went to Rhinebeck and DIDN'T buy any yarn? It was too much - how do you choose??? But I had fun walking around and bought some needles and a couple of books. Now I'm inspired to go again next year.

Becca said...

puddles' sweater is cute!!

knittergran said...

The socks are great-but I really, really love the sweater. Get it on Ravelry!!!

yogurt said...

I can knit, too! Scarves. Lots and lots of scarves. Ok, that's a lie. I've made a few scarves in my life but have never graduated beyond. But I love, love, love hand knitted stuff. And looking at yarn. The color plus texture is wonderful.

Barb said...

Oh, that sweater is delicious! Great job!

I can't wait until my Unisono yarn arrives. I will be keeping it dry, though, since I now live so close to the beach that my hair never, ever dries. Wet yarn would be a disaster.

FranceRants said...

i am so JEALOUS that you can knit. i have tried and stink, STINK at it (i think it's because i can't count stitches correctly). i wished you lived nearby, i would force you to teach me (although i would provide you homemade cookies and bread for your time!).

The Empress said...

I have tried 3 or 4 times in my life to knit.

I JUST CAN'T.

There needs to be classes of encouragement: you know:

You can do it, yes you can. Knit that scarf, show your hands!