Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day Three: 30th March. Tidy mind, tidy stitches.
How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised? It seems like an easy to answer question at first, but in fact organisation exists on many levels. Maybe you are truly not organised at all, in which case I am personally daring you to try and photograph your stash in whatever locations you can find the individual skeins.

A few years ago, our lives changed rather drastically, and we bought a new-to-us house.  The renovation of, and addition to, that tiny old house are subjects for another blog entirely, but one of my favorite things about the new house is the Stash Closet my husband built for me.  It has adjustable pull-out shelves that go from floor to ceiling, and should surely have been enough room for the ever-growing stash.

The collection of fibery goodness had already outgrown the Wonderful Closet before I even began to organize and store it away.  Then my sister died, and I inherited her stash, too. 
<----here is a small part of that.


THEN my son, his wife, and their four small children moved in with us, and everything got hurriedly removed from the downstairs bedroom as part of the effort to make space for them...and stowed in what will one day become our dining room/my library.  

<-----  It looks like this now. : (  I can't even get to a fairly large heap of yarn that got shoved behind this mess...

In addition, I have baskets and bags of yarn and needles and WIPs and prospective WIPs everywhere in the house.  I usually have a project or two in the car, too, just in case.

So I guess that I am partially organized...although it's more like marginally-contained chaos.  = )
Chat-back from recent posts:
On my Time-Traveler's Wife thread:
"Sue said...I loved this book wept buckets at the end."
It is an especially poignant book for me. I have a dear friend who traveled a great deal for his work, and would pop into and out of our lives, much as Henry deTamble did, never naked, of course : ) but often tired, or ill, or cold, or discouraged at the nature of his job.  He would often be away for weeks at a time, sometimes with no contact with us.  I think of him often when I read this book.

PandaBearofDoom said...I haven't tried socks yet, but I can't wait to  
Love your user name! :)  Socks aren't hard at all. If you can knit and purl and do a couple of basic decreases, you can knit socks, and they're nearly-instant gratification.  I'd be glad to help you learn. 

josiekitten said...Well done you for writing your own sock patterns. That's something I'd like to have a go at too. You're right, knitting is great therapy. I always turn to my knitting at times of stress.
Writing patterns is not too difficult, either.  You just need to know basic sock construction and a few measurements, and you can do it! I can work with you to show you, if you like.  I get bored easily, and I have rarely knit the same pattern more than once.  I knit all my socks two-at-a-time on two circular needles to help prevent Second Sock Syndrome.  I have a whole pile of singletons around here somewhere that were knit as samples for my published patterns...I don't know if they'll ever meet their mates!
Working with yarn is the very best stress-reducer for me.  Even sorting through my stash, untangling snarls of yarn and winding balls will relax and center me.

AC said...I need to learn how to use up odds and ends! 
AC, a good friend taught me a wonderful way to make this work.  Sort your small balls of yarn by colors.  Since I knit 2 socks/2 circs, if the yarn is self-striping, I usually will try to divide it into two balls, making the stripes repeat the same way in both, if it's solid colored, I just work from both ends of the same ball. 
Use a simple, pretty lace pattern for your socks, and change balls of yarn every two to four pattern repeats.  You'll be amazed at how well they'll turn out.  This is how I knit socks for my granddaughters last December, using up small bits of yarn from my late sister's sock yarn stash.  Scroll down for that entry "Girly-girl socks" to see them.

katiemckinna said...Looks like you've done alot this year. Your blog tripped me out, because it looks almost identical to mine. It was confusing for a moment! :-)
Katie, I just looked at yours, and we've used the same Blogger template!  Love your 'Anatomy of a Sock', by the way. = ) 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day Two: 29th March. Skill + 1UP
Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year. 

  • I've knit quite a few non-sock items over the last year: several pair of fingerless mitts, a couple of tams for the granddaughters, hats for friends.  
  • I've become much more comfortable with mixing up odds and ends of leftover yarn to make some amazingly attractive items.  
  • I've become much more adept at determining the beginning of a pattern repeat, so as to make socks and other paired items match.
  • I've begun to teach a couple of ladies to knit socks.
  • I've written a number of brand-new sock patterns for my own use.
  • I've learned a different heel-turn technique (the Dutch heel, which I like very much) and tried the short-row heel again for the first time since my very first sock-knitting attempt (and I don't like it any better now than I did then!).
  • I have learned (or perhaps re-learned) just what good therapy knitting is, through the death of my sister and during the ongoing terminal illness of a dear friend. 
  • I am learning the ins and outs of using Ravelry as a social knitting network (I'm bookish98 there)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day One: 28th March. A Tale of Two Yarns.
"Part of any fiber enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them."
I love to knit socks with Opal and with Trekking.  I always know that the socks will turn out well, that the colors will be wonderful, and that the finished socks will wash and dry beautifully.  I have quite a lot of Opal in my stash, and often hesitate to use it because will be GONE! 8- 0
Love the striping, the slow color changes in Trekking, the fair-isle stretches in Opal, everything about both of these yarns!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Good Read
I am re-reading The Time-Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger.  This is my second time through.  I've seen bits and pieces of the movie, but read the book first.  I've always been intrigued by time-travel stories, but this is by far the best I've read.  The prose is elegant, the storyline heartrending, the characters fully-fleshed and ready to jump from the page into real life. 

I am a speedy reader: I skim, I rush, I read with one part of my brain while solving problems and re-hashing conversations in other parts.  Those who know me, know that I am an unrepentant multi-tasker. With this book, I long to slow down. Savor. Immerse myself.  Alas, if I am reading silently I seem unable to read slowly, and I have no one who wants to be read to, at least no one older than my grandchildren, and this would not be an appropriate bedtime story for two- to six-year-olds. = )

This is writing that begs to be heard.  If I could speak the words as I read them, it would force me to linger, to infuse the prose with all the meaning the author intended to convey.  The story is written alternately in the voices of its two main characters.  It would be especially lovely to read the book aloud with a man, who would read Henry's parts as I read Clare's.

I don't know why this particular book has affected me so, but I will read it again now, and will read it again in the future, I am certain.  Each time I read it, I will take something new from it.  Maybe one day I will even watch the entire movie...