Saturday, August 04, 2007

Knit From My WHAT? (A Novel)

My stash?


That Knit From Your Stash 2007 thingie?

Not working for me.

I set up my rules. I thought I'd be safe. I didn't count on a little thing called Sockaholism. Apparently, I need more than just a 12-step program and regular meetings. I need a goldurned Intervention.

My rules:
  • sock yarn is exempt
  • gift yarn is exempt if there's nothing in my stash already that'll work
  • one Get Out Of Jail Free card
  • yarn for dyeing experiments is exempt
  • all UFOs must become FOs before COing a NUFO of a similar nature
My problem:
  • I'm only knitting SOCKS. Sock after sock after sock after sock after sock.
  • OK there are TWO hats (TKGA L1 project and a chemo cap for Yarn Haven).
  • My stash = wool, alpaca, mohair, silk, acrylic and blends of all; my color range = purple, red, emerald, teal blue, black, hot pink. My gift recipients = allergic, itchy, cotton-and-acrylic-lovin' freaks who like yellow, orange, peach, acid green and other colors that on my body cause perfect strangers to hand me a bucket and run.
  • I used my GOOJF Card in March, then I gone and dun it again two weeks later. True, the second slip up was mostly books and spinning fiber, but it was a hefty load of cabbage.
  • Only six skeins (so far) for dyeing: two for the workshop, three cheapo Patons Classic Merino Wool and today, one skein that literally had my name on it:

  • There are so many UFOs floating around here it looks like Roswell in 1947. Does that stop me from casting on again? Uh, no. No, it doesn't.

Then I went to Threadbear today.

Regrettably the purpose of my mission was NOT to attend Annie Modesitt's workshop though I would have liked to have participated. It was a bizarre coincidence that we were at the same place at the same time. I saw Annie, we made eye contact, but didn't officially meet as she was in the middle of her class and I was shopping. But I was surprised that she was much taller than I am (I'm 5' 8"). Yes, I should have thought to snap her photo with my cell phone, but I'm so new to this Knitting Celebrity Thing that I'm not yet in the cellpix mindset.

No, my mission was more mundane. My dear friend B's birthday is tomorrow. She's very much into stained glass, and Lansing hosts a rather large stained glass outlet. When I heard she was planning to trek up there, I mentioned the yarn store. ROAD TRIP!

I arose at 6:30 AM. Yes. The exact time I arrived home two weeks ago from the band meeting. B and I hit the road by 7:30. Had breakfast at a sit-down restaurant along the way. Did the grand tour of Michigan's rest areas (due to the coffee consumption). Visited the glass shop. She strangled her credit card and bought some glass and a kit. I was unaware of just how beautiful sheets of colored glass can be (almost as luscious as yarn). I planned out the cabinet inserts for my future dream kitchen, my bathroom, my foyer... uh... right.

Reality. Sorry. I'm back now.

On to Threadbear. Thank you, Sarah, for that tip about the Quilt Shop. Without it, we'd have passed Threadbear for sure. First impressions: It's huge. It's bright. It's stuffed with yarn. I grabbed a basket and started with the dyeables. Then I inquired as to the location of the sock yarn. When the saleslady (whose name I've misplaced) directed me to aisle after aisle of sock... *sigh* yarn.... I actually felt woozy.

Guess what came home with me?

SOCK YARN. That's it. Juuuuuuust sock yarn.

Well, OK, mostly sock yarn. There were a couple of skeins for non-sock gifts as well.

Here's the scary part. I didn't just go grab random skeins from the shelves in wild abandon. No. I went with a VERY. SPECIFIC. LIST. The night before, I sat up late into the night and worked up a Sock Notes spreadsheet in Excel—after first working up a spreadsheet for my Ravelry Sock Knitter's Anonymous Group KAL (SKA) projects for the year:

I intended to stick to said list. I wanted:
  • 2 skeins dark and 1 skein light of Lorna's Shepherd Sock for Scala
  • the 5 skeins of Dale of Norway TIUR required for the Caspian Sea Socks (free download when you joing Knitting Daily) planned for SKA Project #2 (Toe-Ups)
  • the 4 skeins of TIUR necessary for the Winter Garden Socks from Betsy McCarthy's book Knit Socks!) planned for SKA Project #3 (Nancy Bush pattern)
  • some sock yarn to dye
  • Lanaset Dyes (if available)
  • size 0, 1.5, and 2.5 circulars (16"-24" for socks, natch)
  • (OPTIONAL) one skein each of the required yarn for Cookie A.'s Pomatomus and Red Herring, Sockbug's Crooked Cable, and Domesticat's Zephyr (all socks)
  • to look at the swatches for Kauni that had just come in (not doing the Rainbow colorway that everybody and their sister is doing—yes, the one upon which the Harlot has been slaving away)
What I acquired (in less than an hour):
  • Yarn for Scala except there wasn't any solid Lorna's—I'm substituting either Drop's Alpaca or Lanett (six skeins total, two different color combos)
  • the FOUR skeins of Dale of Norway Daletta* (four because I'm an idiot and just realized I forgot to get the second skein of Rose—gaaahhhh! and because Tiur is being discontinued and the colors I wanted weren't available in Tiur) for the Caspian Sea Socks
  • the THREE skeins of Dale of Norway Tiur with an optional contrast color (because I couldn't decide between natural/rose/green or natural/rose/grey so I got green AND grey AND because I'm an idiot and again failed to realize I needed TWO skeins of green, not one) for the Winter Garden Socks
  • some sock yarn to dye (Kraemer "Jeannie", with my name on it)
  • no dyes (no dice!)
  • no needles because I still can't justify Addi's
  • (OPTIONAL) one skein each of Twisted "Arial" in Regiment and Sleeping Dragon Handpainted Sock Yarn in Roses & Chocolate intended for two of the four extra socks
  • 2 skeins of mohair for a neckwarmer for B (she picked it out)
  • one skein of Schaefer "Lola" for B—OMG! The Barry Manilow reference just hit me which is so ironic because B is the BIGGEST Manilow fan in the world ("her name was Lola, she was a showgirl...")—for a pair of toe-ups because she picked up a skein featuring a colorway that perfectly coordinated with the shirt she was wearing and I had to go and say "Oh, you need a pair of matching SOCKS, don't you?"
  • the Summer Spin-Off (for the article "Dye your own self-striping yarn!") which for some reason I'm beginning to think I might have already purchased (for the very same article)
  • a good idea about the Kauni swatches. For a more subdued but equally-effective Kauni, I'm planning to get the two colorways in the brown/gold/wheat tones—one is light, the other dark. It's special order so I can sit on that for awhile
*Actually that's 3 skeins Daletta and one skein Heilos that I'm trading in for the same color in Daletta because Heilos is scratchy compared to Daletta

Did I mention that I actually PUT BACK one skein each of Cherry Tree Hill, Colinette Jitterbug, Trekking XXL, another color of Tiur, and something else I've now forgotten?

Did I mention that I somehow I forgot to grab the second skeins of two colors I need for two of the patterns?

Did I mention the shop is two and a half hours away?

Did I mention that occasionally I have a synapse misfire that causes me to forget little details like second skeins of discontinued yarn that may never mate with their own dye lot again?

Following the yarnage, we scavenged for food but we nearly didn't get any. The Middle Eastern place we'd mapquested isn't open on weekends. We chose to drive down big roads that logically should have provided all manner of sustenance, but were riddled with questionable housing and a QD convenience store (Hot Coffee! Fresh Donuts!) on every corner. We were nearly to the highway entrance when we spotted a sign for Sahara's (no webpage). We were in the mood for Indian, but in a pinch, Lebanese will do. After hummus, pita, mango smoothies, samosas, chicken soup for B and green bean stew on rice for me, we hit the road again.

Since then, I've been battling with Flickr to acknowledge my coughing up the dough for a Pro account so I can have more than three measly sets because Flickr is the preferred photo host of Ravelrers everywhere (so I can move all my photos from PhotoBucket and cancel that account? Oy, the blog nightmare that will be). Flickr gladly took my money but has yet to change over my account. When it does, I'll be able to post the photos of yarn that I actually took this time! (Because I only want to upload them to ONE photo host because of the Ravelry thing.)


You wanted a total?

Gee. I thought I could squeak by without divulging.

I paid cash. I "found" the emergency cash stash I'd forgotten I'd stashed away. Don't worry, I saved some of it. I only spent $192 dollars.

This is my official resignation from KFYS 2007. I give up. I tried all summer but that "sock yarn doesn't count" clause did me in.

Next year, I'm hosting Knit From Your SOCK Stash 2008.

Any takers?

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At 3:47 AM, August 05, 2007, Anonymous tiennie said...

That is quite a fall from grace. :) I totally understand and you know I'm all about the sock knitting!

At 7:10 AM, August 05, 2007, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

I had all good intentions of knitting from my stash. How hard could it be? I have no LYS...

But I know me. It was never going to work. So I didn't take the pledge. Oddly enough, I don't think I've really purchased much yarn since I made that decision...

Frankly, having Annie's presence and access to all that yarn was something of a sign. You were meant to buy yarn. You should never mess around with signs. You just go with it.

At 9:33 AM, August 05, 2007, Anonymous Stick said...

Oh! How I LOVE a good yarn buying extravaganza! And you're a spreadsheet freak too! I knew I loved you for a reason. can't wait to see the pics.

At 12:30 PM, August 05, 2007, Blogger becky c. said...

Welcome back to reality - what fun is it to knit yarn you already own!! :) Sounds like I'll need to visit that yarn store someday. Looking forward to some pictures. Are you really going to knit a Kauni?

At 12:39 PM, August 05, 2007, Blogger sarah lou said...

hey, i know there's that pesky shipping cost thing, but if you email rob [at] threadbearfiberarts [dot] com, they will so ship you those other two skeins you forgot for your patterns. then you'd have the best chance of matching up! :) also, when you hit $8 more dollars, you'll receive a $20 certificate back in the mail. i didn't have any idea it was coming, but i hit it in my first (and only so far!) trip. ;)


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