Tami!

Look, an FO:

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Filatura di Crosa 127 Print (#36), 3 balls

Tami pattern from Yarnplay

The LYS only had 3 balls of the 127 Print and the scarf turned out a bit shorter than I would have liked, but I think it will be a nice addition to my friend’s winter wardrobe anyway.  (She even has a green coat that I don’t think will clash!)  Besides, I like my scarves ridiculously long, so this one is probably normal.

blah.

Things here are kind of wobbly lately.  Nothing seems to be going … well, anywhere.  My work is stalled (by anxiety and fear and failure and you know); my knitting is suffering a similar fate; my life in general just seems to have, um, quit. 

I want a challenge.  Or something.   I’m so tired of just doing the same old stuff, in the same old rut, getting the same old nothing done.  There are so many adventurous, talented knitters whom I admire and wish I could bring just a bit of the same spark to my own … everything.  In response to a comment I posted on her blog, Anna sent such a sweet message:

"… don’t be intimidated by techniques or designs – an intrepid attitude yields wonders. after
all, it’s only yarn ; )"

So I bought the Jess pattern, determined to be intrepid.  To that end, I’ve also dug out my nemesis: the wrap sweater with eyelets from Rebecca #29.

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My sister recently lost her very special Mr. Dewey to old age and failing health; I decided that the least I could do is provide her with something fuzzy and soft.

This will be my "thinking" project.  All of my other holiday knitting, I’ve decided, will have to be less complicated (read: no counting) so that I can work on it while reading the oh-so-many pages that need to be read. 

And since I’m focusing mainly on scarves and stockinette stitch cardigans, I think this should work.

I’m almost done with the Tami scarf …

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I was utterly defeated by the previously mentioned armwarmers, so it feels nice to be approaching completion on a project that has actually been a pleasure.  And I’m planning many more Yarnplay projects for the future …

’round about 11:30

… this wasn’t looking like such a good idea anymore.

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Um.  I am dumbfounded by the abundance of my yarn.  When did I get so much?  How do I still have any money for food / clothing / shelter / cat supplies?  Will I be forced to knit and felt a yurt just so I can support my (obviously out of control) habit?  Do I even have enough quarters to felt a yurt in the University laundry room?

These and many other questions were going through my mind as I surveyed the damage.  (i.e., how can I explain this to anyone?! )  But out of sight, out of mind, right? 

After only an hour, many ziploc bags, and much use and abuse of under-bed storage, look what I have to show for myself:

Dsc00406 A respectable(-seeming) stash-ette.  Only three projects on the go: la madre’s cardi (big bag); Tami scarf (blue bag); la madre’s cotton wonder scarf (German bag).  The profusion of my needle bouquet might potentially lead someone to believe that my stash is a misleading representation (I like to think of it as a selection) of my fiber fetish.  And if they were to take a gander under the bed, they would find their suspicions confirmed.  Because most of what was on the bed is now under the bed.

Look at how organized it all is:

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Only the yarn for projects that I could foresee myself working on in the near future earned a place in the pretty bin.  Everything else was pursuaded into a much more utiliarian (read: ugly) container under the you-know-where.   If this actually works, it will be genius.

And now to bed, feeling — quite without justification that would hold up in the real world — that I have accomplished much and spent my time very wisely.

 

Lots to report around here. 

First off, I learned the tubular cast-on.  Not that it’s spectacularly difficult, but it’s certainly handy for ribbing (as I’ve always heard tell).  I feel so accomplished, bringing my cast-on knowledge up to a whopping three different techniques. 

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my own tubular cast-on attempts; the project has been frogged many a time attempting to get the correct size.  Ultimately, I hope to have armwarmers to match the marionberry scarf.  The recipient, though, has such tiny arms, I’m having a hard time getting the sizing.  But check out the tutorials on knitty and my fashionable life.  Very helpful and clear.

Apropos of armwarmers, a new list has appeared: my holiday knitting.  I find it rather intimidating right now; I’m not at all sure what, if any, of it will actually be completed by the holidays.  Well, perhaps Flag Day. 

But this is just one of my attempts to get organized, knitting-wise.  A trip to Shop-Rite with Mr. B this afternoon resulted in these harbingers of much organization and preservation of fine fibers:

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The stash doesn’t stand a chance against my superior zipping power.  Plastic will rule the land, Lady Stash-a-lot has decreed.  But really.  It’s kind of necessary:

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It’s getting a bit out of hand.  The yarn is slowly and insidiously moving out of its corner, taking over more bedroom territory. 

Not to mention how seeing all of that unused yarn stresses me out.  And makes me think of my impending bankruptcy. 

The power of sheep.  It must be mind control.  Clever sheep.

marionberry

Ah, the delicious marionberry.  That’s what my new scarf reminds me of … yummy jam, a delightful shade of deep, dark purple.  Ooooh. 

My latest FO (and stash-buster!):

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It’s really just a plain seed stitch scarf in Debbie Bliss cashmerino superchunky: 2 balls lilac, 1 purple.

I made the decision to frog my very first scarf (and very first FO ever) and put the yarn to use with the lilac (picked up on sale).  The lilac alone didn’t really do it for me, but the purple gave it a bit of extra not-so-girlie zing that made me feel I might be able to pull it off.  Because at a 25% discount I obviously couldn’t say no, whatever the color. 

And I won’t even start about how much I love the cashmerino superchunky.  I would knit sheets out of this stuff if I could afford it.  But alas I must make do. 

This scarf will definitely be what gets me through teaching tomorrow.  Vocab quiz day!  Yay!

Everything else about school still pretty much sucks the life out of me right now.  Which is why I distract myself with the lovely marionberry:

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I was sceptical about the color-blocking, but I really like the finished product. 

The recipe couldn’t be easier:
co an even number of stitches.
seed stitch
(row 1: *K1, P1; rep. from *
row 2: *P1, K1; rep. from *)
color sequence: one ball color A – one ball color B – one ball color A.   (Or whatever strikes your fancy.)
bind off loosely.

Viola!  Marionberry!

qué será, será

Things have been a little slow around here lately.  Actually, it’s been a completely awful week, for my self-confidence, anyway.  The discussion of the Big Exam was quite a bit worse than the exam itself; the conversations were often puncuated by the words: "Maybe you should think about if grad school is right for you." or "You need to consider if this profession is right for you."  Um.  So I spent a good portion of the time feeling like … well, you can guess. 

I’ve also forgotten how to speak German, rather disheartening, since I’m supposed to be teaching the language.  As a part of my professional training, which is, apparently, not taking.

All of this should have lead to lots of therapeutic knitting.  Nope.  The stress has just messed up my back so terribly that I often can’t stand up in the morning.  Picking up the needles doesn’t, somehow, seem like the best of ideas most days. 

Despite these self-pitying setbacks, I have gotten a bit accomplished.  Knitting-wise, that is. 

Behold:

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The softest cotton ever.  From Blue Sky Alpacas.  I picked up four colors: Thistle, Graphite, Cumin, and Expresso.  Two more are on their way: Aloe and Indigo.

All of this fleecy wonderful-ness is in the service of scarves for my parents: la madre’s is started (Thistle, Graphie, Aloe) using the Element scarf pattern from The Garter Belt.  I’ve modified it a bit — casting on only 33 stitches (two pattern repeats) instead of the suggested 49 — because it seemed the scarf might be too wide otherwise.  I want to try some kind of Fibonacci stripe sequence, but I might have already messed that up with the first installment of Graphite.  I haven’t yet been able to face up to counting the first rows.

I’m not yet sure what I’ll be doing for my dad (Cumin, Expresso, Indigo), but I’m thinking along the lines of the Sidetracked scarf in Yarnplay (what a great book!).

I’ve also started the left front of la madre’s Yarn Girls’ basic Dsc00373
cardi:

Okay, not much to show, but it’s coming along.  I’ve also got an urge to again attempt the Bane of My Existence.  Yep, the eyelet wrap sweater from Rebecca #29.  I will not be defeated by mohair.  It’s become a point of pride.

But I’m restraining myself until this one is completed.  One project at a time, remember fidelity.  And sanity.

This, for instance, is what happens when I’ve got too many projects going at once:

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The ill-fated seed stitch scarf in lovely, lofty Blue Sky bulky … so sad.  It just wasn’t right somehow.  And I figured I’d spent way too much on the yarn to have on a so-so FO at the end of it all.  So we will begin anew.  It also doesn’t help that it’s decided to be summer instead of fall around here.  Who wants alpaca draped around one’s neck when the sun is shining?

oh my.

I think my knitting is starting to stress me out.  You know how I claimed to be *so* monogamous, knitting only one project at a time, faithful to my yarn until the very end.  Yeah.  Well, I think I was lying.  Or dreaming.  Or something.  Because it’s certainly not true.

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It’s not like I meant for this to happen.  But somehow I have three projects going and yarn for many, many more.  I just bought the lovely Blue Skies alpaca and the Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran.  The aran-weight is intended for an EZ ganomy hat.  The GGH soft kid is for the much-hated, much-frogged eyelet sweater from Rebecca.  I will not be defeated by mohair.  The back of la madre’s cardigan is peaking out from under all that wool and alpaca.  The Tami scarf is stalled at a ball-and-a-half length.

And guess what arrived as I was typing?  Yup.  More yarn.  Really beautiful yarn.

Dsc00341 From Yarn Botanika, the Element scarf kit at the Garter Belt.  Pretty snazzy, if I do say so myself.  Who knows when I’ll actually get around to knitting said scarf.  Oh well.

And break is almost over.  I had such grandiose plans.  I would get up, get busy, get stuff done.  Nope.  Vacation is too much to resist.  But still.  I’ve got to get busy.  Midterm grades are calling … as is my own set of deadlines.  Yuck.  Yarn.  I will concentrate on the yarn.  Beautiful, lovely, happy yarn.