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I'm going to school!

Yarn School!

Last year, I had initially planned on attending, but a few random things got in the way. Earlier today, I registered and even grabbed my plane tickets, so I'm all set. So, in a few months, I'll finally know how to spin up the fiber I have.


WIP Wednesday

I've read on quite a few knitting blogs that people haven't been updating as often as they used to or they feel that others aren't because of Ravelry. This seems to be most noticeable in a decrease in WIP posts.

I've had issues updating, but that's mostly been due to not getting a chance to take pictures (I hate publishing posts without pictures.) in decent light and not having too much time available to compose substantive posts. So, I've decided to post about my WIPs at least once or twice a month. Wish me luck...

Bright Orange Socks

Nothing much to say about these. I'm pretty slow when it comes to socks, and these are no exception. I started them back in August of 2007. I'm almost halfway done with the second sock and I tend to carry it around with me when I need something small and portable to work on.

Nantucket Jacket

I started this back in October (2007) and still don't have more than 4" knit up the back. I did manage to frog back to an error I made recently, but haven't really worked on it since. I'm working on it with a friend of mine, so progress has been slow and inconsistent. However, I'm glad I'm actually working on it, since I've wanted to make this sweater since the pattern came out.

Phiaro Scarf

I brought this on vacation with me as a simple project on which to practice my continental knitting. As usual, I overestimated the amount of knitting I'd be able to accomplish, so it's only about 2/3 of the way done. It's the project I always have in my bag, since it's all knitting, all the time, so I don't have to worry about the pattern or anything.

Dogwood Donna

This is another sweater that I've wanted to make since I saw the pattern. I just started it recently and am also knitting continental on it. I haven't made a whole lot of progress on it yet, but it's moving along.

Secret Project #1
I just started this today and it is going pretty well. I won't be able to post pictures for a while, which sucks, but...what can you do? I'm putting all of my other projects, except for the Phiaro Scarf on hold until this one is done.


FO: Tilted duster

Pattern: Tilted Duster
From: Interweave Knits, Fall 2007
For: Me
Size: 6" bust
Yarn: 6 hanks Berroco Peruvia in 7123 (which I just found out is called Dragon - how fun!), including swatch and seaming (one less than the pattern called for)
Needles: US size 9 (and US 5 for picking up stitches) Knit Picks Options Nicked-Plated Interchangeables
Timeline: started 11.01.2007; finished 01.07.2008

I initially thought I'd manage to knit this for NaKniSweMo, but...yeah. That obviously didn't happen. It is a pretty quick knit, though. The skirt took a good bit of time, but it made for good TV knitting. I had a few issues, but nothing major.

I ended up adding a button to the collar (inspired by Jen likes knitting - Check out her Tilted Duster. It's gorgeous!) to keep it from gaping, so that was knit twice. No big deal, though, since it knit up really quickly. (Directions for how I knit my collar are at the bottom of this post.)

The issues with seaming the sleeves to the shoulders were entirely my own, and made me remember why I knit so much in the round. I redid half of the first sleeve three times. It's just such a pain for me. Also, since quite a few people mentioned how snug the sleeves ended up, I blocked them a bit bigger before seaming them. (A picture showing that, and my first version of the skirt, can be found in the sea monster post.)

Finally, inspired by Skrilla Knits (another gorgeous version of the Tilted Duster), I did about 6 rows of garter stitch to finish off the skirt and avoid the rolling I heard about. However, I decided that the odd waviness I ended up getting at the bottom of the ribbed portion of the skirt was worse than a tiny bit of rolling, so I redid that, too. I bound off in pattern, and the ribbed portions look so much better. I can definitely live with the small bit of rolling on the stockinette sections.

Wow! I really knit a lot of this sweater more than once!

I really enjoyed working with Peruvia. What it lacked strength, it more than made up for in spit splice-ability. If it ever fell apart on me, it wasn't a big deal. Plus, I ended up with only two ends to weave in on the entire skirt. I was initially going to seam with some worsted weight wool, but went ahead and used the Peruvia. It worked out fine, and the seams don't seem particularly bulky to me.

Oh, and...I love it!

Pick up the number of stitches called for in pattern.
K one WS row.
One Buttonhole Row: K4, BO 2, K2, knit in pattern to end.
Knit in pattern to bound off sts, CO 2 sts, knit in pattern to end.
Knit 8 rows in pattern.
Two Buttonhole Row: K4, BO 2, K2, knit in pattern to last 6 sts, BO 2, K4.
P 4, CO 2 sts, knit in pattern to BO sts, CO 2 sts, knit in pattern to end.
Knit 8 rows in pattern.
Two Buttonhole Row: K4, BO 2, K2, knit in pattern to last 6 sts, BO 2, K4.
P 4, CO 2 sts, knit in pattern to BO sts, CO 2 sts, knit in pattern to end.
Knit 3 rows in pattern.
BO in pattern.


RIP: Mystery Stole

I just frogged my Mystery Stole (3) today. While I thought the finished ones were rather lovely, the pattern simply isn't "me", and I don't think I could gift it to anyone I know and have them appreciate it. I finished the 1st clue in July and hadn't touched it since.

I was very interested in making my first real lace project, but Swallowtail snuck in to claim that title. I'll be making a friend a wedding shawl soon, too, so I'll definitely have my fill of fun lace to work on.


2008 Stash Plans...or A Treatise on That Which Is Called "Stash"

OK, so...I feel like my stash is a bit too big for me. My attempt last year didn't really pan out and I didn't keep track of the size of the stash, so I'm going to keep track here.

Stash: 16,214.40
To Swap/Sell: 16,481.20

Click on the image above to view the yarn I have for sale.

So...what's my goal? Honestly, I wish I were the type of person who could only have the yarn around that she/he was currently knitting. However, I think I may be too much of a shopper (Ooo! Sale yarn? Yes, please!) and a Pisces (Ooo! Pretty yarn? Yes, please!) to make that a reality.

So, how much yarn would it be reasonable for me to have on hand?

Currently, I have yarn either lined up for specific projects or on the needles totaling 9,066 yds. This is reserved for two scarves, a pair of legwarmers, three lace shawl/scarf things, a vest, three sweaters, and a pair of socks, which I would think would give me 6 months or more of knitting fun.

Do I really need more than 6 months of yarn in my stash?

(Not to mention one inherent drawback to having "vintage" yarn in one's stash. I purchased yarn for a vest around a year ago. What if I don't have enough? There's practically no chance that my LYS still has that dyelot. Ravelry has, blessedly, made this less of a problem, but it is still risky.)

So, I guess what would make me, personally, happiest is have a "fresher" stash. Last year, I knit 16,669.40 yds of yarn (7,523.5 in items for myself). I'm going to try not to get too hung up on numbers, but I think 7,500 yds (or almost 6 months' worth) should be more than sufficient for me, which would mean decreasing my current (not up for sale) stash by about half.

Now, how am I going to do that? The truth is, I'm not sure.

First up is what to do with all of the yarn that I'm definitely willing to part with. I'm saving up for a new laptop, so I've been trying to sell it and have been moderately successful. The main problem is that I'd like it to be gone faster. I'm contemplating putting whatever doesn't sell by mid- to late-February up on etsy or ebay, but I'm not sure yet.

As for stash yarn that will conceivably turn into something, I should be down to around 6,000 yds if I finish my WIPs and queued projects. However, that remaining 6,000 consists of smaller quantities of each yarn. I definitely don't have any sweater quantities of yarn in that number.

To further complicate things, I also have a few projects that I'll be making (gifts) for which I know I'll need to purchase yarn. This includes at least two pairs of socks, a baby sweater, a man's sweater, and some sort of accessory. Should this yarn even count as stash? The only guideline I can really think of in this department is that I only buy yarn for one gift at a time, not purchasing yarn for the next gift until the previous one is finished.

Looking at the projects I have on the needles and those that should be coming up soon, I have a pretty good variety. I have some colorwork (intarsia and fair isle), a pair of socks, sweaters in bulky and worsted weight yarns, three lace projects, a vest, and a mindless project that I'm going to use as continental knitting practice...and that isn't even everything! I find it hard to believe that I'd get bored or genuinely need a different type of project.

So...what can I do?

For starters, I'm going to say no new yarn purchases unless they are for the gifts I mentioned above. I can't imagine a reason why I couldn't abide by that, aside from the fact that, as I mentioned above, I like the cheap and the shiny. Hopefully, I can be strong.

When can I buy yarn again? Now, this is a knitter's downfall isn't it? I'm going to try and get into Knitting Camp again this year (Wish me luck!), so I might let myself get something then. If not, then I think Stitches Midwest might be the next time that I'd feel compelled to buy yarn.

And there you have it. I didn't realize I had that much to say about my stash! I'll try to update on how things are going during the year.


Is it a sea monster?

No, it's my Tilted Duster.

I decided to block the sleeves before seaming them up in order to try and get a bit more room in the arms. I also went ahead and blocked out the bottom of the skirt a bit to try and get rid of the curling. Hopefully, it will work out.


Destash time!

Since I really need to get my stash under control, I thought it would be a good time to do a bit of destashing. I will charge actual shipping once you tell me what you want. I'd prefer to only accept cash-funded Paypal, but can accept credit card payments if you're buying more than $40 worth of yarn. Yarn comes from a smoke-free home.

I also have some single balls and leftovers listed on Ravelry. Some are free or really cheap.

Just email me at lynnewio at gmail dot com.

10 skeins of South West Trading Company Bamboo
$38 plus shipping
Color: Electric Blue; unknown dyelot
2500 yds total
5-5.5 sts = 1"

8 skeins of Dale of Norway/Dalegarn Sisik
$38 plus shipping
Color: 166; Dyelot: 1811
1184 yds total
Wool, Mohair, Acrylic, Rayon
5 sts = 1"

Colors, left to right: 0032/Red, 2300/Mango, 515/Mahogany, 6885/Yellow, 9016/Sahara
15 hanks of Crystal Palace Yarns Baby Georgia
$30 for all 15 or $2.50 each plus shipping
0032 (red): dyelot 26912; 3 hanks; 420 yds
2300 Mango: dyelot 85512; 1 hank; 140 yds
515 Mahogany: dyelot 25383; 9 hanks; 1260 yds
6885 (yellow): dyelot 66148; 2 hanks; 280 yds
GONE9016 Sahara: dyelot 02; 2 hanks; 280 yds
2100 yds total; 140 yds/hank
6.5-7 sts = 1"

6 balls of Jaeger Luxury Tweed
$34 plus shipping
Color: 825 Lavendula; Dyelot: 1C2
1170 yds total
Alpaca, Merino
5.5 sts = 1"

5 balls of Lang Yarns Cora
$25 plus shipping
Color: 68; Dyelot: 048
380 yds total
3 sts = 1"
Comments: This yarn is really soft!

2 skeins of Crystal Palace Yarns Maizy Solid
$10 plus shipping
Color: Deep Rose; Dyelot: A
408 yds total
Corn Fiber, Elastic Nylon
7-8 sts = 1"

3 balls Nashua Handknits Ivy
$12 plus shipping
Color: Eggplant; Dyelot: 7635
411 yds total
Alpaca, Merino, Estrellina
4.5 sts = 1"
Comments: Used 3 balls to make this shawl.


7 hanks of Berroco Softwist
$18 plus shipping
Color: Midnight Blue; Dyelot: 10
700 yds total
Rayon, Wool
5 sts = 1"


1 skein of Brown Sheep Wildfoote Luxury Sock
Color: Mums; Dyelot: 009
215 yds total
Nylon, Wool
7-8 sts = 1"


2 balls of Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 Ply
$10 plus shipping
Color: 286 Graze; Dyelot: 6C3
240 yds total
7 sts = 1"


Tilted Duster Progress (soon to be frogged)

Well, I finished the collar on my Tilted Duster this afternoon and, well...I'm going to have to redo it.

I saw a few different versions on Ravelry, but couldn't really picture it until it was done. I had a feeling I might have to knit this part more than once and it didn't really take very long, so it doesn't bother me too much.

My plan is to add a third button closer to the pick up row and put the button holes on the purl stitches. I also added a garter border to the bottom of the skirt, and I'm not sure how it will block out on the ribbed part, so that may also get ripped back a few rows.

That said, I think I might be able to get this done in about a week or so. I can't wait.

I want to marry Katie Himmelberg.

Over the weekend, I took a look at the new Knitscene (Winter 07 / Spring 08) and found the Phiaro Scarf by Katie Himmelberg.

I've been looking for a thinner scarf/shawl/pashmina-type thing similar to an old one I have, but they're all either too narrow, too short, or use material that's too thick. This is going to be perfect!

I'm in love with the ingenious construction of the scarf, too. It's going to make perfect vacation knitting, since I'll be knitting in the round the entire time: no purling, no counting, no looking at a pattern. I'm thrilled.

I picked up some SWTC Bamboo (not the recommended yarn) in 24 Karat at Loopy Yarns, screwing up my yarn diet. I don't feel too bad about that, though. Plus, I figure I can start the no-yarn-buying thing up today, being resolution time and all.

Before picking up this fabulous color, I walked around with a few skeins of another yarn for a while. I kept going back to this gold color, but figured I should get the other one, since it was on sale. And then I realized that it was a blend of purples and pinks, which is exactly what I said I was sick of knitting. I'm such a dork sometimes.

Today, I have the whole day to pick up the stitches for the collar of my Tilted Duster and knit the ribbing. I can't wait! What a great way to start 2008!