Sunday, February 20, 2011

A teaser and a VIP

Whew! OK. I think I am mostly recovered from my Stitches experience. I may have…overdone things…just a tad. Eeeeeeyeah. Ahem. Just a wee little tiny bit of perhaps a slight excess of…exuberance…may have been experienced by Your Faithful Correspondent.

Which may have resulted in a tiny bit of…stash enhancement.

And a hint of reference material collection.

Two phrases which should be pronounced, “Holy crap, woman, did you leave any books or yarn for the other attendees?!”

…well, uh…they…should have been faster off the mark.

But I can’t really show you much at the moment. SEE, I got to the end of the day, and I was dragging my cart behind me, and had all these bags piled up on top of it (stop laughing) and then I got my coat and the bag I had checked earlier back from the Girl Scouts (OK, seriously, stop laughing) and then I was all trying to get All That out of the marketplace to the lobby and it was like, I need five other people and possibly a MULE right now, and then I was attempting some kind of crazy-advanced packing technique and also attempting to bend physics to my will in such a way that hauling all of this three long blocks, in an impressively cold and soaking downpour, and then stacking it alllllll up on the ACE train for the long ride home would…work.

I do not want to discuss just how much volume of stuff there really is, here. ALTHOUGH I MUST POINT OUT, yarn is…you know…fluffy. Sooooo, it’s not like I had this kind of volume of marbles, or lead bricks, or…like that.

It was yarn.

Yarn is fluffy.

It always looks like a lot more volume than it really has, is what I’m getting at. Just because it may have seemed like I had the entire national output of Australia in my bag doesn’t mean I actually did.

Far from it.

(Peru, maybe, but not Australia. Let’s not be silly, people!)

Ahem, anyway. So then as I sat there, with time ticking away and my need to figure this out becoming more pressing by the moment – the last ACE train was due in about half an hour, and it wasn’t going to sit there waiting for me if I hadn’t gotten my backside over there to the station on time – I said to myself, said I, “Self! There is no way this is going to work. Your back is on its way out, your hip is already crinkling and grinding, you can’t take any more Stuff because you’re going to have to drive yourself home from the station in Tracy in the rain no less, this is way! too much volume to be dragging on there in the first place – you’re going to be taking up, like, eight seats at this rate! – and furthermore what do you have against UPS, anyway?!”

So I went over to the UPS store, looked the nice man in the eye and said, “I wanna ship some stuff home to myself.”

“OK, no problem!” he said brightly. “So, uh, how much of…all this…will be going?”

“As much as we can fit into a box,” I said grimly. And he then grabbed a small (well, maybe medium) moving box and started cramming yarn into it. The man was good, people – he understood that yarn squishes and was not shy about packing it right on in there.

The box was bulging.

And I was a pretty interesting shade of crimson because apparently, I left my self-control at home Friday. CURSE YOU, NEWTON’S YARN COUNTRY (Cashmere merino blends, superwash of all kinds, angora, cotton, etc. at 50% off!!)! And also Yarn For Sale and your blasted (but oh-so-delicious) downsizing sale! PLUS ALSO I’m not too thrilled with Solvang Village Spinning or the Sanguine Gryphon - go and check out their patterns. They have a lot of funky-cool stuff for knitters that might be looking for something that isn’t “just another sock” or “yet another stockinette sweater.” (Their Fall 2010 patterns? “Our Steampunk line.” Cooooooooool!)

And of course, Lisa Souza.

Now, because I boxed almost everything up and sent it to myself…I can’t actually show y’all what kind of crazy we’re talking about here. There was only one thing that actually made it home with me, and it was this:


This is Montreaux, which is a laceweight 70% superwash extra-fine Merino / 30% silk blend, in the Amazonia colorway, from Lisa’s booth. As always seems to happen, the photos don’t really do this justice. There is a depth and shimmer to it that I don’t think is coming across.


Highs and lows, splashes of deep green with plays of bright kelly and hints of turquoise. I love this colorway. Love. IT. I also got the same in the sock yarn. Even though I said to myself Friday morning as the train was chugging toward Yarn Heaven, said very firmly indeed, that there were two things I absolutely did not need even ONE CRUMMY BALL of this year, and that was lace or sock yarn. I have enough to last six lifetimes already, I said. Do not need more, I said. You behave yourself (ha ha), and stay awaaaaaaay from the lace, and the sock yarns. I REALLY MEAN IT.

I did pretty good on that, too…until I walked into Lisa’s booth. Sigh.

AND GUESS WHAT ELSE? She’s got a book coming out soon: 10 Secrets of the LaidBack Knitters: A Guide to Holistic Knitting, Yarn, and Life .


The rest of my Crazy Made Tangible should be arriving on Monday. Which will be a lot like having Christmas and my birthday and Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day and pretty much any other occasion on which someone might drop presents in your lap all at once.

ALSO, I got my camera figured out, so, hey look, a cardigan!


I thought I was never going to finish this. All that twisted seed stitch and knit-thru-back-loop cabling, and then the smocking stitch you can see here next to the buttons, with the ‘slip those stitches back and forth, like, four hundred times and wrap the yarn around them’ thing:


…but, I think it made for a very lovely sweater at the end of all things. I made it in the Knit Picks Comfy Fingering , 75% pima cotton – 25% acrylic, machine washable. It’s a very soft and, well, comfy yarn. Easy on the hands and with very good stitch definition – the twisted stitches really stand out nicely in it.

Which is good, because I’d be pissed if all that extra fiddling didn’t, you know, show up.

This weekend, it has been pouring rain. Pouring. So instead of gardening, I’m trying to finish up some of the projects that have been languishing around in the bottom of my knitting bag for about six months longer than Forever…like Captain Adventure’s Lillehammer, which he has by now almost outgrown, and I had to do this weird-funky thing to make the neck big enough for his head.

I only hope I can get it smoothed out enough that it isn’t too lumpy for him on the inside…he can be really fussy about things that poke / itch, and what I did was kind of…fold down part of the shoulder and whip-stitch it to the inside, making the collar wider and deeper than originally planned…but there’s a little extra ‘bump’ right beneath the shoulder bone that I’m afraid might offend him…I may have to put in some extra stitching to keep it from running and then cut it off or something, which would also mean I’d need to add a couple extra rows above the turning row that I can stretch it over that as well as the collar pick-up lump.

…and even so, we’ll be lucky if he gets to wear it once or twice before a) the weather gets way too warm for double-wool and b) he outgrows it entirely.

Serves me right for not finishing it quickly…children grow so fast you can practically hear their little bones creaking, when you’re making clothes for them you must not set it down to do “later” and then walk away from it for a year…(or two…)


Louiz said...

Wow, that finished cardigan looks fabulous. And... I think we've all been there on the stash enhancement thing. Smart thinking on the UPS:)

Anonymous said...

A woman who emerged from her sickbed to find her house composting deserves a major yarn blowout.

PBear said...

Your sweater is gorgeous, and I'm so jealous that you got to go to Stitches.... although being so far past SABLE I would have NO business being within a 100 miles of it... :-)

Steph B said...

You crack me up. There's a yarn shop going out of business very near me right now, and I have (thus far) heroically resisted helping her liquidate her inventory, because HELLO, I'm moving! And do I really need to add to the packing list? But if I had an iron-clad reason to drive up that way, well...I might, you know, stop in. For a minute. Because like you said, yarn is squishy, and what's one more box anyway? (Hubby is in SC banging his head against a wall right now...)

JustGail said...

It sounds like the Eggs Benedict and coffee worked well! No, I haven't read the unboxing to fthe loot post yet.

Gorgeous sweater - it's things like this that make be buy yarn, needles and patterns. Now I really should learn to knit, shouldn't I.

Your son is in good company with the poke/itch thing - I am fussy about it too.

JustGail said...

Steph B - you're not just buying yarn. It can also serve as packing material. Excellent for those fragile items such as electronics, or oddly-shaped items.