Tag Archives: sock

In Which The Cat Sits, but Not on a Hat

So I’ve been winding yarn like a mad woman all week for The Beekeeper’s Quilt (why no, I’m not obsessed, why do you ask?) and I have a mildly amusing story to relate.

Last night my big boy cat, who is rather a grumpy old man, was kvetching at me because he wanted to be fed or to go to bed or both. Now, I was sitting in front of the TV, which was starting to run a repeat of Stephen Colbert, and I really did need to go to sleep. But I was almost finished winding this skein of yarn for the night and cutting it up into little miniskeins for my hexipuffs so I kept saying, “Just one more minute” to myself.

So I would wind yarn, put most of it immediately a plastic ziploc bag for mini mania purposes, and then put the rest in my white basket (which you have previously seen) for my own personal hexipuffing mania. Mittens, the aforementioned cat, had been happily sleeping on the edge of the plastic bag for a few hours (yeah, all that yarn and all he wants is a plastic bag, I know) before the caterwauling began. I firmly ignored him and continued winding…and then he got quiet. I should have known.

I finished winding the final skeinlet around my knees, sat up in the chair, leaned forward to look for the cat and then glanced down to see…THIS.

The Cat, Guarding His Nest

Sigh. He looks like he’s roosting and getting ready for his yarn eggs to hatch. But I really think he just wanted to get my attention, and decided that  sitting in my yarn would do it. Considering that ALL WEEK he has ignored piles of yarn and this basket in favor of the plastic bag. What a jerk! After I pulled out the camera he grew miffed and trundled off (he hates the camera; he’s very Amish like that). Anyways, luckily it was just my own skeinlets, and those are all going to be part of my hexipuff blanket so I don’t mind if a bit of cat hair finds its way in, but he just cracked me up last night. How absurd.

My Basket. My Yarn. My Hexipuffs. Mine!

In other news, I am now happily ensconced in the KAL for the Beekeeper’s Quilt in both the tiny owl knits group and my own chitterychattery swappery swappers group, plus a hexipuff-themed miniskein swap on Ravelry. I keep listening to Stephanie’s music on Youtube and…well, I want to say knitting, but really, I’ve been working and then winding yarn in my spare time. But I’m getting to the knitting soon! I swear! I already have one hexipuff done! (Whew, the guilt.)

As for the WestKnits KAL? After all of that work locating yarn for it? Um, well, that isn’t going so well. I sense that I will not be finishing it by Aug. 31. Oops!

Advertisements

The Beekeeper’s Quilt: Get Your Hexipuff On!

Dear Lord. Stephanie Dosen has done it again. This girl is so talented, my pinkie finger couldn’t compete with the oodles of cute stuff pouring out of her brain on a daily basis. So here’s the deal. I finished making my Mini Mania Scarf in January, and since then I have been gnashing my teeth, desperate for something else to do with all of these miniskeins I have lying around. I started offering those Mini Mania kits in my Etsy shop purely because I didn’t want to stop collecting. It’s what I do. I think, “well, if I can’t keep it because I’ll run out of room in my home and people will call Hoarders on me, I’ll sell it and then feel like it’s going to a good home where it will be loved and snuggled with and appreciated just as much as I would have.” Warning: this is also what makes me an awful/wonderful enabler when I go shopping with friends. I may have a problem.

Anyways, my mental issues are neither here nor there. What is, however, relevant to this blog post is the brand new pattern Stephanie has been working on. Here I am, sad and lonely and not needing another supersized linen stitch scarf. And voila! Entre The Beekeeper’s Quilt! And a new project for me!

The Beekeeper's Quilt, image courtesy tinyowlknits

You just looked at that image and swore in amazement, didn’t you. Don’t lie! I know you did, because that’s what I did! Stephanie made all of these adorable little honeycomb puffs out of scrap fingering weight skeinlets. And then she put them together to form this huge, squishy quilt of colorful awesomeness! So naturally, I had to dig out all of my miniskeins and toss them hither and thither to find all of the perfect colors and textures to knit myself a blanket as thrillingly fabulous as this. The yarns I tend to collect are brighter and darker than Stephanie’s (my wardrobe is probably also brighter and darker than hers) so to adjust for that fact I think I’m going to use one of every color unless it’s a pastel, and then I’ll double the amount of hexipuffs I’m making.

Miniskeins!

According to Stephanie, the blanket she made is three by four feet, and took about 400…500 hexipuffs? I’m not quite sure, I’ll have to investigate this. Anyways, I’m so pleased to discover that each square takes about 4 to 5 grams of sock yarn to knit – meaning all of the miniskeins I’ve got right now are the perfect size already! Yey! I can knit myself silly!

Stephanie’s blanket isn’t just cute-as-a-button, though, oh no, Stephanie is cute-as-a-button as well. Ok, instead of nattering on aimlessly about how in love with this pattern I am, I’ll just show you Stephanie’s amusing and perky video she made in July when she announced that The Beekeeper’s Quilt was going on sale. Because I think that explains it all.

My Swappy, Scrappy, Oversized Scarf

So once upon a time I saw this fantabulous scarf that a friend had knit in the linen stitch pattern. It was thin and long and highly variegated and looked like it had been woven and she had knit it out of a ton of fingering weight scraps. I was enchanted. So enthralled, in fact, that when she offered the scarf up in a swap I claimed it in a snap. But though I loved it, I wanted more. The thin scarf wasn’t enough to whet my appetite, and as winter approached, I decided I needed to make one of my own.

So come January, after a few weeks of collecting yarn scraps, I started knitting my shawlscarf. Linen stitch and knitting lengthwise was a completely new territory for me, and I vastly underrated (or overrated, depending how you look at it) how much yarn and stitches I would need to complete this scarf. So in my enthusiasm, I cast on 600 stitches. I know. I am insane.

There was a definite learning curve, and I certainly had to frog early on, but I kept plugging away. Part of the reason this scarf just never stopped is because I am meticulous, and wanted my colors to blend properly. And so I found myself with A LOT of yarn. I worked off and on for 12 months to make this scarf. There reached a point where I knew I should stop but I wanted to fit in all of the awesome yarns I had accumulated, so I didn’t stop!

But finally, after almost a year, I came down to the end. I cut myself off, I chose an end yarn, and I finished it. It. Is. Finished. Stick a fork in it. My Swappy, Scrappy Oversized Scarf used over 2,000 yards of fingering weight yarns (not all are listed, as some were unknown) and is absolutely perfect. Wide enough to cover my ears, nose and throat but with a thin enough fabric to scrunch when I need it to. As I was knitting it, I wasn’t sure if I was crazy or inspired, so to have the finished product be exactly what I wanted makes me inordinately pleased. I started this Jan. 29, 2010 and my goal was to finish it up before it’s one year anniversary. I did it, finishing while visiting a friend on Jan. 15, 2011. Yey!

I must say that this is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever knit. I’m not one for wildly variegated colors and crazy, off-the-wall fabrics, or anything like that. But I just couldn’t stop knitting this. I love it. 🙂 Oh! The crazy teacup pin was a Christmas gift and comes from this off-the-wall Etsy shop called TillyBloom.

Stash Storage 2011

I photographed my stash storage situation last January, and thought that this was an appropriate time to repeat the process … and assess the damage. cough Yeah, I’m slightly embarrassed about how much bigger my stash has gotten!

Stash Storage 2011

Left Stack
– The green plaid bag I bought in Mehico is up at the tip-top, and that is full of fiber for spinning, which, since I swapped most of it away, is basically a bunch of little wee bits from Phat Fiber boxes. Below that is a bin about half-full of Manos. That reminds me I should be collecting it more. 😉
– Underneath that is a new bin containing silk and rayon. They used to share a bin with my cotton, but I…collected too much cotton. Anyways, rayon needs to breathe for best preservation, so there’s plenty of space in a bin all to themselves. Half-full.
– Next bin down. Cotton. Cotton, cotton and more cotton. I do like cotton. This bin is packed. No more cotton for me.
– Sweater yarns are on the bottom. I think that large container has my Noro Silk Garden for my shawl and the Misti Alpaca Chunky I have saved for a cardigan. Basically, I keep big lots in the big sweater bins, even if they aren’t technically sweaters. Mostly full.
– My large canvas bag of acrylic, sock scraps, and LYS novelty yarns didn;t make it into the picture. So sad! Half-full.

Center Stack
– My little alpaca bin is on the top. It actually isn’t as full as it should be, in my mind. But that’s only because I have a ton of alpaca that was moved into sweater bins, so these little one-offs hang out here. Also stores my exotics, such camel, llama, and cashmere. Half-full.
– My Big Wool bin is next. This contains any wool yarn that is sportweight or up. I’ve got a nice little corner in it designated for handspuns, and also my Blue Heron merino silk hangs out here. Another one of my most-used bins, which is why it’s in a handy to reach place. Three-fourths full.
– More sweater yarn. Moving on. Mostly full.
– The bottom bin contains my neglected mohair and angora. I keep them there together because they are both sheddy, and I figure that they can shed on each other instead of everything else. 😉 Half full.

Right Stack
– Ah, here we are at my sock and lace yarns. Please note that the top bin lid is not closed. Because it is too full. That bin contains my 100% wool sock yarns. I’ve pared it down and down and down and everything in there I have earmarked for a sock project. Full.
– The next bin is my nylon sock bin. This bin contains sock yarns that are blends. Most have nylon in them, but I think one or two have rayon instead, and since that is a strengthening fiber as well, I keep it together. This bin size actually used to be flip-flopped with the 100% sock bin, but I decided after my hole-y disaster with my Malabrigo socks that I would switch them, in an effort to increase my nylons and decrease my 100s. Half-full.
– The third bin down is smaller and even though it says “Non-Sock” it actually does contain sock yarns. But these are yarns that are either not suitable for socks or have been either designated for non-sock projects. My Queensborough Laurel’s Lofty is stored here, for example, as well as all of my shawl yarns. Mostly full.
– The bottom bin is all laceweight, all the time. Lord knows why I have so much lace! Actually, I do know, it’s because a bunch of it is for my Earth Striped Wrap, so all that Kidsilk Haze takes up a lot of space. Full.

Ok, that’s all! Next time I’ll try to post about some of the projects I’ve finished up lately.

I bless the rains down in Africa

So I promised all of you a sneak peek of my Africa-themed stitch markers, and now that it’s August and these have been sent in, I’m thrilled to reveal them to you! If you remember, my inspiration this month was the song Africa, by the 80s hair band Toto. It’s got a catchy chorus with just one line that everyone remembers and sings overandoverandoverandover again until they’ve gone mad. Fortunately for me, I listened to this song long enough while I was making these stitch markers that I now know all of the words. And yes, I even watched the Lion King version of this song.

These African-themed markers are inspired by that single line in the song we all know – “I bless the rains down in Africa.” I thought there was something very poetic about the concept of Africa’s heat and suffering juxtaposed with the cool blessing of rain, which during the wet season washes it all away. Refreshing and beautiful, like a terrific storm occurring when a cold front meets the hot, unforgiving August weather we experience here in the Northern Hemisphere.

These stitch markers feature gorgeous vintage garnets and fire topaz Czech glass drops. I love the garnets because they look like a dusky reddish brown when they are lying in your hand but the moment you put them up to the sunlight they gleam with this inner purple light. The topaz glass beads are shaped like raindrops, and the iridescent fire polish to them creates a subtle rainbow effect in the light.

I Bless The Rains Down in Africa

I have several of these limited edition sock-sized stitch marker sets available in the shop. They are there for the month of August in conjunction with the Phat Fiber box. I thought it would be nice that if someone received a sample in their box they could then pick up a full set.