Friday, July 27, 2012



You. Yeah, you. C'mere.

I got some new stuff.  And it's good.

I *might* have gotten out of a last meeting for the day a few minutes early recently and perhaps I took the time to swing past Loopy Yarns on the way home. I really just went for some needles--the 40" size 6 needles so I can spread out the Color Affection shawl a little bit (little being operative word there) and another set of size 0 dpns so that I can get the blue sock off the needles before December. From what I can tell I've lost two full sets of size 0 dpns in the past month. They're not in project bags, they aren't in suitcases. I can't imagine the TSA was really that interested in my long wooden toothpicks...

Did you really think I could get out of the shop without perusing everything they had, exploring the sale bins, and remembering belatedly that there's a whole WALL of Miss Babs to be had?

Apparently I continue to be weak in the face of sock wool.

Meet Windsor, a skein of monochrome sock yarn, 80% merino, 20% nylon, 400 yards. It smells just sheepy enough to make me happy without the worry that I'm going to end up with lanolin all over my hands while I'm knitting. The color is perfectly named, reminding me of English china patterns.


This is as close as I could achieve color wise. Note the healthy spiderplant leaves in the background. I'm having a little trouble with a couple of my plants, I think I'm overwatering despite my feeling of never watering. Not the spider plant.  I have huge babies draping off of it and I just had to take off a giant shoot that was sprouting flowers and babies all of the place. There's only so much room in this cube.

I apologize for no finished sock pictures. The intention was to take them when I got home last night. Instead, I got home around 7:30, walked in the door, sat down on the couch to take my shoes off, and promptly fell asleep. Nothing--dinner, cat feeding (oops--just wet food, they're okay), more unpacking, pictures--happened except snoring until about 2 a.m., which was when I started jerking awake every ten-twenty minutes. I'm hoping to sleep past 6 a.m. tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Permission to Weed

I've actually gotten a fair amount of knitting done! But it's all socks, so I'm waiting until Thursday to show it off.  Last weekend I traveled to Cincinnati to see my last unwedded cousin* off into matrimony. As Sibling-the-Elder handled the driving from the west side of Indianapolis down and back again, I got to spend that time with needles in hand.  

I find it interesting how people react to my knitting when I knit on public transportation. Inevitably, someone nudges the person next to them and tries to surreptitiously point out what I'm doing. A surprising number of people avoid sitting next to me but will sit close enough that they can still watch. Recently, an older woman spent the entire ten minutes we were seated next to each other scooting as far away as possible, as though I was going to contaminate her by moving a 9" circular and blue yarn. I find it particularly amusing when I've let my mind wander and I'm gazing blankly out the window, only to snap back to reality inside the car and see someone obviously fascinated that I'm knitting without watching my hands. The slow magic of 2x2 ribbing, fellow train riders, let me show you it.  

At home, I've been attempting to bring the cardboard under control. It's a long process, not helped by full work days, a few social obligations (see above re: wedding), train time, etc. I did make a large dent in unpacking clothing, which alleviates some of the morning challenges. As I've been unpacking, things have been going through an evaluation again and that's both a relief and frustrating.  So far I've been trying to give myself permission to get rid of clothing that doesn't fit properly, summer clothing that I haven't worn in several years, and clothing that really isn't appropriate considering my age, profession, and usual sartorial choices. I already have two paper grocery bags full and the more I think about it, the more I want to clear out. Linen pants that make me look dumpy, full length skirts that are awkward to walk in, I'm looking at you!

Clothing is easier to weed that most things. It's also a lot easier to unpack. Both the Philosopher and I have a lot of boxes of "stuff" that needs to find homes--potentially homes other than ours. We keep commenting that  we haven't used or missed a lot of what is in boxes in over a month, do we really need all of it?  Obviously, the Christmas ornaments don't count here, but I'd prefer to lean on the side of weeding than holding on to things.

This last couple of years have been lower on the wool buying side, but there's still plenty of yarn around the new Chez Hedgehog. Most of it is sitting in a GIANT box that needs to be opened, reviewed, pruned, and put somewhere. I'm trying to determine if I can use wire boxes the Philosopher already had or if that will just be too much of an invitation for Pyewacket.  I'd love to get a couple of full length glass bookcases so I can see the yarn but shut it off from felines, but that's long term planning.  Short term, I'm sticking with my bins and hat boxes.  Once things are unpacked, I want to do some extended planning for things I'll knit for myself or the few people I regularly knit for.** Planning like picking out and printing patterns, putting things together with needles, and allotting train time.  

How many more people can I freak out on my daily transit? Only time will tell. 

*Now it's just my siblings and I on that side of the family. The other side, we don't get invited to the weddings, though I've contributed to the family knitted blankets.  
** I suggest Franklin Habit's recent post about Yarnworthiness if you're curious who I knit for. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Someday Repeats Will be Done

I got about 33 minutes of knitting time in last night. I say 33 because that's how long the most recent Knitgirllls episode was.

But, wait, I have that long commute every day now! Surely I'm knitting all the way to and from Chez Hedgehog to the Library? (It's an 80 minute commute if all the timing works perfectly.) I'm not really sure why I haven't been knitting as much. Certainly the train has been air conditioned, for which we're all very grateful. Mostly I've been reading. Part of that is not having my mp3 player charged and loaded, which is my own fault but has something to do with not being able to find the charger. As much as I enjoy working on the plain black sock that is my current purse knitting, it's really intended to be done simultaneously with something else. Having just replaced a phone* I'm a little hesitant to set up my phone on my purse to read.

I also am usually standing for about half of the commute home, which doesn't really lend itself to DPNs and gusset decreases.

While watching the videocast, I worked on the Color Affection shawl. I finally have lousy pictures to show you! I took these last night with the new phone and a combination of an already smudged lens (it's hot and humid) and odd overhead lighting gives us this:


This one is a little better


Little cat feet provided by Pyewacket, who sprawled out on the shawl until I started taking pictures. She's not especially enamoured of me photographing her. Gypsy has learned to tolerate the paparazzi.

33 minutes was 4 rows and I am finally just past the midway point of the green/orange section. If you've not knit one of these, the first two sections are pretty straight forward and then you do ever increasing rows, picking up stitches from the main body every other row. I'm picking up two stitches plus the wrap and turn stitch every odd row. That's a slight modification from what the pattern calls for (3). This should give me a deeper shawl, assuming I don't lost my sanity in the interim. I do expect to run out of green yarn before the end of this, so I have to decide when I want to switch to all orange/fall all the time soon.

The one thing that really strikes me is how the oranges are playing together. The fall color is very burnt orange and fiery--the middle skein, all orange all the time, has an interesting pink tone to it. It's not disruptive, but it's definitely a slightly different tone. That might have something to do with the fact I bought them at two different stores several months apart and the dyer may never have intended for them to be used together. Perhaps. :)

I do need to get my yarn out of the disastrously huge box I dumped it in over the next week. I had someone ask about buying a skein and, as it is one I'm not deeply attached to, I'm perfectly willing. However, I am not entirely sure where that skein is. No worries, the seller knows I'm in the process of looking and that it's going to take me a bit.

Tomorrow, though, I have an event to attend that should be knitting friendly, so some progress on the black sock should be made. If nothing else, the Philosopher and I will have a fairly long trip home on the train.

*As near as I can tell, my phone was lifted off of me at a train station on Saturday night. I called Verizon and had everything on my account temporarily deactivated, just in case. I did have insurance, so a replacement was a deductible and an online form away. My one major complaint with the process: they refused to believe that my work address is a valid address for UPS delivery. Trust me, UPS comes to the library almost every day.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Has Anyone Seen My Wool?

Greetings from the oven currently posing as the Midwestern United States, where we're volleying between instant perspiration upon stepping out of doors and the damp clammy feeling over too much humidity and air conditioners attempting to keep up.

During this wonderfully pleasant heat wave, I'm happy to report that the Philosopher and I are 95% moved! We're not quite at 100% because we just haven't had time to get that last car load out of my old apartment and clean it up. The move, which was supposed to be three very long days of packing up two adult apartments and then moving them on Monday, has turned into a week long epic story--the kind where you have to have reminders and circle back around and verbal cues to remember what came next.  The highlights include:
  • Movers who didn't bother to show up for work
  • New movers who arrived six hours after originally scheduled time
  • High 90s/Low 100s temps
  • A broken elevator for a 7th floor move out (did not happen, waited til fixed on Thursday)
  • An unreasonably angry person (not me)
  • 27 new bruises (just me--my legs look patchworked; have not counted Philosopher's bruises)
  • One slightly traumatized Pyewacket (Gypsy took it all in with a yawn)
Keep in mind, those are only the highlights.  My movers did comment on the amount of yarn I have, though in an interested "we don't really understand you but at least it's not heavy" kind of way. They reserved the heavy comments for the many boxes of books. 

It's all cardboard all the time now at Chez Hedgehog and, just to top it all off, I'm on my way to a wedding in PA this evening. The idea of coming home on Sunday and doing something crazy like laundry is a little too appealing. I'm really tired of living out of the suitcase I packed for Anaheim.  

There has been some knitting. I took a couple socks with me to California and the Color Affection Shawl. Everything got a little bit of love but most of the time was so busy (and the shawl rows are getting long) that it feels like nothing much was accomplished.

I'm about halfway through the second sock of the black socks that I'm knitting. This is the third or fourth pair of black socks I've made? Something like that.  Apologies for the bad photo skills, cell phone camera plus tired Hedgehog.... 

This other pair, I don't think you've seen before, though I've mentioned them. It's the Berroco Sox in a teal colorway. It's a little more green than this picture would suggest. I'm knitting these 2x2 ribbed socks up on size 0 needles, which takes a particularly long time when you don't remember where it is you stashed your size 0 dpns.  Hmmmm, that could be a problem. Or an excuse to go to the yarn store.  One of the two.


And finally is a quick preview shot of the Phoenix Fall Tree, which is what I'm calling my Color Affection Shawl.  Yes, it's wadded up in a bag but hopefully that gives you an idea of the colors I'm working through. The Colinette yarn that I'm using is gorgeous. Every time I get it out people remark on the colors and how lovely the yarn is. I like the really tight twist.


I don't really like the needles I'm using, they're too blunt. Again, need to go to the wool shop and see about getting something pointier for those picked up stitches. I'm on the final section where one is juggling 3 skeins of yarn and that does make it creative. We're driving back from PA on Sunday* and I'm hoping to log some knitting time then to make a dent on it. I'm really looking forward to seeing how it all turns out. In theory, when the earth cools slightly, I'll be able to wear it too!

I did not go yarn shopping in California. We did drive past a yarn store but it was at 10 p.m. and they were not a 24 hour store (shocking, I know). Considering that I've just spent a week muttering "I'm going to get RID of things" it is probably in my best interest that I did not acquire more things. I am trying to figure out how one could get a yarn vendor to the American Library Association conference next summer though. If people will buy bedazzled t-shirts and topaz jewelry, why not have a table or two of wool vendors? Must touch base with some of the local stores and see about a wool crawl too.

*I don't fully understand why we're driving. Philosopher prefers to drive, I think there are perfectly good planes but it seemed silly for him to have to take me to the airport in PA. 

Make Sure You Give Back

Make sure you give back. Such a common phrase, such a polite idea. And so insidious. Give.... Give to your profession. Make sure you...