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Archive for the ‘In the Stash’ Category

Late to the (Silk) Garden Party, Think I’ll Stay

Posted by Janis on February 22, 2008

I may be the last knitter in North America to actually knit with Noro Silk Garden. I’ve been hoarding had a big bunch of it for quite some time now, thanks to one of Sue’s amazing sales at, and last night I felt inspired to cast on. When I bought it, I weighed 40 pounds more than I do now and was planning on making the Bettna cardigan with it, which is a long, covers-all-sins sweater. Now that I’m healthier, I wanted a less shrouded look. So the other night when I was poking around on Ravelry (yes, I do spend entirely too much time there – do not speak of this to me again – when it is less polar, I will go outside and play) – where was I? – oh yes, I found the “Halfobi” sweater. It’s a kind of shrug/bolero hybrid that just looks fantastic knitted up in Silk Garden. I’m going to make mine a bit longer than bolero length, so it doesn’t do one of those dreaded ski slope off the chi-chi’s effects… Ick!

I had made using this lovely yarn one of my 12 goals for the “Mission Possible” group I’m in at Ravelry, and after a snow day yesterday mostly spent felting the other pieces of the satchel from hell, I was ready for a change. And what a change! From knitting doubled-up strands of scratchy ol’ Lopi (love ya, Lopi, but you know you’re scratchy, man!) – the last bit all in black heather, no less — I turn to soft and delicious Silk Garden. Every row changes color slightly and every few rows I’m in new color entirely. A perfect antidote to Lopi. Will post in-progress pix when I’m further along than 3.5″ on the right sleeve.


Posted in In the Stash, On the Needles | 3 Comments »

First FO’s of ’08

Posted by Janis on January 25, 2008


Spurred on by the Ravelry Stash Knit-down Group and its “Knit A Mile in January” Challenge, I’ve finished my first projects of the year (short trumpet fanfare here). I did the Fairly Easy Fair Isle from “Stitch n’ Bitch Nation” that’s been hanging around for a year and a half (yarn & everything – I had the pattern in mind for a year before that). It was a quick and easy knit in the Lamb’s Pride Bulky and I’m pretty pleased with it — after tidying up my crummy-looking buttonholes, that is. I decided to be really thorough and knit up the end of the black LPB by making a matching hat, and ended up going through the end of some Valley Berkshire (doubled) I had around, AND some Patons Classic Merino (doubled) in order to finish the thing. Luckily, the blacks match very well and it’s not too obvious where one yarn stops and the second begins – or the third, in this case. Best of all, I have lightened my stashload of about 900 yards of yarn — woo hooo!

While working on the sweater, I also started the base for the Weekend Getaway Satchel, for a little mindless knitting I can do while supervising rehearsals. I’ll finish up that piece today and start on the fun part — the intarsia front of the bag. If I can finish this project this winter, I’ll have all sorts of room in my yarn bins. That sucker takes almost 2 miles of yarn! (Ahhh, nothing like felting for eating up yarn.)

All this bulky-gauge knitting makes me yearn to get back to lace knitting or to start a finer gauge sweater. I love the speed of bulky, but am less and less enamored of the look…

Posted in In the Stash, On the Needles | 3 Comments »

I Need to Have A Yarn Sale

Posted by Janis on November 16, 2007

Well, I’ve just spent the better part of my free time the past week or so photoing my stash for Ravelry. I know, I know, I was one of the original scoffers at this endeavor, oh yes, I admit that. But then, when my school schedule went haywire this month, I looked around Ravelry a bit and thought, “Hmmmmmm…. that might not be a bad idea after all.” I think what clinched the deal was the feature that translates the stash into Excel. I have a stash spreadsheet, but I haven’t updated it since January, so I just figured, “What the hell — I’ll photo it, too.” It really wasn’t bad once I got started, and I feel I have a firm grip on what I have.

Which is TOO MUCH YARN. Really. There is yarn bought for projects I’m no longer infatuated with, yarn bought just for the sake of retail therapy, yarn in amounts too small for a project, as I refuse to knit dishcloths. This process has been a sobering one, my friends. It reminds me very much of my dear sister Paula, who was bi-polar and, when in a manic phase, would buy things, squirrel them away and forget she’d ever bought them. She once called me to ask if I was with her when she bought a dozen or more greeting cards she’d just found in a dresser drawer. No, I said, if I’d been with you, you’d only have come away with 3 or 4. It’s times like these that make me miss her even more – if I could just call her and say, “HEY! Were you with me when I bought the fuschia yarn – the 5th batch of fuschia yarn?” and she’d laugh and say, “If I’d have been with you, I would have made you buy the purple stuff I liked.”

So what I really need to do is have a yarn sale. I traded a bunch and gave away some on the Knittyboard over the summer, but this time I’m going for the cash. I’m all registered and ready to go on the “Destash for Cash” blog (, my photos are on Flickr ready to upload or download or go sideways, whatever it takes. I just need to let go.

And I must confess that I’ve spent the morning looking at Rowan Felted Tweed online and WEBS and Knit Picks, counting my chickens before they’re hatched. Hatched? Hell, they’re not even LAID yet. Better get to work.

Posted in In the Stash | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Janis on November 6, 2007

All right, my friends, here’s my question for you: WHAT’S WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE? tweedmixup.jpg

If your answer is, “Those are two completely different shades of yarn!”, then you are correct! If your answer goes on to say, “Gosh, I hope she’s knitting a two-toned sweater…,” then I’m afraid you’re wrong.

I have just suffered a rather serious stash smackdown. My beloved stash — carefully stored in plastic bins and painstakingly recorded in Excel spreadsheets — sold me out last night. I had just knit up the first ball of the Yorkshire Tweed Aran for my Dad’s Christmas sweater – 175 yards of glory, minus the part I swatched. I knew that, despite the fact I had purchased this yarn well over a year ago, that I had 11 balls in the stash. I knew this because it was written on the spread sheet. See?


There it is — #115: Yorkshire Tweed Aran – blue – 11 balls. (Plus one of cream and one of plum, because I was going to design this fancy little Fair Isle portion across the chest, but I chickened out.)

So last night when I went downstairs to the stash (with a song in my heart and a spring in my step) to get Ball #2, I opened the full bag of blue yarn and gasped — (and worse, but I leave that to your imaginations): Even in the dim light of the basement, I could see that what was in that bag was NOT the same as what was on my needles at that very moment. And not to put too fine a point on it, but I had 6 inches x 41 inches of cardigan there — that’s 246 square inches of knitting — and about 8 hours of my life I’d never get back.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. I raced to the computer and looked to see if Jannette’s on eBay had any more bags of the color I’d (OK, OK — mistakenly) cast-on — no dice. A quick Google offered me a few choices from $13.95 a ball to $15. Could I afford to blow a hundred bucks plus shipping to avoid frogging and starting over? I considered it. I even pondered it for at least five minutes before heaving a great sigh, getting out the ballwinder, and kissing the beginning of my Charcoal Ribbed Cardigan good-bye.

It wasn’t quite as painful as I expected, but it did register somewhere between the time I wiped out on my Rollerblades and took all the skin off one thigh and the time I missed out on a Kidsilk Haze sale.

Apparently, the rogue ball of teal-ish blue was part of that original Fair Isle plan. The bag of blue I bought was plenty for a man’s cardigan, and I must have ordered 3 balls of contrasting colors, not 2. When I was faithfully entering all of this into the spreadsheet in January, I had already forgotten this and didn’t look closely at the yarn to see the difference. (Try opening the bag next time, Doofus.)

I didn’t listen to my inner knitter when I thought the yarn seemed to have much more green in it than I remembered and wondered why I’d chosen something with so many yellow flecks in it. No, I just knit on, blithely ignoring those flashing red lights in the periphery. Thank God it was just wool and not a train.

Hey – anybody want a ball of Yorkshire Tweed Aran? The shade is #415 – Maze – missing about 25 yards, frogged, and rewound. Maybe this happened for a reason. Maybe this humble *&^%$! ball of yarn will save another knitter’s a$@. Or maybe it was just another visit from the Imp of the Perverse.

Posted in Impish, In the Stash, On the Needles | 6 Comments »

O Canada!

Posted by Janis on July 30, 2007

ocanada.jpgNeed to catch up a bit with my summer gallivanting, as my mother used to call it. Great word, huh? — “gallivanting.” One of my little projects I never quite got to before she passed was making a little book of “Mom-isms” for her. She had all these funny phrases and words, some of them from her Oklahoma upbringing (like “sweet patootie” – I think that’s a Southern thing), and some she may have just made up. (Like when we’d lose a tooth when we were little, she called us “Fanny Snaggle-tooth” – how great is that? Anyone who’s heard these before and can help track them, please let me know.)

Oh, but I digress… A couple of weekends ago we took our first real trip to Canada, besides for changing planes. OK, we were only in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, which isn’t too far into the great country of Canada, but we were impressed. Besides the obvious attractions like a national anthem that kicks butt, prettier money, and national health care, the place is gorgeous and the people are great. (You can afford to be kind and friendly when you know you won’t be homeless next month because of unforeseen medical bills.)

We went to take in the Shaw Festival — just had to see their “Saint Joan” and it was worth the whole trip, stunning! — and I was able to meet up with my sock swap Knitty friend, Lisa (click on “purlthis” under blogroll), who’s now based in Toronto. She came bearing gifts: an absolutely edible skein of Fleece Artist SeaWool (no, you may NOT taste my yarn! I know it looks delicious, but you can’t have it), and a very cool raku-fired ceramic apple. (That description does NOT do it justice – it’s one of the most aesthetically appealing things I’ve held in a long time — besides yarn. See photo for better idea of its beauty and inherent holdability). I’m so glad Lisa thought of bringing yarn, as it was incredibly difficult to be in Canada, which = Yarnland, and not be within striking distance of a LYS. Left to my own devices, I’d have assumed there would be one on every corner, in every village, no matter how small… lisagifts.jpg

We took an afternoon to see Niagara Falls, and I must say I was completely clueless as to what to expect. It is spectacular (duh) and awe-inspiring. Unfortunately, we came into town a dumbass way and were subjected to major touro-trash before getting to the object of great natural beauty. Yes, that’s right, we encountered Frankenstein yomping a Whopperburgerfrank.jpg before we got to this:fallsrbow.jpg

Alas… ’twas a shock, to be sure. Did we ride the Maid of the Mist? Oh yes, we did — I may be critical of Clifton Hill tourist traps, but I know an authentic tourist attraction when I see it. This was the real deal. maidomist.jpg (And I was so glad we went on the Canadian side, with the blue ponchos — I look terrible in yellow.)

[I’m thinking maybe I should rename this blog “travel*therapy” — I seem to be doing a lot of that this summer.]

Posted in In the Stash, Random | 2 Comments »

Yarnscape with Needles

Posted by Janis on March 25, 2007

yarnscape.JPG I believe I mentioned the yarn awaiting me when I returned from spring break? Here it is:  in back, the Shaker box (handcrafted by Dad, I must add – gorgeous, isn’t it?) is full of the Rowan Felted Tweed, Wool Cotton, and Scottish Tweed needed for the Floral Lace Shawl (VK), then left to right we have Jo Sharp Rare Comfort in rosehip for the Scarf Style scarf,  a Debbie Bliss Pure Silk in rose, Opal Tiger (roar), Misti Alpaca Lace (Swallowtail Shawl from IK), Kid Merino in chocolate because Sue had such a great price on it at Littleknits, and my yarn-tourism skein from Leadville, Colorado:  Lonesome Stone handpainted in “Mighty Fine Pine,” made in Fraser, Colorado — wool and mohair, yum! The new Addi Lace needles are there, too. Can’t wait to take those for a test drive!

I figure that combined with what I just ordered from Knit Happens (what a sale!!!), I have enough yarn to– well, I’ll have enough yarn. Period. For me, for gifts, for covering the walls throughout the house should I decide to, for knit therapy. I’ll be the healthiest woman on the planet. ‘Bout flippin’ time, too.

I decided to forego the Alpaca Show this weekend, and instead chose the rather mature course of staying home and doing our income taxes. I know how to have fun on a Saturday night, that’s for sure. Woo hoo. Turbo Tax! Receipts! Girl Scout cookies and milk! Completely out of control… BUT – they are finished. And we get a nice refund. (Why does it seem like I’m getting a prize when we get a refund? It’s our freakin’ money!) It will pay for our little anniversary snorkelling get-away in May. (“Snorkelling” here means  — well, snorkelling — mask, fins, water, fish, coral. It just sounds naughty.)

(OK, I gotta confess. It didn’t look like any of the vendors listed at the Alpaca Show were actually selling yarn. That’s why I didn’t go. I wanted to pet those alpacas, sure — but what if there wasn’t any yarn?)

Posted in In the Stash | 2 Comments »

Greetings from Stashville

Posted by Janis on February 2, 2007


One of my New Year’s resolutions is to organize the stashette. I refer to it in the dimunitive because, really, how much yarn could I have accumulated in just over one year of knitting, no matter how obsessed? The bills have been paid, the dogs aren’t starving and neither are we — surely I couldn’t have bought much yarn…

So this week I did it. I set up the iBook in the living room and started pulling up the yarn bins from the basement. Trillian’s Stash Spreadsheets, which I found so amusingly over the top nine months ago, became “Well, OF COURSE I need to use Excel! How else can I track all this yarn?”

* DISCLAIMER: I know that my stash is puny compared to many — possibly most — so I offer this in terms of personal awareness only, not in the spirit of competition. *

Am I the only knitter on the planet who finds a 10-skein BAG of yarn in a fiber she doesn’t even LIKE to knit with and has no earthly idea when she acquired it? Oh wait — it’s all coming back to me… now I remember! Last summer someone on the Knittyboard said she loved Rowan Cotton Tape and many agreed. There were rumors it was to be discontinued. What could I do in a weak moment but Google wildly until I found some on sale and order it immediately? *sigh* It was a good sale, though…

Good thing sock yarn doesn’t count. (Then why did you type all those skeins into your precious little spreadsheet, huh?) I seem to have bought sock yarn to make everyone I know socks, but none of them has the same favorite colors as I do. Now that is just poor planning, as my dad would say.

I did think it would be fun (or scary) (or both) to look at the yarn in terms of mileage. If memory serves, 5,280 feet = 1 mile, which is 1,760 yards. Which means I have a little over 13 miles of yarn in my stash. I guess “stashette” is out. Time to start knitting…

Wait – 13 is an unlucky number! I better go to Knitorious first and get into the 14-mile zone for safety…

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