Tuesday, December 29, 2009

can i have a little more...

this is a picture of my sweet friend's scarf. i have been working on this for quite awhile, one could say since before christmas of '08. want to know why?....because 299 stitches need to be picked up on each long side of the scarf. yes, 299 stitches, or a multiple of 4 + 3.

i have gotten to a point in my knitting life where i finally feel pretty confident in picking up stitches and having them look nice, but 299, or a multiple of 4+3, is a bit much for me. in fact, on the long side that is finished, i picked up quite a few less than 299, though it was a multiple of 4 + 3. i made up for it on the unfinished side where i picked up 319, also a multiple of 4 + 3.

and see that little tail of yarn in the center? the one that looks like the end a ball of yarn? it is. and i don't have another ball. no, i don't. the pattern called for two balls of the light pink and one ball of the dark pink so that is what i purchased. since i followed the directions i trusted i would have enough yarn to finish the pattern. and i continued to trust up to the time i realized i barely had enough yarn to finish row 4 of the 6 row pattern that would finish this scarf and i would have to do something else for the last two rows. can i hear you say, "grrrrr". yeah, that's it.

running out of yarn would not be such a big thing if the yarn hadn't been purchased in new york city over two and a half years ago. my hopes of finding that same color yarn dipped even farther when i looked on the blue sky alpaca website and found the color listed in the discontinued colors. i almost panicked. so i took a deep breath, clicked the "where to find our yarns" button and started dialing. the neighborhood LYS does not carry blue sky yarns so i called a couple of not so local LYS' who will be getting back to me. i then decided to try a yarn store a bridge away. i had only been there once but remembered feeling their yarn sort of took over the store. the was yarn everywhere, in all different weights and colorways. so i called. not only did the woman who answered the phone know what color i was looking for, she said they had one ball in stock and if they didn't, she thought she had one at home, but since she was with a customer, she would need to call me back. which she did, within minutes. they have the colorway, may not be the same dye lot, but for two rows, i am not going to be very choosy. i would just like to finish the scarf.

so tomorrow i am off to berkeley for one ball of yarn. and the adventure continues...

right now, i am just grateful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

16 tons...

so i am not the fastest knitter. in fact i consider myself to be one of the slowest knitters on the planet. but this evening i even impressed myself.

the LYS in the town north of mine has a 30% off sale every 3rd thursday of the month. novembers yarn sale was bulky/chunky yarn. though i have enough stash to build a mountain, i thought it may not be a bad idea to have some bulky/chunky yarn for last minute gifts. so i drove up and checked out the sale. i ended up buying three skeins/hanks/balls of yarn, one brown sheep burly spun in ruby red; one rowan cocoon in a lovely grey and one misty alpaca chunky in a hot pink. i figured three gifts for around $30 was not bad.

i had originally purchased the burly spun to knit a unisex scarf for a work holiday party. then realized the holiday party was in three days which was pushing it for knitting a scarf, at least for me. onto ravelry i went to see what kind of projects were knitted out of burly spun. considering how bulky the yarn is, i was surprised at the variety of patterns available. after finding a few i liked, i narrowed it down to one that caught my eye, not only because of the name, "speedy cable cowl pattern" but because of the pattern. it had cables and for some reason, this yarn screamed cables to me. knitters who knit this pattern said it took them all of two hours. so i figured it would take me all of two evenings.

but no. once i cast on and got going, it took me all of two hours, perhaps a smidge more. i couldn't believe it! really. i mean the pattern is all of 18 rows so it shouldn't be such a shock, but i was still pretty surprised i was actually able to finish it in one sitting.

and it turned out ok, i like the way it looks. plus it fits over my head so hopefully it will fit over other peoples heads. this was my first experience with bulky/super bulky wool and it was great to be able to make something lovely in such a short amount of time. and i didn't use the whole ball; i still have enough to make another present if needed.

so on the whole, i am pretty impressed.