Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I'm not crazy, I'm just committed.

I had a lovely weekend adventure that started when I saw a note, or a tweet, or something, that said Dragonfly Fibers would be having a trunk show at Cloverhill Yarn Shop this past weekend. I really like Cloverhill, I look for their booth at MD Sheep and Wool when I go, because they carry a lot of independent dyers during the show. They don't carry them as often or consistently, as I understand it, during the rest of the year, but they do carry a lot of other yarns I like. They're about an hour and a half away so I don't get out there often, so this seemed like a perfect opportunity.

The SO's interest in yarn is limited but I have managed to infect his mother, so we made it a family day trip and the two of us set out with all three of the men in the family in tow to check out Cloverhill and hang for a bit in Catonsville (this phenomenon never ceases to amaze me, since I would have a hard time dragging my mother along, let alone my father and brother). A friend of mine got married out there last year and we thought the town was charming. It ended up being a bit cold and we were a bit short on time to look around like we wanted too, but it was still fun.

On the trip there I worked on these socks:

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which are for a coworker of mine. I was in that frustrating sock stage between the gusset and the toe, where it's just plain easy knitting, but you have to constantly stop and measure to see if you've gone far enough. This is a prime opportunity for the infamous knitting black hole, where you knit and knit and it just doesn't get any bigger.

So, imagine my surprise, when we are most of the way to the shop and I measure and find that I am suddenly out of the black hole and my socks are almost done, leaving me facing the prospect of no knitting for the ride home. I have nothing left to knit but the toe and that is not a job sufficient for the duration of the trip home.

Well, not such a big deal I suppose. We're going to a yarn store. I'll just ask the shop to wind one of the skeins I buy and then I'll start another pair of socks on the way home. I feel marginally guilty as I resolve this, as I have another pair of socks on the needles already for another coworker, and, in fact, I had another pair for the SO cast on sitting on 'holding' needles waiting for me to finish these gift socks, AND I have a single sock finished at home and waiting for its mate to be knit. But none of those projects were with me, which made for a perfect excuse to start a new project.

I loved the Dragonfly Fibers show, I wanted to take home everything on the table. However, money is a bit tight and I was determined to be reasonable, so I spent a lot of time changing my mind, picking things up, putting things down, switching things, and fretting over whether I was going to regret leaving some things behind. I spent a lot of time considering what colorways I already had at home in the stash, which resulted in me very regretfully leaving behind a skein of Dragonberry that I really wanted. I stayed away from the greens and blues also since I knew I had several good greens and blues at home. I hovered around the Gaia Lace in Black Pearl, which was so soft and shiny and beautiful, but also pricey enough that if I got that, I wouldn't be able to afford anything else. I really like Djinni Sock (readers may remember I bought a skein at Fyber Space a while ago, and while I haven't knitted with it, it still makes me happy) so I gravitated towards that the most. Ultimately, I ended up buying 3 skeins.

I plan to use Djinni Sock in Pink Hydrangea and Dark Flannel Pajamas:

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To make the next shawl in the 7 Small Shawl series. Only a little has been revealed thus far, but we know it will be striped, and I thought these two colors would go really well together. So I'm saving them for that.

I bought another skein of Pink Hydrangea that was very, very different from the skein shown above, much more brown with just a touch of pink, and, in accordance with my plan, had the skein wound before I left the store.

We found a local place to eat, had dinner - and then things got a little silly. We had a couple more errands to run and I was frantically trying to finish the toe of my sock before the light was totally gone. That didn't happen, so I did learn that it's possible to SSK in the dark. I have a little flashlight that goes over my ear, but of course, it was at home, because I was perfectly convinced when we left that afternoon that I was going to be knitting the sock for the rest of my life and I don't need a light to knit plain stockinette. There were some incidents and I borrowed the SO's cell phone more than once (my battery was dead) for light. Then, when I had finished the toe, I didn't have an embroidery needle with me, so I borrowed a crochet hook and a flashlight from the front seat, and just pulled the yarn through the stitches to hold them until I got home. Then I cast on by flashlight, joined my knitting, returned the flashlight and crochet hook, and I was off knitting again. I got maybe four rounds done before we got back. Part of me knew I was being silly, but I couldn't stop. It's a sickness. But the nascent sock is quite lovely.

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Many moons ago, another coworker of mine requested a sparkly white snowflake scarf. I bought the yarn for it at the time but never actually made the scarf (and we are talking many, many moons ago), and I was feeling guilty this weekend so I got started. I didn't find a satisfactory pattern so I'm kind of making it up as I go along. Because I don't want this to take forever, I've decided to put a stockinette lace snowflake panel on each end of the scarf and knit the rest of the darn thing in garter stitch. I'm using the free snowflake pattern for knitted greeting cards on this page. The chart is 31 stitches wide and I added five stitches on each side in garter stitch to keep it from rolling.

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The yarn is Ice Yarns Kid Mohair Lurex in white on size 8 needles. I'm really liking the effect and I think the end result will be very nice. I was worried I would go insane before it was done, but it actually seems to be ripping along very nicely, so that the picture above, taken Sunday night, is now really, really out of date. I finished the snowflake panel and continued on in garter stitch as planned, and I have about 20 total inches of scarf done. I expect there to be a fair amount of mindless knitting time available this weekend due to travelling time and other stuff, so I'm hoping I can make really good progress on this scarf and another pair of socks for a different coworker (my coworkers are making out like bandits this year, aren't they?) Then I should probably focus on the family knitting. I can't fully disclose my plans in this forum, but there are plans and I'm probably not doing myself any favors by not having worked on them yet. I always prefer to give gifts before I go away on vacation, but I have become somewhat resigned to giving out New Years presents.

The other big accomplishment this weekend was blocking Elektra, and so I leave you now with best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving, and may you be as happy with your end results as I am.

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