Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Introducing Jesse the Wonder Knitter and her Amazing Expanding Stash!

I have been hopping all over the country lately, and doing a lot of knitting. I've also been listening to a lot of podcasts, and knitting while doing that. The Blankie of Wonder and Magic had become my official zoning-out-watching-tv-or-listening-to-limenviolet project, and it shows!
I had to stand on a deck chair to get the whole width in the frame. It's quite wide. I was a little worried back when I first joined up the base row of squares and saw how much it stretched, but I've gotten over that. I want this to be about as large as a twin bed blanket.

I took the Forest Path Stole on both of my big trips, and got a lot of work done on it.
Last time you saw it all I had was the bottom triangles! I must confess that I didn't make all of this progress on my trips, but still the majority of it. I'm going to the beach next week and that would be a wonderful opportunity for some more progress, but I already have my projects planned out. One of those projects is this,
the Seascape Stole from the spring Knitty. The pattern calls for laceweight yarn, but you know how I like to buck the system. I'm using sport weight, Louet Gems in colorway Carribean Blue to be exact. It's perfect for my mom. She loves all things beachy.

I didn't buy any yarn on my Vermont trip, but I did buy this roving. It's 4 oz. of Louet Gems merino/silk, and the color is even more gorgeous in person. I'm going to be spinning this up and selling it on Etsy, because as much as I would love to have this yarn, I want a spinning wheel more.
It is kinda hard being spindle-dependent, but I can make some pretty neat things:
Roving from http://shunklies.etsy.com, colorway Monsters Inc., with some hot pink from another batch of her roving, Raspberry Soda.

The absolute most awesome thing I did in Vermont was to have a private spinning lesson from a friend of a friend who sells her handspun at a local market. I already knew most of the process in theory, so it was just a matter of getting my hands and feet to work together to make it happen. The spinning wheel I used is the exact kind I'm saving for, an Ashford Traveller. It was everything I'd hoped for, though I've decided to get a double-treadle instead of single, which was rather hard to get going and keep going.

Behold, aroundabout 25 yards of 2-ply, shetland/mohair goodness! I'm so happy with this yarn.

I'm really sensetive to fibers on my neck. Even a baby alpaca which feel soft to the hand will prickle and itch a bit on my neck. The only fiber I've found that never does that is angora, which happens to be quite expensive. Mohair sometimes works, but it's really a crapshoot. This yarn? A cloud. Not a single itch. Not one. Sooo happy.

What we have here is a skein of handpainted sock yarn that Tita brought me from Alaska, where she and Mom went while me and the Small Ones went to Washington with our dad.

It's really soft and though I'm not much of a pastel girl, I really like this yarn.

Compared to most knitters, I have a tiny stash. And not by choice, it's just that I have very little money to work with. I make pretty good money at my job, but 90% of that is going into my life savings. The other 10% is going into my spinning wheel fund. That leaves only my $10 per week allowance for all my personal stuff that my mom won't buy. In truth almost all of what I buy is yarn, but still.

I am pleased to say that I am finally starting to acquire a nice little stash, which is divided into 5 main categories:

1: Handspun. Very fulfilling but a rather slow means of stash enhancement.

2: Sock yarn. Doesn't take as long to get but I use this up much faster.

3: Sock yarn leftovers. These are all going to the Blankie of Wonder and Magic.

4: Crap. Stuff that I bought before I developed some taste, that I know I'm never going to use but just never get around to throwing away.

5: Other stuff. Non-sock leftovers, a few balls with a project already attatched, and 6 skeins of undyed wool.

I don't think I'll run out of yarn any time soon, but still, it's nice to have a backup plan.

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