I tried something different this month. Instead of buying yarns in the appropriate colors for my September swap gifty for A Swap A Month, I traded and bought partial skeins on Ravelry instead. So rather than ending up with three new skeins of yarn, I ended up with three partial skeins of yarn that should be close to exactly what I need for my project.
I guess it’s pretty obvious that the stash won this month! I brought in 25 skeins and 3 partial skeins, and only finished off 3 skeins.
Lately, I’ve been craving new yarn. I’ve been fighting the urge to buy new yarns online or run into Knitty City for a quick haul. I know that I’ll be going to a fiber festival in September, so I vow to be reasonable with my purchases – I’m setting a budget limit as well as a 3 skein limit.
I’ve finally found a local charity online that seems interested in yarn donations. I will contact them and hopefully move out a large amount of yarn.
This may be wishful thinking, but I’d like to spend more time crocheting and knitting this month! If I do, I shouldn’t have a problem busting through some stash.
If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been really trying to reduce my yarn stash this year. But, you also know that I find giveaways very hard to resist – and I’m kinda lucky.
So when I saw this giveaway on Robyn Chachula‘s blog, I had to enter. In my defense, it wasn’t clear exactly how much yarn would be in each of the five goodie bags Robyn was assembling. Even after winning, I was blissfully ignorant for the next few days.
And then, this arrived.
And when I opened it, this is what I saw.
I may have lost consciousness for a few seconds. But then I came to and took some more pictures. Here’s what I found inside the box:
A notions case – I’ve been using this to store all the goodies for the socks I’m making for the Ravellenic Games. It is the only one I have long enough to fit the size 1 double pointed needle I’ll be using as a cable needle.
A circular Susan Bates Velocity knitting needle – This looks like just the right size for subway knitting.
Thanks, Robyn, for sharing all of these wonderful goodies with me! It certainly didn’t help with my stashbusting efforts, but I’m thrilled nonetheless.
I’ve had this yarn for about two or three years. I bought it at Smiley’s Yarns in Queens. It’s Moda Dea Tweedle Dee, which is now discontinued, and the colorway is called Sahara. This is going to be a Christmas gift for my cousin.
…and the brother of the cousin I made this for.
I’m happy to have another Christmas gift finished and yet more stash used up.
And having my own little metal to commemorate it isn’t too bad, either :). Now, back to the Games!
I’m using two strands of Moda Dea Tweedle Dee, a discontinued, self-striping, bulky yarn, and size 15 circular needles. This will be sort of a companion to this ribbed beanie I finished a few weeks ago. I have two male cousins (brothers), and I’m sort of sure who is getting what, but not 100% decided yet.
I’ve found that the metal needles in the small size are bothering my hands. I’m going to try and get a wood or bamboo set today after work and see if that helps me move a little faster.
I’m still reading How To Love Your Job Or Find A New Oneby Joanna Penn. So far, I’m finding it really helpful. If I can drag myself away from the Ravellenics for a little more time this week, I will probably be able to finish it and share a review.
I special ordered a whole bunch of it from my LYS, Knitty City. I know that the top of the bedspread will be in this color and with this pattern, but I’m still deciding on whether the side drops will be in the same color and pattern. I’m going to wait until the 42 squares I need are finished and joined before even thinking about borders :).
And now we interrupt this blog post with a customer service rant. You may remember that Knitty City is my favorite NYC yarn shop. I have five stories from this week to demonstrate why! My week started out on a high note – I was able to easily put in my special yarn order to Knitty City via email, and I received all responses via email in a timely fashion. This shows that the folks at Knitty City are not only responsive but also that they understand that if you send an email, you would likely prefer an email (not phone) response.
I spent most of the week in training for the Ravellenic Games, and I wanted to get a set of size 1 40″ circular needles in case I wasn’t able to get gauge with the needles I had at home. I had four bad customer service experiences at four different Manhattan yarn shops while trying to get a set of needles!
I stopped at a new-to-me LYS after work on Tuesday. I arrived in the store to see three women knitting away feverishly in complete, perhaps tension-filled, silence. One looked up and said to let her know if I needed any help. The shelves were a mess and only partially full, and with all three women sitting on the same side of the table, it wasn’t easy to get access to the patterns located behind them. (I wasn’t looking for patterns, but you get my point.) There were very few notions in stock, but I decided to pick up some needle point protectors anyway. (Side note: I come from a family of entrepreneurs and run a small business myself, so I really try to support small businesses when possible.) It was only at this point that I realized that all three women actually worked there. When I mentioned I was looking for a specific needle size, no one offered to order it for me.
After work on Wednesday, I decided to stop by a different LYS that usually has a broad selection of needle sizes. I didn’t see any 40″ circulars in the display, so I asked if they had size 1 in stock. After being asked about what type of needle I wanted (wood, metal, etc.), they realized they didn’t have any size 1 needles anyway. Again, no one asked if I would like them to order it for me and by now I was getting really down.
I called a third LYS in another neighborhood and they told me they did have size 1 needles in stock. Unfortunately, due to commuting times, I wasn’t able to get there before closing. I decided to stop by the next day (Thursday), and went by about 25 minutes before their listed closing time. The shop was closed with the gate pulled down. And, of course, there was no sign indicating they had closed early.
On Thursday morning, I had also emailed a fourth shop to see if they had size 1 needles in stock. After receiving no response by Friday morning, I stopped by this shop after running errands. The clerk asked, “Didn’t you call yesterday?” to which I responded that I had sent an email. Even though she knew someone was looking for this particular size, the woman didn’t know if the needles were in stock. So I waited while she looked through several disorganized piles of needles before determining there weren’t any in stock. Again, no one asked if I would like to order this size. And, about two hours after I got home, they left a voice mail in response to my email saying the needles weren’t in stock.
After all of this, I figured size 1 needles must be extremely rare. With only the slightest of hope, I dropped by Knitty City on the way home. Not only was I treated warmly, but there were FOUR different brands of size 1 40″ needles for me to choose from. I guess the moral of the story is just go to Knitty City every time and don’t even bother with the other places!
And now back to my YOP post :). I did end up needing the size 1 needles to get gauge. I finally chose the Graphic pattern from Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. My thought process went this way: according to The Knitter’s Book of Socks, I should have at least 10% negative ease for the circumference of my sock. After convincing MC to measure our feet based on the chart in The Sock Knitter’s Handbook, this pattern seemed to be the right size. And, with my brand new needles, I was able to get the right gauge!
Unfortunately, my first several attempts at making this sock were disastrous. Let’s just say the combination of poor lighting in my apartment, the small needle size, and my lack of familiarity with knitting socks led to a few issues. Yesterday I restarted and things seem to be going much better now (perhaps because I have knit this very same section four times already?).
I’m not too confident that I’ll finish this pair before the end of the Ravellenic Games, but I really hope I do. Because I have the feeling that if I don’t, these will sit as a WIP until the 2014 Ravellenic Games.
I also forgot to declare how many motifs I wanted to make for the Games, so I couldn’t participate in the Modular Relay :(. Instead, I dug out stash wool that is over 1 year old, and decided to make more squares for the felted wool blanket I’m making for myself as part of the stashbusting event. I finishedthesethree yesterday.