Tuesday, 25 March 2008

All Aboard! All Aboard!


This pretty much describes the state of my yarn diet at the moment. Due to family problems (if I was feeling lighthearted about it I'd just say 'argh! mothers!' but it's all a bit much) I've been on the verge of a panic attack constantly for the last week or two, not sleeping properly, eating and drinking too much, and... spectacularly bingeing on yarn online this weekend. Most of it has a planned use, so it's not quite mindless buying yarn for the sake of it. Of course, I'd have to have a life expectancy of 217 at my current rate of planning projects. As for the anxiety and waking up having panic attacks I think I'll need to arrange my Discman next to the bed with a nice soothing CD in it that I can listen to when I can't sleep. Unfortunately Rescue Remedy has no effect whatsoever on me.

I finished my Boteh Scarf in The Yarn Yard Bamboo 'Miniskirt':

I was a bit worried when I started out as the merino/bamboo blend has an odd, slightly stiff texture, but for this scarf it worked really well as it gave it a little more structure and made it less floppy (especially once I'd done the border round it). It needs blocked still as it's a little curly in some corners. I'm pleased with how it came out, despite the colour being uncharacteristically feminine.

I've got my old Canon camera up and running again - I'd been using a lighter weight Kodak but it tended to make the edges of photos, have an odd colour balance and a hopeless flash, but it's also more intuitive and has a better screen. The Canon is bigger and heavier, and only 4 Megapixels, but takes better photos as it has better optics. It's just hard to see if things are in focus due to the small screen - this is irritating in macro mode.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Nrom...nrom... nrom...

Not a crochet post. A brownie post:
Made to Yogic Knitter's recipe. Very yummy they are too.

A photo entitled 'Slotted Spoon':

Florriezilla takes on slotted spoon:


My general crochet plan for this weekend is to get two projects finished (I actually have three that shouldn't take much work) and also finish one of a pair of amigurumi owlets I'm making for my OH's mother. I am on the verge of caving... I feel the need to make a blanket

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Yarn diet system

A new item has appeared in my sidebar. This will be my yarn diet tracker. It starts at zero. When I buy yarn, the metreage will be added, when i use up yarn the metreage will be deducted. It's not ideal since it doesn't take finances into account (and a hank of 1200m laceweight from Etsy generally costs less than three hanks of Colinette Point 5 but adds a lot more metreage). So, negative numbers are generally good as they represent a cutting down of my stash and/or using yarn faster than I'm buying it, and positive numbers are bad since they represent an accumulation. Yarns I am gifted don't count and partial balls will be estimated.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A swift update

Winding from my swift was a great success. Using a cardboard loo roll tube as a makeshift nostepinne was less so. I might stick to the cannonball method for things I'm going to use immediately. Florrie-cat watched the process with some interest with her head tilted to one side, but made only a couple of moves to grab the moving yarn.

Oh and I slipped earlier, but only a little. Tomorrow will see the creation of some kind of system for keeping track of yarn loss and gain in my yarn fast/diet/use-it-up efforts.


My swift ('scuse the mess):
Test run tonight.

I'm in serious danger of going off the 'yarn fast' in a big way. I've figure out what I want to do with a couple of yarns in my stash, and guess what?... these projects require more yarn. And for one of them, the seller only has one left (but I want the same thing in two other colour ways for two other as yet undefined potential projects). Maybe one wouldn't hurt... ack, my resolve is slipping. I'm also tempted by some yarn I've been deliberating over for a month or two.

Monday, 17 March 2008

A very long WIP picture post

I took the plunge. I've ordered a swift. That mini poncho thing I posted a picture of the other day is wonderful for wearing round the house - it's not flattering but it's snuggly and cosy and warm.

I have several/too many works in progress. Part of the point of this post is to try and motivate myself to finish the projects that are almost there before I start any new projects. I haven't got myself set up to take arty photos on a white background so you'll have to put up with the Ikea table (and occasional cat intrusion).

First, we have the Cold Shoulder capelet (from The Happy Hooker). This is so close to being finished. All it needs is the pompoms on the ends of the ties, but I'm procrastinating about that, partly because I have to wind the mohair into a ball first. The yarn is a random, apparently unbranded mohair I bought on sale from Stash Fine Yarns

Second we have my alpaca stars scarf made from purple Garnstudio DROPS Alpaca - both pattern and yarn available from Scandinavian Knitting Designs. This one is kind of hibernating at the moment as I found it took a bit of concentration, and I tend to get interrupted a lot so it became stressful.

This is a meshy scarf in Mirasol Hacho. The pattern is called Monika. I'm struggling to finish this as I've found it difficult to do since I had a nightmare about it when I had a cold a few weeks ago. I've only got a row of edging to do around it now.

I started this sleeveless cardigan (or vest if you're American) in January with the intention of wearing it in cold weather. I whizzed through the back part, but the pattern (the Denim Vest from the Lion Brand website) is one of those ones that gives you half the pattern fro the fornt and tells you to reverse it for the other half. This has put me off a bit, as has the fact that it's going to be too small (and I'm doing it in Icelandic Lopi which felts really easily so it's not going to be very washable). If I lose the weight I want to this year it might fit next winter. The other problem is that now Lopi is just too warm to work with. It's great when the weather's cold and it's like crocheting with a wee blanket on my lap, but now it's a little warm.

My Eva shawl, also from a link from Ravelry. I'm doing this one with a merino laceweight yarn from YarnAddict Yarns. I love this yarn, and the shawl is going well, though I've got to the point where each rown is taking 40 minutes (I folded the edges over in the photo to get it all in). It looks a lot less blotchy in reality - my camera has an annoying tendency to overemphasise blue. I'm sure I can adjust the colour balance but I have no idea how (apart from in Photoshop).

Boteh scarf from an old copy of Interweave Crochet. Another project I'm really enjoying - I'm doing it in a wool/bamboo sock weight yarn from The Yarn Yard.

And finally, a flowery scarf in Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky. The pattern is another one I found the link for on Ravelry. It's called Anne and is available as a cheap pdf download. This is another project I'm really enjoying.

Friday, 14 March 2008


Thanks for the yarn swift suggestions. The ones on Posh Yarns and Get Knitted both look lovely so that's definitely something to think about in the next week or two. I don't mind winding smallish hanks into balls (like about 350m or less), it's the ones upwards of about 500m that test my patience.

One thing that's irritating me already with Blogger is the inability to reply directly to comments so a thread/conversation builds up. I am reading, and do appreciate all the helpful comments I've had so far.

So much for yarn diet

I may have slipped, shall we say, in the last few days. Cutting down on yarn buying evidently isn't working, so I am now attempting a yarn fast. No yarn until Saturday 22nd (see, I really am addicted). Baby steps... if I manage that then I'll attempt a longer fast - until May 1st would be a reasonable time to make a dent in my stash. We will see. I also know from experience that restricting my consumption tends to result in a binge later, so we shall see.

I am considering getting an umbrella swift. I have no patience when it comes to winding from a skein to a ball, and as my new thing is laceweight (therefore reeeaaaalllly long lengths of yarn) I think it might be a good idea. Of course, cost is an issue and I don't want to order from the US and be thumped by customs charges.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Not for fat days

I've had four balled-up skeins of Colinette Point 5 in Florentina languishing in my stash for months - I ordered it with the intention of making a scarf but when it arrived it was a bit pink and just a bit much really (the problem with ordering Colinette blind is that you don't know exactly what the colours will be like). I finally turned it into a capelet from this pattern:
On Ravelry there are lots of comments about how you should never make a sweater from Point 5 unless it's for a skinny person. The same holds true for capelets. Picture a tea-cosy on a watermelon. You get the idea. My partner says it's 'cute' which roughly translates as 'it's nice but I'm not sure about it on you'. Never mind. I really didn't know what to do with that yarn and I am trying to lose weight, so one day it might actually be less rounding.

Last Saturday I gave in and bought some Orkney Angora in Fawn:
I'm going to use it doubled and make the Mei-mei mini-cardi from the cover of Everyday Crochet by Doris Chan.

I am attempting a yarn diet and trying to use up some of my stash before buying more. With my birthday last week I went a bit mad, and my queue of planned projects is getting silly. I have a few 'unallocated' yarns in my stash so I'm trying to find patterns for them.

Friday, 7 March 2008

So I gave in...

and got a Blogger account where I can waffle about my various crochet projects, past, present, future and imaginary, as well as yarn-lust.

This morning some lovely Emerald Apple Cobweb Kid Mohair Lace dropped through the letterbox this morning from The Natural Dye Studio. I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but 800 yards of mohair gives me plenty of possibilities.

I also put in a substantial order to Scandinavian Knitting Design this morning, but it's enough yarn for four projects (but it does mean I'll be making one of them with yarn less than a fifth of the cost of the recommended yarns). I tried to order last night but their online shopping cart was wonky - it kept doubling the quantities of some of the items in my cart and then when I got to the checkout it kept insisting I'd incorrectly filled in the address form. This morning, it was still doing odd things with quatities but the checkout was working at least.

The justification for all this yarn? It was my birthday on Monday (and it was a semi-significant one).

I am cross with Flickr. It's only showing me random photos. This has been going on since yesterday so there's no point in uploading any of my photos at the moment as they won't show up on my Ravelry account. It also means I can't see other peoples photos of projects on Ravelry - of course this may be a good thing otherwise I might be 'inspired' to order more yarn. Right now I'm looking for a justification/project to buy some Orkney Angora for.

I'm feeling a desire to do some more dying after our successful experiments with Supercook food colouring (21p a bottle from Tesco), but I have an Open University assessment coming up and ought to spend Sunday afternoon getting on top of my OU workload instead of making a colourful mess.