Saturday, September 23, 2006

Slowly but Surely

I continue to make progress on two of my current projects. Yesterday I completed one pattern repeat on the Leaves of Grass sock. See?

The picture does not do the yarn color justice. It's much greener. The lace pattern is fairly easy to work, although the ssk and pass procedure offers a good opportunity for dropped stitches. I'm finding, too, that the Dale Tiur splits fairly easily. That's pretty annoying. Overall, these socks are going to turn out well (assuming I don't get smacked down by gauge "issues").

I've been measuring every couple of rows as I continue knitting the armscye for the Too-Many-Choices Top. At last measure, I calculated that I had about four more rows to knit before starting the bind-off for the round neck. Well, that calculation has been proved wrong. When I laid the top out to photograph it, it came in at just over five inches. Time to tink back a row or two! Here it is, in all of its blue-y goodness:

Twisted Knitters
Margene is hosting a Twisted Knitters Dye, Spin, Knit Along. Go check it out! I've joined (like I need to join another "along"), hoping that it will force me to start dyeing and improve my spinning. Twisted Knitters will run for six months, which should be plenty of time to get something accomplished. Twisting my logic slightly, I used this DSK-Along to justify ordering The Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook. I also ordered Traditional Knitted Shawls in order to take advantage of free shipping. I have a couple of laceweight yarns in stash and I'd like to design my own shawl and this book seemed like it would provide a good jumping off point. This is another bit of twisted logic. I've never successfully knit a lace shawl. Other than the Milanese Scarf, I've never designed anything. So what makes me think that I can design and knit a beautiful intricate lace shawl right off the bat? Am I truly deluded? I like to think of it as "extending my boundaries."

Simple Living
I received an electronic copy of The Simple Living Newsletter. It has an article by a woman who decided not to buy anything than the necessities for one year. It's a very interesting read. (It's also interesting to note that the Simple Living Network's resources are all available for purchase online.)

In the spirit of "Not Buying It," I've decided (for the most part) to not buy any yarn until I've reduced my stash a bit. Now, you must understand that I do not have a large stash. By most knitter's standards, my stash is very small (two boxes). I do not (well, mostly) buy yarn just because I like it. Most of the yarn was bought with a specific project in mind. I do not buy full bags of the stuff. I have enough sock yarn for maybe six pairs of socks, enough laceweight for two shawls, and enough other stuff for a couple of sweaters and scarves. Given how fast I knit, I have enough yarn to last me several years. So this exercise shouldn't be too painful (at least until I go to Maryland Sheep & Wool next year).

In general, I don't think Tom and I purchase a lot of stuff. Most of our disposable income goes to food and wine. We've started using the library more. We wear our clothes until they are no longer serviceable; likewise for our shoes. It helps that we both despise shopping. Shopping is not fun; it's a very painful exercise, made more painful by the fact that it's hard for both of us to find clothes that fit well. Most of our furniture is antique, which we acquired from our families. And at Christmas, we try (but aren't always successful) to give handmade gifts.

Weekend Activities
Tom is off doing a 19-mile run this morning, so there will be some knitting this afternoon. If I'm good, maybe I'll get the first half of the Too-Many-Choices Top done. I need to clean the house, but (and this sounds silly) I don't want to vacuum up Jez's cat hair. That's sort of a lame attempt to keep her "essence" around (I miss that little cat so much.) We'll do a short run tomorrow morning and then meet some friends for brunch. And I really need to make some soups or stews that we can take for lunches.

Well, this turned out to be a long, rambling, and disorganized post. Have a wonderful weekend!


Sheepish Annie said...

Living with cat hair is just what cat owners do. I actually saved and spun some of my cat's brushings! (she's a looooong-haired little critter) It don't think it is odd to want to keep a bit of it around.

Nice looking projects. I really love the sock!

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's silly to not want to vacuum up Jez's hair! After we lost our dear Cloey, I put off washing the back-of-the-sofa quilt for ages because it was her favorite place to curl up and was full of her fur.

Jen said...

So sorry to hear you lost your dear furry friend. We lost our guy last January and it's still hard, although time does help. We're hoping to adopt a dog soon. I'm ready for another cat, but losing Scooter really hit C hard, harder than I expected. I started volunteering at our local animal shelter in honor of our guy, who we got there almost 10 years ago. Animals certainly do become family members. Take care of yourself.

Lazuli said...

I hear you on the cat hair; I think it makes total sense. Your socks and sweater look great! The new knitting books sound like lots of fun; isn't free shipping tricksy that way?

Anne said...

You'll love the Twisted Sisters book - it's worth it for the dyeing alone, let alone the absolutely smashing singles socks in it. Hope your weekend was great.

Eero said...

I understand about the cat hair. When we moved across country and had to fly our cat ahead while we drove, I kept a bit of his brushed out fur in a small jewelry box with me, since I wouldn't see him for almost two weeks. So sorry to read of your loss....
I've heard of the buy-nothing for a year book----sounds interesting...Have you ever read the Tightwad Gazette? Trumpets frugality in all it's forms...although it's definitely geared towards families w/ kids.