Tuesday, August 29, 2006

No Impulse Buy Goes Unpunished

When we last left our heroine she had gone in to the yarn store merely to look for handles and had left with not one but TWO sets of Touch Me yarn and Mohair to make scarfs she neither had the time nor need for. Alas the poor lass was sucked in to the beauty of the scarf. So soft, so compelling. So putting aside all other projects that she had started she began knitting the first scarf. It was coming along well, it was soft, it was beautiful and then - tradgedy stuck! She ran out of yarn when the scarf was only half way done! What to do, what to do. Gathering all her strength and bravery she returned to the yarn store with the second set of gorgeous, deep red Touch Me and Mohair and - now you may want to look away - this is not for the faint of heart - she RETURNED IT! Yes, she had decided that was the only thing she could do. Return the luxurious red Touch Me,M the soft strains of red mohair for more of the pink and green mohair so that she could at least finish one scarf. She could not justify two scarfs with those needy yarn requirements. She would have to live with just one. Through these courageous efforts our heroine will live to knit another day and maybe even have a few pennies left for a Starbucks.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Thank You's and a Shout Out to Lynae

First of all a big thank you to Joanna who sent me this fabulous bag for the Tote Exchange. It came all the way from POLAND!!!! How cool is that??? I just love it and I have since she first posted a photo of it on the Exchange. At that point I didn't know it was for me and I was just drewling over it. I even went to her blog to get the pattern (yes - she designed it herself!) and hoped to make it one day. Luckily I am so far behind on my "to do" list of knitting that there was little chance I would ever get to it before it arrived. It is a beautiful red with yellow and orange and this really cool flower and twisty cords that she made. I think she is so amazingly talented. It came with some wonderful treats as well including a beautiful candle, some yummy tea and this great polish milk candy that it is oh so sweet. Many thanks to you Joanna for my wonderful bag and all the goodies.

Next a big thank you to my Secret Pal 8 pal Brooke. Brooke has done a wonderful job of stringing me along with little hints here and there as to her true identity. This package was the big reveal and it is so fun to learn more about her. She sent me this wonderful big jean bag that is so fun, some amazingly soft Baby Alpaca yarn and these really great lighted knitting needles. Now there is no excuse not to knit! Brooke you are the greatest secret pal and you have sent me such wonderful things. It has really been fun being spoiled by you. Also the really exciting part - Brooke is coming to my town to see the Yarn Harlot in about 2 weeks so we are going to get to meet in person. Isn't that great? I'm very excited to meet her.

Last but certainly not least a big WELCOME to my SP 8 spoilee Lynae. I have had such fun spoiling her as part of this exchange and now she knows my true identity. I hope she will visit often and that we'll stay in touch.

So all in all - a big THANK YOU to Joanna, Brooke and Lynae and thanks for making my knitting world fun.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Saving the World One Skein at a time

I recently bought a bunch of Sari Silk from an auction site. I really don't need any more yarn but I found myself compelled to bid on these skeins. Now I HAVE shared them, I gave one to my Mom, sent one to my secret pal and I have kept the rest. I am justifying my purchase because I understand it is created by women's co-ops in Nepal. So you see - I'm really doing a good thing for the world by purchasing this yarn! In addition, I have some Manos de Uruguay yarn. Manos is made by "crafts people working together in Uruguay make this yarn which sustains their community" - once again - I think you can justify the yarn as an attempt to help others in the world. I also often hear about Malabrigo yarn which is made by "a small family owned yarn company in Uruguay working with a cooperative of women." I have never purchased any Malabrigo but I think if I did I could feel good about it. So here I am, changing the world one skein at a time. Save the world - BUY YARN!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Stop and Smell the Yarn

I was exchanging e-mail with my friend Bonnie the other night and we were listing all of the projects we have on the needles. In addition I listed the projects I've finished but not totally FINISHED. Then came the list of projects for which I have purchased yarn and not yet started. My first thought is that I need to knit more, faster, harder and then it dawned on me - isn't knitting supposed to be my relaxation? My release from my normal overly scheduled Type A life? Why is it that we knitters fall in to the trap of wanting to knit more, knit faster, get it done? So I am reminded to stop and smell the yarn. Feel the yarn. Enjoy the yarn. Enjoy the projects I am currently working on (there are plenty to enjoy!) Enjoy the process not just strive for the result. My mother used to always tell me that "patience is a virtue" to which I would respond, "that I don't have!" But I vow to try to be more patient with my knitting, enjoy each row and the growth of the project rather than just counting how many stitches, rows, inches until I'm done. Now I need to go and do some knitting!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Just when I thought it was safe to go in to the Yarn Store

I went to my LYS the other day with definite plans to ONLY look for handles for the Berroco suede knitting tote that I am making (photos of that soon). I have a TON of yarn and I really don't need any more. I have way too many projects on the needles and don't need to start anything new. All was going well, I walked past the wall of Cascade 220 in wonderful colors and ignored it, past the cotton, past the cashmere, past everything. I was feeling good. I got to the rack of handles and unfortunately they didn't have what I needed. Oh well, that's OK. I'm not anywhere close to needing them yet anyway. I was on my way out - feet from the door - when I saw it. A gorgeous scarf in process on the table near the door. It was a combination of the oh so soft Touch Me yarn and some mohair. I don't even like mohair (what is mohair anyway?) But it was simple. It was elegant. It was oh so beautiful. It called to me. It sang to me. I had to have it. Really, truly, I tried to resist but it was of no use. Next thing I knew I was leaving the store with yarn for not one but TWO of these wonderful scarves. I've started the one on the left in a very soft pink Touch Me and a multicolored green mohair. The photo doesn't really do it justice. Why is it that yarn is so appealing? Why is it that we suspend all logic and restraint when it calls to us? I've heard the fables of sirens in the sea that would sing to sailors and enchant them. They would follow the sounds until their ships crash upon the rocks. I think yarn is like that - it sings to us, we can not resist and we follow it - right in to bankruptcy! Next time I will wear ear plugs!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A life of Leisure

I got another great package from my wonderful SP8. She sent me this great gift basket of relaxing bath items. I'm looking forward to taking a long and luxurious bath and enjoying them. Thank you so much Brooke - you are the greatest! I can't wait for the big reveal later this month when I'll find out who she really is. On the knitting front I bought this great 127 yarn at Gossamer in Bend and I just love the color. It is a deep burgundy color with other colors mixed in here and there. I'm making another felted bag. This one has an oval bottom and flares out at the top. They had a sample at the store so I got the pattern and I'm excited to see how it works out. It has a little ridge around the bottom to help it stand up. On the simply glorious front there is this incredible garden down the street. An organic farmer grows flowers and vegetables. He mainly sells them to the local grocery stores but he also sells some on the corner. I just have to share these photos with you - I hope you like them as much as I do.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cotton good for Pickin'

From the amount of cotton I have purchased on this vacation you would think that California is devoid of cotton. Well to some extent that may be true. The stores near me never have Sugar & Cream or Peaches & Cream and the Lions Brand cotton can't be found in many colors. NOT the case in Oregon however and thus I have gone a little wild. You see I want to make some of those "warsh rags" from the Mason Dixon book. I hear they are addicting and I want to be prepared. Ummmm - maybe I'm a bit too prepared? What you see in the photo isn't even all the cotton I purchased. Hmmmm - anyone got any good patterns using cotton???