Friday, May 22, 2009

How Stash Grows.

I have never been much of a stasher. 

I know!  

Is that blasphemous for a knitblog or what?

I have one five-drawer wire storage-thingy in the cupboard-under-the-stairs and that has been PLENTY for me.  The top drawer is dishcloth cotton, drawer 2 is sock and lace-weight, drawers 3 and 4 are worsted/Aran, mostly wools, and drawer 5, the bottom, is odds and ends, some bulky, some weirdo acrylic, et cetera.

The thing is that non-stashing wasn't a purposeful thing, it just resulted from my lack of funds and my need to keep the hobby on the up-and-up.  (The minute my hobby becomes guilt- or debt-inducing, the minute I need to stop.)

But I think I may have reached my tipping point, and I blame NaKniSweMoDo.

I hit my sweater-knitting stride this winter, starting with my Charcoal Cables sweater, and suddenly yarn purchasing took on a whole new mode:  

I stopped thinking of yarn as a skein- or a ball-at-a-time enterprise, and a new phrase entered my purchasing lexicon:  "A sweater's worth."  Suddenly I didn't come out of endless Webs fantasy shopping sessions with two balls of sock yarn (that I would never knit but at least didn't cost too much and took up very little space)--I ended up with A Sweater's Worth.

I never got this idea until recently, because I hadn't knit many sweaters.  Suddenly, though, I have the yarn for 4 or 5 sweaters in my stash and I Swear I Don't Know How It Got There.  

One minute I'm surfing Ravelry, the next minute I'm buying 1200 yards of heathered aqua Patons Classic plus 1000 yards of Berroco Cuzco plus 900 yards of KnitPicks Shine Sport.  And this all takes up more space than 1 or 2 balls of Peaches and Creme, y'all!  

I never understood how peoples' stashes grow to extreme levels, taking up rooms and closets and small principalities.  (And not in a superior way--it was just as alien to me as collecting modern art or classic cars.  A financial investment I couldn't envision making.)   I really couldn't fathom a day where I would have 45 sweaters' worth of yarn stacked as high as an elephant's eye.   But here is the part I never understood:

It is possible to buy yarn at a pace that is exponentially higher than one can actually knit it up.

I am not a super fast knitter; I produce a 1000-yard sweater in a month or so.  But I can BUY 1000 yards of yarn in the blink of an eye.  And then I can do it the next day.  All in good faith, all with my queue in mind, all without going over my monthly fun money allotment.  (Well, mostly.)

Now I finally get the yarn diet thing, and the spreadsheets, and the endless talking about stash that occurs on the Interwebs.  The question is whether I will be able to pull myself back from the brink of a full-blown, capital-S Stash before it's too late.  

And if I want to.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Ebbs and Flows

"Everything happens..."

"Don't say 'for a reason.'"
"No--everything happens."
- Dr Horrible's Singalong Blog

I haven't been posting much of late, not because I don't have much to say--in fact I've been overflowing with thoughts and musings and reactions and opinions--but because my natural reticence, my inability to possibly offend, and my aversion to conflict keep convincing me that what I have to say is, although legitimate to FEEL, not necessarily good to put on paper, or at least the internet.

This I am working on, I promise, and once life slows down at school enough to get a breath in, I will work on remedying this.  I do promise.  There has been knitting, much knitting, and new books read and ready to review and the sun is coming out and the garden is sprouting and the kids are growing and life is, for the most part, good.

That said--

A good friend and colleague of mine is getting laid off along with several other people in my building, and lots more teachers across the state.  I won't say much more, because this blog is a) not about work and b) not about other people especially if they don't know they're being written about.  Suffice it to say that my friend is an amazing teacher who most likely will not be teaching at all next year through absolutely no fault of her own.

I try very hard not to buy into doom and gloom and conspiracy theories and for the most part I succeed.  But losing this person out of my personal and professional life (well, I guess I'm not losing her as a friend, just a colleague, but she may have to move to find any sort of job since our small college town isn't exactly booming with industry) has hit me hard and has made it more difficult for me to move with energy and positivity through my work days.

I want to make her a sweater as a gift.  She always compliments the work I do--she's one of those people who doesn't realize just how easy knitting is--and I think I will take this on as my June project, a project to ease her out of the school year and into what comes next.

I was thinking about Hey Teach--but is that too ironic?  What would you make for a friend in this situation?

Thursday, May 07, 2009

My April project is done (just 6 days behind schedule!)

It's the ubiquitous February Lady Sweater in Dream in Color Classy.  A big splurge, but worth it.

(Excuse the poor photobooth picture, but it's better than nothing, no?)

I made very few modifications to the pattern as written.  I did decrease away one of the pattern repeats under each arm, because I thought the arms would be too floppy.  I toyed with doing a bit of waist shaping, but that seemed too daunting in a lace pattern.

It still needs buttons, as you can see, but I'm wearing it today anyway!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Pigtails & Bob

See Leann Knit tagged all her readers for this one...a spontaneous self-photo meme.

The rules area:
1. Take a picture of yourself right now. No primping or preparing. Just snap a picture.

2. Load the picture onto your blog.

3. Tag three people to play.

Couldn't resist doing it, since I am wearing my brand new Ravelry t-shirt that my sister got me for my birthday! Gotta love PhotoBooth...

And I must say I don't look as bad as I thought I would, considering I drove 310 miles today, home from Spokane.

I tag--anyone who wants to play!