I Know You Are But What Am I?

It mocks me. The shawl that never ends. It mocks me. I took it with me Friday to the clinic when I drove Pastor Harriette to her appointment. I’ve worked on it yesterday and today. I measure it to see how close it’s getting to the 32 – 36 inches. And it’s still somewhere in the 20’s.

And I swear I hear the fiber laugh every time I pull out the yard stick.

But it doesn’t know me. Or it thinks it knows me all too well. I’m giving up. Everyone who saw it at the clinic thought it was a beautiful thing in progress and I will not be deterred from the finish line – I have no idea what else I would make with it.

I admit to not knitting a lot today but I am about to make up for that. I am going to whip that shawl into submission. I am about to kick some fiber tail. I will not rest this evening until it is somewhere in the 30s. But I am noticing there might not be enough stitches going across the top to stop at 32 which is why I am allowing that 4 inch range. Certainly 36 inches will provide enough width – I hope. I have a meeting at eleven tomorrow morning and I would like to get at least 4 hours of sleep.

Oh stop it – I’m going to check the gauge of the yarn, measure out what the gauge is on the needles and then count the stitches. I’m going to do what I should do so I don’t bind off just to find i have a really long babushka instead of a shawl.

The shawl is going down.

Does That Count?

This isn’t a very good photo of her, but this is my pastor; Pastor Harriette. A couple of weeks ago she asked if I could take her to a clinic where she was having a procedure done and I said I would – never mind what she was having done, so not part of the story.

I, of course, took my knitting with me (knitting the shawl that never ends – and it still doesn’t look like it ever will) and while she was in the recovery room, I told her of my resolution of eliminating my yarn stash and she said:

“Oh, well, there goes what I could have gotten you for Christmas.”
To which I replied.
“You can still get me yarn for Christmas. You’re not trying to eliminate my stash. I am.”

That was right, right? I mean, I recall the resolution quite clearly that I was trying to eliminate my stash – Oh, all right, Melissa, I know I chastised you yesterday for being an enabler for telling me about the yarn sales. But that was you trying to get me to go buy yarn; not somebody else getting yarn for me – yeah, there’s a difference!

There’s a difference, right? I mean wouldn’t it be just down right rude to discourage someone wanting to sincerely gift you with fiber? I couldn’t very tell my my minister no. I mean, she anointed and all.

Besides, I’m thinking by the time we get to the Christmas season, I would be well on the way to having that stash gone. It will be a distance memory – enhanced with plenty of blog posts. There will be room for a small amount of yarn gifted by a woman of the cloth – see there; it just seems right – cloth – fiber.

Come on – it’s kismet.

Yarndis – The Goddess of Fiber

So last night was the first evening meeting of StitchCraft and we were supposed to have a Yarn Swap – the rules were:
get a skein or two of any yarn you like
put it in a paper bag (plastic would do the point is not to be able to see inside the bag
place the bag in a pile
pick out a bag not your own

it all went wrong at
get a skein or two of any yarn you like

April didn’t understand that rule and she said she put in yarn that she wanted to get rid of. So, instead of a blind swap, we did more of a yarn exchange. Everyone opened up their bags to see what was inside.

April’s yarn – which everyone else really liked – went to Vickie.
Lisa’s yarn went to Betty
Betty’s yarn went to Lisa
My yarn came back home with me

what?

Well, because I originally brought a skein of the Norville yarn in cranberry and April said she wanted it because she wanted to put it in the afghan she was making and she showed me the afghan.

Yarn did not go with that afghan. So I pulled out a skein of Homespun in Lagoon (One, the afghan she was making was in Homespun. Two, the lagoon was a much better color fit.) So April took my Lagoon

And I took Vickie’s skein.

Let me take a moment right here to tell you about Yarndis – The Goddess of Fiber. She can sometimes play with people. Gods, being Gods, can do anything – which must make their existence somewhat boring at times. Where’s the challenge? Where’s the struggle? It is to be found in the mere mortals. Especially those who make resolutions and pronouncements. The challenge is to make them go back on their resolve.

I had resolved myself that the colorfusion Epais yarn was not going to be used in prayer shawls and the colorfusion parts was a little disappointing. So, of course, the yarn I got from Vickie was another skein of the Epais in another shade of green to go with the two shades of green I have already. I don’t care how blue that ball on the right looks, it’s green. (Got some blue in in it, but it’s green.) That’s the one I got from Vickie. The one on the left – that looks brown – is the camo, and the one in the middle that looks white – is a light green.
I cast on last night with the skein on the right. The color is – I kid you not – ‘I Love You’ – Yarndis must be having herself a good yuck over that. Didn’t thrill me. It was good but it wasn’t great. I am, what the Harlot would call a yarn pig. I wanted the yarn cuz it was big and fluffy. Never mind I wasn’t thrilled about it’s kin already in my possession. Yarndis doesn’t mind making us suffer gluttony.

But then I remembered – I was going to do my favorite afghan with this yarn. I was going to combine it with the Homespun remnants.

Not any more.

I now have five..FIVE..skeins of this. That’s nearly 2000 yards. I have enough to make that afghan using only this yarn. And I have a feeling I’m gonna like it cuz it’s color blocks. April and Vickie also tore into the middle of the skein and we saw where the colorfusion will take place. Thus, I still have hope and I think this is going to be interesting at the very least.

Take that, Yarndis.

And so it goes

Yes, it’s another prayer shawl..but come on, it’s a beautiful prayer shawl. I started this in church on Sunday and it was finished as I was watching Serena Williams make the most stunning comeback in her tennis career. She was down one set (BTW, we’re talking about tennis) and was losing the second set 4-0 when she got herself together, remembered she was the best tennis player on the planet. She won the second set in a tie break and then went on to command the third set. The fringe was put on as I watched Roger Federer get back to his game and defeat Davydenko – even though that dude has beat Federer in the past. I played high school and college tennis. Had a tennis scholarship. Played two years of college doubles and won all but two matches in those two years – don’t ask me where my tennis racquet is today. It’s a real shame how I’ve become so un-athletic.)

So I guess this is the tennis prayer shawl. I am also still working on the blue shawl that I have dubbed ‘the shawl that shall never end.’ I know my mistake – I knit it on the needles that were on the package. I am using size 5 needles on sport weight yarn. I wanted a tight stitch – I didn’t want it lacy and I am getting what I asked for. But it will never end.

I went searching for a shawl pattern that used the Vanna Glamour and all the shawls were rectangles – and I didn’t want to make a rectangle shawl because I’d been making so many (and there’s another one on the horizon) so this is what I get for being ambitious. The shawl patterns I did find for sport weight says it will take at least 1000 yards – a little bit more than I calculated. Makes me happy i have about four more skeins. (I am about to finish with skein 2.) This is what comes from thinking like a designer. I don’t have the chops for it.

I will continue on with it because one of the other 2010 resolutions is: ‘start – finish what you start.’ And I will make sure I note it in new knitting journal – yes, I have a handwritten journal of knitting projects. I started it with the shawl that never ends project. I will note the length and number of stitches on the needles before casting off (even number of stitches, of course.) And whether I choose to tassel or fringe.

Like Serena and Roger, I won’t give up and I won’t go back – that’s how knitting champions are made.

Somebody Hand Me A Gauntlet

Aneha (my apologies for not being able to do the spelling justice) informs me that ‘resolutions never work.’ Her comment is actually pretty humorous – you should read it. That got me scurrying to the pattern books to find a gauntlet for me to knit so I could throw it down!

Got distracted by a really good tennis match on the t and v. So no gauntlet. But I remain steadfast in eliminating the yarn stash – the disappointment expressed yesterday wasn’t that I won’t be able to destash – though the jury might still be out on that. I am pretty surekinda sure…fairly sure I will be able to do that. The disappointment was that I was not floored by the colorfusion yarn that I expected to floor me.

I probably chose too dark colors but I chose the colors that were the most appealing. I don’t know what that says about me. I’m certain it says something, though. But I leave room for the surprise I wasn’t looking for. There will be something sensational that will happen with that yarn. Just haven’t discovered it yet. But I will.

I thought the prayer shawl tear was over but another one made its way to my needles on Sunday and will probably be completed sometime today. I’ve sold two of them to folks at church which is really kinda funny because part of the proceeds go back to the church. So they are helping me help ourselves – which is what we’re supposed to do anyway.

Life has funny little circles.

How Is This Possible?


One month. Just one month in the new year and I cannot bring myself to post a photo. I am making myself believe it is not because I have lost hope but because I am full of it (hope, that is, not full of it the way we usually mean it.)

You remember the resolution to eliminate the yarn stash? You also remember there were two exceptions: to purchase yarn to go with what was in the stash with the expressed intention of completing a project thus getting rid of the stashed and purchased yarn.

To purchase one particular yarn I’ve wanted to try.

And the circumstance of purchasing that yarn was that it was going to be on sale. It was on sale. I told you guys it was on sale and that I was going to go get some.

I did.

Bummer.

We don’t get along – this new yarn and I. I purchased four skeins; two colors. Both shades of green that can be blended. One shade was Camo, I don’t remember the other. I started with the Camo and the feel of it, while soft, is somewhat strange and the whole purpose of this yarn was that it’s supposed to have all these wonderful color changes…

Not so much.

Though I suppose if you’re called ‘camo’ you probably shouldn’t change color too much or else you wouldn’t be very ‘flauged’ would you? The other color, I believe it’s ‘Rustic’ does appear to have more color changes or color fusion. But I’m let down just a little.

I tried to continue with the camo but alas we had to have the discussion (“It’s not you; it’s me.) and I told it I paid way too much for it, even on sale, for me to disregard it completely. It will become a part of the stash set aside to make my favorite afghan. I explained that it had the texture and softness to fit right in and because there was so much of it (390 yards) it could be the cornerstone of the whole piece. I then removed it from the needles and cast on with another yarn purchased to clear away the one skein in the stash and make another prayer shawl.

Meanwhile, the rustic color looked at me as if to say, “Don’t put me in that same basket. I deserve a fair shot.” And it does. But a little later. I don’t want to risk the disappointment again.

Merry Christmas

No, you didn’t misread the title. Merry Christmas it says and Merry Christmas it means. Yesterday was my mother-in-law’s 97th birthday. She’s been gone for more than a year. Our family usually gets together for Christmas Eve either at his brother’s or sister’s house. Our house is way too small. But the kids now have kids of their own and there has to be a whole bunch of traveling to one set of parents’ to another so we decided to move Christmas Eve to Nana’s birthday. So yesterday all the Mr. Honey clan (with the exception of one nephew and his wife who I didn’t even notice was missing until I was back home) gathered at his brother’s house and boy did we have a time.

it started at 3 in the afternoon and we were back home by 9 but I felt like I partied til all hours. We laughed and danced and ate – my bro in law put a pork tenderloin on the bbq that made the angels hungry.

I cannot believe those little nieces and nephews that I first met some fifteen years ago now have children of their own and those children, for the most part, are walking and talking. It’s amazing how that works – especially since I have not aged at the 13 years I’ve been married.
We continued the tradition of sharing Plotke – which is a flat wafer. You break off a piece of someone’s and they break off a piece of yours and you wish each other health, happiness and whatever else applies: I got a great deal of good wishes for my knitting endeavors. My bro in law then had us get together to play ‘left, right, center’ which he eventually won.

It was the kind of time my mom-in-law would have loved to have been a part of. I certainly missed her last night even as I felt her presence there. It’s a happy kind of sad.

And a happy kind of tired.

Nothing Beats a Dare

I made a great many resolutions for the new year and then decided instead of trying to tackle them all at once I would take them on one at a time, accomplish the task and then move on to the next.
It’s not a bad plan, really, not that I cannot multi-task because I can, but that it was self motivation and satisfying. Besides, the way humans work, OK the way this human works is that slipping on one resolution could bring the rest tumbling down. Better to hit one, knock it out and move on. At least that’s what I’m telling myself. The first resolution I selected from among more than a dozen was to eliminate the stash. I told you guys this before. Not to decrease the stash, but to eliminate it. Make it gone. The ideal stash for me will be to have yarn for just three projects.

It seems simple enough however seeing pictures of my stash, we all know this is Herculean. So, how’s the plan going as we leave January and have only eleven more months to accomplish the task?

I dunno.

I’ve made more than a dozen prayer shawls which comes to 36 skeins of yarn that are gone. But that’s hardly a dent – especially since some of the yarn was purchased at the end of the year. My office is a stash forest of bags and trunks of yarn. However, downstairs, boxes are now half full so I actually emptied out a box by combining contents.

But we all know yarn breeds when left alone in the dark. Strange thing, though, when two skeins of, say, Homespun breed, they create four skeins of ‘I Love This Yarn’ in green. Don’t know how it manages to do that but I have proof.

Of course the key to stash reduction is the same as the key to weight reduction (another resolution somewhere on the list) Take in less and use up more. Which translated for knit speak is: less shopping, more knitting. I can actually accomplish this. I was in a store recently and walked out without purchasing one skein of yarn – of course it was the hardware store. I’m, kidding, it was Hobby Lobby. I will be making a trip some time today to a yarn place to purchase a Tunisian crochet hook and the skeins to complete the dreaded shawl and figure if I purchase too much, I will fringe the shawl with the remainder thus not adding to the stash by default.

I’m clever like that.

Better to Wear Out Than Rust Out

Yes, it’s the same photo as yesterday – except yesterday I didn’t notice that pink thing. I have no idea what that is and as I am sitting right next to that spot at this moment and there is nothing pink on it, I have no idea what it was and I have decided not to worry about it.

It’s the same photo because I’m not sure there’s been much progress. I mean, I’ve attached a new ball of yarn but I don’t think I’ve gotten much further. And now I’m worried that the three balls of yarn I have will not be enough to finish it. (I hear you, it’s not an excuse to go yarn shopping.) Because the one ball I’ve already used makes it about 1/5 done so my math brain says if 1 ball makes it 1/5 done then I need 5 balls to make it 5/5 done and I have only three balls. (Don’t even start, my mind went straight to the gutter already.)

Because this is an off the cuff shawl, there are no directions to tell me how much yarn I need. Something in my mind is saying since for a shawl with a thicker weight I would need three skeins, I should take that yardage and double it. I will spare you the calculation process and just tell you that comes to about 1100 yards. And I have a little over 600. And even as I say this, I’m not sure that will even work. So now I am a conundrum: do I go an purchase say three more skeins in the hopes that will be enough? Is there another calculation I could use? Don’t ask me to measure the gauge so far – I can hardly see the stitches as it is. I have no idea what I’m doing.

This could get ugly.

Great Expectations

So, yesterday was the first day I put out the word for the Craft Cafe and the good news is, I have takers!! This is beginning to look really good, which means I’ve added some more to the plate so laziness will have to be built into the schedule so I don’t drive myself in sane.

Oddly enough, I’ve had my first glitch. On the website, it is quite clearly stated applicants should submit one photo with their application – and it says ‘please, just one.’ Someone sent me a photo with an inquiry about the show. I responded. referring them to the site where the information about submission was and said I hoped they would consider applying. They then proceeded to send me two more emails with more photos the subject lines says ‘here’s more of my work.’

Because I guess I wasn’t clear that I only wanted or needed one photo. I didn’t look at the photos nor did I respond to the email because I had other things to look at and they were already approved. So imagine my surprise when I received an email this morning saying I did not respond to the other emails which they hate and they are not going to be in the show.

Do you all know me well enough to know how that works?

So, I responded that I was sorry to have hurt their feelings but I already viewed their work and I didn’t know there was a time limit on viewing the rest and i was sorry that meant they couldn’t be in the show.

They responded saying it wasn’t that I didn’t look at their work but they responded to my email telling them what they needed to get to me and I didn’t respond to their response. (Even though the response didn’t contain the application and did contain specifically what I did not ask for.)

Are you kidding me? I didn’t respond to your response? When would it ever end? It would be the never ending email. Do you think we now have a relationship?
Needless to say the response to their response to my response to their response that I didn’t respond to – has not been sent.

On the other hand, I am driving myself crazy because I am doing something I thought I would never do – I am knitting with a #2 yarn and on size 5 needles. I have some three skeins of this yarn and I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it but I decided it needed to be a shawl. I am fairly certain I started this on Tuesday – and this is as far as I’ve gotten. Of course, I’ve been busy with Craft Cafe and haven’t picked up the needles much, but it’s going to take forever (OK, maybe a few more days) before it’s even finished. It’s a beautiful blue and it’s nice and sparkly so it will be cute, but there’s a reason I wanted to run from thin yarns. So, yes it will be very lovely when it’s done – just in time to wrap my non-responsive butt in when I’m committed to the home.