Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gratitude, stash enhancement, a mulligan, and a rant

Since I haven't had time to post in a few days, this one might be long, so grab a cup of your favorite beverage and get comfortable if you want to make it all the way through. :)

Today we have a variety of topics to cover, starting with gratitude. There are lots of things to be grateful for every day. Today, I'm saying "thanks" to those of you who posted comments to my last post and shared some of your favorite knitting blogs. I don't think I'll ever grow tired of seeing the wonderful projects other knitters tackle or of reading the variety of stories they have to tell. There are just a awful lot of creative people out there in cyberspace and I'm grateful to have the opportunity to connect with all of you, even if it's a tenuous thing. :) Of course, now I have a much longer list of blogs to stay up-to-date with, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. And of course, I'm very grateful that some of you are such faithful readers of my ramblings, too. :)

This week, I did a bit of stash enhancement. I think I now have enough in my stash to keep me knitting merrily along for the rest of the year. Of course if that truly stops me from purchasing more, I'll be shocked, but you know how that goes! LOL

First up is this lovely Alpaca with a Twist Fino laceweight. It's 70% baby alpaca and 30% silk in a silver-gray color. I got three skeins of it from Yarn Stash on eBay. Each skein is 875 yards, so there's plenty to tackle just about any project from Victorian Lace Today that I choose. Meanwhile, I'll just pet it -- a lot. :)

Next we have a skein of Yarn Place Graceful purchased from a seller on the Destash blog. This picture doesn't really show the colors well, but it's a subtle varigation of deep blues and purples. This is 100% wool, very fine lace weight, and has 2,400 yards in the skein. I'm not sure what it will become, but the word "cobweb" comes to mind in conjunction with "lace" when I look at it.

I have a copy of the book Big Girl Knits that I've been ogling for some time. The other day, a wild idea came into my head and a voice said, "Why don't you make a tank top from that book for your cruise?" Now keep in mind that my cruise is coming up in mid-May and I haven't finished the shawl I need want for the trip yet, but nevertheless, I told that little voice, "Oh, what a marvelous idea! How about the Boobalicious tank?" Yeah, I'm a bit crazy and talk to myself sometimes. Is that a problem??

The pattern calls for Dale of Norway Svale, a yarn my LYS doesn't carry. There are alternate DK-weight yarns that could be used, but I decided I wanted to do my first one in the yarn that's specified, so to the Web I went. Fortunately, Yarnzilla had some at clearance sale prices. I've done the initial swatch, but haven't started the actual tank yet. I want to finish my shawl first!

Yarnzilla has a deal where you get a 10% discount if your order totals between $50 and $99 (more, if you go higher). Now this is a very nice deal, but it's also a very dirty trick! You see, my order didn't go that high, but I figured if I was going to order something, then I might as well. . . Okay, you get the picture. Of course, the folks at Yarnzilla are very clever merchandisers because they know that folks like me will add something unexpected to their order so they can get the discount!

In any case, I think my addition was a good one. I got a skein of Fleece Artist/Handmaiden Sea Silk in the color Bronze. I had read about this yarn on several blogs and everyone sings its praises. In anticipation of someday owning some, I had even sent to Lettuce Knit in Toronto for a copy of the one-skein shawl pattern that The Yarn Harlot wrote expressly for this yarn. So it seems perfectly logical and a fortuitous twist of fate that I should need to add to my order to get the 10% discount at Yarnzilla and they had this yarn available! (Aren't I good at justifying my purchases???)

I have to add that all the folks who wax enthusiastic about this fiber are very, very justified. It has a wonderful feel to it and seems as though it will drape very nicely. The added bonus is the wonderful scent of the stuff! It makes you think of the seashore and a field of wildflowers all at once. Knitting it will definitely be a pleasure and wearing it will be, too. Some say that there are medicinal properties from the sea cell fibers that impart to you as you wear the finished garment. I don't know about that, but I'm sure I'll be smiling, just as Mr. Sun is in the picture. (BTW, that's as much sunshine as we're getting here in Portland today!)

Okay, so I've covered gratitude and stash enhancement. Now on to the mulligan.

You may remember that I had completed a good deal of my feather and fan shawl made from Interlacements Rick Rack II yarn, only to find that I had been rather dyslexic when casting on and made the bloody thing too wide.

Well, I started again, this time on a nice pair of Brittany hardwood needles and it's been going quite nicely. I'm almost through one of the four balls of yarn I have to work with. Amazing how quickly the rows fly by now that there are roughly half the number of stitches to be worked!

I did have a moment of panic today when, while preparing to take pictures of it, I accidentally dropped about 20 stitches off the needle. I'm happy to report, however, that I have garnered enough skills now where I was able to fix it, even those stitches that had ripped down a row or two, and now I'd be hard pressed to find the spot where the mishap occurred! Of course, my cat had to endure through the process. She kept wanting to play with me and I kept pushing her away. Cats and small children seem to have a perfect sense of when you really need to concentrate and it's that exact time that they come along and want attention!

You know, I think I might actually finish this in time for the cruise after all! Maybe I'll take the tank as a project to finish on the cruise. That wouldn't be so bad. :)

Okay, that's all the knitting-related info for now. Last on the list is a rant. (If you stop reading here, I won't mind -- really!)

Today I heard a noise outside my door. Looking out the window, I saw a kid walking back down the driveway. When I opened the door, there was a bag full of phone books on the doorstep. Okay, the rant isn't the fact that a kid who looked to be abou 11 was delivering these on a Sunday afternoon. The rant is simply this:

How many bloody phone books does one household need?! I mean, really?! Here's a shot of the phone books I've received in the last few weeks. I get this many every year and usually I don't even unwrap the plastic that encases them -- that's how often I use a phone book anymore. But since I wanted to rant about them, I figured I'd unwrap them so you could see just what I'm talking about.

There are two large volumes from US West DEX, four volumes from Verizon (two large, two small), and one vrom Yellow Book.

Does anyone still use these things for anything besides doorstops??? And if you own a business, how on earth do you decide which one to advertise in -- or do you pony up the cash for all three? From what I understand, ad space in these books is not cheap. It just seems like such a racket. Maybe I'm off base here. Maybe lots of folks still use these things instead of going online. But for me, they're a waste of paper and I truly wish I could find a way to opt out of having them delivered to my door. All they do is clog my recycling bin!

Okay, rant over. I feel better now. :) Next time, more knitting news!


Little Old Liz said...

You get that many phone books? We are lucky to get one usefull and one piece of c%@p. Why not fashion them into a usefull ottomon? Fancy fabric and trims and all? And next year, give it to the book delivery person to use. Imagine their shock and awe of your resourcefullness?! In the meantime, just knit. It will all be good in the end :-)

Cindy said...

LOL, Liz! That would be a great idea except that my house is already jammed full of stuff and the objective is to get rid of things, not bring more in. :)

I do, however, love the image of a befuddled 11-year-old phone boook delivery kid being handed a "gift" ottoman crafted from old phone boooks. :)

Judy said...

I agree with your phone book rant. I've never figured out why "they" think we need so many! The ones delivered to my house go directly to the recycling bin.

Love that gray alpaca laceweight!

Louisa said...

Glad you got your feather & fan numbers corrected! It's lookin' good. And I'm with you on the phone books. I just got a new heap of them the other day myself. Who needs 'em if you can google? Businesses would be better off updating their websites and save a few trees!

T said...

Fortunately I'm in a teeny town that has a phone book that is readable in about 7 minutes, front to back. BUT I found , a website that says, "Click below to request that your name and address be removed from the Yellow Pages printed directory mailing list." Don't know if clicking will garner even more junkmail, but you might want to check it out!