Friday, October 30, 2009

Stopping Sweater Abuse

Hubby has decided to fight back. Throwing his sweater on the floor is no longer a valid way to control him.

The other day, when I knew the ribbing was dry after its encounter with the maple syrup, I ran upstairs to get it so I could work on it after dinner.

Of course, I made this decision just as Hubby was ready to fill our plates. Well, as soon as I crossed the threshold he launched into histrionics about slaving over the hot stove and now my food is going to be cold.

Since it took me, like, two seconds to run up, grab it, and come down, I was back in the kitchen while he was still talking.

So I held the ribbing over my head in a threatening manner.

When he saw what I was doing he pivoted and held my serving of spaghetti over the floor instead of my plate.

Obviously spaghetti on the floor was a more potent threat than knitting on the floor. You can't just pick spaghetti up and dust it off. Especially with two furry vacuums waiting to pounce on a situation like that.

I didn't realize he'd be willing to escalate the arms race to that level. We're at a stalemate now. Or would it be an impasse?

Anyway, the sweater is safe from any sudden, purposeful collisions with the ground from here on.

I'll just have to go back to fluttering my eyelashes as my primary means of bending him to my will.

The ribbing is done and I'm three colors into the body. I think I'll exchange the second ball of royal blue for a fifth charcoal. The royal blue will only have one stripe on each piece, so I have to imagine one ball will be enough.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Rhinebeck: More Stash Enhancement

STR tlingit yarnOk, I would say I'm going to be brief, but that would be a lie. Or at least an unachievable goal. You must realize by now that I'm totally missing the brief gene.

The portion of Hubby's Striped Sweater that had the encounter with maple syrup over the weekend was dry enough to knit on again last night. I have about 10 rows of ribbing to go on the front piece.

Right. On to more Rhinebeck yarn! My shopping strategy was to look for unique stuff that we don't carry at KC. If we carry it at KC not only do I have constant, easy access to it, but I get a staff discount. So why would I buy it someplace else?

Socks that Rock
As you can see, I bought a skein in the Tlingit colorway. But it was a real struggle. It shouldn't be this hard to buy yarn, especially sock yarn. And it wasn't hard in the way you might think.

As far as I can tell, there is a lot of buzz in the online knitting world about this yarn. However, it's hard to get your hands on. Well, unless you shop online, which I don't. I like to see and feel yarn before I buy it.

So I was very interested when I heard one of the booths at Rhinebeck would be carrying it. I also saw on Ravelry posts that it can be a bit of a feeding frenzy when the festival first opens, which kind of made me glad we arrived a little late.

Well, I found the booth...and I wasn't impressed. None of the colors reached out and grabbed me. None filled my little heart with greed and the need to possess it. I thought, "What is all the fuss about?" Maybe all the good colors were gone by the time I arrived, or maybe it just wasn't my style.

Decidedly underwhelmed, I moved on.

I might have made another pass during the day, again without buying anything. Then at the end of the day, really we were heading for the exit gate, I ran into my co-workers. G had a skein. I don't know if she had ever used it before. It gave me a chance to revisit my nagging concern that if I didn't buy a skein at Rhinebeck I didn't know when I'd have another chance, and I would be left continuing to wonder why everyone was so excited.

So I left mom and our bags on a bench (my nephew was watching the pumpkin carver) and I zoomed back to the booth.

Again, nothing grabbed me. There was a rainbow colored one, but it was no better than other primary colored rainbow ones I've seen in the past.

Since an impulse purchase wasn't working out I decided a more practical approach was in order. I remembered I needed more dark socks for when I wear dark pants. That narrowed things down.

I settled on this skein. It's got black, and some purply-red and green for interest.

I turned around to pay and asked Thor (as his Ravelry ID pin informed me) if the hype was deserved. He explained the woman who makes it is very particular about her base yarn, explained her dying process (which was Greek to me), and concluded the hype was deserved.

Unfortunately, there are plenty of projects in line before this, so it will be a while before I test it out.

Aussi Soxxi
Aussi SoxxiNow this is a yarn that did grab me.

This yarn is 90 percent merino and 10 percent nylon. It's soft. Not the softest sock yarn I've ever felt, but also not stringy like Jawool, or scratch like Opal can be.

It's from Oasis Yarn.

I haven't used it before. Don't the colors make your eyes water? Apparently I prefer vibrant sock colors.

There were two other skeins I dithered over before I selected this one. One was in neon 80s day-glo colors. The second was a pastel version of 80s day-glo colors (if that is even possible). However, I thought this one might be more usable (ha!). I debated getting two colors, but didn't want to spend all my money in one booth.

See, not that is the way I expect yarn buying to be difficult. Because it's all so beautiful I can't settle on just one.

Samson's Angora
angora yarn It wasn't until after I bought this yarn that I realized it was named for one of my puppies.

Aside from the Solo yarn, angora sock yarn was my other solid goal for Rhinebeck.

My feet get really cold in the winter. I mean really cold. Forget about not letting them touch Hubby at night, I don't even want them touching me! (Actually, Hubby loves me so much that he does let me put them on him to warm up.) I've heard that angora has some homeopathic thing going on for poor circulation.

This yarn is 50 percent angora, 20 percent merino, and 30 percent nylon. I'm happy about the high nylon content since it means the finished socks should have some durability. They shouldn't wear out the first time I forget and walk around the house in them. At the same time the yarn is still soft and fuzzy.

I don't mind that it's plain white since these are just bed socks.

Actually, I saw some nice dyed angora yarn at the end of the day. However it cost more and the angora content wasn't as high, so I'm happy I bought this instead.

Maple Creek Farm Alexandria
maple creek farm Again, here is a yarn that reached out and grabbed me. I had to have it. The tag just says superwash and nylon with out ratios. It has a good softness.

At the end of the day, when we were heading for the exit, we realized there was an entire section of the fair we had missed. All the buildings housing the 4-H displays, which is where the live sheep, alpacas, and llamas were hanging out. There were more vendors in that area as well. We missed them because when we arrived we immediately veered off in search of the kiddie section. I can see why some people spend two days at this festival.

As we were zooming through, this yarn caught my eye. I saw it and was once again mesmerized. In addition to liking vibrant socks, I apparently think you can't have too many pairs of red socks.

Mom seemed a little iffy about them, but my nephew said to go for it. Of course, my nephew said I should buy it to make socks for him. I was like, "Right, kid, don't hold your breath." (Please see my previous post about being cold hearted.) Heck, since I taught him how to knit, he can now make his own socks.

Ok. That is all the yarn I bought at Rhinebeck. I can't wait to get to use it.

That Sunday morning, when we woke up, I snuggled up to Hubby and was telling him all about the festival and my beautiful new yarns. He asked how much I spent. I mumbled a figure that was probably on the low side (despite my vow never to smuggle purchases). He was like, "Geez, honey!" because it's almost time for his case of wine. In a panic I blurted, "Mom gave me some spending money!" And he said, "What are you, 15?" because he doesn't like me to take advantage of her. And I said, "Well, yeah!" But I wonder whether he was secretly happy, since this meant his wine purchase was safe.

In case you are wondering about my lack of post took me two days to write this. My lunch hour ran out and I didn't want to drag the yarn purchases out to a third post. :-)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hubby's Sweater: Argh! Maple Syrup

Hubby sweater 1 See? I knew that if I just stalled long enough there would eventually be something interesting to report about Hubby's Striped Sweater.

The maple syrup incident was on Sunday morning.

I was working on the ribbing for the front and had my stuff all over my love seat and the coffee table.

Hubby made French toast for breakfast. We were lounging around after eating.

Then I got up for something. Decided to take some dishes. Grabbed the wee pitcher full of maple syrup without looking/paying attention...

I was walking away when I glanced down and wondered why the pitcher looked like the syrup was recently poured...

Glanced back to see a puddle of maple syrup on the coffee table and a trail across my knitting and the charcoal ball (the tan ball was out of range)!

The keening noise I emitted sent Baru scurrying for the Puppy Fort. I think even Samson made himself scarce.

I grabbed a napkin and blotted it up. But I knew I wasn't going to want to knit with sticky yarn. I wrapped the ball around my arm to make a hank. Then I very carefully, with no agitation at all, rinsed the yarn and the ribbing in hot water in the kitchen sink.

I was going to do cold, which seemed safer, but Hubby pointed out it wouldn't melt the syrup away as effectively. Actually, Hubby thought I should zap it in the microwave, but it was on my Addi Turbos and I didn't want to waste time transferring it to scrap yarn.

I just held it under the faucet and let the water flush it. Then I carefully squished the water out and hung it on the towel rack in my bathroom.

It doesn't look like any damage was done. And it seemed pretty dry this morning, but I figured I give it the working day to finish off.

That's a Back
First, that picture is a total lie. It shows about half the back. As of, oh, Saturday night, the back is done!

Wheee! That took just over two weeks, judging by the start date I entered on my Ravelry project page. But I don't know if that takes swatching into account.

The stripe pattern we had decided in the store that day fell three colors short of the length I needed. So I finished it off with Navy, Charcoal, and Green.

Hubby has blue eyes. But they are the kind of blue eyes that will look green if he wears green. So I had wanted the sweater to finish on either the royal blue or the green.

Hubby was watching like a hawk when I laid it on the coffee table to take a final measure. He commented it was getting big. I agreed and said it was done. He took it (after I put on point protectors) and held it up to admire it in the mirror over the mantel. Then he sprawled on the couch and used it as a blanket for his chest.

It was all very cute.

I've started on the ribbing for the front now, which is how I managed to spill syrup all over it. It is moving along much better than the first round of ribbing did.

Speaking of Charcoal
I'm starting to worry about running out.

I'm sure that I have enough total yardage to make the sweater. It's having enough of the individual colors I'm worried about. Charcoal especially.

I have four balls, as it's my main color and that is the amount the original pattern called for.

But in messing with the color sequence we dropped a color and my main color is appearing more frequently than the main color in the magazine.

I have already used up one entire ball of charcoal just on the back. Then I dipped into the second one. Which means I'll need one and a bit for the front.

So I have to decided if I should just buy an additional ball. Or swap out one of the second balls of one of the other colors that might not get hit as hard. Like the royal blue.

I'm so concerned about this that I even sat down with the magazine and determined how many times each color appears in the sweater in the picture (which is only a size medium) and compared it to how many time I can expect each of my colors to appear. I was hoping this would help me decide how to rebalance my colors.

I thought if I could determine the pattern only calls for one 124 yard ball of a color that appears X times, then my one 136 yard ball should be fine.

Yeah, I don't think it helped much.

Although I'm really really sure I'm going to need more charcoal.

More Sweater Abuse
The sweater had a bit of a rough time over the weekend.

On Friday I had a fit of pique at Hubby and flung the sweater back off my lap and onto the floor! Where it landed half on Samson. Who didn't flinch.

I don't even remember what Hubby did to tick me off, aside from making me cook my own dinner. (If you ever had my cooking you would realize how cruel this was.)

As expected, Hubby gasped in horror and cried, "That's my sweater!" He dashed back into the living room to rescue it, protesting the entire time that it would be full of puppy hair now.

I, however, had a pretty good pout on by then and was impervious to his pleading. Until I realized that several stitches had popped off the needles! My ice queen facade crumbled in an instant as I snatched it back. Fortunately, no stitches ran.

Obviously we kissed and made up since I've started the front of his sweater and he's back to doing the cooking.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Rhinebeck: Stash Enhancement Solo

BFY solo NY 18 Finally, the post you've been waiting for!

Of course yarn was purchased.

But I was smart, I went in with a budget, cash, and a (vague) plan.

I knew for sure that if I didn't buy any other yarn I was going to stock up on Solo from Brooks Farm Yarn.

You might remember I was introduced to this yarn last year when Cynthia gave me a skein. I used it to make my Cropped Poncho. Well, I found it so lovely and squishy I decided I needed more.

When I was working on that uncooperative hat the other week, I was inspired with the idea of making a cabled sweater. A cardigan type that I could wear over other tops as a transition piece during the fall. Since I knew by then I was attending Rhinebeck, it made sense to get yarn for this potential sweater. (Especially since I'm making such awesome progress with that other cabled sweater I'm designing. [which would be none.])

I was thinking blue. Or maybe green.

As you can see I ended up with a glorious red. Turns out Brooks Farm is a very popular booth. I found a single skein in a nice green and asked whether there was more. The guy said what's out is it and there used to be 11 others just like it. sigh.

I considered getting one of their other yarns that they did have in green (or blue), but I had my heart set on Solo.

I ended up with six hanks in the NY18 color way. It is different than my poncho color. My poncho is dark red, with hinds of brown and dark orange. These new ones are more bright, scarlet red, with just a hint of orange. Trust me, they are different.

I had calculated that five hanks should be enough (they are 400 yards each) but there were six on the pegs and I didn't want some other poor knitter to go through what I just experienced with the pretty green one. Besides, what if I had stuck with the five and run out!?BFYSolo NY18

Step Away from the Yarn
I got into the long line with my treasure. We were all chatting as we inched up.

Near the register was a rack of single skeins that were on sale. Some yellow caught my eye, so I switched the position of two skeins so I could get a better look at it.

It was a single hank of Solo. It was bright, sunny yellow and tangerine. It was like sunshine glinting off a glass of Tang.

I was mesmerized.

So I added it to my pile.

Then I reconsidered. It was only marked down $3. What would I do with a single hank?

I put it back.

Then I thought I could make another poncho and took it again. Then I put it back. But I had to give it a pet.

By now the lady behind me was laughing. I asked what she thought. She said I should get it, but pointed out she wasn't the best person to ask. I agreed that for that advice I should call my mom.

I took it again. Then I saw P from the store. She hadn't seen me yet. I held up the beautiful yellow skein and called, "Hey, P! What do you think?"

She told me to put it back. She said it as orange and she never saw me work with orange, so I obviously didn't like orange.

I put it back again. At which time the lady behind me snapped it up. Proving she was only encouraging me to get it so she couldn't! Oh, these games us yarn lovers play. At least it got a good home.

I also thought it was interesting that I looked at it and saw yellow, but P looked at it and saw orange.

Ah, drat, I really have to get to work. More yarn was bought, but will have to wait.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Rhinebeck: Faces and Fun

CJ big sock When Mom arrived with CJ in tow Friday night I was surprised since he and his sister had both said "No" to the original invite.

(He got his face painted like a pirate.)

We all settled down to watch the Yankees game.

I was happily knitting on Hubby's Striped Sweater when CJ asked me to teach him how to knit.

Now, most knitters might get giddy with excitement at such a request, but most knitters aren't as cold-hearted as I am.

"No," I said. "I tried that once and it didn't work out so well."

"I was four," he retorted. "I'm nine now."

Since I couldn't argue with that logic, and I didn't remember our previous attempt was so long ago, I fished out the US8 Colonial Rosewood Needles Cynthia gave me for Christmas a few years ago and a ball of light blue Red Heart that was lurking in the dining room credenza. (Proving it really was time to clean the credenza out.)

Despite firmly believing that if you don't know how to cast on you don't know how to knit, I decided to jump to the good stuff and cast on a few stitches.

He called my bluff and asked where the stitches came from and how I did it.

I demonstrated the long-tail cast on. He seemed to get it right away. I demonstrated the knit stitch. He started knitting.

Well, he had a little trouble remembering which direction to throw the yarn, but he got the hang of it awfully quickly.

He complained the wood needles were too pointy, but when I switched him to some metal #9 he said those were too slippery and wanted to switch back. So I said, "Just knit with the wooden one. When the metal one comes free, put it aside for the second wooden one." And he did!

Dude, I've met some adults who have trouble grasping that concept.

The Big Sock
There is a Rhinebeck connection to all this.

I had read that The Big Sock would be at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival and wanted to knit on it.

You can read more about it here but basically it's an effort to get a Guinness Record for the biggest hand knit sock.

Me big sock It is distributed over several circular needles that all just feed into each other. The yarn was mostly worsted weight, as far as I could tell. It has been traveling around the country and the yarn store that has it contributes yarn, in this case Uncommon Threads.

You could just wander up and knit on it. Provided there was an open spot with a working ball attached (there were plenty of open needles, but no yarn).

Maybe you can tell, but I'm totally faking it in this picture. I didn't have yarn to work with, but wanted evidence. I did really add 20 or so stitches of my own.

CJ knit on it to. He did a good job, if I do say so myself. At one point I was next to him and said, "Remember not to pull to tightly." The woman next to me was like, "Oh I know, I'm just fixing this." Ooops! So I explained CJ had only learned to knit the night before. I guess that made someone else suspicious because she told me he had dropped a stitch. But he hadn't. He only split one. So I tinked back and fixed it.

After that, we got our commemorative buttons and moved on.

Of course, this newly acquired skill would explain why he wouldn't part with the yarn is his goody bag. If only I had known about the goody bag contents...but then hindsight is 20/20.

I know you!
Let's see. I ran into Lisa from when I used to take the train.

P from Knitting Central. (She has good Rhinebeck accounts and pictures on her blog too, as you might expect.) I had been chatting on P's Facebook page with one of her friends about how many layers of knitwear we could manage. Turns out it was P's sister, so I got to meet her too.

I saw MathCutie, who I only know from Ravelry and Facebook. She liked the Yankees Socks I made for Hubby and asked for the pattern. She found me at the big sock. I was looking down at the sock and she said she recognized my Coronet.
Ravelry Bob
I also saw the Other Associate Editor from work (who doesn't knit) and G, the woman who does mysterious things with our website database (who does knit).

And I saw Bob! Ravlery's mascot. I don't think it was the real Bob, I don't think the real Bob is that tall.

This was at the Ravelry meet up. Bob was treated like a celebrity and got swarmed. I don't know these people in the picture, so I hid them in case they don't want to be online. :-)

I think that's everyone I saw. Really, I was focused on the yarn.

I had my Felted Ravelry ID Bag with me. As you can imagine, at an event like this, my bag finally got the recognition and respect it deserves. I spend most of my time with non-knitters, who admire the bag, but don't really understand.

Well, some people gawked at my bag in admiration from afar. Most told me how awesome it was. And a couple even took my picture! (link to someone else's flickr stream)

In addition to admiring all the fiber, we saw some cute animals, watched the shepherding dogs, and saw the Frisbee dogs. There were a lot of activities to take in. Did I already mention that CJ must have done the bouncy castle a half dozen times? And the big slide twice? I can see why some people attend both days of the festival.

Ravelry Party
We also stayed for the Ravelry party, which you knew from the goody bag in yesterday's post.
bob tree cupcake It was fun to see all the people and all their fabulous knitwear. The variety of hats alone was mind-boggling.

There were appetizers: spanikopita, chicken wings, mini quiches (which were burnt), pigs in a blanket, and fried veggies. Cash bar, but water, tea, and coffee were free.

There were also yummy cupcakes with fancy designs on the icing. I noticed the images were off the grab bag. How very coordinated!

My only complaint would be that it was cold. The whole damn day was cold. The party was in tents, and they had space heaters, but we ended up in the main tent which just had net sides. So unless you were right under a heater they weren't helping much. We managed to have fun anyway. Despite not winning any of the many, quality door prizes.

You might be wondering how a 9-year-old boy could stand all this. Well, when we were taking pictures of the cupcakes a 6-year-old boy appeared. He had come prepared with two plastic pirate swords. In case he happened to encounter a dueling partner, I suppose. They spent the evening running around having sword fights.

The Measure of a Foot
Also while we were admiring the cupcakes, a woman came over and asked if I knew how long my son's foot was. She said a friend was making socks for a little boy who wasn't around and couldn't believe that 8 inches was the target length.

I said he was my nephew so she would understand why I didn't know his shoe size. CJ and his new friend very obligingly took off a shoe each and let the lady measure their feet. They also reported on their shoe size. I also heard CJ tell her he was short for his age. How clever is that? I think they already knew the other boy was tall for his age.

Only at a gathering of knitters would this encounter not seem odd.

We didn't end up leaving until 10 pm! With a two hour drive ahead of us. We kept debating leaving earlier, but we wanted to be there for the raffle.

When we got in line for the shuttle bus we realized we'd be three, if not four, runs back. Did I mention is was cold? We ended up walking the mile to the school parking lot. In the dark. A bunch of other people walked too, so we felt safe. We also got to the parking lot at the same time as the second bus run, so we would have still been standing at the party if we hadn't walked.

Hubby was flabbergasted when he called at 10 to check on us (at least we were in the car by then!). The drive home was fine. I was flabbergasted at first that Hubby was still awake when we got home at midnight, but the Yankees game was still on. The two of us ended up staying up until 1 am, since the game went into extra-innings.

It was a very full day.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Rhinebeck: Goody Bags

Rhinebeck goodiebag Since Hubby's sweater is not making for good blog fodder these days, I'm going to milk my trip to the New York Sheep and Wool Festival on Saturday for all it's worth.

Considering how amazingly long winded I can be when I'm not even trying getting multiple blog posts out of one day shouldn't be difficult at all.

I know that what you want to see are pictures of the yarn I bought, but I haven't had a chance to photograph it yet. So just hold your horses.

Instead, I shall start with the fun, free stuff I acquired by being in the right places at the right times.

ChooChooKnits Goodies
I've been following Somebunnyslove (blog link) on Twitter and saw her tweet about a contest being run by ChooChooKnits (blog link)

She was going to tweet her location during Rhinebeck and if you found her you got a goody bag.

My little group was me, Mom, and my 9-year-old nephew CJ. We arrived just around noon and CJ was pretty insistent that we check out the kid's section first. Mom and I agreed in order to shut him up and get on to the shopping. Somehow he knew where the kiddie rides were located.

Turns out the rides were right next to the field were the Ravelry meet up was happening. Ravelry Rhinebeck meetup That was very convenient.

I went over and started skulking around the perimeter to see if I recognized anyone.

I passed a lady whose pin said "Choo Choo Knits." I stopped and said to myself, "Wait a minute." Then doubled back and said, "Are you the Choo Choo Knits doing the Twitter contest?"

And she said, "Yes! you found me. Let me get you a bag." It was her last one!

It is a nice canvas tote bag (with the sponsors' logos on it) filled with all kinds of goodies! A copy of Fitted Knits by Stefanie Japel, which is a cool book I've flipped through at KC but haven't bought. And three loose Glampyre Knits patterns—a cardigan, a cropped shrug, and that little one-skein shoulder warmer she designed.

A $15 gift certificate to Kaleidoscope Yarns, a Kaleidoscope Yarns mug (which got broken when mom dropped the bag as we were trying to settle down for lunch. sniffle), as well a KYarn pen and post it pad.

A skein of Tilli Thomas Milan yarn, which is a silk/cashmere/merino blend, along with a scarf pattern. The pattern looks sort of feather and fanish. I will follow it and this will be my Rhinebeck scarf!

A t-shirt that says "Knit Glam."

Sheep markersBut I think my favorite item, well, they are all my favorites, but this one made me squeel, are the wee sheep stitch markers! They were wrapped up in tissue paper and then tucked in a jewelry box so I didn't see them until I was rooting through the bag again at lunch time.

Aren't they just so cute you could die?

They are from WeeOnes Creations (esty shop link)

When I found them I said, "Now I have to knit something with a pattern so I can use them." Hmm, I guess the Napoleon Scarf for the Milan yarn would do the trick. I suppose I could also randomly stick them on Hubby's sweater, just because they are so adorable.

Ravelry Party
Ravelry goodiebag We also went to the Ravelry Party when the NYSWF closed.

They handed out goody bags as soon as you walked in the door.

There is a drawstring canvas project bag that has sheep, lama, alpacas, and Bob cavorting on the front under a banner that says "Ravelry at Rhinebeck 2009" on the front. The back has all the sponsors' logos.

In side was a skein of Knit Picks Gloss DK. I got two because I stole Mom's since she doesn't knit. CJ wouldn't cough his up. I will probably use it to make a little scarf. Or maybe a hat. Or fingerless mitts. I just don't know yet. There is so much potential in a new ball of yarn.

A pink Namaste project tote out of a funky material. (Some of the bags had green totes.)

Little nibbly sample skeins of Classic Elete Provence Marl, Classic Elite Verde Collection Allegoro, Miss Babs Yummy sock yarn. Again, I managed to steal one of Mom's skeins. She kept her Miss Babs one and said she was going to make a key chain. CJ wouldn't fork his over.

A sample size of Unicorn Fibre Wash, which I've never used.

An a post it pad from (whoops, I covered the name).

There were also coupons and fliers, but I'm not sure if they were only valid during Rhinebeck.

As you can see, fun stuff was to be had at every turn.

Now, I must do more actual work.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clever Puppy

baru handsom About a month ago, Baru and I were playing fetch with his snowman shaped Kong. You can see it in this picture.

It took a wild bounce, as Kongs do, and went into the ravine on the high side near the sticker bushes.

He ran in to get it. Emerging with his octagon shaped Kong instead, which I hadn't even realized was missing.

It was like a puppy magic trick.

The overgrown brush is so thick in that area that I couldn't see the missing Kong. And there was no point in trying to send Baru back in to "get the toy" because he already had a toy.

Baru doesn't discriminate between one toy or the other. There is no point in telling him to "get the dolphin." Everything is just a "toy."

Samson will discriminate a bit. He will "get the ball" and he will "get the bootie" and he will "get the toy." However, he is a fetch snob and will only fetch balls.

Baru will fetch anything. This is helpful for times when they smuggle plush toys out to the yard. If Baru is aware of it he will get it for me, even if he wasn't the one who carried it out.


As I had hoped when the Kong first when missing, the invasive species that border the yard are dying back with the advent of autumn. Last night I was dumping the kitchen compost bucket into the compost bin. As I looked along the fence line I was able to spot the bright red shape!

Baru in snow (here is Baru from 2007 with the octagon Kong)

It was resting on a ledge that was not easily accessible to bi-pedal creatures such as myself.

I found a long, thin fallen branch and began beating down the vegetation in an attempt to get a better look at the toy and perhaps drag it up to the yard, or know it down into the ravine.

Suddenly, Baru appeared (I'd left the screen door unlatched so he was able to push his way out) and made his way into the undergrowth, aiming for the end of my branch.

There was a whole world of possibilities in this situation.

I said, "Good boy, Baru! Get the toy!" and tried to position the end of the branch near where I thought the Kong was.

Well, first he tried to get the branch. Which sort of made sense, but was silly because this thing was longer than I am tall.

So I said, "Over to your left, Baru. Get the Kong!" Which was silly because he doesn't speak that much English.

I guess he realized the branch wasn't happening, and started to just hang out and look around. Then I could tell by his body language that he had spotted the Kong. So I said, "Good boy! Get the toy!" Because that is English he does understand.

And he crept forward, pushing through the plants, and grabbed it! It was so exciting.

I went to the hole in the fence to meet him. We did a little celebration dance while I heaped him with praise, and told him he was a smart puppy. He doesn't hear that much because he's usually dumb as a box of rocks.

Samson saw us having a party without him and started barking at us from inside the house. He can open the door just as well as Baru can, he just doesn't like to.

We had to go inside then, because Samson was causing a ruckus. It was dinner time anyway. But at least both Kongs are safe inside now.

Hubby's Sweater?
I've just told you a heartwarming story about my little doggy and you're worried about a sweater?

Listen, it's a plain stockinette stitch sweater. What do you expect me to tell you about it?

Actually, it's moving along faster than I anticipated. Probably because it is plain stockinette stitch. I think it also helps that the Zara yarn is soft and springy, as opposed to say the cotton for my Stella blouse. I can knit with the Zara longer without it upsetting my hands. Well, aside from the two-tone stuff.

The piece is currently 9 inches long (the goal is 26) and I'm into the fifth color. I have to post the color sequence here or in my Ravelry notes. I'm worried I'm going to loose the piece of paper I wrote it on, then I'll be up a creek.

I really need to take a picture of it for you, now that most of the colors are involved.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Hubby's Sweater: Samson vs. the Pirate Squirrels

Samson I was peacefully knitting away on Hubby's sweater last night when I heard a ruckus in the backyard.

I went to check it out and found a swarm of pirates...NO...squirrels...NO...pirate squirrels boiling out of the ravine!

They were brandishing plastic cocktail swords like so many furious, furry, Lilliputians.

They demanded the sweater, which they intended to use as a flag, or to line their nests. I'm not really sure. I don't speak squirrel.

It was so frightening I started to swoon and dropped the sweater.

The pirate squirrels snatched it up and began retreating back across the yard.

Just at that moment Samson and Baru appeared, drawn by the commotion.

Samson cried, "Fear not, fair lady! I shall retrieve the Alpha's sweater for you!" and charged into the yard barking like a crazy puppy.
Baru in the puppy fort
Baru said, "I will make sure there aren't more under the bed!" and ran upstairs, barking over his shoulder for good measure.

The pirate squirrels were so scared at the sight of Samson barreling down on them that they dropped the sweater and fled.

Samson returned it to me unharmed (aside from a little slobber). But then I had to spend an hour untangling the balls of yarn that were attached to it.

It is so comforting to know my knitting and I are well protected.

What? You don't believe me? Well, it could happen.

On the other hand, it is more likely that what has happened is a plain stockinette, 51 inch chest, drop shoulder, men's sweater isn't such good blog fodder.

At least, not once you're past the complicated ribbing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Hubby's Sweater: Making Peace

As I struggled with the two-tone ribbing over the weekend I asked Hubby why he has suddenly lost interest in his sweater. Why hasn't he looked at the new colors?

He explained he hasn't lost interest, he just doesn't understand it at this point. He said he can't look at a ball of yarn and visualize a completed sweater to know whether all the colors would work.

This made sense.

Then he ooohed and ahhhed over the ribbing and gave it pets. Which totally made up for his perceived lack of attention.

I finished the ribbing yesterday and am two colors into the stripes of the body.

Ahhh, relaxing plain old stockinette stitch. What a relief!

Two-tone two-step
How did I finally conquer the ribbing? you ask.

Well, it wasn't easy and a number of techniques were employed.

The traditionally, logical method of holding one color in each had was causing my hands to cramp. Not a good start. (I never got the hang of holding both colors in one hand, which might not have worked out anyway since I was switching from knits to purls. Anyone know?)

I resorted to the tedious method of focusing on one color, working those stitches and slipping the others. For instance, I would K2 tan, then slip the next three as they would be worked P2 charcoal. When I reached the end of the row, I would go back to the beginning (the beauty of working on circular needles) and work across with the charcoal yarn: slip 2, P3.

This was not a perfect fix.

First, it meant I was touching every stitch twice, which just seemed wrong. However, it was better than sidelining myself with sore writs.

Second, it was slow. But I comforted myself with the fact that I wasn't moving very fast using the two-handed method.

Third, and the nail in the coffin, it was hard to see mistakes. There was no visual clue from the different colors. So when I got to the end of the row and it wasn't falling out correctly I had to resort to trying to find my floats and counting stitches. Talk about slowing your progress down.

My third method was to just drop the color not in use. So I would K2 tan, drop it, pick up the charcoal, P3, drop it, pick up the tan.

Tedious once again, but at least I was only touching each once and could spot mistakes easily.

I had a bad habit of P2 charcoal instead of P3. Stupid, irregular, ribbing pattern.

But eventually, in attempting to get the yarn out of the way during my drop method, I fell back into knitting with both hands.

I don't know if my hands finally remembered how to do it, or having several rows worked gave me something to hold on to, or what, but it didn't make my hands hurt in the end.

And it was much faster. Ribbing errors aside.


Jumping Ahead?
As I was struggling with the ribbing, I debated the idea of skipping ahead and knitting all the ribbing at once.

I figured I could put it all on holders, then I could go straight to the easy part.

I haven't executed this plan yet. When I finished the back ribbing, I was so happy to start the easy part of the main body that I didn't look back.

I'm still debating it. But I know the further along I get, the less likely it will be to happen.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Hubby's Sweater: No Honyemoon


Hubby's sweater is going to be the death of me.

Or at least this two color ribbing will be.

I hadn't expected to get fed up with it until I was into the miles and miles of stockinette stitch for the body (despite the excitement of changing colors for the stripes).

I had to fix four (4!) mistakes in the first two rows of ribbing. Including ripping out the entire second row twice. In fact, I probably ripped it out a total of three times, considering I had to go back halfway twice as well.

Do you see how incredibly talented I am?

And I guess I'm just not accustomed to doing two handed colorwork, because it's killing my wrists.

I have to relax and adjust my posture and wrist positions. But it's hard with the slippery addis and not being accustomed to tensioning yarn with both hands. I mean, I can tension yarn with my left hand, that's how I do it when I crochet, but it's a different kind of concentration.

I knit for like two hours last night and only have an inch of ribbing to show for it. I'm supposed to have three inches before I start the body.

I wish there was a way to knit all the ribbing to get it out of the way then I'll just have to do the plain portions.

Well, I guess there is. I'm going to cut the yarn at the end of the ribbing anyway. I can just put it on scrap yarn.

But I'm worried doing that much ribbing all at once will put me out of commission for a week.

This is a good reminder about the importance of stretching and taking breaks!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hubby's Sweater Yarn

Zara stripes Oh, I feel so popular with all the comments lately.

Did you know fox might taste gamey? Which not only makes sense, but probably means it wouldn't taste like chicken. I won't be eating any foxes any time soon, I don't like game meat.

I think if we have to resort to eating our domestic critters Bridget is going to be in a much better position than I am, what with her own pigs, sheep, and horses. Hubby and I should expand our menagerie beyond the pups.

This is all feeding (ha! no pun intended) my morbid sense of humor waaay to much.

Brace Yourself
I bought the yarn to make Hubby's sweater when I was at KC on Tuesday night.

You have to realize by now that I would find a way to make selecting colors as difficult as possible. Much dithering had to take place. Especially for something as important as a sweater for my beloved Hubby.

The original pattern calls for nine colors. Four in Rowan DK Tweed, which Ravelry says is discontinued, and five in Rowan Felted Tweed. They are plum (which looks maroon in the picture), black, three shades of grey, two shades of blue, and navy in both types of yarn.

I asked Hubby what specifically he liked about the sweater: the jewel tones or the tweed? He said he just liked how it looks, which was no help at all. As I was really certain the tweed thing wasn't going to be happening I focused on the colors.

There was moment of excitement when I got to the store and saw part of a Rowan label that said "Felted Tweed" but when I snatched it up it turned out to be the Aran weight, which is too heavy for the pattern. Sure, it's just a drop shoulder sweater, but I'd rather not have to go rewriting it.

Zara FTW!
striped turtle neckI was back to my original idea of Zara and began yanking colors off the shelf.

Remember, the Vogue Knitting trunk show was that night. The store was wall to wall people, so my trying to find nine colors for stripes was tricky. What I should have done was get the color card out of the back, but it was too crowded for that.

Let's see, how did the cascade of changes begin?

First, we didn't have three shades of grey. Well, not three that I liked. I could have brought in a light grey Debbie Bliss Rialto, but it just looked off. So I substituted a tan/white chine for the third grey. I had charcoal grey and a black/white chine for the other two greys.

I selected a blue/white chine for the denim blue stripe. Trust me, there is a denim blue stripe in there, my shadow is on it. Our light blues were too pastel for what I had going on, so I substituted a dark green instead.

The two navy blues were the hard part. I realized later I should have gotten the color card to try to figure out what the difference was. Shade? Tweediness? We had a navy blue and a royal blue, which both looked pretty dark in the store since it was night time, so I got them.

The black and the maroon were easy.

The pattern calls for four of the charcoal grey and one each of the other colors. But I got two each to hedge my bets since the original yarn has about 53 more yards than the Zara.

I went home happy, although uncertain about the two dark blues.

Maybe purple?
When my 4 a.m. insomnia hit, I lay there tossing and turning, and thinking about the navy blue yarn. I thought maybe subbing a dark purple for one would work as it would contrast and I had learned that purple was in style still.

I told Hubby about my brilliant idea over breakfast. He said it sounded fine, but he didn't want to look like either Prince or Barney. I said he was silly, since it was a striped sweater, but made a mental note the purple would have to be the one row dividing color.

I hauled the pattern and all the yarn back to the store after work. It was quite, so I was able to take over the front table and arrange all my colors in the order that approximated the original sweater. Then I went and got the dark purple, which was a little brighter than I remembered.

A customer asked what I was up to. I explained the issue with the two dark blues. The purple didn't look good at all.

She said I should start with the greys and go from there. So we rearranged the yarn. She eliminated the green, blue/white, and tan/white colors.

It looked pretty good, but I pointed out the corrugated (two-tone) ribbing and brought the tan/white back. I also decided to use it as my one row contrast.

We dragged Cynthia over. She thought it looked good, but switched the order of two colors. So I wrote the new order down, since it was radically different from the pattern.

Then I had to figure out which colors to get additional balls of since we had eliminated two colors (four balls total). When Cynthia went to process my purchase she said, "I didn't realize green was a choice!"

We lined all the colors up again. I also brought over the purple and a wine red, just to make sure we covered all our bases. The purple still didn't look good and the wine red was too dark. But the green added a nice pop. We put it in two places in the sequence.

Phew! I ended up swapping out the blue/white for another maroon and another black/white, in an attempt to ensure I had enough total yardage. I'm not really sure which color is going to be getting hit harder in the new colorway.

Let the knitting begin!
I swatched like a good knitter and had to go down to a US5 needle.

Casting on took forever and I've only managed one row of knitting.

I worked the second row of ribbing last night. Only to realize I had all my floats on the public side of the work. Picking it out took almost as long as knitting it.

I'm a little concerned about the ribbing. In the picture it looks normal. But in the pattern it is K1A, P2B on the first row. I'm ending K1A, P1B. It doesn't mention how to end. I was thinking about sneaking another stitch in so it would end P2B. But then on Row 2 I'm supposed to work K2B, P3A. This means the colors totally don't line up.

I'm working the size large, so I was able to count stitches to the size small. That first row ends P2B, but it doesn't matter because the row 2 colors won't line up. The size medium ends strangely like the size large does.

There doesn't seem to be much point in adding a stitch if the colors won't line up anyway. Maybe it will make more sense once I get a few rows worked. grrr.

Two rows in and I'm already annoyed.

Look At Me
Zara pyramidHubby hasn't commented on the new color scheme. Actually, Hubby hasn't seen the new color scheme.

I'm a bit surprised after those strong views he expressed about what type of sweater he wanted. Also, he has a pretty well defined sense of fashion. Heck I often say he's got better taste than me. Because of all that I find it a bit suspicious that he's suddenly lost interest. I mean, really, I've dropped all other projects for his sweater!

Considering I'm up against the baseball playoffs, I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Maybe I'll be able to corner him before the game tonight....

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Arbitrary Lines

baru handsom So someone left me a comment on my last post that flustered me when I read it.

I don't get many comments, so each one is precious, and it's surprising when one might be a little negative.

Or, maybe it's not negative, it's just a different world view.

They wrote:
You draw the line at wearing fur when you think it's OK to kill your dogs for their fur. If not, then why rationalize using the fur of another creature that was killed. Sheesh
I realized they were commenting on the fox fur on that hoodie I liked. And I thought, "Goodness! Why are they so mad at me?" And, "How should I respond? Should I respond?"

So I went back to my post and saw that I wrote:
And, shoot, I wear leather, so where does one draw the line?
Making the comment perfectly legitimate, since I had invited dialogue. Silly me.

In the interest of fair play, I share with you my gut response when I first read that comment.

I wouldn't kill my dogs for their meat, but I still love to eat steak and lamb.

Does that make me a hypocrite?

I wonder if the person who left the comment is a vegetarian?
Samson 1109
I guess it is an arbitrary line I've drawn. My puppies are off limits, but bad luck for the rabbits and ducks we ate in France.

Hmm, I eat rabbit. That is an argument in favor of going with the real fur on the hoodie. Can you eat fox? Does it taste like chicken?

Of course, one could be socially conscious and use Fun Fur instead. I actually have a few balls of red and orange in stash. And a green one, I think.

Do you stop to think about where your leather jacket or that nice steak dinner came from? Or does contemplating it fill you with despair?

Oh, and in case you are wondering, if we did have to eat the puppies, we'd start with Baru (up there at the beginning of the post). He's much stockier than Samson (In the green room), so we'd get more meals out of him. We'd probably have to braise or stew him. How tough is puppy meat? He's pretty lazy, so he shouldn't be too tough.

What? Every family is supposed to have a plan in case of emergency.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Vogue Knitting Visit

Me in Hoodie Last night the editors from Vogue Knitting and Knit Simple were at Knitting Central for a trunk show and talk.

They brought all the projects from the Holiday 2009 issue of Vogue Knitting.

A ton of people came, as you can imagine. It was really exciting to be able to see all the projects in person, try them on, and examine the details. Seeing them in person gave us all a different perspective and more appreciation for them than we would get just from looking at the pictures in the magazine.

I became enamored with this fair isle hoodie (project #7 on page 54). The magazine says the model in the pictures is a size Small, so I figure that is the size of the model in the store. It fit me pretty well, although the hood could be a bit smaller. That is fox fur around the hood opening. We sell beaver in the store, which might be a good substitute. I would be a bit concerned about using critter fur, considering the histrionics I had as a child over mom's rabbit coats, but it really does make the sweater. And, shoot, I wear leather, so where does one draw the line?

I ended up buying a copy of the issue, which I'm not sure I would have done without the trunk show.

Me & PActually, I almost wonder if I would have had a chance to buy one. The store's shipment came on Saturday and they all flew out the door. I'm not sure how much that had to do with our on P having her Lace V Neck Sweater in this issue (project #18 on page 66). We all hooted and clapped when it came up during the presentation. Poor P was put on the spot when Trisha said, "Why don't you tell us about it?" but she managed really well.

(As you can see, it was so crowded I resorted to sitting on the cash-wrap counter and P is standing on a chair!)

The editors did a slide show for both magazines. They showed the pictures in the magazine and talked a little about what attracted them to each pattern and which details they liked. They said cowls are going to be big this season, and there were several patterns in the issue.

I asked P what the difference is between the cowls they were showing and my little Cropped Poncho. She shrugged. Which was my assessment. Do you know what this means? This means I'm totally fashionable all of a sudden!

They shared a lot of interesting information. But one data point struck me enough to write it down. They've just finished a reader survey during which they learned that 63% of VK readers crochet and 70% of Knit Simple readers do. Wow! That's a lot of cross over. I wonder if it will help crochet get more of the respect that it deserves?

We also got a sneak peak at the projects that will be in the January 2010 issue of VK. Some of them looked quite nice. There were some good men's patterns. If I have Hubby's sweater done by then maybe they will be considered for projects for him.

crowdThey also talked about which colors will be popular for the upcoming season/year. (Cynthia pointed out she covered this in one of our recent e-mail newsletters and she was pretty spot on.) Later on one of the customers pointed out to me that I was very fashionable as I was wearing a coral shirt with a turquoise scarf.

I replied it was funny because I thought the scarf was ice blue, and the shirt was melon two years ago. Which gave us all a good laugh. I'm not used to being so cutting edge in my clothes. Especially since I think I selected that shirt myself.

In addition to the fun of seeing all the projects and the talk, I managed to buy the yarn for Hubby's sweater while I was there. But I'll tell you more about that tomorrow.

AND one of our customers who reads my blog told me she really enjoyed my posts about our trip to France over the summer. She said she lived in France for three years and my posts took her back. She even liked all my excruciating details. So that's two people who have told me the excruciating detail is good (well, my mom probably likes it too). Phew! I worry I'm boring when I get long winded like that.

You can read more about the trunk show on P's blog, Major Knitter's blog, and the Knitting Central blog.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Stupid Hat Redeemed

Still no pictures of the hat.

In the previous post about the hat, someone (possibly my mom?) suggested finishing the prototype hat with different yarn, since I ran out of the handspun Wakefield yarn.

This had not occurred to me at the time. I suppose it would be possible. Well, it would be possible, no "supposing" about it. I don't think I have yarn of the same gauge, but how much would it matter since it's just the top of the hat?

Ms. Create suggested using the tube as a cowl instead.

This hadn't occurred to me either. Bit of tunnel vision when a project doesn't work out the way I want? I tested it this morning while I was waiting for the pups to come back inside. It doesn't look like it will work in the tube's current state.

This version of the hat actually fits me. Nice and snug. I thought the fabric might stretch enough for me to pull it down anyway, but the cast on is a wee bit tight.

So I tossed it back on top of the dining room credenza in disgust.

Alpaca Hat
The second attempt out of the recycled alpaca yarn has met a slightly better end. (which still sounds gruesome.)

I was knitting it, trying to decide if I really should just forge ahead knowing it was too big. I put it on to contemplate the situation from a new angle.

Putting on my thinking cap?

Hubby asked what I was doing.

I explained the situation. Then, even as I was digging myself out from under my knitting debris in order to attack him with the unfinished hat, he said, "I bet it would fit me."

Proving that great minds think alike (or we're really in tune). It did indeed fit him.

Then he remembered the hat was his scarf in a former life. At which point he claimed the hat for his own.

This allowed me to finish it with a clear conscience.

Still Cranky
However, it's not all sunshine and puppy dogs.

I had to dip into the second ball of yarn to work the last two rows of the hat. How rude! Of course, this is overlooking the fact that I have an entire second ball of yarn.

I'm not sure what to do with it. I was considering forging ahead and trying to make a smaller hat, but then Hubby and I would have matching hats. We're cute, but we're not gross like that.

Fingerless mitts occurred to me. But that would put me back in the lots of friction causing pilling issue that started the whole hat business in the first place.

Setting out to make a cowl occurred to me. However since the yarn makes my neck prickle I wouldn't be likely to use it.

Also, Hubby has revealed that he might not wear the hat in public! At first he was all excited about it, but the lighting wasn't very good and the hat wasn't done. He was even talking about how students who saw the original scarf are in his class again (he teaches sophomores and seniors) and he could show them the hat.

Then he saw the finished hat in good lighting and started wavering. I think the main issue is the picot cast on I used. If I'd known the hat was going to be for a boy I would have used a regular cast on. He's been tucking it up inside. He's being a bit cagey. He hasn't actually said the hat is too feminine. I'll have to corner him on that, I thought the design was unisex.

Oh well. He's been wearing the hat around the house. It's still getting worn/used. And that will also delay the need to turn on the heater. So I probably shouldn't complain.

Monday, October 5, 2009

This Could Get Interesting

Ruben yarn I came trotting down the steps Saturday evening to find Hubby playing with my Cropped Poncho.

Step away from the knitwear!

When he spotted me he pulled on the poncho, then darted to the other side of the room so I couldn’t get to him.

You might remember he has been fascinated with my poncho since I finished it back in December.

His renewed interest with the cold weather proves I should have followed my instinct and made him his own last winter.

The poncho stretches enough that the collar will fit around his neck. But the body of the poncho then just puddles around his shoulders in a scrunched up, scarfy blob.

I decided to ignore him.

Then he said those magical words every girl longs to hear, “Maybe I’ll have you make me a sweater.”

(Of course he uttered the top magical phrase, “Will you marry me?” several years ago. He also regularly says, “I bought ice cream.” Hey, everyone's magical phrases are different.)

All this time I haven’t suggested making him a sweater.

I didn’t want to pressure him or force the issue. I figured at some point he would come to the idea himself, and the instinct paid off.

Baru and I dashed up to the attic and grabbed a ball of the green Elsebeth Lavold Cotton Patine I bought during my Glorious Month working at Patternworks in 2004. Then we raced back down to the dining room credenza to get the Designer's Choice Book 2: The Sentimental Journey Collection that goes along with it.

I showed him the Ruben pattern (above), which I had selected for him all those years ago. At the time I was intimidated by it because of the cables, which I hadn’t worked yet. Then I became intimidated by the thought of making a man-size sweater.

Well, Hubby was decidedly underwhelmed. He said the sweater was ok, but didn’t like how loose the collar looked. He didn’t like the shade of green. And he thought the yarn was too lightweight.

Turns out he had some ideas in mind already. (I asked him on Sunday how long he'd been thinking about it. He said he wasn’t plotting this, it just occurred to him as he was playing with the poncho.)

He wants a mock turtleneck in a dark color, perhaps blue, but he’s open to variegated, or maybe tweed. I was worried this would turn into a situation where we searched for a specific project, without truly knowing what we wanted. What I really didn't want was the possibility of trying to design one myself.

Narrowing Options
striped turtle neckSo the pups and I went back to the attic and dragged down all my Rowan Magazines and all the Interweave and Vogue Knitting issues I have. Probably a dozen.

I set him to flipping through the Vogue Special Men’s Issue from 2002. All the Rowans were a bust. I didn’t make it to the other mags before dinner.

He liked pattern #3, which is a gray, two-tone zip front cardigan, and #12 which is a striped turtle neck (seen here).

During a bout of 3 a.m. insomnia I went through the Knitty archive as well. He liked Cheesy Puffs, but decided the two in the magazine were the best.

Easier Than Expected
Neither pattern will be a problem for me. They are both drop shoulders, so I don’t have to worry about shaping or anything.

I studied both patterns.

Then I informed him the cardigan is a bulky knit with pockets, so I thought it was actually an outerwear garment.

This seals the deal for the striped turtleneck.

I’ll actually be at KC Tuesday, so I’ll try to pick up the yarn then. The pattern calls for Rowan DK Tweed and Felted Tweed. I’m really sure we don’t have either of those this year, so I’m thinking Zara is going to be the way to go. We have those marled Chine colors, which might work, mixed in with solid colors. But I’ll see when I get there.

It’s all very exciting.

On The Other Hand
Now I have 17 balls of green Cotton Patine to use on myself. The problem is I still like the Ruben sweater, but it would be way to difficult to downsize for myself.

Currently, I'm thinking about making Garnet out of the same book. I had liked that one as well, but didn't want to buy enough yarn for both tops at the time.

Of course, that still would leave me with 11 balls. I guess I shouldn't complain. My undesignated stash has just increased. I'm yarn rich!