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An afternoon of fiber arts [knitting]

Yesterday evening, I got to wondering whether there are any other knitters out there who wind up saying up past their bedtimes to finish a certain knitting project.

I didn't wind up finishing last night, but this afternoon instead of going on a long bike ride, I finally finished this vest.

Completed vest

It either took a year and five months, or just five months, depending on what counts. I started the project in January of 2014, but eventually realized something was off. It was probably my fault, for failing to knit up a gauge swatch, and for deciding to knit the thing in the round instead of as front and back panels. Regardless, I had to frog several inches and start over because attempt #1 was too big, and it took me until my Grandpa's funeral this past December to get started again.

One of the other hitches was the yarn. I came up with this project as a way to use a skein of blue camel's wool yarn that my parents had given me from the Snow Leopard Trust, and to also use up a nice handspun skein of yarn that a friend from Minneapolis had given to me.

Well, as I knitted up attempt #1, I soon realized that two skeins would be insufficient. I didn't have any way to match either of the preexisting colors, so I wound up considering a different skein of cream-colored yarn that was given to me, and buying two other skeins of yarn, a hand-dyed red and the tan you see pictured (although I think I'm going to call it "burlap-colored"). It also came from the Snow Leopard Trust. So now I have two other odd skeins of yarn instead, although they're slightly less odd than the ones I used up.

The striping, as well as variations in yarn quality, meant that I had to sew in a LOT of loose ends at the end, a tedious step that is one of my least favorites:

Loose ends

But it is done. I can only show you the vest, and not how it fits, because it's still damp from blocking. The fit looks like it will be fine overall, though, so I'd give this pattern a thumbs-up (a free pattern from Ravelry).

So, hurrah for finishing that project.

Then I looked in my yarn box. The next thing I want to deal with is a pair of moth-eaten socks that belong to scrottie:

Too far gone?

It's hard to tell from the photo, but these are so moth-eaten that it would be difficult to repair them by sewing up the holes. I had been thinking about noting down the pattern, and then frogging and re-knitting them, so as a test for how that might go, I went ahead and frogged a misshapen hat that I crocheted for my sister years ago, that she gave back to me because she didn't have a use for it (and I can't blame her):


Now I'm not so sure I want to attempt frogging the socks, especially given how fragmented the strands will be, due to the moth holes. I wound up tearing a lot of the fibers in the hat, to take it apart, and I suspect that would be even worse for the socks, given how much heat and moisture they've experienced.

Looking in my yarn box was overwhelming. As a PSA - please, unless there are really special extenuating circumstances, DO NOT GIVE ME ANY MORE YARN (a recent gift from dichroic counts as a wonderful extenuating circumstance). I HAVE LOTS. I just don't have ideas for what to do with it, and I think I have about a 50% success rate at this point in terms of knitting nice, useable items. I don't know how to show you my "stash" on Ravelry, but I've listed almost all of my yarn there.

I still have some of the same grey yarn that I used for sytharin's erstwhile hat, the two balls pictured towards the upper left in this photo, because I got the yarn because it was pretty and soft, not because I knew what to do with it:

Miscellaneous Yarn

Thing is, it's super-soft stuff, and I don't know what works best for socks, because I really haven't knitted many socks, but I suspect it isn't the super-soft stuff. S really likes those moth-eaten socks because they are nice, thick wool that will keep his feet warm in the dead of winter. So I'm curious to know whether anyone else has any ideas or insights into how to proceed.



( 19 remarks — Remark )
May. 3rd, 2015 01:39 am (UTC)
BTW the last photo is NOT my entire yarn stash. Maybe about 10% of what I have.
May. 3rd, 2015 01:55 am (UTC)
That is not a stash; that's not even an in-progress pile. Dïe Überblønde has a stash; it's... at least an order of magnitude larger than your whole stash, maybe more. IIRC, she said the keyword for what she has is SABLE. :)

Ravelry is members-only: no login, no see. Dïe Überblønde says it's deliberately not possible to share your stash, just individual items/projects. Sorry.
May. 3rd, 2015 02:27 am (UTC)
That was the conclusion I was drawing about Ravelry. Doesn't make Ravelry COMPLETELY useless, but still. Gah! So maybe I should just copy over my yarn photos and notes to somewhere else so they become more useful to me.

I don't think my yarn stash is especially large, but the size should be weighted against knitting/crocheting speed. I am slow to work my way through projects because I mostly only knit while traveling (since I can't read books or watch movies on airplanes or in cars).
May. 3rd, 2015 02:49 am (UTC)
I don't know why that policy, but the site admin there is apparently very active, so you can doubtless complain to him.

I don't think my yarn stash is especially large, but the size should be weighted against knitting/crocheting speed.
You are the rarest of things, the self-disciplined knitter. Ha-ha, only serious. :)
May. 3rd, 2015 11:30 am (UTC)
I had a fairly big "come to Jesus" moment about supplies for different kinds of projects a couple of years ago, sometime shortly after moving to Texas. Thing is, I have multiple different creative hobbies, each of which has its own set of supplies, and I hit a point where I decided I needed to figure out how to focus the creative projects so as to actually get things done. At the moment, I have a small practice quilting project sitting out on the coffee table on top of a larger quilting project, and I was also noticing that my fabric stash is sizeable, too, sigh. I inherited certain things from my grandmother, who definitely stashed way more than she could finish, so I've been thinking about this whole thing for a long while.
May. 3rd, 2015 02:32 am (UTC)
sell me the yarn on ebay
i buy yarn every year
cut it up
give it to the birds

yes I am weird
May. 3rd, 2015 03:05 am (UTC)
Do the birds near you have pretty nests? :)

One year, I'd used day-glow pink string to mark off some space in one of my gardens, and some birds made off with it. They also found some confetti strips left over from a neighbor's party, and they had a very trippy nest that year.
May. 4th, 2015 08:19 pm (UTC)
I use camouflage type yarn
gray green brown
Perhaps New York Boids prefer brighter colors?
May. 4th, 2015 09:01 pm (UTC)
They've got to keep up with the latest nest fashion trends, after all!
May. 3rd, 2015 11:27 am (UTC)
Have you seen the knitted birds' nests? You must have!

For a lot of the yarn, I would actually like to use it, I'm just slow. :-)
May. 3rd, 2015 03:30 am (UTC)
Ravelry does make it possible to share patterns with nonmembers, not sure about other stuff.

I did think twice about whether it was a good idea to give you stuff, since I know you try o minimize possessions, but that seemed like the right thing for the right person. :-)

And for S, you might just be better off making house socks out of DK or worsted yarn - too thick to be comfortable in shoes but warm and toasty in the house. Might also be good to sew n a lather sole or dab on puff paint to minimize wear on the wool.
May. 3rd, 2015 11:25 am (UTC)
S wants thick wool socks that he can wear as a second pair of socks for cold outdoor adventures - thoughts on that front?
May. 3rd, 2015 02:54 pm (UTC)
Well, the FIRST question is, does he want socks or do you want to make him socks? If the former, send him to REI and if that doesn't work, to Cabela's.

If the latter, sportweight yarn instead of sock yarn. there are some that are made for socks, with a bit of nylon included for durability, but if you don't have any and don't want to buy it, you could also strand some nylon thread with the yarn in high stress areas. Or you could do a two color stranded knit sock - just be careful to leave the floats nice and loose.
May. 3rd, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I like the nylon thread stranding idea, a lot! That would allow me to use some pretty, soft, and warm stuff, and would also add the necessary durability.

I'm still waiting to hear back from him on this Great Sock Dilemma (it's not really that huge a dilemma, but I *do* want to make sure that I take the right steps).

I think I might already have a decent amount of the pretty/soft stuff to work with, so I would just need to determine and acquire the appropriate nylon thread to go along with.

Thank you again!
May. 3rd, 2015 04:59 am (UTC)
Please tell me that you are going to wear that sweater and ride your bike to a tea shop. [giggling] (It's nice looking!)
May. 3rd, 2015 11:26 am (UTC)
OF COURSE I am. I keep thinking about how hilariously awesome it would be to have a full knitted cycling outfit. At the moment, I've got arm-warmers, leg-warmers, vest...so I guess knitted shorts are up next? :-D
May. 5th, 2015 06:32 pm (UTC)
Do post a triumphant photo of knitted you and your bike at the tea shop! [giggling] I'm biking to Kuan Yin sometime this week and I will totally be thinking about this. Alas, no knitting here.
May. 3rd, 2015 04:53 pm (UTC)
awesome vest! that is all.
May. 3rd, 2015 04:57 pm (UTC)
Hah! Thank you. I really want to find an obnoxious button that says "World's Best Grandma" to put on it. :-D
( 19 remarks — Remark )

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