Sunday, February 10, 2013

Keeping My Hubbie Warm For Valentine's

It's cold here in Minnesota in the winter and it's even colder in the office building basement where my husband Dan works.  They always stick IT guys in the basement with no windows, fluorescent lighting and lots of computer equipment.  Dan nicknames it "The Bat Cave" after Batman's less than hospitable surroundings.  All this is "normal" in the career of an IT guy, but the problem lies in the fact that Dan is half Filipino and taking after his Filipino mother, he needs it warm, almost hot, to be comfortable.  Seriously, we struggle all the time with the thermostat as I like it cool, Scots as I am, and would love the house at 65 degrees Fahrenheit so I can wear all my wool sweaters and mitts.  On the other hand, he would love the house at 75 degrees or warmer.  We compromise at 70 degrees with me in bare feet and t-shirts and him wearing at least 4 layers - not ideal but marriage is after all a series of compromises right?

Oddly enough my prone to chills hubbie does not like sweaters as he finds them restricting of his arm movements,  Seriously I find this most annoying being a knitter, but I persevered and got him to at least like sweater vests.  My first vest for him was too casual for his work, my second was a tweedy green button down which is a little too noticeable if he wore it everyday as he wants to, so I am on to my third attempt.

I'm knitting the pattern Sal Paradise Vest by Nikol Lohr from her new book Literary Knits.  I wanted a fast knit and Aran weight yarn says fast to me.  The fact that it took US size 9 needles to get gauge also helps make it a speedy knit.  Dan requested black which I hate to knit with as it can be so hard to see your stitches.  But, I got around that problem with using a beautiful hand dyed yarn from Fleece Artist which is variegated enough to actually see what I'm knitting.  It's their Blue Face Leicester Aran in the colorway Ebony - beautiful no?

I'm finishing the bottom ribbing today along with the weaving in of ends and then will block it tomorrow.  A post with pics will then be next.  This vest is Dan's Valentine gift and the fact that it will actually be complete and ready to wear on Valentine's Day makes me exceptional happy.  So, I'm bringing my hubbie warmth on Valentine's Day to show my love and concern for his comfort.  What are you making for V day?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Stash Bustin'

Hello All!  It's been quite a while I know, but my 15 hour a week job turned into a 30 hour a week job with my being gone from home for about 45 hours a week.  Phew!  That's a lot of hours for this mama who hasn't worked outside the home for over 8 years.  And let me tell ya it takes it's toll on what you do with your "free" time like doing laundry, cleaning out the fridge and prepping for the new week as opposed to knitting, knitting and knitting.  Well enough on that, now on to our post for today!

Yarn stashes.  Do you have one?  I do and it's becoming a bit on the unyielding side of things.  How so you ask?  Well, I decided to get organized and really map out what I would be knitting this year.  So I went to the basement (which Feng Shui calls your subconscious...interesting no?) and found the large rubber tub and 2 other boxes of yarn I have in addition to the IKEA Trofast storage unit I have next to my knitting chair.  I dumped all the bags (I'm a BIG fan of the 2 gallon Ziploc bag for moth proofing my yarn) of yarn onto the floor and started sorting and matching patterns to yarn and placing them in the bag.  It felt so good to be so organized, but then when I started writing out what I would knit per month I got an entirely different feeling.  One of complete overwhelm and sadness. 

 Turtle Purl Striped Turtle Toes Sock Yarn in Snow White

I had more yarn than I could knit in 2- 3 years!  That meant that I couldn't buy anymore yarn in good conscious.   That new Ursala cardigan by Kate Davies that I am in love with would have to wait over 3 years to be knit.  Now, I know what you may be thinking.  Why not just keep the yarn stash as it is and make the Ursala sweater I am so obsessed with?  The answer is simple - money.  I have spent too much money on yarn, oh such good quality luscious yarn, which we do not have to spend.  We are on a rather tight budget which I seem to forget whenever I see yarn I just have to have, yarn in my favorite colors or yarn on sale - don't get me started!  Sad to say there really isn't a "yarn" category in our current budget so I take money out of things like groceries and entertainment and sometimes - credit.  Yikes! 

Shibui Merino Worsted in Zinnia

This year I felt I really needed to get a handle on this buying and hoarding of yarn and just knit what I have until it's gone.  But the thought of not going into a yarn shop or cruising the online yarn stores for that long seems well, crushingly hard.  So, that leads me to what I did next which was sort out all the yarn I did not absolutely love and start selling it.  It seems a waste to resell your yarn as you will never get back what you spent on it, but I'm trying to make amends somehow and selling seems a good place to start.  I figure if I can get the stash down to what a can make in a year or a little over that might just be doable.  

Misti Alpaca Hand Paint Lace in Pink Flamingo
So, now instead of perusing through yarns online I'm listing my own yarns on Ravelry and on Etsy.  Now when I get the urge to go out to the yarn store I can look and see if anyone is interested in purchasing my own yarns instead.  I also think I will be reminding myself often about all the beautiful yarn I already have by getting out those project bags and absorbing their beautiful colors and touching their oh so touchable fibers.  Let's hope this works!