Embrace the Stigma

I regret to inform you that my flip flopping from hobby to hobby has progressed even farther. In the last few months, I've been obsessed with knitting, reading, dehydrating food, reclaiming yarn, reading and even blogging. The last month I've expanded to something new...


I kid you not. I truly have become Mother Hubbard. I'm both ashamed and proud, my Jew side has its chance to roar, and my other side can't do anything to restrain it. It doesn't help that the boyfriend is egging me on and for the first time in our 3.5 year relationship, we share a common hobby. And it is couponing.

I started on April 10th, and I think I know enough now to start documenting my trips. Both to restrain myself and encourage myself. Because as much as my other side may be ashamed of walking into the store with a purse full of coupons, it can't help but love walking out with a bag full of makeup and more money than I walked in with. Who wouldn't?

The boyfriend is a genius

For those of you who have doubted the boyfriend has a grain of knitting common sense (namely me), I have proof of it for me... errr... for you today. Last Friday, I was moping and grumbling in bed about my lack of a project, surfing projects in Rav to try to find something for which I had the yarn, needles, and the interest. Something useful, wearable. The BF finally snatched the laptop from me, snapped that he would find a project for me, and whatever it was, I HAD to knit it. Regardless of what it was. I was intrigued enough to agree.

I directed him to my Ravelry page of favorites, so I wouldn't find myself knitting pasties or a willie warmer. Or rather, I directed him to my 14 pages of favorites, I have over 300 projects flagged that I intend to make someday. About 4 or 5 pages in, he found it. The perfect project for my next knit. He declared that it would be so.

So today I'm casting on the sexy vesty I've been dithering over.

Strange coincidence, right?! I thought so, I think maybe he and I share the same taste. Except you'll never see me in a pair of chanclas.

He wanted me to make sexy vesty in black, but after 4 thrift stores I still hadn't found a black sweater to unravel. I did find the most amazing denim colored cardigan, and decided it would be perfect. I unraveled it yesterday, and the washed skeins spent the night drying in front of a heater so I can start it tonight. Can't wait!

I am plagued with indecision...

I suppose indecision isn't the worst plague. Definitely ranks below the first born son thing. And the blood *shudder*. Although I do think the frogs would be kinda cute.

I can't figure out what to knit. I can't quite stomach the thought of starting a whole stockinette skirt. I don't have the right yarn for a vest unless I want everything I knit in the future to be grey, and I ran into some trouble with the white yarn for the circular shrug.

Last night I started unraveling this:

Gorgeous, eh? A pure white cotton cabled sweater. The seams were a cinch, until I got to the shoulders. Then I found out that the sleeves were serged to the shoulders! Grrrr...

I ended up just cutting across the top of one of the sleeves, and started to unravel, hoping I would still have enough yarn for the shrug. Instead, I found out that TWO different strands of yarn had been used to make the fabric, alternating rows. Why? Why would anyone do this?

So, I trashed it. Now I'm frustrated, I still don't have a yarn for the shrug and I'm determined it's going to be white. I've only unraveled a cream and gray sweater, and haven't found another white one. Guess I'm going shopping again this weekend.

One good thing though, look at the cables on this baby!

Absolutely beautiful, I'm giong to knit a hat with this cable pattern out of the Pat O' Butter sweater sleeve I unraveled last night. 220 yards from one sleeve, enough for an amazing chunky slouchy cabled hat. Unless I change my mind tomorrow.

Behold the Ad Infinitum Shawl!

I finished it during lunch yesterday. Linky to Ravelry pattern page.

Move along people, nothing to see here. And yes I did eventually end up tucking all the ends in...

It's a measure of the love I have for this shawl that I'm nearly in profile, GRINNING (I haf teef!), and you can see the TV in the background.

I think the boyfriend was excited about this one too. When I called him and told him I'd cast off during lunch, he said he was disappointed because he didn't get to see my face when I finished the project. I'm not sure exactly what face I make, but assume it's similar to an O face or he wouldn't be so disappointed.

Now I have a dilemma. I decided to start a Circular Shrug but change it a bit and make the body portion out of lace. I'd like to try white since I picked up this great fingering weight sweater over the weekend, pure white cables. No tag, but it feels like cotton. But I have nothing to knit while I unravel the sweater. Oh noes! I feel lost.

Sneaky Knitting

I kept diaries from about 2003 to 2005, wrote in them daily. I would summarize my day and the scriptures I read that night (yes I used to read my scriptures every day). Flipping through the diaries now, I see my entries were usually about how slow or busy work was and how much my head hurt. I think I'm much more interested now in my own life, even if I'm not interesting. And that's all that matters.

So I figured out a trick last night, to make knitting the Ad Infinitum shawl more palatable. I pulled up KnitPicks website on my laptop and watched their video tutorials on how to make socks while I knit away on the shawl... I think it worked! Before I knew it, I understood basic sock construction AND had only the bind off row left to knit. Great success!

Did I say I wanted to knit a circular shawl, or sexy vesty, or summer flies yesterday? Forget it. I want to knit socks. Hours and hours of stockinette stitch are in my immediate future. At least I figured out how to read and knit at the same time.

ETA: Bind off on the AI shawl finished during lunch. Had to take a picture of the light at the end of the tunnel for posterity. On another note, why the heck am I knitting a full shawl when the sun is shining that brightly!

Blog Envy

I've been obsessively reading The Yarn Harlot for the last few days. I'm catching up on her archives and reading frontwords. I'm in October 2004, and she started in January 2004. She blogs EVERY DAY. And every day writes something genius that forces me to disguise my laughing at my desk as hiccups and everyone thinks I'm choking. But it's worth it.

She is teaching me some things. Like improvising my own patterns. And that it's not the end of the world to have 2 projects going on at once, or even 10 or 15 projects at once. And that I shouldn't have to hide the shame of my knitting but wear it proudly in all it's weird colored, droopy yarned glory. Next project is MINE!

Speaking of projects being mine, out of the 36 projects I have listed on Ravelry, only 4 were for me. I need to become a selfish knitter!

My next project is either a sexy vesty, a lacy circular shrug, or a summer flies shawl. Depends on what yarn I have reclaimed. I wish I could find a pink sweater to unravel. I just finished this one and got almost 2,000 yards of luvverly grey cotton. Can you believe it?? 2,000 yards!!!!

Hermit Day

I promise I don't have a hermit day every weekend. It only HAPPENS to fall on the day I write blog posts. Promise.

Today I started with peeling, coring, slicing and soaking apples for drying, washing dishes, shopping thrift stores in Coronado for yarn to reclaim, watching BBC romances and knitting to finish a simple grey shawl. Holy crap.

The shawl is for Mom at work since she gets cold easily. I named it First Shawl for First Lady, as it's my first shawl (duh) but it should be named The Ad Infinitum Shawl of Ad Infinitum Knitting Infinitumness. It will never end. I actually wrote down a list of the rows I have remaining so when I finish a row and turn the work, I check off a row and feel I accomplished something. It's that bad. Here it is in all its messy glory.

Now back to Episode 3 of Jane Eyre. God bless the BBC.

Step One of Becoming a Grown Up

Step 1) Buy a pet. Check!

Of course Part 2 of Step 1 should be to keep the pet alive for more than a week. I'm on day 3 of frog ownership with no signs of death, disease or dismemberment so we might be ok.

Last night I came home at 6, spent an hour cooking dinner and marinating beef (did I mention I bought a dehydrator to make my own beef jerky?) and instead of finishing some knitting projects, unraveling my Pat o' Butter sweater or reading my paralegal books, I sat by the tank and watched my two little African Dwarf Frogs swim in their tank. For about two hours. I even HAND FED them dried bloodworms, that's how much I'm in love. WORMS I tell you!!

I miss my family, I haven't seen them for almost a month. I'm ready for the week to be over so I can crochet with Mom, cook with Kristie, and hug Dad. Not feeling so grownup right now.

Safe in my fortress

Another quiet weekend, but I'm not complaining. It was supposed to rain from Friday night to Sunday night, so I planned to hole myself up in my fort all weekend, make bowls and bowls of soup and knit like... well, like a knitting fiend.

I get so excited to have a weekend to myself. Is it normal to want to be alone so much? If I'd been born a couple hundred years ago I would have made a good hermit. Sans beard.

I'm still reclaiming the SAME DARN sweater that I started a month ago, but I'm on my last panel. My next project is this beautiful buttery 100% pure virgin New Zealand wool sweater. The seams are weird but I'm ready to rip it up. It is SO soft I can't wait to knit with it.

All alone...

This is my first weekend alone for some time now. If my bf isn't off work, I've spent it up north with my parents. I've been planning my day like a battle commander, detailing exactly what I want to do with my free time. And now I'm bored...

So I'm back to the living room, reclaiming Sweater #2, a nylon, angora rabbit and mohair blend. I'm unraveling the back right now, and one of the sleeves, all 260 soft yards of goodness, is soaking in some shampoo. It smells terrible, hoping the coconut shampoo helps... This yarn is destined to be my first lace scarf so I want it to be perfect and soft.

I've been so busy reclaiming yarn I haven't had much time to knit. Right now I have about 5 projects in the works, my Mini Mochi Striped Scarf, a lacy shrug, my rose afghan, my Light on Ocean Wrap, and a granny square for my 2011 crochet-a-long. Having this many projects in the works is driving me batty but I can't seem to finish any of them.

I can't concentrate on this blog, because I'm watching The Fifth Element, for the hundredth time, and even though I can quote it I'm off to watch it.

Creamy Cotton

Started my re-claiming yarn adventure today. Yesterday I visited a thrift store for the first time since I left Idaho. Had to bring my boyfriend for moral support, thrift stores in south San Diego are a lot different than the DI in Logan, Utah, or so I thought. It wasn't too bad though, clean and organized.

My goal was to get a clean, whole, soft garment with more expensive fiber content, but easy to unravel for a first time. I found this soft cotton sweater.

It looks a bit grey in the picture, but it's a soft cream. It's 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. The only serged seams are on the top of the pockets, but the back, sleeves and collar are salvageable.

Got it home and washed it before unraveling, because it's cotton. If it was wool I'd unravel first to prevent felting.

You can see the seams below in the first picture, both pieces were knit individually and then connected together with what looks like a crochet chain. If the seams were serged as in the second picture, like the tops of the pockets, the yarn would simply be a series of small pieces, nothing you could knit with.

I started at the bottom of the first sleeve, and started looking for the magic thread, the thread that connects the two pieces. On my sweater, it looked like a crochet chain, like below.

From the first pic, you can see the way the chain is running. The fat part of the chain stitch points away from the way you should pull, the skinny part of the chain stitch points toward the way you should pull. With a sleeve, you usually start at the bottom of the sleeve and work your way up.

I snipped the chain stitch and started pulling. The thread ran the length of the sleeve and down to the hem of the sweater, it was a cinch to pull it out.

From there, I pulled apart all the separate parts. I ended with two sleeves, two front parts (marred by the pockets), a collar, two trim pieces, and a back.

Concentrating on the seams...

Here are the front piece and one of the sleeves, ready to be unraveled. The unraveling part was going to be the most difficult, I didn't have a yarn swift and I didn't want to wind it into balls since I wanted to relax the yarn before I knit with it.

I ended up winding the yarn around a computer chair that revolves. Each time the yarn is wound around the chair it is 45". The sleeves yielded 248 yards each and the back yielded 328 yards.

Here you can see the sleeve ready to be unraveled and the skein that came from the other sleeve.

I wet the first skein, pressed it in a towel to remove some of the water, and hung it in the bathroom to dry with a weight from the bottom. I'm waiting on the other two skeins to see how the first turns out.
So... 817 yards of cotton from just the back and sleeves. I still have the collar, trim and front pieces to unravel if I want another 200 or so yards. Not bad for a $4.99 sweater from Goodwill!

Back again

Two years later. Better late than never.

Trying to start this blog up again because I've gotten out of the habit of writing out my feeeeeeelings. Makes me feel stuffy and sort of packed in wool, just feeling the same way every day, looking back on my life and seeing just a reflection of that particular day. If it's a good day, it's been good for the last 3 years, if it's a tough one, the last 3 years have blown. Better to write it out and reflect. Right?

I want to remember more about what has happened to me, what I'm interested in at the moment and what I spend my time doing. Figure out how I've changed, if at all. I still don't feel like an adult and I'm 27 years old now. All around me my old friends are married, having kids, buying houses, I don't feel ready for half of that.

And looking back over the last 14 posts over the last 3 years, I can tell you one thing. I was a chipper little thing. Hopefully I've gotten over my use of exclamation points.

I've become an even greater dork than ever, my obsession with crocheting has expanded to include other crafts. Started attending plays and musicals, and my new "happy music" is the soundtrack from Mamma Mia. I need help! (Crap, can't help that exclamation point)

Tomorrow I start recycling/reclaiming yarn. I want a place to document it, and a place to publish knitting designs as I work out more complicated projects.

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