Friday, May 29, 2009

The Yarnarian Has a Good Friday Economy Rant!

OK, omit reading if my rants make you ranty.

The Economy! Everybody I know is feeling the effects of this crummy economy. People have lost jobs and can't find new ones, hours are being reduced, well you know the whole shebang.

So I've been thinking about it pretty much nonstop for the last few days. The husband of one of my dearest friends has lost his job. Little or no job opportunities in his location. I bet each of you knows someone in the same boat, or even are suffering this misery personally.

What can we do about it? There are 2 initiatives out there to help out local economies. One is called 3/50. The premise of this is for each of us to find 3 local businesses and spend a total of $50 a month in these businesses. My neighboring town has signs up all over the place about supporting local business. Local independent businesses generally hire local people, so the support goes not just to the business owner, but also to her/his employees. If a local drugstore folds, the employees are now out of work, and the comunity has lost a valuable resource.

The other initiative that I've read about somewhere, and of course can't remember where, is a local barter bank. You barter your time and can get "paid" by someone helping you out. Let's say you like to knit baby sweaters. You post this service int the barter bank's newletter. Someone contacts you: can you knit a baby sweater for a future grandchild? You make arrangements with that person and happily knit away. Now you've gained some points in the barter bank. You need your lawn mowed. You contact a member who likes to garden. And so it goes. I think you have to report this on your tax forms, but given that these are small amounts of money, it wouldn't mess up your income taxes.

And here's my addition to what you can do: Support people on Etsy. The vast majority of Etsy people are folks selling their hand made goods or patterns or such. While your local community won't feel the influx of money from this, you are helping out a small business somewhere, you're getting one of a kind goodies, and the person from whom you are buying then has money to spend in her community. Kind of a large craft show, I think.

End of rant. I'm not an economist, so I might be totally off-base here, but it makes sense to me.

Knitting news: In my crazed lace scarf obsession, I have finished yet another one, Fairy Leaf. This has a two-part pattern and you have 2 different leaves forming. It was a quick knit, and much fun to do. Available when? I don't know. Right now I'm enjoying the Trio of Pretty Lacy Scarves sales, and I don't want to flood the market. And I'm also thinking of combining it with the little cashmere one that I showed you the other day. So sometime in the near future.

Here it is before blocking, looking like the typical lace mess.

And here she is blocked and much happier with life!

I rather like her, and have draped her around my neck many times. Great for an over air-conditioned spot.

And the other knitting news (sotm members ignore this) is the sock for the last sotm package: Lacy Waves.

She is so delightful to knit, and I love the pattern enough to make a sweater using it.

Have a good weekend if I don't blog. Have a good weekend if I do blog.

Sock Mad Mary - Yup at some point. I don't like to release too many patterns at a time, but yes it will be released soon. It was soooo nice to knit, and can't you see it as a scarf or a sweater or mitts? Not totally mindless, but almost. The scarves are on hold at the moment. I want to finish the cashmere one and I have a little less than half to go.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Yarnarian Continues Her Cape Adventures!

But, first look at the previous post for the Trio of Pretty Lacy Scarves patterns! You can buy individually or as a set. I see that Shimmer is unloved. It truly is lovely in real life. Maybe I should do another one just so you can see how pretty it is. In my spare time. Hah.

OK, on to Cape Cod! These are pics from the Nantucket side of the Cape, the southern side. Our Inn is .8 mile from the beach, so we walk down just about every day.

It's a pretty walk down to the beach, and the reward is all that seaspray, and taste, and smell. Yup, I even like the smell of low tide. Let's face it: I like ocean and Long Island Sound!

Dyeing News: Here are the 3 green yarns that I dyed before vacation, all in Penny Yarn. The first one is Palest Sage, and it is an almost solid. Next is Fairy Green, a bit more color variation than Palest Sage, but I would still consider it somewhat almost solid (?), and last is Green Melange, made up of various greens more or less in the same values, not an almost solid.

itsJUSTme-wendy - Purely by accident. I dyed these a couple of weeks before we left. Maybe it was an unconscious desire to be there?

Henya - Maybe it was wishful thinking? Good Yom Tov to you and yours.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Yarnarian Finally Gets the Scarves Pattern Up!

Finally. I did it. Individually for $5@, or as a collection for $12.50.

Cute, no? Available on Etsy and on Ravelry as a collection, saving you $2.50, or individually for $5 apiece.

More vacation pics and blather later. I have got to get my act together. Yeah, right!

Henya - They're so easy to knit. Once you find your rhythm, you can zoom through them. Think Chanukah presents. Nah, think scarves for you.

Jen - Thanks.

CathyR - Thanks.

Holly - Thank you.

CottonScarves - Josefina does look rather pretty draped in a scarf. ;-)

audio conferenza - Thanks.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Ther Yarnarian Bores You With Pictures!

Don't say I didn't warn you. I'm going to share the dreaded vacation pics with you. But don't worry; I'm only going to show a few. You are spared the umpteen pics I took of a little crab's shell.

First of all, our annual walk from the Cape Cod Nature Museum to the Bay. We love this walk, and if you time it right, sometimes you are the only people on the beach. You can only do this at low tide; otherwise the wooden planks across the bogs are flooded. So when you go, you can of course see way, way out.

Along the way, there is the Cape version of Stonehenge. A teeny weeny Stonehenge, more of a henge than a stone one.

Here's the view at bayside. The Bay is at the top of the Cape; the Sound points towards Nantucket. Just so you know. And if you go to Provincetown, you're right on the ocean.

Here is a mature moment on my part.

Are you asleep yet? No? I'm sorry. I'll bore you with more Cape pics tomorrow or Tuesday.

Knitting news: So look what I accomplished: making great progress on my cashmere scarf. It's JoJoland cashmere that I bought at the Stitching Bee. Delicious stuff, and I can't wait to drape it around my neck next winter. OK, I can wait, but it still is delicious!

Here's the Fairy Leaf scarf knitted in Penny sock yarn. It's a mess at this stage, but when I stretch it out, it really is lovely. I have about 10" to go on it.

And the sock yarn that I couldn't resist. It's by Wisdom Yarns, and is called Poems sock yarn. This is the first time I've seen it, and the price was OK, and I was so intrigued with it, that I even bought yet another circ needle. It's like eating potato chips: you just can't stop. This is the Diamonds Modular Scarf, but with a different decrease, and an added row. The added row was accidental, but I like it, and I have lots and lots of yarn here. I liked it so much that I went back and bought the other 2 colors that the shop had.

The decrease is: slip 2 stitches knitwise, k1, psso. This gives you that nice center line, and to make it come out right, you have to purl that center stitch on the wrong side.

And just because I really really couldn't resist it, here is Araucania yarn, Ruca, made from sugar cane. Truly weird, but the yarn has a sheen and is slippery and reminds me of bamboo. Of course, I needed to buy bamboo needles to deal with the slipperiness. I'm so glad I'm supporting the economy!

And finally, a pair of earrings and a pendant that I needed, bought at an antiques/stuff store.

Oh, in case you were wondering, I got 2 loads of laundry done, with many more to go!

Henya - I'm glad you like the pics. Maybe we need a laundry elf to do it while we're sleeping!

Linda - Clearly we're on the same page! Great minds...

Kay - Thanks!

It's Just Me Wendy (aka IJMW) - This is such a great nature walk. If you look at my current Meez, the background looks just like parts of the walk.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Yarnarian is Back!

Now I have to wash the mounds of laundry that were left before we took off and the mounds of laundry that we now accumulated. Laundry is forever!

Pics and what-have-you coming up maybe tomorrow or Mon or Tues. Gotta get my act together first.

I will tell you that we had our usual glorious time, ate way too much, but walked a lot. The scale is tomorrow morning. I'm already trembling.

Did lots of knitting, reading, walking, napping, and thrift-shopping. The Schmutz Meister was in his element, and got some very interesting goodies.

Henya - I had a wonderful time, but it is good to be back!

Sharon - You will be green with envy over my "treasures"! Hah!

Jen - Sigh!

Linda - You're a brave woman!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Yarnarian Plans Her Projects.

I'm taking everything with me but the kitchen sink, and if I could knit that, I'd take that too.

1. The never-ending gansey that I started last Dec. I have a sleeve and a half to go, and it's coming with me. If I could do 15 minutes/day on this thing, I'd get a lot done. And I really want to wear it next fall.

2. The socks from this last sotm. I have 1/2 sock to do, I love the design, and I want to wear them. Pics in the future.

3. Cashmere lace scarf that I started yesterday. I bought the yarn at the Stitching Bee in Chatham, NJ. One gorgeous 400 yard skein of cashmere, and not even a budget-buster at that.

4. Green sock yarn scarf that I started also yesterday. An unloved one that nobody wanted. Hah! So I swiped it for moi, and I'm loving it. It's Penny yarn, so not that soft gooshy yarn of Alexa or Bambi, but soft enough, and it works up like a dream.

Assorted other yarns and projects in my head: 1 skein of Zauberball yarn, that I also got from Judy's store.

I don't know what I'll do with this one, but I think yet another Diagonal Mitered Scarf might be in the works. I don't want to waste those long colorways on my feet, but want to use it where it will show up. Or maybe some diagonal thing or other. I'll play around with it. How about a diagonal thing with some slipped stitches where the colors change? Hmmm.

What else? A skein of sock yarn, maybe from my stash of non-PennyRose yarns, for another sock.

That should keep me occupied for a week of sloth.

Finished object: The neat Rolling Waves Scarf that I've been posting pictures of. In real life, it's just lovely. The Hubbo thinks it's great, and so do I. Talk about utter, total delicious semi-mindless knitting: this is it, and great for those yarns that are just too busy for patterns.

I'm just thinking of another way to use this pattern. Hmmm, yet again. Maybe I'll steal yet another yarn.

BTW, if you can think of a better name for this scarf, let me know. This was the best I could come up with. Wavy Lace has been used to death. Hunter likes the name "Shimmy" scarf. I do too. Now to remember this.

We'll see what I actually accomplish. Aw, who cares; I'm out to enjoy myself and knit what I feel like doing.

Hunter - You're right: there's no such thing as wasting socks on feet. I just want this colorway to shine through. Also, I'm on a real scarf knitting binge. Socks are kind of off the front burner at the moment. You are one smart cookie!

Mary - I'm glad she likes it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The Yarnarian misses her dyeing craziness. Shhhh. Don't tell this to ruth, because she won't believe it, but TY wants to dye.

However, we shall persevere, and we shall have a hair cut and color, and knit. We are a brave duo, The Yarnarian and I.

Skeppie - It takes too long to write Skepweaver. My leetle cupcake!

Henya - A temporary retirement from retirement is quite delicious! I am beginning to miss the dyeing though. But I'll have a forced hiatus from it, so that will really charge up my batteries.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The Yarnarian Loves Being Retired!

But only for the next week or so. It's really tough to take time off when you work out of your house. But I'm a smart cookie occasionally, so I put Etsy into vacation mode, and now can relax.

So what does a retired from retirement person do all day long? I knit, went to the dentist, bank, knit lots more. Trumpets here: I actually made a good supper. From scratch. On time. Even early. and, Enjoyed it! And I knit some more, watched House, knit, computed but only a little bit, and guess what, I knit some more. Finished a book. And, you got it, KNIT!

I even contemplated dyeing up some yarn to take with me, but nah, I have tons of yarn from my pre-dyeing days, and there's a skein of Schaefer Anne in reds that's calling me. It wants to be a lacy scarf. Told me so. And for reasons that I don't understand, there are 2 skeins of Tofutsies that somehow crept into the stash bin, and they are calling me too.

And by the time I get back to reality, I'll be really ready to come back to my little business. Time off is good for the soul, and for the knitting, too.

Warning: Rant ahead. Read at your own risk.

Soapbox Rant: A couple of months ago I ran into a crank on Ravelry. We are talking an opinionated, cranky, pain in the butt. OK, that describes me, but no, this isn't me. This is a real grouch. Bad Hubbo, if you're reading this, it's not me. NO, no no!

This is one of those people who always contradicts you no matter what you say. You say red; she says blue. And she's vocal about it. Very intelligent, but so are all Rav people. Knitters are smart people. And she voices her opinion from on high. If she says it, it is the truth. Because she Knows. Those of us who do not agree with her are mere plebeians (sp? I think it should be spelled Plebians, but spell check doesn't agree).

So what am I ranting about? I was thinking the other day that people like her, with negative opinions about Everything, must be unhappy people. When all you can find in this glorious world is stuff to complain about; when you are high and mighty and know it all and the rest of us are stupid, well, I just don't think that you can be happy within yourself.

Don't get me wrong; healthy dissent is obligatory to a democracy, good for the soul, challenging, but do you have to make it your total persona? Is there nothing that pleases you? Are you so well-educated that the rest of us are below your feet? Hey, we have Ph.D's, M.D.'s, all sorts of Big Brains in the family. They are up there on the intelligence scale, but they don't set themselves up as being the experts on everything.

End of rant. That was good. I haven't had a good rant in a long time.

That brings me to the topic of happiness. I'll spare you that lecture today, 'cause I'm going to the gym and I'm, ahem, knitting. I am on vacation, you know!

Knitting news: My little scarf that I started the other day is motoring along. It's so easy peasy once you get the count established. And me, being me, already knows what's next on the needles.

Here it is, over 22" long and growing. Click on it to get the full picture.

Here are my yarns to maybe take with me. The skeined one is from Fleece Artist. It's been gently aging for about 3 years. The Anne is the balled up one, and the one on the far left is some cotton/wool thingie that I like.

Skeppie - Nope you don't know the object of my rant. I don't want to know her either. Hah! Aren't these quizzes the goofiest things going?

Henya - Ain't it the truth? I think there are professional grouches out there; they live to complain loudly and often. Feh on them.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Yarnarian Gets Crowned!

All hail Her Majesty, the Queen of Crowns. OK, I'm having my permanent crown put on my root-canaled (sp??) tooth. Also, in case you didn't know, I have an alter ego on Ravelry and she's called the Pastel Queen. No, don't look her up; she just appears to graciously remark on yarns. She is always gracious, gives a queenly wave, and generally can be insufferable when it comes to pastel yarns.

Did you have a nice Mommie's Day? I visited the Mommie and brought her very tasty dark chocolate candy. She could care less about clothing, doesn't like eating out, but give her some chocolate, and she's one happy camper. She was her usual fuzzy self when I arrived, and then snapped to, held my yarn while I wound into a ball, sat outside in the sun with me, and even went for a walk using her walker with me. Very, very good for her. She was my usual funny acerbic Mom. Oh, do I love her!

The Hubbo brought me my annual Mother's Day present: the Sunday NY Times. Don't even ask.

Hubbo garage sale purchases: A rustic chair that's perfect for the Girls.

And a chest for their clothing.

Remember that yarn from a previous post? This one?

Tried at least 4 different patterns for a scarf with it, and each was worse than the previous one. Ah Ha! I said. This calls for pattern innovation, so here's my final entry, and I like it, and I suspect it will work on lots of variegated yarns:

Cathy and Caffeine - It's easy peasy. Dropped stitches, miters, slipped stitches. Sound hard, but it isn't. Not totally mindless, but close. Im going to bundle it together with the 2 I showed the other day. Oh, and it's reversible, which I hadn't planned but there it is. I am curious to see how it will look after blocking. I hope the long sts really pop.

Friday, May 8, 2009

The Yarnarian Blathers Randomly.

Do you like these goofy quizzes I post on top of the blog? They are so silly, and I'm addicted to them.

Knitting news: I finished my scarf. I'm calling it the Taos Scarf, mostly because it reminds me of Taos. Brilliant reason I think. I liked Taos, I liked Santa Fe. I wanna go back. Josie is wearing her, and I think the doll looks quite adorable wearing a scarf 3 times her size.

I divided up my ball of yarn into 2 halves, and worked with both yarns: 2 rows with one, and then 2 with the other. I started in different places, but look how it worked out. Fascinating, isn't it. I know that some people analyze their variegated yarns to get their desired results. Me, I just love the randomness of it. This was so pleasant and so easy to knit and memorize. I'm going to bundle this scarf along with this one, and do another one, and then sell the 3 as a pkg.

Here's the next yarn. I swiped it from the store. Nobody loved it, and it kind of spoke to me, so I shall have fun playing with it.

I'm thinking of calling the pkg: Mindlessly simple scarves. My kind of knitting, you know.

Even the lace one I posted earlier. the one with the 2 values of violet, is fairly easy. It will get a tiny bit tricky at the next stage of its existence, but it moves nicely along, and is wonderful in real life.

Henya and Ruth in Ottawa - Mindless is pretty much where it's at for me these days. Ah the joys of no longer having to prove myself. Now I can just motor along without too much work. and yup, these lace babies are not difficult at all. First of all, I rarely pattern on the wrong side. Secondly, if you can read a chart, you'll understand them in a flash.

I started the third scarf, and have to frog, but I only knit 4 rows, so it's no big deal. It needs the first row to be garter stitch I think, just to make it behave.

Now the real lace scarf/shawl, that has a bit of garter on the wrong side and takes a bit more concentration. The fun stuff will come when I finish this part of the scarf and them move onto the circular part. Now that's fun. Not mindless, but pleasantly challenging.

Oh, and Henya, so I found a Pesachdike fleishig knife that I missed while putting it all away. Now it's in a plastic bag; heaven forbid it should come in contact with reg knives. so it goes.

Sharon - The only doll around when I was little was the Betsy Wetsy doll. We war babies were lucky to have her. What I do have is a kid's upholstered rocking chair, given to my when I was about 18 months old, so sometime in 1945. I gave it to my kids when they were little and promised it to the first one to have kids. So, DD, the mother of Miss P got it for Miss P.

Linda - It's the librarian in me and my age too. Grammar and grampar were drummed into our heads. I'm sending you a smooch for those tired little fingers and hands. Let's hope the next one is easier, although they tend to get harder as the end approaches.

CathyR - I saved that yarn for me for a long time, and frogged the scarf a few times until I was happy with it. I like it too. ;-)

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Yarnarian is Shifting into Vacation Mode

One week from tomorrow and we're off to the Cape, G-d willing. And I'm now in official vacation mode. I don't even feel like dyeing. Can you even imagine? I just want to walk and knit and read and veg and schlep behind the Hubbo on his endless thrift shop forays. I must be getting sick. Thrift shops? In the millions? It's a disease.

Knitting news: I started a scarf the other day in my Emily lace yarn. I had dyed up 2 half skeins in medium and light violet, and wanted to play with the yarns. You know I'm into these half skeins, but how to convince others that they need to play with them too. Hah! Such fun. Here's the beginning of the scarf. the first pic shows the 2 colors together.

What you don't know is what comes next. I'd love to get to that point before leaving next week. We'll see. My cranky wrists rule the knitting.

My trip into the city (people from the metro NY area refer to it as the city) yesterday was delightful; even the sun came out for a bit. I met my friend at Lord & Taylor, where we had pumpkin pancakes for lunch, and we chatted and shared projects, and then walked over to Bryant Park to check out Kinokuniya. I like the one in Palisades Mall better. They have less merchandise there, but more in the knitting world and less in the crochet world. I didn't buy anything but had an enjoyable browse.

Off to package yarns for the sotm shipment.

BTW, if you want the lastest news on what and when I'm listing on Etsy, you can join up here. Or you can continue to read the blog, or you can do both. Scary, isn't it? Advertising is very expensive for a little operation like me, and this gets the word out, plus it might end up as a venue for a KAL, or not. You know me.

Henya - In the immortal words of the Hubbo: Calm down. Hold your girdle (whatever that means). I'm just taking a short break. The trouble with working at home is that you're always working, So to get a break, I need to go away. Recharge my batteries, Get energized. Yarn will emerge indeed after my Cape Cod moment.

Carolyn - Oh, lady, you know I need this trip! You need a trip too. So you and the Hubs should drive up north to Cape Cod and relax. Maybe flying into Boston is easier than that long, long drive of yours. But wait a bit, it's going to be chilly this time of year.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Yarnarian is a Mindless Knitter.

Hold the Presses! I've started a Yahoo mailing list for updates, etc on my yarns and patterns. Please join.

The fact is that I'm a very lazy knitter. I like to do mindless or semi-mindless knitting. I can do quite complex projects, but choose not to. So back in 1972 or so, I stumbled upon EZ's Knitting without tears, and that was that. No more seams for me! No way! Pick a pattern, fit it into my schematic and just go with the flow. I haven't looked back since. If I can't do it seamlessly, I don't knit it.

Same thing with socks. Play with a pattern, plop it into my usual sock formation and off I go. I did play with toe-up socks for a bit, but that takes some thought. Well, no it doesn't, but I like to do the leg first. Cat Bordhi had me going for a bit, and then I abandoned her for mindless, but I'm thinking of going back and now making some of hers mindless for me.

I adore Cookie A's socks, but all that work for socks? I'd rather make a sweater. I am tempted, however.

Take a look at this link: we are talking beautiful unusual socks. But, damn it all, I might have to think. Still...

Just for the intellectual curiosity, I want to make one of these socks, not a pair, but then what would I do with one? It is not easy to be a mindless knitter.

I've done cables, stranded knitting, all quite mindlessly, lace and more lace and still more lace, everything but intarsia. Tried that way back in the 60's. Hated every bloody minute of it and will never do it again. It just doesn't flow. Flow is all. OK, lace is not generally mindless especially on a complex shawl, but still: no seams, purl on wrong side rows. No, I will not knit lace with complex knitting on the wrong side. Not me.

Am I embarrassed? Are you kidding? I knit, therefore I am. Oh, and I don't knit high fashion, or big fat yarn. I'm little and high fashion or chunky yarn makes me look like an idiot. Besides, I love traditional knitting. Nowdays, I do traditional with a modern flare, or not. And I like to wear my knits for years and years. So no bizarre projects for me. Uh uh.

There's a point to this, but damned if I know what it is. Just me happily emoting. anyhow, go check out that link, and drool, ye serious knitters. This lady is on a roll.

Knitting News: Speaking of socks, I've just released this pretty baby. I knit her way, way back at the end of December and waited for the right moment to release her. She was the previous pattern of the PennyRose Sock Club, but I have a new one coming out for the group. Hence (notice the word), she is now available, that shameless hussy.

Flower Garden Socks! Available on Ravelry, and occasionally on Etsy.

I'm coming down to the wire on my latest mindless lace scarf. I struggled with this yarn, no matter what I knitted with it, it looked dumb. I like the colorway, I saved it just for me, and then finally played with it here. And I like it. Yeah, it is a bit busy, but somehow it works for me, maybe not for you, but I'm kind of happy with it. It needs a serious blocking when I finish. Last night, I was watching the history of Native Americans on PBS, and the scarf started to look somewhat southwestern to me. Anyone have a good name for it? Something southwestern? I'm thinking Taos.

Here are pics and some of them are modeled on Josie.

Here's a little shawl just for Josefina. I'm quite taken with this doll.

Dyeing News: I have had a white moment lately probably due to all the lovely blossoms around northern NJ. These are all Penny yarn, my most versatile sock yarn, sturdy yet still soft, wears like iron, nice yardage. My only complaint about it is that it comes on cones and I have to skein it up. I make nice long skeins, and then reskein them. I can do lots of interesting color work on these 72" skeins. What you're seeing is the skeins redone in a manageable size.

White Blossoms, Pink Blossoms, Lady Peach Blossom:

Henya - I knew you were a smart cookie! No seams for us!


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