Wednesday, September 30, 2009

the Yarnarian Babbles On.

Not much to show you at the moment. Between Rosh Hashanah, the grandkid visit this weekend and then Yom Kippur, I have had very little time to be productive. Oh, I am knitting and crocheting, but I'm at the point in my projects where there is just not much more to see.

So instead I'll tell you my plans for today. I am going to dye yarn. Are you amazed? I need to dye up some lace yarns for the Mystery Shawl '09; I don't want to be stuck with a lot of yarn when the sign-up finishes, so I'm dyeing as I need. At this stage of the game, with the knitalong beginning on Oct. 10, I can show you the colors.

The colors are Breeze, Latte, Gold and Terracotta. I don't know which one I like the most. I suspect it's Latte. They are not available to the general public; I've dyed them specifically for the Mystery Shawl KAL.

The lace yarn is called Carrie, after my sweet, wonderful niece. It's 80% merino/20% silk and quite tasty and soft and wonderful. Great yardage too.

So what colors am I going to play with this morning, other than the lace colors? I'm thinking purple and/or violet. I was going to do very pale colors, but purple is calling me. That's what I'm saying now; wait until I start dyeing. Then the colors will rule! Pics tomorrow!

I miss my sister! My family has never been good at saying good-bye. We get teary and lonely and bereft. So yesterday when they left, I moped around the house for hours. Me, who never cries, had tears in my eyes a couple of times. When the Mommie lived in her house, she would stand by the door and wave to us as we left, and both she and I were so sad. When my dad was alive, and I came home for a weekend in my college years, the sadness was so overwhelming when I left to go back to school. And yet, my parents never held on to us or prevented us from moving on with our lives. We just cannot say good-bye. The next day, we are all OK again, it's just that parting moment.

And now I'm going to search for my library book which I put down in a safe spot, and of course cannot find now. Sigh.

Jen - What are you dyeing these days?

Linda - If I had a dozen sisters, you would always be my favorite! Love you so much!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Yarnarian Thinks about Family.

Yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, and as usual, we spent most of the day in synagogue. I think of it as a day of reflection. You can't atone for anything if you don't first think or reflect upon your life over the past year. We don't eat or drink (nope, not even a drop of water) for about 25.5 hours. Yes, it's long, and oh yes, you do get very hungry and thirsty, but interestingly, you don't think too much of food. You would think that you would constantly think about how you are going to break the fast, but you just don't; it only makes you feel worse. So you push those thoughts aside, and concentrate on prayer and atonement and on anything else.

It's a day in which I always reflect on family. My dad, who died almost 37 years ago, my aunts and uncles and cousins, my grandparents, the family I never knew, the family who perished in the Holocaust, the family who went back hundreds of years. A few years ago, the rabbi said something about how all the angels and souls of those who have died, come back on the eve of Yom Kippur and pray with the living. Is that true? Do I know? But I always get the sense that my father is with me that evening, and it gives me great comfort.

It's also a day in which I am so grateful for family who are still with me. This year was very special; my sister and my niece spent both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with us, and it was like going back to my childhood and hanging out as kids. The poor Hubbo never got in a word edgewise. We talked nonstop about knitting and crochet, about old family customs and recipes and such. Well, not when we were in synagogue, but whenever we were not there, the memories all came back. My sister and I have decided that my niece is the family member to carry on all our old traditions. I have to teach her how to make the Hungarian coffee cake that is our fast breaking delight. The recipe goes back to the 19th century; but my grandmothers made it, and so did my great grandmas. My daughters are not especially interested; OK, they could care less, and that's fine. My nephew just shakes his head, but my wonderful niece wants the old recipes. and she is thinking about teaching her honey all the goofy Viennese songs my father used to sing, and all the family words that we use all the time. For example, when my mom made hamburgers, we never called them that; we called them Faschiertes, Austrian German for hamburgers.

The Mommie is way too old to sit in synagogue for any length of time; she spends the day at her group home. She fasted until she was 91! Can you imagine this? The Mommie is a tough old bird, and only at 91 did she decide that she could no longer fast.

So as you can see, Yom Kippur is not just about atonement for me, but also a day of thinking about family. I feel so sorry for folks who do not speak with their siblings, or parents and children who dislike each other. Life is so short, and often these estrangements end up being about trivialities, or the insults done were so long ago that it really doesn't matter any more. So often someone dies, and you are left with never having said you're sorry, even if it wasn't your fault.

Well, those are my reflections this year. It was a good fast, we all survived, and it was a joy to be in synagogue with my sweet Hubbo on one side of my and my sister and niece on the other side. I felt strengthened by their presence, and I felt such gratitude that I have this wonderful family. I am grateful for them, for my dearest friend, Judy, who is like my older sister, for all our children and grandchildren, siblings, for our mothers, for all those family members who have gone on before. I am grateful for my customers, so many of whom have become dear friends, and for you, dear blog readers, for reading my nonsense. For my country, which is an extraordinary place in which to live, for all the good people in this world who want peace and kindness for all.

Knitting and dyeing news: Are you serious? Did I have time to do any of this? Nope! Two of the grands stayed with us on Saturday. We loved every minute of them, and then their folks picked them up Sunday morning, and I started to get ready for Yom Kippur. I haven't had a moment in which to breathe, but things calm down this week, so Wed or Thurs I'll be back to dyeing. I've been doing some intense colors, and this week I think I'll go back and explore some of the very pale dyes I own. Mix them up and combine with other colors and see what happens.

And that's the story, Morning Glory!

Denise Vitola - I love this holiday. I could do without the fasting, but that goes hand in hand with Yom Kippur. Besides, just about everyone in synagogue feels as crummy as you do, so there is strength in numbers. And food and water taste so wonderful afterwards.

KV - "Do I have to do tumbling blocks in intarsia?", she whines! Sigh. very big sigh.

Holly - And of course, since it is Sukkot, it is getting rainy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Yarnarian Gives a Few Good Plugs.

Oh, it's an Etsy day for sure! No affiliation, no profit, no nothing for me, just some neat shops for you to check out. I love Etsy; it gives the crafts person a chance to show off her wares, it moves products to new places, and it helps the economy. AND, you get to see some nifty new goodies that you will not be able to resist.

Check these out!

This lady does knitting journals. Not virtual journals, the real thing!

Pottery at a reasonable price, plus I am coveting that tea pot.

The cutest crochet patterns on this earth. Clearly I need the S'mores set.


Irresistible charm bracelets:

Cute knitting patterns:

Will that keep you occupied for a little while?

Dyeing news: the last two in this latest series.

Rich Witch and Madame du Berries (both Rose yarns):

Knitting News: Ahem, I, the dyer, am embarrassed to admit that I just got 15 skeins of Palette from Knit Picks. At that price, how could I not buy them. It takes much more effort to dye these guys than to just pay the $1.99/skein. Ok, heathers are a little bit more. So now I have 15 lovely skeins and don't know what to do with them. It isn't easy, you know. I'm thinking of maybe a tumbling blocks pattern, but I'm not sure if I have the patience for that. On the other hand, who's in a hurry anyway. I only have tons of UFOs all over the house, so what's one more. Have any of you knit one of these? Will I tear my hair out?

Jen - Etsy is one dangerous place. Very dangerous!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Yarnarian is Sleepless in New Jersey

I had 3 hours of sleep last night. Therefore I am not responsible for any typos, ridiculous comments or anything else. I'm floating out in lala land. I was going to accomplish so much today. Nope.

Dyeing news: More pretties that I dyed up on Monday.

Pesky Pixie and Yummy (Linda and Rose yarns). Pesky Pixie (try saying that 10 times) is a very pretty combo of peach, rose, and the prettiest blue/green going. Don't ask me how I got that green color; it was pure luck. Yummy is off white with blueberry and magenta. We are talking a pretty yarn here.

Turkey Trot and Mountain Woman (both Linda yarn). Turkey Trot is a goofy rainbow of purps, greens, yellows, magentas,and whatever happens when they intersect. Mountain woman is avocado, various soft blues and purps, kind of like the mountains from a distance.

That should keep you occupied for an hour or two.

fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com

Did you look at the silly kitten over on the right? Move your mouse around him, and he will purr or meow or move his head. If an ad comes up, just click it closed.

Knitting news: I'm working on a super secret project. OK, it's the scarf pattern for the sock club. I'm liking it a lot. No pics, of course.

I'm ready for the first nap of the day. It's not going to be a productive day at all. Ah well.....

Yummy is grabbed. Yay, Anonymous. Hey, Anonymous, if you are any mouse, are you anonymouse?

Mountain Woman is taken.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Yarnarian Has Yarns and a Pattern!

OK, first of all, the pattern. Finally published on Ravelry! My test knitters did a valiant job of figuring out my crazy slip stitch pattern, which was a pain to chart. So now all mistakes are theirs. Tee hee, wicked me.

Here she is, finally, in all her glory: Slip Zig Socks. Yes, I know this has been kicking around since July. Hey, all things in their time.

Speaking of socks, I donated at least 18 pairs to my sister and niece, and now I have a lot of room in my sock drawers. I guess I'll have to force myself to fill up those empty spaces.

Dyeing news:
I planned on using a bunch of my reds yesterday, and ended up using 3 of them. Somehow I got sidetracked into using a new navy dye, and my best intentions got lost. However, I'm thrilled with the results; these are my colors.

Before you look at the yarns, however, I want to show you my favorite jacket that I bought last fall at Coldwater Creek. I wore this to synagogue on Saturday, hung it up afterward and that was that. Surprise! Look at some of these colors and tell me that that jacket was not calling to me subconsciously. Strange, no?

OK, here are some of the yarns. I'll post more tomorrow. I don't want you to get overwhelmed with all this loveliness. Whelmed is just fine.

Candy Corn and Gargoyle Linda and Rose yarns:

Glory Rose (my favorite), and Harvest Home Linda and Rose yarns:

Lady Lily and Itchy Witch Linda and Rose yarns:

You want? email me at fritzL AT yahoo DOT com

More tomorrow. Gotta do the dishes and the never-ending laundry.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Yarnarian Chats a Bit.

The holidays were so nice. We had great weather, great company, services were good, we didn't freeze too much during services, and it was just plain nice.

Services for Rosh Hashanah go on forever. We got out about 1:30 each day, but I've gotten the food down pat for this. For years now, I get cold cuts and such for lunch. By the time we get home, we're ravenous, and nobody wants to wait for food to heat up. So we do easy peasy lunch, and save the big meal for supper. Friday night we had a Persian rice dish with teeny meatballs, chicken pieces, basmati rice, dried fruits, orange marmalade all steamed together. Yummy. No, it's probably nowhere near authentic, but by golly it tastes delish. Saturday we did the stuffed cabbage and noodles thing. Last night, we did leftovers. Yay, leftovers. We still have a bit left, and my refrig smells of cabbage. Tonight we finish it or it gets tossed. Enough already.

We picked up The Mommie yesterday to spend the afternoon and supper with us. There's no way that she's going to synagogue any more. The services go on so long and she's so old, and I pray for her. Anyhow, at her age, what bad things could she possibly be doing? She really enjoyed seeing my sister and her granddaughter.

So, in between nonstop talking about everything girly and especially about crafy things, I actually got in a bit of knitting and crochet. Worked some on the crochet blanket, but at this point, you're not going to be able to tell what I did, so no pics. But! Take a look at the Ten Stitch Blanket. Is this not a cutie patootie project?

I can use either side as the right side, but I like the side without the visible ridges. The ridgy side looks fine in a pic, but not so nice in real life. Anyhow, it is reversible, so that's an added feature.

Dyeing news: I dyed up some Rose and some Linda yarn today. I planned on doing lots and lots of reds, with a bit of navy and some gold. Hah! The dyes ignored me, and I came out with all sorts of combinations. My eyes are clearly seeing fall hues, and it shows in my dyeing. Even the couple of pastels are autumnal. You'll see them tomorrow in all their glory.

Take a look at this: I just saw this goofy, fun, silly adorable hat on Ravelry. If I had a baby, I'd knit it for her/him, it's that cute.

CathyR and Henya - Isn't that hat the cutest thing ever?

Marion - I think so too! ;-)

Linda - I think so. tee hee.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Yarnarian has startitis, plus an amazing blog!

Blog first: Here is a most awesome blog about patchwork knitting. It's totally in German, but there is a translation option at the top of the page.

If you look at the sidebar, you'll see the word "Stricken", and that is the knitting part of the blog. Just take a look at Liane's work; awesome and most inspiring.

Startitis: I love startitis; it's finishing that gets me down. The trouble is that when I get bored with a project, which happens very quickly, I start thinking about the next one and the one after that and the one after that and so on. So, here's what I started yesterday and the day before.

The Ten Stitch Blanket: Ignore the messy edges; they will be nice and pretty once this baby is blocked. I'm thinking of maybe an i-cord border, but I have a very long way to go. This pattern is a yarn eater. If I owned a yarn shop, I would feature this pattern; boy does it sell yarn. I'm doing mine in Noro Silk Garden, which I do not like to work with. Yes, it is much nicer than Kureyon, but I hate thick and thin yarns, and worsted weight and I do not get along. Still, you only knit 10 stitches at a time, and if I work very slowly, then my wrists don't complain. I just have to keep telling myself to slow down. Here's one side, which I assume might be the right side.

And here's the other side, which could also be the right side.

I frogged this a couple of times more from the original gazillion froggings. It's not hard to knit at all; I was just displeased with my mitered corners. And then I kept looking for a way to make those ridges to look nice. Here's my solution: When you get to that last stitch, the one that joins up to the blanket, slip it purlwise. Pick up and knit the correct stitch from the blanket, slip your left needle into the fronts of these 2 stitches and SSK them. Turn your work, and slip that first stitch purlwise.

Oh, and when I work the rows, I slip the first stitch purlwise. Alternatively, you could purl it on the wrong side, turn your work, and slip it knitwise. I like that nice edge rather than the garter edge with those little bumps.

It's now large enough to just about cover my knee. I have a small knee.

Next new project: A 6 pointed star motif that I found in one of my crochet books. I had played a bit with it, and then accidentally found a blog where the owner is working this up. Unfortunately, I have so many blogs that I peek at, that I can't remember this one. The pattern is from "Beyond-the-Square Crochet Motifs: 144 circles, hexagons, triangles, squares, and other unexpected shapes" by Edie Eckman, and it's # 49, I believe.

Here is one of the ones I played with. This is JoJoLand fingering, Melody if I remember correctly. The labels are gone.

I have 2 balls of this colorway, so could easily make a scarf with this.

I was in Judy's yesterday, and she forced me at needlepoint to buy 2 more skeins of the JoJoLand. Hah! So this is what is in the works.

And now, of course, I don't know which yarn to use. Maybe I'll do 2 different scarves with different motifs. I'm in a sad state here.

Lace Noodling: If you didn't read yesterday's post about a lace dyeing idea I had, please go and read it and give me your ideas. If you think this is the silliest notion in the lace dyeing world, let me know, and if you think this is better than sliced bread, let me know also. I need some feedback. H E L P!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Lace Yarn!

Lace knitters, this is for you. I tend not to sell a lot of lace yarn except when it is in conjunction with a mystery KAL. The thing is that I really like to dye lace yarn, but how many skeins can I use for myself? I only dye up almost solids in lace; variegateds are tricky to use. While I'm happy to do one as an occasional custom order, I know that as a group, they don't sell well, and anyhow, when I knit lace shawls, I want the pattern to show up and not fight with the yarn. So here's my question? Would you be interested in a selection of colors that I can dye up as custom colors for you? e.g.. I would have maybe 10 different colors that you could choose from and then I would dye to order. Does this sound realistic? Would you be interested?

Lace yarn is considerably more money for me to buy than sock yarn, so I don't want to dye up yarn that no one will want. On the other hand, I love dyeing it. And that is my conundrum.

Any ideas from you would be most appreciated. You can comment here on my blog, send a personal message to me on Ravelry (ruth on ravelry), or email me here:

fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com.

No obligation, just me noodling around with an idea.

Hanne - Thanks for your thoughts. That's exactly what I was thinking too. People will buy sock yarn just for the fun of it. It's relatively inexpensive and takes not much time to knit up. Lace shawls are another matter. They take a lot of time, and people are much fussier about color. So, yeah, I think this might be a good idea. If you think of anything else, let me know. I appreciate any ideas.

Posie Knit - I was thinking of sending out small samples, perhaps a yard, of the undyed yarn to those who wanted them.

MK - that's a good idea. I have some ideas in my head that I have to translate into actual knitting and charts.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Yarnarian Chats.

We're having a hodgepodge page today.

Tea: You all know that I'm a big time tea drinker. I love it. If I could live on tea and toast (from homemade bread, of course), I would. My sister just introduced me to This is so cool. You make comments about the teas you love, and you get to see other people's comments. And, the really fun thing is that you find new teas and new tea companies. I'm "yarnarian" there. Surprise! This morning I'm drinking New Vithanakande tea from Harney's. I prefer this for the afternoon, but there it was, and I was in the mood for it. Mighty good tea.

My sister: The best sister in the world! She recently spent a few days visiting me and we had such a good time together. I feel as if we're back in our childhood and chatting nonstop. She's an amazing crocheter, and is the person responsible for my latest foray into that activity. I wish we lived near each other. It's a good thing for my marriage that we don't. We'd be in each other's houses nonstop, and the poor Hubbo would be quite neglected.

Crochet: Speaking of crochet, why is it that my arm hurts a lot when I crochet? I think I use many more large muscle movements with the hook than with knitting needles. Piffle upon it. I will have to do this in short spurts or I'll mess up my right arm. Piffle yet again!

Piffle: Think of this as a substitute for a really really good swear word, any swear word that you like. I love to swear, but save it for important occasions. but "piffle"! Ah, I can write it and still maintain my ladylike composure. Sounds good anyhow.

Projects: I finished yet another little scarf the other day. I started this thing way back in July and it kept being put on the back burner. I finally got the mojo back to finish it and here it is. The yarn is a self-striping one I dyed, and you can see how well it works here. Plus, quite unexpected for me, is that it is easily as nice on the wrong side as on the right side.

Sad activity: I went to the hairdresser all set to be beautified. Um, my appointment is tomorrow.
Good activity: I popped into the Stitching Bee, which is right around the corner from the hair salon, and treated myself to some Noro Silk Garden for the 10 Stitch Blanket.

Here are some of the skeins. I bought a bunch, and if I run out, I'll get more. The dye lot doesn't matter at all.

AlisonH - I've been drooling over it for some time now. I do have the cute crochet on in process, but crochet is hurting me at the moment, so I need to take some time off from it. Hence, the 10 stitch blankie. (I love the word "hence")

DJNL - Isn't it neat? I like the fact that I can find all sorts of teas from companies I've never heard of. I added you too. Now to figure out how to add other people. sigh.

CathyR - So far I've frogged the 10 stitch blankie 5 times. I like how it looks much better on the "wrong" side than the side we work on. Are you having the same experience? It's addictive, I think.

skepweaver - Yep, I've used it in a scarf and liked it. I think my major issue is the size of the yarn. Worsted is just plain hard on my hands. If I look at my sweaters, some of which go back 20 years, only 2 are knitted in a worsted heft. Everybody else is much finer. It could be because I have small hands; I've not liked knitting with it long before the wrist problems started. What can I tell you, I'm a skinny yarn knitter.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

The Yarnarian Finishes a Lace Scarf!

You know all those cute little triangular scarves that are so hot right how? I thought I'd do one too. Many changes in ideas, edgings and such, I actually finished my little blobby scarf last night. It doesn't look blobby any more!

Remember these pics?

Well, lookie here! The scarf/fichy/triangle is finished! Lots of pics about the same piece. It'll put you right to sleep and get rid of your insomnia.

And me, in the bathrooms, attempting to take a pic. The Hubbo is off learning how to drive a rescue squad rig, which he already is licensed to do, but he needs to get recertified every 3 years, so he's back taking lessons, and not available for picture taking. It's OK, though, he always takes blurry pics. I do too, as you can see here. So it goes.

There is a mistake in the knitting. I found it after I blocked it and I'm keeping it in to remind me that a. I'm not perfect, and b. Too bad, I'm not frogging. So there. Oh, and this way you'll feel quite proud of yourselves for knitting perfection, so I'm giving you a boost to your self esteems.

Now what to call this thing?

Debra and Scrabblequeen - Thanks. Of course now that I see that mistake, I shall see it forever.

Monika - It was a pretty wild skein of yarn that nobody wanted, so I took it for me. I kind of knew that it would work up well. It does have ice cream hues, doesn't it?

Henya - These little guys could really be addictive plus the odds of wearing them compared to the regular shawls is much higher. Now I want to play with one knitted in the other direction, starting from the longest to the shortest rows. I have my stitch count, so that shouldn't be too hard to do.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Yarnarian Chats About Crochet! Warning: Highly Opinionated Remarks!

Good grief! 3 postings in one day. I'm tired and verbiage seems to be flowing, so put up with one more prolix post. Please.

Granny Squares! Crochet!

Yep, crochet. Poor crochet, it has such a bad rep in this country. I think it's because of all those beyond ugly afghans made out of beyond ugly hot pink yarn that we all grew up with. Well I didn't, but then I have a European mom, and hot pink afghans was not where she came from. (she made tatted doilies and gorgeous crochet doilies, and other pretty things that no one uses today.) The 70's didn't help much either. Do you remember those granny square scarves and pocketbooks that looked like something the cat dragged in? (quick aside here: don't get your knickers in a twist because I'm picking on your favorite afghan that your grandma crocheted. You love it because she made it, not because you like that awful pink yarn. so calm down, hold your girdle, and just relax)

My sister is the crocheter in the family; she produces some very lovely garments. Me, I'm the knitter, but I have a thing for pretty shabby chic stuff, and pretty granny squares just tickle my fancy. So, my sister came for a visit in August, brought her crochet mags, and I fell in love. If you all haven't looked at a good crochet mag lately, just wander over to the book store and check out Interweave Crochet. This is NOT your mother's crochet or your Grandma's crochet. Hey, I'm a mother and a Grammie, so I can say it. Really lovely sophisticated garments. Yeah, every now and then, something truly idiotic appears, but you know that knitting mags can produce butt-ugly garments too. (There is a certain knitting mag that's out now and has maybe the ugliest garment I've ever seen. Trust me, this is beyond ugly!)

So, yeah, granny squares. Even the Hubbo finds them intriguing! The trick when making a granny throw is to attach those little pieces as you go along. Oh, and work in your threads or you'll be sorry. There's something very satisfying about making a little square or hexagon.

My take on granny squares is to use sport wt yarn or skinnier. I don't like to work with worsted. It hurts my arms and wrists, and it bothers me even with crocheting. But my little scarf is done in teensy weensy fingering wt yarn, and is quite flexible, and the granny afghan is in sport wt, so my body is happier.

OH, and here's the next horrific thought! Are you ready? I'm using, gasp, a lot of acrylic yarn for the afghan, plus a bunch of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino! Shocking, I know, but these acrylics come from the finest acrylic goats out there. Soft, and flexible, and indestructible, and inexpensive. Well not the DB yarn, but Snuggly yarn & Encore DK? Hey, it's not bad stuff at all.

Yarn snobs, get a life. I'm a wool person from way back when, but there are times when acrylic is just fine.

And now that I've offended all the folks who love those pink afghans, and those who are wool snobs, and those who liked the orange and brown granny pocketbooks of the 70's, I'll wander downstairs and make an egg and some homemade bread for supper.

The Yarnarian and Goddessknts team up!

Renee, she of the amazing Mystery Shawls KALs, and I are teaming up for her Mystery Shawl '09. Here is all the info. I'm dyeing the lace yarn for this KAL, and it's very pretty indeed!

For a mere $6, you can have the fun of a mystery shawl KAL designing by a star in the field. And you can buy my lace yarn for the shawl at a reduced price on Etsy. Gotta be a member to buy those colors.

Here's how the Mystery Shawl KAL works: You pay your pittance, sign up on Yahoo, and then Renee sends you lots of info, including a little swatch for you to work up to make sure your gauge is OK. When the KAL (knit along)starts, she sends you a chart each week. You knit (OK, you try to knit) each week to keep up. When you're done, you have a gorgeous shawl. The mystery is that you have no picture, just charts. Her designs are exquisite, and there is a lot of chat for getting help. It's a lot of fun, and really there is no pressure to keep up. There are a few folks who knit like demons, and they proceed way ahead of the rest of us. Me, I'm so far behind that when I retire from retirement, I'll have lots of pretty knitting to do.

The yarn I'm using is a brand new one. It's called Carrie Yarn, is 80% merino/20% silk, has very good yardage (approx 1300 yards give or take), and is quite delicious to work on. Very soft, takes dye so well, and I like it very, very much. I've dyed up 4 colors for you to choose from, and I've reduced the price for members of this KAL. and why not? It's nice for you, and good for me, and a little price saving is always appreciated.

And that's today's self promotion.

KV - Yes, it is exciting. This is the 3rd time I'm doing it, but this time, to save what's left of my sanity, I'm not doing custom orders. If I did another custom job of this size, I'd be on your couch so fast, you would be stunned! I may regret this, but we shall see. I like Renee's patterns. I have a bunch with no time to knit them up, alas.

It's just me Wendy - see my answer above.

The Yarnarian, Crochet and Slobbiness.

I've got it bad, really bad. Not that I'm deserting my knitting, far from it, but all I want to do now is crochet. I reserved a bunch of books at the library, I'm playing with motifs, and having a grand time. And, of course, I'm working on the blankie.

Years ago, I borrowed a book, Hip to crochet : 23 contemporary projects for today's crocheter, from the library and bought some Frog Tree alpaca at a yarn shop on Cape Cod. You do realize that alpaca makes me itch. Bought the yarn anyhow, in the hopes that a crocheted scarf would not itch. Uh huh. I can do delusion with the best of them.

So I bought a hook and yarn, and proceeded to happily make little motifs, join them together while I was working them, and got about 1/4 of the scarf done. Then, having mastered the technique, I got bored as usual, and went on to knitting. OK. Last night I dreamed about this scarf, and this morning decided to find it in my vast scrimmage of UFOs.

I knew where it was: in the group of boxes next to my bed, along the wall, where I put stuff I can't think of where else to put. Here's the slobbiness of the post. I am an unrepentant disorganized messy person. Hey, you have your mishegoss; I have mine. (mishegoss - Hebrew for craziness, as in a meshuggana person) OK, so lo and behold (notice the biblical moment here), I went through the mess of boxes, and there it was! Do I still have the pattern? Do I remember what size crochet hook I used? Are you nuts? Of course not!

So, now I reserved that book plus a bunch of other ones, and maybe I might finish the little scarf. It's quite cute, and I can only wear it over a layer of clothing. But who cares, I would only wear it over a turtleneck anyhow.

AND, here's the best part of my attempt to organize my mess: I found lots of yarn, a book I didn't ever remember ordering, and other assorted yarny stuff. Cool, huh? Of course it's now on top of the bed, which I haven't made yet, so in order to make the bed, I'll have to put it all away. Oh, wait, I still have all those boxes. Heh heh heh. Shall I be mature and really put it all away? Stay tuned. You never know.

PS - I did clear it up, but some of it went back into a box or two. However, I got rid of 2 boxes, so for me that's really good.

Henya - It's gotten so out of hand. Even I, who can tolerate a lot of schmutz, am not a happy camper. I did clean up the bed mess, but forgot to put away a large, heavy book. Got into bed long after the Hubbo, and couldn't figure out why I couldn't draw the comforter up to my chin. the blasted book!

Linda - The floor under the bed is already taken with the Hubbo's weird junk. Notice that my stuff is the good stuff, and his is the bad stuff. Hubs, darling, if you are reading this, hah on you. Wicked wife.

Holly - I'm going to answer you with your own post. Whoo hoo. Is this exciting or what?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Yarnarian Discusses Yarn Names & Needs Help!

Where do I get my yarn names from? That is the question. They come to me in moments of madness. Let me tell you that finding names is really hard sometimes. I tend to think in terms of certain names or colors, and find myself reusing some names. I seem to like the words Breeze, Rust, Meadow, Mountain a lot. I'm in a serious rut here. I've done musical names, ice cream names, nature names. If I do one more yarn that I call Lagoon or River or anything like that, I shall scream. I'm even resorting to finding those words in other languages and using them.

So, if you have some good goofy names, I'd love to hear them. Maybe I'd dye up yarn to match the names. Forget Sludge or Scum or names like that. Also, forget Dawn or Twilight. Yarns with names like that don't sell. I don't know why; they just don't.

Wouldn't it be fun to dye up yarn that matches what I think the name means? So if you suggest Rigmarole, maybe I'll do red, and yellow, and blue, and jade or navy or orange or something that goes around in a rigmarole.

Curse words and words for bodily functions are out, too. Not that I don't like the name Fuzzbutt, but it has certain connotations that might not endear itself to a buyer. Unless, of course, you are a buyer who likes that name and the colorway that would be attached to it. I did have a cat, whom I regularly called Fuzzbutt. He didn't seem to mind it either. I do like a good curse word, but I try to run a clean Etsy store, so forget it.

If you are thinking of a certain ground hog, forget it! I know who you are, so don't even try to sneak one of those words into this blog.

Jen - That's a great idea, but how many Chieftains and Abba and Bruce songs can I use. I'm stuck in a time warp of way back. I do love classical music. I could call my yarns Symphony in A, or The Ruth Cantata, I suppose. Is this not silly. I'm glad you are suffering along with me. tee hee.

Rooie - Those are way cool names. I could do all the characters in the Canterbury Tales, too.

Scrabblequeen - I think Cardigan Bay ought to be grayish with bits of brown and black. Great idea about place names.

Sarah - And the miller, don't forget the miller.

MK - These are great!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Yarnarian Checks In.

Where have I been? All over the joint. Have I accomplished much? Maybe. I'm at that project mode where I'm working on the same old projects and it doesn't look as if I've done anything. I have, but you won't be able to tell.

Well, I did do something neat. I skeined up that 8.5 yard skein, the mega skein, into a nice, neat skein. It took me forever, and let me tell you, I worked as efficiently as I could. Winding up that long of a skein is a major project. This one is going to stripe so beautifully!

Here's the original, Bluebird of Happiness:

See that nice long color at the bottom? We are talking lots of yards here. Nice stripe if I say so myself!

Here's how it looks in a normal skein:

The yarn is Penny, approx 380 yards/skein, sock wt of course. Extra cost because of the time, serious time, it takes me to do these. I now understand why indie dyers who have done striping yarns, stop doing them: lots of labor. I, on the other hand, only do them when I feel like it, and I like them for myself, so there you have it. I really ought to use some other colors, though, I'm in a serious rut here. Any ideas, oh, socketteers?

I have 2 of these pretties available. You can buy them directly from moi at the splendid cost of $23 for a single skein or $43 for both of them, plus the normal $3 shipping if you're in the States.

fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com

OK, you talked me into it. Pics of never-ending projects!

1. The scarf that has been going on since early July. Mindless knitting, and I can't seem to finish it. Pleasant to knit, I just have been thinking other projects. I have about 3 inches to go, wash, block, and ta da, I have a cute scarf. This is done on one of my very early striping yarns. Guess what? It stripes!

Striping socks. This is so much fun to knit. Notice the pattern change in the instep. Hey, I get bored easily, and anyhow, I don't want a lot of pattern where the shoes are: the socks get all bunched up at that point, and I don't like the look.

And, the goofy little triangular scarf I am knitting. I'm now at the point where it's taking some time to do each row. I have lots of yarn so I'm going to knit until I either get tired of it, or get to the end of the yarn, whichever comes first. I like this 2 row pattern. It's done in a way that you would never expect, and it's very pleasant to knit. Not quite auto-pilot, but almost. And if you make a mistake, you find it pretty quickly. When I finish it, I'm going to mark down how many stitches I'm working on, and then do up a reverse scarf. I think that going from a large amount of stitches to the beginning ought to be a lot of fun, at least you know it will come to an end at some point. giggle.

Yes, I know, the scarf is very bright. But can't you see it on a dark, gloomy day? It's guaranteed to brighten up my face, and would be a pretty accessory for my usual dark winter clothing. One does not live by black, brown and navy alone. One needs zip. And one provides zip in her scarves.

Words to Live by: Check out today's post from and

No, I haven't gone all spiritual on you, I leave religion and such to you and yours, but every now and then, I read a post or two and it resonates with me. What do you think of these?


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