Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sexy Beast

I blocked Vulpix over the weekend and it changed a lot, like I was hoping it would.  I took a better "Before" picture so you can really see the difference.

I don't want to show you the "After" picture taken in the same location, because during blocking, this thing got so huge that I couldn't get a picture of the whole thing without also getting a picture of all of the junk in that room.  I had to extend my arm and hold the camera diagonally in order to get the whole thing in the frame, so it's not like I can just crop it, either.  It's a beast... but the good kind of beast.

The Enabler was pretty surprised at how huge it got too, as you can tell by his "surprised" face.

His arms aren't even long enough to hold this thing out by the tips.  And he's got freakishly long arms.  Like a gorilla.  A cute gorilla.

The neighbor's fence can barely hold this thing up either.  Although, to be fair, that probably says more about the fence than the shawl.

Seriously though, look at those short rows!  Look at them!  Did you look?  Dem short rows be crazy.  Japanese short rows are very cool and they make for a very nice looking finished product.  I'm totally going to use that technique again, especially since learning how to do them was a little crazy making and you can't make me NOT use it now that I know how!

Totally worth it, though.

He's lucky he's such a good model for the shawls that I make him.  It helps convince me to make him more of them.  And Stephen West has a lot of lovely man-shawl patterns so there's no lack of resources!  He's also got quite the sense of humour.  I doubt I'll ever be able to get the Enabler to model for me like that though.

*sad trumpet*

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Yarn diet

September has suddenly fluttered in and I'm quite happy about that.  I love summer but around this time of year I get tired of being sweaty all of the time and I get excited to start wearing my scarves again.

I finished knitting Vulpix for the Enabler.  I have a terrible photo below just to prove that it's off the needles, but I wouldn't actually say that it is done.

It needs some serious blocking, for two reasons.  One is that I calculated I didn't have enough yarn (or, at least not enough yarn to risk it) to do the full garter stitch edging as written, so the bottom edge is missing four rows of garter stitch that would undoubtedly help it keep from curling up so much.  The second reason is that whenever a knitted item has more than one yarn (fair isle, intarsia, stripes, etc), the two strands sometimes jostle a bit at the points where they are being switched back and forth.  This shawl (yeah, it's a shawl, let's not call it a triangle scarf to try to make it sound more manly) is no exception.  It has an intarsia section with slipped stitches, and multiple stripes with short rows.  We're talking major jostling here.  It needs a good long soak so that the two strands can work out their differences.  Like two dudes sharing a steam room after a wrestling match.  They don't dislike each other, but they have to let the tension go.  They are frenemies.

I will post pictures of the blocked Vulpix once it is, well, blocked.  I may also post pictures of dudes sharing a steam room.  No promises though...  perhaps the mental image is enough.

So.  It turns out that while on vacation, I bought a lot of yarn.  I did post a picture of the haul at the end of the last post, but I wanted to take some time to talk a little bit about a couple of the acquisitions in particular.  Namely, these beauties:

That would be Artyarns Silk Rhapsody Glitter Light (2316) on the left, and Handmaiden Lace Silk (smoke) on the right.  I'm not posting links.  If you want to get a rough idea of specs and how much these cost you can look it up yourself, but I'm not doing the work for you.  Let's just say that when I bought the lace silk, it was the most I'd ever spent on a single skein of yarn... and then I bought two of them because there were only two in the shop and I kept thinking "what if I need two of them??"

Then I saw the teal glitter yarn in a different store and picked it up and gasped at the price because I'd never seen yarn that was that expensive before... and then gasped at how beautiful it was up close and how amazing it felt and quickly grabbed the only other skein of it because I knew I couldn't leave without it and because I kept thinking "what if I need two of them??"

In both cases, the shopkeeper admired my choice and said "What are you going to make with them?"  And in both cases I said that I didn't know but for the moment I was content to have them sit in my yarn cabinet and look gorgeous.  Then they would nod knowingly and I would go on my merry way feeling giddy.

And now, they sit in my yarn cabinet, on display with all of the other gorgeous yarn, and it turns out that I have a great deal of gorgeous yarn.  The skeins pictured above do outshine the other yarn to some degree, however that's largely because they are actually very shiny.  What I realized after putting away the entire haul, was that I am acquiring beautiful yarn at a much faster rate than I am able to knit it, and also that it would be a shame to let all of this amazing yarn go un-knit.

Thus, I am going on a yarn diet.  It's not going to be a zero acquisition diet, because I have committed to a couple of projects but do not have the appropriate yarn in my stash.  What it will be is a ban on "just because" yarn, and also probably a ban (at least temporarily) on buying yarn for projects for myself.  When I look at my stash, I see a great deal of plans and good intentions.  More than enough to keep me busily knitting for a year (or longer), so my goal is to not buy any frivolous yarn until September next year.  I'm hoping this will help a little with stash reduction and, let's be honest, the bank account.

If it gets tough, I'll just pull out the above skeins and hold them for awhile.  They're still making me giddy.

P.S. Fibre doesn't count.