Thursday, July 28, 2011

A new LYS!

At the end of June, we moved out of our house and home of five years and moved into a new home 225 miles away.  My husband and I both started new jobs two days after move day.  So the last month has been full of plenty of change and stress.  We've been handling it pretty well, all things considered, but all the change has been wearing me down.  I started worrying for the safety of those around me because it was clearly a matter of time before I would throttle one of them.  It was time for an escape day.   

We moved from a small town of about 25,000 to an itty-bitty town of about 7,000.  So when I take an escape day, I mean just that.  I get in my car and drive to the next biggest population center.  Fortunately, there's a university town about an hour away from us, so that's where I headed to explore.  And guess what I found?  A great local yarn store!

I meant to take pictures to show you, but I was so excited I forgot.  It's a cute store with a very friendly and helpful saleswoman.  They had a great selection of Madelinetosh, Berroco, Debbie Bliss, and Rowan.  Going in, I decided I could get one thing, like one beautiful skein of something or other.  But guess what I got instead?

I have been dying to read this book!  I really want to improve my sweater skills, and that's what this book is all about.  I'm really eager to read the part on swatches, as I have so many questions.  (If you wash and block your swatch and your gauge is off, do you rip it out or keep it?  How does a tiny bit of knit fabric realistically mimic how a garment will behave over time?  How can you be sure you will continue to knit at the same gauge once you get in the rhythm of knitting a whole garment?)  Plus, Ysolda Teague is Scottish and that is very cool. 

My first impression is: Wow, did this woman earn her money!  There is a LOT of work in this book!  Not just the design and production, which is substantial, but the content!  She has worked through a lot of technical knitting situations, and I appreciate her sharing her knowledge with us.  Definitely worth my $32. 

The pattern I like the best is Angostura.  I can see myself making this. 

I will certainly be back to this store. 

The yarn store would have been enough on it's own, but I also took myself to see Harry Potter.  I came back relaxed and feeling much more myself.  Everyone around me gets to live. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Raison d'etre

I suppose that the purpose of first posts is to prove oneself worthy of existence.  Here's why the world needs my blog, and all that.  So I will oblige and provide the reason I am starting a knitting blog:  I want to.

I love knitting.  I think about it all the time, and I do it whenever I have a spare minute.  I end my day with knitting, and I usually stay up far too late.  Sometimes I feel a little guilty about that, a topic I'm sure to get into sooner or later.

Why the sanctuary?  Sanctuary is a place of peace and refuge, but also inspiration and sending-forth.  My knitting is that for me.  It's an escape from the stress of my work, but it's also something that gives me confidence and reminds me that I am a creative person.

I live in a small town, and I don't know any other knitters, so I turn to the internet to see others who love knitting.  I'm on ravelry a lot, and it's great.  I have all my projects there.  But I wanted another way to keep track of my knitting.  I want to record not just the finished object, but the story that goes with it. 

If no one reads the blog, honestly, I'd be a bit bummed.  I do want to be part of this larger knitting community.  But really, it's for me.

So here we go!  Here's what I'm working on:

It's a cabled vest for my husband in Cascade 220.  I searched for months and couldn't find a pattern that was just right, so I decided to make it up, something I've never done before.  I've already spent hours on it, and I've only done 8 rows of ribbing!  I did a 66 stitch swatch, washed and blocked it.  I've measured his favorite vest and done gauge calculations.  There are still a few things I'm uncertain about (how will the armholes affect the cable pattern?), but I'm sick of planning.  I want to get to work already.

There's so much about patterns I take for granted.  I'm ready to start the cable pattern, but I need a set up row to place markers to let me know where to cable.  So I've got to figure out where the cables go and where to place markers.  More math.  I'm nervous I won't have enough yarn.  I'm more proficient in lace than cables, so I wasn't aware that cables use a lot of extra yarn.  Makes sense, though.  It's also unnerving to not know what this thing is really going to look like.

I keep asking C what he wants out of this vest.  Does he like this swatch, those cables?  He says, "I want it to be brown."  It's possible that my standards are a bit to high, but also possible his are too low. 

Since this project is simultaneously taking forever and giving me little actual knitting to do, I'm also working on this:

It's a Cladonia for the Through the Loops summer shawl KAL.  It's in Malabrigo Sock in Lettuce and Rayon Vert.  I am loving it to pieces. 

Things in my queue I'm eager to get to:
  • February Lady Sweater, since it's like a ravelry rite of passage
  • Bliss, with some more Cascade 220 I bought during the Webs anniversary sale
  • Abby's Blanket.  I could make this for a baby shower coming up, but I really want to make it for myself.  
Thanks for coming by!  I'm looking forward to sharing this knit sanctuary with you.