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January 2008
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March 2008

Project Creep

You think you're going along just fine, and then suddenly, you find you're suffering from project creep. It sneaks up on you, silently and with a smile on its face, and you think all is well.... until you have 3 times as many projects going than you really had planned to!

Take me, for example. Remember a little while ago, I mentioned I had cleaned up my stash, put it in 5 bins, and I had resolved to work on ONE project at a time? I wanted to simplify my life and my thinking. Having 47+ projects hanging around was weighing me down, both physically and mentally, more than I knew. Once I put them all away into bins, out of sight and "filed", I felt a lot better, and actually, I knit a lot more. The more projects I had hanging around that were started but nowhere near completed, the more I just ignored them all and chose not to knit -- on anything! So the only knitting I did was to start new projects, which I would knit on for maybe one evening, and then rarely pick up again. Don't get me wrong, I loved each of these projects, and I still do; but because I had so MUCH going on, I did nothing with any of them. Starting tons of projects but never making any headway on any of them is like only ever eating dessert. It tastes sweet while you're eating it, but it doesn't make you feel very good in the long run.

Once I put all my projects away and worked on only one project, things were better. There was only one basket by my chair, with one project in it. I could breathe and move. There was a lot more room around me. I found my cats again. I knit a LOT more... I no longer had to face the decision, before even touching any needles, about what to choose to work on, and there was no longer the related guilt about what I was not working on. Projects are like children, you feel a little guilty neglecting one of them for the others. And like children, they are fun to start.... time-consuming and not as much fun to finish.

One project at a time was a dream. I could knit on it a little each night and actually see progress. I could even finish things after a week or so. Geez, just like a real knitter. But then one day I started a project that initially, anyway, seemed more complicated and was not so good to take places with me, the white lace shawl in handspun laceweight yarn. It wasn't mindless, easy knitting. I needed a project I could work on standing in line at the bank or post office ... I decided I would allow myself two projects, then. One that I *really* wanted to work on, that could be a little bit harder, more challenging, fun; and an easy, small project that I could just knit in my sleep. So I pulled out a half done glove project ..... and my project creep began.

The half done glove, cabled, in worsted weight Donegal Tweed, is lovely; actually one glove is done and the cuff is done on the second one. I decided to make this be my standing-in-line knitting. However, the moment I picked it up to take it to work with me, I realized the pattern (one that I wrote, and pretty much only had notes on, from over a year ago) might take more thought than a standing in line project required. However, since it was such a small project, I decided to leave it by the chair and work on it alternately with the white shawl because the gloves would be done *so quickly*. Yeah, right. They are still sitting in the same basket on the floor and I have never touched them.

So I grabbed a ball of sock yarn and started plain stockinette socks. I took them to work. They are perfect for knitting while standing in line. I am half done the first one, to just past the heel. They are very boring. I started leaving them in a bag in the office and not taking them to the post office with me; it is more fun to just stand in line and doze. I have not knit on those socks in a looooong time.

Then, I was bitten by the Hanne Falkenberg bug. (You can read about it in an earlier post.) So I started that project and fell in love with it and let the shawl and the gloves languish. Yes, I feel guilty, and yes, they are still sitting there looking at me all the time. Sigh. I still love them both.

One day not too long ago a skein of Alpaca Sox from Classic Elite flung itself into my arms and said, take me. I had no choice. I now have a lovely start on the Hedgerow Socks from And then a couple days later, a fabulous sales rep entered into a conspiracy with Victoria to make me take a sample skein of Opal sock yarn, and I *had* to start knitting that sock right away because I am evaluating whether to sell Opal sock yarn (by the way, let me know how you all like Opal sock yarn, okay? I can't decide whether to get it for the store or not...).

So let me see, that puts me at one glove, a shawl, a jacket, and three pairs of sockse. Definitely a bad case of project creep. I know the answer is to put away everything except one sock project and one "other" project, and I am willing to throw the gloves back into the bin, because even though they are so close to being done, they do not make my heart sing, at the moment. I can pretty easily pick one sock to work on (the Hedgerow Socks). But I can't stop knitting the Hanne Falkenberg and I don't want to put the white shawl away because I love it. However, if I love it that much and I put it away until the Hanne Falkenberg jacket is done, maybe that will make me work on the jacket more strenuously so I can get it done and get back to the white shawl. I hope so!

Thanks for helping me talk through my project creep problems. Now I know what to do to get back on track. I knew I could count on you to be a good listener!!!

Happy knitting :) And beware of project creep!!!

New Sock Yarn :)

Hi! this is just a short post so I can get back to some knitting! woohoo!

I just wanted to let everyone know that I just got in a couple new sock yarns from Berroco! I literally just unpacked the boxes today, so they are not yet on my website, but until they are, you can stop by the store or call me toll free (1-888-691-8358) if you want to order any.

Due to the increased hue and cry for more more more more self-patterning sock yarns, I picked up Berroco Sox, a great wool/nylon self-patterning sock yarn. It is also great for fingerless mittens or hats, too. You can click here to look at the great colors that are available, but here is a little peek:


Berroco Sox sells for $12.95/100 gram ball. You can click here to get a Berroco Sox free pattern for a for a simple, easy to knit baby pullover!

The other new Berroco sock yarn that came is called Comfort Socks. Here is a sneak peek at what Comfort Sock looks like:

Now you KNOW that I am a natural fiber fiberholic. I love love love wool and alpaca and cotton and all that. But!! I am not the only knitter in the world (yeah, I know, hard to believe, eh?) and I actually get asked relatively often about sock yarn that doesn't contain any wool. Either the knitter can't or doesn't want to use wool, or the sock recipient can't or doesn't want to wear wool. Comfort Sock solves that problem! It is a sock weight/fingering weight yarn that is 50% nylon and 50% acrylic, and it is as soft as the proverbial baby's bottom (or any other baby's bottom, for that matter). It will be great for socks of course, but it is also fabulous for baby and kid things or anything that you want to be in a fingering weight, very very very soft, machine wash and dry, did I mention how freaking SOFT it is??? and cheap, too: only $7.95 per 100 gram ball. I'm not usually a big fan of synthetic yarns but wow, is this stuff nice. Hmmm it would feel quite lovely as a knit 2 purl 2 ribbed scarf around my delicate neck, hmmmmmmm..... and the colors are great too! I got 4 solid colors (white, navy, red, black, grey) and 5 variegated colors which are muted like a soft spring morning on the water.

You can look at Comfort Sock by clicking HERE and you can get a free doll pattern that uses Comfort Sock by clicking HERE. But be careful, you will probably want to knit Victor a whole wardrobe of doll clothes to go with him, too! And he could become Victoria instead of Victor pretty easily, really.

Have fun knitting and I will let you know about my project creep problems soon!!!


Spindle Porn & Glass Lust

[edit] For some reason Typepad insists quite obstinately on putting in a football-field parcel of white space above each of my tables that I want to display my pictures in, in this post. Sorry. Just scroll down a bunch... pictures will eventually be found!

Wow, new stuff keeps showing up at Unique One all the time, lately!!

Today was a very very very good day to be a yarn shop lady. I got to play with some of my favorite things in the whole world: fiber implements of creation, made of lovely, sexy glasssssssss..... :-)

First of all, I got glass hand spindles, works of art; Sheila & Michael Ernst, the creators of these lovely items, call them "Don't Drop" Spindles. They are made of Pyrex, so they are relatively durable, but you wanna bet I would have a nice thick pillow ready to catch these incredibly beautiful spindles. They are gorgeous, and when I set eyes upon them, for the first time in my life I really understood what my friend Kristin meant when she said that feeling the beautiful softness of cashmere makes her cry.... these spindles are so perfectly lovely, it bends my mind to look at them. And yet I cannot stop looking at them...

I only got 4 of them, two .75 ounce spindles, one the most delicate of pink and one a lovely, earthy blue. These retail for about $65 each (dang, I forgot to write down the prices of the spindles for my blogging later); two are 1.25 ounces, one clear with green and purple, and one clear with a gorgeous, deep, dark red. The heavier spindles sell for around $85. Here are the promised spindle porn pictures for you to grow weak in the knees:











Note this last picture .... the charming small glass balls on the rim of the spindle not only create weight, but they also keep the spindle from rolling around when you set it down. Great design!

In addition to glass spindles, I also received MORE glass implements to make my heart beat faster.... I have had glass circular needles for a while now; today I not only received a full shipment of more glass circular needles (they retail for $30.95), but I also got a brand new product: glass double pointed needles! The double pointed sets retail for $48.95. Here is more visual imagery to make you gasp:







In addition to the glass shipment, I am happy to tell you that we have the new Spring 2008 Interweave Knits magazine in stock:


Also, I got a shipment of the absolute newest Heartstrings Fiberarts patterns from Jackie E-S!!! Heartstrings fans, you have something to be thrilled with: here is a sneak peek at what new items Jackie has designed for you:

Lacy Wraps:



Beaded Socks:



That's it for now! Have a great day, and happy knitting! Oh, and by the way, if you are going to see me at the NETA Spa Knit & Spin in Freeport in a couple of weeks, I do plan to bring my glass collection with me! However, if you see anything in my pictures that you absolutely MUST HAVE, and are afraid someone else might snap it up before you can get to it, call me toll free 1-888-691-8358 and you can purchase it ahead of time. I will bring it to you at the Spa!

Hugs and wooly kisses :)

Random Stripe Generator!

Go HERE to see what I am posting about.

OMG someone has created a wonderful thing on the internet... it is a random stripe generator. You can click what colors you want to use (look at your yarn stash, odds and ends you need to use up); then choose the numbers of rows you want to use per color; then choose how many rows to generate (up to a thousand).

If you don't like the stripe pattern that is generated, just keep clicking Refresh to see other choices, until you get the one that looks like it could use the colors you have in the amounts necessary, or in the order you like, or in what looks most appealing to you! It generates the pattern in both a chart form and in text.

I love love love this internet gadget!

A few years ago I spent almost a year spinning some quite bright colors ... about 6 to 8 ounces each of hot pink, bright turquoise, blindingly bright yellow, burnt orange, and a vibrant olivey green. I have never really figured out what I want to do with these skeins of yarn... they are SO bright together. And yet I do want to use them together, in one garment. Here are a couple stripe patterns I generated using the Random Stripe Generator; the first one uses prime numbers, I think, and the second one was just random clicking on my part:



This last one uses 1 to 6 rows of each of 5 colors, all randomly chosen, which might resemble the kind of grouping you would get by using dice. Remember that thing I did a long time ago by using dice?

I Love Gadgets!

When I go to a yarn shop, I always look at what they have for knitting gadgets: stitch holders, row counters, tape measures, pins, and on and on. I love that stuff. I love to see the new, pretty colors of plastic; I love the funny little shapes or new kinds of materials that the gadget makers come up with. Knitting gadgets are like the pickles and olives of the dinner table.

Sooo..... we got in a shipment of needles yesterday, and it included some new -- to me -- gadgets, most of them from the KA company. You may have seen these in other shops, and they are probably widely available. But I never had seen them before, so they excite me!

Just in time for Valentine's.... heart-shaped stitch markers!

Sewing up your sweater might just be more fun with these bamboo needles!

And in the same bamboo vein.... bamboo marking pins! You could use these to pin your sweater together before you sew it up. :-) They also could make wicked cunnin' miniature yarn ball & needles Christmas ornaments.


You may have seen that bright green locking row counter? Well this is like if you mated it with the traditional red Katcha Katcha (non-locking) row counter. It is shaped like the Katcha Katcha but it locks like the green machine, and best of all it is pink pink pink pink PINK!!!

It's the little things in life that make me happy :)

Happy Knitting!