Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Light Posting This Week

Work is still insane, although school starts today in my town (yeah - I'm doing the happy dance over that fact!). Vacation starts on Saturday, and I'm not really ready to leave yet. And to top it all off, I'm working away on my various projects but not really accomplishing much. So I probably won't be posting much this week, and I won't be able to post at all on vacation. But I'll be back sometime around September 8th with stories of my travels and hopefully an FO or two. Take care, and have a great Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Why Scarves?

It wouldn't surprise me if some of you have been asking yourselves why I am so in love with scarves right now. I've been wondering the same thing myself. I do wear scarves a lot in winter, really almost every day, but still, how many scarves does one girl need?

However, I do have a couple of (hopefully good) reasons for focusing on scarves. The sad truth is that my stash will never be knitted or crocheted down unless I make a lot of scarves. I bought a lot of yarn in small amounts over the years for the purpose of making scarves. It seemed like a good and inexpensive way to try out new yarns and stitch patterns. So if I am going to get a handle on the stash, I need to make scarves in quantity. (And in case you are wondering, the stashdown is going to continue into 2009.)

I have also come to realize that I will never be addicted to sock knitting. I am glad that I know how to do it and that I have been able to pass some of those skills along to friends. But I don't think I will ever be the sort of person to churn out sock after sock. So scarves are my preferred small projects, especially for travelling. And at least some of the sock yarn stash will work for scarves, furthering the stashdown attempt.

As far as what I am going to do with all of them, right now I am considering them "stock". I would really like to find a way to sell at least some of the scarves to raise money for MS research. I'm still pondering the best way to go about that. While I ponder, I am going to put the finished scarves aside so that when I am ready, I will actually have something to sell.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Crocheted Scarves

You know, I really do have a lot of scarves going. I keep losing track of them! That's why posting about them is helping me to keep them straight.

Ok, in addition to the scarf I started crocheting for the MS Walk, I started two more crocheted scarves last weekend. The first is a simple V-st pattern.
I'm using 2 skeins of Elsbeth Lavold's Hempathy. It's interesting to work with a "new to me" fiber. I like it, but I think it will need some blocking when finished.

For the second scarf, I found a stitch pattern in Super Stitches Crochet that incorporates double crochets worked over chains to create an arched effect.
In the book, the stitch pattern is called "Arch 1", which is not terribly descriptive. I'm using a skein of Cherry Tree Hill Glitter Alpaca that has been in the stash forever. It is softer than my pussy cat (and that's saying something, since I have the best groomed cat in Christendom), and I just love the autumn colors. The yarn is fingering weight, and that fact along with the colors led me to search for a stitch pattern that was dense and yet open at the same time, and I think that Arch 1 fills the bill nicely.

If I ever make significant progress on any of them, I'll let you know. Except for today, I haven't been able to work on them at all this week. Ah, well, vacation is coming soon!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Knitted Scarves

I thought I would talk about the knitted scarves I started last weekend first. Tomorrow I will post about the crocheted scarves. I didn't take new pictures of Montego Bay and the Opera Scarf because they don't look any different than the first time I started them, which you can see here and here.

The first new scarf I started was the Mini Horseshoe Lace scarf.
I was looking for some sort of chevron stitch pattern, but most of them need multiples of too many stitches to be useful for a scarf. But then I found the "mini horseshoe lace" pattern in a book called The Knitter's Bible by Claire Crompton. It's worked over a multiple of 6 stitches plus 5, so it's perfect for a scarf. The yarn is a fingering weight merino that I got at Rhinebeck last October. Unfortunately, the yarn didn't come with a label, so I don't have any other info about it.

The second scarf, (which I said I would start Sunday and actually did) is the Japanese Waves scarf.
For this scarf, I am using a skein of Dream In Color Smooshy, in the Deep Seaflower colorway. I just love the colors in this yarn! I have a feeling that this scarf is going to get a lot of love.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm Having So Much Fun!

Man, have I developed a bad case of "startitis" this weekend! And I am enjoying every minute of it. So far, I have resurrected the crocheted scarf that I started in May (the one I took on the MS Walk - I put it down after the walk and haven't worked on it since, shame on me). I have started 2 more crocheted scarves. I found a pattern for a knitted chevron scarf (not exactly a "feather and fan" pattern, but close enough) and cast on. I have also restarted both Montego Bay and the Opera scarves, and both are going better. And I am fixing to start the Japanese Waves scarf when I finish this post. I think 7 scarves should keep me busy on vacation! But it has been so much fun to look through stitch pattern books and become reacquainted with the stash. (Yes, all of the scarves I have started come out of stash.) This was just what I needed to re-energize my knitting and crocheting.

I haven't taken any pictures yet because I've only got a couple of rows done on each scarf. I will post pictures and more thorough descriptions of each scarf over next week. Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Time to Myself

It looks like I am going to have some time to myself the next week or so. I am off today because I am working tomorrow. The DH is working on Sunday, so that's another day to myself. I will be off next Wednesday until 4:30 in the afternoon, so that's more time to myself. And next weekend is the library's booksale, so the DH will be busy from Friday until Monday. This is very good, because we are leaving on vacation the Saturday before Labor Day, and I need to decide what projects I want to take with me. We are going out to visit with my BIL & SIL in central New York state for a few days, and then we are going to spend 3 days exploring the Finger Lakes district. My BIL has a big old goofy black labrador dog, so I need to factor Sambeau's antics into my project selection. (He just loves to steal anything that isn't nailed down. He really is a hoot!)

So today will be spent making decisions. Do I work on existing projects and try to finish a couple before we go? Or do I start something new to take on vacation? I really have a hankering to make a knitted Feather and Fan scarf out of some sort of variegated yarn. The last one I started curled so badly that I ended up frogging it. And I really would like to make at least one lace piece so that Summer of Lace isn't a total failure. I still have over a month for that KAL, so I should be able to finish something. I'll be back tomorrow to let you know what I decide.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


No fibery news today (although I did manage to start an adult hat yesterday). So instead, I thought I would share a link to a blog that I just discovered this morning - Cakewrecks. I have been reading through the posts and literally laughing until I had tears streaming down my face. I mean, who can't relate to decorated cakes gone terribly wrong? And the commetary is delightful. Now, if you will excuse me, I'm going back to finish reading through the archives.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Think I'm Back!

At least, I am going to try to get back to blogging on a regular basis. Wow, this summer was tough. I feel like my life has been completely shut down except for work. I have missed every crochet guild meeting all summer, and this month, I didn't even make it to our Borders get together. I was just too tired. I'm sure it has to do with the high gas prices, but in 10 years at the library, I have never seen a busier summer. We have struggled to keep up with the most basic tasks every day. The only bright spot has been the incredible team of teen volunteers working with us this summer. I have been grateful that I haven't needed to worry about the shelving and the date due card stamping, since I have had to worry about just about everything else. (But then, that's why I'm the manager and get the big money - to worry!)

So, as you can imagine, not much has been happening on the crafting front. I have spent a lot of time on the weekends staring at my projects and thinking about working on them. But then I just couldn't bring myself to actually pick them up. But since I couldn't stop crocheting entirely, I did something I almost never do. I found 2 easy patterns, and I have been making them over and over again. First up, I have been making baby hats.
I think I have made one more hat since I took this photo. (I found this pattern on the web not all that long ago, but the URL isn't working at the moment, so the pattern may not be available any more.)

And then I have been making baby booties.
Again, I think I have one or two more pairs made since this photo. I am absolutely cringing at the amount of sewing I have to do on these, but I will get it done. (This pattern is my modification of Bev's Very Easy Booties.)

The hats and booties will be donated either to a couple of charity sales booths coming up in the fall, or to an actually charity (probably Warm Up Winchester). I will do a final tally before I donate them. I will say that this is a great way to use up partial skeins of sport weight baby yarn. And things must be getting better, because last night I actually comtemplated moving on the adult sized hats.