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April 17, 2008

Cat Bullet

An acutal LIVE post

Cinderella Fountain

We interrupt the schedule of pre-written posts for an actual LIVE post.

Well, LIVE in the sense that I am writing it just before posting it. Not LIVE in the sense that I’m lurking on the blog all day reading comments and wanting to update it at the drop of a hat…

(oh wait… that is what I normally do).

Anyway, I’m so pleased that everyone has been enjoying the pictures of my yarny-goodness.

Yes, there is quite a bit. My “Yarn Acquisition” yearnings have mostly quieted down.

Kind of like when you are totally craving brownies and then you go to Costco and buy a pack of them and eat three quarters of it in the first sitting and then you never want to see a brownie again….

Oh wait…

Last night, I took my second Environmental Chemistry Exam. It went well, I suppose and I am confident that I will be close to the top (again? still?). I think my mental state is a little healthier now than when I was an undergraduate. Back then, I wouldn’t have slept all night and would be heartbroken today because I wasn’t absolutely certain about my answer to question 27a (which was only worth half of a point).

Shades of Hermione, anyone?

Now my attitude is more like ‘Don’t have a clue what to put down for question six? No biggie. Life will somehow go on.’

As a reward for getting through the exam, I allowed myself to knit on the Wizard sock after I got home. It is making great progress and I am only about two inches away from doing the second toe. It has really gone fast (it is amazing how well sock knitting meshes with listening to Rockies Baseball Games). Sadly, however, I have to focus on getting my term paper done (due April 23). Then, and only then, will I be allowed to dive head first into my new yarn and cast on for one of my sweaters.

Anyway, I thought that I might take a few minutes to answer some of the questions that are popping up in comments…

Thanks to Anita Craig for pointing out that the Badia Lace vest is a Berroco free pattern. Click here to link directly to the pattern. This is the vest that I am planning to make using my wonderful eggplant Debbie Bliss Rialto.

Mom asked me to “define a shrug”. Hmmmm. Well, a shrug is like a shawl, but it has sleeves. Easier to wear, you aren’t always fighting to keep it on your shoulders. I assume, though I am not certain, that it is called a “shrug” because it usually fits on and around your shoulders, without much coverage on the front and sides. Anyone else care to weigh in on this discussion?

Kari-Beri asked: Where can she get Red Rocks Fiber Works “Liar’s Lodge” color. Ummm, well? Anyone? I know that Judy had some at the retreat, and I had (at one time) heard that the Lodge was going to be selling it, but I’m not really sure. For this, and any other Red Rocks Fiber Works questions, I’d click here to get to Mary-Kay’s blog and contact her that way. She sells her wonderfully addictive substances in many of the local yarn stores; I suspect, however, that the Liar’s Lodge colorway is going to be somehow tied to Buena Vista. Does anyone know if Serendipity carries it? ‘Cause, you know, it would be nice to have another addict convert to Red Rocks Fiber Works yarn. It would make our RRFWAnonymous meetings all the more popular.

Mom also asked: How do you know how much yarn to buy? Well, that is tricky, and is one of the reasons that I like buying sock yarn so much. You eventually get a “feel” as to whether a sock yarn is a “one ball” or “two ball” project – For example, the Jitterbug yarns are a heavier weight, but there is a lot of yardage. So, I am confident that I will be able to get two socks out of one ball of yarn. I have a lot of experience with the Red Rocks Fiber Works yarn, and know that she is currently putting the yarn up in “two sock” hanks. The Panda Silk sock yarn is a much lighter weight and smaller skeins, so I got two balls. If I am in any doubt, I ask the yarn store owner/workers. Or anyone who is wandering by who happens to look like they might have touched a knitting needle at some point in their life…

As far as buying yarns for bigger projects like sweaters? Well, that is a little more tricky. Even if you use the exact yarn that your pattern calls for and get the exact gauge they define, you can still run out of yarn. Certain designers (*cough*DebbieBliss*cough*) are notoriously “skimpy” with their yarn requirements.

When you are foolhardy enough to use a different yarn than the pattern calls for, you really have to do your research and also plan ahead. I check the gauge of the pattern yarn and compare it with the gauge of the yarn I want to use. I try to decide if I can “fudge” it by fiddling with needle sizes, but there is a limit to how much you can do (for example, I wouldn’t try to knit a bulky weight sweater out of sock yarn… no matter how much you change the needles, you simply won’t get the required gauge.)

If I feel that I can make the adjustments, I calculate how many balls of the desired yarn that I need (by length), and then generally add one or two extra (depending on their size and just in case…). For example, I have 10 balls of the eggplant Rialto; the gauge of the Rialto is very similar to the one the pattern calls for, but the yardage is slightly longer (I think). So, by my calculations, I should use about 8 balls, which gives me a comfortable margin (two extra balls). Time will tell…

Ah well, I’d best be getting back to the real world. I’d love to hear what other knitters have to say on how they pick yarn for projects. It is an interesting subject…

More automatic posts are already lurking, waiting for you. I’ll hopefully be putting at least one more together this weekend (don’t worry, the pictures are already uploaded), and then things should be calmed down enough so that I can go back to my usual ramblings.

Y’all are good sports to put up with them. :-)

Everyone have a great day!!

pitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patter

1 Comment »

  1. Wishing you lots of luck on your test, I know you’ll do great!
    I generally aim for about 400yds for a pair of socks, as for bigger projects I usually add a ball to to make things longer, everything seems to hit right at my belly roll, ugh.

    Comment by Claudia — April 17, 2008 @ 11:20 pm

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