Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Today’s need for haste is an early appt at the hairdresser’s. We're very grand, around here. He has the best coffee in the Second New Town, and is good at hair, too.

I got to grips with the sock yarn yesterday. This much is going to the charity knitters in Alyth:

And don’t worry about me. I have retained more than I can knit in what remains of my lifetime, but only somewhat more, not grotesquely more.

I hope they still do charity knitting in Alyth. I could bundle it up and send it somewhere, but that involves the tedium of making a package and trundling up or down hill to a post office with it. But
If seven maids (with seven mops)
Should knit for half a year,
Do you suppose, the Walrus said,
That they could get it clear?
I doubt it, said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

It all started (as far as sock yarn is concerned) with my discovery of the Internet and Patternworks in the mid-90’s. I have always loved multi-coloured yarns, since learning to do French knitting in childhood. I was enchanted with Socka Colors, and determined at one point to work my way through their list.

Then somehow Socka ceased, or merged with someone, and everything was different. I looked around and snapped up what I could find – that accounts for a lot of bulk. A lot was picked up hither and yon, visiting LYS’s and feeling, as one does in a second-hand bookstore, that one ought to leave with something, to support the business.

And then of course sock yarn got even more wonderful when Kaffe got involved, and there was no need to stockpile anything.

I felt so guilty – apart from any other consideration, the waste of money involved in that pile doesn’t bear thinking about – that I didn’t order anything yesterday. The new rule is that I can buy whatever I like whenever I want, but only if I have a fairly immediate prospect of knitting it. I think Kaffe’s relatively new Hand-Dyed Effect, in a dark colour, would be acceptable to my husband, who is next in line.

But a Zauberball? We shall see.

And speaking of purchases…

Thomas-the-Elder said at his great-aunt’s funeral in March that he’d like an electric red sweater. I emailed him the other day with a link to Jared’s “Brownstone” (which I’ve already bought), and he approves. I hope to buy that yarn at the market attached to Knit Nation next month – I really need to see it. I don’t know what “electric” means, but I do know I want a bright, clear red with no blue in it.

The Aran sleeve got on well yesterday – two more days will finish it, I think. Tamar, thank you for seeking out my account of setting in the sleeves of the Grandson: I'll get to that today, I hope.


  1. I have come round to your thinking on buying yarn. Purchases for fairly immediate knitting only. A moderate sized carrier bag of fine lace yarn represents several years of knitting shawls and wraps.

  2. After a few crazy stocking up episodes, I came to see that there is always more yarn. But in case you are looking for an excuse, there is a new self striping Kid Silk Haze in Kaffe Fasset stripes, so you can make a scarf or a stole in lovely colors with only a skein or two.

  3. Thank you so much for that photo of yarn. You have made me feel so much better about my surplus.

  4. Brave you to post a picture of "the excess." I wouldn't dare. Too many of my family members (the non-knitter ones) already think my knitting habit is over the top. A picture like yours would confirm it in their minds.

    Brownstone is in my queue. It is a great sweater. Have you thought about using Cascade 220? They have several shades of red that are close to what you are looking for.

  5. Anonymous6:29 PM

    My problem with only buying for forseeable future projects is that I'm always so enthused about the new yarn/project, that I KNOW I'll be starting it next. Until I see the next new wonderful yarn/pattern....

    Zauberball does come in a lovely black/white/gray combo that might be acceptable to your husband. A link to a bunch of Rav projects (not all are 100% Zauberball but you get the idea):


  6. Jean, your blog brought back memories of the time when it was my ambition to knit a pair of socks in every Socka color. Socka disappeared when I was about a quarter through -- and those more-than-10-year-old socks are getting pretty threadbare. (Not the heels, which I reinforced, but the toes, which I didn't.) I still love the colors, though. Sigh.