The Doom, As it Were

Despite my attempts (cough, cough) to prevent the doom that was foretold, The Stash was hit. All of my project bags containing all of my unfinished projects mysteriously disappeared.

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My “trusty” guard claimed to be on a lunch break when it happened, but we all suspect foul play on her part.

I could drag this out further, but honestly, from this point things escalated quite quickly.

Appalled at the gross abuse of my wool, my eldest daughter, The Bookworm, appointed herself Head Detective and Chief of Police. In no time at all, she had my property returned and had nabbed the culprit.

(this is our attempt at a mug shot)

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In a surprising twist, she had an accomplice! He was nabbed, too.

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Amid giggles and squeals justice was served. And today was declared “The FUNNEST DAY EVER” by some of my more emotive children. Namely this one –

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Fox Guarding the Henhouse

Naturally, when my stash was threatened this morning, I went on high alert.

I even posted a guard.

In a stroke of genius (and because I am a super fun mom), I appointed my number one suspect as guardian of the yarn, as if I never thought she would be capable of such crimes.

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I’ll let you know how that worked out as this story unfolds.

The Note

I found this on my pillow when I went in my room to make my bed after breakfast.

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Talk about hitting me where it hurts!

My suspect list is short. Of my seven children, there are only a few that a) can write a note without asking me how to spell every third word; b) would use pink letters; and c) continuously followed me around the house this morning asking me when I was going to make my bed.

Stay tuned for more on this breaking story. (I can’t wait to see what’s next!)

And the Winner is….

The Boy drew a name out of the basket.

Drumroll, please…..

Do you see that? Can you see it?

Congratulations, Cosymakes!

I promise that this wasn’t rigged – but I just won a giveaway on her blog last week! I am a little abashed to be sending her my cast offs when she just sent me this:

My photography skills aren’t quite up to snuff, but this is a lovely muted pink.¬†

It is Snapdragon, a light fingering weight that she dyes “using greener shades dyes. they are low impact heavy metal-free dyes that meet the Organic Trade Association’s requirements for organic fiber processing” (quoted from the Etsy sale page) which I think is pretty awesome. And it is a whopping 700 yards! I was going to blog about it tomorrow, but it seems fitting to say my thank you’s now. If you haven’t already, check out her shop on Etsy here.

Thanks for all who participated in this, my first blog giveaway. It was great fun to read all of your comments.

Happy New Year to all!

Dear Santa (Christmas Countdown Day 2)

Dear Santa,

How are you doing? I am fine. How is Mrs. Claus?

I wonder if you have heard that I am a knitter now? I thought I would let you know because choosing a gift for a knitter is so simple, and I thought it would make your job easier. But just in case you don’t know what to get for a knitter, I will help you out.

1. Yarn

That’s it.

Maybe you don’t know how to pick out yarn and that is why I haven’t ever gotten yarn from you. Ever. I can help you with that with a few simple guidelines.

Rule 1 – All yarn is good yarn. This is true if you are shopping at any yarn store or at EatSleepKnit.com. Craft stores do not sell yarn, they sell extruded plastic made to look like yarn. Do not be fooled. If it is sold by the pound, it is not yarn.

Rule 2 – Sweater quantities of yarn, while very nice, are not necessary. A single skein of sock yarn (aka fingering) will make a pair of socks. Don’t worry about quantity, any amount will do.

Rule 3 – All colors are good. While I lean heavily towards purples, pinks, and reds, I also happen to think that brown, orange, green, yellow, grey, black, and blue are lovely as well.

I hope that helps. Give my regards to Mrs. Claus.

Shelly

Retreat!

Remember that lone moth that terrorized this once happy knitter?

He wasn’t alone.

Cue scary music….

So, I decided it was time to call in a full retreat. Three boxes of ziplock baggies later, and my stash looks like this:

Not very inspiring, is it?

I am going to miss my baskets of yarn. I am going to miss being inspired by the sight of them. But I have invested too much money in it to let it turn into moth food.

Kinda gives more weight to Matthew 6:20, doesn’t it?

“But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.”

The Clause

I bought yarn this week.

It was totally legal, thanks to the clause.

And, I quote: “1. If, when planning Christmas gifts, I cannot find the right yarn for the gift in my stash, I may buy the yarn required.”

Okay, okay. It isn’t for a Christmas gift. But, it is for a gift. And I honestly and truly did not have the yarn for this gift.

That, my friends, is a pile of Palette from Knit Picks (bark, lipstick, almond, salsa heather and forest heather).

And, here is the story….

When I was making that cute little elephant top for the new baby, my dad was here visiting. He was somewhat impressed with my colorwork skills and quickly put in a request for a hat for his birthday. He described what he wanted – earflaps, pointy crown, lots of colorwork, some deer – and so after he left, I hit Ravelry, looking for the perfect pattern.

It isn’t there. But I found one that should work with some tweaking.

I have until his birthday in July, but when I realized that I was going to have to buy yarn, well…

True Generosity

As most of you know, I have vowed to knit only yarn from the stash for a whole year. I will not be spending one single cent on yarn until 2012.

This is a very good goal, both for my brain and my budget.

And, so far, I have enjoyed the challenge. When one must knit only stash yarn, she finds that she must use a greater amount of creativity than if she could just buy yarn fitting to the project she desires to knit. It is fun to make it work. It is stretching me. Plus, I have so many nice yarns that I am happy to use up. I really don’t need to get any more yarn. The stash is full of lovelies that are yearning to be crafted into the next work of art.

But, this has also had a less than desirable affect on me.

You see, I am generally a very generous person:

You’re out of tea? Oh, no, we can’t have that. Here is 1/4 lb of Earl Grey to get you by.

No row counter? How do you keep track? I have three – take one, please.

You want to learn to knit? I have plenty of needles and yarn. Pick one. I’ll teach you with good needles and soft wool.

And, I am an enabler.

Want to try Malabrigo? Feel this. Nice huh? Knit a little of it. Now, I have you hooked.

Sure, it may have cost me a skien or two, but I am more than happy to spread the wooly love around. If I have it, it is yours. No problem.

Until now. A strange stinginess has come over me. I want every yard. Every inch. I have none to spare. This stash has to last me the year, and I may not have enough. Get your own. Especially the Malabrigo.

I guess that means that I am not really all that generous. True generosity is selfless, isn’t it? True generosity would give you my last skien of Madelintosh. True generosity wouldn’t hide the laceweight when you mention a desire to knit a shawl.

I set out to save money and use up what I have. And I have turned into a greedy, yarn hoarder. Or, maybe I always was a greedy, yarn hoarder. But now the mask is off and I have been shown a side of myself that definitely needs some work.

Maybe I will work on it next year…

I Didn’t Even Have to Cheat!

As you know, I vowed that I would not buy a single scrap of yarn till January next year, so when a package came from Eat, Sleep, Knit yesterday, The Man raised his eyebrows. But, all is well, my dearies. Last year, when I was heavily engaged in the yarnathon, I reached (and passed) the 20 mile mark when I indulged in some Malabrigo Lace during their Black Friday sale. This new yarn is the 20 Mile Surprise Package. Check it out:

One skein Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Glasshouse, a pattern for Elves and Elms Socks by Jean Knapp and a DPN WIP tube.

I know, you wanna see that yarn again, don’t you?

Now, as lovely as the sock pattern is, I am thinking baby sweater…

New yarn. And I didn’t even have to cheat. Sigh. What a lovely day.

Knitting in Twenty-Eleven

The Year of the Sweater is over. So, what will this next year be? Are you ready for a doosie?

First, a quick recap. For the year 2010, I set out to knit seven sweaters for myself. I finished five, one is still in the WIP basket, and one never got cast on. But, to be fair, my knitting year ended up getting cut short in October, when morning sickness took over. So, I consider it a success. Moving on.

This last year was also the year of the yarn shopping splurge. Taking part in the Eat, Sleep, Knit Yarnathon found me buying more yarn than I could use, and spending more money than I should have. So, to regain my husbands confidence in me in the financial department, and to test my self control, this year with be the Year of the Stash. Here are my rules:

1. I will knit only with yarn from the stash.

2. I will not purchase any yarn until 2012.

3. Yarn given to me throughout the year counts as yarn in the stash and can be knit up. I can also use store credit (I have a little left), but only if needed.

And, to make it more feasible, there are two exceptions:

1. If, when planning Christmas gifts, I cannot find the right yarn for the gift in my stash, I may buy the yarn required.

2. If, by some amazing knitterly feat, I knit every yard of yarn in the stash, I may purchase more yarn. BUT, only enough for one project at a time.

Anyone want to join me?

Let the Year of the Stash begin! And to kick it off, I guess I better toss the stash and see what is there.

And, there is this. A Christmas gift from my sister – a basket of wool and chocolate. Purple wool, even. Boy, does she know me, or what?

Now, in the interest of honesty, knowing that I was going to make this resolution, I did make another purchase. Okay, okay. Two other purchases. Neither have arrived in the mail, but when they come, I will show you. The first is from Knit Picks and is for the stockings that I have to finish this year and some baby things I want to knit before June. The second, well, that is another ESK order, this one putting me over the 35K milestone. Yeah, I know. I am bad. But that is why this new year is going to be so good!

Happy New Year, Everyone!