Thursday, July 24, 2008

on stash

Lately I've been feeling kind of guilty about the size of my stash and the money I spend on yarn. I don't know what triggered it - just a general feeling of feeling like it's an overconsumption on my part. I think I'd feel better about it if I knitted more frequently - it takes me a month or two to make a pair of socks, for example, and at that steady rate, I'd be knitting socks for the next three to six years - and that's a best-case scenario! Lord knows I never finish a pair in two months ... and that doesn't even take into account my non-sock stash. And the rate at which I replenish the stash!

With this in mind, though, I went through my stash with a very critical eye, and I listed even more yarn on my Ravelry trade/sell page. So far I've sold yarn for three pairs of socks. It makes me feel better, I think, to go through my stash and realize that maybe I bought something that's just not right for me and will be a better fit with someone else.

A few days ago, though, I had a conversation with my mom about knitting, and she said ever so happily, "Wow, you're really getting like me with quilting!" (in reference to my yarn collection). It immediately made me feel better - and it's not because my mom's fabric stash exceeds my yarn stash (sorry, Mom!). I need to learn it's OK to have yarn that I won't knit for years. It's not going anywhere.

I also reminded myself that I don't spend money on many other luxuries. I only shop for clothes when it's absolutely necessary (and when I do, it's gotta be on sale). I get my hair cut at a cheap salon every three to six months. The only thing I can honestly say I spend too much money on is eating out - and that's a factor of my dating status and work schedule (I'm sorry but I just can't eat Lean Cuisine five nights a week for dinner!).

Could I do a better job at spending/saving money? Of course. I pay my bills on time (always more than the minimum), but I could be putting even more toward my credit cards/student loans. Maybe this is a good reminder to re-evaluate my income and see where I could do a better job overall.

The bottom line is - knitting is about my personal happiness (just like when my mom would retreat to her sewing room when I was a kid). Few things make me happier than sticks and string.

I have another philosophical post in me about knitting stress, but it will have to wait for another time. In the meantime, here are my lastest stash enhancements.

Vesper Sock Yarn

This is Vesper Sock Yarn in Shout Out Loud - the July offering for the Vesper Sock Club. I love the crazy bright colors! This is a variegated yarn, not the striping kind she normally dyes.

I did an order at Simply Socks and it came today:

Online SuperSocke 100

Online SuperSocke Afrika in a self-patterning yarn. It was less than $7 on clearance, woohoo!

Noro Silk Garden Sock

Noro Silk Garden sock yarn, swoon. So beautiful.

I have an order at Amazon on its way here - it has a little scale in it for weighing yarn, so I'll be able to better judge how tall I can make socks! (Yes I know, making them toe-up would help solve that problem.)

Thursday, July 17, 2008

back from the burgh

Boy what a trip it was! We were on the go for the whole, short time we were there ... but I think that seeing my family totally rejuvenated me and I hit the ground running when we returned. The whole set of pictures from the trip is here, but I'll post a few of my favorites.

We went up for my cousin's wedding - here is Doug and his beautiful bride, Andrea:

Doug and Andrea

They got married on the college campus where they met.
At the reception, there was a photo shoot of my grandma and her 10 kids:

my grandma and her 10 children

It made me sad, thinking that my pap couldn't be a part of it, but I know he was there in a way. I still find it hard to believe he passed away nearly three years ago - and I feel like it's a lie when I have to tell myself he's really gone.

Here are my two favorite Joshes in the world:

the Joshes in my life

And here we are at Kennywood:

Josh and me

It can be an intense experience, being around the sheer number of relatives I have (especially when you are not at all close with your own family). I think he had a great time though.

And as for my puppy dog, she seems to be 100 percent better. I'm so, so, so, so happy about it. We picked her up at the vet when we got back and found out she wasn't sick all weekend - and they fed her all her food (about twice as much as I asked them to - I wanted to keep her on a limited diet while she was there). Oh well. But I'm happy to report that her digestive system seems to be a-OK.

I'm off today but not tomorrow (like normal) - my boss asked me if I could work Friday since we're a little short-staffed this week. So I have a split weekend, but I'm totally fine with it. Usually I feel like I have a zillion things to catch up with when I return from a trip, but for some reason, I don't this time around. I've spent most of this afternoon working on my Fire on the Mountain sock (which juuuust barely fits over my heel. yikes).

I love a good heel flap

Friday, July 11, 2008

happy weekend!

I'm headed to Pittsburgh this morning for my cousin's wedding! I woke up two hours early thanks to trip excitement, but we can't leave earlier than 8 because I have to take Gracie to the vet for boarding when they open then. Boo. She's doing a bit better, I think - but it comes and goes. I'll be worried about her all weekend ... but I know we'll be keeping busy in Pittsburgh so hopefully I'll keep my mind off of it.

In knitting news, I've finished my first bib:

a bib

It was also my first time to knit a buttonhole *and* sew a button (I think my mom didn't believe me when I said it to her ... but like she said, I always had her to do it for me!) When I was at A.C. Moore yesterday to pick up buttons, I also got some more Sugar'n Cream for more bibs (and have cast on for another already). They are such easy gifts!

new yarn for bibs

I also acquired some new STR mediumweight in Farmhouse (a colorway I've been admiring for sometime) through a Ravelry destash. Sweet!


I'm bringing the bib-in-progress, as well as my Fire on the Mountain sock in progress. Good times ahead (though I know little knitting will get done!)

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


My sweet cookie of a dog has been sick for the past few days - since Thursday. It's just about all I can think about. We finally got to the vet yesterday (of course she got sick over the weekend - a holiday one at that), and I'm hoping her tummy issues are resolved soon. We're boarding her at the kennel starting Friday for our trip to Pittsburgh, and I know I'll be worried if she's not 100 percent when we leave.

Because of all this excitement, I haven't been focusing my energy on preparing for this trip. I've got lots of cleaning and packing ahead before we go. I haven't been to the gym in almost two weeks. Ick.

Yesterday I took a media day tour of the San Jacinto, a guided missile cruiser, at the naval station. It was pretty awesome - but a wee bit earlier in the day than I'm used to (I had to be at the naval station at 6:30 a.m.!). Pics are here. The people on the ship were really, really nice and I learned a lot. We were supposed to cruise to a weapons facility, where we'd disembark and take a drive back to Norfolk. But software problems meant we weren't able to sail. Darn!

Friday, July 4, 2008

what am I thinking? and good/bad of the week

I've joined Project 365 at Flickr. (That and the 365 group for crafty peeps.)

1/365:  taking the plunge

Here's my week in play-by-play form.

Work has been a breeze.
The good: A holiday falls on my day off work. I got a shift to work on a whole project that will appear in Sunday's paper.
The bad: My week included a day where my insides decided to hate me and I had to miss work Wednesday.

I got my hair cut for the first time since September.
The good: It looks nice. And the stylist blow-dried it straight.
The bad: The stylist got to me 40 minutes past my appointment time. She saw me knitting a baby bib and thought I was pregnant (after I told her it was for a friend - it wasn't an uninitiated pregnancy assumption. Her English isn't so hot). She got hit in the eye with a spray bottle after shampooing my hair, making me think I was going to get a lopsided, one-eye-viewed haircut. She abandoned me in mid-blow drying to take the foil out of someone else's hair. Argh.

me on the pier

Josh and I went out to dinner.
The good:
We didn't go to one of the four places we always eat. It was a local fishing pier's bar - we had nice seats, it was breezy, it was sunset.
The bad: Service at this restaurant (at a local fishing pier) was slooooow. And they put beef on our nachos when we ordered chicken. And they gave Josh hush puppies when he ordered fries (this was OK with him, though, as he enjoyed the hush puppies). My margarita was way too girly.
The worst: It was wayyy too pricey.

My cousin was in the hospital with bleeding on his brain after a nasty fall.
The good: Bottom line, he's going to be OK. (He was at a hospital about five blocks from my apartment so it was very easy to go there.)
The bad: The serious injury (obviously).

So yes, the fourth of July is on my day off work - and Josh has the day off, too! We're grilling steaks on the George Foreman, having corn on the cob and roasted potatoes. YUM.