Thursday, February 23, 2006

Crawling towards my goals

There's some news on the workroom organization front. No, I haven't put together any shelves. No, I haven't sorted any more stuff. No, I haven't bought any boxes. Okay, no, really, there is progress, I swear. Ready? I think I've found the boxes I'm going to buy.

(Could my progress be any more lame?)

Despite the way it sounds, this is actually a major breakthrough. The biggest frustration I've had with this whole project so far has been my total inability to find boxes that:

  • fit on the shelves
  • are of a sufficient height to be able to put a decent amount of yarn in them
  • have lids so they can be stacked
  • look halfway decent
  • are available in the quantity I need
  • don't cost the earth

Doesn't sound too tough? Well, IT IS. Very tough. Some of our pitfalls so far:

  • A local dollar store had some very nice plastic bins. They fit the shelves bee-yew-tifully, were decently tall, and were $5 apiece (pretty much the upper limit of my price range). Problem? There were only six of them in the store. I needed eighteen.
  • Ikea has some really nice cardboard boxes ('KASSETT', in case you're wondering) that come in a nice red to match the future decor of the room. They fit the shelves very precisely, and are more or less tall enough. Problem? At $12.99 for a two-pack, buying enough will cost me about $135. Oh, and also, they were out of stock.
  • Ikea also has some other cardboard boxes ('HÃ…BOL' and 'LINGO'). $2.99 and $3.99 respectively for a two-pack - my kind of price! They're a little short, but for less than $2 apiece, I can accept that. Problem? They are about a quarter inch too wide for the shelves if I want to have them side-by-side (which I do). Crap.

I could go on...but I won't. Suffice it to say that there is something majorly wrong with every solution we've found. Until now.

Staples has some economy cardboard boxes that come in the perfect dimensions. They are tall enough and they fit the shelves. They have lids. And they are $13.71 for a six-pack. Buying enough for my yarn will cost me less than $50. Now...they're not the prettiest, and they have the Staples logo on them, but you know what? Assuming we will one day have money to buy nicer containers, I can live with them. I have asked DH to buy three six-packs. Surely three is a sufficiently low number that our local Staples will have enough in stock?

Problem? At the exact moment I was leaving an excited message about these boxes on our answering machine for DH...he was on a shopping expedition at the BouClair right next to our local Staples.

It would seem that Fate does not entirely love me.

But on the upside, I went to the Lettuce Knit SnB last night - as always, a lovely time. Fewer ladies than usual but I suspect the Yarn Harlot's talk at The Flying Dragon Bookshop drew some of the folks that would ordinarily have been at the SnB. Or maybe it was just a slow Wednesday. Anyhoo, it was great to see some of the Olympic knitting projects coming along. I still have utter faith that Laura will finish her fair isle sweater. The triumph of the night was when Denny showed up in her completed double-breasted jacket (and very flattering it was, I might add). Unbelievable.

Garden Shawl for MIL
The big highlight of the night for me, of course, was picking up my Garden Shawl pattern that had come in about two weeks ago. Having brought the intended yarn for the project with me, I immediately cast on for a gauge swatch on 3.75mms and determined that this would be a bit too big. I instead went with the 3.5mms recommended by the pattern - which I bought while at the shop since I didn't already own any. I'm pretty sure I'll have to hit Lewiscraft or somewhere to get a 24" 3.5mm circular, but first I want to rummage through my circular collection to make sure I don't already have one. (Can you tell I seriously need to do an inventory of my circulars?)

So anyway, after buying the DPNs I cast on. The pattern is knitted in the round, starting from the middle and working out. This means that I had to start knitting in the round with just eight stitches (knitting with five DPNs, therefore two stitches per needle). I don't know how other knitters feel about that sort of thing but I think it SUCKS. It's so fiddly and hard. In fact, I screwed up on the first go-round and had to frog and re-start because one of the DPNs twisted round itself and among the stitches beyond my ability to redeem it.

However, so far my second try is more successful. I've completed the first chart:

(please remember that lace sucks before it's been blocked)

There are now over twenty stitches on each needle, which is definitely making things easier. The knitting isn't very exciting yet, but that will come.

The ladies at the SnB seem to think I'm nuts for doing this. Not only is the yarn ridiculously thin, but apparently the Garden Shawl is the hardest pattern in the Fiddlesticks line. My response? "Good!" :)

Yep, this is my idea of fun. I do it to myself. It would be sad if I weren't so happy.

Striped socks for moi
The toe is finished, and the foot has begun.

Dress socks for DH
I've finished turning the heel. I discovered during this process that I had somehow managed to add an extra stitch on the heel side somewhere. I haven't found out where yet, but after a few minutes of fruitless hunting for the error point I said 'screw it' and just did a decrease on the next row. The likelihood of anyone (but me) noticing is slim.

I was nervous about doing the heel since it means doing purl rows, which I'm still getting used to doing in the continental way. However, after a few rather painful rows I seem to have gotten the hang of it.

This sock is giving me one helluva feeling of accomplishment, I tell ya. It's a great learning piece.

Heraldic tabard for moi
DH called me up very shortly after I got into work this morning. The dear, wonderful, lovely man had gone through our recycling and had found my rough notes for the tabard, which include my original diagram, with MEASUREMENTS. He is so getting lucky.


rachel said...

Wow, only 2 tries? I had 5 when I wanted to do a Butterfly Garden shawl then switched to the Pacific North West shawl because it's triangular! I told you you'd inspired me to organise my stash, I now have 2 underbed boxes full of sock yarn all neat and tidy, the rest of my stash remains hopelessly disorganised, but it is a start!

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