Monday, February 13, 2006


The workroom organization proceeds. All the huge cupboards have been carted down to the basement and replaced by shallow metal shelves. Is good.

This led to the next step, which was the organization of the stash.

I started by going all around the house and gathering up all the yarn not currently in use for projects, and placing said yarn into one of four piles: novelty, fingering/laceweight, sportweight/DK weight, worsted weight or thicker.

This process was kinda daunting. I kept thinking I was done, and then I'd remember another place I'd stored some stash, so I'd have to go and integrate that into the piles, too. Whew. Finally it was all done and I found myself looking at a lot of yarn. This was both depressing and empowering. It's a bit overwhelming when faced with the prospect of having to store (and ultimately knit) all this yarn, but it was also wonderful to know exactly what I had.

So then I started sorting each pile into subcategories, based on fibre content, and also based on how much yarn I had in each subcategory and whether it was enough to merit putting it into its own box. If there was just a little bit of yarn in a subcategory, I expanded the subcategory definition a bit.

The upshot? Here is how my stash is now organized:

  • novelty
  • fingering/laceweight
    • mostly synthetic
    • luxury fibres (i.e. yarn with a decent percentage of really yummy stuff, e.g silk, cashmere or alpaca)
    • mostly animal fibres (I'm talkin' wool)
    • mostly plant fibres (cotton/linen)
  • sportweight/DK weight
    • mostly synthetic
    • mostly natural fibres
  • worsted weight or thicker
    • mostly synthetic
    • luxury fibres
    • mostly animal fibres
    • mostly plant fibres

Once sorted, I put it all back on the shelves, either loosely or in baskets or cardboard boxes. Highly inadequate and sloppy storage for my precious stash, so of course my next step is to find sealable, critter-proof, easy-access boxes that will fit on the shelves. Each shelf is a foot deep, a little over a foot high, and a little over two feet wide. Ideally I'd like some clear plastic Rubbermaid totes, but those are a bit too rich for my budget considering that I need about fifteen boxes. So DH and I are now scouring dollar stores, Zellers and Canadian Tire for cheaper alternatives. Or sales. If you have any other ideas, fire away.

(And hey...did you know that Rubbermaid has recently introduced a Cedar Storage Tote line? I am totally drooling over this product. I have just added another item to my treats-I-would-buy-myself-if-I-won-the-lottery list.)

Fafner blanket for baby Whyte
Moved forward ever-so-slightly on the edging this weekend but still not enough to know for sure if I'm going to have enough turquoise yarn. I still suspect not.

Heraldic tabard for moi
Felting is so cool.

It took four trips through the washer to achieve this (and my tree-hugging little heart quailed each time I realised it needed another trip, lemme tell ya) but here it is - a bee-yew-tifully felted swatch. 80% of its original width and 70% of its original height. Thick and felty. Very, very nice. I could really get into this!

Saturday I sat down and designed the pattern and then cast on. I'm about 65 rows into it...

...and already I'm nervous about running out of wool. Sigh. Yesterday's stash roundup revealed more of the green wool than I thought I had, which was very heartening, but I'm still nervous because damn, this thing is big.

Minnesota Mitts for DH
Mitten #1 is finished:

(ends have yet to be woven in, but the knitting is done)

Here's the problem: I don't like it. I actually haven't felt very good about the project for a while now. Don't get me wrong, there are things I do really like, such as the fact that I knitted it two-stranded with a strand in each hand; and I especially like the textured motif on the back:

But there are too many things that I don't like. I don't like that my stitch gauge seems to be a little tense and the gloves seem a little too thin. Moreover, the fingers are tight on me, which means I'm really nervous about how they'll fit DH's fingers. I don't like the gaping at the base of the thumb:

(boy, that's embarrassing)

I don't like the fact that the yarn is feeling a mite too scratchy on the hands. I don't like the fact that DH already has new gloves that he bought for himself to replace the ones he lost. The 'boughten' gloves seem to suit him just fine and they're really, what good will scratchy, ill-fitting, gaping-at-the-finger-bases new mittens do for him? The only thing these mittens have going for them that DH's gloves don't is the finger pocket. But that's another thing I don't like - it's too loose and doesn't 'snug up' to the hand when it's on:

I'm just not feeling that 'click' that's so important to me when giving a knitted gift. The fact that I only have one completed glove and four days left to go until our anniversary kind of puts the nail in the coffin for it for me. I've decided - I'm giving DH the self-patterning socks I was originally going to give him for his birthday. They're gorgeous, I love them, he'll love them, and - best of all - they're already done. Very low-stress, that. :) The dress socks I'm knitting for him will be bumped up as his birthday present, and I'll have to knit him something else for Father's Day. (This will likely be an excellent excuse to buy more sock yarn.)

It'll work. Adieu, Minnesota Mitts. May you be replaced in my heart and on my project list by a pair of mittens which are small and fiddly and gorgeous.

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