SOTSII clue 3

I am still battling a bad flu and seem to be getting nothing done at all. While my head is too fuzzy to do anything, I find comfort in some types of knitting. I need 'stupid' knitting, mindless and fast. But there is one exception. I seem to be be doing ok on this project that would appear to be complex but is easy to read. The chart of SOTSII works up fast and is pleasant. I do count out all the spaces every row and write the numbers down before I begin - I am not crazy. But other than that, it feels like speed reading. It goes from my eyes to my fingers without stopping at my brain. That's good because my brain would just muck things up right now. I am not crazy though; that is a lifeline. I usually fly without them but I expect massive stupidity here and am putting in one about every 1/2 chart. Whew, this was enough for me -- back to my hot tea and lemon.


Stepping it up

Way to go Dover. You have always had some amazing titles at great prices. It is nice to fill in my library for books that were lent and never returned and I picked them up at less than $10 each. I have seen them on ebay for over a hundred. Happy girl to have some old favorites back home with me.

Traditional Fair Isle Knitting by Sheila McGregor
Fair Isle Knitting by Sarah Don

In addition, the new Drops designs are up. Boy, they are just steppin’ it up too, aren’t they? Lots and lots of great designs. Current stuff, lace, even Norwegian. Be prepared to lose a lot of time on this site if you haven’t been there before.


Blog-a-rific nominations

I got a big double nomination from some of my buddies, so it gave me impetus to make my own list.

I have a long bloglines list, I will admit. I go through days when I can’t spin or knit and it kinda keeps me sane to read about all of you out there doing it. If you are writing regularly, I probably subscribe. For me, there are some blogs that are critical for my brain and they certainly MAKE MY DAY. In no particular order then:

Habetrot - It isn't just that she puts up tons of fiber-related photos. That would be enough, mind you. But the extreme quality of the finds, along with the witty commentary just puts her in the 'must see' list for me.

Yarn Harlot - ok, I am a groupie too, how could I not be? She reaches right through that screen and makes me knit things. She turns massive frustrations into humor and makes me laugh at myself and all the rest of the fiber world. What an amazing ability to see and to show us all. Thank you for sharing so much for so long.

Getting Stitched on the Farm - I first went to this site because I was most influenced by Kristin Nicholas designs from so many publications. But I got drawn in to the workings at the farm. Who doesn't want to look at all those great sheep? It is like a sheep soap opera, you just want to know what happens next.

The Independent Stitch - I have been a Deb fan from back at the CompuServe days. Her books are well thought out, aren't they? And I do so miss the editorial page from Spin-off. High fibery goodness here.

Enchanting Juno - Well, this woman is just a goddess, isn't she? Lovely, smart, very nice in person. I read every word she puts out. She has a brain in her head.

Knitting in Color - great patterns, nice technical two-color knitting, and another local.

Evilsciencechick - strange and funny. She should be writing for TV.

Maia Spins - great techniques from a very clever mind. And we know a lot of the same people. I wish she would show up at SOAR - perfect fit. Shouldnt' she be in the Swill group with the rest of us?

Carol's Blog - this one regularly makes me smile. And I get to hear about the other side of the pond. Both delightful people and wonderful photos.

Woven Thoughts - this is the most colorful, interesting place to explore. The tenacity to tackle those mammoth projects, finish them and with such style and especially grace. Whew, my head spins here.

Other category:
Cool Tools - I don't buy them; I just want to see what's new out there.
Stephen Fry - his charm comes through on posts dripping with wit.
Engadget - I can easily read a couple of hundred posts at a sitting.

Bloggers you wish posted more:
Nona Knits and Nona Swatches - The swatch portion might just be the most mesmerizing thing on the web for me. When she was posting every day, I would rush to the computer.

The Walker Treasury Project - my stitch addiction becomes clear when you go back and read all the posts. I can't get enough but again, there are no recent posts.

Beebonnet Report - Don'tcha just wish she would give us a daily update, especially with fiber pictures? Love her stuff.

Now, I have to go and catch up with everyone’s blog, I am behind as it was a heavy knitting day.


Organization Rant

Well here at Chez Fibergal knitting interest has never been higher. Unfortunately, my shoulder is still not working for a while so this afforded me the chance to do some auxiliary work on the knitting front – that bad word – Organize. Specifically, the Shetland fingering yarns got a full cataloging with weights, all label info, etc. All while fiberguy knitted socks.

Of all my yarns, the ones most precious to me are my Shetland Jumper weight yarns. Classes in the 90’s with Alice Starmore at the Tomato Factory got me started on my mania. I have used them for so many projects. Nothing is as comforting on the needles or in a sweater than Shetland yarn for me. Of course, I get lots of leftovers, especially from my own designs. Many projects, like tams, require just a few yards of each color. And frankly, a new project can be so expensive by kit that it will be out of my range. Cataloging allows me to see just which yarns I have and which I need for my next project. I am leaning towards an oldie but goodie, the Mara vest. It is a little garish, it comes with a good story, it is almost a mindless knit and very nice with denim. Either that or some strange design of my own. And yes, I do spin a ton of Shetland. But I save it all. I hope to have a library of about 20 colors in jumper weight, several pounds each, and then start designing for that yarn. So everything I do with commercial Shetland is like practice, right?

The thing that has me in a snarl after all that cataloging is brand. I used to love the Jamieson & Smith. Especially after I couldn’t get the Scottish Campion. Now that a lot of my favorite colors were discontinued, I am making the transition to Jamieson. A wonderful yarn, but strictly speaking, not quite compatible ypp-wise. And then there are all those color translations. Geez, just getting a database that worked was tough. On my color cards, I have Russet 297. On my skein, the same yarn is Russett (2 t’s) with number 124. Half my skeins that still had labels didn’t show up on any color cards, purchased at the same time as the yarn. Ok, trying not to freak out, I turned to the net to get translation charts. There were so many mistakes on those that it almost wasn’t worth it. And lots of labels that I held in my hand were missing from all charts. Now with the discontinued colors it gets a bit worse. Most stores I have spoken to have switched from J&S to Jamieson yarns, so I have to figure them into my translation table. What I really need is a master list that has the full list of manufacturer’s numbers and NAMES and equivalents in other brands. For instance, FC43 in J&S is sometimes called Corn, sometimes Honey Beige, sometimes Tan. Well, crap, no wonder I follow my own patterns and not other people’s. How the hell am I supposed to figure out what color they are talking about anyway????
Ok, getting a little worked up there. That is what spending the weekend typing and not knitting does for me. The reason for it all, the reward that awaits me is some creation that has 30 colors with incredibly subtle shifts and all in wonderful heathers with 9 colors in each yarn. That dream is what makes all this listmaking, the massive database, worthwhile. You know how I know this? I made color cards of my own, well, am making color cards. The incredible shifts of color are so tricky, yet our eyes can distinguish all the differences.

On other fronts, a delightful treat came in the mail today. Why had I not used this all my life? If you are a snipper or shaver, I can't recommend this enough. Get a sweater stone and you will be set for life.

Lastly, I am off on the EZ Feb baby sweater on two needles. I am using Jamieson and changed it to be in one piece with the sleeves done after (on holding strings now). Knitting with Shetland has me all mellow and happy. It is just so fun.