Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Unpredictable and Sneaky Things

My husband either has the inside track on yarn trading or he has a deal with the universe to be right in very unpredictable sorts of ways. If you think back to my previous post about the sweater I'm knitting you'll remember that I bought my yarn in a beautiful reddish color but there wasn't enough. So I freaked out and bought new yarn. Well, before I bought the new yarn my husband suggested that I try one of the other yarn stores in town. I really like the yarn store in question. It's one of my favorite places, but it's a bit of a drive for me, and I was already holding the 7 skeins of my new yarn as we were having the conversation. I pointed out that they may not carry the same yarn, that if they did they may not have the same color, and that even if they beat the odds on both those points, it probably would not be the same dye lot. I have a small point to make on dye lots as well, but it will have to wait. He, bowing out to my clearly superior knowledge about yarn, said, "okay."

Then last Thursday I went with a friend out to that yarn store. I found some beautiful yarn for a hat for a new little girl and looked through their sweater patterns. Then as left the patterns I saw some familiar labels. Wonder of wonders, they carried this yarn! And, though there was a much smaller quantity than at the store where I made my original purchase they even had a suspiciously beautiful reddish colored yarn. I expressed my disbelief to my friend and related the story as I walked over to prove that it was still the wrong dye lot. Realistically, I probably couldn't remember a dye lot number from four weeks earlier, but that didn't matter right now. I pulled out a skein and showed it to my friend, turned the label and was confronted with a very, very familiar looking number.

I had bought this yarn four weeks earlier, then gone back and fished through at least four different colorways searching for seven skeins of matching dye lots. I looked through a brown, two different blues, and finally the green I settled on. I had seen a lot of different dye lot numbers, all on the same label. But, I was pretty convinced this was the right dye lot number. I disbelievingly bought two skeins. I got home and checked almost before taking off Bobby's hat and jacket. My husband had been right. On the upside, I now have the yarn for a second sweater. Bob was very gracious about being right. In fact, he had forgotten he had suggested it in the first place. And really, how likely is that?

Onto sweaters: I'm in love with the idea of them, totally in love. I had a great time at my second sweater class. I put the sleeves on scrap yarn, knit happily along, joined a new skein, and hoped that it would be the right size. Then, this morning I put all of it on scrap yarn, then this afternoon I tried it on. It's still a bit short (armpit level) but it fits so far! I'm pretty excited about it, but am a little intimidated by the fact that I now need to knit about 20 inches of a stockinette tube for the body. That's an awful lot of knitting. Just straight going around in a circle knitting. I'm sure I'll get it done, and I'm very excited to be moving forward on it, but a bit overwhelmed by how much knitting it's going to be. I went and bought two more patterns for sweaters so that when this one is finished I can use my original yarn to knit a cardigan, then find yarn (I have an idea of which yarn and it kind of makes me drool) and knit a wrap-around sweater. But, first I have to knit this one. And, that's an awful lot of knitting. I'm just going to have to depend on my new found sweater love to guide me through it all!

In the interim between my knitting classes I kept busy with that quilt class and two other projects. I knit my sister a hat. I'm hoping that the quick turn around time will earn me some forgiveness for the tardiness of her last two Christmas presents. It was fun and mostly original. I used some of the stripe patterns from Elizabeth Zimmermann's "Knitting Workshop" book, but other than that it is (as far as I know) an original pattern. I was particularly proud of the fact that I was able to work stripes into the decrease rounds. I'll type it up and post it later.

Then I knit my son one thumb-less mitten (my son does have thumbs and two hands). The mitten is very long, and if his elbows weren't quite so cutely chubby they could hold the mittens up to cover his entire forearm. But I like them and will finish the other one soon. Truth be told, I'll probably knit him two new ones so they don't look as though they are concealing alien fingers.

I also have a pair of mittens for my mom that have been in the works for a while now. I should really get those finished, as well.

And, I need to add flaps to my hand warmers and my husbands fingerless gloves. (Dang this early cold weather!)

And, then I realized that in 4 days I have another very large project coming up. The month of November didn't sneak up on me. I've known for a while now that November, the 4th in particular, is getting closer and closer. But, for those of you that don't know, November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo), and this had completely slipped my mind.

For the last two years I've tried (unsuccessfully) to participate in NaNoWriMo. By participate I mean I've tried to write the novel, but haven't been involved with the writing groups. I just really like the idea of committing that much time and effort to writing, while still having an end point. And, just like fixed holidays, this comes up every November. I'm not certain why I was sort of surprised by it. When I was signing up for quilting and knitting classes, I even made sure not to take too many during November, conceivably to help free up some time for writing. All I have planned for November is one more sweater class, a Friday night work session, and hopefully a block of the month get together. My goal this year is to at least write every day and get half-way to the page minimum. I know that seems to be setting the bar kind of low, but it will be an improvement over my last two years' performances.

We'll see, maybe I'll surprise myself. But, either way I have a lot of projects to finish before November starts up. So, I'm going to go knit on my sweater now!

Dye lot rant: If I order 11 skeins of one colorway, please, please, please don't send me 10 skeins of one dye lot and one skein of another.

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