Ya know, it’s hard to blog when the things you are doing are (a) things that you can’t write about or (b) boring.
In the second category lately are many administrative things, like setting up fall class schedules and working on websites. The good news is, the Polar Bear Patterns site is coming along nicely — well, at least it’s functional. There are still a few things to work out — mainly I’ve been having issues figuring out just how to glom everything I do into one place. It’s harder than it sounds: patterns, classes, general knitting, etc. At least, it’s harder for me than it sounds like it ought to be. I’ve been doing everything myself up to now, but I’m thinking I may soon need some professional help. (And I’ll need someone to work on my websites too — ba-dum bump!)
Probably also in the second category is the annual "Sorting Through the Yarn Stash", which I accomplished over the weekend. I have started trying to do this once every year, just prior to my absolute favorite fiber festival: the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival, which is coming up here in a couple of weeks (September 26 – 27 – 28, 2008).
Last year, this stash-sorting practice did save me from buying a skein of sock yarn that was almost an exact duplicate of something I already had — which is always a pitfall of having as much yarn as I do, coupled with my startlingly unreliable memory. But, I also find it is really a lot of fun to get reacquainted with my yarn collection: I find all sorts of things I have completely forgotten about that I meant to do something fabulous with. It’s pretty much as much fun for me as shopping for the yarn in the first place.
Fortunately, my taste in yarn is pretty stable, so I still like all of it. Yes, that’s right: I didn’t get rid of any of it. I just rearranged it, and made it fit into a (slightly) smaller space.
Here it is, in all its glory: one hutch, full to bursting; three large milk crates on top of it, also packed; and off to the left, some additional bags of yarn (there underneath the infamous duct-taped box).
How do I sort my stash? Let me count the ways.
The stuff on the left is "combos" of yarns I’ve put together, and am still thinking about — such as my self-explanatory "black collection", and the bag of various green MOHAIRS that was a really funny and clever birthday present from my knitting friends a couple of years ago. These just need the right project to come along. Any minute now.
The black crate at the bottom left of the hutch is full of sock yarn; the white box next to it is stuff suitable only for felting. Neither socks nor felting is tops of my personal knitting list — but I have the yarn available, just in case.
The next shelf up contains bags of "multiple colors of the same yarn", i.e. my collection of Cascade 220, and my collection of Manos — which has now expanded to fill a total of 5 gallons worth of ziplocks.
Then there’s the shelf of "medium amounts", which are about 1/2 a sweater’s worth of yarn. To continue that concept, the top shelf contains "small amounts" and the milk crates stacked to the ceiling contain "large amounts" — about 1/4 of a sweater and a full sweater’s worth, respectively.
Finally, on the second shelf, at eye-level, there are the "special" yarns. There are some carry-along yarns on cones, but it’s mostly single skeins of something gorgeous: metallics and MOHAIRS and ribbons and eyelash and railroad and boucle and all kinds of good stuff. (Plus a teeny bit of overflow from a couple of the other shelves.)
Obviously, I don’t need to do any yarn shopping — so this year I am taking three classes at OFFF, including one on machine knitting and one on "Scribble Lace". I’m very excited about that last one. The class is being taught by Debbie New, and is a technique shown in her book, "Unexpected Knitting." This is one of the most truly original knitting books I have ever seen, and if you’ve never looked at it, it will really open your eyes to the wild and crazy possibilities of this thing we do.
I’ve actually had the Scribble Lace Cardigan on the hotlist for a while, and a couple years ago I even bought the yarn for it — at OFFF, as it happens. I can’t show you the picture of the cardigan in the book, because Rock Star borrowed it last Friday, but believe me, it’s very cool.
Another thing that I’ve been keeping busy with: I think everyone noticed that it’s September, and so last week I had a teaching gig every single day, with the exception of Labor Day itself. A couple of beginners, a re-learner, a Continental class, a hat class, and the Friday group class. It was quite a busy week!
And finally, solidly in the first category of "things I can’t actually write about" is the sock I am working on for Deb Kessler’s Fearless Fibers sock club.
I can’t reveal my double-secret plan, but I can show you the yarn and the toe: