I know, I know, I keep saying that I am not going to buy any more yarn. But with the knitting Olympics coming up, I knew I needed to get the yarn for the Irish Diamond Shawl sooner and not wait to buy it at Stitches West (since this is what I have decided I will be making). On Friday night I went to a knitting group in the home of a woman who just happens to also sell oodles of gorgeous yarn, including cones of fingering weight wool in lovely heathered colors (it helps that I have already seen a completed Irish Diamond Shawl in this same type of yarn so I know it will work). Plus, when I sat down to knit I was right next to a box of yarn she’d just received and really, how am I to resist when a skein of tiger striped Opal sock yarn is staring me in the face? I did manage to resist all the other temptations, even when she asked for our opinion on which of the solid color Opals she should consider stocking, even though she has some pink sock yarn in just the right shade for the breast cancer ribbon socks I intend to make for my sisters and I, so I suspect there will be more sock yarn coming home with me in the next few months.
As if this wasn’t enough of a yarn binge, Sunday afternoon was the big yarn craft thing at the local Michael’s. My knitting mom and her two daughters and I all took part in the knitting contest (my knitting mom won because she is quite the speed knitter) and since I was there I decided to meander back to the yarn section, even though I had no intention of buying anything. No intention, that is, until I was faced with huge bins of Lion Brand Fun Fur, on sale for a ridiculously low price and in the exact colors that I would need to make this rug. I normally would not touch fun fur with a ten foot pole because I think it is ridiculous, but Richard and I both think that rug would be a lot of fun in the bedroom (or even the library, although we’ll have to wait and see). I’d avoiding even thinking about it earlier because at the normal price for the yarn, it would a very expensive rug. But at such a great price, what was I to do but call up Richard to verify that yes, he does think the rug is cool enough that he wouldn’t mind having it in the house, and then have him look up the pattern and read off to me the number of skeins of each color I would need. I have since also found the Wool Ease the pattern requires on sale at marvelous prices so that’s winging its way to me as well.
And finally, I decided that since I am going to be going to Ireland, I need to make myself an Aran cardigan to wear while I am over there. I want it to be something that I can toss in the wash and not having to worry about giving special care because we will be doing a lot of walking in places that will be rainy and sometimes dirty and when one is traveling, one does not really have the time or space to carefully handwash a 100% wool sweater and lay it out to dry. I signed up for the Follow the Leader Aran Along because what better way to make a sweater that is chock full of complicated cables than to join a group doing the exact same thing? Okay, so the cables the pattern calls for aren’t so complicated, but I have never been a fan of the horseshoe cable and I do own the Harmony stitch and cable pattern books, and I really do adore cables – the more complex the better – so after much careful searching and agonizing and pestering my very patient husband for his opinion I have picked the cables I am going to use (the Saxon cable, which is a 16 row repeat, and a cable I found on a sweater online that is an 8 row repeat) and have been happily swatching. Conveniently, I have just enough of the Plymouth Encore worsted left over from those two illusion scarves I made in December to do all the necessary swatching, since I like the yarn and the fact that it is machine washable makes it a marvelous candidate for what I have in mind. I have not yet bought the actual yarn for the cardigan (even though I have already picked the color I like – blue ivy – and have bookmarket it at the cheapest place I could find online). I am trying to be restrained and wait until after I have washed the swatches and determined if I like how it looks in this yarn.
In response to the rather recent yarn buying spree, the guilt over the size of my stash started to get to me. So yesterday afternoon I broke out the knitting machine and rummaged around in my stash and made myself a swatch of a few of the yarns I bought two years ago at Stitches West. Once my cable swatch is done all the swatches will go into the washer so I can get accurate guages, and then my goal is to get at least one sweater made, using my knitting machine since it is going to be just plain old stockinette, in time to wear to this year’s Stitches West, which will at least clear out some of the existing stash to make room for all the recent acquisitions. After all, it is a given that I will not make it out of Stitches West without adding yet more yarn to my stash, so the more I can use up before I get there, the better.