Saturday, October 8, 2016

yarn destiny

Back in 2014 I got into swapping on Ravelry. In particular, I joined the Karma Yarn Swap group because I liked the prospect of claiming first and THEN offering, and because it is a really sweet group with kind friendly people.

they offer some gooooood stuff, ya'll. but the price point is in my range, too, so I didn't feel stressed about it. Swapping offered me the opportunity to do what my friend Monique calls "curating" the stash--going over it, giving it a toss, and finding the things that don't speak to me any more and getting rid of them.

In 2014 there was a lot of stash, and there was a lot of dross. Not yarn that was bad (I'd normally be of the opinion that no yarn can be bad yarn but I'm young yet and I suspect there's time to find bad yarn. I've used some really mediocre ones.) but yarn that ... was in my way. Yarn that I felt guilty about, or no love for--yarn that took up space and thought but didn't inspire me to joy.

Now don't get me wrong, love for a particular yarn usually waxes and wanes for me. I'm full of dreams when I buy it, but I rarely get to cast it on right away, and in fact there's been a bit of a long term trend going on where I don't get to cast it on for *years* after I purchase it, and affection fades, or often gets redirected towards new stash. But most yarns, when I pick them up again and give them a squeeze, they make me smile and inspire me to go rootling around on Ravelry for patterns.

But these dross yarns, these still did not speak to me. And I realized something about (most) of them--something about how I bought them. Often they were yarns that I'd gotten because they were "good enough". I'd been looking at something else at the LYS, something expensive or in insufficient quantity, and I'd decided that I couldn't really justify that big of a purchase or the price point was outrageous, and as I turned aside (or as I went to Michael's a week later), my eye caught on another yarn or the discount bin and decided "ooh, well this yarn is ALMOST the yarn I was dreaming of it, and it's much cheaper! it's good enough, let me get it."

It turns out that yarn I compromise on in this fashion isn't always what I want. It's not too surprising, because half the time when I'm contemplating buying an expensive yarn, I'm thinking about what I can make with it, not shopping for a purpose. That's the buying impulse, that says "oo, I want this pretty! what should I do with it? a cowl?" but there's no dedication behind that. occasionally the product gets made, with the impulse yarn or with the "good enough" yarn, but often enough the purpose behind the purchase is simple TO BE PURCHASING.

so, swapping was particularly fun because it helped me satisfy the "gimmee new!" urge, but also helped me get rid of a bunch of yarns I didn't want. And my habits changed (or were changing) while I was swapping--I had been a bit disgruntled about my stash, and I was more pronounced, more decisive with swapping (not right away, it took a while). After... I think 2 years, I had ended up with yarns I was happy with, that made me happy in my stash (mostly a lot of sock yarns--it turns out I have a "can always knit socks!" stash, which I don't mind at all), and most of the yarns I didn't like were gone.

but it wasn't all 100% easy, so I did end up with weird impulse claims/swaps now and again. usually I ended up swapping those away as well but a few remain, and one of those is the yarn going into this hat now.

It's 100% merino handspun pink bulky. it's lovely, and fluffy, and soft, but I've never remotely felt the urge to knit anything from it except vaguely in passing. I weaned myself off swapping earlier this year (it takes more time than I'd thought, and honestly my stash makes me pretty happy--there's little I'd want to claim that's worth giving something I love away), but I still check in now and again and like to hang out with the lovely KYS people. Anyway, I noticed one of the swap threads, someone had gotten a bit busy and was getting in a little trouble, and they offered some fiber that I'd be happy to spin, and I have 5 or 6 things I could offer up that people might like (you swap out your offer after a few days if no one claims it, to keep things fresh), so I claimed it. and I offered up this handspun, with knitting services included to sweeten the deal, and long story short it was a hit and I'm knitting a hat out of it. A hat I thought it would look good as, but that I'd never wear, and no one I know would wear--but I'm knitting it for someone anyway and you know what? it's extremely satisfying. like the yarn finally found its destiny.

I might have to rip it out tomorrow though, it might be a bit too small. We'll see how it looks once I finish the crown decreases. Meanwhile, here's what destiny looks like:


Friday, September 16, 2016

odd

receiving unquestioning support from your mentor/boss is kinda weird.

not bad.

just weird.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

time is swift

Somehow it's already August. I defended my dissertation, completed my Ph.D... how odd.

Things I'm working on: packing, cleaning, getting rid of the bulk of my possessions, spending time with friends and cats

Things I'm watching: for the first time I watched Space Jam, the Last Unicorn, and Pulp Fiction. Also caught Finding Dory and am up to Greg the Babysitter in Steven Universe season 3.

Things I'm reading: Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Ann Carson's Biography of Red.

Things I'm planning still: settling up at this house and settling in at the new house; what to knit

Things I'm knitting: I am just about finished with May's pair of socks. March's socks are still just singular. I ripped out the baby socks I started in June because frankly they were turning out pretty halloweeny and it wasn't what I'd intended. I started a shawl out of sock yarn in July and I've done my 5 hours on it. August's project is yet to begin.

Things I'm spinning: I just finished plying my witch's cauldron gradient with some lovely solid brown. Looks like a minimum of 1000 yards for 9.5 oz which is pretty nice. It's destined for a shawl (might be one of the Quaker ones). The wheel is resting but I will probably try to spin another project or two in the next couple of weeks anyway.

Things I'm worried about: um hmm. making sure I get all the details worked out for the move.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

bleh

house searching is hard.

writing and doing references is hard too

how sad will it be if I don't get the time to hit the beach AT ALL on this trip?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

early july update

what I'm reading: re-reads of my chapters. plus the intros and conclusions of about a thousand papers simultaneously

what I'm watching: I saw batman v superman on the plane on someone else's screen (it's really hard not to pay attention to what is on a screen). As far as I can tell the only redeemable quality of the movie is the presence of Wonder Woman. Can't wait for that movie to come out at some point.

what I'm knitting: I brought Nurmilintu with on the trip and I'm into the first lace section. I'll try a few more rows tonight before I pass out

what I'm happy about: The Darkness is getting better! at least all signs point in that direction. when they take him off IV fluids that may reverse, so fingers crossed

what I'm stressin' about: DISSERTATION. wrgrargagjgragagrabalrblr.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

quick update

currently knitting: second socks for May and March; Nurmilintu's first garter section. Just getting in rows here and there, not much overall

currently spinning: My Ladybug's developed a squeak but I managed to find a way to sit and treadle that doesn't do it regularly, so I've filled the first bobbin with brown-and-gradient 2 ply.

currently reading: NO
currently writing: SCIENCE
currently working: making a last batch of graphs (OH GEEZBUGGERFUDGEMUFFINS), adding them and writing up results/analysis for chapter 3; then frantically adding references to chapter 1 and actually writing chapter 4

trying to figure out: trip next week for housing searching (I still need a cat sitter/to figure out if my black cat is sick).

panic level: HIGH
productivity level: HIGH
amount of time remaining: 1 week/ 7 days

Friday, June 17, 2016

checking in

Currently watching: I watched a few episodes of Great American Baking Competition last night before passing out

Currently reading: Soifer, Neugebauer, Matthews, Egami, et al (2000) and (2001)

Currently knitting: trying to finish off the second ball of yarn in the 5-ball secret project. also I caved and cast on a new sock yarn project for this month, the nurmilintu I've been craving. Worked out a few kinks with gauge and edgings being too taut and am proceeding slowly. I subbed these two yarns in for the black-and-color-pops fingering weight that was ambiguously set to become A Shawl Of Some Sort when I set my yarns for the 2016 Year of Socks. At first I was against swapping yarns, but I figure as long as it's still sock-yarn and comes from the same age or older stash that the one I'm removing did, it's good. This stuff is really old/some of my 2012 stash, so I'm happy to be using it over a skein I got last year.

In fact I'm thinking I'll swap out another designated yarn (not sure which one) for the two color mitts I had balled up 6 months ago so I can make sure to use those before they get too stretched out. Those are for an xmas gift, so I am looking forward to that.

Currently spinning: I finished the brown corriedale! everything's having a rest and then in the next week I'll begin plying these two. Hopefully I've enough yardage of the brown to match the extended gradient of the loop bump.

Currently thinking: ugh. migraines and an all-nighter and the terrible shooting in Orlando really fucked this week up for me. but I'm churning slowly through my list and I am still optimistic about getting enough work done.

Currently planning: on doing a bit of cleaning and organizing this weekend. maybe two boxes worth? we'll see. also need to make a few important phone calls (moving company; heart doctor; car place; family) and maybe order a plane ticket.

BUSY BUSY BUSY BUSY.