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e_moon60

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Confessions of a Yarn Addict [Apr. 6th, 2015|10:35 pm]
e_moon60
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[Current Mood |awake]

Mysteriously,  out of the aether between the online catalogs and our front porch or our mailbox, they appear.   Boxes.  Bags.   Wrapped in plain brown cardboard or plain gray plastic, sometimes with inner wrappings (but not always)  and looking something like this:


Not as heavy as you might think.  Kind of bulgy and soft, if a bag like this.  Whatever could it be?   Surely (given the state of the middle room's closet) not...not...(gasp) more yarn?!?

Gingerly such packages are brought inside with due care, and very carefully they are dissected to reveal--inevitably, inexplicably, THIS:


Which, when peeled out of the rest of its wrappings, becomes something like THIS:
Yarn-Apr-2015

Yes.  More yarn.  33 skeins or balls, all in pairs but the one new yarn I wanted to test as a stripe yarn before buying it for socks.  Red, rust,gold, green, purple, a peculiar dark heather with flecks of blue, purple, and green and something else, purple, blue, a medium-brown heather and a dark brown heather, a deep teal heather.   I had failed to see how much red yarn I had left before buying these 14 balls, but then...I really, really, REALLY like red socks.  It was on sale, you see.  My favorite sock yarn in my favorite red, so...I kindasorta thought I'd stock up...well...I now have enough yarn for enough pairs of red socks for a long, long time.  Which is good because I've already worn out two pairs of red socks, knitted in the first year of sock-knitting and heavily worn.  Then there's yarn for several pairs of socks for friends, colors chosen by them.  Then there's the other colors for me.  Some are heathers.  Some are solid colors.  Plus the yarn in boxes and bags in the middle room that will someday be the knitting and drafting room when I get it cleared up some (fond hope, growing fainter.)   All the ones for me will coordinate with other colors I already have.

It's not too much yarn, really (she says, considering the other yarn in the other rooms.)   Not if I keep at it.  Not if I keep at it and pay no attention to the yarn ads flooding my inbox.  Or ignre the fact that the cheapest yarn there (the gold) is an off color from a good manufacturer and sold at much less than the cost of the other skeins and is really pretty and completely different than its description in the online catalog.  ("Dark Natural?"  No, sweetums, it's a lovely golden color.  More would not come amiss, you know. For stripes on other things...just a few more skeins...)  No.  No more.  not until at least the end of the year (the yarn-desiring self is whining already and there's a LOT of yarn in this house!)  It's quite doable, knitting all the yarn I have in...oh....the next twenty years or so.  Some of my female relatives have lived that long.

And I'm not only a yarn addict, I'm a sock addict.  If my Sekrit Planz work out, I will never have to wear commerical socks again.  (Looks down at feet, whereon are green self-knit socks.)


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Comments:
[User Picture]From: seticat
2015-04-07 04:18 am (UTC)
I have 'so' got to learn to knit. Or at least learn how to crochet socks.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-07 12:51 pm (UTC)
Personally I think knitting produces more flexible, comfortable socks than crocheting (this on the basis of having, at one time, some crocheted slippers) but you can indeed make socks either way. Also, I'm lousy at crochet and knitting came more easily to me, so that certainly made my choice of methods easier.

If you want to learn to knit, there are great YouTube videos (and some not so great, but there are LOTS of videos to choose from) and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's book KNITTING RULES has wonderful, _simple_, directions for turning the heel. I had been terrified of that part of sock-knitting, especially after reading several books on socks, but she has a way of saying it that made it clear to me.
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[User Picture]From: aunty_marion
2015-04-07 10:57 am (UTC)
That gold (and the green, and the blue...) is gorgeous.

I knit socks in 4-ply/fingering, mostly, as I'm not hard on them; but I have enough of that to make a pair of socks a month for, oh, about the next five years. Assuming I don't *ahem* 'acquire' any more, of course!
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-07 12:45 pm (UTC)
I did not realize, when I started knitting again after forty years of not-knitting, that yarn would become an obsession. It took only two things--discovering that I really *could* make socks and my feet loved them, and discovering that a yarn I liked for socks could be discontinued--to ignite the desire for a stockpile. "What if I couldn't get THIS yarn anymore forever? Noooooo...."

I've always liked thick socks, and for years wore "hiking socks" from commercial sources--which is good because I need to use thicker yarn and larger needles to be able to see the stitches, esp. when fixing mistakes. So all my socks are made with worsted-weight.
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[User Picture]From: ajmaldawakhana
2015-04-07 01:57 pm (UTC)

Yarn Addiction Paradox

So this is the truth of yarn addiction. Thanks for providing new information :)
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-07 02:49 pm (UTC)

Re: Yarn Addiction Paradox

Yup. Yarn provides excuse escape-routes not available to, say, books (which I also have in overabundance) or CDs or unhealthy consumables like, say, chocolate (we won't discuss my chocolate stash, which takes up less space than two balls of yarn.) Yarn is useful: you can make useful things with it, things you can't buy (that are anything like as good.) Since I am actively knitting on a project every day, the regular consumption of yarn would eventually result in shortage of yarn, and prudent people do not allow themselves to run out of useful things (toilet paper, soap)....so stocking up on yarn is a virtue. It's not like there's a yarn store where I live (there's not) and the nearest reliable source is almost 50 miles away (or online) so it *saves time and money* to stock up, especially when there's a sale. It's useful and I'm being prudent (you see where this is going.)

Besides, I never bought yarn when I wasn't knitting...I only bought (and buy) yarn when I'm actively knitting. I only buy useful yarn--the kind I knit with--not those other yarns, so I'm being prudent and economical again. No cashmere for me. (We won't discuss my passion for Mountain Colors handppainted yarns--that was a single aberration, and more is prevented by having bought this large lump of plain stuff.)

With all these excuses, it's very easy to acquire the famous SABLE, Stash Acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy. While feeling virtuous about it.

And I almost have SABLE. And do feel virtuous--or, it not exactly virtuous, smug: the dragon in her lair, reclining not on cold, hard gold and jewels, but lovely balls of yarn.
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From: 6_penny
2015-04-07 04:31 pm (UTC)

Re: Yarn Addiction Paradox

There might be a sudden blizzard that would confine one to the house for weeks! Must have enough yarn - and books- and embroidery materials just in case ...
(and of course chocolate. All in the emergency survival container!)

A friend asked me to knit a pair of slipper/socks for her - any ideas how to produce a non slip sole?
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-07 09:48 pm (UTC)

Re: Yarn Addiction Paradox

No, but I know there is one. Someone on Ravelry probably knows. But I'm just home from the city and I really should be doing other things while Houseguest and Husband are off buying fish for tonight's dinner.
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[User Picture]From: aunty_marion
2015-04-08 12:22 pm (UTC)

Re: Yarn Addiction Paradox

You can buy sew-on leatherette soles (sometimes sheepskin lined!); or there's a product (well, probably more than one...) of liquid rubber which you apply in dots to the soles - mine's called Sock Stop, from Rico Designs; or you can get (mine are from Regia) stick-on patches which you iron onto the soles (on a low temperature setting).
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[User Picture]From: redvixen
2015-04-07 02:23 pm (UTC)

How a Yarn Addict Thinks :)

Oooooo, such pretty colours especially the green and gold and blue and the one that looks like a dark rich red-purple under the green skeins in the middle picture.

Yarn addiction sneaks up on crafters. Part of it is the "what if I run out of it?" issue and part of it is "oh, that's so pretty and soft I could make something with it" mindset. Before one knows it, there's bags and boxes and piles of yarn everywhere and you will still be missing the yarn needed for a project, lol.

I'm currently working on three projects, two small and one major, that should reduce my yarn stash to a more manageable level. Still more than hubby likes to see but this is my hobby not his so he has to suffer, hehehe.

Anyway, it's not my fault friends and family give me their yarn stashes because they aren't using them or received them from other people and thought I'd make more use of them, now is it? It would be rude to refuse their gifts. Very rude. :)
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[User Picture]From: aunty_marion
2015-04-08 12:28 pm (UTC)

Re: How a Yarn Addict Thinks :)

I often claim that my superpower is having people give me yarn unexpectedly. I came home from knit group on Thursday last week with six small (1 oz/320 yard) skeins hand-dyed TO ORDER WITH MY NAME ON!!! (equalling over 1900 yards total!) of Unique Sheep Eos laceweight, in 50/50 merino/silk. WTF? Didn't see that one coming! But I've also had chats with friends who've disappeared to find me a ball of yarn that they think I'll like ... and who then come back with a carrier-bag full.
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[User Picture]From: redvixen
2015-04-08 01:06 pm (UTC)

Re: How a Yarn Addict Thinks :)

Hehe, I like that superpower.

I went to my best friend's house before Christmas. She had recently received the yarn stash of a friend's aunt who had died and asked if I wanted any. I left home with one bag of gifts for my friend and her family. I came home with four bags of yarn.

My husband was not impressed. Hers thought it was a good start on clearing out her stash. We thought it was a fair exchange because she went through my stash a couple of months before that to get some yarn she needed/wanted. We just didn't mention that to the hubbies. :)
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[User Picture]From: msminlr
2015-04-07 04:34 pm (UTC)

Y'all sound dangerously like quilters...

...whose mantra is "She who dies with the largest stash wins". I am nowhere near in competition for that award, but I know a lady in Starkville who just might be.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-07 09:46 pm (UTC)
I make socks by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's basic sock "recipe" in her book KNITTING RULES, adapted to my feet and legs. I can tell you what I do, but unless your feet are women's size 10, with a narrow heel, high arch, high instep, and an ankle that's thicker than it used to be, it won't work for you.

Basically, it's a crew-type sock: a ribbed top (knit two, purl two rib) that for me is good at 5 inches because of the way my leg is shaped. (The shape of the lower leg is determined by the insertion of the calf muscles onto the heel tendon--if it's higher, the calf muscles make a distinct lower margin (bulge) and the leg below that stays about the same circumference down to the ankle. In that case, ribbing should to up to reach the bottom of the calf muscles. If the insertion is lower, there isn't as obvious an "end" to the calf-muscle and the leg decreases steadily down to the ankle. Shorter ribbed cuffs work better here

Then, because my ankle is smaller around than my lower leg, I decrease about 2/3 of an inch, and put on an inch and a half of plain knit. Then I start the heel flap. (Heel flap heels are good for people with high insteps.) My heel flaps for the crew-type socks run about 2 1/4 inches. I like to use reinforced heels and run the reinforcing under the heel during the heel turn and for a few rows after that, because it pads my heels. I most often use eye of partridge for the reinforcing stitch, but also use "heel stitch" on occasion. Sometimes, by accident, I mix them, so there's a stripe of heel stitch across the eye of partridge. Works just fine.

When I decrease for the gussets, I come down to one less on the two bottom needles because my foot is smaller around than my ankle. I also use a steeper decrease than any pattern I've seen suggests, because of the high arch (decrease two rows, then a plain row, rather than decrease one, plain one.) This helps the sock lift up under my arch and not wrinkle there. I discovered by trying that more than two decreases in a row on the gussets leads to little holes just above the decreases...can be closed by weaving yarn into them, but best not to create them. I do anatomical toes (there's a right sock and a left sock) because of the slant of my toes, which is quite sharp. People whose toes are more rounded from first to fifth can use symmetrical decreases.

The short socks I make are the same in the foot, but instead have a rolled cuff--4 rows of stockinette, which is just enough to roll over, then 3/4 inch of 2x2 ribbing, a shorter heel flap (2 inches) and the foot the same as the others. This produces a sock that just covers my ankle-bones (to protect them when riding the bike).

Since you're already made one pair of socks, you can now refine the fit for your own particular feet (write it down...) and the way you want them to feel. I like socks that are neither tight nor floppy--that lie on my feet like a second comfortable skin and absolutely do not dig in at the top (causes swelling--not good.) It took several pairs, each one a little better than the last, to sneak up on the perfect fit...for me. Some yarns knit up differently, so I try on socks many times during the knitting of them. One yarn this year needed more decreases for the foot; one needed one less. But some people want them snugger, or looser. If you consider your first pair of socks...you might wish they were easier to get on your feet...or one might feel "perfect" and the other a little tight of a little loose. The great thing about knitting your own is that for the first time, you can have socks that actually fit *exactly* the way your feet are put together. If you're making "plain" socks (mostly stockinette with some ribbing at the top) you can add or decrease the number of stitches just as your foot "likes."

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From: ozdragonlady
2015-04-07 11:08 pm (UTC)
*grin*
Not skiting or anythin', but you should see my yarn stash :D
I have more than that just for making soft toys :) and the bags for jumpers and such ... I dont think I will ever have to buy more.

I should send you some of the wonderful yarn hand spun in Toodyay - alpaca and/or microfine merino ...
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-08 05:50 am (UTC)
I did say that was only the most recent shipment. There's a stack of boxes in the middle room closet, right up to the underside of the shelf (on the shelf is the swift and the ball-winder. On the floor are boxes of yarn in plastic bags.

Houseguest (recipient of two pairs of handknit socks from me, starting with the one my mother had started, that I found last fall when I opened a box I hadn't opened before) wants more socks, and had actually knit flat things, but never learned to knit in the round. She is willing and eager to learn that while here, so we're going to work on getting her through her first pair of socks. She will be taking yarn home, and she wants to knit socks for her husband as well.

And of course, today's socks on my feet popped out a hole.
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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2015-04-08 11:11 am (UTC)
Spreading the addiction. I approve.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-09 03:43 am (UTC)
Houseguest, like me, was once taught to knit by her mother, hasn't knit for years, but has a reason to want to knit now. Today we reviewed the long-tail cast-on, knit and purl with intent to make ribbing (which she hadn't before) and I threw her into knitting in the round and changing colors. Her memory of the knit stitch is strong; of the purl stitch less so, but it'll come back. The problem is, we had only part of today and tomorrow and a sqidge of time Friday morning--she flies away Friday afternoon. Meanwhile she made mac & cheese *from scratch!* for lunch; I'd started chili in one pot and beans in another earlier, for a late supper. She now knows my "secret ingredients" for chili.

At the brightest point of a cloudy, misty-drizzly day (in a break between little showers) we walked out in the bluebonnets, took some pictures, got drizzled on, and--as usual--talked and laughed a lot.

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[User Picture]From: fair_witness
2015-04-09 11:15 am (UTC)
The reviewing sounds familiar. It took me a little while to remember how to do the LTC, but when it clicked back into place, whee! I did a better job remembering how to knit than how to purl, but I blame that on my purling skills being underdeveloped when I'd first learned to knit.

Sounds like a great visit for both of you.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-13 05:59 am (UTC)
I've always found purl stitch a little more difficult than knit stitch. Not horribly difficult, like SSK, which defeats me, but a little more difficult.

Because I knit flat things before socks, I had never learned the LTC, though my mother knew it. She taught me something simpler, which I kinda sorta remember, though now my hands are familiar with the LTC.

And today after church, (today if that includes the evening) I got the second sock of the "Summer Beach" shorty socks past the gussets. I should finish them this week, and then turn the heels of the Ruby River socks and get them past the gussets. It will then be time to cast on the next pair, possibly even two pair, so I have one ready (but not far along) to take on the train next month. I'll have a good knitting day and a half on the trip up, and the same on the trip back. The first year socks are wearing out fast now, so I need to keep going.
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From: sheff_dogs
2015-04-13 06:40 pm (UTC)
I think purling is just a slihtly more awkward action than knitting, at least I have always found it so. If I am knitting something in the round I woud always choose to knit rather than purl. Well if I wasn't doing some Aran style thing with lots of cables with which I have a bit of an obsession.
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[User Picture]From: e_moon60
2015-04-13 10:11 pm (UTC)
I have yet to tackle cables because my obsession with comfortable socks requires getting ahead of the wearing out by a comfortable margin on plain (so to speak) socks before taking the extra time...but they're next.

Someday there will be a cabled pair of knee-high socks in my sock drawer for those days that are colder than usual. I salute the cable contingent. My mother made me the most gorgeous Aran-style thing to her own pattern.
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