Saturday, September 27, 2008

Comfort food

It seems that, like on a real diet, a knitter on a yarn diet craves "comfort food".

I'm on both, and it sucks.

I've been on the food diet for 10 days, and it's going okay, except that counting calories is driving me nuts. Due to lactose intolerance and other various factors, I'm having a hell of a time 1) getting enough calories every day, and 2) getting the right balance of calories. Adding healthy fats without being able to consume much dairy has been an interesting challenge.

I've been on the yarn diet (mostly) since June, when I bought that KnitPicks lace sampler. I've bought a bit of sock yarn here and there since then, but have made no significant yarn purchases and have been knitting solely from stash or working on UFOs. And now...I'm sick of it.

I want to buy a bunch of nice, comforting worsted weight--since all I've been working with is lace, fingering, and sport--along with a nice, comforting pattern, sit my ass down, and just knit all day long. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, I can't afford to do any of these things, so it's back to the UFOs while startitis stalks my brain.

In this quest to tackle knitting without actually buying yarn, I did finish the socks Glen Hansard lent his awesomeness to:

Glen socks

I love the colorway (Berocco Sox 1426) and would have no problem knitting with it again in the future. I've already made some very tiny socks from the leftovers as a dangler for my key chain. 18 stitches on size US1 needles makes for one adorable little accessory.

As far as comfort knitting goes, I'm in the mood for something big, warm, and cabled. Something like the Dickinson Pullover, or the Must-Have Cardigan. (I'll admit to being in love with that cardigan ever since the Yarn Harlot blogged her way through knitting it a while back.) Even Camden is looking pretty good right now. I just want something that feels comfortable to knit, looks great to wear, and is just plain fun. The macaroni-and-cheese, or mashed potatoes, or big-bowl-of-ice-cream of the knitting world. (I haven't had any of these foods recently, either. Mac & cheese makes me sadly ill, mashed potatoes are a bit out of season, and even with a calorie count leaning toward "not enough", I haven't managed to sneak any ice cream in.)

Alas, I crave all these things without the current budget to support them. I'm still wondering how I'm going to manage the Sheep & Wool Festival this year (hint: it's looking like I won't be able to). Although I suppose it's all for the greater good. Ending a diet with a binge isn't that great of an idea, right? Even a yarn diet.

Right, I'll try to justify it that way.

In the meantime, Anne Shirley is looking promising as something that could be satisfactorily knit from yarn I have on hand.

Mood: decaffeinated
Music: Gillian Welch - By the Mark

Saturday, September 13, 2008


In pondering life, I occasionally come up against something that seems impossible to resolve without causing a paradox when its principles are applied on a broad scale. No matter what angle I look at some things from, it seems that there's no way to settle on an agreeable explanation that makes sense in every situation. So often is the case with important matters.

In the midst of this, I've come to one definite conclusion: there is only so much that each individual person in this world can care about. And yet, in realizing this, it's also important to remember that, just because we don't all care about the same things, the things other people care about are not less or beneath the things we care about. Everyone cares about a different subset of things because there has to be a balance. If we all tried to care about everything that needed attention, the world would come to a screeching halt.

The point of saying all of this is to declare that I'm going to try my hardest to stop feeling guilty about the things I care about. I'm going to try and appreciate the time and energy that goes into and is required by the things that are important to me. I'm going to stop minimizing myself.

And one of the things I care about greatly is (big surprise) knitting. And yarn.

My first attempt at using Jacquard acid dyes! I was going for more balance between the yellow and green, but I'm still quite happy with the way it came out. It reminds me of early-to-late spring when the new leaves have just come, and everything is getting green again.

I dyed this at my grandmother's house, which is in much more of a city setting than I'm used to. I'm a country girl at heart; I grew up and still live in a place where it takes ten minutes to get to the post office and longer than that to hit a grocery store. My grandmother, on the other hand, lives a hop, skip, and a jump away from just about everything, from banks and grocery stories to soft-serve ice cream and Chinese takeout. It's interesting to spend any length of time down there. It's a really different world for me.

Her house also has a couple of things mine doesn't that make yarn dyeing that much easier: 1) a full basement with surfaces on which to lay out yarn and other materials, surfaces that have never and will never be used for food prep; and 2) a giant, two-sided metal sink with its own taps, perfect for wetting out and rinsing out yarn, and also for hanging yarn to do its initial drip-drying. I had a great time dyeing this yarn and hope I can do some more in the near future.

Because of the colors and where I dyed it, I've dubbed the colorway "Springtime in the City". It's for sale over at my Etsy shop if anyone's interested!

Now that I've waxed personally philosophical, and rambled about yarn in true knitblogger fashion, I'm off to play with the new Sims 2 expansion. And knit. 'Cause Sims is awesome like that.

Mood: depressed
Music: Michael Nesmith - Back Porch and a Fruit Jar Full of Iced Tea