Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Stash

It's uh, getting a little out of hand. You can't see all the stash in this picture. Most of the stash is in plastic tubs. This is, um, just the new stuff that doesn't fit in the tubs. Basically what happens is I buy yarn, add it to the database, put it in a ziplock bag and throw it into the left side of the stash room. Oh, did I mention I have a stash room? It's a room built in the garage. It's 14'x10' and has 4 book shelves, a big work table, 4 organizers for my rubberstamps (3 of which you can see here) and tubs of yarn and fiber. I used to be able to walk around the work table, which is now also piled high with bags of yarn.
I can't buy more tubs. They won't fit in the stashroom. But I can't get to my rubberstamps w/out wading through the sea of yarn. More importantly I can't find any of the "new" yarn. I needed a "temporary" solution. Something that I can use now that can be easily put away when I don't need them anymore -- you know like when I knit up the yarn in the tubs, right? So I bought a bunch of these. Cute huh? It's a laundry bag (Walgreens). And it pops open to one of these! I needed 8 and I also bought 4 laundry baskets (same idea, different format) for all the yarn on the work table. They hold a lot of yarn -- probably more than a tub and you can stack them, sort of. They're super light (when empty) and you can see through the netting (if you look closely). It kinda solved the problem. At least now I only have to move a few of these as opposed to all the wading. And I found the yarn I was looking for (Sea Silk for a WIC shawl). The next thing to do is figure out what's in each bag/basket, label it and add that "temporary" location to the database.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Yarn on Tuesday

You know how people hate Mondays? After a nice weekend doing whatever going back to work the following Monday really bites. Not for me though. I'm ok on Mondays. I accept that I work 5 days a week (sometimes more) and thoroughly enjoy my weekend (whenever I get the chance). When Monday rolls around I go to work still high on the buzz of the weekend's activities. Now, Tuesday -- that's hard. The weekend is now a distant past and there's still a good portion of the work week to get through before Saturday rolls around again. Tuesdays are when I really need that yarn fix. Used to be you could go to any yarn store and buy yarn on a Tuesday. There are a few yarn stores open 7 days a week, mostly though they are closed 1 day and that day is either Sunday or Monday. But now there are stores that are closed on Tuesdays. I get the point -- if you're going to be open both Sunday and Monday then being closed on Tuesday works -- and maybe Tuesday is the slowest day of the week. And if I know a yarn store is closed on Tuesday I'll just go to one that's not. I work in Santa Clara and if I really need the medicinal qualities of yarn fumes I'll turn my car south on a Tuesday, north on a Monday and I'm fine. It's okay, really. As long as I know.

This last Tuesday though I decided to go further north. I thought, yeah, that's the store where I left my shop hop passport -- I'll go pick it up -- I earned a bumper sticker and I can ask about those beads I bought for that scarf and see if I have enough. Then I can go to that italian deli and get a prosciutto sandwich on fresh foccacia, ooh and a limonata. Convinced I got in my car and headed north. Way north. I parked behind the store. Walked around the block to the front only to find that it was closed. On Tuesday. Damn. Well, it's a short week. Sigh. Ok, I'm here I might as well get my sandwich. I walked up the block, entered the deli and placed my order at the counter. I went to the beverage cooler and picked up my limonata. And while I waited I thought, I really wanted to buy some yarn. Nothing in particular, just a little pink -- sock yarn? Yarn for hand warmers? A little fair-isle project? I was lost in my little yarn daydream, I absentmindedly went to pay for my lunch that I got to go, when it hit me like a sack of sweet potatoes -- there's another yarn store in this town. I headed out the door and back down the street. It was a nice day and the limonata was quite refreshing. I'd gotten a small one and finished it just as I got to the door of the other yarn store, it was open. Yes!

Ah the sweet smell of wool. Ooh the touch of cashmere -- mmm, a nice deep pink colored cashmere blend in the odd ball bin, on sale, 1, 2, 3 balls, score! Hey and what's this? Wool silk in lavender blue and deep purple yummy, we'll need some gray for those fair isle hand warmers. Oh look, sock yarn -- alpaca sock yarn -- hey I don't have this color, a cool red and rose with a touch of gray. I can feel the tension leaving my body. I'm in heaven. I go to pay for my goodies. And I leave the store $70 poorer but I can see the end of the week -- hey and it's a short week. As I pull into the parking lot at work I smile. I leave my purchase in the car. I head up to my desk with my lunch and log into my computer. And, I note what yarn stores are closed on Tuesdays. At least now I know.

If you want a quick fix and need to know where you can buy yarn, right now -- be sure to check knitmap I should have, well, maybe not.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm on Ravelry!

OMG! Gotta admit, I sorta tried to resist it. Like a ostrich I buried my head in the ground and pretended it was not there. I signed up and I think I waited, what, a month? But I didn't hold my breath, I wasn't expecting an invitation anytime soon. I keep track of my projects using NeedleTrax. And what was this Ravelry thing but a way to keep track of projects? I've got my lists of "dream projects", "WIPs", "FOs", books, patterns, and oh yes, the stash. Any of which I can export to excel spreadsheets and download to my PocketPC and have at my fingertips. Who needs a new system? I mean really. I was blissfully happy in my own little world.

And then my world imploded. Two things happened pretty much simulaneously: 1) my Yahoo! Photos got move to Flickr and 2) I got my invitation to Ravelry. After a little frustration (step away from the computer, go knit) trying to get my Flickr account settings so Ravelry can see my pictures, I was golden. That was yesterday and I got 5 projects up -- 3 wips, 2 FO's and a few books. This morning I've got 2 computers going. One has Picasa and Flickr running so I can upload more pictures into Flickr. And this one's got Blogger and Ravelry going so I can add more projects, books, and I don't know maybe yarn. I mean should I even go there? This is madness! But evil good fun.

The goal today is to get some of my favorite FO's up and start a "queue". I'm not going to take a picture of every yarn I have and project planned. At least, not today. I will also try to get most of the WIP's in. This one's already there:

Florence Shrug is done. Vivace Bamboo in Rainbow. It's big and it, um, grew, but I'm moving on. After 10+ years knitting you'd think I'd know my own gauge! I do know my personal sock gauge, I durned well knit enough socks to know that 64sts around with size 1 or 2's works for me. I've yet to find that magical formula for sweaters that fit. So far it's work the next size smaller w/ needles also down a size. Yes, I'm a loose knitter. And no, I didn't do that with Florence. Sigh.

Now that I've finished something that was ALREADY ON NEEDLES I don't feel so bad starting a Clapotis (in CTH wool silk) and Lady Eleanor (with CE Embrace, oh yes I did). They're already up on Ravelry. And with all this "ravelry" going on, I'm ready to finish up some more stuff. Next off the needles: Jester Scarf (no really) and Tokyo Bloom which will now be a shrug. If you're on Ravelry -- I'm "fiberdev".