Stash – How Much is Too Much?

Oh, I just love it when I get yarn boxes from the UPS guy. (Although it has proven to be VERY hazardous to my own personal stash levels.) Today we got more Claudia Hand Painted. Have I told you how much I love that yarn? Just love it. So new at The Loopy Ewe: Wisteria (the most wonderful colors of periwinkle), Carribean Blue (blues, teals, greens, heading into my own stash post haste), Sante Fe (the perfect autumn yarn, and I love the deep blue that runs through it) and Pink Dot (which actually has quite a bit of purple in it, too.) These were backorders from my original order with them. I also ordered MORE colors of Claudia Hand Painted just yesterday, which they promised to ship right out. Today, I ordered more Cherry Tree colors – and those will ship to me on Monday. (I also ordered another WONDERFUL yarn that my new friend in Japan, Susan, clued me in to. Thanks Susan!! I will wait to announce that until I have get a shipping estimate from them.) So – keep checking back, as we have new things arriving weekly. Remember, we only show things on the website that are currently in stock – and the website automatically updates our quantities as people order. So if you see it on the website, you can order it and not worry about it being backordered.

So – onto today’s post. This thing called stash? I tried to avoid it. I tried to be “mature” and only buy up one project ahead. That meant that as soon as I started in on knitting one project, I could go shopping and have another project “in the wings” – but no more than that. (I know – what a novice knitter…..) That worked for …. oh, about a month. I think this plan came about because of the unbelievable cache of counted cross-stitch books that are boxed up in my basement. We don’t talk about the fact that most have never been used, and I haven’t cross-stitched in years. I had good intentions when I bought them all. And all that cross-stitch fabric, too. So I was trying to put a good lesson into practice – don’t buy more than you will use. This new, mature purchasing plan worked until the next time I visited my LYS and there were too many new projects that I needed to take home with me. They practically jumped into my basket. It really wasn’t my fault. I checked out with them and bought a plastic under-the-bed storage container on my way home and I officially had “stash”.

I might point out that at that point, I was buying specific yarn for specific projects – so it still seemed a bit mature. I had a plan for them all. Soon I went to yet another LYS. I found this wonderful moss green yarn that I just loved. DSCF2736 (rev 0)I picked it up, walked around with it, and then put it back down. After all, I had no idea what I’d do with it. None. I have way too many scarves and had moved on to bigger and better knitting projects. (Not that there’s anything wrong with scarves. I love having a whole wardrobe of them to choose from.) So I said to myself, “Hmmm. I have no idea what I’d do with this yarn. I’m not buying it.” In the back of my head, I started hearing voices. It was all of those knitting blogs that I had been reading, where the authors talked about their stash, and having far more yarn than they could knit in their lifetime. Did that stop them from buying more? Of course not. I’m pretty sure that they have yarn that is not designated for a specific project. I’m pretty sure that one of the definitions of “stash” is “I have no idea what I’ll use it for but if I don’t buy it now it will be gone when I think of something to use it for and come back to buy it later.” So of course that moss green yarn made its way back into my basket and is now in my stash. I have no idea what I’m going to use it for. I’m just happy it’s there.

Sheri howmuchofYOURstashisyarnthathasnoknownpurposeyet?

Needle Inventory – How Much is Too Much?

Needles. Can you ever have enough of them? I think not. I remember being at my LYS about a year into my “return to knitting”. (That means I learned when I was young, and returned to it again three years ago). I was buying yarn to make a felted bag, and bought circular needles in the size that I would need. When I got home and put this new project in my knitting bag, I was so dismayed to realize that I already HAD size 6 circular needles in a 24″ length, for pete’s sake! I ran through my options – a) driving a half hour back up there to return them (feeling like an unorganized idiot for not realizing I already had that size), or b) giving them away to someone who needed that size. What to do? The next day, I was going through knitting books, deciding on all the fun things I wanted to knit, when it dawned on me that duplicate needles are a very good thing. Indeed – a VERY good thing! Of course I need multiple needles, because I have multiple projects going on at the same time and sometimes the size I need is in use already. (Shuffling the stitches off onto a stitch holder? Too fiddly, most of the time. Unless I don’t have the option of an extra pair of needles in that size. What is the average number of “works in progress” for knitters?)DSCF2740 (rev 0) Yes, I definitely “get” the multiple needles in all sizes thing now. Thank goodness for needle organizers. (Although I did have fun throwing a lot of my needles on the floor to take a picture of my “needle stash”. We have yarn stash – is there such a thing as needle stash?) You know, this picture is deceiving. I have more needles than that. But it was great to put so many out on the floor, because I updated my needle inventory card and then got them all organized.

Now that I have my Namaste Vintage Knitting Bag, I am looking for all different kinds of fun (pretty) needles to display around the outside. Who has some great ones that I need to know about?

Sheri Ilearnedalessonabout”stash”earlyon,tooandI’llhavetosharethatwithyouinthenextpost

Sheri’s Top Ten Reasons to Knit Socks

1. While in progress, they look so dang complicated with all of those needles (or circular cables) sticking out. It impresses the beejeebers out of everyone around you.
2. They are such a portable project. Easy to knit under the table during a boring business meeting and not get caught. Not that I have any personal experience with that …..
3. You can finish them quickly and be on to the next wonderful skein of yarn that you’re just itching to knit up. (Also known as Reason #8 in “Top Ten Reasons for Buying Multiple Skeins at a Time.”)
4. If you find that you have to rip them back because the ankle/toe doesn’t fit (depending on which end you start on), it’s not really ALL that many stitches down the drain. Really.
5. You can wear a really wild color under your oh-so-conservative pants and tell yourself all day long that there is so much more to you than meets the eye. If only people knew.
6. There are multiple patterns and variations of ways to knit every part of the sock. You need never be bored. (Non sock-knitters don’t always get the beauty of this.)
7. Even new knitters can make socks and impress the heck out of themselves.
8. Since it looks complicated, you can excuse yourself from having to knit socks for others, if you choose. When they ask, you simply shake your head sadly and say, “Oh, I’d love to knit you a pair of socks. But as you can see, it’s so complicated and time consuming that I barely get enough knitting time to keep my own feet covered. I’m so sorry.” deep, sad sigh. sad look. (chuckle to yourself as you walk away….)
9. On the flip side, you can go ahead and knit socks for your dearest friends and family members and it will be the best present anyone has ever given them. That means a LOT of credit for you.
10. Once you have worn a pair of handknit socks, you will never want to go back to commercially made socks again. (But you’re a sockknitter – you already know that.)

Got any more reasons that need to be added to this list?

Sheri Ijusttalkedmyselfintotakingtherestofthedayofftoknitonmysocksgeethatwaseasy

Rather be Loopy…..

DSCF2735 (rev 0)There are a lot of things that have gone undone in the past few months, because I was just having too much fun doing Loopy things, getting ready for our opening. I wish I was the kind of person who loved working in the garden, but I’m not. I plant things in May because I like the look of flowers and growing vegetables, not because I love the process. (Do you think there are any gardeners out there who would work in exchange for yarn?) This May, I was too busy ordering yarns and contacting people to do anything in the yard. Here is the sad evidence. These pots, are supposed to be filled with bright flowers and positioned on either side of my front porch. They are tucked behind the columns in shame.

DSCF2734 (rev 0)This is my vegetable garden where I usually plant tomatoes and peppers and green beans. This year, I am raising weeds. I saw a sign while out shopping today that said: “Garden of Weeden”. I really should’ve bought it and stuck it in my garden small plot of dirt and weeds.

DSCF2733 (rev 0)Despite my complete lack of effort in planting, look what popped up spontaneously in one pot out on the porch steps. It makes me smile just because it was feisty enough to survive winter in the seed-state, and grow all on its own once warm weather hit. I hope it comes back next year.

DSCF2586 (rev 0)I wish I could say this was on my porch. It is a picture I took in Colorado this summer, where the weather is cool and gorgeous all the time, and the flowers all look like this. I took about a dozen flower pictures. Maybe I could be a gardener if I lived in a different climate. At any rate, I thought a nice picture of flowers would perk this entry up a bit.

Along the lines of “so much I’d rather be doing than working outside in a garden in 100+ weather”, I started another pair of socks. Interestingly, I have come up with my own way of avoiding Second Sock Syndrome. (The one where you don’t want to do the second sock because you already know how the yarn knits up, as shown in the first sock you just finished.) I do one sock, then go on to another sock with a different yarn, and maybe even a third sock – and then I come back to the first one and knit the twin, move on to the second and do the twin, and then hit the third and knit the twin. This seems to work well for me. I still know how the yarn is going to look knit up, but I’m not so bored with using the same colors again when I’ve worked with others in between.

DSCF2755 (rev 0)I finished one sock in Cherry Tree Hill, Java (cuff done in Wildhorse Farm Designs Switchback Socks). I pulled a skein of Java out when I was unpacking all of the Cherry Tree colors, just because I thought the browns and chocolates in there were so pretty. DSCF2754 (rev 0)Now I have started a new sock in Claudia Hand Painted, Donna’s Favorite. I love this springy yarn and the colors in this skein are gorgeous. (It’s also nice to be knitting on size 3 needles, after several pairs of socks on 1’s. These will go together quickly. Maybe I can discipline myself to finish both socks in sequence this time, instead of going back to do a twin of something else. We’ll see.) Zoe wanted to be in this photo, too.

Tomorrow I am off to MN for a long weekend. I have held off officially announcing The Loopy Ewe opening until after I return, because quick shipping and great customer service is so important to us. I didn’t want anyone to order while I was gone and have to wait a few days for their package to be mailed. If you’re like me, you want it the very next day! And while we can’t promise that (unless you live here in St. Louis with me), we can promise that your order will go out within 24-48 hours, M-F. (Truthfully – 99% will go out within 24 hours, but I figured I should give us a LITTLE fudge factor, just in case.) Fudge. That’s what Cherry Tree Hill Java yarn reminds me of.

Sheri nextIwanttostartapairofsocksoutofLorna’sLacesBalticSea.justtoomanychoices