putting things away

though i’ve spent a lot of time over the past few days getting on top of a bunch of patterns i needed to write, there has been some knitting and general wool activity in the house, too—i can only take so many hours of running numbers in my head before it breaks, heh.

i have several secret projects going and two of them have priority status this week, so most of my knitting time is devoted to getting those done and dusted. however, i still need some variety, so once in a while i take a break to put a few rounds onto the cheery rosebud baby blanket, because it always improves my mood.

all those pink, yellow, and orange colors are the perfect pick-me-up, while completing the rosebuds one repeat at a time never fails to delight me
(i know you know what i mean).

the yarn is perfect for a baby project—soft fearless fibers MCN luxury, a machine wash merino/cashmere/nylon yarn that is as practical as it is luscious. i’m knitting with the chastity colorway and karolyn will knit a sample in the meadow colorway as soon as i have the pattern ready for her (later this week i’ll be free to put that together, yay).

it feels like i haven’t invested a whole lotta time in this project for the past week; nevertheless, it appears to be growing.

i’ve completed my first repeat of the larger roses and i’m almost finished with my first skein of yarn—it goes a looooong way, especially at the beginning of a square like this. soon, the project will begin eating yarn at a much faster rate, just like a real baby, haha.

my scarf is growing, too—i took it along to a couple of appointments at the end of last week and knit in the car while david ran a few errands (it folds up plenty small enough to fit in my purse so i don’t look like a bag lady when i arrive at the chiropractor’s, haha). it’s about half finished. isn’t the yarn beautiful? it’s enchanted knoll farms 50/50 merino/silk laceweight in colorway queen mermaid (looks like there isn’t any in her shop right now, but hopefully, soon).

when i got back from my trips last week, there was one big task i wanted to take care of when i unpacked—something that i’ve been meaning to organize for months. i knew it would take some time, so i kept putting it off . . . and suddenly, i realized how stupid it was to continue doing that.

my personal closet has become completely overrun with finished knits—folded shawls and scarves took up precious space where linens and off-season blankets need to live. plus, i was starting to avoid wearing my favorites, for fear of disturbing the alarmingly tall piles of woolens in there—how ridiculous is that? and yet, i need everything to be within reach so i can put together the trunk shows i take with me in my travels.

when david renovated the back half of my work room last winter, he put in a big new cedar closet for storing fiber and installed a narrow dresser in there, which i could use for organizing finished work.

then he filled it with miscellaneous bags of fiber which i now needed to move in order to actually use it.

this is the task i was avoiding . . . but i was determined after this last trip to tackle it, so i cleared those drawers, unpacked my bag

and brought in all the samples from my bedroom closet. i found new homes for the bags of fiber (who am i kidding? you and i both know it’s all just a big rotation process: A) spin the wool and put it in the yarn closet; B) condense other fiber into the empty space left by that wool; C) install handknits where the fiber used to be—you know the drill).

anyway . . . i sorted everything into piles according to type—scarves, accessories, triangles, rectangles, faroese. i plucked a few favorites for personal use and put those back in my closet. i’m a person who sticks mostly to old favorites or things made of special yarn i consider precious in some way, like handspun or gifted yarn.

then i tucked them into the dresser drawers accordingly

where i’ll be able to find things easily, without wrinkling or having to refold what i don’t need for any given trip.

(one of these days, i need to do a big washing and reblocking of them, but i shudder to think what that would entail . . .)

and here’s proof that i’m getting a little smarter with age—i even left one drawer empty for future finished objects. eventually i will have to rotate again, but not for a while . . .

i felt completely virtuous after completing this job—for all of five minutes. i’ve just gotten back another big box of old samples from a LYS that i’ll need to sort and find homes for (but hopefully, i can actually get rid of some of those). for now, i’m thinking on it.

here’s something funny that happened at TNNA, but i have to back up a bit to sock camp in april to tell it.
remember the suessian creatures we made at camp?

while not exactly attached to my purple back hatch-a-batch in any lasting way, i still couldn’t bear to toss it out at the end of camp. i was in a real quandary about what to do with it (i was determined NOT to take it on the plane—i have enough stuff to circle around at home).

sooo—and please don’t judge me for this—i left it on a nice bench outside a yarn shop in seattle, thinking that some small child might find it a fun reward for being good while mommy shopped.

later, someone wrote and told me that indeed it was found and brought into the shop. yay.
then at TNNA, i ran into a group of shop employees and one of them told me the creature was in residence there for a bit and has since moved on to what i think is maybe an antique shop? (sorry, the details escape me now)

after discussing it a bit, we decided that yes, every once in a while it should be placed back out where some interested person will pick it up and take it on to its next perch. in this way it will migrate as all birdish creatures ought to.

and finally, i have some yarn that arrived the other day from jen at spirit trail fiberworks—she sent a big box of sunna fingering yarn in ancient stones, rosewood, and green velvet colorways for the vintage shirt project i swatched for in may. i’ll begin knitting that in july and barb will be test knitting, once i have the pattern ready. you can take a look the yarn and swatches in this post.

but there were added treasures (as if yarn for three sweaters isn’t enough!)—jen also included a few sample skeins of yarns we didn’t talk about in her booth at maryland (blame it on the heat and wool fumes).

from left to right: minerva, a luscious 50/50 bombyx silk/merino blend in color redwood, ixchel, 100% prime alpaca DK in color stormy seas, and lyra, and alpaca/merino/silk blend in color deep ocean.

that’s it—she just has too many gorgeous yarns.
i’m not thinking of heavier knitting projects at the moment, but these weightier yarns will be lovely for fall knitting, so it’s good to have them on hand when the mood strikes me to get started on something for september.

ok, now, it’s time for me to get back to work on my patterns. it’s raining, so there won’t be any bike riding outdoors, but it would be good to do some yoga and weights today. if i get done early enough, i can finish one of the secret projects. and THEN, i’ll treat myself to knitting whatever i want when i go to knit at debby’s this evening, haha.

26 Responses to “putting things away”

  1. Hmmmm I think I need to send the post about David creating your workroom to my husband.
    Although much smaller scale, my completed samples are also beginning to make their presence known in other areas of the house.

  2. Patricia Dixon says:

    Funny..my son is afraid that when I die, I will leave trunks of sweaters in the attic…

  3. Kate (the enabler) says:

    Anne, if looking at that baby blanket and yearning to make one (along with your honeybee baby blanket…) wasn’t enough – then you displayed those delectable drawers full of knitted loveliness. I have a sudden, almost painful case of startitis…. :) I’m also grateful to you for always listing the yarns you’re using and the ones that you receive – it’s a super reference for when we need to *um* beef up the stash. (weak grin)

  4. Tana says:

    So many lovelies! Do you every have trouble with moths eating your pretties? I’ve heard one should wash all their woolens every year, but the longer I’m a knitter, the more daunting the project sounds. At the moment our basement is, shall we say, wet, so I don’t have any sweaters drying (after being washed) as that would only be more moisture on the scene. And I agonize about what to do with the little sweaters and things my boys have outgrown (and dd won’t wear). The cost of being a knitter!

  5. Jocelyn says:

    A good clean out always feels nice, doesn’t it? At least, it does once it’s done… I can’t wait for that vintage shirt pattern- I think that might have to be my next sweater!

  6. Lynn says:

    Maybe you should put some of those samples up for sale if you have duplicates of a pattern.

    There is a whole group of people that call themselves The Toy Society that do just what you did with your little knitted friend. Its very cool – http://thetoysociety.blogspot.com/

  7. Pat S. says:

    I feel like diving into those piles of finished things!

  8. Knitnana says:

    I think that must be the ultimate in loving gifts – making your wife (the knitting designer) a CEDAR CLOSET?
    I’m so green with envy….
    ((((hugs))))

  9. Robin says:

    Thanks for the reminder about Enchanted Knoll Farms, I had forgotten to mark their Etsy shop as a favorite. I just fell in love with several of her colorways.

    The rosebud baby blanket is looking gorgeous, can’t wait for the pattern!

  10. Cathy says:

    Is it creepy that I recognize most of the FOs you’re putting away? hee

    Love the tale about your Suessian creature! It reminds me of the tweenbots project (http://www.tweenbots.com/).

  11. Robin says:

    Will have to put that baby blanket on my to-do list. So sweet! Love that bee balm, Anne. Have never seen that variety.

  12. Chloe says:

    Do you hire David out?

  13. Laurie says:

    Wow…what a treasure trove! I did the same with all my hats and scarves back in the winter. Will soon have to do the same with scarves.

    I’m with Chloe…does David hire out? ;-)

  14. Rani says:

    You are queen of the luscious posts. There is so much inspiration here. In fact, I am not on Ravelry, determined to find a nice little pattern for a baby blanket.

    Huzzah on the organization . . . reorganization. It does feel good. How did you put it? “virtuous”

  15. Michelle says:

    So, if you are ever really desperate for space, I would just love to take some of that beauty off of your hands. Think of it this way…I’d be doing you a huge favor. Therefore this isn’t begging. Right?

  16. Tammy says:

    Please let me know more about that baby blanket. I love it. I want to make it. My sister is pg and I’m searching through patterns…. Please! :D I totally love your yarn room that your hubby made. I have to wait several years to get mine, my girls are still using their room. Sigh…they are 8 and 6, so it will be a loooong while… ;)

  17. Lorraine says:

    Anne- It is so wonderful to have things in order.

    That teapot your little fellow is in, is Emma Bridgewater, something I love to collect.

  18. nancy schwartz sternoff says:

    yes my stack of shawls and scarves is also precariously placed on shelves! and oh those spirit trail yarns are so luscious. i just bought some sunna for some fall project who knows what. and i am about to start knitting a sample for jen’s booth – autumn arbor – in the most luscious alpaca laceweight in this dark dark green. will cast on this weekend and post a pic on ravelry.

  19. Jennifer says:

    Let me give you my address, so you will know where to send all the pretty things you don’t need any more! Lol!

  20. Ann says:

    You are so lucky to have a cedar closet & now you are all organised. I will love to have a cedar closet

  21. Christine says:

    Anne, what beautiful knits! So inspiring to see! Isn’t it wonderful to have someone so supporting and thoughtful? I’ve got one too (my dear hubby). It makes me want to go through all the finished socks and sweaters I have so that maybe I’ll get a closet out of it, too….

  22. Jody says:

    What a wonderful treasure trove of finished knits you have! My organization is not so ‘virtuous’ as yours I’m afraid. Your desk does look a bit like mine, so that makes me feel better…lol.

  23. Teyani says:

    with so many gorgeous creations, I’m surprised that you ever know what to wear! I’d have trouble selecting between all those beauties ;-)

  24. Barb says:

    would love the pattern for the beautiful baby blanket!

  25. SO many handknits!! That’s incredible. And that you have such lovely places to store everything is fantastic.

  26. Tara says:

    Wow! I find that pile of organized knits to be deeply satisfying :) Wish I had the space to do the same!