20 November 2007

Oh Mah Gawd - does this yarn make my butt look big?

I have this week off and with the holidays near and Fall weather requiring outerwear, it is an inspirational time to start a new knitting project.

 As holidays go, the first thing that comes to mind is to head to the local yarn store and SHOP. Before I grabbed the keys, it occurred to me that I might have something in my stash that would suffice for the next project.
In no time, I found myself inventoring my entire stash.  Really inventoring the stash. It took me more than one day to do it. Included in inventory was all the yarn in the yarn closet. Not included in inventory was all my handspun/hand dyed yarn or novelty yarn sitting in various storage containers around the house.

As of today, 20 November, the inventory equals 92,275 yards of yarn.

At the rate of 1800 yards per sweater, that equals 51.26 sweaters. If I knit the equivalant of  4 sweaters a year, it will take 12.8 years to knit through this stash.

I am,by personal mandate, effectively, cut off from buying another skein for the foreseeable future.

Join me?
Are you finding yourself a bit on the heavy side when it comes to yarn? Feel free to use this Excel 2003  spreadsheet to check out your stash. If you have more than you can reasonably expect to knit in your lifetime, you are invited to join me in my Yarn Diet.

Knit with what you got!
-- Charisa

Update: 20 October 2008: I get a big f-ing F grade for this yarn diet attempt! Damn. I, perhaps have purchased less yarn than I might have, but nonetheless, purchased yarn.

19 November 2007

Trip down memory lane

My knit group, the Monroe Bitch and Bitch knitting group, went on an excursion last year (train trip to Portland to visit, what else, yarn shops). I realized I never gave a trip report. So, here you have it - pictures worth much more than words
(click pictures for big):

View from inside the train at dawn
View from inside the train, dawn

Lots of time to knit on the way down, work in progress
Work in progress  monkey socks underway

No shortage of inspiration at Portland Knitting Stores within walking distance of the train station.
Knit Knot Studio, Portland, Oregon
Knit Knot Studio, Portland  

Knit Purl, Portland, Oregon
Knit Purl and Shi Bui Maven Darcy demonstrates an Origami Shawl to Shirt

koigu wool wall at Knit Purl in Portland 

first sighting of "Transition Gloves" at Knit Purl

Habu Textiles Scarf

habu packages are so much fun

And, it's always good to know where you are (lunch)
before you can get there, you should know where here is

Everyone could use a little therapy:

Walking around the Pearl District:
  Pearl District Portland

As the beautiful Winter day closes, we make our way to Dublin Bay Knitting:
day closes 

Dublin Bay Knitting Store, Portland, Oregon
Dublin Bay Knitting Store, Portland

We head to the train station at night fall. When we are all re-assembled we view the stash.
Portland Oregon Train Station stash purchased on day trip

It was so much fun, we are going to do it again. Let me know if you are interested in joining us for our 2nd annual all-day knit trip to Portland in January.

17 November 2007

My 15 minutes of fame just extended to 20.

I didn't make it into the Knitty 2008 calendar, but I got honorable mention!

See page two of the non-winners.

Specifically, this one - Knit Hallowigs (me and my girls mugging):


14 November 2007

My 15 minutes of fame, kinda.

I caught someone's eye and I'm published somewhere other than my very own blog:

Spindle and Wheel - November 2007 Edition
my articles in this issue:

Charisa's Quick Knit Fix
Folk Art for Your Head

And,in the same issue -  I am delighted to share the limelight with Brooklyn Tweed himself! :
Jared Flood's Noro Scarf


10 November 2007

Nordic Knitting Conference Photos

Although procrastination nearly prevented it, I managed to get into Elsebeth Lavold's Viking Knits class at the Nordic Knitting conference in Seattle, early October 2007. Below are photos from the conference. There are a few photos of Vivain HØxbro, as she was teaching in the classroom next to Elsebeth's.

Best learn of the day: how to cable without a needle....which inspired the Gully Wash Socks!

Elsebeth Lavold:
Elsebeth Lavold at the Seattle Nordic Knitting Conference, October 2007

Some of her examples:
Elsebeth Lavold sweater examples: Viking Knits

Elsebeth and student:
Elsbeth Lavold and student

Elsebeth instructing a student about how to move cables on the ground, and do it without an additional cable needle:
Elsebeth Lavold hands-on instruction. Elsebeth, on right.

Vivian HØxbro:
Vivian HØxbro

Some of Vivian's examples for the class:
Examples of Knits from Vivian HØxbro's class at the Nordict Knitting Conference, Seattle

Student's work in Vivian HØxbro's class, Nording Knitting Conference, Seattle, WA Oct 2007

It seems that knitting and high tech are a perfect fit. A knitter shows another knitter an example of what they are discussing online - via her I-phone:
...go together like a horse and carriage

04 November 2007

More Two Color Scarves

Buildling on a theme, I've knit up a couple more of the two-skein-two-color scarves. Click an image to see big.

Although it is still Fall, it looks and feels like Winter today. Especially as I battle an awful cold.

03 November 2007

Gully Wash Socks (free pattern)

Toe-up socks that form rivulets on your feet
    Designed by: Charisa Martin Cairn | October 2007 
    note: if you downloaded the pattern prior to 14 Nov 2007, please re-download.
    I caught an error, and it has been corrected.

    Click here to download the free sock pattern.

     Gully Wash Sock - toe-up socks that form rivulets on your feet

Please refer to the "Lifestyle Toe Up Socks", a tour guide for building socks that always fit.

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Socks That Rock, Lightweight, 360 yards

Needles/Method: Size 1, US
Using 2 circular needles, socks knit in the round

Gauge: Depends, but about 8-10 stitches to the inch

What you know or will learn using this pattern:

  • A magical cast on
  • Making cables without a cable needle
  • Knitting socks that fit
  • An easier short row heel
  • A stretchy bind-off that will always wear comfortably


Why Gully wash? Experimenting with cables and this wonderful yarn, the cabling looked just like water rushing through gullies in the streams around where I grew up in the Texas hill country. The colorway that I used only reinforced the visual by being the color of the washed gully.

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