I spent many hours organizing my “office” that has all my looms and supplies. I can find things now, and yes, I was stunned at how much I’ve accumulated!
Wow, do I feel sorry for people who don’t browse flea markets, searching for fabulous deals on things they didn’t even know they needed.
Take this sturdy red toolbox, for instance. It’s a perfect purchase to house the next treasure, Guro needlepoint yarn from Norway. This would have been enough to make my day, but everything got better when I spotted the Magic Designer, which appears to be some type of difficult Spirograph toy that could be awesome if I find the perfect-sized pen.
As if that wasn’t enough, I was brought to a standstill by these crocheted Gladiator-styled laceups. Attractive and practical.
How much did all this fun cost me? Just a bit over $20. Now that’s a steal!
What came first, the shelf or the yarn? Technically, the shelf. It's an old shelf I bought for a few dollars, and then I set it in the garage to sit for a year. I never seemed to care if it was in my little office or not… but that was before my mom me bought 28 cones of yarn! A jackpot from a weaver's de-stashing sale. Yes, indeed. 28 cones!
We're talking a megaload of yarn here. It's mostly vintage, acrylic (Wintuk???) but there are a few spools of wool (Black? Yes! I've always wanted black wool but never buy it for some reason.) Some of the cones are marked for machine knitting and appear to be about worsted weight, but the others are very thin for weaving. I love one of the white cones. It's an acrylic mohair substitute. It almost sparkles.
So, I have between 3,000-5,000 yards per cone–many are even more–and when you multiply that by 28 you get somewhere around the total of one hundred billion yards. Suddenly, my little workspace needs a shelf. And, as it turns out, another wall.
What you can't see is my closet, which holds the remaining cones. I was able to shove them in there, somehow. So, the question is, what will I make with this? With one hundred billion yards of yarn, I estimate I will be able to weave approximately five hundred scarfs and 2,000 blankets, more or less.
I gained a wall because we decided to move my piano out into the living room. Now, I can keep my triloom closer to the wall. I'm working on a 7' size shawl right now, and I'll take all the space I can get. The yarn is Manos Maxima, which is blending into a stronger gray than on the skein, which had more lavendar and purple. I still like it so I'll keep going with it.
You’d think I’d have about a dozen scarves after weaving for about 2.5 years, but I either give them away or decide they’re not quite right. There are two I wear regularly (in the cooler weather). Now, there are three, because I’m crazy about this Noro Taiyo sock yarn scarf. Yes, using the yarn as a warp was a big challenge, but I love the end results. I wove this on the Glimakra Emilia after it started snapping under the pressure of the Ashford table loom. I doubled each end in the 8 dent heddle, often threading the “wrong” end, and so the color scheme didn’t stay true to the color changes of the yarn. I didn’t care one bit, because I was more worried about being able to weave the entire thing without snapping threads than whether or not the goofy colors matched up properly. The weft was black crochet cotton (size 10). I also used a pickup stick pattern from Jane Patrick’s The Weaver’s Idea Book. It’s on page 85, 5/1 warp float.
The warp was sticky, tangled in numerous spots, and often plain old difficult to weave. I made mistakes, too. Surprisingly, in the end, I was so pleased with the lightweight, airy scarf, I didn’t wait for it to air dry after washing it. I placed it in front of a space heater, and 20 minutes later, the scarf was ready to go.
Inside the box, spotted and purchased at a flea market, was a Weave-It in a particularly mint box, a nearly-finished sweater (the Urbanite), crochet and cotton yarn, two wooden tubes filled with steel knitting needles, and a page from a 1949 Des Moines newspaper. There were also a few finished projects: baby booties and a mohair beret. This knitter liked fine work.
I can't walk away from something like this, a glimpse into a crafter's past life, even if it makes me sneeze.
Aren't they pretty? Three skeins of beautiful Italian wool. I have no idea what possessed me, other than the ambiance of the store I visited yesterday with B. Called Kindred Threads (note: website is a bit neglected, I think), the store has the kind of yarn I knew existed but couldn't find at the -mart stores. Organic cotton, home-spun alpaca, you name it. You walk in and enter a true knitter's wonderland. It has more than yarns–there are looms (the huge kind you make blankets and rugs on), crafts, and lots of beautiful felted items for sale. I bought these skeins imagining I may buy myself a sock loom someday and make a pair. Or maybe a hat. Or a scarf. I've even imagined making a slipper on the blue loom and felting it down, but the thought of wrecking this yarn upsets me. We'll see. In the meantime, I'm just enjoying the bright, spring colors amongst my rather earth-toned yarn selection. (I bought a skein of pink a few weeks ago and it stands out like a sore thumb. Now, it isn't so lonely anymore.)
So here's what was strange. I told the owner I was a beginner, but left off the word "loom." I was a bit hesitant, amidst all the beauty, to admit I'm using those big, plastic looms. You know, the ones you buy at Wal-mart?
She told me of one other yarn shop closer to my hometown, but when we drove past it later, it was closed for the day.
I think I've found every single yarn shop in the area and I always find something to buy. There are yarn cutters that make me think of a weapon, and there are special darning needles and carved cases. I've been tempted by beautiful sterling scissors shaped like cranes, and lots of other things.
Although I didn't follow it today when I bought the blue and green yarn, I have a rule that I shouldn't buy yarn I don't need but just purchase it as I go. In other words–no stockpiling.
So, how come after only three weeks using the KK my knitting bag is stuffed, I have a wicker basket piled high with yarn, and I even have a mostly-filled plastic bag on the floor? This is a very addicting hobby.