Monday, 21 January 2008

My Weekend, Yarn Sale, The Stole and other Ramblings.

I had several things to post today and now I’ve forgotten it all. You know this means you’ll now be subjected to lots of rambling. Either grab a cup of tea, sit down and try and follow the strange twisty-windey paths of my brain, or run away as fast as you can. The latter is more conducive to your own mental health. Trust me on this one.

The Rogue: I LOVE IT. Love. Love. Love. Love. It is so comfortable. I foresee lots of wear. There is only one thing I don’t like about it, but that goes for about 90% of my clothes. It’s dark blue and I have tan dogs and black and white cats. I just washed it and it still looks like one or more of them has been sleeping on it, even though that’s impossible. I will have to get out the tweezers and de-fur it. Then hope I can get out of the house without forgetting to not touch the animals.

I went yarn shopping this weekend to get some new yarn for my grandmother’s stole. Short aside - my aunt braved it and spoke to her about it. She is fine with me not using the yarn. YAY! I think it will eventually go in the rubbish bin. I say think. I still find it very difficult to throw out yarn, even though I know I’m never going to knit with it.

OK, back to yarn shopping for Grandma’s stole. I arrive at the store fully intending to LOOK AT yarn for the Eris and buy solid colour sock yarn for about three pair of socks, the stole yarn and groceries (it is effectively a small department/grocery store with a very large yarn and material section). I walk up to the store, already noticing that there are neon orange signs everywhere. I get closer. These neon orange signs say 10% in large letters. I get even closer. Below the 10% it says ”on all wool”. My first thought? Good thing I’m on a diet. Second thought? How much of my grocery budget can I reallocate for yarn acquisition without starving to death? Third thought? Buy yarn first and groceries with what is left over. Fourth thought? Must seek psychiatric help.

Out went any ideas of only looking at yarn for the Eris. It’s a sweater. Sweaters are expensive. 10% is a lot on yarn for a sweater. Ergo, I was going to buy yarn for the sweater. Granted, the yarn I was planning on would only have been $50 at the regular price, but that’s a savings of $5 or, in yarny terms, one pair of socks. - Let me just point out here that I wear my hand knit socks on a daily basis. They are not a luxury, they are a life tool. They get worn for work, walking the dogs, cleaning the house and even going onto the balcony without shoes, ergo, I do not buy hand spun, hand dyed sock yarn for myself. Now I was given two lovely hanks of it (one from thepinksheep and one from Karoline Knits) and I will cherish those and try and knit something fabulous out of them, but it’s not money I would spend on myself for daily wear. The point? Oh yes, the point was it was enough of a savings that starving for a week was an option (one that got taken). Not that I am in any danger of actually starving within a month, let alone two weeks. Trust me.

OK, back to the yarn sale. Whilst choosing the yarn, I made a discovery: the women in that store can be nice. The prerequisites you ask? A: They must have seen you in the store many, many times before and B: You must casually mention that you have already knit a sweater and several pair of socks (in their yarn). This apparently gets you “in”. So much so that I almost couldn’t get rid of said nice sales lady. So much so that I forgot to purchase reinforcement yarn for my socks. I’ll have to go back now. ( I’ll be nice and spare you the convo details though.) The point you ask again? The point being that you really do have to live here forever to be accepted, unlike the States. Two years it took to get to this point. I am finally in. OK, there’s one woman I don’t think anyone ever gets “in” with, but then, she looks like she’s been sucking on lemons for most of her life. Certainly right before work anyway.

Back to the yarn sale. I bought a cotton blend, dark beige colour for the Eris. I would have preferred another colour myself, but it’s not for me, which is also why I went with the cotton blend. Wool is not for everyone. I also didn’t want to go too dark because of the cables, so light beige it was. Then I found a lovely 100% merino superwash on sale ($2 for 50g/160 meters) for my grandmother’s stole. I only bought 6 skeins and am now worried it won’t be enough. I think I’ll need almost one skein per Star repeat and there are 9 repeats. Another reason I will have to go back. By the way, it’s pink. I am now knitting pink lace. (I hear that evil laugh Tara! Pen! Mag! Sherrie!) Hell must have frozen over when I wasn’t looking.

I’ll spare you the details of the random sock yarn. I had to get plain because I want to do a pair for my aunt as a thank you, which brings me to…

The phone bill. $36 for a 6 min. collect call from Dulles Ariport to Ca. I nearly dropped dead from shock when I heard that. Then, I made a 4 min. phone call to Switzerland. That cost something like $14. Falling off chair ensued. There are another 8 min. of calls to Switzerland that haven’t shown up yet! That’s another $28. *hds* I don’t feel guilty about making the calls because they really weren’t frivolous “how are you and how is the weather” phone calls, but I do feel bad about the Humongoginormous costs and will be making her a pair of socks as a thank you. They shall be henceforth known as the TBGA Socks (Telephone Bill Guilt Alleviation). I’m planning on doing Dad’s Easy Cable Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks. They’re plain enough that she will like them, and not so plain that I will feel guilty about just knitting up a pair of plain socks like I didn’t really care enough to put an effort into it.

Oh, maybe I should mention at this point that there are exactly two things I have found to be cheaper in Switzerland than in the US: International telephone calls and yarn. In contrast to the $3.50 a minute in the States, I pay less than $3 an hour here, or a little less than $6 an hour during peak times. Yarn is just generally less expensive, if you know where to buy it, although even my Really LYS isn’t as expensive as the LYS in Fresno. So, I telephone to my heart’s content and buy more yarn than is good for me. I console myself with the fact that I have not, as of yet, reached SABLE (or SELE).

I spent the rest of the weekend immersed in yarn. I catalogued (incl. pics) my new yarn in Ravelry, and continued by taking pictures of the old stash and adding those to my Ravelry page. Now I’ll know exactly which yarn is which instead of having to guess.

Then I started knitting the Stole. 19 rows in and I may have to frog the whole thing. I think, I think, I’ve made a mistake. However, I may have made a mistake about the mistake. I spent this morning making up a chart in Excel (remember, I sell ACs and it’s Jan.) that reflects the pattern changes I made and now think I might actually have done it right – at least on the one side. I’m fairly certain that I made a mistake on the other side, which I will have to fix, but I might try doing that by just opening the panel. We’ll see tonight when I get home. Fortunately I still have a nice Fröhlich Wolle Plain Sock on the needles and should I get too frustrated, I’ll knit on that for a while. Good therapy.

Looking back on the length of this, I think I’d better just quit. Too bad I’m not getting paid for this. I’d be in overtime / overwords by now.

If you read all that, you have earned yourself a cookie (but none of those funny ones if you please!)


  1. Did I ever chuckle when I read this post! The Swiss are so not nice, so not friendly, and so not into letting anyone "in" that I am soooooooo proud of you for actually getting "in"! Yippee & Yahooyyy! You deserve the tallest, gold trophy there is! ;)

    I'm so curious as to which dept/grocery store you went to. I hope I have one close to me. Tell me, tell me!

    I read your entire entry...and enjoyed every word. Do I get a cookie? LOL!

  2. Cookie, s'il te plait! :P

    At first I was jealous that your LYS is the same place as your grocery store. Then I realized I shouldn't be jealous, but grateful that that is not the case for me. :D Actually, my groc store *does* sell yarn (it's a Meijer - so they literally sell everything), but their selection is crap and it's all pretty horrible yarn.

    But yay for a sale! 10% off is much better than nothing! :D

  3. Oh, believe me, the ladies at one of the lys's here are exactly the same way! What is it with those LYS people? You think they would be nice to novice's. Get them to buy yarn, they will keep coming back instead of finding another lys or shopping online.