Tuesday, June 06, 2006

When the Challenge Becomes Challenging

When I joined the Yarn Focus Challenge, I didn't think it would be very challenging to me. I had already promised Peter that I wouldn't buy yarn over the summer because of all of our job-related changes. (Read previous statement as: because we both quit our nice, cushy, salaried jobs.) I even declared that I wouldn't use my allotted "free days" for May and June. The last time I bought yarn was on April 3rd during Yarntopia's grand opening.

April and most of May passed without much yarn-buying temptation. Sometimes I would think idly about yarn that I wanted to buy, but never went so far as to look up the yarn on the internet. Then, everything changed in a week's time.

Little LoganBerryFirst, nephew Logan came into the world. He paid me the great disservice of not being a girl. All the sweaters I knit for his big sister Eva are rather girly. I can't expect him to wear a hand-me-down pink hoodie, now can I? So I started making a list of things that needed to be knit for him. A Heirloom Baby Sweater, Devan, Cargo, and of course, a Loganberry Tart hat. Suddenly, I needed yarn. A lot of yarn. But I can't have the yarn! Oh cruel Yarn Focus Challenge! Oh Careless Me for making such a cavalier promise to Peter.

Then, to make my yarn longing even worse, my birthday showed up and my brother gave me Inspired Cable Knits by Fiona Ellis. I had looked at the book in the store and thought it was nice. Boy did I underestimate the book! It's more than nice--it's superwonderfulfantastic! After studying the book at home, I decided that I personally needed at least 5 sweaters in the book and maybe as many as 9. And then there are a few sweaters that are gift candidates. It's the best pattern book ever! (At least it's the best ever for me. I like cables. More cables, please.)

I WANT IT!For example, I have to make this tank top. The sooner I can get to it be better. Cables, lace, a miniscule gauge of 29 stitches/4 inches--what's not to love? Yesterday, I spend an hour looking for suitable yarn for the tank. After much searching, I think I'll end up using the recommended yarn, Dale of Norway Stork, because I can't find a cotton-blend yarn that has a similar gauge. I had hoped to find a cotton blend because I'm not a big fan of cables in 100% cotton. Oh well. I can't buy the yarn anyway. I think I will regret this challenge and my promise for a long time. Perhaps in July, I will make sad puppy-dog eyes at Peter and start tearing up because I so desperately need yarn. I wonder if he will cave?

A full review of Inspired Cable Knits to come soon!

(Apologies for the photograph of a book page. I'd rather scan such things in, but I had to return my company-owned printer/copier/scanner/fax when I quit my job. I think I miss that machine more than I miss my salary. Almost.)


Jennifer said...

Stay strong, Laura... Stay strong. By the way, I sent a little treat your way. No big deal. :)

Rebekah said...

Oh I feel so bad for you, mostly because I know exactly how you feel with that book. I have 11 patterns I want to knit out of it, of course 11 all for me patterns. I'm a bit selfish right now.

It's an amazing book, I think it's got to be my favorite book in my library and I have over 100 books!

I have a feeling this month will be very difficult for me as well, I have already spent my June free day. how many more days till July?

amylovie said...

Use your gift certificate woman!


Elizabeth said...

Maybe I could de-stash something to you for one of the smaller projects? That would help me out, too.

Meredith said...

I love that top too!

You are a stronger woman than I, though I haven't bought too much yarn recently.

Rachel said...

First of all, did I ever wish you happy birthday? What a jerk I am! Happy birthday!

Second, you should go ahead and use a free day. Just limit yourself to yarn for one or two projects, to stay in the spirit of the whole thing. The free days are there because things like nephews-that-should-have-been-nieces and Inspired Cable Knits happen.

Speaking of which, your comment about how many sweaters you need from that book was very funny. But not at all surprising. I'm sure they'll look great on you!

Jes said...

Wow! Fingering weight cables! You are brave.
The Stork is really great. Yes it's 100% cotton, but it's very nice yarn, good price, and lots of colors. Should Peter cave, it's a good plan =)

Susann said...

That top is lovely and the cables are just awesome! I hope that you will somehow get the yarn for it.

...and I think I need another book...

Anonymous said...

At the risk of enabling, when you are able to purchase more yarn, I can highly recommend the Stork. I made several baby outfits out of it for my granddaughter and it is wonderful to work with. It seems to have a lot of elasticity (at least compared to other cottons) and a wonderful hand. I've been eyeing the book and knowing there's a tank top out of Stork really makes me want it!

smokey said...

I'm no1 100% sure the gauge is the same, but have you considered Svale instead of Stork? It might help the cables pop a bit more (although i've used neither, so that's just me talking some silliness!)