Monday, 15 October 2007

knitting and shows and FOs, oh my!

Wow. The Knitting and Stitching Show was amazing. It was huge! I've never been to Alexandra Palace before, but wow. Two enormous rooms filled with hundreds of stalls selling every needlework thing imaginable. I've now seen Lorna's Laces, Habu stainless steel laceweight, possum yarn, yak down yarn... I wanted it all! And that's not even starting on the cashmere or the embroidery stuff.

I intended to get enough yarn to make the Interlocking Cables Sweater. And I did. I found a rather nice machine-washable wool blend in a natural wool colour. Selling for £6 for 400g and nearly 1000 metres! I got three balls of the stuff, which will give me enough to do the whole sweater and a Jack Skellington hat, with probably enough spare for a pair of mittens. I'm thinking thrums may be in my future.

I also found lovely sock yarn. First I found a rather good bargain - 3 100g balls of sock yarn for £12.50. So I got two balls to make socks for me, and a ball of a dark, tweedy charcoal grey to make gloves for the spouse. He is so boring in his colour choices! Still, I refused to make him black gloves, so he can suck it up and go with the grey. He likes the yarn, anyway.

Then I was exploring more, and found even cheaper sock yarn! Garnstudio Fabel, for £1.60 per 50g ball. It works out at an extra 50-ish g per £12.50. I got three balls of self-patterning reddy-cream, two of which will be socks, one of which will be the famous Baby Surprise Jacket. I've always wanted to make one, and managed to pick up the pattern this weekend too.

My final purchase wasn't yarn. I was looking at one stand that had lovely stuff, lots of funky kits and things like that, and discovered that they had DPN project keepers. Basically it's two telescoping tubes that slip over one another, and each has a long slit in the side. You slide the narrower over the needles of your sock (or whatever) in progress, and then slip the other tube over the opposite end. The knitting hangs out of the slit, and the tubes keep your stitches from coming off the ends of the needles. A perfect travelling tool.

I resisted the urge to cast on for any new projects when I got home that evening. Instead, I sat on the couch and finished my Instant Gratification Scarf. The Noro one. A new speed record - slightly over 24 hours for a finished project, from cast-on to ends woven in. And that was given a day of work and a day of the show in between starting and finishing!

I spent Sunday photographing the collection and trying to find somewhere to store all of it. I got the sock yarn and Friday's haul into the tub, but the big balls of sweater yarn are sitting in a bag on the living room floor. Oops. So much for reducing the volume of the stash. I shall have to work hard on getting things done and used up.

I also worked on Christmas Stocking 2. I've finished two full snowflakes of height, plus the cuff, which puts me about a third of the way done with the whole thing. They will hopefully be sent on their way to Hawaii by the end of October.

Tonight is the pub and Dr Who. Having made so much progress and then bought all of this stuff, I am really motivated to finish things. I want my living room back, dammit!

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