Saturday, 8 September 2007

Knitting, books, yarn - woo hoo

I did something yesterday that is very out of character for me - I BOUGHT THIS BOOK! I don't do this very often because on the rare occasions that I go into a bookstore, I usually stand there and rationalize that I can get it from the library so why buy it?! However, some of my dear family members just boosted my "birthday money fund" rather nicely and I thought - to heck with it, I read Stephanie's blog, I enjoyed her other books, I want to support her by actually buying this book and enjoying the experience of taking it home and savouring it. I am forcing myself to read it slowly (but it's difficult because it is funny and I just want to keep turning the pages).

So even though I haven't reached the end of the book yet (my willpower must be stronger than I thought) I would like to recommend Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off to all knitters and wannabe knitters. The material is written in her inimitable style which you can also experience by visiting her blog ( If you're a knitter and you haven't heard of her, you must have had your head stuck in your yarn stash for the last few years!

Today I splurged on a total of 11 balls of yarn. Again, this is very unlike me. I don't have a stash and I buy yarn on an "as needed" basis, so 11 at one time is a lot! However, they are destined for specific projects which will be tackled very soon.

The first is from this book - Wrap Style from Interweave Knits, edited by Pam Allen and Ann Budd. The wrap below is my favourite - I like the look of it and, while the pattern is not difficult, it has a unique method of construction. This Red Heart Soft Touch really does feel soft so even though it is "just acrylic" I am using this in Chocolate for the wrap. (Must make sure I eat lots of chocolate while knitting this, just to keep everything straight.)

My other purchase was Bernat Satin in Evergreen, Admiral and Sterling. Can you guess what these will become?

Yup, Harry Potter scarves (Slytherin and Ravenclaw). These will be gifts for some adult friends of ours who are mad about Harry Potter. I know that in the books, Ravenclaw is blue and bronze, but I couldn't find an appropriate yarn colour for "bronze". In the movies, they used blue and silver. I could have made a Gryffindor or Hufflepuff scarf - the store had dark red and black - but a fellow customer wanted the last five balls of golden yellow on the shelf and I graciously let her take them!

And finally....knitting in progress. I originally started Dad's socks on 68 stitches, but after a bit of ribbing I decided it looked too big. So I frogged it and after some procrastinating cast on 56 stitches, which seems better. I'm using Cascade Fixation for the first time (Desert Sand). It knits up, as far as I can tell, exactly like my regular elann esprit, on 4mm needles. And as I bought extra sets of dpns a while ago, I'm avoiding the dreaded SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) by knitting them both at the same time. I will alternate between the two after each step so that they will be finished at about the same time. I am not very excited about the colour but there wasn't a lot of choice at the yarn store and this was fairly masculine. Also, it has grey in it, which means my fluffy nylon reinforcing thread won't look out of place in the heels and toes.

I'm sure you'll excuse me now as I have a gauge swatch to knit for that wrap.........


Heather said...

A Slytherin scarf, you say. Is that a - Some assembly required. Snape not included. - kind of thing? Cuz if so I guess I'm not interested in making one. ;-)

ipsa said...

That was gracious of you! I'd have been tempted to hip check and run away with the booty.

I don't think you'll regret the Pearl-McPhee purchase. I am quite delighted with the two books of hers that I have and find that I dig into them for inspiration and comic relief on a semi-regular basis. And... I quote her to other knitters! LOL

Katherine said...

Love the Yarn Harlot! She has a great sense of humour and is a talented knitter. Easy to see why you'd want her book.