Tuesday, February 13, 2007

San Francisco is YarnTastic!

It was so cold in Chicago. So so cold. Last week Monday, it was -9 in the morning. I didn't know this, but when I went outside, I knew something was wrong. Very very wrong. I was bundled up and had a scarf around my face, only one strip of forehead and my eyes were exposed between the scarf and my hat. And that strip of skin hurt. After a while I began to notice my eyelashes were sticking together. I wiped them and ice chunks came off. Ice chunks on my lashes people!

But I was looking forward to the weekend because I would be in San Francisco. San Francisco, and I had been promised any yarn I want as a Valentine's Day gift. I asked around, and got some helpful suggestions from people on Knittyboard and Knitter's Review. I wanted a silk/wool blend, DK to worsted weight, hand-dyed, and with multiple plies.

While I was dreaming of and searching around for my new yarn, I was also making a sweater as a gift for the one who would give me the yarn. Yes, I know about the curse. In case you don't remember, I brought it about with just a pair of socks. But this relationship had, indeed, gone on longer than I had/have really wanted. Not to say he isn't a good guy who has helped me a lot, but I don't feel that way about him anymore. He's more like my travel and dining partner. The paying partner. No, truly, he's a really good friend. Anyway, I decided to knit him the Andoa Sweater from Berroco. I decided this about 12 days before the schedule SF trip. Hmmm. Not, you notice, a plain stockinette sweater. Textured, all over, front back and sleeves. Hmmm.

So I knit with an intensity heretofore unknown in this world. It was truly a Knitensity. I ordered some Cascade Ecological Wool. It arrived Thursday afternoon. The SF trip was the following week Saturday and Sunday. I started as soon as it arrived. By Friday night I had 15":

At which point I admitted to myself what I had known for the past 6 or 7 inches; it was too big, despite my gauge swatch. Somamabitch lying gauge. Damn, wasn't like I had all the time in the world to rip back and start again. I put it to the side thinking I might be able to cut it, before or after sewing it together. I would think about it. I set it aside and began to work on the front. I spent all weekend on it. By Sunday night I had this:

I decided I was just going rip back the back and start over. I did so, did the neckband, and started the sleeve. I was not getting enough sleep and was beginning to shirk other responsibilities. By Thursday, I had this:

Was I really going to make it? My wrists were hurting, I had shooting pain up one forearm. Was I going to give myself carpal tunel? Injury be damned, I must continue! By the next Friday night I had this. It's surrounded by the stuff I'm packing for the flight next day.

I was knittng on the bus to the airport, sewing up seams in the airport before I had even finished the sleeves. I needed to rip back about 3 inches on one to make it longer in the garter stitch section. I was knitting and seaming the whole plain ride. All the non-knitters "ooh, so pretty. do you sell? a gift? i wish i were your friend. 8 days you say? oh no, i'd never have the patience". As I was weaving in ends, the pilot announced the initial descent (speaking of which, I just saw the movie The Descent. A legitimately scary movie. I was impressed). I had to buy a pair of nail clippers at an Oakland Aiport store to cut the yarn from all the woven in ends. But I had finished. Later in the day, he tried it on. It fit!

Now, to the yarn. We went to Art Fibers, which was nice but didn't have really what I wanted. Actually, they had a nice yarn called Cheescake which was very pretty but I didn't want any of the colors it came in. They had beautiful silk yarns, but we know silk, with the whole lack of elasticity thing, I couldn't go for silk that didn't even have any plies to give it some springiness. Not for a sweater.

We went to Imagiknits, which is a truly great store. I'm still dreaming of some of the stuff I saw there. But not what I wanted. Lots of different companies making the same thing, but not enough making what I wanted to be at this store. We went to eat here. It was delicious. I got drunk, broke a wine glass. The next day I called around to lots of stores asking for a dk to worsted weight hand dyed silk/wool blend with multiple plies. No luck.

We went to Sonoma to drink wine. We stopped at a small yarn store that didn't have what I wanted, but she suggested we try one in Petaluma called The Knitterly. They weren't open yet, so we went to the Sebastiani winery. After the winery, we went to The Knitterly in Petaluma. I drove this time because he had gotten an urgent business call and it was going on and on and on. We used the super cool NeverLost GPS. I got there and Eureka! I got 8 hanks of Alchemy Sanctuary, a 70% wool 30% silk hand dyed blend, plied, DK, in the Rainforest colorway. Also a couple of balls of KidSilk haze. They will go into a sweater I'm designing for myself

Nice stuff, huh? Somehow, I feel strangely unsatisfied. Someone suggested it was all in the hunt. But I had a great time. SF and the surrounding area was warm(er), especially Sonoma where it was sunny and 60 degrees. And I had beautiful yarn I couldn't have got myself. The Andoa sweater was finished and it fit. What more could I ask for? But still not satisfied. I'm a spoiled brat.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Fear of the DH

So I have chatted on several knitting and crochet forums and one thing that puzzles me is fear of the DH, dear husband. Everyone is like, "I know I shouldn't buy more yarn, DH will be mad." I guess it's cuz I've never lived with a man, but this both confuses and scares me. Grown women, income-earning women even, afraid to buy yarn because of their husbands. I know there are fewer male knitters and crocheters, but the ones that do post, I can't recall ever reading one of them saying something like "my wife (or SO) will kill me if I buy more yarn". Where does this come from? Is the husband always the one that controls all the finances in the house? Or is it a "i'm in a partnership and i shouldn't spend so much money on things that are not for all of us" idea? And if it's that, then why not just say that? If they know money needs to go elsewhere, well then they know that's their responsibility that they must see to. But no, instead it's because they're afraid of their husbands. Is the husband responsible for making sure the wife does not ignore her other financial responsibilities? And if it's not financial, the alternatives seem scarier. Husband-enforced yarn diets? What?

Makes me wonder sometimes, do I even want to get married? I don't know. I'm sure it doesn't have to be that way, because between my mother and my stepfather, it's definitely my mother who controls the purse strings. She never seems afraid to buy something because her husband wouldn't approve (I wonder would he dare even try to tell her not to buy something?). She either buys what she wants or, if she doesn't buy it, it because she knows the money is needed elsewhere. Her motivation isn't fear of being disciplined by her husband.

I'm sure what I'm saying must rub some people the wrong way. I'm also sure I'll hear the "you don't understand because you're not married." Maybe that's true. But looking at it from the outside, I'm not sure it's something I want to get into.