Monday, November 17, 2008

Productivity and Predjudice

I have watched all of the Harry Potter movies this week and am beginning the audio books tonight. That must mean gift knitting is well and truly on the way. Between Scott and I we have finished 3 scarfs and have 3 more in progress. I finished a cabled vest with only a yard of yarn to spare. I just need to weave in the ends and give it a wash. 1 pair of socks finished and already on the recipients feet.
Irish Hiking ScarfScott's current project
I made it through the cuff of a glove before I remembered the recipient is allergic to wool. That, of course, made it necessary to go to the yarn store on my day off to buy Rowan Calmer, the best substitute for wool yarn IMO. Scott fell so hard off the yarn wagon while we were there that I think he might have bruised himself were it not for all the yarn he landed on. Lucky for me, some of that yarn will end up as a scarf for me, some a scarf for him and the rest gift yarn. Annie was there the Brooklyn Tweed's stripey Noro scarf. Do you think Jared minds that we call him Brooklyn Tweed as if it were his name? We all fawned over the new Silk Garden colors awhile and with enough cajoling Scott was convinced he wants to knit a 1x1 rib scarf for me.
My Christmas Present
Random Fact about Me--I never knits my own scarves if I don't have to. I keep telling myself that I'm going to knit a scarf that goes all the way around my neck and tied at least once, but so far it hasn't happened. I'm great with the almost scarfs. You know the ones just long enough to go around your neck once but have to be held closed with a pin or button? I don't wear them, but I can crank them out like crazy. The closest I came to making a proper scarf for myself was making two clapotis, one of which I promptly traded with my mom. The second one I made just to prove that I would make a drop stitch scarf out of mohair, good advice and mohair sensitivities be damned. Friends Fiona and Tammie made this scarf for me this past summer. It alternates between Trekking and a very early batch of my own Themyscira. I blocked it a few days ago and have been wearing it around the house despite it being almost 80 degrees in here with the heat off because it is just that neat.
Chevron Scarf

Unfortunately I might cut my holiday knitting short. I don't want to, but work and sample knitting beckons. I have a few new bases I need to test dye, knit and then work up samples. It's part of that yarn thing I love doing so much and I've been letting the new job get in the way. Can I tell you something? I don't like this writing job. I despise the barely literate people I write for. I hate that they have enough money that they can be so lazy as to hire me to do their grunt work. It isn't a hard job, but a frustrating one. On the upside, I can now write a cover letter in 4 seconds flat for any job in any field. I miss my dye pots. I miss my real job. I miss days off. I hate this economy.

Do you know what else gets to me? Stupidity. Earlier this week I was standing in line at Walgreens when there was a coordinated and successful 3-man shoplifting effort. "Shoplifting" doesn't even really convey how coordinated it was or how much they must have gotten away with. These guys were good. After they got away, the cashier didn't call the manager. "What could he do? They've already gotten away," she said. Scott was waiting in the car so I didn't strangle her right then and there for being stupid, but I did pay with a check so the police could find me if they needed a witness statement. Yannow, in case she actually ever reported to her employer that her employer was ripped off.

Today I was going to check out at the grocery store and saw this sign in front of a magazine with Obama on the cover. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that someone even went through that much effort to be that ignorant, but it does. We suburban St. Louisans aren't generally prone to any kind of action. We mostly just want to be left alone. It always makes me extra cranky to rediscover that some people are energetic in their bile-spewage. I gave it to the cashier, but it wasn't until I asked if she was going to report that to her manager that she started looking for one.

Ahem. Wasn't I talking about new base yarns? I tried two new ones today. One is a thick and thin single very loosely plyed with a thin wool string. I only did one color today and a custom color at that. I love the way the yarn dyed. Once I see how it knits up I'll consider adding it as regular bulky yarn. The Unspun BFL has been knitting up great for customers, but it is a hard sell online. It is one of those yarns you have to have explained to you, largely because it isn't even a yarn. It's a roving.

One of the other new bases, a cotton boucle, is right out. As we speak I have a sweaters worth dyeing in Chinese Red. I've made three discoveries about Chinese Red dye and cotton boucle yarn. 1) dyeing cotton is messy; 2) cotton boucle can sit in a basic solution for 2 hours and never absorb water, which means it is theoretically possible that it can sit in dye and never absorb that, either. I refuse to give in to the urge to peek in the dye bag until tomorrow. If once I rince it I have a sweaters worth of white cotton boucle and a Chinese Red sink, you will know it by my screaming; 3) Chinese Red tinted skin is virtually indistinguishable from skin that is red from a Chinese Red dye sensitivity.