Sunday, August 1, 2010

Coupon Reject, Yarn Magnet

Sigh. I have tried to cash in on the flood of coupons that hits my mailbox (the real one on the side of my house by the front door, not the virtual one) every day. They promise me Sale! Instant Money! On actually trying out the promo codes and the certificate instructions, I fail.

Not only do they not apply to my purchase, which is sadly short of the minimum amount by only a smidgen, the actual product is no longer available. Never mind. I found what I needed the old-fashioned way, at the store.

The upside of my failed attempt at internet shopping is that while on line, I checked the exchange rate and found it was once again favorable. I mean the Euro/dollar exchange rate. More Euros/dollars means cheaper European yarn. I immediately headed over to Shoppel-Wolle, filled my cart, and tried to check out.

Foiled again. Shoppel-Wolle doesn't ship to the U.S. Even a personal plea didn't help. Mr. Shoppel politely informed me that he would ship me his yarn for a shipping charge about the equivalent of my yarn budget. Darn. Ravelry to the rescue. ships to the U.S. and has Shoppel-Wolle. On Sale! There wasn't much color selection, but I chanced it and bought three balls of what was there. I really only wanted two, but there was a minimum purchase required. After all, I was getting the yarn on sale. With the favorable exchange rate, it cost me about $6 a skein, not counting the (reasonable) shipping charge.

Even though they didn't have the colorway I wanted, at least I could test the yarn. Someday I may get my hands on the elusive colorway I crave. In the meantime, the third skein, the one I didn't want, turned out to be the perfect one for the wildest sock I've ever knit.

If you haven't seen Think Outside the Sox yet, you are in for a treat. This is my current favorite sock book, the one with the sock above on the cover. (Well, not exactly that sock, just a couple of pair from the same pattern.) I don't know that I will knit very many socks from it, but I am wearing it out just looking at the wildly imaginative patterns. I bought it for the entrelac sock pattern, because it includes an entrelac heel. I wanted to see if it took a different approach from Eunny's entrelac pattern.

At this point, I don't know whether it does or not. I was going to compare the two patterns, but I got distracted by the hexagons. This pattern, combined with the orange/green/blue yarn, was a fun knit, but I'm over it now. The first sock will have to wait a while for its mate. Those little hexagons got tedious after a while. Anyway, my sock needles are now otherwise occupied.

At the same time that I bought Think Outside the Sox, I also bought Knitted Socks East and West. (I blame the summer knitting books sales.) Again, I bought the book for a particular pattern, Tsunami. I was inspired by this pattern to design a pair of socks with a big cable on each side. As I might have suspected, having been driven by a boundless curiousity about knitting patterns for the past few years, I wasn't satisfied with just knitting a knock-off. I still wanted the original. I have the pattern now and can knit a Tsunami. Once again, I became distracted.

Instead, I knit a Kaiso, a very fast knit. I started it to practice Judy's Magic Cast On, not because the Kaiso pattern is knit toe-up, but because it was the right gauge for the yarn I had handy. Once I got the cast on done correctly, I knitted a few rounds, increasing to make a toe. I've never enjoyed knitting toe-up socks before because I haven't found a comfortable way to knit a toe from the toe tips up. Judy's cast on is magic. It makes a seamless toe. Since I'm using a brightly patterned yarn, I didn't worry about the visibility of my increases and simply kfb'd them. Boom, while having a cup of coffee, I knit a toe. I thought I'd use this pattern, but was afraid the gauge would be off or that the yarn would pool. Knitting the toe helped answer both questions. Then I found my gauge is large enough to allow me to skip one of the repeats in the foot. Whoopee, a sock in a few hours. It's a relief, because I bought this yarn (Toasty Toes) on sale sans label. It might be one of the short hanks, only about 250 yards long. With this pattern, on size 3 needles, I won't have any problem getting a pair from that yardage.

Unless I get distracted again, perhaps by another yarn bargain. I love yarn bargains.

I have a bucket list. You know, the list that is supposed, according to the popular movie lore, to be accomplished before you "kick the bucket". Pending death, for those who are unfamilar with the idiom. (Not sure who that would be, now that idioms are made universal via the internet.)

My bucket list is a list of yarn I must knit before I die. I'm sad to say that most of them are sock yarns, but it does seem to be socks that allow me to indulge my color and fiber fantasies. Sweaters are, really, better in one color, unless they are fair isle, which is simply many yarns of one color worked together.

My list:

Zara (I bought enough of this yarn to knit two sweaters, but haven't knit it yet.)
Posh sock yarn (bought, scheduled to be knitted by Christmas)
Knitabulous sock yarn (no purchase yet, the Australian dollar remains too strong)
Shoppel Wolle Intarsia 1800 (Now that I've tried the yarn, I'm more determined to acquire this colorway.)
Wollemeise (Thought about it, but besides being damned hard to purchase, I'm afraid it might be too thick for my sock yarn preferences)

I hear the dollar will improve in August, and will be watching those exchange rates and looking for more yarn bargains.

I hope others are tempted to join me. What's on your Yarn Bucket List?


vlb5757 said...

I love the hexagon sock. That must have taken forever. I can understand why it's mate would have to wait another day. Very interesting pattern. I don't have a yarn bucket list but now you have given me something to think about. I have a feeling it will be a list comprised of lace weight and sock yarn. Great post.

Kristen said...

I am not a sock knitter, but always love your socks. The hexagon sock is dazzling!!

As for a yarn bucket list, thank goodness I don't really have one. I have enough stash, so if I knit a bit of it here and there, I am thrilled.

Wool Winder said...

The more I knit, the less interested I become in knitting complicated stitch patterns, though I enjoy seeing others knit them. Perhaps that why I love to see what you're knitting. You always have something complex and challenging on the needles. The hexagon sock is amazing!

Jenn said...

Love the socks..the hexagon is eye-popping, but would drive me batty. I have a mix of yarns, but wollemeise in on it and if you keep an eye/sign up for updates/facebook and like them you get notice when she gets it in(did earlier this week, went fast but some actually got some). I personally have had issues with socks so far, made one quick and easy in worsted...drop to sock yarn and everything goes to pot. But I am using my little stash for the 'sock yarn blanket' by shelly kang(will be working on forever) and shawls (currently trying to stay awake working on the beginning of the multnomah, but love it in the etsy yarn I bought). I have spirit trails yarn stashed away from the knitting club now and I am working on perfect patterns for it(lots of pretty silk in that bunch). Finally acquired noro sock yarn on ebay for $10 with shipping for a skein (yay me, I love noro). I'd love to get my hands on the rest of the Harry Potter yarn line from Opal(only have Ron) but it is way outta my budget. Got my o-wool from the karma swap at ravelry. Bought a skein of Shivaya Naturals sock yarn from the last batch Heather dyed. Would love to be able to afford more of Carol's yarns (Farmhouse) but for the most part the rest of the yarn I really like/want is from indie dyers on etsy. I know my stash is minuscule compared to most, but what is there is what I want and have saved and worked to get my hands on (yes having 3 kids and living in a tourist town kills your income). I mostly have acrylic and cotton that I knit/crochet with on a daily basis and I am fine with that, we will never have to buy another wash/dish cloth or hand towel. And my girls love using the doll blankets, wash clothes and their blankets I've made. I think I'm more of a knit/crochet for usefulness type person with a few extras on the side.
Love popping in on your blog and seeing all you have been up to and admiring your work and skill. Thank you for sharing! And my co-workers and I do sit and talk about knitting, crocheting and yarn a fair amount, I guess we are the oddballs.

Patricia said...

Love the socks, especially the Kaiso. I saw the winners of this contest at Stitches South. Seeing the socks first hand was eye opening. I have to say that the first book, Socks, Socks, Socks is still my favorite. You did make me hit the Amazon button and buy "Knitted Socks East and West".