Monthly Archives: January 2017

Taking stock

I have great plans for keeping my knitting notions organized. Of course I do! A needle roll, baskets, zipper bags for the little stuff, a whole craft nook with shelves and a dresser and a big table. But I don’t KNIT in my craft nook, just store stuff there. And in knitting bags. And other baskets all over the house. And eventually it looks like this:

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And while I’m usually pretty good at keeping my yarn stash updated in Ravelry (usually) entering my needle collection has been sporadic at best. And the worst part is they sometimes wear out. Not the metal ones, mind you, but the wooden ones can get splintery tips, and the skinnier sizes eventually break.* This was brought to the front of my attention when I recently tried to knit these orange socks, only to discover I no longer own ANY US 1.5 dpns. That, combined with the toddler mittens I knit on splintery US8’s late last fall has me thinking it’s time to take stock of my DPNs and figure out where the gaps are.

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This is almost every set of DPNs I own. I know there are size 0 square metal ones in the sock project in my drawer at work. And I suspect that 2 of my size 7 signatures are around here somewhere because a set of 3 would be pretty useless…

What have I learned? I do, very much, need a backup set of US8’s. That’s one of my favorite sizes and I own the signatures and the splintery brittanys that really need to be replaced.

I have a sticky note somewhere in my brain saying I need more 4’s and 6’s. This is a lie. I have FOUR sets of 6’s and THREE sets of 4’s. It’s possible I keep buying more because I think I need them, but clearly I need to stop that.

I have complete coverage for every size from 000 through 11 which is pretty good! But I definitely need second sets at a couple of sizes. That statement would’ve seemed crazy a decade ago. But I cannot tell you how often I have two or more projects going on size 7’s at the same time. And sure I have four sets of size 6’s, but I pulled three of them from three separate parts of my house because they’d come out of various projects and never gotten put away.

Also, I have a gift certificate left over from Christmas and, believe it or not, I don’t feel like I need more yarn** right now…

*we won’t talk about the entire set of US4 ebony DPNs that I snapped, one at a time, by using them as hair sticks.

**well, only because I just bought yarn yesterday. But that’s different! It’s for a specific project!!

I still hate cars

… but I may be willing to make some exceptions. This weekend I picked up my very first all electric plug in car. So far I love this little beauty. She’s zippy, she’s super efficient. And I never have to worry about an emissions scandal since there’s NO INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE.

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This is not the first time I’ve blogged about cars. Back in 2010 I bought my first diesel, and I was so excited to be cutting fuel use and improving the environment. (I don’t blog about it often, but hopefully you’ve gleaned that this is important to me.)

After five good years (ok, 3 good years, and 2 years of increasing repair costs. But that’s what you get with an old car). I upgraded to a shiny new 2011 TDI. I was thrilled. I was one of those VW owners who bought the car specifically because I wanted high mpgs with low emissions. I bought it in July 2015 and the honeymoon lasted right up until September when the freakin’ VW emissions scandal broke (summary: cheat device; cars emit far more pollutants than they’re supposed to; something like 450,000 recalled TDIs – including mine)

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I did my research and determined a certified, pre-owned Nissan Leaf was in my price range. The certification was key for me, because if I’m going to own a car with so many new-fangled systems that only the dealer can work on it – I need to know the dealer is willing to back those systems up. These cars are supposed to be low maintenance. They have no spark plugs, no timing belt, no oil to change. Pretty much the only things owners need to maintain are the tires and windshield wipers.

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The biggest challenge so far was driving the car home. There were none of these cars available for sale in VT, so I bought mine in MA and then I had to make the 233 mile drive on a car that only gets 70 miles per charge. I planned my route carefully, and with an overnight charge at my parents I made it home without incident! I did drive the longest leg (69.1 miles) without heat in order to save electrons. But I made it, cold toes and all! That’s my dashboard at the end of the longest leg home, where both the miles ’till “empty” and the battery remaining indicators have gotten so low they just show little — marks. But hey, I didn’t hit turtle mode, so I wasn’t dead empty (literally, when the battery is gone there’s a turtle-shaped dashboard light) 

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Since this is nominally a knitting blog, let’s talk about what is on my needles right now, shall we?

Firstly, those knitted leggings are still moving along. I’m into the gusset increases (aka, the crotch) and so everything is pretty squished onto my circular right now. I can’t wait to get to the first leg, it’s gonna feel like the project is zooming by when I move down to half as many stitches.

Next up, I’m knitting a little Fernboro hat. It’s a simple thing, but I love how the feather and fan stitch creates those little ear flaps. I made some good progress on a long car drive last weekend. And I have another long car drive this weekend. More on all this driving later. (oh the things I have to tell you, dear blog, I’ve been so busy!)

Finally, I pulled a sock project out of deep (DEEP) hibernation so I could work on it in meetings. The title of this post was almost “zombie sock” because this project was started back in 2012. (that’s right, I have WIPs older than my three-year-old).

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But here’s the really big problem. Sometime in the last three years I needed those 1.5dpns, and I put the sock on a random set of size 0’s so as not to loose the stitches. And then I forgot. And also, those wooden 1.5dpns have broken. And I knit a whole ‘nother inch on the foot of the sock before I accepted that my gauge was WILDLY different than the fabric in the cuff. And then I went back to Ravelry to see if I could figure out what had gone wrong. I mean, I know my gauge can change over time, but I thought this seemed like a whole-different needle size. Which, apparently wasn’t quite right. It’s a needle and a HALF different.

So, sometime before next month’s round of meetings I need to buy myself another set of DPNs. And frog over an hour’s work. Two steps forward, one step back, right? At least the sock is out of the deep stash. For now.