I Love Yarn Day

Though it might be every day for me, tomorrow is apparently “I Love Yarn Day”. According to the Craft Yarn Council, this day happens on the second Friday of October. They even have a website where you can find local celebrations. Most of these seem to come in the form of a flash mob. I have no idea what a yarn flash mob would be, but it does sound interesting.

They also suggest ways to celebrate on your own, such as knitting/crocheting in public, wearing something knit, gifting yarn, making things for charity, etc. Basically, do something yarny. And pretend that was a real word.

I will probably celebrate by looking at my current project

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as I walk past when getting up in the morning because I am spending my weekend up to my elbows in small children. But maybe I will get into the spirit by wearing a headband or barrette. Because, you know, it’s still 90° here like it’s not the second Friday of October.

My New Christmas Toy

That I got in the mail this week. I used a Christmas gift certificate to buy it, so technically it was a Christmas present.

This is a yarn swift. See, some yarn comes wrapped in circles called “skeins”. These are really obnoxious to wind into balls because they like to tangle in on themselves no matter how much you try to keep them lying flat. In steps the swift that holds the circle tight and spins around to keep the yarn untangled.

Working with the yarn winder and swift is fun. In fact, it is so much fun that I am planning to keep my “stash” yarns in skeins to wind them when I need them again. That and I read that it is more gentle on the yarns. When they sit around wound into balls it can stretch the yarn out and cause shrinking when you wash what you have knit. I tried to find where I read that, but I don’t feel like doing more than five minutes of research right now.

I can also mark down approximately how much yardage I have left by counting how many times I wrap the yarn around the “niddy-noddy” to make the skeins. Makes it much easier later to know what I can make out of the yarn.

The swift is supposed to go on the side of a table, but the desk in my room is larger than the opening at the bottom of the swift. However, it fits perfectly on the arm of my chair as you can see in the first picture. That does make it the perfect height to stand next to while winding the yarn.

Everyone has something that other people think is boring that they love doing. I also love licking envelopes. I actually like the taste of envelope glue. What random things do you get excited about doing that other people think are strange or boring?

Swatching Up A Storm

I’ve got to admit, I was not very good about swatching before starting a project for many years. Most likely because I was using cheap worsted weight acrylic yarn that doesn’t really change gauge much for so long that I didn’t think it was necessary. Using real yarn has taught me the value of doing a gauge swatch first. That and reading the book Custom Knits Accessories by Wendy Bernard. I rarely follow a pattern to the letter, so swatching is pretty important.

I’ve even started washing the swatches to see how the yarn does in a normal wash cycle, so I know whether or not it will be okay to wash the final product. Much better to find out that a small square shrinks than having an oddly misshapen hat or glove at the end of laundry day.

I’m casting on two projects this weekend:Starry Stole (swatch 1) and Zooey (swatch 2). I knit the swatches Wednesday, hand-washed them yesterday, and now I am ready to measure once more to be sure and cast on.

Oh, and my other swatch project is still going strong. Up to 297 out of 400 right now according to my Google+ Photo Album. Only 103 more to go.