Tuesday, June 26, 2007

the librarian's library

I'm so glad I married someone who's more of a bibliophile than I am. Maybe it's because the evidence of his obsession has to be displayed out on a shelf for everyone to see, whereas my obsession can be ziplocked and stuffed into baskets and drawers, out of sight. Anyway, yarn isn't an obsession of mine. A keen interest at most. A keen interest that currently fills 6 big baskets and a tall chest of drawers, but that's all it is. I could stop anytime I wanted to. I just don't want to right now.

Since purse strings were yanked tight - and then tighter - in the last year or so, I've been knitting purely from stash. Nearly. When I think about it there are one, two, three exceptions to this. But one was a mother's day present to me and I made a lovely jumper for £14! And another was only £10 to buy black cotton to make a work cardie so that's hardly throwing money away for nothing, is it? Is it? Stop judging me! The third was to buy the 400g of merino sock yarn to dye at Eastertime. It was only about £12 from Texere Mills online - and it kept Rhia entertained for a good couple of hours over the holidays. So, even if it did break the yarn diet £36 over a whole year is pretty good going, I think.

B.T.W. Texere Mills is a killer site for anyone in the U.K. looking for yarn to dye. Really clear site and lots of choice and I've never been disappointed with anything I've bought in the past.

So, knitting from stash. Firstly this was just 'cos I had no more room. The baskets were groaning at the seams with good and bad stuff. So I purged and tearfully got rid of stuff I knew I'd never knit with. I also broke my yarn diet by swapping a book on Knitty for a whole boxload of lovely stuff from a lovely swapper in lovely America. Can you tell I loved everything she sent? O.K. so I had to swap an Alice Starmore book for it all, but it was sooooo worth it. And yes, it was that Alice Starmore book.

Only problem with knitting from stash is eventually you're down to the dregs. I've used up everything I had enough of to make actual garments and now I'm looking at random balls scratching my head. Actually, that didn't come out quite how I meant it to.

The problem is, I only need so many afghans and handwarmers and hats. And anyway, a fair bit of what I have left over is laceweight lambswool on cones since I thought I was going to be able to run up a whole load of Shibori scarves on a knitting machine a friend's mother gave me. Only it broke. And now I have cones and cones filling up half of the shelf I set aside in the dining room for booze. And I need the room, people.

Well, I started this post talking about books and now I'm onto booze. Two of my favourite subjects. A cold jd and coke, lots of ice. A pernod and water. A whisky and water. A margarita - 4 tequila, 3 lime juice, 1.5 cointreau, please. I've joked I should have that tattooe'd somewhere. 4,3,1.5. I wonder if anyone would know what it meant? Ah, but if they did know, I'd have found a friend for life.

Anyway, books, books. Stay on subject, woman! Since I've been taking pic's like a man with no arms (a Scottish sayin, just go with it), I thought I'd include a few of my pathetically small, but well-used selection of knitting books. The old looking one with the lamb on the front is actually one that my mum got for her mum as a christmas present in the forties. It's full of women who need to knit gloves so they can go riding and socks so they can play tennis and have neat children who wear knitted underwear with happy smiles. The E.Z. book hardly needs an explanation as to why it's on the shelf. I have every E.Z. I could get my hands on and someday I will have the DVD's too. The Knitting Fair Isle Gloves and Mitts is a fantastic book I'd recommend to anyone interested in fair isle at all. I've knit a few pairs from here, following the patterns but substituting colours and it is completely absorbing. I even had to buy my own colouring pencils and graph paper so I could colour in neatly. The Cat Bordhi book is the only one I'm still struggling to get to grips with. It could be that I just really like using d.p.'s. It could also be that I'm completely corrie-fisted.

So, what Knitting books, with a capital 'K', could you not contemplate being without?

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