My father really enjoys planning trips up to Wisconsin to see the American Players Theatre perform Shakespeare in their outdoor theatre in the woods. Spring Green is not terribly far from Chicago. It takes about 3 hours to drive there, pending traffic. However, my father prefers turning a trip to see the performance into a road trip, stopping at numerous towns along the way and sight-seeing in the area. Typically my only goal is to stop at the Mustard Museum and purchase more interesting condiments, but last year I tried to work another angle into our trip: yarn store.
It turns out there is a yarn store in Spring Green itself: Nina’s Department & Variety Store. “The Uplands of Southwest Wisconsin” includes this line in their publications about the store: “tucked into its own alcove at the back of the store is a complete yarn shop.” That really sums it up perfectly. The location for the entire store is not terribly large, but it is full of narrow aisles filled with everything from hardware to craft supplies. In the back there is an alcove. And it is definitely crammed with the stock of a small yarn shop. The shelves are veeeery close together, and none were anywhere close to being considered “empty” or “sparse.”
I decided that I wanted to buy sock yarn for myself, as at the time I had knit a few pair for my husband and only one pair for me–and I wasn’t really satisfied with the yarn knit up for the pair for me. A single skein of pale gray caught my eye (I really, really like gray~ ♥), and thus it came home with me. (I also bought the book Cast On, Bind Off, which has been one of the best purchases I’ve made as far as knitting books go. I use it constantly.)
This Wednesday I finished up the doll wrap that I was working on~! ♥ The buttons that I ordered arrived during the day, and I spent the evening sewing them on and adjusting the length of the fringe. The only buttons that I had on hand in the correct size were either standard 4-hole black plastic circles or 2-hole circles of transparent plastic with pink or silver glitter. They were leftovers from other projects, and as much as I really think the glitter buttons are cute, they were too childish for the colour of the yarn and the style of the finished project.
I decided to order dark shell buttons, as I thought they would coordinate well with the colours of the yarn. The Opaline colourway is a really lovely rainbow with a dark brownish-gray over-dye. There’s something similar in the way that shell buttons reflect light with an iridescence. When the buttons arrived I was happy to find that they had exactly the look I was hoping for.
I took a break from socks before I jumped on the next pair. I didn’t start the sweater, however, and I didn’t buy any more yarn.
A little more than a year ago I knit a ear-covering headband for cold weather. My ears really can’t take it when it’s cold. Even well above freezing I generally still need to wear a hat or my ears get very red and painful. Sometimes I don’t really want an entire hat, and as much as I appreciate the functionality of earmuffs I’m always hoping for something cuter. I saw the pattern Portsmouth: a skating hat and thought it was a really cute look in the pictures. I had some leftover yarn from a skein purchased during the Madelinetosh Black Friday sale in 2011, so I used it. I wore the finished item maybe once or twice and then forgot about it until I found it at the bottom of our “cold weather accessories” bag in the closet, when trying to organize the scarves. As cute as it looked on the model, it just would not lay flat on my own head regardless of blocking.
When I discovered it again, I thought about how much yarn it probably contained, totally wasted in its current state, and unraveled it.
I like to use up extra sock yarn as soon as the socks are complete, rather than saving it for later. I get bored with hexipuffs if I am knitting too many of them one after the other, and I don’t like the “looming” feeling I have if I know there’s a lot of yarn waiting for me to knit it into something. Even my Beekeeper’s Quilt project entry on Ravelry is set to “hibernating,” so that it isn’t at the top of my project page–although I do work on it on a regular basis–in-between any socks (or other fingering yarn project). The last of the Game of Thrones-inspired yarn from the previous pair of socks for my husband was swiftly converted to cute little hexipuffs.
Right now my hexipuff bin is really bright and colourful~ I like peeking in there and seeing all of the colours from the various yarns I’ve used in other projects, now as tiny stuffed hexagons. Because the hexipuffs have such a small stitch count, even at their widest point, the colours tend to pool and stripe in ways they did not on the socks. I like seeing how they look when envisioned in a project different from the one I originally worked on~