So, I’m minding my own business, working on a few last minute gifts, listening to the radio on iTunes, and a song comes on that annoys the bejeebus out of me. I set down my size 1 needles and my project on the couch, walk over to the computer, change the station, and in the five or so seconds that I’m up, Eleanor runs by the couch, trips, falls over, and lands smack on my needles. She’s not hurt at all thanks to the fact that toddlers are made up of at least 63% Rubbermaid®, but I look down and see one of the needles lying in two pieces.

I’d like to think I’m a calm and sensible person, but in actuality, I turn a funny shade of blotchy pale and start sputtering incoherently. Then I say something well thought out like, “Argh!” or “Blerg!” Then I storm to my bedroom to cool down for a minute, and while I’m in there muttering about how everything always happens to me and wondering why toddlers can’t try to fall in more convenient places, it hits me that my needles are made of bamboo.

I’ve got some sadly broken and bent metal needles that will never be restored. I’ve snapped the entire bamboo segment off of a pair of Addi Natura circulars. But a small segment off of a bamboo straight needle is thoroughly manageable. I sternly remind myself that Elizabeth Zimmerman had occasion to sharpen needles on flipping rocks in the middle of nowhere, and what is a broken bamboo needle to your only pair of knitting needles on a fishing expedition, anyway?

Luckily, I have tools in the bathroom. With the help of a nail file and buffer, I soon have a working pair of needles again. They’re of entirely different lengths, but so what? I feel like MacGyver.

I organized my stash this weekend. Compared to many knitters, I believe my stash is relatively modest, but I’ve still accumulated a fair amount of yarn. The stash organization was a two hour undertaking, but well worth it. I laid out all the yarn I have and separated the yarn that already has a purpose. Then I recorded the amount and purpose of those yarns in a little notebook. I also rewound a lot of skeins that were taking up too much space or getting messy. The nice part of this was realizing that most of the yarn I have that does not have a specific purpose is leftover yarn. I’m not just acquiring for the sake of acquiring. The bad part of this is that I now have a list of projects that I have yarn for, a prioritized list, and no excuse to buy more yarn until I’ve made a nice dent in the list.

The largest segment of stash without a specific project in mind is my collection of fingering weight wools. I love these yarns, and have acquired them whenever I’ve had opportunity, but they’re a very motley collection of colors. Actually, the colors are a lot like motley. Since I was organizing, I tried a swatch of several of these colors together and found that while I love the colors I have, I do not love them together. I have several options, but I think that I will eventually need to acquire more fignering weight wool (oh, the hardship) if I want to use the wools for Fair Isle. Anyway, judge for yourself – here’s a swatch based on the Enid cardigan from last winter’s Interweave Knits. And my apologies – I was unable to get a good shot of the true colors, but I think the weird combos are obvious enough.

The background color is Rowanspun 4 ply in Jade, the greyish color is Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4 ply in Sheer, the purple is Rowanspun 4 ply in Turkish, the grassy green is Jamieson Spindrift, the bright red is Rowanspun 4 ply dyed with various shades of red Kool Aid, and the dark red is Rowanspun 4 ply in Blood. I have seven skeins of Blood, ten of Jade, three of Turkish, two of Sheer, and one each of the Kool Aid and grass yarns. Basically, a lot of lovely yarns, but not so lovely together. I suppose I could also try doubling the Jade to make the Tangled Yoke cardigan or something, but I’m not really sure what to do. If anyone has ideas, either of additional colors or projects, I’d be more than happy to hear them.

One final picture, yet another in the handknits in action series. I wore Maude Louise this weekend, and one of the things I like most about this cardigan is that there are so many ways to wear it. I’ve never really shown this in any of my previous pictures. I tend to leave some portion unbuttoned, but no matter how you wear it, it’s really quite flattering. So here’s Maude, prim and buttoned up on top.

I hope you’re having a fairly stress free holiday season thus far! Take care.

One Response to “MacGyver”

  1. Sarah Says:

    Glad Nora didn’t hurt herself on that needle! I’m rather jealous of your Yorkshire Tweed stash, and I think there’s potential. For me, it’s the Kool-Aid pink that’s throwing it off. But if you subbed in a rusty orange, a bohus-style yoked cardi might be just the ticket. (Of course, it may just be my monitor making the rest of the colors look less goofy together than they are in real life.)

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