Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Birthday month begins

I have decided, on the suggestion of several people, to take the entire month of February as more or less my birthday month.

(In some ways. I am still trying to reduce, which for me largely involves upping vegetable intake - even "adulterated" vegetables like the cauliflower tots I kind of like are lower in calories than many other things - and carefully watching added sugars, which is probably a good idea ANYWAY. I am telling myself a "big dessert" once a week is OK, though)

I got a surprise gift yesterday and am counting it as a birthday gift - someone I know from Ravelry (I think I sent her a book once that I no longer needed but she wanted) arranged for me to be sent a book that was produced through a Kickstarter campaign, called "Fieldwork Fails." Very funny book about the mishaps of fieldwork, told picture-book style. The best part? She got the author to personalize it for me- they drew a couple of their little trademark monkeys and signed it to me.

And then....late last evening (while waiting to see if there was any chance my uni was closing because of the alleged ice*)

(*No, we got no ice right here in town. A lot of the rural schools closed, perhaps they got it worse. I am hoping that my students who have long commutes use discretion and don't come in if it's unsafe. Apparently 69/75 was closed for a while this morning because of a bad wreck)

But anyway, I got to thinking about the "retro blanket" in issue 22 of Crochet Now (which I picked up in Illinois over break). Here's a photo, ganked from the magazine's website

I really love the colors in that, and the idea of a granny-square blanket made from a more-subdued palette of colors instead of the usual Rainbow Red Heart I remember from the 70s. And I kept thinking about it.

My first thought was: it takes dk but it's really hard to find dk for a good price in the US, and also, given how I USE blankets, I'd rather have a nice acrylic than some kind of animal fiber.

So I went hunting. Found some inexpensive worsted weight at Knitpicks, but then I realized: would not the conversion require more yardage, and if so, how much more? And I didn't want to buy vastly more yarn than I needed, and I couldn't find just the right colors anyway.

And then I thought: I wonder if there's a US outlet for the Stylecraft yarn used in the original?

Guys. Deramores (which seems to be a go-to recommended seller in some of those UK magazines) has a US outlet. not good for my wallet. Some yarns I just assumed were unattainable in any easy sort of way are now within the grasp of my grabby hands.

And yes, I ordered the right amount of yarn in the "right" colors for the blanket. It is rare I do a project in the exact colors and yarns recommended but the colors here were the big attraction for me, so. The yarn worked out to just over $40, which I suppose is a lot for a blanket these days, but not if you count in the "therapy" of being able to make it**

AND the Deramores website had a "free shipping with $40 purchase" coupon which, you rarely see free shipping for that low of an order any more....and if you sign up to have an account with them, you get points, and you get points when you order, and eventually you can convert those points into a discount on yarn. (The craft purveyors know us too well: throw us the bone of a future discount, even a small one, and we'll spend more money).

I got an e-mail this morning that the yarn is on its way. No idea if Deramores ships from the UK and their US website is merely an easy way to show us prices in dollars, or if they have an outpost here on US soil - I'm not expecting this to be here fast but that's OK.

And I don't know why big long-term projects - working on Great Horn-Rimmed, thinking about getting Celestarium back out - have grabbed my attention. Maybe it's a winter thing, I don't know. I'm also thinking of digging out the "Test Pattern Afghan" that I started making (it's from that "Happy Hooker" book) and see just how many more squares I have to make for it, and maybe even start setting some of the ones I have together. It would be nice to finish that also.

(Oh. And why didn't I ask my parents for the blanket yarn? It's an online-only outlet and my dad's been having computer problems, so I suspect it wouldn't be possible to ask for it for my birthday. I'm still trying to think about something that would be easy for them to obtain for that.)

(** The newest Interweave Knits - which I have to look at again but seems to have a couple interesting sweaters in it - had an "endpage" article about "put down your phone and pick up your knitting" pointing out that too much time on social media is probably not great for many people's brainspaces, but that doing something creative often is. (Does not matter, I think, whether that's writing, playing an instrument, cooking, making stuff out of wood or metal, sewing, knitting....whatever. Maybe even making stuff in Minecraft, I don't know). They even go so far as to comment that knitting can make us better people and there may be something to that; maybe people with some kind of a creative outlet are generally happier and less snappish than others. I know I am more content when I can make time to knit or quilt. Or crochet....)

Yeah, I am thinking of picking up the hook again, in advance of the yarn for the blanket arriving even. I still want to make a G4-ized Surprise, and now I'm thinking about another G1 pony....Heartthrob, a pink pegasus. I saw a clip of the old G1 show somewhere and she speaks with what sounds like a southern accent, and suddenly she is more interesting for it. And I love the pegasuses anyway. And I KNOW I have pink yarn on hand that would work for her pelt and mane and tail....

We may get crummy weather again this weekend. My tentative plan now is to run to Sherman Friday afternoon for the things I need, and then stay in Saturday. If the weather is OK in the morning, I'll come in here and do some research stuff; otherwise, I'll stay home and work on projects.

Other birthday plans: getting down to Whitesboro at some point (even if that's not until the first weekend of March) for some in-person yarn shopping. Also maybe buying myself some other gift. I can't QUITE justify the Big Thing I might want (a Calico Critters dollhouse with furniture and with the Tuxedo Cat family to live in it) but I might think of a smaller thing.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

The colors in the blanket are so nice.