17 December 2008

Yarn-related ranting and some non-sequiturs.

I love knitting with big, bulky yarns.  Bulky yarns, according to standards provided by the Yarn Craft Council of America, are yarns that knit 6-11 stitches to 4 inches.  The smallest category, for those readers who are not fiber fanatics, lace weight, can be as many as 40 stitches to 4 inches.  Bulky yarn should be knit on big needles, size 11 (8 mm) and larger.  

I am not a fan of lace weight yarn and teeny-tiny needles.  I know knitters who think that my size 7 (4.5 mm) needles are "huge".  No, size 7s are small.  I knitted a shrug for my sister on size 7s; that sucker took me 5-1/2 MONTHS to knit.  Urgh.  I want to make things that are finished a little more quickly than 5 months.  And maybe next time I knit that same pattern (for ME!) it might go more quickly, because I'm familiar with the pattern.  But making things that take eons...just not my style.

Sadly, I realize that I am indeed part of the instant gratification everything-all-the-time set.  Wonder if my obsessive-compulsive disorder has anything to do with that.

Back in March when I visited my sister in New York City, she took me to a wooooonderful yarn store in Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue, Knit-a-Way.  My sister is a great one for monopolizing my knitting time; she sends me patterns via e-mail or links via instant message, asking if I can make whatever it is for her.  She has 3 hats, a scarf, and a shrug of my making.  I'm not complaining, I'm usually thrilled to accommodate her, and she is always appropriately excited about the finished projects.  2009, however, will be the year of me knitting for ME.

At Knit-A-Way, sis picked out some very yellow yarn for me to use to make a hat for her.  Manufactured by an Italian company (di.Ve Fiamma) and imported by Cascade yarns, the 100% wool was surprisingly a delight to work with.  Surprisingly because 100% wool makes me itch like crazy.  I can not wear wool next to my skin in a sweater or trousers without at least one layer of cotton between me and the wool.  I think my skin is hypersensitive to wool.  I've worked with wool before that made my hands itch from holding it.  But this didn't make me itch.  The pattern I chose for my the hat was probably part of the reason that I enjoyed working with the yarn.  I like the pattern so well that I've made 2 more hats with the same pattern and have a third on needles, not done.

I've searched locally for more di.Ve, and while one local store does carry many of Cascade Yarn's products, di.Ve isn't one on their list.  They're quite happy to order it for me, with me paying the shipping, and a bit of an elevated price.  Thank you, but no.  Not that I don't want them to make money, I do.  I support local merchants whenever possible.  But this stuff is expensive at the MSRP.  Adding to the cost makes it worse, and paying shipping adds insult to injury if you ask me.  

So I've watched eBay and searched on Ravelry for people willing to part with di.Ve that they already own.  Found some, and the person was willing to part with it for a very reasonable price.  In our exchange of e-mails, I mentioned the trouble I have had trying to track this stuff down, and she informed me that many of the Fiamma colors are no longer manufactured.  What?!?  WTF?  Turns out that with the rising cost of, oh, EVERYTHING, bulky yarns are getting too expensive for local yarn stores (hereafter referred to as LYS) to buy and carry on inventory, and so buyers for the yarn stores are purchasing less, and money talks, people.  Bulky yarns tend to be expensive, and so to purchase enough of it to make, say, a sweater or a full-size afghan, you'd be breaking the bank.  The volume that your LYS sells, then, is much diminished from the volume of finer gauge yarns.  Result?  The LYS doesn't have a lot of bulky yarn.  Boooo!  Boooo!

On to the non-sequiturs, then.

I went to the doctor's office, my usual family doc, to get a flu shot.  Yes, yes, you're supposed to get that in October or November, but I didn't.  I plead laziness and lack of time.  I'm leaving for Florida in a week and the flu is making the rounds there, so I wanted to make sure I finally got one.  The entire collective office where I work has also been passing a viral infection around.  Fun.  Yeah.  Like a hole in the head.

I hate waiting in doctor's offices, but usually manage to stay calm by knitting or reading.  Several of the other folks waiting were really pissy about their wait, making lots of passive-aggressive remarks.  Equally as annoying as waiting, if you ask me.

When I finally got called back, the exam room where the nurse was waiting with the shot had a framed bit of advertising from a drug company advertising medication that treats an extreme form of sleep apnea.  Like many of these posters, there was a checklist of questions to ask yourself, and the oh-so-helpful tag line that if you answered yes to three or more of these questions, you should talk to your doctor about this apnea thing.  These kind of things are bad for me, because I am a major hypochondriac.  So I try to look at these posters with a humorous eye, not with an omigod I'm going to die eye.  That said, the list intrigued me.

Waking up with headaches.  Check.

Sleepiness during the day.  Check.  My caffeine consumption has gone up A LOT recently.

Chocking sensation while sleeping, waking up coughing.  Check.

Excessive or very loud snoring.  Check.  DH claims I snore.  I know he snores, lots.  Dunno if I do, really, but I believe him because my dad snores.  

Hmm.  Something to think about.  Maybe the headaches have more to do with something outside of my usual litany of suspects; hormones, weather, ciggy smoke, stress.

1 comment:

JuliaA said...

i used to be a bulky yarn fan, but since i'm knitting from patterns more than i used to, i've ended up knitting with worsted weight most. i don't go below a 7 very often, though. fuck that. i have a few skeins of fingering and i'm kind of terrified of them.

sleep apnea--yeah, you sound like a candidate. definitely. a friend of the fam had some probs and ended up sleeping with a cpap machine, and it changed his life.

recommended podcast:


it was advised that i not listen to the segment on bugs, so i skipped that, but the opening story is pretty great.