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Hold on to your hats, folks. This is gonna be a long one...

It's been rather stressful around Yarnia lately, and so I don't have a whole heck of a lot to report on the actual knitting front. (The planning-to-knit front, however, is a whole different animal...) Jason was out of town all week, so rather than spend my evenings watching him play video games or watching a movie while knitting, I've just been reading.

What I do have to report: Raglan sweater is nearly complete. I've knit down to the cuff on sleeve #2, and it just needs about an inch of 2x2 ribbing. For some reason I just can't be arsed to actually finish it, which is just a shame because we just finished with winter's last hurrah -- it snowed on Wednesday. Snowed! So, maybe some time around October I'll finally get it together enough to just frigging knit that last inch and weave in the ends.

Then I pulled out Sarah's Belated Birthday Socks, but only managed a round or two on them before realizing that stress is not good for knitting that requires concentration. So they got banished back to the WIP drawer before I really screwed them up. But I still had the urge to knit socks, so I pulled out those two skeins of Felici sock yarn in Rainbow, and started knitting away on a mindless plain vanilla sock pattern. Starting with the red stripe appealed to my neurotic side -- ROY G BIV and all that -- so I had finished with the cuff by the time I noticed there might be a bit of a problem...

It appeared that somewhere in the process of dying and winding this skein of yarn, bits of red dye had bled onto the other colors. I kept knitting away, hoping that maybe it was just a small problem, but no. As I moved from the orange to the yellow stripe, the problem got worse. And bigger. And blotchier. I knit another couple stripes before I finally faced the fact that this problem couldn't be ignored, especially after I closely examined (or, pulled out a big wad of yarn from the middle of the ball and stared at it in horror, whichever...) the rest of the skein and found it similarly affected.

I hopped right over to and filled out a little customer complaint form and fired it off, and had my reply within a day. They apologized for the issue and mailed me two new skeins of yarn from a different dyelot. Say what you will about Knitpicks, their customer service is awesome. I received the new yarn a couple of days later, but haven't bothered to restart the socks yet. Instead I've been working on Boneyard. No picture, so you'll just have to take my word for it that it's gotten much bigger, and the ball of yarn is rapidly dwindling. A few more nights parked in front of the tv with it, and I'll have myself a new scarf. Unfortunately, that'll probably be a ways off because I've set all WIPs aside in favor of new projects.

I am knitting something for someone that's on somewhat of a deadline, and I didn't have appropriate yarn for it (yeah, I'll wait while you stop laughing...) so I ended up at Natural Stitches again to pick up a new ball of yarn for this Secret Project. I wanted something variegated and bright and loud and fun, and I think this fits the bill quite nicely. It's Cascade Heritage, in Green Opel. And yes, it is somewhat louder than this picture makes it look.

While I was there, I also picked up two skeins of MadelineTosh Lace yarn in the colorway Fragrant, for no other reason than I love the color and I wanted it, and stress makes my willpower weak. This is 1950 yards, and I plan on making something big and square and lacey. I'm still browsing patterns, so we'll see what I eventually come up with...

Seriously. I love this color. I just want to eat it.

Of course, having just been at the LYS, and having just spent a rather embarassing amount of money on pink laceweight that I don't really need, I discover that I suddenly have more projects on my plate that require yarn I don't have. I try not to get too personal on here, but I just learned that someone I love very dearly has cancer. I'm very bad at dealing with difficult situations at the best of times, and it doesn't help that I'm a thousand miles away and just feeling so damn useless about it all. So I do what I do in most situations where I'm too far to make a real difference, and I turn to my needles and yarn. It's like, if I can take all my worry and all my love and pour it into a project, then send that project off, it's like I'm sending a little piece of myself off with it, so that in a way I feel like I can be there, and I can make a difference.

I know. It's silly. But I'm still going to be knitting chemo hats.

I wasn't sure which yarn would be best for it, so I picked out a few to see which works best and then will make more from there, if the recipient requests more. Left to right, we've got Malabrigo Worsted in Vermillion, then Malabrigo Twist in Azul Profundo, and then finally Berroco Vintage in Blush. I'll be including a bottle of Soak to make washing them as easy as possible, and that will even be handled by someone else, which is why I went ahead and picked yarns that I knew would be super-soft even though they require being washed by hand. Plus, you know, any excuse to knit with Twist.

Since Natural Stitches was running a sale that if you wear a handknit shawl into the store this weekend they'll give you 10% off your whole purchase, and they'd apparently just gotten in a big shipment of Dream in Color, and I was there for hat stuff anyhow, I went ahead and picked up a skein of Classy in the colorway Cloud Jungle.

To knit up that Rhossili Hat from Wendy Knits Lace. And thus I used up the last bit of Christmas money I'd been saving in my emergency yarn fund. So no more new yarn until my birthday, but I think I've got quite enough to keep me busy until then.

I got it all wound up, with assistance from Oz, who is still diligently trying to convince me that wool is for eating, silly human, not using sticks to play with it. I do have a swift (a gorgeous handmade swift that a friend who is very talented in woodcrafting made for me; I knit him a hat, scarf, and pair of fingerless gloves in exchange for it) but it's kind of a hassle to pull it out and get everything clamped to the dining room table, so unless I have to wind large quantities of yarn I just use this chair, whose arms happen to be perfectly spaced for holding a hank of yarn.

I'm still sorting through hat patterns, so I plan to spend tonight thinking it over while continuing Secret Project. Then tomorrow I'll hop into hat world.