Operation Stash Containment

For the entirety of my knitting career, I’ve prided myself on my stash containment. Yes, the stash has been sizable for sometime, but it was never out of control. I’d hear stories of wool stashed in pianos, in every closet in the house, in the couch cushions—wool stuffed in every imaginable place because the stash is just that out of control.

But not me. My stash always resided happily in two under-the-bed storage bins, resting safely, waiting patiently and comfortably until its turn came round.

This is no longer the case.

There it is…the whole stash…just sitting there…waiting…mocking…

And it’s driving me bonkers.

Now, it hasn’t gotten so unruly that it’s all over the house. But, it all has to be locked away because of a certain yarn-chewing cat and her wool-stealing spawn. Gone are the days when I could artfully drape Malabrigo in a basket on the bookshelf and call it “home decor.” It all gets stashed…and the stash is getting snug.

So, in order to remedy this problem, Operation Stash Containment, or OSC for short, is commencing today. Actually, it’s already kind of begun, but its “official” start date is right now. No waiting until January 1…this project needs to start ASAP.

And here’s the rules:

  • Operation Stash Containment will be deemed “complete” when the *entire* stash once again fits in those two under-the-bed storage containers. And this means *actually* fits, without bulging in the middle like they’re kind of doing right now…
  • This doesn’t just include the yarn. It includes the fiber, too. All stash must be contained. (Of course, yarn takes up less space than fiber, but spinning is more labor intensive than knitting. So, it’s a tradeoff.)
  • Only once OSC is complete am I allowed to buy yarn or fiber again. Yup, this is a purchasing freeze as well. It does not, however, apply to tools needed to complete projects. I will be needing new needles for some projects…seriously, how do I not own US 7 or a US 8 Addi Turbos??  Books and patterns are also exempt.
  • Yarn needed to finish a project is allowable. However, projects cannot be chosen if from the outset it is understood that more yarn will be needed. For example, I can’t go out and buy a skein of Malabrigo Worsted in “Natural” because I decide I want to do colorwork with that skein of  “Sealing Wax.” But if I’m using the “Sealing Wax,” and I need more to finish the project, I can buy another skein. The objective is to match projects to stash in order to decrease quantity, not as an excuse to purchase.
  • Gifts of yarn and fiber, as well as any contest or giveaway winnings, will still be accepted; however, they too must be contained.
  • I get two get-out-of-jail-free cards over the life of the project. Because I’m not perfect.
  • I’m also building in a specific Rhinebeck Exemption. Because there’s a possibility I won’t be done by that time next year, and I need to be prepared.
  • I need an enforcer…or two. I’ll be accepting nominations and applications. Enforcers must be tough enough to withstand the effects of notorious stashown naysayers. **coughcoughKriscoughcough**

So there it is…all laid out in black-and-white. A little daunting, I’ll admit. But I did decide to reward myself for actually taking the leap with a little something, well within the rules, that should help me make shorter work of some of the enmass sock yarn in the stash. USPS tells me it should be home tomorrow or Wednesday…very excited about that.

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Breaking All the Rules

I never, ever, ever blog specifically about work. In fact, it’s against my rules. No work on this blog. I work in politics, and I want no politics here.

But, just this once, I’m breaking my rules. Because, on Wednesday (and, yes, it has taken me two days to recover) I was witness to something so epically awesome that I would be totally remiss if I didn’t post about it here.

The Daily Show’s John Oliver looks like he’s about to crash into me right here. I assure you, he’s not. I’m about 6 feet away using a super mega lens. His comment after skidding his bicycle to a stop, “God, the inner eight-year-old in me loves that sound.”

My job on Wednesday was to document the day…the day being of the 10-hour variety on location with a crew from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and correspondent/comedian/very cool guy John Oliver.

My colleague, Taylor, in a haz-mat suit and gas mask. This all makes sense, I assure you…well, sort of…

Now, I’ve gotten to do a lot of very cool things in my job, but this by far took the taco. Not only did I get to play photographer all day, which is always a blast, I got to do it for a Daily Show shoot. Seriously, I should just retire right now. It’s never going to get any better than this.

Cameraman Ryan waiting to start shooting a new scene. This is one of my favorite shots of the day.

I won’t give away any the gripping details here, because that would totally spoil the surprise. The piece is set to air sometime in December, after Thanksgiving and once they edit the more than 30 tapes they shot over the day, and I really can’t wait to see how it turns out.

Shooting an outdoor scene. These guys were total pros.

Instead, I’ll leave you with a parting candid shot of Oliver (who the crew does not call “John,” BTW, because “John” is Jon Stewart…little bit of insider info for ya, there)…

Seriously, this is one very funny man right here.

…and my one-and-only, exausted, freezing cold, wind-burned fangirl moment.

A very long, very awesome day

Not a bad way to spend a day at work.

The Not-So-Little Fiber Festival that Could

Saturday was the first-ever New England Fiber Festival at the Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield. I gotta say, I was impressed.

So impressed that the only pic I took was this slightly blurry one of cute little Shetland sheep butts.

There were a large number of vendors in attendance with a variety of wares to peruse, lots of pretty things. But my favorite part of the whole deal was the feeling of the festival. It was so…relaxed. The aisles were wide, the vendors were cheerful and, though it was busy, that feeling of crowded stress that you get at some events was notably lacking. I wore my Herbivore and have never gotten so many questions and compliments on a handknit before. It was really a great time, and I’m already looking forward to seeing how it grows into its second year.

While I did engage in some dirty, dirty enabling (because that’s how I roll), I was exceedingly well behaved. All I got was some funky wrapping paper (because I *love* gift wrap), a large semi-precious stone pendant that was immediately handed over to Tracy for pretty jewelry construction, and four ounces of Spunky Eclectic targhee top.

The colorway is “Got Wood?” This makes my inner 14-year-old boy giggle everytime.

I’ve never spun targhee before, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it, so I’m psyched to give it a try.

And that’s it! See? Very well behaved. Which is good, because I’m about to start a major stash overhauling adventure, the deets of which will be announced here shortly.

For the rest of the weekend, I was a lazy unwashed couch bum. But given the stress of last week, I felt like I deserved a lazy weekend. I finished Multnomah, which is now blocking on the living room floor. Simon is enjoying sleeping on it, but at least he doesn’t steal my T-pins like his joker of a brother used to do. And I also finished spinning the singles of the Corgi Hill merino/cashmere I’ve been working on for a while.

4.8 ounces of “Dutch Tulip” on two extra capacity Mark-made bobbins, all ready for plying

I haven’t spent any quality time with Evelyn since before Rhinebeck, so it felt good to sit down and get her humming again. I tested a couple other wheels at the festival—a Matchless and a Spinolution Bee—and while they were really nice (especially the Matchless), my heart still firmly belongs to Evelyn.

Eye Candy Friday – Corgi Hill Fangirl Edition

It’s no secret: My love for Corgi Hill Farm knows no bounds. AnnaMarie is not only a fiber-dying genius, she’s also a smothered in copious amounts of awesomesauce. Her Ravelry group is one of my favorites, such a great, active community of very cool people.

Recently, AnnaMarie put out the call for someone to design her a banner and button for the Rav group. I jumped at the chance to dust off my old Photoshop skills and threw a couple things together. AnnaMarie loved them and offered to compensate me for the effort. Since I can’t resist pretty things, she put together a surprise package that showed up on my doorstep and completely blew me away. Included was this unknown quantity (has to be 8 or 9 ounces) of absolutely amazing merino/yak/silk blend in the most perfect shades of red.

She also sent a bag full of fiber samples in beautiful colorways and two ounces of delicious merino/cashmere/bombyx top that very quickly found its way onto my brand-new Bosworth spindle and will make it’s appearance here in due time.

So, not only is AnnaMarie a fiber-dying phenom, she’s also so unbelievably, mindblowingly generous, and she overwhelmingly wins the Weaselmomma Stamp of Approval. If you’ve yet to experience this awesome, get yourself over to her Etsy shop and check her out.

Thank you again, AnnaMarie! And happy Friday everyone!