Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Farm Boys, and The Essentials

You can take the boy off of the farm, but you can't take the farm out of the boy. My husband looks forward to mowing our hay every year (we give it to a friend with a real farm). When he started mowing our 4 acres, the sky was blue, with light clouds. An hour later, things were a little iffy, and before the sicle mower broke down, it was flashing and booming and raining. Check out those nasty clouds. We've gotten another inch of rain since then (not a good thing- they don't say make hay while the sun shines for nothing), but they should still be able to turn, dry and bale it.

In prep for our vacation (we're leaving in a few days, I'll blog from the road), I have been cleaning. I tackled the space next to my knitting chair yesterday (of course I have a knitting chair. Doesn't everyone?). Tucked back into that little area, were 6 big bags of yarn, patterns, needles, and forgotten WIPs. I managed to condense the mess into 1 cloth bag with 2 drop spindles and fiber, 2 empty cloth bags, and 1 large plastic bag (the huge ones) with: a baggie of Twisted Fiber Arts Playful leftover bits (for future mitered socks), a baggie of Twisted Fiber Arts Kabam leftover bits (ditto), a baggie of Twisted Fiber Arts Arial samples, a baggie of assorted superwash sock leftover bits, a baggie of assorted non-washable sock leftover bits, a baggie of assorted worsted weight leftover bits, a couple of patterns, and lots of empty baggies. I put away probably 200 knitting needles, and threw away (!) some small leftover balls that I will never use.

I also put together my Essential Needle Kit for the road. It has one each of the following: 16" size 2 circular, 16" size 3 circular, 16" size 5 circular (for hats, if the urge hits), 10" straights in size 2, 3 and 5 (for mitered squares), and 8" Size 13 straights (in case I feel like knitting a quickie scarf. What? It could happen), and Size 5 and 8 dpns (for worsted weight socks and mittens). Multiple sock size dpns (size 0-3), stitch markers, safety pins, a cable needle, scissors, 6" ruler, airplane-safe yarn cutter, a couple of crochet hooks, a pen and tablet. That should cover everything I might possibly want to knit on the road.

I also gathered my Road Yarn: enough for 5 pairs of socks (not counting the Plymouth Happy Feet sock currently on the needles): Decadent Fibers Savory Socks in Sage, Koigu, Socks that Rock Lightweight, Angora Valley Fibers Monarch Fly, and 2 balls of discontinued Mexiko (I bought a whole bag years ago, and have just a couple left). I am really going to try not to buy (much) new yarn on the family portion of the vacation because I will be back in Portland in August, and I know I'll buy some (!!!!!) sock yarn at The Summit. If I knit all 5 pairs on the Road Trip, I can make a really pretty pair of mitered socks from the leftover Savory, Koigu, Monarch and STR.

What's in your Essential Needle Kit?


joannamauselina said...

Looks like you will be covered by any knitting contingency! The very first pair of socks I ever knit was from that Fortissima (the bluer and redder one) that you are taking. They are still one of my top favorites.

Anonymous said...

Oh you make me feel better about my growing stash of yarn and needles.

Gramma Phyllis said...

Oh how I miss those blue S.D. skies, but the black clouds and what they can often bring I'll do without. Both my Grandpa and my uncle would remind us kids to keep an eye to the sky when the turned us lose on the farm in East Sioux Falls, esp. in late July and Aug.

What's in my travel case? Well extra circs for socks (you can always buy another balls or two of sock yarn), #3 & 5 dpns (mittens for the 5 grands), my file of 3x5 index cards with basic knitting recipes, and the usual tools you always need.

maxine said...

My essential needle kit is a Lexie Barnes pouch (the largest of three sizes, I think) that I got as part of a knitting retreat goodie bag. It's durability is supreme and it holds a lot. I have all my dpns in it (just in case) as well as stitch markers, a darning needle, some measuring tapes ( I know there are 2 0r 3 in there), a metal needle gauge, couple of crochet hooks, lib p balm that doubles as cuticle cream from Origins, Origins hand cream, some cable needles I never usem and room for a lot more.