Since I haven’t been able to knit or spin much because I smashed my left forefinger with a hammer a couple of weeks ago, I don’t have any WIPs or FOs to show off, and didn’t want to just let the blog lay here idle. A bit of thinking about what I could regale you with led me to remember this bit. Before I began blogging, there was a rash of posts on the Internets showing where people knit. Since I missed out on that flurry, I thought I’d introduce you to my knitting place and what I use. So here’s my regular knitting corner:
This is the corner of my living room, which has full-length windows on both walls. IKEA provided the up/down halogen floor lamp (there’s also a high-intensity magnifying lamp that’s at the other end of the couch) so that I can actually see what I’m doing most of the time. That there couch is my very first grown-up couch (or chesterfield, for the Canadians among you), bought brand-spankin’ new three years ago. It may tell you something about my maturity level when I say that I was well over 50 when I bought this! Firm cushions, deep enough to curl up in the corner or sit in lotus without any problems. A handy table to prop feet up when necessary.
Close to hand, where I can grab and browse as needed, is what I think of as my “fix-it” bookshelf:
Here’s where I can look up “how-to’s”, figure out how to alter a pattern or adapt an idea, and where I reach for comfort and laughter when I’m feeling a bit frustrated (which happens pretty often!) EZ is well-represented, along with Mary Thomas (in reprint) and Maggie Righetti. You’ll also be noticing that good ol’ Steph, the Yarn Harlot, is fully represented. When I hit a snag, it’s so comforting to read her letters to knitwear designers, or the saga of the green afghan, and know that I’m not alone. That broken-handled cup is the perfect receptacle for all my DPN’s and oddities – “I have seen the Gates of Hell” is just way too appropriate for some knitting situations. (It’s actually a reference to Dante, and on the reverse is a picture of Rodin’s Gates of Hell – heck of a piece of art! I saw this in situ at Rodin’s home in Paris, and there is a replica at the Cantor Art Center at Stanford, where I used to work and where the mug was purchased.
This reference library sits on top of the little stand next to the couch, which holds (Drawer #1) notions, scissors, waste yarn, paper, pencils, sandpaper – for when the Denise needles are too dull – arnica cream, hand lotion and all the other stuff you need to have close at hand. Drawer #2 is the needle stash – a set each of Denise, Boyes, Knitpicks Harmony and Options, assorted Addi’s, and a rather puny collection of crochet hooks for emergencies. Drawer#3 is home to current partial projects, and a stitch dictionary that is too big for the top of the stand.
This shelf is mostly patterns and idea books, which live in a small shelf that holds the CD player/radio – below it and not shown is the big ugly green loose-leaf binder I salvaged that holds patterns I’ve either bought or downloaded as singles. It’s going to need to be split up soon, as several sections are getting out of hand, but the space to do that is limited so it’s on hold for the moment.
This is the basket o’ half-dones and do-overs. Not much in there at present, just Noah’s cobblestone adaptation that he wants a higher collar on, and a cashmere sweater he wants me to turn into a vest (the sleeves are too tight, and it was a found object so I expect what I’ll get from that is a big bag of 10″ lengths of black cashmere. Oh, and there’s a multi-colored bag that’s going to be frogged and re-worked as I’m not happy with the shape; that’s low on the list at present. While that is a genuine Ben Franklin wood stove, it’s not worth using as a heater for winter; the firebox is so tiny that it can’t take a substantial piece of wood, and between having to feed it every 20 minutes and the mess it makes in exchange for a radically unstable heat is simply not worth the trouble.
But what keeps all this usable is the STASH! I’m not going to go into detail in this post (one of these days I want to get my stash up on Ravelry, but life keeps interfering.) This is what I use for general storage, as opposed to stuff I might get around to someday, which is in a couple of boxes under the bed, and my bag of Knitpicks Sampler hiding behind the headboard.
So this is the stash – 6 baskets with a semblance of organization. Far left is sock yarn (the plastic bag on top), and packaged bags for large projects and good deals that were all of a piece. The basket center front has some roving to be spun, the ball-winder, lace weight stuff, and some white baby yarn that wouldn’t fit in the baby yarn basket. Right front is project leftovers greater than a single ball, and some yarn I picked up at a flea market that has been frozen and slapped around and is now sealed while we see if any critters show up. There in the middle of the bunch is all the wool, sorted by color and weight, and topped by a bag that holds any project bags (and is a project bag as well.) At the rear right is a basket with my fiber and spindle and spinning books, sitting on top of a basket with any straight needles, the swift, all the cotton yarn, and some single skeins and balls that are sorted by color rather than content. And while you can’t actually see it, there is a rectangular basket underneath that small table with the stained-glass lamp which is stuffed with baby yarn. The magnifying lamp is sitting in the midst of all this fibery goodness, and is really handy for tiny stitches and counting when the eyes just aren’t up to it.
Of course, like any knitter, I am constantly adding to all this – as evidence I show you the results of a trip to my LYS for an S&B session last Saturday (no one else was there, I needed yarn for contrast heels, and next thing you know, OOPS! They were clearing out some books to make room for new stock – so I picked up 4 books at $3.99 each! The photo that was supposed to go in here is not agreeing with something in WordPress, but I’m particularly taken with The Frugal Knitter by Annie Maloney, as I do love a good deal and the concept of taking something apart and making something new with it is dear to my tree-hugging, save-the-earth mindset! Two books of knit lit (Knitting, a novel by Anne Bartlett(, and Knitting Yarns and Spinning Tales edited by Kari Cornell) were just light reading – I finished both in a day – and The Little Box of Knitted Gifts by Sandy Scoville is a treasure trove of ideas that will come in handy for gift ideas and such. Normally I don’t like this “bundle of projects” approach because the stuff I would knit is far outnumbered by the stuff I wouldn’t touch with a 10-foot Addi Turbo, but at the price I will certainly get my money’s worth out of this one.
And this was the final teeny mistake – Happy Feet from Plymouth Yarns in color 11 – a lovely blend of turquoise, purple, and gold that will be making some lovable socks as soon as I can get back to the needles. This is a 90% merino, 10% nylon mix, 50 grams (192 yards) per skein; very soft, very cushy, and I know it will feel great on the needles and on the feet.
So, if you haven’t yet told the world where you knit, consider yourself tagged – and let me know so I can see your knitting haven!