Archive for the 'Rants' Category

On cow shit…

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Dear yarn store workers…

I know, I know, it’s my fault. I didn’t wear a hand-knitted piece of clothing when I went into your shop, like one of my sweaters. I always try to do that, but this time, since I was on my way home from college for the holiday, I hadn’t planned to stop in. It was an impulse decision to stop in and I was unprepared. I should have known what would happen. You’d think a girl would finally start to expect it.

You have to understand, though. It’s just so insulting. I know you’re just trying to be helpful/friendly/conversational. But I get it time and time again. This time was particularly bad.

“So have you moved on from scarves yet?”

Why yes, thank you very much, I have indeed moved on from large rectangles. Please, tell every freaking shop worker in the country. I know that I look young, and yes, I’ve only been knitting for a little over 2 years. But I’m continually insulted by you suggesting that I’m a beginner knitter/don’t know anything. My age/youthfulness does not automatically mean that I’m still in beginnerdom.

Everytime that you assume I’m still on scarves (or something similar), I become seriously resentful and less likely to frequent your shop. It’s in your best interest to politely inquire about my skill level before you assume. Because you know what happens when you assume. I’ll give you a hint. It’s a clever play on the spelling of the word ass-u-me.

In this case, I probably went a bit overboard listing my knitting resume, you know -that I’ve knit 3 sweaters, 10 pairs of socks, done fair isle (both flat and in the round), lace (like the swallowtail shawl, above), felting, needle felting, acid dying, pattern writing and even worked for a whole summer IN a yarn store. I hope I didn’t make you feel stupid or silly.

But if I did- you kind of deserve it.

And while it may be easy to say this was an isolated incident, it really wasn’t. In my first trip to a yarn store, I was practically lectured about how chenile worms and that working with “Touch Me” might not be so great for a beginner…but then I told her about how I was going to felt it (a la the incredible Velvet Oblivion pattern from Knitty, see at right) and she shut up. Or the time that I bought some superwash wool and the shop owner tried to tell me that it wouldn’t be good for felting (felting and beginners often go hand in hand) – no freaking duh. Another time, a shop owner pointed me toward the simple acrylic blends and served anther customer. I overheard the shop owner tell that customer that the alpaca she was fondling would “grow.” The customer asked why and when the shop worker couldn’t answer, I proceeded to tell the customer about the fiber structure of Alpaca (versus wool).

One time, I was in a spinning shop and I bought a bag of miscellaneous fibers and colors for needle felting – and the shop owner told me (in a particlarly condescending manner) that was what it was for and it would be bad for spinning. Thanks for telling me what I already know. Really. Thanks for that. OOH – and I’ve also loved the suggestions that I buy the Stitch and Bitch books (all of which I own and moved past).

Please. Please. Please. Please. Give me the benefit of the doubt. Ask me what kind of things I knit before you assume. Do not assume that every young-looking person who walks into your shop is just learning. The same goes for men/boys as well.

Thanks.

If I’d wanted pooling, I’d have gone to school in Florida!

 

Oh, pooling, how I loathe thee.
Sometimes my loathe is my own doing-
Thus, a part of me will always love the subtle socketh of spirals.

Sometimes, pooling, oh ye cunning fool thee be.
Thy pool in subtlety – in thus such an accpetable manner that thine doesth thou continue in thine ugliness with high hope that thy situation will rectify. Alas, it does not.

But, oh, pooling, how I loathe thee.
when thy pooling is stiped of brights and dark….
Oh, mine eyes! Oh, why dosth thy continue?

Why must I continue knitting, watching thy situation worsen
for it worsens so with each round and round I go…

I long to frog thee, oh pooling sock of bright greens and blues.
I long to see thee as an impressionist work of art as this blue piece demonstrates so well,
Bits of color sprinkled here and there, all over thine footeth.

But alas, thy crazy flashing and pooling continues
Despite shaping of calf and a change of stitch count.
Thy ugliness mocketh me. Thy pooling only grows thin.
Thy do not stopeth.

Moving on….

I’m in my new room and it is mold free. I can feel my health improving in this new environment. I thought I’d post an update incase some poor soul found themselves in my situation. (You can find the previous post about the mold hell here if you’re searching posts individually or scroll down if you’re in the archives.)

I got a lot of advice about how to deal with the possibility of there being mold in my yarn. Overwhelmingly, the suggestion was to lay the yarn in the sun for a few days and let the UVA UVB rays do their work. Unfortunately, since I live in a residence hall, I can’t do that without having to baby-sit the yarn – and since I’ll be working 12 hour days for the next week and a half, that’s not really going to work. And my boyfriend (bless his soul for letting me vent on multiple occasions) would understandably be upset if the first weekend day we can spend together in a month was spent babysitting yarn (summer jobs= long distance relationship).

So this is what I did: First, I quarrantined the yarn. The yarns that weren’t already in rubbermaid totes (and had been exposed to the mold-filled air most of the summer) got put in some giant ziplock bags (these things are AMAZING! They hold up to 10 gallons of stuff!). As I did this, I did the ol’ sniff test and things look bad.

You see, since I’ve been working on my Mason-Dixon Log Cabin blanket all summer, the project and the yarn I have set aside for it had been stored in open air in a cardboard decorative box that sat near the chair I usually sat in when I was knitting. That just happened to be very near to where the AC blew. After I put the yarn in a bag to move it, I noticed mold on the outside of the box and on the inside along the cracks (I burned this decorative box ceremoniously – it was liberating).

Anyway, the yarn for the blanket does not smell good. It smells remarkably different than the yarn that had been in the closet in the totes. Tomorrow I’m going to (sitting in the lounge) finish the strip I’m on (only like 2 more rows), bind off completely and then give the blanket as it is a good soaking. I’m going to skein the balls I have left and then do the same with those.

Today, I soaked and washed my sweaters, scarves and winter hats. In the corner of my room, I have the tower of sweater racks. Later next week, I’m going to do the sock yarns. After that, things should be under control. To be safe, all new yarns are going to be separated and in new containers so that I know which yarns were or may have been “exposed to the mold” and which were aquired before the summer of mold hell (or that which I will try best to forget).

I just want to stop and interject with an enthusiastic endorsement. I’m using Kookaburrah Wool Wash (You can get it at Knitpicks) and I’ve always loved it, but my love for it only grows. I’m not crazy about the scent, but I don’t hate it either. Anyway, you don’t have to rinse it and it has tea-tree oil in it. I emailed the contact folks at Kookaburrah when I discovered the mold and they responded very quickly.

“There’s enough Tea Tree Oil in Kookaburra to kill mould spores in your yarn and washing it with our woolwash will certainly remove any spores and the will be enough residual TTO locked into the fiber to prevent mould from reoccurring, especially when your AC’s putting out dry air!…If you do decide to wash your skeins, I would think a good soak in 2 oz to 5 gallons water and no rinse. We had a series of trials run at WRONZ(Wool Research Org. of New Zealand) and found that one of the conditioners in the woolwash locks the TTO into the wool fiber, we don;t know exactly how yet! So that should give you protection in storage… in a dry place!” – Sincerely, Tony Maggi

And so now, tea-tree oil is my new favorite thing in the whole world. It’s going to save my yarn, I know it!  Thanks Tony!

There was also the issue of my books. They were exposed to the air (ie, not in a cabinet like they usually are) all summer and I’d really hate for them to start to mold. I can’t wash them and so my only real option is to keep them in as dry an environment as possible. My mom recommended these things you can get in the laundry aisle that suck moisture out of the air. I put one in the cabinet with my books. Hopefully that will control any growth.

Hopefully, this is the last I ever have to think about one of the most awful things that could ever happen to a knitter. A serious attack on a stash.

Thanks to everyone who offered suggestions and advice – it was really helpful.

This is bad. Do not read if you are squeemish.

First, I must explain that I am not the cleanest person in the world (busy college student) – I may have piles of clothes everywhere and my room may be littered with empty diet coke cans. However, I do not leave flood laying around and when I spill something on the floor, I clean it up. There is a difference between messy and dirty. One is stuff where it doesn’t belong, the other is just disgusting.

Now, this room I’ve been staying in for the summer has a unique air conditioner. It’s attached to the wall and it can also be a heater. Now, perhaps it’s the fact that I’m on the ground floor, perhaps it’s the fact that it’s so ridiculously humid. I think that the unit is flawed and I’m really upset- it’s festering mold everywhere in my room!

Let me explain. In the beginning of the summer, I helped with room checks in this new building and as I was going through, I noticed that my supervisors had noted that many rooms needed the AC units to be cleaned because of mold issues. A few weeks later, I realized that my allergies were bad (when I was younger, an allergy test showed that I was allergic to mold) and perhaps my AC needed to be cleaned. I put in a work order. The next day, Look what they took out of my AC. Gross, I know.

Now, as I prepare to move out, I am relieved because I know the mold is growing back. The problem – I didn’t realize that mold was being cultivated all over my room. Look, it’s growing on my refridgerator (ignore the plastic fork – I have tons of them that I steal from the food courts). And I will swear on my life that I wiped that fridge down two weeks ago – because there had been mold on it!

There’s even some mold on the carpet ( short, acrylic burber – it’s not supposed to have fuzz). My copy of Mason Dixon Knitting was laying right near that carpet patch – nothing like a soggy moldy book!

And just now, growing on the fabric part of a covered basket where I was storing yarn.

It was inches from my yarn. INCHES!
And then, I realized that it was probably everywhere. the moisture, excess humidy and growing mold from my AC had probably distributed pores of mold everywhere.

I don’t know what this means. I suspect that I have to wash every skein and ball of yarn that has been exposed to the air in my room for longer than a few hours.

Now, my boyfriend think’s I’m over-reacting. But if you think about it, little spores of mold MUST be everywhere in my room. This does not look good.

I’m thinking that I’ll soak it in a vinegar solution, rinse, soak it in a baby shampoo solution, rinse, soak it in a kookaburra wool wash solution, rinse and then let it bake dry in the hot summer sun.

What do you think? Should I wash the yarn? Should I ignore that I ever found the mold? How should I wash the yarn (if that’s what you think I should do)? Please, please, help me.

The photo to the left shows about 80% of my stash. I have a lot. And washing it all would be a taxing process indeed.

I don’t know what to do. Help me. Impart your wisdom upon me. Have mercy on me yarn gods.

ETA – for any poor souls who find themselves in a similar situation – an update on how the situation was handled (should you have stumbled on this post from a google search, etc.) is in the post from my blog here.


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Stuff on the needles – to complete, sometime.

Christmas Gifts to Finish
Mom's Sweater (the body is done)

Socks in progress...
Grandma's Socks
Koigu Scruncher
Monkey
Raindrop Lace

Other
Lace Leaves Scarf from Scarf Style
The Behemoth Log Cabin
The Swallowtail Shawl
Stupid Ugly Mitten
Felted Clogs

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