My boyfriend hasn’t started classes again yet, so for the past week, he’s been hanging out with me at home while I work.

This is nice, and I’ve really been enjoying having lunch with him and having him around, but unfortunately, I can’t get any purchases by him! If he were at school all day, I could secretly squirrel away my online purchases. Unfortunately, he has already intercepted two rather large packages this week and been very curious about 1) the cost–not that it’s his money, but he asks–and 2) where the hell I’m going to put them in our already-crowded house. I’m hoping he doesn’t catch the used Denise needle set coming my way soon. I think he already knows about the books from Amazon I bought to use my $5 off coupon, so hopefully that won’t be a shock.

So here are my new purchases:

Package #1: actually ordered months ago, but it was on back order and just happened to arrive this week. There was a big sale at Ram Wools, including Fleece Artist/Handmaiden, so I made out with

  • two skeins of Bluefaced Leicester DK in Periwinkle, for a cozy pullover–perhaps the Hourglass Sweater from Last Minute Knitted Gifts
  • two skeins of Sea Silk in Straw, the most beautiful, shimmery golden color, probably for a fancy rectangular lace stole of some kind
  • one skein of Peter Rabbit angora in Ocean. I don’t quite know what I was thinking for this–a scarf for my mom, probably.

Package #2:

I finally succumbed to a 40% off plus free shipping sale at Jo-Ann and got myself a nice umbrella swift and small ball winder.

I set everything up, greatly excited, and brought him out to the dining room to show him how it worked. He was so excited by the freeform quilting machine we saw at Birds of a Feather that I thought these new gadgets would wow him too.

Unfortunately, I immediately proceeded to completely bungle the winding job. The metal guide fell down and I wound about 2 yards of Bluefaced Leicester in a huge knotty tangle around the gears and base of the ball winder. I got it untangled after 10 minutes of careful unpicking and disassembly, started winding again, and then when I stopped winding, the swift kept flying around and I got the yarn tangled around the bottom of the swift. Stopped, unwound, let Rahul try winding. He was doing a great job, at incredible speed, and then the end of the skein flew off the swift and wound itself in a huge Gordian knot around the base of the winder. Again. This time, I made like Alexander the Great and snipped right through it with a mighty stroke of my kitchen shears.

This has made me think of some awesome knitting Tom Swifties.

“Look how well my new ball winder works!” Tom wound up swiftly. (Perhaps he should be named Tom Hanks, in this kind of joke?)

“A cabled yarn is made up of z-twisted singles s-twisted together and then z-twisted again,” Tom replied.

“They took my Addis at the security check!” said Tom needlessly.

Ha ha ha. OK, let’s pretend those never happened.

Rahul has also been watching TV while he paints or plays music in the living room. Yesterday, HGTV had a show where they were helping a couple reorganize their house. So far, so good, right? The woman, unfortunately, was an avid crafter and stasher, and not a very organized one. Balls of yarn and piles of fabric scraps everywhere, overflowing from bins and shelves, all over the floor, like a small hurricane* had hit the room. “Hey, look, you have to come watch this!” he yelled. They kept moving through the house and putting things in “throw away” piles, and he got increasingly disappointed. “When are they going to show how they organize the yarn?”

“She’s just like you!” he said. I didn’t like the comparison, but I will definitely have to either knit faster or do some destashing soon to avoid the same fate. I’ve separated some yarns to get rid of and taken photos, but I’ll have to weigh the mystery yarns and figure out wpi/weight before I can try to sell or trade them.

And in other knitting news, I sewed up 90% of my Shaped Lace Tee last night. I have one sleeve left to set in and a million ends to weave in. It seems to fit; a miracle, since I didn’t swatch, just cast on in needles one size smaller and followed the directions for the smallest size. It’s knit in deliciously springy Rowan Calmer in Laurel, “an unusual, feminine almond green” according to Janette, and took only about 2.5 skeins, probably about $15 worth of materials; not bad for a luxury yarn.

* amusing footnote: When Max Roach died, we heard a story about him on NPR. At some point, Rahul started laughing hysterically.

“What’s so funny?”

“Did you hear what they just said?”

“You mean, ‘he was like a small hurricane flying over the drum set?’ What’s so funny about that?”

“OHHH, ‘hurricane!’ I thought they said ‘parakeet.'”