It's been a while since I last updated. My finger finally healed enough to start knitting again and I finished up M's hat and have been working on his scarf. But last night A.C. Moore was having a 25% off storewide sale so I got to go get some more yarn!! A. was the one who told me about it too. Woohoo! Here is a picture of everything I got. Three piles of yarn and three pattern books: Here is the Lionbrand Wool Ease Chunky in Spice. I am going to make this poncho with it. And here is the Landscapes yarn I bought. The color is Rose Garden. I've been eager to try this yarn and stumbled across this pattern for which she made to match from Stacy. I actually found these patterns because of The Blue Blog. Thanks Alison! This yarn is TLC Cotton Plus in Hot Pink. Guess when I plopped them down on the floor I forgot to turn at least one so I could see the wrapper in the picture. I will be making the Textured Wrap Sweater as seen in the next picture. I was so excited about this one that I started right away on it last night. I'm good about making swatches so that's what I start with. It calls for size 8 straight needles. A good portion of my needles are from when I first started knitting and are 14" Susan Bates metal needles. Since then I've been buying circulars and bamboos. Of course the 8s I have are long metal ones. I can't knit with them anymore. I feel completely out of control. And I'm in swatch hell. Here's what's going on. I need to get a swatch of 17 stitches to 4 inches in seed stitch. I'm using an acrylic/cotton blend yarn in the same weight as the pattern calls for, but the sample they knit with was 100% acrylic. Maybe that's a key difference. With the long metal 8s I get 18 stitches in 4 inches. I also have no control over the yarn. It slides all over the place. I tried with my circulars too but they're metal as well and so I think metal is the problem. It's also holey and the picture is not very holey. So I tried size 7 needles. (Yes I know that doesn't make sense but I wanted to see what happened.) Less holey, and (as expected) waaay too many stitches. So I switch to size 8 plastic needles that I have for making scarves. Now the yarn squeaks along. I definitely do not have that out-of-control feeling more like too much control. I just want my yarn to slide nicely! Size 8 still gives me 18 stitches and sort of holey. So I go to size 9 on my plastic scarf needles. Definetely too holey and 16 stitches to 4 inches. I cannot get 17 stitches!! So what to do now? I have to get bamboo needles. Of course we have lots of snow on the ground today. Figures. And about needle size? I don't know. Maybe I need to try to figure out about cotton/acrylic blends first. Maybe it's time to make a hat out of Landscape!