Life With Yarn

Posts Tagged ‘2014

Since the last post, I managed to spend a few hours in the spare room/craft room (the room is split into half yarn related goodies and half my husband’s retro game collection). Firstly, the photos:

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From the top, the first shot is my desk, which last week was piled high with post bags and carrier bags full of yarn – unsorted, just thrown on there. Now it holds my books on top and box that contains buttons and various sewing threads. In the space underneath, that large box now holds all my sock yarn along with some sweater quantities of fingering weight yarn. The two bags on top also contain yarn – sport weight in the yellow bag and heavy lace in the other bag. The books are books I want to sell.

The second photo is of my needle storage. No more just chucking them on shoe boxes for me! I now know where everything is. I have a handful of straight needles in the red case which I’ve kept as a ‘just in case’ fall back. I can’t remember the last time I used a straight knitting needle – it’s all circs or dpns these days. My small dpns are kept in the purple needle roll and the larger ones are in the shoe box but I rarely, if ever, use these large sizes. Where I’ve still got the packaging for the needles, I’ve kept them in that so I know what it is and the size without having to find my needle gauge.

The final photo is my drawer storage. Previously, this had held 2 drawers of laceweight and 3 drawers of fingering weight. Now, however, the laceweight yarn takes up 4 drawers (the green and white ones) and the red drawer is full of fingering weight – the yarn that isn’t suitable for socks. Nothing is packed too tightly any more. 

I also organised the blue box I used for yarn, which I didn’t photograph this time round, and that is full of my DK and worsted/aran/heavier weight yarn.

I also spent some time going through my Ravelry stash pages marking where everything is stored and making sure I have photos for everything.  

What did I learn from this? Firstly, my yarn was organised, it’s just that I hadn’t bothered to keep that organisation going. Right now, there is not much space for new yarn unless it’s sock yarn. This isn’t great considering Woolfest is in 10 days time and I have a nice amount saved in order to help small businesses. I clearly need to get knitting quicker.

Secondly, I have so much lovely yarn! This shouldn’t be a surprise to me, I bought the yarn after all, so it should be a stash that I love. But I am terrible at using my stash. Partly this is because I’ve got rather into tops and cardigans this year which has necessitated buying more yarn because I don’t have enough of any one colour/yarn to make a top. But I have some lovely skeins that I have earmarked for projects on Ravelry and they have just dropped off my radar. 

After spending some time tidying and admiring my yarn, I had an overwhelming urge to cast on all the things at once. Given that I have 5 WIPs at the moment (a small number by many standards but big enough for me to feel that none of them are progressing because I can’t work on them enough to get anywhere) and 2 more skeins wound and ready to cast on, casting on more would be crazy. But it’s so lovely, and it’s just sat there unused right now.

In other stash-related news, I’m also taking part in the Knit Girllls Stash Dash with the goal of knitting 5k of yarn by August 7th. I’m at 840.8m at the moment, which is pretty low but I have 2 pairs of socks and a laceweight cardigan currently on the needles which will add around 1600m to my total. You can also use WIPs started before Stash Dash so if I can face threading more beads and finish my Shipwreck shawl, that will also help.

This summer is all about the stash. I have a stash; it’s an ever increasing one, despite how much knitting I can get done each month, and I feel no guilt over this. I earn the money, our family does not go without whilst I revel in fabulous yarns, and better yarn than excessive alcohol, chocolate or anything else. I used to have a book buying habit but that has decreased as my stash has increased. I still buy books, I just don’t go out of my way to find them any more.

But I have a stash and it lives in our spare room. I regularly add new yarns to my Ravelry page and I mostly remember to get a photo of the yarn so I can upload it. I love having my stash listed on Ravelry – it helps me remember what I have and remember to use it. I regularly browse my stash online and imagine the possibilities for my yarn.

However, whilst it might be neatly organised online, in real life, it looks a lot more chaotic:

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This is the current state of my stash. I have some organisation – the Trofast from Ikea stores my fingering and lace weight yarns and the blue box in the first photo stores the rest. However, I am very, very guilty of photographing the yarn and then just putting it into the spare room rather than putting it away properly so I now have piles and piles of bags and parcels containing yarn and I don’t know where anything really is any more.

Enter the Must Stash Podcast which I’ve recently discovered and love watching. June is entitled Flash Your Stash and we are organising our stash however we need to. For some this means getting it put into Ravelry, for others, such as myself, it’s organising the storage.

So here are my goals for Flash Your Stash:

1 – Re-organise the storage and note on the stash page where everything is so I can find it. 
2 – Photo the few remaining skeins that aren’t already done and get them onto Ravelry. 
3 – Be properly ruthless with what I have and see if there’s anything that can be sold. 
4 – Needle storage. They are basically thrown in a shoe box right now and I can never find anything. I need a better system.

I hope to blog about this over the next month as I spend some time rediscovering the stash and wrangling it into a much better storage system.

 

In the meantime, these are some of the finished objects from the last couple of months:

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On the needles

It’s all about little projects or spending time on the Shipwreck shawl at the moment as we’re going away in a couple of weeks and I don’t want to start anything big or take something too big away with me. In that vein, I cast on some DK weight socks last night in some Mirasol Hacho that has been sat in my stash for far too long. I’m just working a plain toe up sock until I run out of yarn – I might add a stitch pattern to the leg but it depends on my mood when I get to that bit.

Off the needles

I have quite a lot of pictures this time of things I’ve been working on since my last post.

First up is my Flare jumper, designed by the very talented Veera Valimaki and knit in Posh Yarn Natasha sock which is a camel/silk blend that is so soft and so luxurious that I just love wearing this. This was my unofficial Ravellenics project – unofficial because I didn’t cast on until a week into the Games. I did, however, finish it in under 16 days so I’m pretty proud of that achievement.

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I also finished another top for me which is the Watershed cardigan, designed by Amy Swenson and knit in more Posh Yarn, this time Caitlin Aran. This was a quick knit that I plan to take on holiday to wear over dresses and strappy tops in the evening. The only modification I made to the pattern was changing the way the decrease was worked and adding the sleeves.

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I also got two pairs of socks off the needles – my Circle socks in Zitron Trekking XXL and the Juugatsu socks in Ring-a-Rosie Handpainted yarn. This year is definitely turning into a year of socks and tops.

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But it wasn’t all knitting for me, I also finished this top for Zoe which is Kismet and I knit it in Debbie Bliss Rialto 4ply (the black stripes) and Artisan Telfi (the pink stripes). She loves it.

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It just fell into my bag

There’s not actually much to show this time. I got a couple of club yarns in the post, which I haven’t managed to photograph yet, and the other yarn I’ve ordered has yet to arrive. I did buy a couple of project bags from AmeliaXJoy on Etsy which are beautiful and a good size for a pair of socks in progress. I also bought some wooden stitch markers from here, which are beautiful and there were two packs of free wooden buttons included in the order as well both of which are lovely and I look forward to finding the perfect garment to put them on.

I have also been buying a few non-knitting-related things, including some cook books by Nigel Slater and Mary Berry as well as some fiction.

Where’s my bookmark?

I’ve read some good books recently, including Caleb Carr’s The Alienist which I loved. Right now, I’m reading Helen Dunmore’s Your Blue-eyed Boy and I’m not entirely convinced I’m going to finish it. I picked it up because I remember reading a passage of Dunmore’s writing when I did my English A-level (which feels like a lifetime and a half ago now) and liking it so the name stuck (along with Bruce Chatwin, although I’ve yet to read anything by him either). However, I’m finding the story a little slow and I do tend to have the attitude these days that I have so many books I really want to read that I won’t waste a lot of time reading one that I’m a bit meh about.

What I’m watching

As well as my usual knitting podcasts, my husband and I have downloaded The Wire box set and are steadily working our way through season one right now. We’re also enjoying the new season of The Walking Dead and The Musketeers which is showing on the BBC right now. I do love my American dramas though so I’m also currently addicted to The Following and Bones. We very rarely watch TV live any more – we are far more likely to record it and watch it later on which means we’re usually at least an episode behind everyone else!

Family life

We’re currently preparing for our trip to South Africa next month to stay with the in-laws for 2 weeks. I’m really looking forward to a few days in Cape Town and hopefully getting the chance to go to Robben Island as well as taking the girls up Table Mountain. I’m also looking forward to some warmer weather as the strong winds we’ve been experiencing this last week are draining. And of course, I’m already plotting which projects I’ll be taking away with me – I have at least 3 pairs of socks planned and probably a shawl as well. I always end up taking too much with me but I’d rather have too much knitting than suddenly run out before our long flights home!

 

On the needles

New year, new projects. I’ve cast on a couple of new things since the beginning of the month. First up, my Lavender socks. The pattern is taken from Stephanie Van Der Linden’s Around the world in knitted socks book which I got back in 2012 and these are being knitted in Ripples Craft British Falkland Merino & Nylon sock yarn in the lavender colourway (appropriately!) I’ve finished one sock already but they’re now taking a back seat while I try and get some other things finished.

Second up are the Tideland mitts which I’m making for a friend who was admiring my fingerless mitts last month. I’m knitting these in more Ripples Craft yarn, BFL superwash this time in the ice cream colourway, which is a cream/undyed colour. First mitt is already completed and the second one should be done later today.

I’m also still working on my Shipwreck shawl – I’m now onto the beaded section so spent some time one afternoon threading beads onto yarn which is, to be honest, mind numbing but it does look better on the shawl rather than using the crochet hook method to add the beads. I’ve only done a couple of rounds as they’re now 500+ stitches per round so it takes a while. But it is fairly mindless knitting so it’s great for when my brain is fried.

Finally, I have two other projects on the needles that I can’t share pics of – a sample baby blanket for Anniken Allis and a fairly straightfoward jumper with some cabling that I’m working for another knitter, Anna. These are both paid pieces of work so as deadlines approach, they are obviously getting most of my time. This means my selfish knitting that I had planned (a Posh Yarn sweater and possibly a shawl) are on the backburner for another week or so.

Off the needles

Nothing yet, but hopefully it won’t be long. I do however, have a couple of photos of my Mereweather vest from after Christmas:

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I’m really happy with this, although at the moment, the yarn is a little itchy so I’ve been mostly wearing it over long sleeved tops. I’m hoping it’ll soften up with a few washes.

It just fell into my bag

My Posh Yarn arrived from the end of December, which was part of my Strictly sweepstake winnings:

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I also treated myself to some skeins from the Fyberspates New Year sale. This is some Scrumptious DK which is a merino/silk blend. The colour is a bit more golden than the pic shows:

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I also got some sock yarn; one in a pale greyish colour and the second is a variegated and was from the lucky dip section:

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And finally, this gorgeous silk lace which was also from the Lucky dip section:

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I have no plans for any of the Fyberspates yarns yet beyond definitely socks with the sock yarn and possibly fingerless gloves for the DK weight. I am loving fingerless mitts at the moment because I dislike driving in full gloves but always get cold hands whilst the car warms up.

For next week, there will be a lot of sock yarn, some of which was bought with the remaining sweepstake money.

Where’s my bookmark?

I’ve started a readalong this year for Anthony Powell’s A Dance to the Music of Time. It’s 12 books in total, although so far I have the first 6 in 2 volumes of three. I plan to read one book each month so finished A Question of Upbringing last week. I’m not sure yet – it was ok but didn’t grab my attention so it’s probably a good job I’m doing the readalong with Heavenali as that will keep me going. Right now, I’m reading Pat Barker’s Border Crossing which I’m finding more engaging – although part of that could be because it’s set in Newcastle and I love reading books set in places I know very well.

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