Life With Yarn

Posts Tagged ‘FO

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:




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.



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.




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

I’ve been working almost exclusively on my Mandala shawl this week. I finally reached the end of chart 4 yesterday and I’m now working on the edging. It’s not exactly speedy but I’m hoping that it’ll be ready to block in the next couple of weeks. I’m quite looking forward to seeing how it opens up when blocked and how it all looks. I’ve got nothing else planned for the moment because I got a parcel of yarn on Saturday to do some colour work swatches for a designer, for which I’m being paid, so most of September will be taken up with those and a couple of sweaters – one a sample and one commission.

Off the needles

Just the one finished object this week – the Nina top for Eloise. I made a larger size so it’s sort of dress length at the moment because Eloise is quite small. It’ll look good with a pair of leggings over the coming months. She loves it, mainly because it is pink.




For the first time in about 6 months, I picked up my drop spindle this week. When at Woolfest in June I bought a small bag of merino fibre – 100g in 5 different colours – and figured I could get some practice in using this rather than the lovely fibre I’ve been gifted or bought in the last few months. I’m still very much a beginner but I did enjoy having a go again. I spent about an hour doing it and almost finished spinning up the first 20g sample. It’s certainly not of a quality where I could spin enough for even a small sized project right now; there’s some consistency in thickness but there are definitely places where it’s a bit too thick and if I plied it together then it’d be thick overall, but I think a single ply (strand) is probably about sock yarn weight (judging from looking rather than wpi or measuring right now) so if that’s right I can incorporate it into the sock yarn blanket.

I know that what I need to do is sit down for some time every day or every couple of days to improve but, unlike knitting, I find spinning with children around tricky. With knitting, I can pick up and put down with a high degree of confidence that I’ll know where I am when I come back to it, but with spinning, putting it down to attend to the children throws out my (minimal) rhythm. At some point in the (distant) future I’d like to be able to have a proper spinning wheel but that would definitely require a lot more time.


I’ve had a nice amount of yarn arriving at the house this week – my ColourMart yarn from ebay arrived and looks lovely, I just need to find the perfect pattern for it. Then Ripples Crafts tweeted a pic of their Christmas-themed yarn for 2013 and I decided to buy some:



It’ll be totally perfect for a Christmas sock themed knit a long I plan on taking part in later in the yarn. Whilst on the Ripples Craft site, three other skeins also fell into my shopping basket. No idea what I’ll do with them yet – the cream and teal colours scream colourwork at me – fair isle socks or a hat maybe, and the dark blue might possibly be the second colour in this Starlight shawl that I’m planning to make (the first being a grey/silvery colour)



Where’s my bookmark?

I’m currently loving David Mitchell’s Back Story. I think he’s a really funny guy and although I missed Peep Show the first time round, I’m now working my way through the first series. I also bought A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen which arrived this week. I’ve not had a chance to do more than flick through it yet, but I shall try and be organised enough to put a review up in the next couple of weeks. I may also go through the knitting books I currently own and see about some reviews for those.

Family Life

We got our bunk beds this week, so the girls are happy and sleeping in proper beds for the first time in a month. Tomorrow, Zoe goes back to school, starting in Year 2, and I shall miss her company during the day. Another 2 weeks and then Eloise starts in nursery/pre-school, which seems entirely too soon on the one hand and entirely overdue on the other. She’s very excited about it, has loved buying her uniform and can’t wait to wear it. In the meantime, I am about halfway through the mountain of labelling I need to do.

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