Tag Archive | yarn stash

Stuck on sleeve island

I really need to clear out some WIPs. My knitting is not inspiring me lately but I can’t bring myself to cast on anything new right now. It’s dumb, because I only have four WIPs on the needles, but my brain won’t let me accept more. Really, I’m a little blocked with my knitting. I recently had a big load of dirty handknit socks, so I decided to be bold and try to machine wash and dry them, partly to save time and effort and partly to get rid of most of the dog hair stuck to them. And for the most part, they’re fine, or so I thought. A couple of pairs might have felted a tiny bit, and a few looked a bit smaller, but hey, they’ll stretch. Then I found a solitary sock that didn’t make it into the dryer.

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That is…not ideal. Maybe they shrank more than I realized? I guess I’ll find out when I wear them. I think I’m just feeling a little defeated with my knitting. I love knitting socks, but they’re high-maintenance, they don’t stay snug, the heels felt, and they shrink. I don’t wear hats, you can only have so many fingerless gloves or shawls or scarves, I have yarn in my stash I won’t wear now that I have purple hair (I refuse to wear red and purple together) and what’s the point even of having so much yarn and making things?

Oof. That’s not a pretty thought. I mean, maybe my head wasn’t in a great place yesterday anyway, but I had to fight this because in my heart I know there is value in making pretty things, so I picked up my sweater. I love to wear my handknit sweaters, and since I wear a layer underneath, they don’t need to be washed with each wear like socks. Sweaters are useful and practical as well as fun. So I knit a sleeve yesterday.

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This morning I picked up for the second sleeve and I’ll work on that while watching movies I love, and with any luck, I’ll feel better about my knitting by the end of the day.

And I’m not going KonMari my whole stash, but if you’re interested in a gorgeous skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single for $30 including US shipping, let me know. I would much rather have a skein of this yarn in a color I’d love to wear all the time.

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Um, more yarn?

I had a hair appointment over the weekend (fresh purple, hooray) and the salon just happens to be very close to a LYS. A large LYS that I don’t visit very often. And somehow I let myself believe that it would be okay to go for a short visit. I would only buy one skein, maybe two. You guys know what happened, don’t you? Yeah. Because here’s the thing: I touched the yarn! And so much of it was SOFT!

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That Alpine? Yeah, it feels exactly like fur. And I love the feel of fur! How could I resist making a cowl out of that?? And right by the Alpine was the Wild, which is almost as soft and also has those amazing colors! They’re mostly acrylic, but I don’t care because they’re soft and pretty. And that yarn up in the top right? It’s also soft and fuzzy, a nylon/wool/alpaca blend, and it was on sale! It’s DK weight, so it’s thin and lightweight and will be all floaty. Okay, and those two skeins of red/green/blue yarn? That’s Happy Feet sock yarn and it was ALSO on sale! What decent sock knitter would resist sale sock yarn that feels good and looks good? Not this one, I tell you. Which is also how I ended up with that bottom skein…except it was not on sale. But it is beautiful and it’s Araucania Huaso, which is awesome yarn and so it jumped into my arms.

Am I doing very well on my yarn-buying balance? Well. Maybe better than it looks right now? Because there was a lot of yarn that I picked up and then put back because I didn’t love it as much. There was a lot of sale yarn I would have bought in the past just because it was on sale. So that’s progress, because I’m making mindful yarn choices at least. But yeah, I think I can probably take a break from yarn stores for a little while!

Craft Room Reorg

I made so much good progress on my sweater this weekend! I finished the body, including my first split hem which I kind of love.

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After I took this photo, I looked around my craft room and decided it needed an update. I used to use a 6′ folding table as a desk and a few months ago switched it out for a smaller library table. I love the smaller desk; it’s beautiful, it belonged to my dad, and it’s a great writing desk. But when I took out the big table, I lost a place to spread out as well as a place to wind yarn. So every time I wanted to wind yarn, I had to take everything downstairs and clean off the coffee table. That got tiresome. So! Plan B: put the library table in the corner with the north light, so I can still set things on it for photos, and put the folding table back up!

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Now I have a lot more table space, but the room still feels big and open. And I really like my desk in that corner. In fact, I spent the rest of the day up there, watching movies on my laptop and knitting. I wove in all the current ends on the sweater, added the neckband, and got the first sleeve picked up and started! The room feels very cozy. I think my long term goal is to get a small, comfortable arm chair for this corner, so I can sit here and look out into my craft room like this:

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If I did that, though, my family might never see me!

A Fast FO

You may remember that I was having a less-than-stellar day on Sunday, which led me to cast on a new project…with yarn from stash, I might add! I love worsted weight cowls so I picked my Nerd Girl Yarns Progression Worsted in Too English to Say Anything, which is a pretty rosy pink and gray mixture, and a simple cowl called Squeezie Hug. It was so easy and fun that I finished it last night, with just three evenings’ work!

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It is a paid pattern but it’s a small price and totally worth it. I love the little ridges! It needs to be blocked before I can wear it, since my cast-off is looser than my cast-on, but I should have it ready to wear in another day or so. Duncan was my helper as I finished last night; I’ve definitely forgiven him for his book-eating debacle.

We’re gearing up for another round of ice and snow tonight…maybe I’ll get a snow day tomorrow?? Stay safe and warm, friends!

This is how it happens

Today kind of sucks. I mean, not major suck, but a few minor sucks. I got up with the dogs this morning and discovered that Duncan had managed to push open one of the pocket doors and decided to munch on a couple of books again. As he likes the interesting old books, I found my first editions of Native Son and Black Boy had been destroyed. Not a great start to the day. Then I went to make waffles for a family breakfast and came across my dad’s handwriting in the manual with the recipe and that was a little unexpected sucker punch, maybe because I was already upset. Then the girl had to go back to college and those days are never my favorite.

So, yeah, today kind of sucks and I really want to go to the yarn store for some retail therapy. One skein wouldn’t be terrible, right? I’m in my craft room right now and I will fondle my stash a bit and remind myself of all my beautiful yarn, maybe cast on something bright and pretty, and see how that goes. I’ll work on my newest project, the Warrior Cowl, which I’m enjoying.

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But still. I bet you twenty cents I end up at the yarn store today.

I had to, it was purple

I have an unexpected day off today. That darn polar vortex hit us yesterday, but it wasn’t until this morning that we discovered our hot water pipes had frozen. Yes, we should have left water dripping. Alas, we forgot, and I am not a fan of cold showers. In trying to get the pipes warmed up, we redirected a duct from the kitchen, which made the kitchen and dining room pretty cold. And that’s where the dogs stay when we’re not home. So not only did I feel unshowered and gross, I would felt guilty leaving them in the coldest part of the house all day. So! Day off for me, and I hope to have knitting to show for it tomorrow!

Today, I’ll show off my new yarn. Yep, I bought yarn recently. But I say it without guilt or shame, because it was just one skein, it was carefully considered, and we’re doing really well with our budget this month. I knew I wouldn’t go that long without buying any yarn; I just wanted to get away from the mindless, retail-therapy, “buy it all because it’s pretty” mindset. And I have to say, so far it feels really good to break out of that habit.

This skein is a colorway I’ve had my eye on for at least a month or so. It’s from Lolodidit and it’s her newest purple colorway. She teased us with it on Instagram before it was available, asking for name suggestions, and eventually decided on Prince. Her first photo sold me, but I waited a while after it went on sale, just to make sure I really wanted it.

Spoiler: I did.

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It is STUNNING. My photo doesn’t come close to doing it justice. I bought it on a basic sock base but when I saw it, I knew I couldn’t just put it on my feet. No, this needs the perfect shawl pattern so I can wear it all the time and show it off.

So this is my call to you: what’s your favorite one-skein fingering weight pattern?

2019: Knit from stash!

I confess, I am one of those people going into the new year pledging “No new yarn! Knit from stash!” And I know it’s terrible for LYSs who count on our business, and I do want them to thrive, but alas, it’s time for me to be responsible about other things. I kind of added up how much I’d spent on yarn this year and it was…eye-opening, shall we say? I got lazy about our budget, lazy with my will-power, and it led to more yarn spending than I’m comfortable with. And really, I bought so much gorgeous yarn this year that why wouldn’t I want to knit with it soon? That’s why I bought it, right? So, I’m sorry, my dear LYS, but you won’t be seeing as much of me this year. I’m not going to say I won’t buy any new yarn in 2019, but I definitely will be buying MUCH less and making a concerted effort to knit from stash.

Okay. So how do you make that happen? When the urge for new yarn arises, how do you fight it? When you get invited on a trip to a yarn store, do you say no, or go and try to resist purchasing anything?

For me, being involved with my stash will be critical. I need to go into it regularly and find lost treasures, remind myself of a beautiful skein I bought six months ago, or two years ago. When I feel the itch for something new and fresh, I can dive deep into my stash to scratch it.

My new knitting journal will help as well, I hope. I’ve got a section for projects I want to make, so I can visit that and pair those ideas with yarn in my stash. Oooh, maybe I should make a section for yarns I want to knit next!!

And if I end up at a yarn store, then maybe sometimes I let myself buy ONE skein, instead of two or four or six plus a pompom plus an enamel pin and hey, do I need some of those needles?

With all that said, I think I’ve found my word for 2019: Balance.

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Wishing you all a happy and safe New Year’s Eve!