Tag Archive | yarn stash

Thrifty Tuesday

Do you go to thrift stores? By which I mostly mean, back when the world was sane, did you go to thrift stores? I did and love them, and every once in a while I find yarn or knitting supplies there. I have found a few pairs of Addi circular needles, which I thought was a huge score. But over the weekend, the Knitting SIL beat me big-time. She and her daughter went to a local thrift store where she found yarn. Not just yarn, but GOOD yarn, like indie dyer yarn. And the prices? OMG, like one or two dollars per skein. It was craziness. I’m pretty sure she bought all the good stuff, and the best part is that I got what she didn’t want!

img_8522This is probably close to $130 worth of yarn, and I paid a whopping $5. Can you believe that?? I just love getting a bargain. My SIL did even better, with something like seven or eight skeins of high-end yarn for $15. Part of me wants to cast on some socks with the pink Emma yarn right away, but I know I’ve got a ton of WIPs already, so this will all just go in the stash for now. The cream Malabrigo is sock yarn but I’m pretty sure it will be part of a multi-color shawl at some point.

Also Jack is very spoiled and won’t eat dry kibble by itself anymore, so I bought some canned food and mix a spoonful into the kibble. He’s very happy with mealtimes now!

img_8518

Happy Tuesday, friends.

Not a stitch

There was no knitting yesterday. Crazy, right? We’re working from home, I have so much time, I should be knitting up a storm! Wait, no, there is no “should be” anything right now, so let’s say, you’d think I’d be knitting up a storm. Instead, I spent most of my free time yesterday working on this:

img_7396WHY I thought this would be a fun puzzle, I don’t know! There are so many black pieces and shades of gray and I despair of ever finishing it, but I’m just stubborn enough to do it, if for no other reason than to allow myself to buy a more colorful puzzle.

Today we have sunshine and it’s almost Friday and it was another happy mail day at my house. This is the last of my stress-purchase yarn but it’s all so GOOD:

On the left are two skeins from Orange Jellyfish Dream. The bright multicolored is sock yarn and the purple/gray was a discounted OOAK skein of fingering weight, so maybe a shawl? On the right are four skeins of SoLo, a fingering weight merino from LoloDidIt, that will become an Olive Pink shawl. Maybe I’ll get some knitting done tonight, who knows!

A Mini Yarn Crawl

Today we return to regularly scheduled programming, and I will share knitting content. During my recent trip to visit the girl in Colorado, of course I had to visit a yarn store. But I didn’t keep it that simple. No, I went to FOUR yarn stores. When you’re 45 minutes away from Fort Collins, I think it’s just required that you make the pilgrimage. First, though, I drove to Wyoming. It was only an hour away and I’d never been, so it seemed fun. Well. Here’s downtown Cheyenne.

7F3949C7-0799-4AAA-84D8-CA37727F2BEAIt was very Western and not a big town and seemed a little…dreary. I did find a small bookstore/record store that was fun, and I visited the one yarn store. She had a lot of great brands, beautiful yarns, gorgeous samples. She had a lot of everything really.

It was too much for me. Too cramped and crowded, there was no organization that I could find, yarn was just stacked on the floor, and I couldn’t find any prices. I did find a couple of pretty skeins, but it wasn’t the best yarn-shopping experience. However, I went from there to Fort Collins, where I visited My Sister Knits for the first time, and guys,  it might be one of my very favorite yarn stores ever.

It’s in a beautiful residential neighborhood, in the carriage house behind a beautiful brick house, and you have to go through the white picket fence to get there. Then you hear the music as you walk past the chicken coop and you see a radio/speaker next to the coop, and you can’t tell me that it’s not there specifically for the chickens. Inside are two floors of the cutest, most charming shop, especially the second floor with the pitched roof and the big table right in the middle. The second floor had all the fingering weight/sock yarns, so that was where I spent most of my time. The women were friendly without being overbearing, the yarn selection was varied and amazing, and everything was clearly priced. They even had a dog, albeit a tiny one.

After that, I was just going to stop by The Loopy Ewe. But somehow I ended up navigating the car to Lambspun instead.

They had a huge shop, several rooms, with little nooks dedicated to spinning, needlework, and more. The yarn was spread throughout and it was fun to wander through and poke through the shelves, but I didn’t see a lot of great yarns calling my name. That might have been because I’d just been to two other yarn stores, but also I didn’t see a lot of indie dyers, which are my current obsession, and the sock yarn selection was pretty limited. I left there with just one skein.

From there I went to the Loopy Ewe, and that was my last stop for the day. I didn’t take any photos there, partly because I was tired but also because you don’t go there because it’s cute. It’s a nice shop, bright and well-lit, with lots of good seating areas, but you go there for the yarn selection. I was a little disappointed because I didn’t find a big selection of self-striping sock yarn, which is the one thing I really wanted from this adventure. Still, I came home with a fantastic assortment of treasures.

B74CD44D-16FF-41E7-9F47-26A513591A4C_1_201_aIt’s more than I meant to buy, more than I should have bought, but man do I love it all! I was especially delighted to find the Ritual Dyes yarns at My Sister Knits, and saw their cool Knitter’s Backpack in person. Al least I was able to resist buying one of those! I did add to my pin collection though.

65A062C4-71CC-47AF-AFE6-40DDCCB35EB1The Loopy Ewe pin is to replace the one the husband and girl bought for me last year that fell off my bag and got lost. The Ritual Dyes pin might be obvious, but it’s because I’m a Virgo. And I love to collect pins from the shops I visit, so of course I bought the one from My Sister Knits with their shop dog, Molly, on it.

Sigh. That was a fun little yarn crawl. Now I’m not buying any more yarn…until Knitting in the Heartland in April because I have zero willpower and am addicted to yarn. So the only thing I can do now is knit faster to use up as much yarn as I’m bringing in. On that note, I’m off to hopefully finish my Faded Boxy sweater today!

Catching Up

Okay, so the good news is things have picked up at work and I have lots to do and I like that. The bad news is that it’s pulled energy away from my knitting and blog, but hey, today I have some FOs to share!

The socks have been a WIP since mid-November, so I’m thrilled to finally get them off the needles. The pink is Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering and I really like it. It feels nice and crisp, which I like in a sock yarn. The turquoise is Knit Picks Stroll, I believe, in Razzleberry. It’s a softer yarn so it might not hold up as well, especially on the toes and heels, but it sure is cute. The other FO is my crazy Oats cowl in Manos Alegria Grande Locura Fluo. It’s badly in need of blocking but I couldn’t wait to share because I love it so much. It was a treat to knit and a treat to wear.

I finally made it to the yarn store today and got the pompom I needed. I really wasn’t going to buy yarn but she was having a singles sale, with 40% off single skeins of yarn, and what knitter can resist that? Not this one. I think I did really well though, and restrained myself to only three skeins.

img_7004

Old Rusted Chair is a new dyer to me and I’ll be casting on the pink and black tomorrow. I got lucky with the purple: there were actually two skeins left, so it might become a big shawl. I’ll ponder that. So yes, I broke my yarn fast, but I’m still ahead for the year: I’ve used up 13 skeins from stash so far and have purchased five. (The other two are the Bonny Lass yarn that called my name the other day. Literally called my name.) Not too bad, right? But here’s the problem: I’m leaving tomorrow to visit the girl in Colorado and I know I’ll be going to a yarn store while I’m there. That’s just a foregone conclusion. So I better restrain myself while I’m there or I’ll wreck my good progress! Of course if I’d just finish my darn Boxy, that would be five skeins from stash gone. Maybe that will be my priority when I get back.

B3030694-9569-4A41-A412-599EDB8FE1DBDuncan is now seven weeks post surgery and doing really well. He wouldn’t stop licking his leg so I ordered some PJs online and discovered that dogs in PJs are the cutest thing ever. I might have to order more. Maybe three matching sets for all three dogs? He’ll go for his x-rays in about a week and with any luck get a green light for more activity. We’re all ready for that!

Happy weekend, friends! Hope you’re getting some of the same blue sky that I am!

 

To the Yarn Store?

Oh, you guys are all bad influences…and I love it! So many votes to go to the yarn store, haha! Alas, I did not go to the yarn store, but it wasn’t really a conscious choice on my part. I left the restaurant after lunch with my friend, and there was a loose dog in the parking lot, just barking her fool head off. One woman was trying to catch her, so I grabbed the bag of treats I keep in my car and went to help. My friend had a grumpy baby with her so she couldn’t stay, but let me borrow the leash she keeps in her car. (Side note: I really need to get one of those for my car.) This dog, though, man, she was skittish. She loved the bits of treat I tossed to her, but didn’t want to come close enough for me to touch her at all. I called animal control, but in that city they don’t come out unless the dog is aggressive. The first woman managed to contact a volunteer rescue group, and they said they’d send someone out to help trap, and I said I’d wait until they came.

816E5054-E6C9-4D4D-843B-710F149F85FD_1_201_a

So, this is me, sitting in the parking lot, where I stayed for at least 45 minutes, trying to coax her to come to me. Eventually she started to wander off back toward the busy street so I had to circle around and herd her back to the parking lot. We ended up in a big grassy area, and the volunteer showed up to help, armed with hot dogs. The dog loved those but still wouldn’t let either of us get a leash around her neck. After another hour, the dog got full and started walking down the street. The volunteer followed her and found out she lives about a block away from the busy intersection. The owner knew she’d gotten out of her yard, knew she had no collar on, thought she “might be chipped”, and wasn’t worried because “she always comes home.” GAH. I hate some people. I was glad she made it home safely but hate that she might not be so lucky next time. At least the volunteer is aware of it, and said if the dog got loose again, she’d report the owner to animal control. Of course, all that will happen then is the owner will get cited, but it’s a start. It sucks to feel so helpless.

After that, my pants were wet, muddy, and cold, and I had no desire to go anywhere but home. I put on clean, warm pajamas and snuggled up with my own happy, safe dogs and cast on a new project with pretty yarn from my stash.

img_6934

This might look familiar: it’s Manos del Uruguay’s color Locura Fluo, which I’m going to use for a sweater. This is one skein of Alegria Grande, which I accidentally ordered instead of Alegria one time. It was the most colorful larger-weight yarn in my stash, so on my needles it went. This the Oats cowl pattern from Tin Can Knits, something really simple to let the yarn be the star of the show.

I’m still slightly tempted to go to a yarn store today, since I’m off work for Presidents’ Day, but I’m also tempted by this gorgeous and fun yarn I found on Instagram: it’s called A Bonny Lass!!! How can I not order that? I think I need to make a big, gorgeous shawl and it needs to have some kind of Celtic cable design on it even though I don’t like making cables. So, we’ll see. I might just stay home with my pajamas and dogs today, or I might venture out. Either way, it’s a pretty happy day!

Happy February!

I made it through the entire month of January without buying yarn! That’s a good feeling! I know it won’t happen in February because I’m going to Colorado to visit the girl this month and I’m sure a yarn store will be in the cards. And to be honest, I did order some yarn last night but that’s different: the MIL ordered yarn for me for Christmas and the package got lost, so she got a refund and gave me the money. I ordered the same yarn she’d ordered but from a different company and it was about $10 more, and I think that’s perfectly acceptable. Once it arrives, I’ll have the sweater quantity I’ve been wanting!

I also got a delayed Christmas present recently, some size 1 SmartStix DPNs! Please excuse the dog hair clinging to…everything.

img_6830They’re my new favorite sock needles. They’re pointier than my wood Clover needles, and they won’t bend over time. And I can measure progress with them, so handy!

Apparently today is some big day in sportsball land and even though I live in the KC Metro area, I am one of the few who will not be watching because I do not like that flavor of sportsball. There’s bound to be something else on TV, right? Happy Sunday, friends.

Thinning the Herd

Every January, a large number of knitters declare, “I’m going to knit from stash this year! I’m not going to buy so much new yarn!” I’m usually one of those knitters, and this year is no different. I do want to knit from stash; I’ve spent a long time cultivating a healthy collection of beautiful yarns.

img_5735I mean, look at all that yarn!! I shouldn’t need to buy more at all for a long time! But I don’t want to stop buying new yarn completely. That’s not realistic or fun, especially since I’ll be going to Knitting in the Heartland this year. No, my goal this year is to simply use more from my stash than I add to it. I’m going by skein count rather than yardage and to increase accountability, I created a page in my knitting journal to keep track of skeins in and out. I’m off to a good start, especially after a week of lots of knitting time: I’ve used five skeins from stash and added none! Last night I wound two more skeins and this morning cast on for a new project, a Malabrigo Rasta hat that I’ve been planning for about a year.

img_6584What are your goals for stash this year?

Crafting weekend

This weekend reaffirmed my growing understanding that sometimes it’s a good thing to do scary things. I met up with a blogging friend and a few of her friends for a crafting weekend. Meeting new people is intimidating for me, and given the extended nature of the plans, it could have gone very wrong if we didn’t hit it off. Thankfully that was not the case and today has been SUPER fun! Since she’s from out of town, I had to take her to my favorite LYS, Yarn Social.

img_6035And my bag of projects broke while I was walking up to my hotel room, so of course I had to get a new bag. And a little bit of new yarn maybe. And a pin. Whatever. It’s a rainbow sheep, of course I’m gonna buy it.

I originally had no purple yarn picked out. Instead, I had two pretty blues. Then I saw this gradient set hanging by the counter and well, you know how it goes. At least I put one of the blue ones back? I also will come home with a new project bag because my new buddy is super nice and made me a gift!

img_6038Isn’t that the cutest?? And oh yeah, we spent the day knitting and talking and laughing, and watching HGTV and a little bit of football (not by my choice but it was fine) and there was the cutest baby that I didn’t have to be responsible for. There was junk food and maybe a little alcohol and pizza. Tonight I get to sleep in a big bed all by myself. But mostly it was fun to hang out with like-minded people. I’m just so so glad I was brave enough to come. So the next time you’re apprehensive about doing something, maybe just do it?

This is so cool!

Yesterday the husband and I went downtown to a “vintage market” that’s kind of like an antique store only more hipster-ish. They’re only open the first weekend of every month, and we rarely find things we have to have, but yesterday was a good day. The husband found a big metal cabinet thing with drawers that will apparently be perfect for holding screws and nails and some such stuff in his workshop. And me? I found this treasure:

img_5738It’s handmade from oak and originally it was going to be for knitting needles but then the more I looked at it, the more I realized it needed to be for my pen stuff.

I think I want to get dark purple felt to line the drawers, and maybe someday the husband can use that workshop of his to make more dividers, and it could hold pens in a better way. But this works for now and I’m just tickled pink with it.

The only other thing I did yesterday was clean out my craft room. I’ve talked about our old house before, and how the old sleeping porch/addition is sagging dangerously and needs renovation desperately. We’ve been working with a contractor and an architect since March to draw up plans and get quotes, and we were going to expand the kitchen and get a laundry room and it was going to be Marvelous! Well. As I feared, our plans were a little a lot beyond our budget, and our dream kitchen is not an option. Knowing that, our goal now is to get the house in shape to sell in a couple of years. For now, we’ll remove the addition, rebuild a nice new deck, update the kitchen a little bit, and refinish the downstairs floors.

Having this be a smaller project means we should be able to redo the upstairs bathroom that’s a mishmash of cheap fixtures, and create something that’s appropriate for the house and aesthetically pleasing. It’s nowhere close to either of those now!

Sorry, getting off track here. Not adding on a laundry room means we need to find a home for the washer/dryer, and our choices are the basement (damp, spidery, rickety stairs, and more problematic, the husband’s current workshop) or the tiny, not-very-functional bedroom that the husband is currently using as an office. (I know, poor husband! He should fare better with our next house.) We agreed the office should become a nice laundry room with some additional storage, and that we could create a shared space from my craft room. It’s not ideal for either of us, but it’ll work for a couple of years.

SO! I needed to create some room for his stuff, and I did a much-needed purge. Gone are the scrapbooking supplies I haven’t used in almost ten years! Gone are scraps of ribbon and other little bits that I hoarded for “some project some day”! Gone are my fabric remnants that I bought to line purses I never made! I condensed my yarn stash and made room for my knitting books and bins of leftover yarn balls. All of that meant I have half a closet and an empty corner, ready to share! And honestly, I’m in love with how it looks.

img_5735It’s great progress, but it’s not quite enough space for his stuff. I have a bookcase that holds my knicknacks — my Wonder Woman collection, some family mementos, little gifts from my kids — and I think that stuff will have to be packed up for now to create more space. I do want him to feel like he has a little corner of his own in there, at least. So maybe that will be today’s project. Unless I decide I need to do some knitting!

Colorado Yarn Stores

I really only meant to go to one yarn store during our Colorado vacation. Looking back, I’m not sure why I thought that was reasonable, or even feasible for me. But that was my plan, and since I’d gotten in trouble at the Loopy Ewe the past two years, I was going to avoid them. Instead, I chose LambShoppe in Denver. It was in a cute but busy part of town, and the boys weren’t interested in joining us, so they dropped me and the girl off at the curb. The store was small but had lots of fun yarns, both big names and small. The saleswoman immediately asked how she could help me, and I cheerfully said, “Just let me look at the yarn!” I try to focus on local dyers when I’m buying vacation yarn, and I found quite a few choices. Unfortunately, the saleswoman was one of those who thinks she needs to engage every shopper frequently, and that bugs the crap out of me. Still, I found some good stuff.

But then! As I was pondering my choices on the table there, that same woman walked by and said, “Oh, you need to get out of your box and try something new!” She’d already annoyed me enough that I replied, “How about I do what I want?” I mean, seriously. Let a knitter pick her own damn yarn, am I right? Anyway, beautiful yarns, if not all local. The woman’s one saving grace was that she found me a second skein of the Manos Locura Fluo (the crazy neon one in the middle). I’m collecting skeins for a sweater!

I thought I was good and happy but then we went to Colorado Springs, and we had some extra time, and darned if we didn’t end up at another yarn store. Ewe and Me was a little hard to find, and the font is hard to read on the sign outside, but I’m so glad I found it! It was a BIG store, with a huge table down the middle with comfy chairs for the boys to sit in. The women chatted with me at first but then let me browse at my own pace. And the yarn! So much local yarn, so much gorgeous yarn!

I saw small dyers I’d only followed on Instagram, like The Lemonade Shop and Artistic Yarns by Abi, plus ones I’d never heard of. I bought six skeins, I think, plus that fabulous mug. And another size 5 circular needle for shawls. And maybe an enamel pin.

That was plenty, right? It really was! I would have been happy to leave it at that. Except on Sunday the boy and I were on our own, and we went to Longmont to check out a guitar store. And there happened to be a yarn store a few doors down. Sigh. Three more skeins went in my bag. But one of them was Dragon Hoard Yarn, who I’d just started following on Instagram! She was doing a trunk show there so of course I had to grab a skein.

That’s how I ended up with this beautiful, extravagant assortment of yarns to feed my stash!

img_4989

Now, let’s see if I can restrain from buying more new yarn for a while!