Most of this stuff hasn't even been in my stash all that long, I've just changed my mind about what I'm going to make in the coming year. All the details and yarns available are on my Ravelry trade/sell page.
You can't go to a sheep and wool festival without buying anything. Well, I suppose you can, but sometimes it's more fun to come home with a souvenir or seven. I went through a lot of the booths at Rhinebeck, but as the particularly rare breed of the non-stashing knitter that I am, I didn't get tempted by much.
I'm ALWAYS tempted by Brooks Farm and I indulged myself for the first time in two years since seeing them at Kid n Ewe in Texas. I've since knit up all the yarn I got then as Wicked, The Totally Not Noro Noro scarf, Backyard Leaves and the Shetland Triangle.
I haven't got plans for all these yarns yet, but I'm thinking a scarf or two, a wrap, and after seeing Maya's version in person maybe a grown-ass woman sweater for myself. So basically all the same base projects, just different versions. Am I predictable or what?
Well, JulieFrick does and I'm not one to tell her no.
The Husband and I are taking some much needed time off this week. After a hectic summer we're heading to Minneapolis to visit some pals and kick back for a few days. (I never thought I'd vacation in Minnesota, but at least it won't be as cold as the last time I was there.) As always, the tricky part of travelling is deciding what knitting to take.
Ms. SotoSofties and I went to Windsor Button on a yarn mission yesterday and I picked up a couple things to make the decision that much tougher.
Do I take the fiddly Garden Snail that I started?
Do I start in on a pair of colourwork mittens in my favourite colour combo of the day?
Continue the second of the Noro striped socks?
Or chuck all the gift knitting and work on a mini-Hanami Sea Silk scarf for myself? Think I can juggle the beaded cast-on on the plane?
Decisions! I need help!
Along with the Tangled Yoke, there's another knit that's been sitting in my queue. I'd been hesitant to blog about it because this project has already broken the interweb once, but now that the pattern is for sale I won't be contributing to the mania.
The Hello Yarn Fiddlehead Mittens Kit.
I almost don't want to take the skeins out of their perfect little cardboard home. Gorgeous! I haven't cast on yet, but it's definitely in the works for this week. The Kit with the yarn is a little tricky to get your hands on, but Adrian has a ton of suggested yarn substitutions. The best part? If you don't want to spring for the kit, you can buy the pattern PDF through Ravelry. The genius bit is it stays in your Rav library so you never have to worry about losing the file. Brilliant, eh?
Yesterday, Maryse and I bundled into the car, braved sleet and snow and drove a couple hours out to Northampton to Webs. Oh lordy, it was just as I'd imagined. The shop itself was great, everything you could want that had to do with knitting. Bags, needles, DVDs, weird notions you've never seen before, and a tonne of staff on the floor ready and able to help should you have a question. This week they're having a Boxing Week sale (they call it something else. To me, it's Boxing Week) and I scored some good deals on some new yarn.
The main part of the shop is fantastic but I think that if you time it right by the season, the magic happens in the warehouse in back. It's like the Costco for yarn back there. You're never sure quite what's in stock but when you find something, grab it. Who knows if it will still be there when you return. I didn't pull the trigger on anything in the warehouse this time, but I'm going to troll through again next time. I *knew* I should have nabbed that green Kathmandu Aran bag when I saw it.
Added to the stash:
Before I unpacked, before I took a shower, before I even drank my coffee, I took pictures of yarn. I'm not sure what that says about me, but I'm hoping that it only means I missed my sewing room while I was away. (The alternative is that I might be crazy and I don't have time to deal with that.)
This bowl of Indigo Moon fingering weight was my only stash acquisition during my travels. I found it at Three Bags Full in Vancouver while on the hunt for some Sweet Georgia yarns that were long gone. The plan as it stands right now is that these two blue skeins will be socks for the FIL, but I remember what happened last time I tried that. We'll see, we'll see.
In the meantime, happy Fiberlicious! Friday!
When I moved to Vancouver from Pemberton and Whistler, I downsized to 700 square feet of living with no storage space. I had to develop a rule: one item coming into the house meant two items had to go out. If I bought new noodle bowls, then it was time to take the old IKEA frames to the Sally Ann. A new skirt meant two pairs of snowboard pants went to consignment. I was good about preserving negative growth for almost two years.
Having thoroughly documented my stash over the last few weeks reminded me of this old rule. I know, I know, you're laughing that I don't have any stash to speak of, but unused yarn weighs on me. (If I haven't bought yarn for a project yet, I can change the project and colours at will. I'm never bound by guilt to start something that doesn't sing to me anymore.) So when I impulsively bought some Yarn Pirate two weeks ago, I harboured a little guilt. How can I bring in sock yarn when I have 3 or 4 projects queued ahead of it?
The happy solution? I offered up a few leftovers for sale and before you could say "First Class International Mail," I was down one skein of Lorna's Laces and a half ball of Kidsilk Haze. Welcome lovely Yarn Pirate (in Sweet Magnolia,) snuggle up to the Scout's Swag yarn, you're here to stay for a while.
If you're a knitter, you've probably heard some of the buzz about Ravelry. I weasled an invite from Maryse the other day and let me tell ya, I'm in LOVE. (With Ravelry, not Maryse. She's delightful, but I'm a married woman.) They're adding new users every day and I highly recommend signing up for an invite. It's still in beta, but damn, it's goooood.
If you're looking to start a new project, Ravelry will be the place to go. Yarn information, patterns, other folks FOs, it's all there. If you want to see a completed Central Park Hoody and want to know who else has knit it and what yarn they used, it's all in one place. This is going to save me a ton of googling and flickr time when I'm looking for inspiration, samples of completed work or searching for a good yarn substitution.
I spent the weekend uploading most of my projects and finished objects to my Ravelry notebook. I even went back through my stash and photographed it all so I could prettify my stash page. Dig the needle inventory! You can download it to a .pdf to print it out. Brilliant!
Uploading all that information motivated me not only to get organized online, but in my studio too. When I finish something, I usually shove the pattern notes in a drawer to be 'organized later.' Turns out, Later was last night. Aaah, stapled, complete, and filed. Almost as good as finishing the project itself!
Quick TV note: If you missed the airing of the Crafty Bucket episode of Uncommon Threads last time, it will be on HGTV Thursday morning (May 10th.) Check your local listings. If you do watch, try not to cringe when I say "paincil" instead of pencil. I was SO hoping that I'd be the only one to catch it, but Meg totally busted me. I sometimes mix words together when I'm thinking faster than I can speak, but pain-cil? Sheesh!
I'm only working a few mornings a week right now, so I've been trying to walk every day for at least 30 minutes when I get home. I put on the headphones, fire up the ipod and off I go. Yesterday's listening selection was the first episode of the Stash and Burn podcast. With all the talk on the blogs about stash reduction, these women have begun podcasting about their attempts to get their stash under control. I found it seriously motivational. So much so it was tough to stay out walking for the full 30 minutes. I had to restrain myself from taking a shortcut through the neighbours yard to get home and dig out all my yarn. My pace quickened and as soon as I walked in the door, I dove right in.
I rounded up every scrap of yarn and WIP that I could find and dumped it out in our patio room. We're in the middle of a painting project and the painter won't be back until Saturday, so I had 200 square feet to spread it all out and begin evaluating. I am not a huge yarn stasher. I only buy yarn with a project in mind and I try not to let anything linger if I'm not using it. Have you listened to the Pointy Sticks podcast where Christine and Staci have a chat? It seems Staci and I have similar nonstashing ideals. If I buy something and it sits in the yarn bin at home for more than a few months, the guilt starts to build. Earlier this week I'd purged and donated a big bag of acrylic and kitchen cotton, but I knew there were a few other skeins that could go. (Judging by what I pulled out to go, I think I'm done knitting with pink. Bring on the green!)
So this is it*. This is all the yarn I've got. I divided it into two plastic filing bins, Active Yarn and Stash Yarn. The Active bin is all the yarn for projects currently on the needles, the Stash bin is, well, stash. Duh. I feel infinitely lighter for getting it all in one place and documenting it all. I have no guilt about anything that I've kept. If you're interested in what each yarn is and what the slated project might be, I'm putting notes on it all over on Flickr. Probably a good thing that I got all this done before the first Rockin’ Sock Club shipment arrives, eh?
Later this week: the WIP pile and the RIP pile.
When we were at Kid n' Ewe, Sea Anemone Amy and I spent some time chatting about our moo cards. I had been considering making a smaller-sized mini wallet for mine, but Amy has spared me the work. Look what she sent last week! The slide-top metal case is exactly the right size for the moo cards. Perfection! I'll admit I had an overwhelming wave of nostalgia for highschool and apricot lip balm when I first opened it. Where did you find these, Amy?
She was also kind enough to include some gorgeous green stitch markers in the package; they'll be perfect for the next project I'm contemplating. I was considering some kind of cardigan for myself in my semi-solid dark green Brooks Farm Four Play. The tricky part is working out what pattern because I only have 4 hanks (just under 1100 yds) to work with. The chances of scoring another hank are nil, so I have to be careful. I was mulling over Lucy in the Sky, but I'm not sure. I might just chuck the cardigan idea and go with Wicked so I won't have to worry about yardage. Any other ideas? Is the perfect low-yardage sweater out there and I just don't know it?
Last October I wasn't yet a sock knitter (oh how I have seen the folly of my ways) but this year I am gung ho for Socktoberfest (along with over 1500 other knitters!) With perfect timing, my new skein of Vesper sock yarn arrived (Strange Little Mama colourway.) It's hard to get your hands on the Vesper because it sells out so fast, but when you do, it's worth the wait. Pink, black and red is one of my favourite colour combos so at this point I'm thinking these socks will be for me*. I'm going to try out the Dublin Bay pattern (PDF is here) after seeing Good to be Girl's WIP photo. They look fantastic.
*I had considered working these up for one of my best friends for her birthday, but she's just moved to Australia from Vancouver so she's going into summer. I hardly think she'll need wool socks in Sydney for Christmas; I'll have to come up with an alternative present. It's her birthday today, so go wish her a happy birthday (or take her out for a beer if you're in Sydney - I'll sponsor!) Have manybeers Melmel and pretend they're all from me. Mwah!
They were barely out of the envelope before I resorted them by colour, took a couple of quick pictures and then started on the atomic blue wristlets. I can hardly contain myself.
Packing for a weekend in Vancouver is easy. Deciding what knitting to take on the plane? Not so easy. I have all this yummy new sock yarn and a case of startitis to beat them all. Do I take the new sock in STR? Maybe the brown Koigu that I started the other day? I wound up one of the Lorna's Laces hanks (birthday gift certificate purchase)...but maybe the Vesper that I've had in the stash for a few months will do the trick. I'm pretty sure this will be a last minute decision (and I know I'll stuff an extra project in my carry-on as I'm walking out the door.)
It will be a jam-packed uber busy weekend, but I'm going to try and squeeze in some beers and knitting downtown on Sunday afternoon. Anybody want to come with? Ping me and I'll set something up!
Know what will really slow progress on your knitting, sewing and house renovations? Getting a job. I only worked three days this week but already I'm struggling to fit everything in. (My mum doesn't know until she reads this. I'm guessing the phone will ring in three, two, one....RING!)
In the midst of my crazy busy week I started to prep for the Olympics. I frogged an unpractical (and fugly) boat neck tank that I finished two years ago. The yarn is Araucania Nature Cotton in a weird tobacco colour. I loved to knit with it, it's nice and soft, but the colour is odd and it was WAY too hot for a tank. I washed and dried what I'd used and it's patiently waiting to be wound for the Lace Leaf pullover. I know some folks that have knit this sweater aren't keen on the bulky, shlumpy end result, but I think it will be good as a house sweater. Now I just have to find time to swatch for gauge!