Stash Dash – aka Crazy Knitting Goals

Stash Dash has just kicked off and I’m going to participate this year. Stash Dash is a 3 month knitting event hosted by The Knit Girllls where participants knit/crochet/spin etc as much of their stash as they possibly can. The rules are pretty flexible; which is fine, because you’re only completing against yourself.

I’m going to set myself the goal of using 5k of my stash, which seems like a small goal in comparison to the 15k+ cateogory, but I’m being realistic. If I complete my epic crochet granny stripe blanket, I’ll have reached my goal and then some. I’ll have used up the self-striping sock yarn I couldn’t use in socks, and I’ll have finished this long term project, hooray!

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But I also have some other ‘crazy’ goals. I want to finish Wool & Honey before Bendigo

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and I’m also resurrecting this project… I’m hoping to have it finished in time to wear to Bendigo… just 2 months to go!

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This sweater began whilst taking an Improvised Sweater class with the fabulous Anna Maltz more than 3 years ago (!). It came to a halt when I didn’t like where the lace body was heading. I have a new plan now and I will rip back to the end of the yoke.

It is a sweater that has the right amount of ‘loud’ that you can only get away with at a sheep and wool show, but I’m also hoping to wear it amongst the muggles too.

 

 

 

 

My Mum’s Cardigan

You may recall, I gave my mum yarn for Christmas… so that I could knit her a cardigan.

My mum knits and crochets a lot for the grandkids, but I don’t remember the last time she knit anything for herself.

I had quite a bit of consultation with my mum, about the style and fit she was wanting in the cardigan. I then set about to find the perfect pattern to match her requirements. Georgetown by Hannah Fettig  ticked all the boxes. Surprisingly, it took me 6 weeks to knit (I thought I could knock it out in 4).

Once I blocked it, I knew I had nailed it. The ribbed shawl collar needed the wet blocking, as it was riding up at the bottom of the fronts. It’s amazing what a little bit of water can do.

Then after a sneaky little try on myself, I gave it to my mum last weekend. (It fit me very well too).

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She’s lucky the colour is not really me…

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Not that I would dare keep it, my mum deserves nice things.

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Needless to say, she loves it. Perhaps I’ll surprise her with another jumper’s worth of yarn next Christmas?

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Stash Count

It’s been ages since my last count of yarn stash meterage.

The last count was after my return from Stitches West in 2015, when my yarn count was a staggering:

296,937 METRES

Since it’s been about 3 and a half years since I took stock (I had no idea it was that long), I thought I should take a look at how much I have. It’s too hard to quantify when your stash lives in different spots in your house, so I downloaded the numbers from my Ravelry stash page. I summed the total of the column ‘Metres left’ and got:

265,310.9 metres or 265.3109 km

Yeah! Go me!

I attribute the reduction to one massive de-stash a while ago. And just a lot less purchasing. I’m trying to knit more than what comes in, but in reality I think I’m lucky to be breaking even. It was an almighty de-stash…

I don’t have any goals to get down to a certain level, but I think I would like less, so I can see it all in one part of my house. So I can appreciate and work from it. So that it doesn’t feel like a packet of Tim Tams that never runs out. My ‘stretch’ goal is to reduce the amount of stash to my cubed shelving unit. You know, because there’s probably some other things I could store underneath our bed.

I’m looking forward to the Australian Sheep and Wool Show (only 4.5 months to go!). Fondly known as ‘Bendigo’ or ‘Spendigo’, where all bets are off… mostly, (I’m showing a bit more restraint in the last couple of years). So I have something to work towards… here are some of my acquisitions from last year.

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I’ll come back to you before July to show you how much I’ve used!

 

Stash appreciation and LYS day

Over Easter I had a stash appreciation day with my ‘living room yarn stash’. Whilst it’s always a good idea to stop and smell the roses, or take stock of how much bloody yarn you have, I’m afraid stash appreciation day was born out of a sore hand. I didn’t want to risk hurting my hand any further, so what is a knitter to do if they can’t knit?!

Playing with yarn, is almost as good as knitting with it. I could give it a try for at least one day anyway. So I pulled out all of my ikea boxes and spread out the stash across the coffee table.IMG_7287IMG_7288My hand-dyed sock yarn takes pride of place in my ‘collection’, I’m powerless against a beautiful skein of delicious yarn.

I quite like pink…IMG_7290… sprinkled with greenIMG_7291IMG_7293… think of the amazing sock yarn blanket I would be able to make with the left-overs of these skeins?  Only if they were left-overs and not complete skeins…

So I reorganised my boxes and tried to place the skeins in more logical places, for the record I remember purchasing each of the yarns I ‘found’. There weren’t any surprises, just lots of love for the yarn I have collected; and ideas, I’m looking forward to starting some new projects once things return to normal.

If you don’t have a LYS (local yarn store) at home (like me!), it’s LYS appreciation day next Saturday. I know that Sunspun in Melbourne is participating and offering a generous discount on that day. You should go, you might see me there!

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January stash acquisitions

Thank heavens Damian is home from his work trip. I did miss him and it’s been the longest time we’ve been apart for some time.

The thing is, whilst he’s been away, I had been buying yarn like there is no tomorrow… it’s been thrilling, oh what a rush!

The yarn buying began with a trip to Sunspun, then as the weeks went on with Damian away, I just happened to have gotten ‘lucky’ with a few hard-to-get online indy hand dyer updates. In the final weekend I purchased from 4 different online dyers!!! Anything to distract you from the fact that you are home alone, am-I-right? I figured if I could get some cherished colours into my cart and make it to the payment window, it was meant to be!

As I said at the start, thank goodness he’s home, I’m hoping my yarn buying habit will settle down for now, at least until the Bendigo Wool Show in July.

This is what has arrived so far…

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Some ‘Miss Click Clack,’ who is a talented and super-nice Melbourne-based dyer. I bought a jumpers worth of yarn in a delicious semi-solid, tonal grey. I thought I had picked out a cardigan to make with this yarn, but I’m now reconsidering my choice. This yarn is just so beautiful. The Pantone colour card came with the yarn, I love this.

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I also returned to the Stranded Dyeworks shop update to pick up some ‘anti-Valentine’ in her sparkle sock yarn, which I’d missed out on a fortnight ago… then whilst I was there I also got a new colour called Heliograph, because I’m already paying for the shipping!

I’m really happy with both these skeins.

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I’m gathering up quite a collection of Amy’s pinky colour ways, they are pretty similar, with subtle variations of hue. They could become a project altogether? Perhaps a fade jumper?

There’s a couple more packages to arrive in the post and I’ll fill you in on their details once they arrive.

p.s. I’m quite capable of buying yarn whilst Damian is around, he is my enabler after all.

Hello again

It’s a total cliché to revive this blog at the beginning of a year, to be fair I waited three weeks. If the truth be known, I do miss it. I’ve been spending my ‘social media time’ budget on Instagram, where I post as my knitting group Richmond Knitters. Don’t get me wrong, Instagram is a lot of fun and I love it, it’s just not a blog post.

2018 has begun cliché, cliché, cliché, how else do I begin a blog post when I’ve been on hiatus? and whilst I normally set some personal goals for the year ahead, I feel a bit perturbed that this year, I haven’t really. Apart from ‘knitting more’ or to be more accurate ‘knitting more metres than last year’ (because last year was a really low meterage year, I am aghast, just ask my knitting group), I haven’t set any other clear goals for myself. Maybe there are just a few little goals that I’m not prepared to admit.

Anyway I digress, it just feels good to be writing some words on a screen again. Sorry they don’t make any sense. This is a self-indulgent blog, didn’t you know?!

So let me talk knitting.

This is the only WIP I still have on the needles from last year (I’m pretty proud of that fact), it was cast on as my ‘Christmas eve cast-on’ no less. The pattern Vintage Fairy Lights socks is by Helen Stewart. The yarn is by Danni of Half-baked Handdyed, a Melbourne indy dyer who I’m fortunate to know in-real-life. I love this yarn, Danni does an amazing job of dyeing yarn, and these are becoming a fast favourite.

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Next up, I’ve finally gotten onto the band-wagon of beginning a crochet granny stripe blanket. I’m using the free pattern directions from Lucy’s Attic 24 website. I’m using all of the Vesper self-striping sock yarns I have on hand to crochet this. Reason being, I realised  that 100 percent merino socks don’t last on my feet, and I don’t like to waste my time knitting them if they’re not going to make the distance. On the upside, I have probably a blanket’s worth of it to make a gorgeous self-striping rainbow of a blanket. It’s a little planned out, rather than just using bits and pieces of minis and leftovers in a willy nilly fashion. So far I’m excited.

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The blanket will be about 150cm wide, I did a swatch and everything, like Lucy instructed. It is a good move.

The third and final knit/crochet project in progress is my Ursula cardigan by Kate Davies. I’ve been wanting to knit this ever since it was released, and I had purchased the yarn as a birthday gift (thank you Damian) oh, almost 3 years ago. When I finally cast-on a swatch at the beginning of January, I discovered one of the contrast colours was not going to work at all.

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So naturally I had to go and buy some alternative colour/s. Thankfully Sunspun still stocks the yarn, but I had to wait until they opened for the year. Oh knitting. I know there’s a lesson here, but I just can’t see it.

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The new year is also bringing in new yarn into my stash. Truly not intentionally, but how fun. It’s making me very happy.

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So let’s see how this goes.

 

Stash Dash Update

I’ve fallen down the rabbit hole of watching knitting podcasts on YouTube. That’s partially why you haven’t heard from me in a while. The other reason is… Stash Dash…

Stash Dash, the knitting marathon hosted each year by my favourite podcasters The KnitGirllls, is drawing to a close and I’m nowhere near my goal of knitting/spinning 10k of yarn. But that was to be expected!

I am currently at 2,679 metres or 2.7km, a far cry from the 10k I had dreamed of. Surprisingly, Laura from the Knitgirllls admitted in the most recent podcast, it was the first time she was not going to meet her goal (of 15k), and I won’t lie, that made me feel just that little bit better about myself. I’m not competitive, no!

The final project I have on the needles for Stash Dash is my Rockhopper Shawl by Anna Maltz. I hoping to knit like the wind to have it finished by the close of Stash Dash which is about 3pm Melbourne time on Monday. It should deliver about 1k to my total!

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Here’s a snapshot of the other projects I completed during Stash Dash, (not including the small amount of spinning I also counted).

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Oh well, there’s always next year.

The Best Bendigo Show Ever!

It has been a whirlwind few days and I’ve had the absolute best-est, fun-est time. I declare this years Bendigo Show the best ever! Of course… the show improves year upon year, but the nicest thing about Bendigo is getting together with friends who are passionate about the same things. And there’s not a lot of judgement… ok, maybe a little.

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The weekend began with a Fashion Show. It was a rather interesting one. This year they were celebrating May Gibbs’ anniversary, some hilarious clothing ensued.

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I attended the Women of Wool luncheon with 6 other Richmond Knitters. The speakers were very inspiring and had great heart-felt stories to tell. In its 7th year and only my second year of attendance, I think it’s an unmissable event of the show.

There was purchasing, the list was almost forgotten on the first day…

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I got back on track by the final day, to cross things off the shopping list (either the real or imagined list).

I bought something I never expected to…

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Beneath the wooden niddy noddy and darning mushroom (replacement because I can’t find my other one in my stash), is 2 metres of wool fabric!

Regular readers to the blog will know, I do not sew, I do not even own a sewing machine. In the yarn fumes of the Wool Craft shed, an spontaneous exchange between friends; may possibly mean that a pinafore dress will be sewn for me, in exchange I’ll be spinning a sweaters worth of yarn in trade. The details have not been ironed out, but certainly the excitement, the possibility and the amount of happiness (read:squealing) in the shed was an absolute highlight of the show. Even if it doesn’t happen (no pressure Chris), it was all worth it!

We sought out baby sheep, and we were not disappointed.

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The final night saw some of us having dinner at a fancy restaurant.

And this was the result of Deb telling a very funny story…

Tears of non-stop laughter, absolutely unforgettable.

Next year has a lot to live up to.

 

 

 

 

 

 

On my Bendigo shopping list

Nope it’s not a sheep! I wish…

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Now that I’ve made some room for incoming woolly purchases from the Sheep Show, my focus has turned to: What shall I buy?!

Because no one ‘needs’ to buy anymore yarn (especially me), I figure if at least I have some ideas about what I might need, rather than no idea at all, I perhaps will make some discerning choices.

So here’s what I’ll be stalking at the show:

Some glitz! I don’t have any glitz at all and I would like to try blending some into a batt on my new drum carder. Perhaps some other fancy fibres would be fun too.

Some 4 ply wool for Romi Hill’s ‘Happenstance’ Shawl.

A jumper’s worth of semi-solid wool for me. I’m not too fussed about the colour, I’ll know it when I see it. Perhaps I should have a pattern picked out before I go…

I would dearly love some attractive wooden sock blockers, but I don’t recall anyone stocking them from years past.

I don’t really need anything else. So the remainder of my shopping will be made up of things I simply could not leave behind, very dangerous I know. Wish me luck!

This was last years haul:

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Some of these things have been used already! Stop sniggering…

I wonder what I’ll come home with this year?