Off the Sheep

As many of you know, I’ve been ‘Cold-sheeping’ since November after my trip to Tokyo. The plan was to not buy any yarn until the Bendigo Show which is less than 2 weeks away, weeeeeeee!

But then, a few weeks ago, with Bendigo being so close, and after having a rather rough time/day/morning… I decided the only thing that could possibly make me feel better was to buy yarn.

It was cathartic!

I bought this:

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and this:

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and then Dairing was having a sale, and I bought this and this:

Once the seal was broken, I could only ask myself, why not?

Look out Bendigo…

There has been a tidy-eo of the stash in preparation, and There. Ain’t. Much. Room. For. New Stash. I’ve managed to clear one basket for ‘special’ yarn/fibre. All storage areas are now bursting at the seams, and don’t ask me where anything is. But there’s an empty basket for loot from Bendigo!

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What’s on your Bendigo Sheep Show shopping list?

Pipe dream

I’ve just signed up for Stash Dash 2016. For the uninitiated, Stash Dash is hosted by The Knit Girllls podcast. This is it’s 5th year running. It’s a sort of knit-along of crazy pants proportions. As far as I can tell, there are no prizes of the monetary kind. It’s a challenge for yourself, to achieve the impossible.

The gist of it is, you sign yourself up to knitting/spinning/crafting a certain amount of kilometres for approx. 3 months. The goal posts are, you have a choice of: 3k, 5, 7, 10 or 15k.

The rules are pretty flexible in terms of being allowed to have several WIPs near completion before the start date, as many as you like ::cheating::cough::cheating::. So long as you knit a stitch or row, then cast-off after the challenge has begun you get to count all the meterage of that 1k shawl or jumper or what have you. There are many more guidelines that you can read about on the forum.

Experienced players, plan for this all year in order to achieve the highest possible yarn count. Me? I decided to do it last week on a whim after the event began.

So, I did a little bit of planning at that point. How many km/s did I think I could possible knit in 3 months? I only have a handful of WIPs, many only just started. I wrote these down and the estimated meterage of these FO’s. I then went through my well curated queue and I wrote a few of those things down, all the while calculating the completed metres. And then the dreaming began. I kept adding more and more to my list of possible FOs. And then when I got to 10k, I thought I’ll just add a couple of extras incase I overestimate the amount of finished metres to the FO’s.

I must say, I found this planning part super enjoyable. Whilst I’m only going for the 10k, I’m honestly aware I have no chance of meeting that goal… but it’s going to be fun trying! For one thing I have 13 new WIPs to cast on weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

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Me Made May Envy

I’m here to tell you, I once again have not participated in MMM. Every year since it’s inception I’ve been envious and this year is no different. But next year, definitely next year, I’m in. Can someone please remind me in April?

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At the end of April I went away with some crafty girls for a weekend in Hepburn Springs. I took several projects (as I always do) and I worked on all of them except 1 (the rooster tapestry pictured above).

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The weather was terribly gloomy that weekend, and we had one very large thunderstorm during Saturday night. It was ace! Rubbish weather makes for a great craft weekend, because no one feels guilty about staying inside.

I was multi-craftual (it is so a word), finally! I made a button from a kit I bought in Tokyo. The instructions were in Japanese, but mostly I could tell what to do by the charts and illustrations, the rest I used Google Translate for (which is amazing if you’ve never tried it).

I was inspired by everyone else’s projects. I should have brought my hexagon patchwork too, this one is Bek’s.

I finished my ‘Christmas Socks’ and began crocheting some coasters from another Tokyo souvenir from Avril yarn, this is a photo of the coasters since the weekend.

I feel like I’ve been a little multi-craftual now, and I enjoyed it. I still have much to do. I have many projects from my days as a stitcher to complete and some to start. I kept all the good stuff and I still love my choices, so it just goes to show stashing can work sometimes.

IMG_2476This little cherub was presented with her ‘Sweet Bunting’ cardigan yesterday. She is a very excitable bub, so it was hard to get a shot of her not moving and clapping! I’ll have to get some better photos when my photographer sees her next time.

Lastly my birthday present has (finally) arrived, stay tuned for the unboxing!

Birthday Month

April is always my favourite month of the year! Unfortunately this year for at least 2 weeks of it, I’ve had a terrible cold. I don’t do sick very well. I didn’t take any sick days, because I wasn’t sick enough, but I also didn’t get any better either.

Things are looking up today though, less snot, less coughing. Tomorrow could be a mucus free day!

Now whilst my birthday has come and gone, one very special birthday present is still on it’s way to me (my fault, I put my order in with DH late). I can’t wait to show you when it turns up!

I got many lovely gifts from family and friends (lucky me!), but I was particularly touched by this one:

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It’s a miniature ornamental spinning wheel that’s been in my family for as long as I can remember, before I even knew what a spinning wheel was. Perhaps one day I’ll have a full sized version of it in my stable of Spinning Wheels (there are 3 now!)

Other fun things this month: I won a yarn prize from The Knitgirllls podcast! It was quite surreal hearing my name being called out on the show. It was a lovely surprise, and the irony of winning yarn when I’m on a yarn diet is just hilarious, universe.

I’m afraid the fibre is beginning to become an issue too…

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Nuff said!

I’ve been niece knitting, I don’t have a proper FO photo yet. This is Sweet Bunting by Laura Chau:

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It’s a sweet little yoked cardigan, knit bottom-up (not my favourite). It has a string of bunting right around the yoke area. I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out.

And I’m planning another Tulips cardigan for Niece M:

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But everything has my attention.

  • I need to spin Damian’s winter set yarn, then knit actual winter set
  • Finish some languishing socks
  • Make some progress on a cardigan for me
  • Knit and finish the ‘Waiting for Winter’ Shawl… a Mother’s Day gift perhaps?

Send help!

March Madness

Once you fall out of the habit of blogging, it’s really hard to come back!

I didn’t finish my Stitch Block Cowl (Stitches West Anniversary Cowl) in March as planned. A couple of silly (but very easy to make) errors meant that progress was not made for days. It was cast off on April 3rd instead. I do love it, but this is what 6 weeks of knitting looks like…

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I’m going to make sure I wear it a lot this winter, for all the time it took I could have possibly knit a cardigan!

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It didn’t take a thousand metres either, in fact nearly half the yarn is still left. It is delicious yarn though so I won’t be de-stashing it anytime soon, I’m only sad I didn’t use more of it because of my Stash Reduction goals.

Whilst I love knitting for myself; I actually love knitting for my nephew and nieces even more. I hope to knit up a few things in the coming weeks, for these cuties in my life.

Here’s the Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits with Nephew W modelling it. My fear was confirmed when he tried it on. It was a little firm on the head, so I’ve knit him another in a larger size and this one will be for his sister.

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Upon knitting the second hat, I realised I decreased the top of the first hat too slowly, so it’s a bit of a pixie hat. The yarn I used (is Stash Yarn of course) Little Dipper Yarns in DK. I love this yarn and it’s superwash, perfect for kids knits and their parents.

 

 

 

February FO

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After a flurry of many finished objects in January, I fear February is going to be a much quieter affair. At the beginning of the month I cast on and finished knitting my second Kate Davies Kokkeluri mitten. It flew off the needles within a couple of days.

And then I cast on many other things…

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I have been dreaming about this project ever since Nicole from Stash & Burn made her Aislinn cardigan a number of years ago in the colour yellow. She no longer wears hers, but I still desperately want one. The yarn was a Christmas purchase from 14 months ago, so relatively ‘fresh’ stash. It is Cleckheaton Superfine Merino in the mustard colour way.

And then I joined a couple of Knit-alongs…

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The ‘it’ pattern of the moment is a shawl called Waiting for Rain by Sylvia Bo Bilvia (yes that’s really her name). It caught the imagination of a few of the Richmond Knitters, so some of us cast-on! I was really enjoying knitting this shawl, it’s clever and fun and heck it’s going to be a great shawl to wear. But then… the yarn failed me. This beautiful yarn did not have it’s dye fixed properly and was coming off on my hands REALLY, REALLY, BADLY. Both skeins have been caked up prior to starting, so there’s no turning back, just sulking and knitting and purple hands, which gives the appearance of burnt hands, boy have they been burned.

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The second knit-along I began, involves Deb and just myself; last weekend was our one year anniversary of attending Stitches West in California together. To celebrate, reminisce, feel sad about not being there this year… we decided to cast-on the same project in the same yarn together (we did shop together you know, and there were several double-ups).

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We’re both knitting the Stitch Block Cowl by Purl Soho. These are my colours inspired by being in the same state as Stephen West!

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Gosh we had fun!

My cold sheep February update:
• No yarn purchased (woo hoo)
• My Kokkeluri mitts used 175 metres (baby steps), so I’m 175 metres down!

March is looking more promising for stashing down with so many WIPs on the needles, it does sound great in theory.

 

 

 

2015 Knitting review

Happy New Year all!

Each year I like to do a wrap-up of all the things I’ve knit to see how I’ve fared over the year.

I’ve knit 22 things in 2015! That’s 3 projects up from last year!

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I didn’t knit as much for little ones this year, niece M is now 3 and takes a lot longer to knit for!

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22 projects, that’s almost like finishing something every other week, but not.

There were:

  • 7 pairs of socks (including the Baffies)
  • 1 Chook Vest
  • A group blanket project
  • A huge crochet blanket
  • A baby blanket
  • only 3 Kids/baby sweaters
  • 3 scarves/cowls
  • 3 tops for me (2 of which were use it or lose it)
  • Christmas ornaments
  • 1 Winter set for Damian

Of these 22 things, 8 projects were for other people.

I’ve carried over 6 WIPs into the new year, but there was no way the Noro blanket was coming for the ride. I finished sewing in the ends on the last day of the year.

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2016 is going to be a ‘Cold Sheep’ year. There will be no yarn purchasing except maybe for the Sheep and Wool Show in July. And … only if I travel overseas to a yarn haven. But there might be some de-stashing to accommodate that…

In 2015 I was lucky enough to visit Stitches West in California in February and then Tokyo in November. It’s been a fun year! There was ‘a bit’ of yarn tourism involved in visiting those places, and I hope to relive those fun memories as I knit with my souvenir yarn.

My stash count as of today is:

277,180 metres

It is a little less than the last count, but I suspect the last count was inaccurate (the wrong column was added together).

Here’s to 2016 the year of knitting more and stashing down!

Dragonflies

I’m chilling out (read:recovering) this Boxing Day after a full-on but lovely day with our 2 families yesterday. I’m knitting Dragonflies, a jumper by Joji Locateli. I cast on a little while ago, but I’ve finally gotten ‘into it’ and I’m enjoying knitting it so very much. The yarn/project is my last ‘Use It Or Lose It’ project on my Ravelry projects page.

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It’s been interesting, the UIOLI project. At this stage I don’t have any desire to classify any more yarn as ‘UIOLI’, because the project has shown to me that every yarn can find a purpose, even less loved yarn (mostly, there were a couple of casualties). For now, I want to knit with what I love at the top of my pile. I might revisit this idea again some time.

The yarn is Shiloh Wool with Silk, hand-dyed by me a long time ago. It took a while to find the perfect pattern for this yarn, I’m glad I persevered because I have to say I’m loving knitting Joji’s Dragonflies pattern. The lace is fun and easy.

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Coincidently, I’m listening to Outlander book 2 Dragonflies in Amber. That was not intentional!

Leslie, from the Knitgirllls my favourite video cast show is also listening to it right now, but she is ahead of me. So whilst Leslie does her book review once a week, I have to mute the sound whilst she is talking about it! Her arms wave around, and I can kind of understand why, after about 10 minutes the hand actions settle down and I can begin listening to the video cast again. I hope to go back to these tid-bits  later on after I’ve completed my 38 hours of listening…

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Sunshine and stash less

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Yellow is a ‘new to me’ colour in knitting. I’ve gradually been building up to knitting with yellow and casting on some on Cookie sock club socks was just the introduction I needed. Looking at them makes me feel happy.

I wanted to talk to you about something else today, something else that has recently plagued me. It kind of snowballed after I got home from Tokyo and I needed to pack away my new stash… literally a snowball that has just gotten bigger and bigger…

Felicia Semple of the Craft Sessions has explored this recently. The theory of ‘Stash less’. Not to be ‘stash less’ (like who would want that?!), but ‘to stash less’. That’s how I’m reading it anyway. She is quite an inspiration in what she has done in a short amount of time. Anyway, you should go read her blog.

I started thinking about this more recently after arriving home from Tokyo, and knowing I hadn’t gone overboard on the purchasing… and yet I was still struggling to squeeze my new yarn in to my yarn case.

Stash less; I couldn’t Stash more if I tried!!!

It’s beginning to feel a bit burdensome to be utterly honest. Don’t worry, in a couple of jumpers and socks time I’ll feel much better…

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So there you have it, I really mean it this time. No more yarn purchasing until the Bendigo (Sheep and Wool show)… then I’ll take stock. I say until Bendigo, because a. I’m going! and b. it’s just cruel to suggest I go to a fibre event and do not allow myself to buy anything, it doesn’t mean I have to, but I can.

The six month challenge is on.

p.s. can you all please continue to buy yarn and add an extra skein in there for me with your next yarn purchase, someone has to keep our LYS’ going.