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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Eventually, I get the hint

My dear friend Deb… is a bit of a stirrer, so she totally deserves some recognition on my blog.

As knitting friends we’ve exchanged many fibre gifts over the years of our friendship. Nothing makes me happier than buying knitty gifts for friends, even better if they’re as nuts about knitting as you are.

If I ever give you the impression that I have too much yarn and it is the last thing I would want as a gift because I have so much… you’d be wrong!

Over time, Deb has chipped away at some of the yarny gifts I’ve given her. But it has suddenly dawned on her, I have never knit with any of the yarn she has given to me. And she’d be right… because I have too much yarn.

So about two or more months ago, what started as subtle prodding to blatant announcements at knit night (she really is a friend!) about the state of affairs, that I have never knit with any of her gifts… I finally got the hint.

I’ve cast-on these Broken Seed Stitch socks in the Skein yarn: Top Drawer sock yarn. The yarn along with the project bag was a birthday gift in 2016. The yarn is delicious, the pattern is delightful. Debs has also knit this pattern about the time the yarn was given to me, so the project has always been set in my mind. I look very much forward to finishing these socks, I hope it will get me out of trouble for now!

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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.

Delayed gratification

Last year I participated in Yarngasm’s Box o’ Sox KAL. Which means, I set myself the task to knit 12 pairs of socks within the 12 months. Whilst I didn’t make it, I did complete five pairs of socks.

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One of the provisos of the KAL is that the socks are unworn for the duration of the KAL. So whilst I felt a little defeated about falling short of my goal… pulling out a pristine pair of socks every few days in January has been pretty awesome. Before you ask, yes I wear hand-knit socks all year round, I have cold feet most of the time!

I have enjoyed this experience so much, that I’m considering continuing the tradition of knitting a stash of socks (it may not be 12 pairs), and holding back their release into my sock drawer until January next year.

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I still have the unknit skeins of yarn in my wooden box, and rather than returning them to the stash or rehashing a whole new set of 12 skeins to knit this year. I’m going to continue on with these beauties, because my feelings towards them have not changed. I’ve added just one new skein, it’s HalfBaked Handdyed’s yarn in the Richmond Knitter’s exclusive colour way called ‘Audrey’. It was dyed especially for us last year and I want to get it on the needles this year.

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There’s eight skeins of yarn in my box. I get the feeling a couple more will be added soon, more on that in another post.

On Monday night at knit night, we were discussing sock drawers and how to let go of socks that have had their day. I do struggle with this concept, especially as I’ve repaired so many of my socks. I think of the hours spent knitting them and the memories of the time they were made or the province of the yarn itself. I guess I was just being silly.

So I pulled out the socks that had been in the ‘to-be-repaired’ pile, and did a stocktake of my sock drawer. I decided I can do without these socks. Some of the pairs that needed to be repaired were on their 2nd repair, I’m seriously never making socks again without any nylon. The two pairs I pulled out of my sock drawer, one was the ill-fitting ‘Skew’ socks that I never wear. The other is a pair that sadly felted from the very beginning and should never have been made into socks. I know better now.

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So if you’re keeping score, that’s 5 pairs in and 6 pairs out. I’m hoping not to lose so many next year in the sock stocktake, but I feel better for the ones that have gone, They were holding back my sock drawer!

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.

 

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?

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.

 

 

 

Taking Stock – Stash Count

It’s only been 7 months since the last stash count, but a lot has happened since then and one major thing, Stitches WEST! Normally I like to do a stash count approximately once a year, kind of like a Spring Clean, but I know a couple of you are eager for an update; and I was kind of interested too.

In order for me to get my stash total, I downloaded my Stash Excel spreadsheet from Ravelry (such an awesome function for those who like to get down to nuts and bolts). But in order to get my total meterage I needed to pass the spreadsheet to my husband (who has excel) to add it up for me. His response, ‘you have a lot of yarn Sonia’. For those playing along at home, I recommend you don’t pass your spreadsheet to your significant other to do the math. Next time I’ll just email it to myself at work…

Just a reminder of all the glorious editions to my stash this year…

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DSC_6377That should soften the blow, taking my stash from the New Year total of

248,623 metres

to

drum

roll

296,937 metres

Not really a surprise to me…

AS I’M RUNNING OUT OF ROOM…

to put it all.

But I’m still happy, and I don’t feel overwhelmed. Happy deliciousness.

 

 

Bendigo 2015

Wow! Just when I thought I had experienced everything that was to be experienced at the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show, this year had a different flavour.

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I attended the Women of Wool luncheon with a couple of friends and we had an excellent time. Everything was great about it. The speakers, the food, the company, the other people seated at our table, the competition prize drawings (even though we didn’t win anything), it was a lot of fun.

Then we got down to the serious part of the show. Nicknamed ‘Spendigo’ for good reason… I exceeded my own expectations, surprising only me. If you really want to see it all, check out my recent stash acquisitions (fibre and yarn) on Ravelry.

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White Gum Wool played a large part in my purchasing. Nan Bray the owner of ‘White Gum Wool’ spoke at the luncheon, but I was a fan before that, after seeing this segment on Landline. The pink yarn above is White Gum Wool Boucle, specially hand-dyed by Kathy’s Fibres.

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I was given the task of buying some fibre to spin for my husband. So that I wouldn’t run short on his next ‘winter set’ (this time), I bought 500gms of Kathys Fibres merino dyed in ‘manly’ browns, blue and black.

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We also spent a fair amount of time with the sheep, searching out the babies, because, how cute?

Thank you to my partners in crime for making it such a great weekend. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.