Posts Tagged yarn

Festival Prep

It’s that time again.  We’re kicking off this year’s festival season (aka – most of the year) with the spectacular Maryland Sheep and Wool.  After M’s fantastic experience at Rhinebeck in October, we are bringing both of my parents to MDSW to ensure that she has all the fun she wants while I still have the time to hit up all of my favorites.  So, what’s the game plan?  Simple: stick to my goals for the year.  No yarn, just fiber.  Oh, and no going crazy and blaming it on the wool fumes.

So easily said.  But let’s face it, with a vendor list full of some of my favorite Indie dyers and local or local-ish farms, it can be incredibly difficult to not get overwhelmed by all the pretty and not feel like I need to buy something from all of them.  This year, however, I will stick to the game plan.  I will be reserved.  I will enjoy all of the beautiful things and not feel the obligation to literally bring them all home with me.  I will hold to the rule of taking a full lap through before buying anything.  Since I will not always have to walk at M’s pace of running and stopping every five seconds and getting side-tracked, I will be able to do said lap much more quickly so that I can then wander peacefully to pick up whatever I could not forget about on my second lap.  I will then relax and take in the rest.  There will be some serious face time with some sheep.  M and I will likely do a follow-up from Rhinebeck and stare at them for at least an hour.

I may sound incredibly crazy and foolish making all of these bold statements and promises to myself.  But I want this to not feel like some crazy, overwhelming race to spend all of my money, to then come home thoroughly exhausted and feel like I didn’t get to truly enjoy anything.  I don’t want to impulse buy and then find that I have no where left to store anything because my yarn and fiber no longer fits in it’s designated place.  No.  I want to come home knowing that I do still have some willpower while being able to get out there and enjoy myself.

The only thing that may make me slip-up: M bringing me a skein of yarn and saying in her sweetest, yarn-loving way: “Mommy, would you knit me something out of this?” or the new favorite “Will you save this yarn for me so I can use it when I’m a grown-up and learn to knit?”.  Gets me every time.

I look forward to sharing my hopeful success next week.  Even if I don’t hold as strong as I’d like to all of the above, I am certain I’ll come home feeling like it was a win.  If you plan on attending fiber festivals this year, what’s your game plan? Also, if you’ll be at MDSW on Sunday, I will be certain to wear my Ravelry button – come say hi!

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Flashing the Stash

With the beginning of a new year, I decided to truly let it all out.  The fiber, the yarn, the UFOs. Everything.  Just in case my not-so-fibery friends happen across this post and start to worry that I’ve added unidentified flying objects to my hobbies, UFO= unfinished objects… but they can be just as scary.

So let’s get that frightening picture out of the way:

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2 shawls, 2 sweaters, 1 tee, 1 baby sweater, 1 color work mitten, 1 hat

The oldest project in the bunch is the color work mittens that I started last March.  So it could be worse, but I’d like to not take an entire year to knit a pair of mittens. The good news is the have been started much more recently and consistently worked on.

Next up, my remaining handspun from 2012.  Though there isn’t too much of it, I would like to knit up my handspun yarn a bit sooner.  I’m always to excited once it’s off the wheel or spindle, but then find that it sits there waiting for me to find the right project.  Some of these already have patterns ready and printed, but for some reason I can’t commit to starting the project.  So I’m holding myself accountable for what’s left of last year’s handspun and I hope to knit it all up by the end of this year.  That being said, I hope to spin much more this year, so I probably won’t be able to keep up going forward.

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Now, for the real deal.  The rest of the stash.  Keep in mind, this is pictured on a queen-sized bed… just to give some perspective.

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To give some further perspective:

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And for even more clarification, this spans the entire length, covers more than half the bed and is three skeins high through most of the pile, with most of the fiber hidden in the back.

So where from here? I’m not declaring a “yarn diet”.. I’m not so good at the dieting.  I am going to try not to purchase any yarn or fiber outside of that purchased at Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival in May, the SSK retreat I’ll be attending in July and Rhinebeck (NY Sheep & Wool Festival) in October.  These major events will have all the yarn and fiber I could possibly want with all the vendors I adore.  I plan to save up for these events so that I can buy only the things I will truly love and I don’t already have in my stash.

I also have planned out 13 projects for the year using my oldest yarn to correspond with Stash & Burn’s Use It or Lose It knitalong.  The hat on the needles now is project number one.

As long as I know I use the additions to my stash, I won’t feel so guilty having it.  Also, it maybe cannot grow… when I put it all away (some was still out and not properly put away from last year) it barely fit in the six bins I have in my ENORMOUS bookcase. I don’t have anymore bins……

 

 

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30 Days ‘Til Christmas

Projects in Progress: 6

Projects Complete: 5

Total Presents to Complete: 30

That’s right, people, we have one month. The lights may be hung, the tree trimmed, but what good is all of the holiday pretty if there are no packages under the tree? In all honesty, I am not completely present driven, as I truly believe in all that Christmas is about.  However, I adore gift giving.  Even when it’s not Christmas, I love the hunt for the perfect gift, whether store bought or handmade.

With M, I am trying to instill that same feeling toward the Christmas season.  We don’t focus so much on what she wants for Christmas, she’s three, she wants everything. Instead, I’ve been having her sit with me while browsing through Ravelry and pattern books, carefully selecting each project for it’s recipient. So far this seems to be working and it’s nice to get someone else’s input regarding what kind of presents the people in our lives would like.  When she doesn’t quite choose the most practical patterns, we switch over to choosing yarn for the projects.

In terms of progress, I have made some with a new wrap I started with some of the Black Friday yarn and did place the sleeves on waste yarn to continue with just the body of my father’s sweater.  I am hoping to have the wrap done by Wednesday and at least 5 more inches of the sweater’s body done by the end of the week.  That being said, I don’t want M to start to resent Christmas for taking up too much of my time.  Most of my knitting time is still being reserved for Sundays and at night after she’s in bed.

I hope everyone survived any Black Friday shopping and made it out for Small Business Saturday.  But if you are still scrambling, Cyber Monday is still to come… Let me know how you are enjoying the official start of the holiday season!

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32 Days ’til Christmas

Black Friday, the knitter’s way:

 

4 am wake up. 5 am in line. 6 am Fibre Space opens. 6:40am inside with 30% discount. 7:15 am 32 skeins of yarn richer and a complete success.

9 skeins of DK, 6 skeins of worsted, 4 skeins of bulky, 9 skeins of super bulky and a set of size 7 DPNs.

Enough said.

Did your Black Friday go as well?

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Progress Report

After finishing the epic Thin Ice shawl, I have pretty closely adhered to my casting on goals.  In order to keep my sanity regarding my stash, I have been pairing yarn with projects and actually starting each project.  This, of course, results in a lot in progress and not a lot completed.  Thus far, however, I have finished two preemie hats and a rather oversized cowl.

Basic Knit/Purl textured striping. Picture taken before blocking.

Glücksburg Cowl by Silke K. knit in Blue Sky Alpaca Techno in the Metro Silver colorway.

Presently, I do have quite a few projects still on the needles, some matched with their yarn, and other patterns printed out awaiting a final decision.  As for on the needles, I have a pair of mittens, a textured hat, and another shawl.  The mittens were part of my KAL obsession, but I fell way behind with the colorwork and I haven’t made it past the first mitten’s cuff.  I love the way they are knitting up… and I’m sure I will finish them by the time we actually have a winter.

Mittens For Me! by Laura Linneman. Knit in Knit Picks Stroll in the Blue Topaz and Fedora colorways.

The hat had moved to time-out for a bit when I realized that working up a hat using six double point needles just wasn’t reasonable.  It did give me a good excuse to head over to my LYS during my lunch break to pick up some new Addi Turbo Lace needles long enough to Magic-Loop the rest of the hat.  I’ve started the decreases and I should finish by tomorrow.  The textured pattern does show a bit more in person, but it’s a gift for a friend’s son who adores orange and I actually really like the pooling that the pattern is creating.

Vegamot by Guro Djupvik. Knit in Neighborhood Fiber Co. Studio Sport in the Eastern Market colorway.

Finally, I have started the Shaelyn as a quick and simple lace-charted shawl.  The pattern is simple and it has been my go-to easy knitting.  I haven’t had as much time to focus on it, since I have been trying to get the gift knitting completed, but I foresee this shawl coming off the needles next week.  I love the Sweet Georgia yarn I’m knitting it in and I actually dream about getting some serious knitting time with this shawl.  Literally, dream about it.

Shaelyn by Leila Raabe. Knit in Sweet Georgia Yarns Superwash Sport in the Tourmaline colorway.

As for future projects, I have two sweaters, three shawls and loads of baby shower gifts lined up.  Time to start my gauge swatches! 😉

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