Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Knit from your Stash in 2007

Ok, maybe I haven't done this for the entire time this year, but this has been my mantra since the beginning of summer.

Knit from your stash, knit from your stash, don't buy more yarn....knit from your stash.

I realized I just had WAY too much yarn around here - though by the looks of things in blogland, it's not half bad - and I needed to do something about it. The main goal, you ask? To give myself license to buy more (and better) yarn by the firearms opener of deer hunting season in Minnesota (early November).

Little did I know, someone out there had officially started this effort on January 1. Knit from Your Stash 2007 is promoted by Wendy Johnson, aka Wendy Knits, author of Wendy Knits: My Never-Ending Adventures in Yarn and the Wendy Knits blog. I believe her goal is to stash bust like the wind until the fall Stitches show - so she can buy more yarn. I'd put the cute littie icon on my blog, but I don't know how! I really need to learn a bit more about the tech aspect of this blogging thing. Perhaps there is only so much you can do with a free blog, but I aim to exploit it all!

Now will someone please read it?

Ok, enough pity. On to the FO's that have resulted from my stash crashing, in no particular order:

  1. Dashing Fingerless Mitts - coral-y Kool Aid dyed Lion Wool
  2. Potluck Wool Mittenettes - Lion Wool Ocean Blues
  3. Potluck Wool Mittenettes - green/yellow/teal Kool Aid dyed Lion Wool
  4. Double Knit Checkerboard from Weekend Knitting - 3 colors of Lion Wool: green/yellow/teal Kool Aid dyed, yellow, and hot pink
  5. 3 crocheted bunnies from the Spring '07 KnitSimple in TLC Cotton Plus, dresses in Lion Brand Cotton Ease
  6. 1 more crocheted bunny (larger) in Lily Sugar 'n Cream
  7. Ethnic-inspired garter-lace stripe poncho from Vogue Knitting On The Go Ponchos
  8. Clapotis in Patons SWS
  9. 4 Fluffy Lap Blankets from Weekend Knitting
  10. Bordered Rectangle Rug from Easy Rugs to Crochet
  11. Round Rag Look Rug from Easy Rugs to Crochet
  12. Casual Chic from Trendsetting Totes
  13. In Vogue from Trendsetting Totes
  14. Bands of Beads from Trendsetting Totes
  15. Orange/yellow/pink/green crochet tote purse for my daughter's friend (modified slightly, picture soon)
  16. Back scrubber and several washcloths from the Thick N' Thirsty Bath Set on the Elmore-Pisgah website (most excellent patterns!)
  17. Bath mat from One Skein
  18. I think there might be more???

You know, it's actually kind of inspiring to look at it this way. I've reduced my stash considerably, made some things that I like and use, given away a few things that have reportedly been much loved - not bad, huh?

Well...except for the fact that the quilted wall hanging I started for my sister in law as a housewarming gift in June isn't done yet, the afghan for my brother is taunting me, and Breezy Cables is threatening to rise up against me if I don't do something quick.

Someone get ready to toss me a water wing because this viking is going down!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

I'm already feeling better!

I just read the Yarn Harlot's latest post. So reaffirming that yes, I am normal - though I knit and have a house full of projects and yarn. I feel so akin to the Harlot. If I put away a project, I immediately think that I have far to few projects going to keep me happy, search the stash, and start something else.

My only hope is that I have a lot of yarn that is in single skeins (after my Kool Aid Dyeing extravaganza of spring). These will lend themselves nicely to fingerless mitts and hats - the two things I can do with wool and still be comfortable with them.

I am better. I will finish my other Potluck Mitt, wear them in spite of it being late August, and feel like I accomplished something today.

On to the dishes...

Ahh, the Disarray of my Life

When it started, the feeling was confined to my knitting life. It began when I was listening to Episode 9 of the Knit Picks Podcast (or maybe it was 10?). Anyways, it was about being in and getting out of a knitting rut. I may be in the polar opposite of a knitting rut.

We have a big sectional sofa with a chaise on one end. That's my spot - my knitting spot. There is a pillow for behind my back and my Clapotis for my shoulders should I need it. (At this point I have disconnected my laptop so I can sit in my spot and tell you about my environment.)

On the foot end of my chaise is a ball of Caron One Pound in Azure for the Boy's Cable Sweater from KnitSimple Fall 2006 (1/2 the back is finished). There is a ball of TLC Essentials in Robin Egg for Breezy Cables from Interweave Knits Spring 2006 (working on sleeve #1). There is some Lily Sugar 'n Cream in Emerald for the Boy's Rib Pullover from Knit It! Spring 2007 (the back is almost done). To round out the book/magazine pile is Last Minute Knitted Gifts (LMKG), Crochet Today Sept/Oct '07, Everyday Food Sept. 2007, and of course, the latest Knit Picks Catalog. I also have the Leggings from Weekend Knitting dangling off two circular needles. I'm using Patons Decor and it's my first foray into knitting anything two at a time on two circular needles. They look like two sock legs so perhaps I'll have the courage to try socks this way next time (since I've never actually completed a second sock).

But I digress...I'm not done with my environment.

To my left is a pile of half finished Ombre Alpaca Blanket from LMKG. This was supposed to be completed this past May as a housewarming gift for my brother. But then the weather turned horridly warm here and even in it's non-alpaca acrylic-ness, it's been too hot to work on. Yet here it sits. Oh yes, also in the magazine pile is the 25th anniversary issue of Vogue Knitting...Yum!

Then there's the end table next to me. On this is the back to the Lacy Swing Top in Crochet Today, two balls of Knit Picks Shine Sport, a box of stitch markers, my crochet hook case, cable needles, scissors, my shoebox of circular needles, some Kool-Aid dyed green wool and only about 24 inches of the One Cable Scarf from One Skein, my 2/3 completed Pashmina Cowl in an unidentified chenille, the back and front (and extra yarn - Sensations Angel Hair) to the Subway Cable Sweater from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics, one finished fingerless mitt (which I am now wearing while I type), a jar of straight needles, two empty pop cans...and a family photo.

Isn't that something? I truly hope someone can identify with me on this. If I look up, I see a relatively nice looking family room for a family with 3 kids, but then there is this ghastly pile of clean clothing waiting to be folded. It's taunting me. I'm a little afraid.

So I walk back to my desk. I have to dodge my antique dresser which is waiting to be lugged downstairs. There are dishes everywhere. Don't ask me how this happened because I honestly have no clue, but they are taunting me nearly as badly as the clothes. Ahh back at my desk...want to see?

I'll give you a minute because there's a lot to take in here. We'll start at the right. Note the Swiffer Duster. I cleaned this room yesterday (our formal living room). It looks great except for my desk. There is a deck of cards an a Uno game. Just past that is a ball of Lion Wool in Ocean Blues and a partial second fingerless mitt (Potluck Wool Mittenettes). Next is my mouse and a few perfectly normal office type stuff. Under my arms I have the Potluck Mitt pattern, the Crafter's Choice catalog, Pillsbury Classic Cookbooks Casseroles and Slow Cooker from Sept. '07, and waaaaay underneath that, my current work stuff. There are two more old cans of pop by my printer, some photos to be scanned, and my iPod speaker dock, on which I'm currently listening to the first episode of the Cast On podcast.

I meant to go into how I'm going to organize my knitting life, but ended up on this tangent of telling you about my knitting environment. I'm SO hoping that some other hopelessly addicted knitter/crocheter also has this problem of projects/books/stash invading your life. I'd love to hear how you handle it. Please?

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Summertime Knitting - A Summary

Summer knitting has been an interesting adventure for me. It's certainly not the first summer that I've spent knitting, but it's been a bit more productive - or at least had the potential to be more productive - than ever before.

After contemplating my yarn stash and my numerous UFO's earlier this year, I decided that I'd better start focusing on finishing what I've started. Has it worked? Well, now let's just see...
  • There's the Breezy Cables cardigan that is finished except for a front side and 1 3/4 sleeves...
  • The Coriolis socks that are finished except for the second sock and for the fact that I can't get my foot inside the first one because I bound off too tightly... (I actually have two other pairs of socks that are still awaiting the second sock.)
  • A hooded pullover that is finished except for the front, sleeves and hood...
  • My son's pullover needs a front and two sleeves, my other son's pullover needs 1/2 a back, front and sleeves, my legwarmers are 5 inches high, my cowl is only 7 inches high, and my Subway Cable pullover needs 1/2 a front and two sleeves. Oh yeah, and I started a crocheted swingy tank that so far only has mostly a back.
  • My brother's afghan (which was supposed to be a housewarming gift in May) is still only half done.
Thank goodness my daugther doesn't want anything!

Ok, so my strategy hasn't really worked. I've been busy, come on! One reason is Abby, a little 4 year old friend who has Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (you can read more about it at her Caring Bridge website). She also has two little sisters and I thought it would be a fun to make something for each of them. I know they get a lot of gifts, but I have a feeling that the two littler girls probably get left out a lot, so I made them the crocheted bunnies from Knit Simple this past summer. I used Cotton Ease for the dresses and Cotton Plus for the bodies. What a nice yarn! It was the first time I'd used either yarn and I really liked both of them. Aren't they cute?

Now the purple one is the only one that was actually done according to the instructions. I don't know how, but with the first two I missed the instructions that told exactly where to attach the arms and legs and that they should be closed at the top before being attached. I also misinterpreted the directions to sew the ears in a way that they "cup" slightly toward the front. The Mr. calls the turquoise one "Stitch" for the not so subtle resemblance to the Disney character. The yellow one is better, and the purple one is perfect. Hopefully all the girls will be happy!

Then my daughter wanted a bunny to take with when she went away for a week to school crossing guard training camp. It was to be her first time away from home for that long so who was I to say no? I made hers with Sugar n' Cream in Hot Blue and a larger hook so that it turned out slightly larger. Her's has a ruffly lime green dress. A picture will come later...

I found 4 skeins of dark brown Wool Ease Chunky. I don't remember what the intended project was for this yarn, but I ended up making the Hip and Hooded Poncho from the Yarn Girls' Guide to Beyond the Basics. 4 skeins made the smallest size perfectly, though I could have used the medium. It fits me nicely as long as I don't put the hood up. Maybe the Girl will wear it?

I completed another poncho from Vogue Knitting On the Go! Ponchos. I'd started it a long time ago - probably almost 2 years ago - and finally got it done. It's the garter-lace striped poncho and I really like it. It's a little big but what I really like, besides my color choices, is that the lace allows for some air to circulate. Even though it's just Red Heart Super Saver, it is comfortable and pretty.
Let's see, what else? Oh immense stash of 100% cotton, that's what! I had several partial cones and some balls of Peaches n' Cream, plus some more balls of Sugar n' Cream and some more Lion Cotton. I'd bought a leaflet full of crochet bags, which I love, and I made 3 or 4 of them, can't remember. Then I bought a leaflet of crocheted rugs. Score! I made this one for my bathroom and I made the bathmat from One Skein. Both rugs are excellent and working out very well in each bathroom.

So, I have gotten quite a bit done, but there's always more to do. I need to settle down, pick something, and go and go until it's done...preferably the afghan for my brother. :)
Happy knitting!