Posts Tagged ‘stash enhancement’


My Forest Floor Legwarmers are finished!  And the stranded colourwork turned out pretty well, if not as perfect as I hope to get by the end of 2013 (The Year Of Stranded Colourwork, as I have decreed it!).  In the end, I had plenty of yarn for full-length, slouchy legwarmers.  In fact, despite having carefully weighed and weighed again, after working the 19 stripes on each leg that I’d calculated I had yarn for, I was left with so much yarn that I carried on to 23 stripes, unpicking the ribbing at the bottom of the first legwarmer to add more length.  Why 23?  I don’t know, I was at knit night and it just felt right.  And apparently I estimated well – I have several yards of light brown left, but only about 8 inches of the dark brown.  Perfect!  There’s two skeins out of my stash and onto my (now warmer, cozier) legs!

I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now.  I set myself a goal in January to have three skeins of yarn out for every two I bring in (including handspun).  So far the proportions have been pretty even, but just yesterday I was able to destash 14 full and part-skeins of yarn – mostly cotton that I was given as gifts, and it’s nice enough but I far prefer wool – as well as finishing the legwarmers and a pair of seed-stitch bathroom-cleaning rags for 3 more skeins knit out.  This puts me so far ahead in the stashing down that I feel like I should celebrate.  By going to the yarn store.  But I won’t, because…well, I made no such resolution about my fibre stash.

In fact, dear readers, I wanted to talk to you about that.  I signed up for a couple of clubs – Dyet Yarns’ Fairy and Folklore club, running January-March, and Fat Cat Knits’ Fairytale club, running March-June.  Yeah, I’m a sucker for folklore.  And I’m going to blog my club fibres, but on the off-chance that someone reading this hasn’t got theirs yet, they’ll be under the jump.


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OMG DEARLI IS DONE.  Now that it’s November, I’ve finally finished my summer sweater, aw yeah!


It took over a week to block that ruffle.  Now I never want to wash the thing for fear of having to block it again (I am pretty sure I could get it down to about 5 days now that I understand it’s imperative to block a section upon waking and before bed, not just once per day).  But I’m sure it will happen because, as I suspected, I LOVE THIS CARDIGAN.


I went for a modern/urban and yet Mori-girl inspired look today.  I’d really love to super-Mori-style this with a big fluffy hat, a pair of loose leggings over the tights, and maybe a long scarf…but these were the pieces I actually own.  Seriously thinking about knitting a hat, though.  Like, now.


All my hard work shaping and re-shaping the body paid off.  The shoulders aren’t quite perfect (although some of that awkward pooch is from blocking and should fade after a couple wearings), but can I just say how much I dig the turned cuffs?  I love how smooth and simple they are, providing a super-subtle contrast to the excitement of the ruffle.  They’re also really comfy!


And check out the cute purse I got for $2!  It’s pretty small (I usually go for big sack purses), but so cute, and just right for this outfit.  Only problem is, I can barely stuff my next knitting project inside it and still have room for wallet & phone!  What’s the next project?  Oh, you know, just yet another sweater…!


When it grows up, it’s going to be a sweater I heard about from the gals over at the Just One More Row Podcast: Wanda Nell, a cardigan with such small yardage it can be knit from about 300g of fingering weight yarn – perfect for 2-3 skeins of indie-dyed sock yarn you might have impulse bought without thinking what you would use them for!  I actually bought this yarn specifically for the cardi when I was at Knit City; it’s Sweet Georgia Tough Love, and I am totally loving the subtle tonal variation, as well as the incredibly funky mix of grey and pink.  Hey, maybe I can do this colour pairing thing after all!  Since it’s a top-down seamless raglan, it feels like it’s clipping along quite nicely right now, though it will slow down by the time I get to the main body.

I’ve also been getting to know Tamar (my wheel), spinning away at the alpaca I picked up at Fibrations.  Here’s about 2.5 oz of mixed natural-coloured alpaca, spun up “que sera sera” style to approximately fingering weight 2-ply. It really turned out quite even considering how little I was trying to spin it accurately – I am starting to get the hang of this wheel thing!  I have one more “practice” bump of fibre to spin, and then I think I will be ready to spin something I really care about (I totally agree that life is to short to spin crummy fibre just because you’re learning, but I also believe there’s value in learning on middle-of-the-road stuff and saving your totally dreamy indie-dyer batts from heaven until you have a modicum of skill)!


It’s soft and floofy as alpaca ought to be, but it does have a little vegetable matter still stuck in, despite my best efforts to remove it.  I am thinking it will either be a hat (see above post re: Mori girl style) or perhaps a möbius cowl.  I only have a little under 300 yards, though, so although I was dreaming of being able to do both, I think I’ll have to choose just one.  Time to start pattern diving!  Any favourite hat patterns out there, especially for gals with bangs they don’t like to compress?

P.S. I totally found the white balance setting on my camera!  I feel like a total doofus that it took me almost 2 years, but holy crow did that make a difference in how accurately I was able to photograph colours!  Live and learn, eh?  Maybe now I’ll be able to take indoor photos and have them look decent too, who even knows?!?

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Now Gollum was in a much worse state than when Bilbo had asked him the egg-question.  He hissed and spluttered and rocked himself backwards and forwards, and slapped his feet on the floor, and wriggled and squirmed; but still he did not dare to waste his last guess.

“Come on!” said Bilbo.  “I am waiting!”  He tried to sound bold and cheerful, but he did not feel at all sure how the game was going to end, whether Gollum guessed right or not.

“Time’s up!” he said.

“String, or nothing!” shrieked Gollum, which was not quite fair – working in two guesses at once.

This whole spinning thing is getting to be a bit of a problem for me.  Because I’ve been neglecting my knitting.  Shocking, but true – I’ve had to strictly schedule myself to make sure I’m progressing on the wedding socks I promised my sister & her lovely husband (who have now been married for almost 6 weeks, whoops!).  I’m around halfway through Cool Stockings, Bro for J, knitting them 2-at-a-time on DPNs.  I am in love with the idea of 2aat socks, and every time I sit down to do it, I think of all the double-knit projects I’ve completed since my last attempt, and think how totally up for the challenge I am…and every time things go wrong and I end up spending some 30-50% more time than if I just knit each sock separately.  This time, it took me several tries to figure out how to manage my yarn for the single-round stripes – I’m crossing yarns every round, and apparently the first time through I crossed some of the wrong yarns…!  But I think I’ve got it now, and as you can see if you find that one row of green, I’m past the provisional…area…that will become the heel and into the ankle/home stretch!


So much for my knitting, on to my handspun under the jump!


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Ohh, it’s been quite a week in my mailbox!

First, I received a wonderful thank-you from Kathleen Rogers, the designer of the Ms. Prynne Cowl, for participating in a knit-along earlier this year.  Check it, I’m an A-Team knitter!


(Stitch marker by the fantastic Knit Girl In Idaho, what a cool service!)

Mr. Salamander says this means I have to watch the recent A-Team movie.  I say, only if I can spin while I watch it.  Because…well, if you want to know, you’ll have to look under the jump.


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I got a new spindle! It’s 1/3 oz, ideal for spinning very fine singles, and it’s so pretty I haven’t wanted to put it down since I got it!


The shaft is made from a chopstick, so it’s a tad short, but it’s so pretty and sparkly!  And it spins quite a long time even in my beginner hands.


It came with a half ounce of fibre to test it out with as well, so I’m spinning purple Romney and white Jacob wool.  I think I’ll use this single to learn how to chain ply.  Of course, the wool attracted some attention from another member of the household…


I don’t know how much time I will have to play with my lovely new toy, though, as I’m working like crazy on the Ur-Bun pattern, testing out the final size and tweaking the pattern formatting, etc.  I was really relieved to find out that my math was perfect and the body of the coat fits a large size doll just right – it’s my first time “grading” a pattern that’s more complicated than a simple rectangle.  I hope to have the pattern released around the end of the month, but it will be down to the wire indeed, as this is where the final sample stood as of yesterday afternoon:


Just a few more inches to go, right?  Right, almost there!

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Once upon a time, there was a girl who bought some stitch markers for someone she loved.  The stitch markers were magnetized hematite spheres in a set of seven, the seventh one bearing a key.  The set made the girl think of Bluebeard’s castle, and the last key to the last door that must never be unlocked.  And like Bluebeard’s wife, she could not stop thinking about that key until she possessed it and all its secrets.  So one day she went back to the fabled land of Etsy, and visited once again the shining castle known as Exchanging Fire, and brought back not only the key that she had so long thought about, but other fairytale treasures!




In true fairytale fashion, the girl continued working on her spinning, although she could not yet turn straw to gold.


And seven tiny hats appeared on a shelf, waiting for seven mysterious heads to fill them.


And everyone knit happily ever after!

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