14 months

Tuesday, March 6, 2018
I've been starting to plan (yes it's March, to be fair I started in January!) my project list for this year, but before I shared that I wanted to look back on how things went last year. 14 months ago I wrote my 2017 Project List. So no one needs to go hunting around for it, it looked a little like this:

  1. Black bag
  2. Green beanie
  3. Blanket for brother (In the midnight garden)
  4. A big grey cowl (own design)
  5. A red cowl for a friend
  6. Sofa throw for mum
  7. Blanket based on our landscape around here, using Attic 24 Moorlands pattern
  8. Flax jumpers for boys
  9. Sofa throw - Helen
  10. Sofa throw - Amanda

Other wish list items:

  • Oversized wrap cardigan for me
  • Garlands and paper chains
  • Xmas baubles
  • Cushions
  • Pouf
  • Baskets
  • Rugs
  • A SFMGS cowl
  • Neon and black mini granny blanket
  • Hexie blanket

While I veered wildly away from my list at times I've surprised myself by completing quite a few things since writing that list. Note I say 'since writing the list', not 'in 2017'. Yes I'm totally cheating, so there. Here is what I finished:

  1. Charity granny squares
  2. Green bag
  3. Green beanie
  4. Big grey cowl
  5. Easy grey cowl
  6. Neutral bunting
  7. Rainbow paperchain
  8. Blue loopy mesh cowl
  9. White loopy mesh cowl
  10. Two tone cushion front
  11. Sofa throw for Mum (Tidal Blanket)
  12. Schlanket
  13. Two cake granny ripple baby blanket
  14. Linen granny tee
  15. 6 metres of grey, black and white bunting
  16. 4x baubles
  17. 2x t-shirt yarn bags for teacher gifts
  18. 5x lovebomb bookmarks for teacher gifts
  19. Teahouse wrap
  20. Joe's scarf
  21. Sunday shawl


All in all I'm pretty happy with that, now I look back and can see what I actually finished! Now to actually finish planning the next year/10/12/14 months...

Finished Object - socks

Sunday, February 25, 2018
My favourite gifts are those of yarn. If I am really honest, birthdays and Christmases that don't include a yarn surprise are a little disappointing. I know I'm awful for confessing that but it is true. I am also very fortunate in that many of my family know that I'm obsessed with yarny goodness and, while they may not understand the appeal, they are happy to give me my fix.

One of my suppliers is my MIL, she's the one who purchased the the greenest green which became my favourite shawly thing ever. 

Following on from that massive success she gifted me with this little beauty.

I'm not going to lie, it wasn't my favourite yarn. I know that its amazing quality and from a well renowned yarn producer but those colours?! Should they ever go together? Let's just say it wasn't love at first sight and I felt like a terrible person for not loving it (I didn't tell her that I didn't like it and she doesn't read the blog!). Besides the colour, the other issue was that it only weighs 50gms which isn't quite enough to make a decent shawl or pair of socks. 

Unable to let myself give the yarn away, I stored it with the rest of my stash and let it marinade until its future became clear. 

Then I came across  Leanne Cretains "A twist of Lime" My original plan was to use the left over contrast yarn from my Greenest Merman but the Bendigo Woollen mills Luxury 4ply yarn does not contain any nylon, which means that it would wear out quickly on the toe and heel. 

So, instead, I used some left over nameless sock yarn for the harder wearing areas, the Luxury 4ply on the cuff,  and the crazy gift yarn for the leg and foot. 

As I started to knit the first leg, I was amazed to see that the colour was pooling in the most amazing twists around my foot. I was wrong, it wasn't hideous at all, it was lovely. 

I'm quite happy to be proven wrong and now I have a fantastic pair of socks. 

A promising start

Monday, October 30, 2017

Well it was a promising start, but now, I'm not so sure. Actually I feel rather disinclined to finish this project. It all started well. I bought the yarn from Spotlight whilst visiting Louise, and holiday yarn is the best. It was chunky and 50% cotton, the colours were nice. I pictured a two-tone square project, and big geometric design, a squishy cushion for the sofa. I enjoyed the process of trying to alter all the square patterns I'd seen to try to minimise the gaps. I'd always seen this as a cushion project, and didn't want to see the insert through the design. I tried the more continuous method for this type of square but didn't like the effect of having the second row be sort of 'wrong side' looking stitches.

Look how nice and square those squares look, I was probably thinking to myself. 

The squares turned out to be pretty big. It'd be a pretty big cushion, 60cm square. That will look huge in our living room! Not quite big enough for a floor cushion, although I could do it square sided.

Look how wobbly it is now. The squares are super puffy, I think there's too many stitches. There's definitely something not right with the square design. Or if there's not, then I should have blocked each square individually, because I can see when I go to block it now I'll have to be careful not to pull apart the intersections, and put 4 pins in there to hold the corners together. I feel very meh about the whole thing. It's been sitting waiting to block since mid-August. I might block it. And buy the fabric required to turn it into a cushion, and sew it up. Or I might put it in a bag and just consider it unfinished for a while, and move on and hopefully finish some things I feel quite good about to bolster my confidence again!

The forgotten one

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

It's been another year where great chunks of time whistle past and then it's September. I guess being in moving-house-limbo for 6 months didn't help. As it turns out, I keep forgetting that I even did this little project, TWICE, and I think I shared a photo of the second one I did in blue for my mother in law, but never the photos of the white one I did for me. I loved this thing it was like wearing a puffy neck cloud. I loved it so much it died already, stretched, pilled and probably in need of a wash. Then we moved and now I'm not even sure where it is. One day I'll have a look for it and see if it can be revived.

I had been playing around with all these cowl ideas, some quite close to the neck with more of a stitch-sampler design, then trying them on and realising they just didn't suit me. They didn't suit me or they way I wanted to wear something warm around my neck. I get cold, then hot, I need to be able to adjust, and layer. I also realised for me, simpler is best.

And do you know, can't even remember the specifics of making it now. It was awfully simple though, I'm sure you can see how it was done. It started with a chain, joined it, then it was up with a couple of chain stitches, over with one, then - probably a double crochet? - over with a chain, and so on. When you do the next round, join to the top of the double crochet, from memory, then chain 2 or 3, and on it goes. Took two balls of that Panda chunky yarn to do this, was left with almost nothing, which I like because I'm not keen on scraps.

Yeah, so not keen on modelling!

Stash down annual review - Year 1

Friday, August 11, 2017
It has been a year since I first hauled out all my stash and photographed it. I started the project because I was feeling overwhelmed by my stash and aware that I was running out of space in my tub. Obviously, I could start a new tub but then I'd have to store it somewhere, plus the little sensible voice in my head, the one I often ignore, told me that getting another tub would be the start of my steep decent towards SABLE*.

My plan was to focus more on the yarn I already have and work out how I could be using it. I didn't set myself the challenge of cold sheeping** because buying yarn makes me happy and I am realistic about my willpower (it has as much strength as a birthday candle facing a hurricane). Plus, the more room I have in my stash bucket the more yarn I am allowed to buy.

I've just had a quick look through my completed projects and discovered that I knit 8 projects in the last year from stash.

Here they are added in the order that my computer decided they should be added in (I've given up arguing with it)

Frisson - pattern   blog post

Carson's Campside Cardi - pattern - blog post

Teeny Tiny Jumper - pattern         -              blogpost

The Greenist Merman - pattern      -        blogpost 

Knotty Gloves - pattern         whoops I forgot to write a blog post!

Baby Kimono - pattern           -              blog post

Minecraft blanket Apparently - pattern             -       blog post

 Little hearts sweater - pattern         -          blogpost

and now for the bit that Michelle has been waiting for, the comparison.

Here is the picture from 2016

Here is what is left of the 2016 stash, it looks so great and i've used up heaps....scroll down!

And here it is with the acquisitions and gifts from the last year....

I am utterly delighted in what I have achieved in the last year and no longer feel overwhelmed by my stash.

In the next year, I will continue to chip away at my 2016 stash and eventually steek something, honestly, I've been saying that for years!

*Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy
**buying no yarn

Tidal blanket

Monday, July 31, 2017
It is finished! Ta daaa! The tidal blanket! And already gone, I gave it to my mum on Saturday. I miss it already, I loved this blanket, all cotton, but nice and heavy.

It took forever. But it was worth it. I did end up giving in before using all the yarn, which was my original plan. I should have had enough to make it the size of Lucy's (of Attic24) Ripple blanket. I was never going to do the border, I like the naked edges, and I love the ripple edges. Even with all my careful yarn planning, I suspect I was going to run out of the cream before any of the other colours. Plus, it took forever. I ended up measuring against myself, and stopped when it was long enough to have a good nap under on the sofa, even if you were stretched out. Being short, with a short mum, was a distinct advantage there.

The yarn was Lily Sugar'n cream, in the three denim colour ways and the cream was flecked with a denim blue speckle. We moved house before I finished it, and I haven't quite got my photo spots sorted here yet. The walls are all yellow, which presents lil monochrome me with quite the dilemma. So the morning just before I gave it to mum, I had my son model it down our local beach. It's folded almost double here, to keep it off the sand.

And now I feel a bit lost without it, it was my grounding project that was always there.

Stash Down - Little hearts sweater

Saturday, July 22, 2017
Michelle has been 'subtly' reminding me that its almost a year since I started my stash down experiment. Michelle is madly keen for me to show off my before and after images of a year of trying not to buy yarn  (ha ha ha, which idiot thought that would work) and a year of focusing on the yarn I have to hand and using that shit up!

I, on the other hand, am being a bit perverse and making her wait exactly one year to see the results... I have a feeling she is going to be madly underwhelmed.

I have been in a bit of a knitting slump of late, I hate the sweater that I have been knitting for my son and will probably end up frogging it. I started a cushion cover in mosaic stitch but I'm not sure the yarn I have chosen is the right choice. ergh! So rather than sorting out either of those projects, I had a look through my yarn stash found myself holding some white 4ply baby yarn and remembered that a friend has just had her third daughter...Which if course lead me to start trawling through Ravelry and finding this gorgeous little sweater .

I love patterns which introduce me to new techniques and am often amused that I usually learn the most from the smallest projects. Soft toys and baby clothes seem to be chock full of interesting techniques.

Weirdly, I have never knit a bottom up sweater with seamless set in arms. This means that the arms are knit and then the stitches are left live on a piece of waste yarn to be added directly to the body just before the start of the yoke. I found adding the yarn to be a bit fiddly and resulted in a couple of holes that I needed to fix at the sewing up stage. I need to research better methods of attaching sleeves in this method because I'm sure some clever knitter has already figured this out.

The colourwork at the top is knit in the flat. When colourwork is knit in the round, I hold one colour in each hand and knit one yarn in Continental (picking) and the other in English (throwing).
Knitting colourwork flat means that you need to purl too, I've never learnt to purl in Continental style so cracked open youtube and set about teaching myself...it would seem that the knit stitch is easier to perfect in both English and Continental style!

The other technique I learnt was the Norwegian bind off, this is used on the neck edge. I found a tutorial on youTube and was soon whizzing through the last row of the sweater. The Norwegian bind off is a bit more stretchy than the usual bind off and has a nice appearance, almost like a understated Icord bind off. I like it a lot.

I can't wait to gift this to my friend this week (before her daughter grows).

I wonder if I have enough time to finish another stash down project before my year is up?!
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