Monday, January 30, 2017

Stash Busting!

I have never really been one to go on a "yarn diet." I find that for me there is simply no good reason to try to curb the influx of wool into my house. It's what I like to do and there's no way to overdose on yarn, die from yarn, hurt others with my obsession with yarn, or harm myself with yarn. I don't ever buy enough to put me into debt and I am very clever about finding room for more of it (goodbye trunk space!). So ultimately, I usually just buy as much as I can whenever I can and have often inwardly scoffed at other knitters' attempts to curb their purchasing habits.

But, alas, all good things must come to an end. I went through my stash and found out a few irritating truths:
1) There is a lot of yarn in my house
Now this shouldn't be an irritating truth because obviously, I like yarn! I like knitting and yarn is like my soul string. It's what all my good feelings are made of! But, unfortunately, if I continue to buy  yarn without using up some of the yarn I already have, I will inevitably run out of room for yarn. And with us moving soon to a smaller place I really don't have a lot of room for yarn. So, it's either use it up or donate or get rid of it and seriously I bought (most of) this yarn because I loved it and wanted to use it.
2) The amount of yarn that I DON'T want is incredibly small
There is one bag of things I COULD donate. And it's a very small bag.
3) A lot of this yarn I have toted around for YEARS
The oldest yarn is the yarn I'm the most sick of seeing and I think it should go first. And by go I mean be knitted up.
4) I have some really nice yarn!
I have anzula, malabrigo, koigu, beautiful hand-dyed skeins from local spinners...why am I not knitting this stuff up?! Why do I instead rush off the the store to get a sweater's quantity of some cheapo acrylic for the umpteenth time?
5) That bag of teeny tiny little scraps
What in the heck am I supposed to make out of them?! I've been researching scrap afghans but honestly I don't really like how they look. I don't want to do a cozy memories or a log cabin type one, I hate weaving in ends, I don't want to crochet one even though it would be quicker, I guess they are just doomed to sit there on time out and think about what they have done.



I did work on a hat from all stash. Be proud.

(Yes unapolgetic snapchat filter photos. Why wear makeup when I can just use snapchat!?)
This is the siksak hat It is a free pattern on Ravelry and it was perfect for a little bit of stash busting. I used most of a ball of Patons Classic Wool for the beige color. (Leftover from my fair isle cardigan I made a few years ago) and everything else was scraps of patons as well, except for the orange which had no ballband and was I think Ella Rae from a Tuesday Morning sale. This hat is excessively long, proof again that I really should do gauge for hats, but I actually quite like how it looks. I will definitely end up making another one out of different colors eventually. And honestly the turn up brim makes it SOOO warm and cozy. If ever I knit hats for the homeless this is the pattern for it! The brim, by the way, was also the most boring and horrible part to work on. ah, life.

So then I worked a little bit on my Must Have Cardigan, and worked a little bit on a boring pair of socks in progress, both of which I don't have pictures of because they are boring. (The socks are all black, and a vanilla pattern. For the husband. I'll share on completion) Then I went back to my stash for another quick little stash buster.

My daughter was in want of a cardigan. And I had a random ball of I'm really not sure that I had purchased just for the express purpose of making her a sweater. Only, I knew it was enough to make a sweater for her THEN, when she was 100% still inside my body. Now she is over a year, and I worried the ball wouldn't be enough. Surprise: it wasn't.

So I got a little fancy with the collar, pulling another ball of stash out and working up a little short row collar. Which looked funky of course, so I added the pockets.

I almost frogged it before I got the pockets on, but once I did I realized it was turning into something quite unlike I had expected and I suddenly decided that it needed embroidery. (I never embroider so this was quite unusual.)

Ahhh the little blanket stitch. I stayed up well past midnight wanting to get this done for Finished Object Friday. (I did!)

And finally a little daisy on each pocket.

The sweater- a frankenstein modge-podge of stash yarn and hopes - actually amazingly FIT my daughter (after I reached the underarms and started running out of yarn, I abandoned the regular pattern of decreases and just did whatever I could to conserve yarn and keep some semblance of sweater-shape so I was shocked it worked out ok) and looks stinkin' cute on her.

She, of course, pulled it off in a fit of rage after about 3 hours.

At any rate, I'm pretty impressed with how much I've worked from stash so far. There is so much yarn in my stash I'm sure there is plenty to knit without getting bored! As of now, I'm working on (aside from ongoing cardigan and socks) a very old project: a crochet baby blanket I started for Penelope but which now has no intended recipient.

Oh and I started a knitting journal! This was right before I FOUND my old one from high school which is hilarious.

I can't wait to share that with you all. I'm planning on making a video.

Happy knitting!

Friday, January 6, 2017

FO Friday: GAPtastic Cowl

I cast on for a quick and easy project on January 3rd. I had to get some yarn to make a commissioned Christmas Stocking, and it was the perfect excuse to shop the Joann yarn sale. I've never been much for novelty yarns, but I found these skeins of Deborah Norville Serenity Chunky with Sequins that just really struck me as the perfect yarn to make something for my step-daughter. Now, Christmas managed to sneak up on me this year but next year it won't! I cast on for the Gap-tastic cowl and was finished by January 5th.
I used 3 skeins, which was not enough for the full 15" but it still looks fine. I had to play a bit of yarn chicken at the end, but I think I did a pretty good guesstimation for how much yarn I would need to bind off!

It's sparkly and soft, and I really think she will like it.... of course, I have to wait a year to find out!

I didn't weave in the ends so that I wouldn't be tempted to give it to her early. Also, that way come Christmas I will feel like it's a new project. Also, I hate weaving in ends.

I did start the commissioned stocking too.

I'll share more soon.

Happy knitting!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

FO: Penny's Oversize Sweater

So I finished up an adorable little sweater for my daughter the other day.
There is an adorable oversized poncho pattern called the Azel Pullover that has been incredibly popular lately. Again and again, adorable renditions of this little sweater have been produced and shared on "Knit & Chat," my favorite Facebook group. As much as I appreciate the look of the design, I am on a tight budget and don't buy patterns very often. As in, I have purchased 17 patterns on Ravelry and have been a member since early 2009. So really, not very often. I'm more likely to try to figure out how it is knit by the picture and attempt
 to replicate it myself. I liked the oversized look and large collar of the Azel Pullover, but didn't have a big selection of bulky yarn and wanted something a little more interesting to knit- thus this little sweater was born.

Using a cute cabled design from the little book Fabulous Knit Aran Stitches, called Framed Bobbles, I knit along and made basically a big rectangle with a cast off section for the neck. Fold that puppy in half, seam up to the armholes, pick up the turtleneck and BAM! Cute oversized sweater!
I did work some decreases after the initial neck bind off to give the neckline some shape. The only thing that kind of irritated me was that I didn't end the diamond at a point, but I knew that once I picked up for the neck you wouldn't really be able to tell.
Can you tell? Not really, huh.
My only real regret is that I didn't use Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off. I definitely will the next time I do a turtleneck. It fits her fine and everything, I just think she would have appreciated some extra stretch.

My Ravelry page gives a little info too.