2019 Stash Flash

It’s time for the annual stash flash!  It’s part of my continuing effort to remind myself, I don’t need to buy yarn this year!

I started with last year’s photo, taken about this time in January and redacted everything I used up during the year.  I’m afraid I didn’t do so well.  There is plenty of great stuff left in last year’s pile.  Clearly, I’m not running out yarn anytime soon.

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The stash definitely grew in 2018.  I started with just the new additions.  They’re pretty manageable.  Yarns my Mom dyed.  Yarns from Vogue Knitting Live.  Yarns from Stitches.  Yarns from my southwest trip.  Lopi gifted from a friend.  I definitely had a particular color palate in mind.

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And then, shit got real.  I added my deep stash to the pile.

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Everything is now stacked 3+ deep.  It’s a bit deceptive but trust me, it’s plenty of yarn for the year.

Someone tell Marie Kondo not to worry her pretty little head about it though. I checked…every single skein sparks joy.  That trend continues.  This all amazing yarn.  Some of this years best additions are a sweater quantity of Swans Island Sport and an awesome gradient speckle kit from Neighborhood Fiber Company.

Of course, all this old stuff is still pretty amazing too.  Quince, YOTH, Road to China lite…all untouched since last year.   And of course, my lopi stash…I’ve got a lopi sweater on the needles, so at least some of it’s finally getting some love.

This year, I’m serious about it all…cold sheeping and some serious stash busting!  I want to put a serious dent in these photos!

So far so good, I went into a yarn shop yesterday and came out with no new yarn.  It’s totally possible!

First up, a new sweater and finishing off the current shawl in progress!  3 Day weekend + Rain…I’ve got no excuses!!  Happy Friday Gang!  Hope you all get some good stashbusting in this weekend!


 

WIP Wednesday – RBG Squid Ink Fade

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Now that’s it’s finally on the needles, I’m making good progress on my latest sweater.  Of course, any notion of following a pattern was quickly laughed off.  I mean, I could try but it wouldn’t work out.   I started off with a peacock fade but now I’ve decided to go darker with it…a squid ink fade, if you will.

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I started with Idunn, a Knitty pattern by Ragga Eirikisdottir.  Initially, I thought, I’ll just knit this sweater as is.  The yoke details could pass as an RBG collar no doubt.   Ultimately though, I’ve decided to knit the sweater in plain stockinette with no colorwork in the yoke.  I’ll add my RBG collar details after I’ve finished the knitting via duplicate stitch.  It’s an unconventional approach…but that’s definitely the way I roll.

I’ve finished my first color and ‘faded’ into my second color.  I’m knitting top down, in the round, with the intention of steeking and adding a zipper.  I’m just about to divide the sleeves off.

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That’ll be a big help!  Right now, it’s just sort of a big blob.  I feel like it’s too big, despite all the math & gauge working out.  Fingers crossed that good news awaits on the other side of the sleeve divide.

I’m also working on a few new cross stitch designs for Valentine’s Day, so I’ve updated my cross stitch gallery with a new page for 2019!

I’m really looking forward to growing my collection this year!  My idea book is overflowing and I’ve finally found my stride, post-holidays.  Stay tuned for much productivity!


 

Sweater Complications

Sweaters are complicated beasts!  Anyone who’s ever tried to knit their own sweater knows this.  There are many phases and emotions involved.  Finally, I think all of my sweater pains have been addressed sufficiently and are coming to happy resolutions.

The big one is this…

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I have officially reclaimed my needles & notions.  This sweater is no more.  It’s been a work in progress since June but I’m over it.  It’s a duplicate of this sweater, that I finished in the spring…

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I love this sweater.  I wear it all the time.  It’s almost perfect.   Almost!  It’s so close.  There’s just one thing that has stopped it from being perfect.  Unfortunately, much of it’s charm, also, comes from this not perfect part…the yarn, Pluto-Lopi, the Icelandic unspun pencil roving.

It’s delicate.  It’s not fragile.  The fabric is quite sturdy but I’ve managed to rub it thread bare in the armpits already.  img_1829

I’ve got spots on both arms and both sides, where pilling and rubbing have nearly eliminated the loose unspun fibers.  Hope is not lost for this sweater.  I’m embracing it’s wabi sabi and patching it.  I don’t have any of the matching yarn left but I’ve got plenty of the Noro I used for the stripes.  I’m down with funny duplicate stitch patches in my armpits.

The Noro yarn is a thicker anyhow, more fiber in the problem areas is exactly what this sweater needs.   I’m happy to keep patching it as needed.  I might even love it more as the armpit patches continue to develop and take over.  It’s a lightweight sweater, both in mass and in wearing, and yet it is incredibly warm.  It fits perfect.  It matches everything in my closet.  It’s only 8 months old…there’s no chance I’m ready to retire it yet.

But, I don’t need two sweaters like that.  So, Plutolopi sweater #2 has been halted.  I understand why this yarn is commonly held double now.  That’ll definitely help with future sweaters, maybe even held double with Einband, the Icelandic lace weight yarn.

And, with that big bag of guilt officially retired, I can, legit, think about an RBG inspired sweater!  I’ve been saying it’s going to happen since Christmas but with two sweaters on the needles, I just couldn’t bring myself to start a third.    I’ve finally got a clean sweater slate because, oh yeah..I finished the sweater I’ve been working on for Mom!

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It’s WestKnit’s Outer Space, another favorite of mine.  The yarn is an assortment of Lopi & Lettlopi.  Yes, I have a thing for Icelandic yarn.  At this point, it’ll be no surprise that my RBG inspired sweater is going to be Lettlopi.

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I spent at least two days, last spring, futzing with variations of this palate to find a fun peacock fade.  I had the sweater all planned out.  It was going to be lovely side to side number that faded from light at the cuffs to dark in the center.  I knit the whole thing…in my mind.  I had high hopes.  Somehow that all got derailed though.

Turns out, I was just waiting for the right idea.  RBG Peacock Fade…Hello 2019!  Let’s do this!    (right after I spend two more days futzing with colors again…)

It really is happening this time!  I’m ready for a new sweater!  It’s a new year.  The moons have all aligned.  I’ve cleared out all the 2018 knitting baggage.  It’s on…


 

2018 Year in Review

My Christmas weekend got derailed by a stupid cold. Needless to say, all that talk of starting a new sweater was just talk.  I’m on the mend and making such good progress on the old projects, I can’t bring myself to start something new just yet.  Instead of new knitting progress, I’m walking down memory lane and looking at all the things I have finished this year.   It’s been a good year for FO’s!

According to Ravelry, I’ve finished 57 projects so far, that’s 23 hats, 2 cowls, 5 sweaters, 11 shawls, 3 blankets, 6 stuffies, one set of baby mittens, a pair of socks, two pair of leg warmers, a flying pig and a yarnbombed bicycle…it sounds like a lot when you say it that way!

Of course, quantity doesn’t matter if none of it is useful or appreciated.  A lot of what I knit is gifted, this year, that means my new nephew Marcus!  So far, he’s been pretty appreciative…happily stuffing everything I’ve sent him into his mouth.   Most recently, it’s been this guy…Rebecca Danger’s Lil Love Slug.

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Those eyeballs are perfect for teething on!  After that, came Mom.  Of course, she appreciates everything too.  Her current favorite is this Pebble Beach Shawl in yarn she dyed herself!

I really liked knitting Pebble Beach and it’s great to wear.  I definitely want to make one for myself.  My favorite piece of knitwear in 2018 was probably the lone sweater I finished for myself.

I liked it enough to start a second one right away.  Unfortunately, it’s been ignored for months.  Any day now, I’ll pick it back up!

Despite all this knitting, I’m pretty sure my stash grew this year.  I tried as hard as I could to use it all up but I managed to visit new yarn shops in four states, adding yarn at each stop. (Not to mention Vogue Knitting Live and Stitches West.)

Certainly my shopping this year tended towards the green family.  And like always, I’ll say 2019 is the year of no yarn shopping.  I made it until February 1st in 2018.  Hopefully I’ll make it longer in 2019.  I take yarn collecting very seriously but I’m running out of places to put it.

And oh yeah, I haven’t mentioned that Mom dyed me a new batch of lovelies for Christmas.

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The left is a set of colors on a merino-yak-alpaca base and one the right is a set of colors on Miss Babs Kunlun base, a merino-cashmere-silk base!  Wooo!  Turns out Miss Babs sells partial naked skeins for a steal!  I’m guessing it’s her version of mill ends, little odds and ends that she can’t use but thanks to Mom’s penchant for finding sales, I will definitely use this skeins for something fun!

Now, it’s time to think about goals for 2019.  More Sweaters!  Finish my current sweater.  An RBG Sweater.  A Pebble Beach.  Lots more nephew toys.  AND NO YARN SHOPPING!  (ha…yeah right.  wish me luck!)


 

Happy Christmas!

 

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Here’s my adorable little nephew Marcus visiting Santa and wearing his special Christmas sweater!

I love it! Despite being very different people, my sister and I do share a sense of humor!    I just wanted cute nephew pics…this is above and beyond though, cracks me up every time.

Now to brainstorm ideas for next year’s naughty sweater??

I’m also thinking about what to cast on for Christmas.  It’s an annual tradition for me to start a sweater on Christmas Day.  This year I think the theme is Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  There are two new patterns on Ravelry that are super:  The Knitorious RBG by Park Williams, and Dissent by Andrea Rangel.  Of course, I can’t do anything the simple way and just follow a pattern but I love the idea.   An RBG-inspired collar can be inserted onto any sweater!  Step one:  Stash Dive.   I should have enough lopi to make this happen!

Stay tuned next week for progress pics, hopefully I’ll have some!   And hopefully a year in review post.  It doesn’t seem like it right now, but I got a lot of knitting done this year!

Happy Christmas from my family to yours!  Hope you all have a great long weekend and Christmas!


 

FO Friday – All The Hats

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As I prepared for this week’s pop up event, I didn’t put all of my knitting aside.  I kept up my on-the-go knitting and it turns out, I get a lot of knitting done when I’m out of the house.   Four new hats, just in time for holiday gift giving and winter chill!

The first two are Wurm derivatives.  It’s a great free pattern.  There’s nearly 16K Wurm hats on Ravelry.  I know I’ve knit probably two dozen of them.  They’re great stash busters, if you go the striped route like I did and they knit up in no time!  Perfect last minute holiday gifts!

Of course, I can’t follow a pattern.  I change my version up at the brim.  The pattern is written with a folded stockinette hem.  I prefer to go the all purl ridge route.  This originates from my early days knitting.  The double roll brim was my favorite way to start a hat.  You can see it here, on my third hat of the week.

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All my early hats have a double roll brim.  I never liked the look of classic ribbing, especially not with a knitted cast on, which was my go-to.  The stockinette curl hides that cast on edge perfectly!  No reason to fret over doing the long tail cast on, if your edge is hidden.

It certainly started out as a lazy decision but honestly, it’s also a super comfortable way to start a hat.  It’s cozy and warm around the ears and it’s never too tight.  I’m not sure why it fell out of favor but I’m officially bringing the double roll brim back.

You heard it here first…2019 is the year of the double roll brim!  Try it out and you’ll see…it’s a lot of fun!  You’ll be screaming it from the roof tops too!  Double roll brims for everyone! It’s gonna be so good!

It’s simply 10 rows of stockinette followed by 4 rows of reverse stockinette.  Easy peasy.  Just remember if you want to go for the two-tone look, you knit 9 rows in color 1 and then knit 1 row of color 2 before purling 4 rows of color.

Now, off to finish some last minute christmas knits.  Packages don’t have to be in the mail until Monday…I can get a lot done in 72 hours!


 

FO Friday – Baby’s First Ugly Christmas Sweater

Crafternoon giveth and crafternoon taketh away.  Just as I was settling in Wednesday, for a highly motivated knitting session, I got the email.  That pop up event that waitlisted me… they were offering me a spot.  It’s in one of the biggest office buildings downtown.  There’s no vendor fees AND they’ll validate parking!  Sign me up…again :)

SO, my knitting excitement has been set aside for another week while I do a quick cross stitch restock!

I did manage to finish my Nephew’s Christmas Sweater first, though!

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Ta-Da!  Baby’s First Fornicating Reindeer sweater!  I can’t wait for the little nugget to wear this.  He’s pretty cute but I have a feeling he’s going to break the cute meter in this sweater!

I rushed through the finishing a bit.  There are a few rough spots but good enough.  It’s gonna be worn for such a short time.  The kid has started growing!  His next sweater is going to be have all the life extending tricks so he can get a lot of wear but this one is just a novelty sweater.  I’m not going to beat myself up over a few rough spots that no one is going to look at, once it’s on an adorable baby.

Killing the acrylic was, indeed, a good idea.  Check out the curl in the before shots.

It instantly vanished with a couple shots from the hottest steam setting on my iron!  Woooo!  Acrylic for the win?  Despite all my usual yarn snobbery, there really is a place for acrylic and this is it.  Perfect for baby uses!

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Pictures from my Nephew’s first Christmas in a humping reindeer sweater…Priceless!

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It’s gonna be good.  My Sister is totally on board with this.  I think this will be a good time for Baby’s blog debut.

In the meantime, I’m off to cross stitch.  There is definitely, absolutely not any super secret Christmas knitting going around here.  None, whatsoever!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!