Stash appreciation for the end of year

Hi there, I’m veering away from this months sock theme here but I had this idea that maybe we could help/inspire/cheer each other on in a common project.

So this year I have spent more money than usual on yarn. I have a big stash in addition to all the yarn for my shop and still I find myself constantly stalking indie dyers and looking at online yarn shops drooling over gorgeous yarn I don’t really need and don’t have any immediate plans for. And I need to stop!

As an indie dyer I really shouldn’t encourage you to NOT buy more yarn but hey I need your support and maybe you need mine.

So the idea I have would to organize a sort of “Stash appreciation project ” from November 1st to January 31st. I’m not capable of going on a yarn diet. I have tried and knowing I’m not allowed to buy more yarn makes me want to buy ALL the yarn.

But if together we embark on a Stash Appreciation Project for three months where we encourage each other to explore and USE some of the beautiful yarns we have stashed all over our houses, maybe I will be able to not only NOT buy more yarn (or at least buy less) but I will actually make a dent in m stash! Doesn’t that sound way more exciting that going on a yarn diet? I think so.

Maybe we could have some prizes. Maybe a prize for the one that uses up the biggest number of skeins from their stash? A prize draw from those that have managed to refrain completely from yarn buying for 3 months? And just a general draw from all the participants willing to follow me in this project?

The prize would not be yarn as that would go against the idea of working through our stash. I’m thinking pattern prizes to encourage us to continue on the stash appreciation journey. I have a few hard copy knit patterns from Ysolda Teague I bought from her to make kits and I also have one for a crocheted shawl by a French designer and maybe I will be able to negotiate with a designer or two to donate patterns.

What do you think? I’d like to see if I can create a sort of forum here on the blog for this and if not, then I would create a thread in my Ravelry group.

I’d love to hear your thoughts and if anyone is interested in joining me. Let me know by leaving a comment below. 

That’s all for now. I’ll be back soon with more on my sock knitting.

Knit Purl or some serious stash enhancement in USA

Hi there, I’m still travelling in the US. I spent a few days with my brother and his family in California which was wonderful as always. And now I’m in Portland, Oregon.

Travelling from Normandy, France to the US means a LOT of hours on airplanes, trains and buses for me so I’ve been knitting a lot lately. I’ve already finished a pair of socks I began on the train when I left for the airport last Thursday.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com So these are knit with a gradient yarn from Knitcircus and the pattern is Toe Up Socks with a Difference by Wendy D, Johnson.

I also cast on for a shawl by Joji Locatelli called In the moment and I’m working on that. I’ve finished the striped part and I have just began working the border in Pumpkin spice.

www.knittinginfrance.com It’s difficult to show my progress because my circular needle is not big enough for me to really spread the shawl out for you to see. I really love how the colours work together. I was a little afraid of the orange being too orange but actually it is just perfect.

I also cast on for a second pair of socks and have just finished the first sock and about to cast on for the second sock. I knit those with the Regia Pairfect yarn. I wanted to use all the yarn so the leg is actually super long/high but that’s ok. I knit in  k3,p1 ribbing and I can just either have the leg”crumpled” or I can fold it over.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com This is also knit using the Toe Up Sock with a Difference pattern. I really like the outcome. The yellow yarn on the ball is the “separation” yarn that I  need to just cut away to begin the second sock at the right place for an identical pair.

So like I said before I’m travelling in the USA and am currently in Portland in Oregon. This is a really nice city which is not too big so easy to navigate and guess what? In the same street as my hotel, just 1 block from my hotel is……a YARN SHOP! And not just any yarn shop but KNIT PURL! I have read about this shop online and in US magazines so I was super excited when I discovered that I would be able to actually go there. But oh boy! They have so much gorgeous yarn. And lots of yarns that I’ve heard about but never actually seen. So I spent some time just going around and touching yarn and then I bought some! I probably should have set myself a budget before going in but…

So here’s what I got: Pompom Autumn 2015 magazine as well as the Interweave Knits Gifts magazine. A cowl pattern by one of the sales ladies at Knit Purl. A set of Knit Picks Carbonz dpns, a kit for a scarf knit in 100% silk, 6 Unicorn tails by Madelintosh and a skein of one ply 100% silk also by Madelintosh.

www.knittinginfrance.com So added to all the other knitting related purchases since I’ve come here I think I can say that this trip has been a serious stash enhancement experience. Much more so than I ever imagined. Not sure if that is a good thing or not but hey, this is a once in a time occasion (maybe) so I’m going to enjoy it!

That’s all for today. I have a very busy schedule while I’m here. I’m flying back on Friday and Saturday so lots of knitting in sight. I hope to write to you again after next weekend. And with regards to the shop, that should open this Sunday, October 4th. There will be lots of new yarns so I do hope you will take the time to have a peak at the shop and my new yarns and maybe even let me know what you think about it.

Until next time, take care and enjoy your knitting 🙂

Stash diving and future projects

A few days ago I did some stash diving and I’m afraid to say that I don’t do this often enough. As much as I love my stash and wouldn’t separate from it for ANYTHING, I still don’t “visit” it often enough. I’ve actually got  A LOT  of gorgeous yarns, lots of full skeins and lots of partly used skeins. I’ve even got sweater’s worth of some yarns. And despite such a nice stash, I still continue to buy more yarn and dye more yarn just for me. Last week, I even totally lost my mind while browsing a German online knitting shop and even though I don’t really understand much German I somehow managed to order 5 (hmm, yes, you read correctly) I ordered 5 skeins of Lorna’s Laces sock weight yarns! I’m a big fan of Lorna’s Laces hand dyed yarns but it’s been a while since I last knit with her yarn. Now I’m super excited and waiting for this new order to arrive to my mailbox.

Now back to my stash. I went through a few boxes and pulled out a few skeins that really spoke to me and I also went online and found a few ideas to actually use these yarns.

www.knittinginfrance.Com These are the yarns I picked out from my stash. Some hand dyed indie yarns, some Uncommon Thread, Cascade heritage, Quince and co, Spud and Chloé etc). All are super soft and fun.

www.knittinginfrance.com    www.knittinginfrance.com  I have 2 skeins of the red Cascade heritage sock yarns and I have found 2 sock patterns that I think will be perfect for this yarn.

www.knittinginfrance.com These need to become socks, the 2 grey ones need to be textured socks and the Dreams in Color yarn on the bottom might become a vanilla sock.

www.knittinginfrance.com www.knittinginfrance.com I also bought a pattern from Stephen West from Ravelry. This is a shawl called Daybreak – I watched his class on Craftsy called Shawlscapes and I really want to knit this shawl. On the first picture you have a skein of my hand dyed yarn and the grey yarn is from my stash by the Uncommon Thread and on the second picture I have a skein of undyed yarn and a skein of varigated, multi colored sparkle yarn by myself. Do you have a preference?

www.knittinginfrance.com I also purchased this second shawl pattern called Pebble Beach by Helen Stewart and I’m going to use my gradient cashmerino hand dyed yarn. I was going to use this yarn to make up my own pattern for a cowl or something but finally I didn’t get into mojo so …. I think I should just use it for something I know will look good.

www.knittinginfrance.com I also bought these two books from Amazon from the Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet series by Hunter Hammersen. I already owned nr1 and now I just bought nr2 and 3. I just received them today and have only browsed lightly over them. I have to get a better look at them and then I’ll share my favorite patterns with you and my opinion of those.

What about you and your stash? Do you “visit” it regularly? What are your future projects going to be? I’d love to hear from you on the subject and even see pictures if you are willing to share.

That’s all for now. Happy stash diving to you and lots of knitting today and for days to come:)

Does a new project equal new yarn for you?

Hi there, I hope you had a great weekend. I did – this weekend was spent with family that came to stay with us for the weekend so not much knitting got done. However last night I learned of yet another baby due this year in our circle of family and friends, bringing the total of new babies to 3. This means I most definitely need to get going on some baby gift knitting. So I’m thinking of doing a blanket with a softie per baby. I shared some of the blanket patterns I like with you the other day. I’ve also found another pattern that I quite like and think I’m going to use for at least one blanket. That pattern is called Heirloom Diamond Baby Blanket by Colleen Dragon Knits and here’s a picture of that www.knittinginfrance.com

Of course I had to look in my somewhat consistent stash for a compatible yarn and despite a rather large stash I of course did NOT find the ideal yarn! Isn’t that just typical? So what to do? Should I go online and buy some? Or should I dive into my stock of undyed yarn and dye some myself? Well I went for the second solution and as I’m writing this I’m dyeing a merino/nylon/cashmere blend yarn in turquoise. I think turquoise is such a beautiful and happy colour and that it can be used both for girls and boys. Do you agree or do you think turquoise is definitely a “boy colour”? Once the yarn is ready I’ll show you the pictures before actually casting on for the blanket.

And then there is the softies that I want to make. A few years ago, I crocheted and sold softies in a baby shop in Iceland. I used mercerised  cotton for those and they were really nice I thought. But this time I was thinking of something really soft to cuddle up to so for the first softie I chose a merino/alpaca blend. This was not in my personal stash but rather in my stock of yarn for my shop. I used to sell commercial yarns and that is where this yarn came from (Rooster Almerino DK). The idea is to crochet or knit a blanket square and then sew on an animal head for a cute cuddly toy. I started doing my typical crochet square – I’m not an advanced crocheter and it’s been a while since I last crocheted anything, so I’m using dc (double crochet) for the square. Then for the head, I actually bought a pattern. For the next softie, I’m planning on using the entire pattern I purchased instead of doing my own square for the base of the blanket. The pattern is called Sleepy the Owl and is sold on Ravelry. Here’s a picture of that  www.knittinginfrance.com Isn’t that super cute?

So far I’m not quite finished with the crochet square but I hope to finish that today. This is what I have done so far www.knittinginfrance.com

So tell me, when you take on a new project, do you 1) invariably go online to buy new yarn because you already know that you don’t have exactly what you want in your stash?

2) Take a serious look at your stash and choose yarn that fits your pattern, maybe compromising on colours just to be able to use what you already have?

I’d love to be a serious crafter, using what I have before investing in any new supplies or even better, look through my stash and THEN choose a pattern according to whatever I have in my stash and feel like using. Even though I have a large stash and access to even greater supply of undyed yarns, I still have this urge to BUY yarn just for this particular pattern. And even if that is how I function when taking on new patterns I still continue to buy yarn just because I love it, even if I don’t have any pattern in mind for that yarn. So this is sort of a vicious circle for me and I don’t see myself getting out of that pattern any day soon.

Do share how you function. Do you only buy yarn when you have a particular project you want to cast on for? Do you buy yarns just because and then when you find a pattern, maybe buy even more because none of those you already have fit? Have you ever done a “yarn diet”? Did it work? Did you have a plan for that?

I’d love to hear from you on this. So until next time, take care and enjoy your crafting:)