Friday, August 1, 2014

Cold Sheep and Stash Update - July


July has been a great month for finishing WIPs that have been laying around looking at me longingly through their Ziploc plastic bags.  Maybe it's because it's been a cooler summer here in Minnesota that I have felt like doing so much knitting.   Or maybe, it's simply the "high" of finishing one project has just been carrying me to finish more and more projects.  Either way I'm pleasantly pleased!

I finished my teal Pendulum shawl from this Spring, my Color Affection shawl from last Fall, and my 10 Stitch Blanket from the previous Summer!  Also completed are 2 more of these lovely coasters in blue and brown fuzzy alpaca yarn.  With so much yarn leftover from this project I decided to make 3 matching trivets to coordinate with the coasters.  You know how I love using up all my yarn!

Speaking of yarn, I went through my stash yet again and sold everything that I didn't just love, love, love on Craigslist.  So, my load is getting lighter literally and figuratively.  Now I just have a cardigan and a vest on the needles as well as the afore mentioned trivets, 8 patterns in my Ravelry queue with yarn in hand, and probably still too many skeins of sock yarn (but everyone could use some more socks right?)  I really feel in control of my stash again instead of my stash controlling me.  It amazes me how "good" things, like knitting or other hobbies, can turn into burdens if not kept in check.  Purchasing yarn only takes a few moments where as knitting said yarn can take a very long time; as can be seen by the projects I just finished.  Ah well,live and learn as they say.

I have been good about going "Cold Sheep" this month and haven't bought any yarn which puts my day total at 35 days.  Since I only seem to post once a month this Summer I guess I'll see you at the end of August.  Have a good month everyone! 

Joining in with Tami for Finished Object Friday and Linda for Creative Friday.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Cold Sheep and Stash Update - June

Well, it's the end of the month and time for a Cold Sheep and Stash update.  It was a busy knitting month for me with a Father's Day and a graduation gift to knit.  Knitting with deadlines is both easy and hard I find.  Easy as you know what to knit, but hard as you have no choice as to what to knit.  I got a little cocky and after finishing Dan's Alberta Vest for Father's Day I rewarded myself by finishing two nearly completed pairs of socks (you might remember the blue pair from this post and the rainbow pair you can find here,) spinning up some roving and knitting a 3rd pair of socks for myself along with another Grrlfriend Market Bag for my friend Christmas gifts.  This cockiness made completing the graduation gift for my eldest niece, a superman themed hat and scarf, come down to the wire of my frantically finishing the night before the party.  So frantic that I forgot to take a photo of them - whoops! This was WAY to close for my comfort level.

I also made the decision this month to sell my undyed yarn from my stash as dyeing, while fun, has more of a learning curve than I have patience for at this time in my life.  Also, it completely takes over our tiny kitchen, which makes making meals and getting snacks quite difficult.  They all went to Judy of Mamajudes on Etsy who dyes all my yarn for my toy shop Simple Playing. So, 9 skeins of undyed yarn are gone, 2 sock WIPs are completed, 1 vest WIP is completed, 1 roving is spun and knit and 1 skein of my indigo dyed yarn is gone.  Pretty good for one month don't you think?  I've also decided to sell some more yarn, skeins that I don't just love that feel more burdensome than exciting to knit.  Retaking my stash photos to reflect all these changes I believe is in order, as being able see all my yarn at once is helpful in choosing what to knit next.

On the Cold Sheep front I went 136 days, before I made a purchase of some lovely wool/silk yarn to make this summer top.  I caved due to a huge amount of stress that's currently happening in my life.  You see my mother, who lives with us, is moving out and it isn't under the best of circumstances.  It's a really stressful and emotional time for me and when I feel this way I either eat or buy yarn/fiber online.  So, while I'm disappointed that the Cold Sheep process has been reset, I don't feel guilty or bad about it as it is pretty understandable, at least too me.  I will start Cold Sheeping afresh and my new total is 4 days :)

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Fresh Off the Wheel - Midnight Campfire

The spinning wheel was calling me after a  long reprieve and even though I have other projects in the wings (ones with an actual due date) I just couldn't resist.  I dug into my fiber stash and found this roving dyed by Wishfox Dyeworks called "Midnight Campfire".  It's Southdown wool which is a new fiber for me to spin.  A medium length fiber with lots of crimp it's supposed to be a hard wearing wool that's good for socks. 

So, socks they became!  I loosely used this pattern again with Ravelry notes found here.  They are my first pair of socks knit from handspun and even though they don't match hardly at all I am pleased.  Because I still haven't mastered spinning very fine yarn they are a bit thick.  I will actually need to get some wider clogs so I can wear them this winter.  It sounds a bit extreme, but my current clogs only fit with very thin socks so it is something I have been thinking about purchasing for a while now.  I mean who wants thin socks when it's cold out?

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cold Sheep Stash Update for May (in June)


Well, the month of May was so busy it just flew right by me with Mother's Day, friend's birthdays, scrapbooking ladies night and an awesome Unschooling conference.  So, I thought I'd catch you up on what I have been knitting and how this Cold Sheep experience is going.

Socks for my mom for Mother's Day were the first thing on my list.  I had some left over skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage which is a DK weight yarn that I had already made her a hat and two cowls from.  My mom loves hand knit socks so it was pretty easy to know how to use these skeins.  Here is the pattern I chose and you can see my modifications notes here.  First, I thought I'd only make one pair, but I was having so much fun I made two.  I did run out of the darker wine color, but luckily I had more of the rose yarn to finish the cuff.  The effect is rather sweet I think.  They came out thick and cushy; perfect for a Minnesota Winter.

Next, I knit a few chemo hats for my friend Amy's charity - Team Yarn.  I used this same pattern as before using up all my little scraps of the Madelinetosh Vintage yarn (I had 14 ends to weave in - yikes!)  Then, I knit another with some pretty Artyarn variegated yarn, but it came out a little short which bummed me out.  It is hard to measure a lace pattern I find, as there is so much wiggle room and stretch with the holes.

Last up is a project I did buy yarn for, but I'm not counting it as a divergence from my Cold Sheep project since it's for a High School Graduation gift for my oldest niece.  She wanted something handmade and "special" and I just didn't have a any yarn that would suit her.  You see she's a huge Superman fan so I'm knitting her a superman colored "school" striped scarf and a matching Superman hat with the "S" logo.  The college she chose is in northern Minnesota so she needs some warm acessories as she's walking from building to building this next winter.

The final photo is of some new yarn.  "New yarn?" you may ask.  Yup, I was hankering for some yarn to knit a couple of summery tops with and getting really close to purchasing (online shopping is dangerous!), but my dear sweet husband Dan saved me and purchased the yarn I wanted as my Mother's Day gift.  I was thrilled to say the least!  I'm hoping to knit this and this with those skeins.

Since this post is also for Yarn Along I'll quickly mention my latest book - Jane Austen's Persuasion.  I enjoyed re-reading Pride and Prejudice so much I thought I continue to read more of her books.  They are so well written and are so soothing after a day of video gaming with my son.  I am trying something new and reading a "free" version of this book with my Nook app on my Ipad.  Reading in bed is easier with the larger print and the light from the screen - I might be swayed to do this with more books.  We'll see...
My new Cold Sheep total is 113 days!  YAY!

Joining in with Ginny for Yarn Along

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cold Sheep and Stash Update - April

The end of April is upon us making it time for a Cold Sheep and Stash update!  If you read this post you know what I'm talking about and if not well, going "Cold Sheep" is a phrase for not buying yarn, but using up your stash of yarn instead.  I thought I would do a monthly update as to how I'm doing with my goal of "shopping" in my stash and today's the day.  My day total of going Cold Sheep is now up to 77 days!  Yay!  

Now, onto what skeins of yarn I have used up.  The sock yarn turned out to be a boon for my desire to knit Spring weight shawls and I used 2 skeins making Dragonfly Wings and Miss Winkle.  I am currently using a third sock skein with a skein of my indigo dyed sock yarn to make the shawl Pendulum.  Then I got a bee it my bonnet over the rest of the indigo dyed yarn and started on my first Christmas gifts for 2014!  Yes, you heard me right Christmas gifts!  I choose the Grrlfriend Market Bag, which just about uses up a full skein of my worsted weight merino yarn, as my friend gift for this year.  I'm making them in pairs using my brown walnut dyed yarn with the indigo/myrobalan teal.  Thus far I have two completed and 4 more to go (well, 5 really as I want one for me too.)  So, that's what's been knit - 4 skeins of yarn and 2 in process.  

I'm very pleased that this project has turned out to be such fun.  I was really worried I would feel deprived, but so far that hasn't been the case.  Knitting now is more like a challenging puzzle of matching my ideas and pattern wants to yarn I already have.  Who knew knitting could get even better?

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On.

Friday, April 25, 2014

A Loopy Shawl

So, just a quick post today to show you all my finished Miss Winkle scarf/shawl.  This was a very fun and easy knit by Martina Behm who writes a very clear and concise knitting pattern.  The loops are knit and twisted before connecting again to the main fabric which is made up of simple garter stitch.  Then to block this shawl you use a 1/2 dowel rod placing it through the loops so they keep their shape.

For yarn I used some I had in my stash - YAY!  It's Dancing Leaf Farm Sock Hop fingering weight yarn in A Day at the Carnival colorway.  I've had this skein bouncing around for about 2 years so I am happy to have finally put it to good use.  Even though it's been so long you can still find this yarn and colorway for sale here

The weather here in Minnesota took a dip back down to about 40 degrees yesterday so I got a chance to wear it already which makes me happy.

Joining in with Linda for Creative Friday and Tami for FO Fridays

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Spring Shawl Fever

After knitting a lacy shawl for my mother I believe I caught a Spring Fever of sorts.  This version resulting in the need to knit fingering weight shawls for Spring (if only I could of caught the cleaning fever, ah maybe next year.)  I just finished Miss Winkle yesterday and hope to share it with you here on Friday.  And now I'm currently knitting Pendulum with more yarn from my stash - YAY!  The light teal is another skein from Luna Grey Fiber Arts and the dark teal is some of my own naturally dyed yarn using Myrobalan over-dyed with Indigo.  Don't they look as if they were dyed to match?  

Continuing to use yarn from my stash is pleasing me no end, but I'm doubly pleased to use some of my Indigo dyed yarn.  You see all the yarn I dyed with Indigo is still "crocking" (meaning it the dye rubs off the fibers onto your skin) no matter that I've rinsed it many, many times.  Finally, I purchased some Professional Textile Detergent from Dharma Trading Company to try and remove this excess dye and I was met with success after two very hot water washings.  Lots of blue dye came out and I was so worried I would not be able to use this yarn, but after drying the Indigo did not rub off on my hands as it had before - Victory!  Now only about a dozen more Indigo skeins to wash, but that's a project for another day.

Since this post is for Yarn Along I will mention the book I am currently reading, or rereading in this case, which is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.  I love Jane Austen and find her soothing to my soul either reading the books or watching the movies made from her books.  This time I am reading it for a book club and I am excited to hear my friends views. Although I love all her books, my favorite has always been Persuasion.  Maybe I can convince my book club to read that one next?

Joining in with Ginny for Yarn Along and Tami for WIP Wednesdays.