Stash Busters

How do you use up your left overs? You know what I’m talking about: those little part balls, left over from that pair of socks or sweater you finished months ago.

I’m very much a Type A personality (or as a friend says, Type A++), and I’m super organized, so having these odds and ends kicking about my very precious yarn storage space drives me nuts.  When you have a quarter of a skein left, what do you do? It’s not enough to make anything of true substance… but sometimes it’s just enough.

I’ve been on a stash busting kick, trying to clear away those part skeins and odds and ends.

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A few odd balls of DK acrylic are quickly becoming a simple triangle shawl. I may need to buy one more ball to make it a good, proper shawl length.

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The left over Diamond Tradition from the Soper Creek Yarn Challenge are becoming a quick seed stitch cowl.

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Finally, those odd sock ends are becoming squares for a sock yarn blanket. I am ultimately pondering if I make it a true sock yarn memory blanket and only make one square with the yarn, or do I keep busting that stash and just make as many little squares with the yarn that I can. Decisions, decisions.

Happy knitting!

I Think I Found My Mojo!

Last week, when I posted, I was tapped for inspiration and barely knitting.  I’m not sure which invisible switch was flipped, but my needles have been hard at work this week!

I finished my first accent pillow, and the Whovian in me is simply delighted!  Knit with the colours of the Fourth Doctor’s iconic scarf, I finished seaming the pillow and adding the zipper on Monday.  I like making these knit pillow cases with zippers, so that if they need washing, it doesn’t become a huge production.  I can unzip, wash, then rezip.  Easy peasy.

Every house needs a touch of Doctor Who, doesn't it?
Every house needs a touch of Doctor Who, doesn’t it?

After completing this pillow, I grabbed a yarn that had been in my stash for a few years and started making a cowl.  I lost the ball band, but a friend helped me identify this yarn as Sirdar Donegal Tweed.  I’ve loved it since I first bought it.  It reminds me of crushed Smarties (for any Americans reading this, the Canadian Smarties are like M&Ms, candy coated chocolates), and really, who doesn’t want to wear something that reminds you of chocolate!

With the Sirdar, I cast on and completed a second ‘Cousin Cowl‘, a project I initially reversed engineered for my cousin, hence the name.  I was inspired by the Leaf Lace Bandana Cowl on Ravelry, and took the general structure of the cowl and made it my own with a completely different lacework pattern.  I liked the one I made for my cousin so much, that I made another.  A quick knit, I finished it in four days.

The colour difference with natural light and direct sunlight is amazing! The bottom picture shows the colour flecks of the tweed!
The colour difference with natural light and direct sunlight is amazing! The bottom picture shows the colour flecks of the tweed!

And finally, I needed to keep my hands busy on Saturday, so I made excellent progress on my Hermione Everyday Socks, finishing Sock #1 on Sunday, and casting on the second later that afternoon.

Hermione Sock #1 Loving the self patterning yarn, and the texture of the knit fabric is just lovely!
Hermione Sock #1
Loving the self patterning yarn, and the texture of the knit fabric is just lovely!

Seriously, what happened to the girl who was seeking inspiration?!

Many thanks to those who commented last week!  I now have new patterns in my ‘Favourites’ on Ravelry, and I was shown different features of this beloved site to check out when I need inspiration.  This blogging community rocks!

What’s In Your Knitting Bag?

Have you heard of Eskimimi Makes‘ Annual Knitting And Crochet Blog Week?  I hadn’t before this week, but I have been enjoying following the tags and reading the posts that all of you creative blog folks have been sharing.  I was too late to participate, and 7 new posts in a week seemed like a BIG commitment for me and a little intimidating, but one of the topics sparked my interest: Day 4: Bags of Fun.  I’ve previously written about my beloved knitting bag, my proverbial safety blanket, and while I shared the anecdote of my father and his apparent shock at the message, I didn’t delve into the bag’s contents.  Well, here goes!

Mary Poppins may have carried more around in her carpet bag, but I feel like my knitting bag may give her a run for her money!  The most obvious contents: my latest projects.  This past week, I’ve had three projects on my needles: The Sontag, a cowl that I’m quasi-improvising for my cousin, and what I’ve dubbed the Cunning Fingerless Gloves.  I’ve taken the basic pattern I used for the Warmer on the Inside gloves but changed the colours up in yet another geeky homage.  They are for my amazing co-worker, and I know when she walks down the street wearing these gloves, along with her equally cunning cap, people will know that she’s not afraid of anything.  Shiny.

Top: The Sontag; Left: Cunning Fingerless Gloves; Right: The Cousin Cowl
Top: The Sontag; Left: Cunning Fingerless Gloves; Right: The Cousin Cowl

Helping me with my current projects is my knitting journal.  It’s kind of a scrapbook/smashbook that I cut and paste patterns in, use to take notes as I’m knitting along, or I keep notes on patterns I’m improvising on the fly.  This is the second such journal I’ve filled in just over a year and a half.  I apparently knit a lot…

I'd be lost without this journal!
I’d be lost without this journal!

Also in my knitting bag: My DPN holder/crochet hook holder/scissor holder/catch all.  Many months ago, I was struggling to find a good solution for storing my DPNs.  You all know the struggle – so many DPNs, never a good way to keep them organized.  My local dollar store has provided me the best solution in a pencil case.  Sometimes it’s a search to find four of the same size needles, but they are together in one spot, they won’t get lost, and I can also keep essentials in there too, like scissors and the gauge ruler.  Love my DPN case.

My case and its contents
My case and its contents

Along with trying to keep my DPNs organized, I also struggled with my notions.  The more I knit, the more notions I have managed to buy.  Funny how that works.  Once again, my faithful dollar store gave me my solution.  These simple stacking containers are perfect for stitch markers, a measuring tape, row counters, and darning needles.  They are sorted and easy to grab when needed.

Organized notions are a beautiful thing!
Organized notions are a beautiful thing!

What else did I find in my knitting bag when I emptied its contents?

Size 7 needles, and a hair tie.  For two random items, they really aren’t that random at all.

Not so random
Not so random randomness

So, that’s my knitting bag.  What’s in yours?