Stash Busting in 2022

One of my informal goals in 2022 was to knit from my stash (isn’t that every knitter’s new year goals?). I say informal because I wasn’t militant about it, but rather, I was mindful with my purchases. That said, my stash did grow quite a bit in 2022, but it did go down somewhat as well.

For example, Feel the Bern was a quick knit that used over 600 metres of worsted weight yarn. If you’re looking for a project to do some stash busting or to help practice colourwork, this is a great pattern for it.

My Temperance Shawl was also a great project to use two skeins of fingering yarn I had for about 2 years. However, I did have to buy one more skein to work the project, but I love this shawl. Wearing it is like wearing a socially acceptable blanket around.

My Icefall sweater also used up stash yarn that had been kicking around for some time. Now, this was a WIP that had been WIP-ing for over a year by the time it was finished. I was pleased to use a gradient yarn for the colourwork because it added interest with no effort on my part at all. I also was pleased to use this gradient because I wasn’t quite sure how else to use this particular yarn. Its gradient-ness was a surprise for me once I wound it into a ball, but with the burnt orange, it looks good in this sweater.

These three are the projects that put the biggest dent in my stash. I made a few cowls and socks that also helped work down a skein or two.

For 2023, as I’ve written, I have four projects with yarn and patterns, all I’ll need to do is cast on. Here’s hoping I can continue to work away at the stash, while, maybe, adding a little more along the way, if the yarn is right.

On Not-so-Accidentally Felting

I almost titled this one The Fuzzy Fezziwig, because that’s what happened.

A few months back, I finished the Fezziwig cardigan, made with Gathering Yarn Haynes Creek Heathers Aran. While I liked the cardigan, I didn’t LOVE it. Was it the pattern, was it that I didn’t knit a gauge swatch, was it the yarn, or was it a combination of all of it? Yeah, probably the combination of all.

After I washed and blocked it the first time, I thought it was roomy and a little slouchy, a problem that seemed to increase after washing it a second time. So, the third time I washed it, I thought, rather than lay it flat, I’ll throw it in the dryer for 20 minutes or so…

Did I mention that the Haynes Creek Heathers is a non-superwash yarn…

It felted.

But, I’m not mad at all.

Here is a little before and after. It’s like a whole new sweater!

Some of the cable details were lost with the felting, but they’re still there, but subtle.

The sleeves shrunk QUITE a bit! On the original sweater, I had to roll the sleeves up, but on the felted version, they turned out just a wee bit short. I catch myself tugging at them slightly while wearing it.

The felted sweater is warmer, plusher, and cosier. It’s become a more wearable piece for me, so, like I said, I’m not mad at all about my first adventure in felting.

There’s No Reason Not To

Last week, I wrote that I didn’t want to spend any money on yarn through the month of January. Well, I really have no reason to.

One evening, I took time and got organized. I sorted yarns and projects together into project bags, and I have four, yes four, different projects I could start at any time.

What’s in the bags, you might ask?

Well, one bag has five skeins of sock yarn along with the pattern for So Faded by Andrea Mowry.

Bag #2 has three skeins of Berroco Weekend that I got on clearance from a LYS as this lovely yarn has been discontinued. This yarn is destined to become the Magna Flora (RAV LINK) sweater by Alisa Hartzel. Three skeins should easily make the short sleeved version.

Next up are three skeins of Cascade Heritage Sock and three skeins of Koigu KPPPM which are paired with Sides and Stripes (RAV LINK) by Veera Välimäki.

Finally, the last bag has a skein of Nerds with Needles Nerdy Sock, and I’m envisioning it becoming the Every Bit Cowl from designer Stephanie Lotven.

The only hurdle left was getting the skeins wound, but by the time I got my stash and patterns organized, I was done for the evening, but I managed to get the Nerds with Needles and one skein of the berroco wound over the weekend. That’s two of the four ready for cast on.

So, with four projects organized, and a shawl, a sweater, and two pairs of socks in the WIP pile, I have no real reason to buy yarn. Right?

Finished Birthday Socks

A few weeks ago, I shared socks for which the plans changed once I finished the cuff. Well, the pair is now finished and gifted, so I can post about them!

The yarn was hand dyed using some kool-aid packages, which created this interesting swirling effect.

The pattern was super simple:

Rounds 1-3: Knit
Round 4: *YO, K2Tog, K6* rep to end
Rounds 5-7: Knit
Round 8: *K2, YO, K2Tog, K2* rep to end

I had originally thought of making a pair with a textured pattern, different knits and purls forming the design, but the swirling of the colour lent itself better to a design that would let the colours shine.

Happy knitting!

Finished Fezziwig

It took just shy of two months to finish the Fezziwig Cardigan.

I have to say, I love it. The yarn, a heathered yarn from Haynes Creek, is lovely, and for a pure wool, its rather soft. And as for the colour, well, the blue/teal is so VERY me.

Before I give my thoughts on the pattern, I want to say, it’s discontinued. It is only available via the Wayback Machine, the internet’s archive. It was made unavailable in late 2019. It is what it is, and I knew this diving into this project.

(Also, as a total aside, I could never get the PDF file to download from the Wayback Machine on my iPhone or iPad – I was able to get the PDF when working on a PC. Keep this in mind if you seek this pattern out).

While I like my finished sweater, and it did knit up fast, I had some issues. If you were to knit the 42″ bust like I did, you might have noticed a typo after the sleeves are put on waste yarn. Pattern reads: Sts are 34/72/34, then you increase in the next row. Stitches ACTUALLY are 33/72/33, then after that increase in the Purl row, you get the stitch count that’s listed on the pattern.

Others in their project notes on Ravelry or in the pattern comments also noticed that you need to repeat the pocket cables a total of 4 times, not 3 like the directions say.

For the collar. I got SUPER confused for how to proceed with a bigger needle. I kept the button band on 6mm and knit the collar on 9mm. There’s a discrepancy for how many rows to knit total – I repeated rows 3 & 4 13 times more – so 30 rows of short rows before the rows to resolve them. I KEPT the collar stitches on 9mm and continued to work the bands on 6mm, even for those last few rows, simply switching sizes. I wanted the band to stay even and lots of drape for the collar.

While trying to wrap my head around the collar and needle sizes, I texted my friend Victoria, who also knit this sweater, although for her it was quite a few years ago. Her biggest advice was to use Jeny’s Stretchy Bind Off when binding off the collar, which I did. And, again, I kept the band stitches on 6mms and the collar stitches on 9mms and bound off with the respective needles, but stretchily.

In all, I used just over 1080 metres (or 1181 yards if you prefer). It is a cozy sweater, and as we’re heading into the colder weather, what a perfect time to have a new cozy sweater.