But the stash just grew…

Remember way back, when I said I wanted to make 2020 the year I knit more from my stash than from buying yarn? Remember that? I know, 2020 has been the longest year EVER, and it feels like I wrote that 38 months ago.

I feel like I started the year SO WELL. I was buying very purposefully where all yarn was seemingly for specific projects and helping to complement yarn already in my stash.

And then, well, we all know what happened this year. Can I say the increases to my stash were just my efforts to support local businesses? Can I justify all the money spent on skeins of yarn as doing my part for the economy?

Some of the yarn I bought I did with purpose. I bought three skeins of Cascade Heritage, and I’m hoping it will work well with some Koigu for a striped sweater – I’m eying Sides and Stripes (RAV LINK) by Veera Välimäki.

Some I just bought because I COULD. Namely, the eight – yes, eight – balls of Knit Picks Felici in Time Traveller. My Doctor Who appreciation is well known, having knit a bunch of Whovian projects in the past, so when they sent the email saying this colourway was back in stock, I was powerless. A friend and I shared an order and split any shipping costs, and, well, I now have 400g of this yarn. I figured eight balls would give enough yardage for a few pairs of socks, and accessory or two, and perhaps another Sock Arms sweater?

I have a feeling we’re in for a long few months, especially with how the pandemic is evolving here in southern Ontario. It’s fairly safe to say I’ll have enough yarn to get by… I think…

Knitspiration has returned

Over the last week, I’be been keeping busy by alternating between knitting, cross stitch, and reading when the weather is nice enough to enjoy my back yard. 

One of the projects I’ve been working on is a Mount Pleasant crop top. I LOVE this pattern and the simple lace detail it features along the bottom, but I’ve chosen to make it with two skeins of hand dyed yarn. The yarn is a local dyer called Lake Knit Yarns. Because my yarn is hand dyed, it means alternating the skeins, and knitting this project has become a bit of a slog. Nevertheless, I’ve already separated the front from the back, and it’s now a lot of stockinette until it’s finished.

I’ve also started a pair of socks for my sister – I’m glad she liked this yarn, another skein from Lake Knit, the colour way aptly named After the Storm. 

While this pandemic is helping me with my 2020 goal to knit down my stash, I took advantage of a promotion one of my LYSs is offering called ‘Quarenskein.’ You pick a price ($45, $65, or $95), and the shop picks out a package of yarn and notions for you. It was a lot of fun picking it up and being very happily surprised with two skies of Sweetgeorgia, two stitch markers, and a project bag from the shop. I THINK they yarn will be destined for a Waiting for Rain shawl, but I very well might change my mind by the time I’m ready to cast on.

As for cross stitch, my Fourth Doctor Scarf is coming along nicely, as is a small project I’ve started for my mum – more attention has been devoted to that pattern so to have it finished in tie for Mother’s Day. If I meet my goal, I’ll share a picture next week.

Stay well!

Can a Person Knit Only from a Stash?

I don’t like New Year’s Resolutions. If you are the type of person who does, please do not take my dislike as an insult, but I know me, I know how I operate, and resolutions are often set ups for failures. Rather, I like re-evaluating habits – this is something that could be done at any time in a person’s life. Habits are hard formed and can be hard to change up, and recently, my yarn buying habits are a wee bit out of control!

I’m hoping to make 2020 the year that I knit more from my stash. This does not mean I won’t be buying more yarn, I mean, change takes time people! But, I want to be more conscientious about my purchases.  I started 2020 with all my yarn entered into my Ravelry stash. Do you use the stash function? You really should. Mind you, the entering process can get tedious, but here is this one place with all my yarn, colourways, yardages, project ideas! It’s truly brilliant.

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Completely unsurprising, I have a fair amount of sock yarn in my stash. Shocker, I know. I want to work through my stash and purchase, as I said, conscientiously.  Prime example: a few weekends ago, my friend Victoria and I went to our LYS where I wanted to make a purchase. I hmm-ed and haa-ed about a few different skeins before purchasing two skeins of red sock yarn. Two skeins, but Lisa (I know you’re thinking), you said you were going to restrict your buying! These skeins are going to form the body of the Sock Arms Sweater by Stephanie Lotven. The highlight of the sweater are the fun arms, made with special skeins of sock yarn, and I have a skein of Biscotte ready to go for this garment.  I could have purchased another lovely skein, but that skein would have likely sat for some time in my stash, or I purpose bought two skeins that will be used almost immediately for a sweater. Buying for the sake of buying, or buying with purpose.

Here’s hoping, I can work down some of my stash this year, be more thoughtful about my purchases, and ultimately keep creating through the year.

Trying my hand at brioche

Late last week, with the holiday knitting finished, I cast on a new project, new in many senses.  I haven’t yet knit brioche; so far, I haven’t really found a project that captures my fancy which is why I’ve put it off, but then I found Flashpoint by Knitting Apprentice.  This hat has the look of cables, and it was one of the first patterns for brioche that made me say ‘hmmm.’  It calls for DK weight yarn, and I had two skeins that would look awesome together, so away I went.

Step one is the German Twisted Cast-on, new to me, so a few YouTube videos later, and it was started. My go-to is long tail (or sling shot) so a lot of the movements were not unfamiliar.

Once ready to start the hat, what surprised me is the whole new set of abbreviations that is involved with brioche. brk, brkyobrk, sssbrk. I’ve never seen these letters arranged together; it almost felt like learning a new language, having to make sense of what these combinations of letters mean and what I’m supposed to do. The hat has an option for a ribbed brim or just going right into the body, so to get used to the brioche motions, I’ve knit the brim, and after the first couple rounds not only did I feel like I was getting the hang of it, I was enjoying it!

Made pretty good progress, if I do say so myself.

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The yarns I’m using is Annie Paaren MTL BFL, a fun speckled yarn I bought in Montreal in April, and the main colour is yarn I overdyed as teal.

Between this hat, my stashdown sweater, a cowl and a few pairs of socks, I should be able to get a lot of knitting done over the holidays!

For those who celebrate, a very Merry Christmas!

Am I Becoming a Sweater Knitter?

With Weekender off my needles, I couldn’t wait to start something new, and what did I cast on? Another sweater. This time around, the pattern is Le Pouf by Beata Jezek, a great way to use up all that sock yarn I’ve been buying at frolics and fairs through the years. With the yarn held double, I needed six skeins of fingering to make this cardigan, and these ones just look so good together.

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The yarns are Northern Bay Fibres Luxury (Speckled Slate), Urth Monokrom Fingering, Lake Knit Yarns Loch Sock BFL (Lucky Stone), All Dyed Up! Fibres (Ivy, the darker green & Sir Ulrich with the lilac tones), and Stitch Please Amethyst Label (Men in Tights).

The Stitch Please has been in my stash since 2016 while the Urth I purchased a few weeks ago, the sixth skein needed to finish the sweater.

This pattern is free from Hedgehog fibres, but not long after casting on, I faced a dilemma: I like a LOT of directions.  This pattern gives guidelines on how to fade and go between the colours, but it does not give exact rows on when to do it, and this stresses me out, more than I expected.  Even though the sweater is coming along quickly (sock weight held double will do that), it’s not getting the attention it should because I’m the one who has to decide when to fade and that it just simply too much pressure.

Instead, I searched Ravelry and found a different pattern to start! Once again, I’m using up yarn that has been in my stash for what feels like forever. The pattern is A Cropped Sweater for Winter by Andi Satterlund, again a free pattern.

How many sweaters does one have to have in progress to be considered a sweater knitter? Asking for a friend…