Friday, August 29, 2014

Cold Sheep and Stash Update - August


Wow, the summer has flown by me this year!  It's hard to believe it's the end of August and the weather is already cooler.  It wasn't cool on the day I modeled the above shawlettes though; it was muggy and hot!  It made for a speedy 5 minute photo shoot before "the boys" (my husband and son) went to play some tennis at our park across the street.  My son Sam was trying to distract me while Dan was snapping pics, but I think the photos came out alright despite Sam's best efforts.   The first shawlette (not quite a scarf but not big enough to be a true shawl) was a kit that I won from Luna Grey Fiber Arts.  Yes, I won something!  And a wonderful something at that!  I was so excited to win the lovely skein of sport weight yarn  from Luna Grey along with the White Dwarf pattern by Amy Miller.  What  do you think?  The color is similar to one in the Pendulum shawl (also designed by Amy Miller) I finished last month, but being a solid color I'm sure I'll get more wear out of it.  It's asymmetrical which I'm not usually drawn to, but I'm quite pleased with the result.  The second shawlette is a pattern by Ysolda Teague called Marin done in Three Irish Girls Kells Sport yarn in their Solar Flare colorway.  I loved this pattern with it's scalloped edge and center triangle (achieved with short rows), but was pretty nervous while knitting it that it was not going to turn out right.  When I did finish it was small, very small, hardly enough length to wrap around my neck.  But once it took a bath and was stretched and pinned out to dry it shaped right up to my expectations.  While not looking too happy in the picture, I am thrilled with the end product and know I will wear it lots this Fall and Winter.  Though, safe to say I won't be knitting many shawls/shawlettes in the future as my drawer is now quite full with wonderful choices of what to wear.

August is also the month of my son's birthday, so even though I had hopes of completing more projects it wasn't meant to be.  And when you can't finish a project what should you do?  Well knitter logic says "Start more projects!"  Crazy, I know, but that's just what I did.  First up is yet another pair of Taylor's Orange Toe Up Socks, and this time I actually did use a different color for the toe, heel and cuff.  The blue is some Yarn Love sport weight yarn that I over dyed with indigo (I guess you could say I didn't just "love" it - haha.  Sorry I couldn't resist,) while the orange is leftovers from Marin.  They are going along fine, but I'm a little bored so...

Yes, I started another project.  This pattern is a free one from Rowan and it needs concentration which is nice when your other project is simple but boring.  I used more yarn from my indigo dyed yarn stash (Cascade Yarns Ecological Wool which is a bulky weight) for this project along with some yarn I did buy (I know I am so failing at this Cold Sheep thing) from  Knit Picks called "Aloft" which is a lace weight mohair silk blend.  The Aloft really is the key to making this a soft fluffy sweater and is a MUCH cheaper version to buy than the recommended Rowan's Kidsilk.  What do you think about buying yarn to use yarn I already have - is it a good thing?  My team says Yes!

Last up, is what is going to be a very long term project (think years here) - a Sock Yarn Blanket.  Yup, you heard me right I am going to knit a blanket out of thin sock yarn on teeny tiny needles.  To give you an idea each of those squares is a mere 2 inches in diameter.  Uh huh, it's going to take an awful lot of squares to make even a throw sized blanket.  The idea behind the pattern is to use up leftover sock yarn which is a great idea for me as I always have left over sock yarn sitting around looking at me wondering why I don't knit with it (well maybe not that last bit.)  And, if you've read any of my posts before you know I love, love, love to use up every bit of yarn.  I adore scrappy projects, but I also adore balance of color, so get ready, yes, I bought a couple of skeins of sock yarn in oranges to balance out all the blue sock yarn I will be using.  Again, it's buying yarn to use yarn I already have, which is a bit of a slippery slope I'm finding out.  

Well, my going Cold Sheep lasted a whole 50 days before being reset yet again and is now standing at a mere 13 days.  Oddly enough, I think I'll make it through to the holidays without buying anything else as it's the busy season for my knitted toy business Simply Playing plus I already have all the yarn I need for my holiday gifts. Hmm...this was yet another long post so I think I'll try for a least two posts next month.  A girl can dream can't she?

Joining in with Linda for Creative Friday and Tami for WIP Wednesdays (but on a Friday)

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.