Posts categorized "Stash"

2019 Knitting Resolutions

I took some time to update things on Ravelry yesterday and it was sort of like doing my finances, or shopping for a bathing suit. It made me take a moment to reflect and consider changes for the future.

Really, there's nothing wrong with my knitting life. It's foundational to my social time--I knit with friends, talk about knitting online, blog, hang out on Ravelry, do knitting related travel, and generally knit every day. It's more about the stuff of knitting and how much of it I have. 

It's a lot.

What I notice is that over the last few years, I tend to knit what I buy almost immediately. Like Russell Street--the kit was purchased at Rhinebeck in late October and I was wearing it by December. It never became stash. 

IMG_8817 2

Some of this feeling is likely a function of having more disposable income and some of it is knowing what I want to knit--I'm a self-actualized knitter :) . Having a stash is great. But adding stuff to the stash doesn't hold much allure. Knitting from stash almost feels like an obligation, albeit a nice one. We won't even talk about my fibre stash and my non-existing spinning time.

Resolution One: I will only knit what I have on hand until Rhinebeck 2019. If I somehow encounter a knitting emergency, I will sell or get rid of equal yardage from the stash. 

The other thing I realized I need to do, is keep notes about what I'm knitting. I'm really bad about this. Like, having to forensically investigate sock one, to knit sock two, bad. This is part of the reason I decided to join Kate Davies' Knitting Season Club this year. I was lucky enough to snag the full club with all the yarn (see Resolution One) and the journal. I rather like journals, but am not a journal keeper. I have them at work for rough notes and to-do lists, but tend to use my iPad and pencil for work notes. 

I use my iPad for PDF patterns and do annotate them, but not often enough and usually too cryptically to understand if a lot of time has passed. I think the tactile nature of knitting demands the tactile act of writing on paper. Or at least that's what I'm going with for now.  

Resolution Two: I'm going to crack open this lovely journal and use it as my knitting log. I'll make notes on my projects (which I might type into Ravelry later), write down what freaking row of the pattern I stopped on, note mods or issues and generally make notes about my knitting and spinning. 

The rationale for my last resolution is my next post. But here's the teaser:

Resolution Three: You don't like bracelet length sleeves even though you always wear a big watch and a lot of bracelets. Knit your damned sleeves long enough for the love of all things wooly. Ask Emma if the sleeves are long enough if you're not sure. Her arms are way longer than yours and she despises too-short sleeves.


I've been knitting stuff (finishing it too!)

Look!  Finished projects!

Redhook Vest


Yarn: Briar Rose BFL dk.  I had enough minus the cast off row, so after a little rip back, I had enough. Just. 

Pattern: Redhook by Jared Flood.  Perfectly written pattern, fun to knit, great to wear.



Staked Socks



Yarn: Indigodragonfly Merino Sock in And then Buffy Staked Edward. The End (Smart Ass Knitters/World Domination Club Exclusive Colour).  I love the smoky tealy goodness.


Pattern: Staked by Glenna C (Club pattern, available soon).  My first ever complicated patterned socks. It was fun to knit, even with the miss crossed cables and slightly messed up decreases on the foot.  My feet don't notice, so I don't care.  I might venture into more complicated socks again!




I finished this a long time ago, but wanted to show it off because it's my current favourite scarf to wear and it was great fun to knit.


Yarn: Sanguine Gryphon Bugga in Longhorned Beetle (leftover from my Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl) and Baruffa Bollicina Cashmere Silk from super old stash.

Pattern: Clockwork by Stephen West.  Deceptively simple to knit.  I love garter stitch squooshiness.

Hand Dyed Yarns

Hand Dyed Yarns.  There's nothing quite like them.  You get not only the colourful sensual experience of knitting, spinning and weaving with fibre coloured by an artisan in her studio (or kitchen), but also the depth and beauty of the products that come from these fibres.  There's always an element of surprise for me as the piece comes together, a bit of fun discovering how even semi-solid colours will stack when spun together or knit row by row.  

I love it.

Looking at my current and recently finished work I realize that I want to knit with hand dyed yarn over all else. Indigodragonfly, produced by my smart-ass buddy Kim, which not only have fantastic names, but contain so much fun--the colours make me knit with shades I would never think of touching before.  Briar Rose Fibres--the deep earthy tones that suit my skin and remind me of Autumn.  Lorna's Laces, the semi-solids are so fantastic for giving a garment some oomph to look just that much more pretty than a commercially dyed yarn.  Socks that Rock--all those colours!  Sanguine Gryphon--luxury, depth and inner shine (Bugga!). Stripey Vesper, Madeline Tosh, Sweet Georgia, Dream in Color, Sundara, Tanis, Waterloo Wools Lisa Souza (I just want to roll around in her roving)....

So much talent out there.  So little time to work with it all.  So many others I haven't even tried (tell me your favourites--go on, tempt me).

What's also great about these fibres is that they're produced by independent artisans and by buying their products you're supporting their art and their local economies.  It's a good thing to do and it gives your fibre work a nice ooomph.  

And, if that's not enough (or you've tried all of these already--making me jealous) have a look at The Fibre Cooperative

It's a monthly curated market which helps indie fibre shops who are too small to do advertising, connect with fibrey types like us who are looking for some new stuff to try.  It's easier to use than etsy (which is also a great source for indie dyers, but requires some clever searching and has a great assortment of beautiful things) and is some great one stop shopping.  They also have other fibre related goodies like accessories, jewelry and other good swag.  Go have a look--so many goodies (don't say I didn't warn you).

Smartass Knitters for World Domination 1 Skein Club: Now accepting applications

Super-fab yarn dyer and wonderfully smart assed Kim over at Indigodragonfly has a 1 Skein Club starting in June.  It's open for subscriptions until Sunday March 14th and it's going to be lots of fun.

The deal is you get a skein of yarn dyed by Kim in a Club-exclusive colourway and a pattern.  I'm designing the first offering and am keeping company with other great smart-asses like Glenna C, Sarah Jenkins, Susan Lutsky,and Ronni Smith.  You also get a bonus of artisan swag--something nifty made by the creative folks that Kim meets during her work promoting the Arts. 

Yummy yarn, great patterns, swag, smart-ass-ness: What more could you want?

Did I hear <<Cashmere>>?

If you sign up for a 1 year subscription (6 shipments) there's even Cashmere.

Not sure? Go read the details.  And look at my recent Indigodragonfly acquisitions. 

Wounded in the Act of World Domination MCN Sock

Wounded in the Act of World Domination (Donut) Sock yarn

Self Elmolation (giggle) in MCN Sock for some socks for Xander.

Self Elmolation Sock

2ply Organic Merino in Seasky (I bought this as a gift for a friend and don't want to give it away)

2ply organic merino Seasky

Soft, squooshy colourful and cleverly named.  What's not to like?  And there's more here.  I'm particularly smitten with Beige.

See my pretty yarn?

I love Rowan Cork yarn.  I was really unhappy when it was discontinued.  It is a chunky weight to knit but is super light to wear.  The chainette construction is lofty and soft and it's one of my favourites.  

When it went off the market, I started stashing.  Thing was there were only some scary colours left.  I had ten balls of Sour and 3 of Snuggle accumulated and 2 balls of Orange left from Bless.  I thought I could knit something from the Sour, but really, it's day-glo bright and just not for me.

Then Kim my pusher dyer friend at Indigodragonfly suggested I over dye it.  Into her dye pot the Sour and Snuggle went.


Rowan Cork

This is what came out.



I love it.  All the lovely squooshiness of Cork and all the pretty hand dyed magic from Kim.

Both were dyed the same colour, but the green of the Sour comes through to make it more hunter/foresty where the beige went more teal.  Since it's kettle dyed I'm going to strategically alternate the skeins and use it all together.  I'm pretty sure I'll make Kathy from the Cork book (Ravelry link).  A snuggly sweater coat would be very nice  Or I might do something like Chelsea from Yarnplay where I could use the different blue on the cuffs and collar.  Or, Notre Dame De Grace (I love how this looks good on everyone).  The beautiful colours can do the work of pattern and colour on their own.

Whatever I choose, the transformation of this yarn leads to possibilities.  Thanks Kim!

Holy Freakin' Stash Sale!

As I mentioned a few posts ago, it's time to think hard about my stash.  I went through every single last ball of yarn I have and made a big pile of things that HAVE TO GO!

I was thinking about grouping things to enhance their marketability and then thought better of it.  Let's just say there's a bit of everything, but nothing handpainted or hand dyed--that stuff is gold and I want to keep it all. Things are a bit tough financially right now at the And She Knits Too household, but they ain't that bad.  And I feel like prior stashing in good times allows for current knitting happiness now.

Important details stuff: 

  1. All prices are in US Dollars and I'll invoice you via Paypal.  
  2. I'm also willing to entertain trades in lieu of purchases.  But only if I know you; sorry but I've been burned and I don't want to be again.
  3. Shipping is NOT included in the price.  Canada Post is not all that great at setting out prices that make it easy for me to give you a sense of what shipping will cost. But expect to pay a minimum of $5. I will send out a proper quote for your approval before we seal any deals.
  4. Unless indicated otherwise, all of these yarns are new and unused.  All were stored in a smoke and pet free home.

I also have a few tools that need new homes.  I'll do those first:

SOLD! Denise Needles Set - $40: Complete set of points, cords, connectors and caps, and a second set of cords.  The case is a bit worn but everything is fine.  They're just not my thing.



SOLD! Umbrella Swift - $25: I bought a new wooden one this year with a prize certificate I won at Lettuce Knit.  I've had this swift a long time and it works just fine.  If you don't have a swift, you're really missing out. This one comes with a plastic storage sleeve.



SOLD! Noro Kureyon - 11 skeins - $75: Colour 126, Lot E.



SOLD! Rowan Yorkshire Tweed dk - 10 skeins - $50: Colour Lime Leaf (348), Lot 27H4


SOLD! Rowan Bamboo Tape - 10 skeins - $60: Colour Chalk (703), Lot 61074



SOLD! Rowan Yorkshire Tweed Aran - 3 skeins - $25: Colour Hero (411), Lot 3E5



King Yarns Kelly - 2 skeins - $7: Enough for a Baby Bolero! Colour 50, Lot 8526



SOLD! Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran Tweed - 3 skeins -$20: Colour Beach (122), Lot 230



SOLD! Elizabeth Lavold Silky Wool - 2 skeins - $10: Colour 16, Lot 1210



Briggs & Little Heritage Worsted - 2 skeins - $10: Colour Plum (58), Lot 619.



Rowan Biggy Print - 3 skeins - $25: Colour Cookie (244), Lot 10E1 (they're wily--never used, but unwilling to stay pretty in the skein)


SOLD! Samuel Lumb Wool Tweed Worsted - 1 Cone=2000m - $50: Apparently Samuel Lumb mills was around in England making yarn for nearly 200 years before they had to close because they couldn't get fire insurance for the building.  I was also told they milled yarn for Rowan.  I have another cone of the same yarn--it's oiled for machine skeining so has to be washed after you knit the garment, or skeined and washed before.  It's a more rugged yarn, meaning for most it wouldn't be a next to your skin sweater.  I would compare it to Noro Kureyon or a shetland wool.  It's really deep purple and tweedy.



SOLD! Tivoli Aran Superwash - 10 skeins - $45: Colour 962 Lot 5679 (one ball was started and ripped out).



SOLD! Tivoli Aran Superwash - 9 skeins - $40: Colour 977 Lot 9814 (one ball was started and ripped out).



 SOLD!  Fiddlesticks Wool Silk Lace - Almost 1 skein - $10: Colour Black, Lot unknown.  I would say there's 600m here.  You can also have the pictured shawl I started to rip back if you want.  Note to self: I don't like knitting lace.


SOLD! Elann Peruvian Highland Wool - 8 skeins - $15: Colour Black (500), Lot 647



HFSS - Coming Thursday

FYI: I'm having a Holy Freakin' Stash Sale (HFSS) here at And She Knits Too! on Thursday.  The post will go live at 7:45am EST.  

There's some sweater-quantities of yarn, a Denise Needle Set, a Swift and some other bits and bobs that need a new home.

Hope you'll pop in for a look.

On Yarn Diets and Stash Busting

Last year I decided to try *very* hard to knit from my stash.  I have a nice stash full of pretty yarns, many of which I wanted to knit <<cough>> Bohus <<cough>>.

Here's what I bought last year: 

That doesn't include Rhinebeck, but I don't include that in my fast.  Fibre festivals and retreats are special; like your birthday cake on a food diet.
The weird thing is that I also immediately knit up those yarns and most of my handspun.  I'm starting to think that I have a solid record of using what I buy almost immediately, but not using what I buy just to have or because it's a good deal. 
I really like the whole process of finding a project I love, getting the yarn and starting rather than looking at my stash and hoping pretty yarn X will work out. 

This is happening with my current WIP from stash--a cabled cardi using grey Jo Sharp Aran tweed.  The yarn is lovely, but I'm not sure it's the right yarn for the project.  I think the sweater will be too casual for what I want.  So it'll be a fine sweater, but might not fill a wardrobe hole (which is generally stuff I can wear to work). 

You see, I stashed most of my yarn when I worked at home, so my tastes have changed and my wardrobe demands have changed.  I can only have so many aran weight tweed sweaters for the few hours I'm not in office clothes. (I work in a semi-casual environment, but also work with a lot of people who wear suits; so I aim to dress for that audience rather than what many at my University wear.)  
Does this mean a de-stashing sale?  I'm considering it.  And I'll be sure to let you know.  Then I'll keep the money in my paypal account so when that perfect thing comes up I'll be ready for it! 

For now, my current economic situation, adequate stash and minimal knitting time mean that I'm going to keep knitting from my stash and using my handspun (note to self: need to get spinning from your very nice fibre stash).  But I'm also more willing to give things away to friends, make trades and live with less yarn.  From what I can tell there are still lots of sheep and sikworms on this planet.

Pretty Stuff

Phew, it's been a busy week.  I'm on holiday until the 24th and so far it's been action packed.  Right now the kids are in bed and Craig is out and I'm enjoying a quiet few minutes.  I've been such an infrequent blogger lately, but I have been knitting stuff.

Milkweed is done!  Just in time for the first heat wave this summer.  I'm not complaining about the heat, but it's too hot to model the shawl.


It's rather little--I should have gone up a needle size AND I needed to make the first two stitches of each row a bit looser so I could make the shawl longer.  It's about 4 feet--but makes a great little scarf, which is what I wanted.


It was a really fun, really quick knit.  I could see myself making another one.  Nice pattern Laura!  I used Fleece Artist Casbah and I like it.  I want more.  Yummy.

I also got some fibre dyed.  I bought a 450 gram bag of Merino/Seacell pencil roving at the Knitter's Frolic to use as practice yarn.  After spinning the brown stuff, I realized there was no way I could stand to spin 450 grams of white fluff so I had the uber-amazing Kim over at Indigodragonfly custom dye it for me.  She is one of those people who GETS colour.  Her hand dyes are flippin' gorgeous and she and I have very similar colour tastes.  I just gave her the bag and told her to surprise me.


Gorgeous eh?  She took inspiration from my new glasses.  I love the mix of my most favouritist colours.

Kim is also a smartass like me and she has cooked up some great names for her colourways.  Since pencil roving looks like brain, I call this Desiccated Brains.   Mmmmm brains.

If you haven't seen her yarns.  Go look.  Pretty.  She also has the Casbah yarn base (merino, cashmere and nylon) so you can have pretty and SOFT fibre.

Off to fire up the wheel and spin some of this prettiness.

The Deal

My plan for 2009 is to "slow stash" as Clara Parkes puts it, but that doesn't mean I don't want other fibrey related things.  I decided it was good to make a list to refer back to, so I can think about what things I might like instead of yarn, or to facilitate the use of those yummy yarns I already have.


Alice Starmore's Fair Isle Knitting (I confess I don't knit a lot of FI, but I love this book for all the technical advice it provides). 

The Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving (Revised Edition).  Not sure why I can't find it in Canada yet, but want to buy locally.

Creative Weaving - Beautiful Fabrics with a Simple Loom.  I'm told this is a good beginner book.


Boat Shuttles.  To try them out.  I think they would be faster than stick shuttles, but don't know.

Loom stand.  Then I can weave sitting on the couch or at least in front of the tv.  That I don't really have a place for a loom on a stand (it currently resides under the couch when not in use) is an issue (one that I am sorta ignoring).

A second heddle kit.  To push my weaving into different territory.  But need to read more about this first.

Fringe twister.  I can do it by hand, but this looks easier.

Just 'cause:

Iphone.  I've wanted one since they came to Canada and missed out on the opportunity to upgrade my phone for the same cost as a new customer so I've been waiting for my upgrade price to come down.  I noticed it has.  A lot.  (Note: Canadian cell phone contracts are rather byzantine due to the small market--it ain't easy to make changes.)  Soon my pretty.  Soon you will be mine.  Then I can have my patterns in my phone and ravelry.  So it counts for this post.