Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Some Shawls

Multnomah

Multnomah2

Multnomah4

Follow Your Arrow

Follow Your Arrow3

blocking

A few weekends ago, I pulled one of my design walls down and blocked some finished shawls. The first is from a pattern called Multnomah. I've named this shawl "Dearest Jane" because my dearest friend Jane spun the yarn just for me.

I just feel so very special looking at this beautiful shawl, knowing that she picked out the most "Crystal" colors she could find and spun up yards and yards of it for me. I wanted to pick a very special pattern that would show off the colors to their best advantage and I think Multnomah did that beautifully.

I've been wearing this shawl when I knit my Downton shawl early on Sunday mornings. It's light and fluffy and soft and everything wonderful. Thank you, my lovely Jane! This shawl is one of my greatest treasures!

The second shawl is from a really neat pattern called Follow Your Arrow. You can make 32 different shawls using different combinations of the clues. My friend Sara bought me the pattern for my birthday and I was so, so excited! Part of the reason I love this pattern so much is because there were so many new things I learned while knitting it. Short rows, lace, knit-on edging...it was all so new and so fun!

The yarn I picked for this shawl was originally going to be a sweater but let's face it...I'm probably never going to actually make a sweater. And that's okay, because I LOVE this color combination and was so excited to use it for this shawl.

I'm not sure if I'll keep this one or not. I love it but a friend of mine saw it and practically begged me to let him buy it for his wife. I'll probably end up giving it to him and then making another version of this shawl using the opposite clues. Which will be even better because it's the exact version that Sara made!

And also, just so you know...there's a Follow Your Arrow 2 pattern out now! It's still in the "mystery knit-along" phase meaning you can't get the entire pattern yet, but the first two clues are out. I bought a copy for me and for Sara and since neither of us have time to knit it now, we're planning our own FYA2 knit along this spring. It's going to be such fun!!

Oh man, I love knitting so much! I wish I had more time to knit and I wish my wrists didn't start to hurt after just a few minutes. This knitting break will be good for me but still...I want to knit so much! Sigh...I will try to try to be patient.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Progress

downton kal7

downton kal8

downton kal9

You guys! I'm totally keeping up with the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along! I said I would and I'M DOING IT! That is so unlike me. But I've been working hard to be the sort of person who actually accomplishes their goals...and so far, it's actually working!

Unfortunately, my right wrist is hurting a lot and I think I'm going to need to take a knitting break. But not a total knitting break...I want to limit my knitting time and be intentional with my projects. And right now, my Downton shawl is my priority. It's actually a very clever plan because a new clue comes out every Sunday and that's it for that week. Once I'm done, I have to wait days for the next clue. A limited amount of knitting, measurable goals, a beautiful shawl...I think it's a pretty good plan.

I'm also in love with this week's clue! This clue uses slipped stitches to make a sort of star pattern. It has a neat texture and could be inserted into any plain garter stitch pattern to add some interest.

I'm sad I already finished this week's clue but my wrists will thank me for the break. In the meantime, I'm going to do some quilting. Exciting!

Monday, January 12, 2015

11,890 Grams

extracat

warm

cool

neutral

projects

stash

11,890 grams. 26.2 lbs. 126 skeins. Approximately 45,000 yards.

This is my entire collection of yarn. It's a lot. I'm pretty shocked. And yet, I bet at some point during the year, there will be a yarn I want for a project but don't already have. How is that possible?

The last photo shows my entire collection except for any "in process" projects or yarn set aside for projects in the near future. So, add to that maybe 10 gallon-sized ziplock bags of yarn and wips. I'm not sure I'll be able to use up half my stash in one year but I'm going to try!

Extra-cat and I had so much fun going through everything...weighing and sorting and organizing. It was a fun morning! But actually making things will be even MORE fun! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Go Yarnicorns!




Last year I participated in the Yarn-athon at Eat Sleep Knit (my favorite online yarn sore). I didn't do it on purpose, it's just that when you buy yarn, you're automatically entered in the Yarn-athon. All the yards I purchased started to add up and soon I was earning milestone awards. Like my mug and $20 store credits. Oh man, was I good at running that Yarn-athon! And at the end of the year, my team (Team Stitchosaurs) actually won! As a prize, all the Stitchosaurs got a $20 store credit.

tubularity1

Now it's 2015 and I'm a Yarnicorn. I'm ready to run and get some prizes...only...I don't actually need more yarn! Thankfully, there are ways to earn yards and prizes by earning badges and participating in knit-alongs. It's a pretty fun idea, actually. The discussions and knit-alongs are through Ravelry which I love! I love that this online store feels like a neighborhood store. It's a wonderfully nice and welcoming community...one I don't have access to in real life.


This year, instead of buying yarn (or fabric) that would be perfect for projects, I'm going to actually make those projects. 2015 will be about finishing things up and giving things away. I want to focus on making useful items and learning new techniques.

At the end of this year, I'd like to reduce my yarn stash by some noticeable amount...maybe as much as half? Is that even possible? Let's say it is so that is now my goal.

This weekend I will be taking a yarn inventory and calculating the total weight of my yarn stash. I'll keep a running tally of how much yarn I've used and how much I add back in throughout the year. Ideally, I will not be purchasing new yarn...only I know that sometimes you need a certain color for a project and that just happens to be the color you don't have!

Anyway, stay tuned for all the yarn (and fabric) fun this year! Go Yarnicorns!

Monday, January 5, 2015

More Knitting

downton kal

extra

downton kal 2

cats

downton kal 3

Ian has been in California for the past two weeks and the cats and I have been at home knitting. Over my four day weekend I finished my Follow Your Arrow shawl, started a larger version of the Cladonia shawl and finished the first clue in the Downton Abbey Mystery Knit-Along.

I've never done a knit-along before. I stalked the Downton Abbey MKAL last year but now I'm actually participating. I'd really like to keep up with the clues each week so I can be a part of the action. So far, so good!

Ian comes home tomorrow and I'm so excited! I know he's going to be so into hearing all about my knitting and looking at all my knitting and telling me what he likes about each piece and why and how it makes him feel. Oh yes, I bet he can't wait!