February review 2020

Stash used this month: 9.5 skeins

Total stash used this year: 11.5 skeins

Stash remaining: 344

The numbers look really good, don’t they? But I didn’t actually use up all those skeins myself.

After 7 months I finally convinced the boyfriend to try his hand at knitting, and he has already used the phrase “just one more row” several times – he’s officially A Knitter now! Four skeins have gone into his first ever project; a super chunky infinity scarf.

I got my hooks and needles out every time I has a spare few minutes, and I was ill for 4 days with no energy to do anything but knit, so there are a few things to show for the shortest month of the year.

Charity makes

Super chunky hat

Fingerless gloves

Blue spiral hat (no decent photo yet)

Makes for myself

A few more Roses for Grandma squares have been added to the pile.

Makes for others

Fingerless gloves for the bf, which he has worn every day since I finished them. I’m so pleased!

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I do love a goal, and with the bf’s help I’ll get through my stash even quicker (until he starts buying his own yarn), so I’ve decided to aim for less than 300 skeins left in my stash by the end of 2020. That will be just under 4.5 skeins per month – totally doable!

Hannah

xXx

Final bears

Current WIP count: 7

Okay this will be the last post about Simba bears for a while, I swear. I just wanted to show the whole set of sizes all lined up now they’re finished.

Thankfully that was enough bear for now and I’ve been able to get back into Roses for Grandma properly. All the current squares are finished and I’m now making motifs again, as I decided I want a bigger blanket than first planned.

It’s not quite mindless enough to work on at choir, so I’ve also started another hat. This is strictly for choir/travel crochet so it won’t take any time away from my Grandma blanket.

I think I’m finally getting a good balance between charity makes and projects just for me. Hopefully I can keep that up.

Hannah

xXx

The longest January ever

I don’t know how a month can feel like it’s never-ending and still go by in a flash, but January just managed it. Right now I simultaneously can’t believe it’s February already and don’t understand how it’s not at least 2025 yet.  Isn’t time funny?

There wasn’t a huge amount of making for me last month, but I’m happy that the majority of it was for charity.

I also finished off my baby Flax Light and made some progress with Roses for Grandma.

The reason I didn’t get much making done is because a lot of craft time was spent trying to get my flat into some sort of order. You may remember the hugenormous pile of yarn:

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That turned out to be around 400 skeins of yarn.

400!

I Marie Kondo-d that mountain and got rid of all the old, nasty acrylic that squeaks when you use it, any colours I wasn’t in love with, and odd bits of leftover skeins I knew I would never do anything with. That left me with 355.5 total. Yes I counted some as half skeins, not to make the total look better, but to give a more realistic idea of what I’ve used up. No using little 25g balls and patting myself on the back for clearing out whole skeins.

So another goal for this year is to make my stash less ridiculous and use up as much as I can. Even though January wasn’t particularly crafty I still managed to knit and crochet two skeins, one into charity hats and one into Roses for Grandma, leaving me with 353.5 to go.

Wish me luck!

Hannah

xXx

Wonky roses

Current WIP count: 7

I am a dingbat. We all knew this anyway, but at the weekend I got even more proof.

The boyfriend asked about Roses for Grandma, so I laid out the squares I had made so far to give him an idea of how it will look.

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I’m actually further on than this, but it gives an idea

As I was explaining, I noticed that some squares were more ruffly than others. Thinking maybe I had used a different sized hook, I picked up a ruffled and an unruffled square to compare them, and realised that one was a whole round smaller than the other.

I checked the others and yes, I had reached the penultimate round, somehow skipped over the last part of the pattern, and cut the yarn. Six times.

So my Sunday was spent adding round 6 to a bunch of squares to bring them up to the right shape and size. I’m very good at round 6 now.

I’m hoping they were all from the beginning of this project when I was blindly following the pattern and not really understanding how it related to the yarn in my hands, rather than me just having several special moments when I actually knew what I was doing, but who knows!

It wouldn’t be a project of mine if it all went smoothly, would it?

Hannah

xXx

P.S. just for funsies, does anyone want to guess how many skeins of yarn I have in my stash?

Helpful FOs

You’ve got to love the crafting community. The Animal Rescue Collective Craft Guild (link here) has received so many donations for Australia that there’s currently a stop on sending any more, to give them time to take stock and work out what’s still needed. What an excellent ‘problem’ to have!

So there’s been no crafting for Australia for me just yet, and I’ve been finishing up my other charity projects instead.

I now have four bears to go to Simba.

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Still not looking like twinsies.

And two hats to go to Knit For Peace.

I was going to block both hats, but I tried on the rolled one and I actually really like the look of it so that’s staying as it is.

I’m still hooked on the charity-crafting thing so now I’m making a pair of large bears for Simba. Once they’re finished that will be a full set of sizes and hopefully my crojo will let me get on with some of these WIPs that have been lying around for months.

Hannah

xXx

Memories

On Sunday I was in the kitchen sifting icing sugar into a bowl. I took out a teaspoon to push the last few clumps through the sieve, and was hit with a crystal clear memory of my Grandma standing in her kitchen, teaching me to use a spoon so I would stop using my fingers.

Losing someone never hurts any less; it just hurts less often. This particular kick in the heart reminded me why I started my Roses for Grandma blanket, and got me digging through my WIP pile to find it and get going again.

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I have a few more squares to make so that’s going to be my focus this month. I’ve pretty much decided on the layout so once they’re all made up I can get straight to joining them together. It’s a somewhat fancy, lacy crochet join so it might take me a while, but I have decided that this blanket will be finished this year.

Hannah

xXx

A tough choice

I have another weekend involving a lot of travel, and I’m trying to decide which WIP(s) to take with me.

Morag has been sadly neglected, and is probably my most portable project right now.

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But I really do want to get my Flax Light finished. It feels like these sleeves are taking foreverrrr, which doesn’t really make sense considering they’re so much smaller than the body.

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Or I could make some more squares for Roses for Grandma.

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Or maybe get on with this dragon.

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I need to travel light so I can’t take them all, but I could maybe manage a couple. Decisions, decisions! Any suggestions from anyone?

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 10.04.19

Current WIP count: 5

Havana is pretty addictive, I spent most of my weekend working on it and now I’m into the third section.

This one is similar to the first section, but just different enough to keep me interested. Plus it turns out I really like turquoise and orange together. Who knew!

Roses for Grandma has kind of gone back a step, as I decided I wanted a rectangular blanket rather than a square so I’ll have to make some more roses.

On the plus side that makes the layout a little simpler. I mainly have pink and purple roses, but there are four in different colours plus my forget-me-not square, so with a 5×4 layout I can have one ‘different’ square in each row. Now I’ve got a rough layout I can start joining them together.

I really need some slightly smaller projects. Maybe I’ll dive in to sock knitting at last, although with my knitting speed that might not help me get a finish anytime soon!

What’s everyone else working on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

March Review 2019

Yes I’m a bit late with this, but hands up who’s surprised. Nobody? Okay, let’s get on with it!

The Lego blanket took over a lot of March, and I don’t just mean on my blog. I made those bricks at choir, during my lunch break, in bed, while walking, in a pub, in the bath, on a train, basically every moment I was awake and not using my hands for something else.

It was totally worth it to see my Dad’s reaction when he opened it.

Aside from that I didn’t get much finished; most of my WIP list is big projects that are going to take weeks, if not months, of work. There was progress on Roses for Grandma

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And Havana

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And Flax Light

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But the only other FO was my mothers day card.

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I did pick up a new hobby though when I tried and instantly fell in love with needle felting.

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So even though my WIP list didn’t change much at all, I had a really busy, productive month and ended up with a few makes that I’m super proud of. I’m not sure anything will ever top my Lego blanket!

In April I’m hoping to start joining Roses for Grandma together, and do some more needle felting to make sure my bunny wasn’t just beginner’s luck. It would be good to finish off my dragon amigurumi as well, but we’ll see.

How was your March? Any exciting plans for April? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 27.03.19

Current WIP count: 4

Now the Lego blanket is finished I can get back to my other WIPs, which have been sadly neglected over the last few weeks.

It took a few tries to work out which hook size I used for my Havana, but I got there eventually and now I’m right back into it.

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With my Flax Light I managed to get the sleeve stitches onto some waste yarn (a new experience for me) and cast on additional stitches for the sleeves (also new to me), so now I’m at the great part where I just knit and knit and knit until it’s the length I want.

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I like jumpers long enough to cover my hips so it’s probably going to take a while, but there’s no deadline so that’s okay.

I spent the journey back from seeing my parents on Roses for Grandma so now I have more squares finished, although in serious need of blocking.

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It’s funny, I’ve been working on this blanket for almost a year, blindly following the pattern with each square and not really understanding the construction. Then on Sunday for some reason it just suddenly clicked, and I could see which stitch is meant to go where. I don’t need the pattern any more because I ‘get’ it.

I’ve no idea why it took me so long to get to that point, or what made it clear all of a sudden, but I’m running with it!

Of course mothers day is just around the corner so I’m working on a little something for that too.

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It feels so good to get some variety in my makes again, there’s no way I could stick with just one project at a time forever.

What’s everyone else working on? Have you ever had that AHA moment with a pattern? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 20.02.19

Current WIP count: 8

It’s all gone a bit mad this week. My mum asked for 2 baby blankets to give to friends, which I thought I had in stock but didn’t. So I’m rushing those through.

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12mm hook ftw!

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Then my dad’s birthday is in March and he’s getting a blanket as well. It occurred to me at the weekend that a dad-sized blanket can take quite a bit of time so I’d better get on with it.

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Just a sneaky peek for now

I do have a backup plan if it’s not ready in time, but I’m trying my best to hit the deadline.

And the woman at choir who requested a poncho for her granddaughter told me the parents were so pleased with it they’d like another one! There are a few adjustments I can make, which is why I’ve jumped right in to start working them out. I’m expecting much frogging.

With all these new WIPs you’d think everything else would have been neglected, but I actually have progress to show.

Roses for Grandma now has 2 more complete squares and another partly done.

Plus I’m well into the increase section of my Flax Light.

It was so lovely having a whole day at the weekend to just sit and work with yarn, and having so much to show for it feels awesome. But argh so many WIPs!!

What’s everyone else working on this week? Are you keeping your WIP pile under control? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 13.02.19

Current WIP count: 4

Has everyone heard of the Havana CAL by Tinna Thorudottir Thorvaldar (what an excellent name)? It’s been aaaaall over social media since starting in October so you might have seen some even if you didn’t know what they were.

I was my usual organised self and started my Havana yesterday, after choosing my yarn at the weekend. Four months after the CAL started. Although that’s actually better than every other CAL I’ve planned to join, because I never started any of them!

Havana uses the mosaic crochet technique (I have no idea why it’s called that), which can produce some pretty interesting patterns. This is a new technique to me but really easy to pick up so I’ve been whizzing along with it, and I’ve already got the first part of the pattern memorised.

I decided to make it a stash-buster project to use up some of the enormous box of cotton yarn I bought over a year ago. These are the colours I’ve chosen, because I can never resist a rainbow.

And this is how I’m pairing them together for the different sections.

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In my head it looks like starting at opposite ends of the rainbow and moving inward to meet in the middle, but we’ll see how it turns out in real life.

My Havana will be smaller than Tinna’s, as the pattern calls for worsted weight yarn and I’m using DK. I may also drop some repeats/sections as I go along. I like big blankets as much as the next person, but I do have limits, and the hugenormous original is just a bit too much for me.

I’ve also been working pretty solidly on the Flax Light jumper, although my knitting is so slow that there’s not massive progress to show.

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I finally made it past the ribbing and I’ve decided that k1p1 ribbing is my least favourite thing ever. So much faffing about moving the yarn backwards and forwards. But now I’m on to simple increase rounds with a couple of purl sections so it’s plain sailing for a while.

It takes a stronger will than mine to resist the lure of a new project, so those two have been hogging my attention all week. I am utterly determined to have some Roses for Grandma progress by next week!

What’s everyone working on? Has anyone else got certain neglected WIPs making them feel guilty? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx