Swatchless Flax-ing

Yes, I started knitting a jumper without a hint of a gauge swatch. Didn’t even entertain the thought for more than a second. But it’s okay; I have a plan.

I’m following the pattern instructions for a Medium, which is the boyfriend’s size. If it turns out my gauge is right then yay he’ll have a new jumper. If my gauge is off it’ll likely be looser than recommended, which should make the end result big enough to fit me and I’ll have a new jumper – It’s a win either way.

And if it’s a total disaster that doesn’t really fit either of us then I have a charity box just waiting for some more goodies, and it will still be a good chunk of yarn out of my stash. But I’m optimistic that one of us will get a squishy new jumper out of this.

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

A big (pre)Spring clean

At the weekend my boyfriend and I tackled the Box Room of Doom. It’s been my dumping ground for years, and had reached the point that I was reluctant to even open the door in case I saw what a mess it was.

But we (well mainly the bf – I got a migraine halfway through) smashed it:

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And once that mountain turned out to be a little molehill that only took a couple of hours to sort, I well and truly caught the clear-out bug. First I sorted my CDs, and DVDs. Then my books. Then my papercraft supplies.

And then it was time to face the stash.

I didn’t realise just how much yarn I had until it was piled into a heap on my living room floor.

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So much yarn!!

First of all I sorted it by fibre groups: cotton, acrylic, natural fibres, and mixed.

Then I sorted each category by weight.

And then a final sort by colour, because I can never resist a rainbow.

Then I put the whole lot into an Excel spreadsheet so I can track it.

Excel

I still don’t really have a good storage solution for my yarn so it’s mainly in cardboard boxes at the moment. But at least it’s now in cardboard boxes in some semblance of order, I know what I have in there, and I should be able to find what I’m looking for pretty quickly.

Now I just need to decide what I’m going to sort out next!

Hannah

xXx

Yarn haul

For several months I was absolutely certain I was going to Loch Ness Knit Fest this weekend. I had a free weekend, a friend in Inverness who offered their spare room, and a nice pot of money saved up so I could really treat myself to some special yarn goodies.

But then I realised it’s on at the same time as my choir’s annual weekend away, which I’d already booked and paid for. So I couldn’t go.

Cue a major sulk!

To make myself feel slightly less terrible, I decided to use my pot of money anyway and treat myself to some more generic yarn goodies. Any yarn is better than no yarn, right?

So first I went back to Hobbii, who seem to always have a sale on one thing or another, and found that Cotton Kings Twirls were still on sale and they had added lots of new colourways. I bought these beauties:

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Then I had a look at Hobbycraft and decided to get something a bit fancy all for myself. This here is West Yorkshire Spinners Exquisite, which is 80% wool 20% silk, in the most gorgeous forest green colour.

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I’m pretty excited to finally have some WYS yarn! The hope is to knit it into a Flax by Tin Can Knits for myslf.

I also got a couple of DPN sets, and another needle size for my KnitPro interchangeable cables.

So that’s my haul. It made me feel slightly better, but I’m totally still sulking. Next year I’ll stick it in my diary the second the dates are released so I can’t double book myself again. On the bright side, I now have a whole year to start saving again so by the time I get there I can have loads of yarn money to spend! I already can’t wait.

Is anyone going to LNKF? Or any other awesome yarny events? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

A little help from my friends

I had yet another sort of my yarn stash this weekend, thanks to some new storage donated by a friend of mine.

This sort out was much more thorough than the last one and I’ve ended up with a bag of teeny tiny scraps and leftovers. It’s great having them all neat(ish) in one place, but I have absolutely no idea what to do with them.

So I’m appealing to my bloggy friends for some ideas. Do you know of anything I can do with all these odds and ends? It can be crochet or knitting (bearing in mind I’m a new knitter), useful or decorative or downright daft – I just want to get them used up!

Please, please, please pass on your wisdom, my crafty friends. If you can drop suggestions into the comments I will be eternally grateful. Thank you in advance!

Hannah

xXx

Yarn swap

Remember I decluttered my blanket yarn to Rebecca? Well she sent me some super AWESOME yarn in return, and I finally had time to collect it from the Post Office, so I thought I’d have a wee unboxing.

First up, a couple of skeins in this really interesting colourway.

It makes me think of Autumn evenings all snuggled up to keep warm, so these cakes will probably end up as a cowl or scarf.

Then there’s this lovely blue grey purple skein.

No plans for that one yet.

Some spangles

And then these two.

As soon as I pulled these from the box I knew they were destined to be together. The grey is just too neutral for my liking, and the pink kind of burns my eyes, but if I put them together they balance each other out perfectly.

It’s really interesting to me; if I had seen most of these colourways in a shop I don’t think I would have gone for them (I tend to be distracted by bright, jewel colours), but looking at them now I actually really like them.

It’ll be fun to work outside of my usual colour palette, which never would have happened if I hadn’t gone for swapsies. It really is good to try new things sometimes!

Hannah

xXx

I don’t have a yarn problem, I have a lack of storage problem.

So I mentioned that I had a sort of my stash last weekend. What I should have said is that I started a sort of my stash.

Three times I thought I was finished, and three times I found another box/bag/drawer full of even more yarn. It’s never ending!

The problem is the last time I thought I was finished, every box was full. So that bag of yarn I just found has nowhere to go.

In the spirit of my decluttering goal this year I’ve decided to get rid of some that I know I’ll never use, and I’m going to be ruthless. I’ve already set aside all the fluffy skeins for Rebecca, because I cannot use that stuff and I know she can. I’ve caked a few skeins of old acrylic that might go to a charity shop, and I’m considering selling on some of my natural fibre skeins too.

But it still won’t all fit in the boxes I have, so clearly the answer is a trip to Ikea this weekend for more storage! There’s no such thing as too much yarn; only insufficient storage space.

I also have about 20 more projects I want to start. Just seeing some of the yarn I forgot I even had makes me want to get on and make something with it, like NOW. We shall see how long I can resist.

So does anyone have any tips for maximising yarn storage? Just in case I’ve missed something that could make this a bit easier. Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

WIP Wednesday 30.05.18

Current WIP count: 6

This weekend I decided to have an overhaul of my stash, and it was a bank holiday so I went to my favourite island for a day, which are my two excuses for not having a great deal of progress to show this week!

I finished the ‘sleeves’ for my blue top and attached them, as well as sewing in all the ends.

I have to say I’m not pleased with the length at the moment so a lot is resting on the lacy border. If I still don’t like it once that’s added then I’ll just give it away.

Not much movement on my Tunisian jumper because I realised I’d added in an extra increase to one sleeve and not the other, so I had to frog a bit and redo it. Now they match and I can start attaching them to the body.

Aside from that all I have to show is a pile of yarn cakes. All wound by hand, I might add. It’s quite therapeutic when I get going.

So that’s my week so far. How is your week going? What you working on now? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

There’s no such thing as too much yarn

Did I mention it was my birthday a couple of weeks ago? Honestly, April has whizzed past so quickly it feels like it was only yesterday.

Another present I got from my parents was a big box of yarn!

30 skeins to be exact; one for every year. There’s all sorts in there so I thought I’d have a proper look and share what I got.

There are some classics like a Caron Cake (have these shrunk??) Sugar n Cream, and some Women’s Institute in various colours.

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Some gorgeously squishy stuff

Fun colourways

And my absolute favourite, the unicorn pack

It’s sparkly! I’m already digging around Ravelry trying to find the perfect project for it. Sparkly unicorn jumper anyone?

I really, definitely, absolutely must sort out my yarn stash now. Throwing it in all higgledy piggledy is just not working when I have so much. So that’ll be my exciting weekend!

Any suggestions for a pattern to use my unicorn yarn pack on? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx

Birthday goodies

It was my birthday last week so I have *lots* of new presents to enjoy (I am ridiculously easy to buy for), and I thought I’d share some that will more than likely end up in my shop.

First up, I got this wee phone cosy kit from Hobbycraft

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The yarn that came in the kit was a bit ‘sticky’, but in total it still only took me a few hours to make this up. With some other yarn these will definitely be shop stock soon.

Of course, I couldn’t just leave it simple like that and I’m already planning a dragon scale version!

I also got a copy of Simply Crochet magazine, because it came with a free Tunisian hook

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The jumper pattern using the hook looks really good, and I’m looking forward to trying out some of the other patterns in there as well.

This is my first experience with a crochet magazine since I really know what I’m doing, and it is vastly different to picking up that first magazine on a whim and wondering why it was all written in code. Ah the memories.  This time I’m just excited to try all these new things, because I know just fine that I can make them.

And finally, the enormous gold-plated cherry on top:

That is 35 skeins of yarn. There’s cotton, DK, chunky, noodles, acrylic, alpaca…it would take ages to list it all. So instead I just keep taking it out and staring lovingly at it.


Isn’t it beautiful

Do you like the phone cosy? Any ideas what to make with my bumper stash? Let me know in the comments!

Hannah

xXx