July review 2020

Oops I just realised I haven’t done a yarn stash update for last month yet. Better get on with it!

Stash used this month: 1.25

Total stash used this year: 36

Stash additions: 2 or 4 (do I count the yarn the boyfriend bought for his socks? I can’t decide)

Stash remaining: 325.75 (or 327.75)

I spent so much time darning socks last month that I hardly got through any stash. But that doesn’t seem so bad when I look at the pile of socks I can now wear again.

I did finish one pair of shortie socks and made a good start on another, which is where the tiny bit of yarn was used up.

All of my factory-made socks are fixed now so this month I can get back to knitting, crocheting, and busting some stash!

Hannah

xXx

I’m (still) a stress buyer

So there are even more new goodies to show off!

Firstly, my love of Doctor Who had to be recognised so I ordered a box from Twisted Yarns Store on Etsy, which included candles:

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A sticker of the ninth Doctor, which I’ve misplaced (not too gutted – he’s not my Doctor).

Some stitch markers:

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And some pretty, pretty sock yarn minis:

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It was the blue that really sold me. It’s so deep and Tardis-y and gorgeous.

I treated myself to a couple of pin badges, then found a few more while sorting my extensive jewellery collection, so my crafty bag now looks like this:
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I don’t think I’ve shared a project bag I got from Clara Rose Crafts on Etsy so here it is:

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It came with stitch markers attached and a cool freebie!

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There were also some less exciting but useful items, like more T-pins and some fancy blocking combs. No idea if that’s what they’re actually called, but that’s what they remind me of.

That’s everything I’ve ordered during lockdown (at the moment) so that’ll be my last happy mail for a while. Better get back to using up some stash!

Hannah

xXx

April review 2020

Stash used this month: 2 skeins

Total stash used this year: 17.5 skeins

Skeins added to stash this month: 3

Stash remaining: 341 skeins

The 2 skeins used up this month is really an estimate, as I’ve used little bits from lots of different skeins for my Beachcombing blanket. When it’s finished I shall be all technical and weigh what’s left so I can take out exactly how much I’ve used.

I’m somewhat disappointed that total stash went up this month. But on the other hand, NEW PRETTY SQUISHIES!

Only one of them was an impulse buy on my part, because Hobbii had yet another sale on Twirls and there’s this gorgeous new colourway called Pink Tanzanite:

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How could I resist?

Some JK Fibers yarn got added to stash by accident (honest!). I bought it for the boyfriend as a present to celebrate him getting a job, but shortly before it arrived he informed me that he doesn’t like knitting with sock yarn because it’s too thin. So it’s gone into my stash, and his present will be a pair of socks made from it instead.

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Then, because he is an excellent boyfriend, he bought me a mini skein of Industrial Accident from Mothy and the Squid.

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And it came with a free mini skein of Blue Footed Booby, which is also sock yarn, so that went to me as well.

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Buying yarn is one of my coping mechanisms so I can’t promise that’ll be the end of lockdown stash enhancement, but I’m trying really hard not to go on a yarny binge. The goal is still to have less than 300 skeins by the end of the year so I need to focus on using up what I’ve got!

Hannah

xXx

On a hat binge

I just can’t stop making hats at the moment.

The current one is an attempt to use up a big multipack of yarn I can’t remember why I bought. Each skein is 200g and for some reason I got four of them, so there’s a lot to work with!

It’s plain blue and I can only deal with boring in one aspect of my crafting, so I decided to add a wee bit of texture into this hat. After the ribbing I’ve started a 7-stitch repeat over a number that doesn’t divide by seven evenly, in the hope that it will offset and create a subtle spiral pattern.

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Not quite pictured: unicorn stitch marker

I’ll see if it works out soon enough.

 

The thought has just occurred that I could use some of this stuff to make a Flax for myself. It would be much quicker than the Flax Light (yay for thick yarn!) so I’m seriously tempted…

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

Morag the higland coo

I can now cross “visit Toft HQ” off my bucket list!

It’s an amazing place, all open and light and airy with big windows all over letting in the glorious sunshine. So I have no idea why every single picture came out rubbish. I can only apologise, and (what a shame) I’ll have to go back again one day to get some better photos.

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A wall of Toft animals

Mum bought me a place on a Loop Stitch workshop because we could not get hold of a Morag the Highland Coo kit for love nor money, but all the materials were included in the workshop.

Of course, after Edinburgh Yarn Festival this year she became widely available, but I’m actually really glad I didn’t just get the kit on its own; that loop stitch is a bit tricksy and I really don’t think I would have managed without someone walking me through it.

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Aran (at the front) and DK weight Morag

We arrived about half an hour before the workshop started so I had plenty of time to wander round the shop and think of aaaaaaaall the money I could spend if I ever won the lottery.

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I never realised they had so many non-amigurumi patterns
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I kind of want a giant Toft tin…

I love the fact that there are finished animals hanging around all over the place.

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This one was smaller than my hand
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Giant Morag the Highland Coo (she’s taller than me)

Sadly, my dad wouldn’t let me make this giant version of Morag. So what if she wouldn’t have fit in the car? Details!!

Then I had to stop my browsing and head over to the workshop area for the lesson. There were four of us booked in, two locals and one woman from Wales, but I had definitely covered the most miles to get there. I am nothing if not dedicated!

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Yes this slab of cake was also included in the workshop price!

If anyone is considering attending one of these workshops, you really need a bit of amigurumi experience under your belt. Our first instruction was “go until you have 12 stitches” and it was up to us to make a magic ring and do the first two rounds.

After that Emma (our teacher) helped us figure out the loop stitch. It’s one of those stitches that’s super fiddly to pick up, but once you’ve got it you can just run with it.

I’m not even going to try explaining it.

Obviously we didn’t finish the whole thing in 2 hours, but we did get a few rows in and I got the hang of it. However, once I got home I noticed that all of my loops were different lengths so I frogged it all and started again.

This time is going much better so hopefully one day soon I’ll have a Morag to show off.

Hannah

xXx

Yarn review: Red Heart Unforgettable

My brother went to America a couple of months ago to visit some friends, and they sent him back with three balls of Red Heart Unforgettable to pass on to me. I’ve always said he has excellent taste in friends!

Candied

This is the Candied colourway. It looks and feels very much like Lion Brand Landscapes, with a fluffy-but-silky texture and a slight sheen to the beautiful colours.

As soon as I saw it I knew I was going to make something for my friend’s baby with it, and I’d been eyeing up the Leafy Baby Blanket pattern for a week or two, so the minute my circular needles were free I cast on.

It’s lovely to work with, all smooth and glide-y over my needles, but it’s also really variable when it comes to thickness. There are sections where it hardly seems spun at all it’s so loose and chunky, and then some where it’s twisted right down to what seems like sock weight. Which is not so bad as long as you’re working on a project that doesn’t rely on yarn being uniform all the way through.

It worked out pretty well with my blanket.

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It’s also one of those yarns that requires very careful frogging. All those lovely fluffy little hairs can really stick to each other if you try to pull things apart too quickly. Not that I would ever do such a thing….

Stats

  • 100% Acrylic
  • Aran weight
  • 250m
  • 100g
  • Suggested hook size 5mm

Overall it’s a pretty good yarn to work with, and definitely good to look at; I’m itching to use the remaining 2 balls for some matching baby accessories.

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

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

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