And that’s a wrap!

May 16, 2011

It’s over! It’s done! I went six months without buying yarn (outside of my carefully established parameters)!

I don’t think I’ll be able to extend it for a year, but I have decided to try and alter my behavior a bit – no yarn buying unless it’s for a very specific project, i.e. the ‘Greenfield Cardigan from New England Knits’, not ‘a cardigan’.

I feel that I can do this because I made a substantial run on the projects I’ve been buying yarn for and not completing. In fact part of thew reason I need to allow myself to buy yarn is because I have sweater quantities of it remaining!

I don’t have much in the way of FOs to show off, since I started one of Shelly Kang’s Sock Yarn Blankies in April and it has generally consumed my knitting time, leaving a little left over for OWLs and a token class project Hopefully I’ll be able to show you a finished blanket before July 23, when I leave for Japan.

For now, I leave you with the other thing I’ve found time for – Quidditch!


Almost there!

April 16, 2011

Alright! Just a month to go! I’m beginning to think about extending this thing for a year, since it went so well for six months. I’ll have to do a major stash toss and pattern search though, because I managed to knit up a lot of the patterns I’ve had my eye on for a good long while.

I did manage to acquire yarn this month, using up both of my get out of jail free cards – one purchase was yarn for something for a friend who’s currently having a hard time and the other for a friend who’s getting married! I also got lucky up in Saint Paul this weekend, when I went with my dad to pick out yarn for a pair of socks for his girlfriend and he decided to also pay for a skein of lovely red Malabrigo that tempted me.

Okay, onto this month’s progress!

I did manage to finish both of my OWLs for the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup, despite a wounded Ancient Runes shawl that had be laboriously repaired before being submitted.

It’s the shawl version of an Aeolian, knit from Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud in Tango Heather, bought over a year ago for another purpose. It was modified with a stockinette body, per the recipient’s request. She’s getting married in August and I’m glad I have this to send along, because it’s beginning to look like I won’t be able to make it.

Then there’s the second half of my Muggle Studies OWL, a Yosemite sweater that was dragging because I had fallen out of love with it. I felt better after I finished the body and tried it on – it was only finished because of the extremely flattering fit. It’s knit from Cascade Eco+, which was bought specifically for it about a year ago.

The next two projects are knit from some of the leftovers from the above two. A pair of booties from the Eco+ and a mini-Swallowtail from the Alpaca Cloud. I’m especially proud of that tiny shawl – I did all of the calculations myself.

Next up is a pair of colorwork mittens, knit entirely from leftover colors in my stash. It was pretty fun to come up with a workable combination from what I had available.

Finally, a pair of mini-socks knit from some possum yarn a friend bought in New Zealand.


March Stash Post

March 16, 2011

Once more, I managed to not buy yarn for a month. I didn’t even manage to acquire it through nefarious means.

Most of this month’s projects are projects from the end of February (actually…they all are). I haven’t started on class projects for March and my OWLs aren’t complete yet. Fingers crossed that they will be when I update in April.

First up is a true stashdown project – 14 baby hats knit entirely from stash I acquire back when I was first learning to knit.

Next is a pair of fingerless gloves knit from Blue Moon Socks that Rock Lightweight that’s been marinating in the stash since Sock Summit 2009. I decided to stop petting it and make it into something. Leftovers will be headed for the sock yarn blanket bag.

Third, an ugly pair of socks that I made into anklets because I couldn’t stand them anymore. They’re knit from Knit Picks Imagination, in the Pirate King colorway. One of those mistakes where you buy for the name, forgetting to imagine what it will look like knit up.

I don’t know what I’ll do with the leftovers. They’re an alpaca blend, so I’m not sure I want them in with the sock blanket scraps.

Finally, another true stashbuster, a pair of knee-highs knit from yarn leftover from a sweater from last September. A common failing of mine, buying so much yarn for a sweater that I have enough leftover for a pair of socks. *sigh*


Halfway Point

February 17, 2011

It’s official, as of yesterday I am halfway through this experiment and have managed to not buy any yarn. I’m beginning to think of extending it a year, with a slight pause in May to buy some sweater quantities of yarn. I’m working on one now, but it’s from the last stockpile of yarn that I have enough of to make a sweater. I don’t have a particular itch yet, but I know that making it through to November without another sweater or large project would drive me mad.

As with last month, I managed to acquire yarn without buying it. I traded another Raveler for a skein of hemp yarn, something I wouldn’t buy, but wanted to try. I also won a prize for a series of mittens I did last year, receiving two skeins of lovely hand-dyed fingering-weight yarn from ShaylaMyst’s shop.

Alright, on to the FOs. There aren’t as many this month – I broke out my sock yarn stash and February’s HPKCHC projects are moving slowly.

This is the Simple Things shawl (Rav link), knit from sock yarn dyed by SeeJayneKnit in the Gibbs colorway. I am a HUGE NCIS fan and pounced when I found this after someone in the HPKCHC mentioned it. The yarn was purchased to have, not for this specific project, but I think it shows it off well. My only criteria were ‘not socks, and no lace’. The leftovers from this skein will be headed for my collection of sock yarn scraps (hopefully eventually these will become one of the now ubiquitous sock yarn blankies).

Next up is a fairly large project. It seems like every knitter on the internet has themselves one of these – the February Lady Sweater (Rav link). It’s the adult version of the February Baby Sweater from Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac. I made mine with short sleeves and Cascade 220 that I bought almost a year ago just for this sweater. Of course, at the time I thought I be doing long sleeves, so I bought way too much yarn. I’m thinking a matching pair of worsted boot socks.

I mentioned last month how much I like Ysolda Teague‘s hats – well, here’s another one, Gretel. It’s knit from a skein of Cascade Eco Duo I received from another Raveler in a swap. It’s mostly alpaca, and so warm that I might send it up to a friend in the Great Snowy North.

Finally, another project I mentioned last month, the Ariadne mitts (Rav link), knit from Knit Picks Andean Treasure bought specifically for the project. The pattern was fairly easy if you have a good grasp of cabling.

The project just barely required part of a second skein, so I have almost an entire extra skein to deal with. Hmm…


January Stash Update

January 16, 2011

Hard to believe it’s been another month. I have managed to keep my resolution to not buy yarn until May, which means I’m a third of the way through! Just four months to go.

There were two points at which yarn came into the house despite the resolution – as I previously mentioned, I was going to allow myself to buy a skein of something nice if I made it to January 6th with the resolution intact. I did, and purchased a skein of Knit Picks Andean Treasure so I could knit the Ariadne mitts (Rav link, not free). The second sort-of falling down was when I allowed my mom to buy me a little yarn as a late Christmas present. I got another pair of skeins of Elspeth Lavold Silky Wool for my Barn Raising Quilt (needs book – Knitalong) and a skein of Cascade Eco+ for my Yosemite sweater (Rav link, free).

Anyway, onto the finished items. First,  a shawl (Rav link) that I actually finished before last month’s stash post, but needed to keep concealed lest the recipient came poking around.

It’s the Autumn Leaves Stole (not free), pattern by Jared Flood. It was designed for the line of SHELTER yarn he’s developed, though I knit mine from Knit Picks Gloss DK. See the sample on the pattern page? Yeah, I knit that. :)

Next up is an older WIP that I finally manged to slay before Christmas.

This is a Red Sox-themed teapot cozy (Rav link) my dad requested over a year ago. My knitting is very loose, so knitting this pattern was a kind of torture – Grandma’s Traditional Tea Cosy (Rav link). Nice finished product though.

This scarf (Rav link) is the last of the Multi-Directional Scarves (Rav link, free) that my aunt commissioned for her family’s. Just barely managed to finish it on Christmas Eve.

These last three projects were knit from yarn bought specifically for them. I have scraps left over, but no immediate plans for them.

My first finished project of the new year was this pair of super bulky-weight mittens (Rav link). I knit them from a skein of Malabrigo Rasta that I bought back in May because it’s incredible squishiness and color caught my eye. I had just finished finals and decided to treat myself.

The pattern is free, the Super Funky Bulky Mittens (Rav link, free). I was worried about running out of yarn, but turned out to have enough. I might even rip out the tops and add a few rows at some point – they’re just slightly too short for my hands.

Next up is a hat (Rav link) that I bought yarn for in November (one of my last purchases before making this resolution), only to knit it out of leftovers from my Susie’s Reading Mitts (Rav link). I’ll use the other yarn for something and I was quite happy to use up that second skein of Malabrigo Twist.

The pattern is Ripley (Rav link, not free) by Ysolda Teague. I love her hat patterns, both for their loveliness and her easily understood and well-written instructions.

Next up is a little baby coat (Rav link) that captured my imagination a few months ago. I bought yarn specifically for it at some point when I was trying to pull together a $50 shopping cart at Knit Picks, for the free shipping.

The pattern is the Baby Tiered Coat (Rav link, not free). I have some leftovers, which I’ve thrown in with the rest of my bulky weight bits and bobs, in case I’m inspired to do a stripy project.

I love Sunshine Yarns and her Harry Potter colorways, but I’ve only ever managed to score two skeins by waiting for her shop updates and pouncing as each colorway is posted. This hat is knit from the Hermione color – too pretty and special to make into socks. :)

The pattern is the Sockhead Hat (Rav link, free).

My final project for this month is a scrap project. I pulled out some of my nylon-wool blend sock leftovers to make mini-socks for a swap group on Ravelry.

The leftovers are from my Dublin Bay socks, a pair of toe-ups, and some Jaywalkers respectively (Rav links). The mini-socks are from a mash of patterns.

That’s all for this month! Hopefully I’ll be able to report back with similar success in February.


December 26, 2010

December 26, 2010

In my last post, I briefly mentioned that one of the featured projects was knit from leftover yarn from a doll. Almost immediately upon writing that, I realized that the doll, though completed waaaaay back in August, deserved its own post.

Watching the Olympics this past February really helped pull me through my final semester at college. We had no TV in our house, so I spent an inordinate amount of time at the Blue Door Pub in Saint Paul, MN, watching whatever random Olympic scraps I could catch and munching on tater tots and Blucys. I even went by myself and sat at the bar on Valentine’s Day, which was probably one of the more socially daring things I’ve done on my own.

But by far the best part was on February 17th, after flying into Chicago with Lauren and Erin for our JET interviews, after almost missing our flight in such a variety of ways that we would have made an excellent sitcom episode, after getting slightly lost on the way to the hotel, we arrived in our room and turned on the TV just in time to catch Shaun White winning gold in the Men’s Snowboard Halfpipe event.

Epic. Win.

Literally.

And lo, a slight obsession was born and I needed to express it in knitting. Behold, ladies and gentlemen, Shaun White, the knit doll:

I had originally intended to make him a little snowboarding outfit but:

1) There was an incident involving his hair and my cat, the day after I spent several hours sewing, cutting, and swearing the orange yarn into place. This lead to the project being mothballed for several months until I felt ready to face it and by then snowboarding season was most definitely over.

2) I forgot the KISS principle and that I was making a coat for a doll, and the coat died a fiery demise after the fourth sleeve iteration.

3) I found a cute toy skateboard with a Boston terrier on it, like the one owned by the founders of Ravelry, and took it as fate. Besides, after the coat incident, I wasn’t too confident of my snowboard-making skills.

The base pattern I used is Ysolda Teague’s Poppy (Rav link), though I stole the feet from Sally, the Eco Fairy pattern (Rav link) so that I could make him shoes. The hair was made curly by knitting up a garter swatch that I then washed and dried before unraveling – it came out a little too kinked, so I wet it again and gave a few tugs to create looser curls. I really recommend the Poppy pattern for it’s hair directions: up until that pattern, all attempts at doll hair on my part had been in vain. And when Ysolda says to stuff the neck firmly  – DO IT! I might have to perform surgery soon with a pipe cleaner…

Project Page – Shaun White (Rav link)


Stash Busting Update

December 16, 2010

Well, it’s been exactly a month since I last purchased yarn (a selection of lovelies from both The Yarnery and Borealis Yarns in Saint Paul). It was a bit harder than I thought it would be, since it seemed that as soon as I posted my resolution, I started receiving notices from my favorite yarn-purchasing venues about their Christmas sales. However, I resisted temptation and knit solely from stash this past month.

So, a quick line-up – starting things off is a potholder, double-knit for extra thickness, that I knit for the in-house Gryffindor swap. The swap was character based and I had to put together a package representing Parvati Patil, which was kind of fun and challenging. You can see the reverse image of the potholder on my project page (Ravelry). The yarn for this came from two former projects – the gray yarn from my Fylingdales cardigan (Ravelry) and the purple from a Foliage hat (Ravelry) that I knit for a friend. I’ve also used that gray yarn on a pair of knee-high socks (Ravelry) and my first amigurumi (Ravelry) – I can’t seem to be rid of it.

Next, a pair of quick baby booties, to go into the pile for when friends start having babies.

Cute, no? The yarn for these came from my Trinity vest (Ravelry), which is from the same book as Fylingdales. This yarn also seems impossible to get rid of, but it’s useful for when I need scraps of brown for wee stuffed pumpkins and the like.

I did a lot of scrappy things in November it seems. Here’s a cat-toy dreidel (Ravelry) that I made for a friend’s cat in time for Hanukkah.  The yarn is from a doll I finished over the summer (I should do a post just on that doll).

Isn’t Boomer looking adorable?

Next up is a commission project for one of my aunts. Black yarn = hard to photograph well.

This is this yarn’s first outing, but there were enough scraps that I’ll probably be able to get a blanket square or two out of them.

The scraps of yarn for this next project came from the Christmas ornaments I made last year, along with a pair of fair isle mittens (Ravelry). It’s a good thing they weren scraps, because I’m afraid that I treated them very poorly indeed.

Yes, that is our Thanksgiving turkey.

Almost finishing up here, I have another commission project (Ravelry), so the yarn was new (purchased by someone else!). There’s enough left over for a sock blanket square or three.

The last I’ve decided to save for another post, because 1) The recipient might be reading this and 2) It ties in better as a story with a knitting adventure I had at the end of the summer. Hopefully I’ll have something up about that soon, but if not, see January 16th!


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