Blog, Crochet, Current Projects, Daily Life, De-Stashing yarn, Knitting

Attack of the Stash! (Part 2)

In Part 1 of this series, I talked about stash acquisitions and use over the past year (2017), as well as my theories about why crafters tend to amass huge stashes of their favorite materials (for me, that’s yarn).

Today I want to talk about plans for working with the yarn I have, and will also be sharing my annual stash flash.

Typically “Flash Your Stash” happens at the beginning of April each year, but that makes absolutely no sense to me since the year starts in January. I much prefer to do a stash flash at the end of December/beginning of January, because to me it just makes more sense: new year, new stash flash, and the counter of used stash starts over again.

For those of you who are unaware, stash flashing is the process of dragging out all the yarn/fiber you own, laying it in one place, and taking a visual accounting of it. For some, it requires more than one large photo as their stashes are not able to fit into one large flat area. The location of choice seems to be one’s bed, as it is a large-ish, flat-ish surface that provides a reliable point of reference from year to year (assuming you keep the same size bed).

My stash has evolved over the years, but the largest change has been this year. Here’s a progression for you:

2014: Mostly worsted weight, commercially available yarns. There’s a tad of bulky, sport, and fingering weight thrown in there, but not much. Most of this was gifted to me from an elderly family member who was getting rid of yarn, and I had NO clue what to do with it.

2014 Stash part 1

2015: TONS more worsted weight acrylic from box stores. Most of the gifted yarn I donated, but I apparently felt the need to buy ALL. THE. YARN.

2015 Stash Flash part 12015 Stash flash part 2

2016: The trend continues. I’m only going to show you the worsted/bulky weight, because the rest of it didn’t fit on the bed, and was on shelves and in drawers.

2016 4-6

I’d like to note at this time that I obviously have a very high turnover rate. Most of the yarns in these photos change from year to year.

2017: The beginning of the sock stash, and the lessening of the heavy acrylics.

Stash jan 2017 divided

Today’s Flash: Holy cow. This is TOTALLY different from previous years! This time there’s handspun, ALL weights of yarn, and an obvious focus on light weight wools & indie dyed yarn.

Marked Stash 2018

So why the difference?

Well, I’ve only been seriously designing patterns for about 2.5 years, but I think that has a large impact on the choice of materials that i’ve been making. Because i’m designing and publishing patterns (as opposed to just knitting/crocheting as many by others as I can), it forces me to slow down and consider the choices i’m making. I have to choose the perfect yarn for each pattern – to best emphasize the stitches, the shapes, etc. I have to ask myself whether the yarn will photograph well, be desirable/available for others to buy and use, and whether I feel it best represents me as a designer and a person.

Over the course of some personal analysis, I’ve discovered that I value quality over quantity, and community over commercialism. What I mean by that is that I really enjoy supporting the independent community of pattern designers, yarn dyers, and textile artists in general. I would much rather buy from and work with a mom who’s dyeing yarn in her kitchen than from a corporation. I love to interact with other artists and makers, because I feel that a large reason why the indie dyeing/designing community is so wonderful is because of all the inter-connected support that happens within it. I get a lot of support from other makers, dyers, and designers, and this year i’ve been focusing on giving that support back.

Another reason why I have less stash right now is that I’m going to be moving in the Spring to a much smaller home. I’ll go more into that in another blog post, but we’re essentially moving to a tiny house, and I just can’t go on buying yarn all willy nilly – there won’t be space to store it, and probably isn’t space to store what I have now! That leads me to my next train of thought, which is buying and using with a purpose.

Theoretically, I have enough yarn currently in my stash to last me for about 2 years without buying more if I continue to craft at the same rate. Right now my stash is at about 43,000 yds, and for this past year I used approximately 20,000 yds in projects this year (and there were more than a few projects where I didn’t record yardage used). I feel I should also mention that these numbers do not include WIPs and yarn attached to WIPs. I deduct yardage as projects are finished, but the photo is only of full skeins. WIPs are something I will have to tackle again before we move, but right now I find them a tad overwhelming.  I’m working on 1: finishing projects that have already been started, or 2: frogging/chucking projects that (if i’m being honest) will never be completed for one reason or another.

So what’s my plan for this upcoming year? I’m not going to be unrealistic and swear that i’ll never buy yarn this year, because that’s just silly. I love yarn, I love the colors, and I love the inspiration I find from looking at it, touching it, and admiring it. I am, however, going to shoot for a drastic stash reduction. My plan is that for every new skein of yarn want to bring into the house (defined as 100 gms), I must first get rid of (or use up) 3 skeins. My hope is that this rule will help me carefully consider what i’m bringing into the house, and whether or not I REALLY want to buy the yarn.

I have to say, it’s very satisfying to see the stash total go down. Being able to look at the number from month to month and constantly seeing a lower number satisfies something in me along the lines of checking off boxes on a to-do list. It may just be yarn, but it’s still immensely satisfying to make and meet goals.

 

What are your yarn/stash resolutions for this year? Do you have any? I’d love to hear about your plans!

Blog, Uncategorized

3 years?

IMG_20171206_103315_773.jpg

Blogging consistently has never been my forte; it’ll take you about 3 minutes to scroll down and confirm that if you don’t believe me! I’m not really ever sure what compels me to start or stop blogging, but I think this time it has to do with a feeling that i’ve lost touch with the world of writing. (I can hear you now – “she’s going to write an essay! Maybe if I close out the window now I’ll escape!” Have no fear, dear reader, I have no desire to bore you to death!)

Lately i’ve been vlogging/podcasting pretty consistently on YouTube (Here’s a LINK if you’re curious) and while I do enjoy that, I’ve also found that videos require a certain amount of active conversation that leads to less forethought than I can put into a blog post. In writing, I can begin a post, come back to it and tweak it, and make sure I have exactly what I want to say to you all corrected before I post, rather than making some show notes and speaking “live” as I do in podcasts.

I’ve been told that I need to choose EITHER blogging OR podcasting, but I don’t think i’m going to accept that. I enjoy podcasting, AND I enjoy writing – so there!

 

ANYWAY (as my grandfather was fond of saying, when he’d rambled too far off topic as I just have), I expect that this blog will feature things like yarn and pattern reviews, projects, my new designs and yarns, and whatever knitting/fiber arts related things I may be into at the time I write. As for a timeline, I’ll be figuring that out as I go!

For now, I’ll just sit here and announce my intention to begin blogging again, and then probably start writing a new post as soon as this one goes live! See you soon!

Blog, Crochet, Current Projects, Daily Life, De-Stashing yarn, Housekeeping, Knitting

Progress!!

No Photos yet, but I just wanted to share my progress with you!!

This morning I frogged 8 WIPS!!! I also re-arranged my WIPs so I can see what I really have left.

So, that’s a big deal.

Also, last night I finished and blocked my first shawl ever, wove in the ends on a second shawl, a sweater, and a blanket, and i’m really excited! I’m on a roll here – I’m really enjoying finishing up projects, because I have such a super huge list of things I want to make.

It’s actually really freeing to look at a project, realize you’re really not interested, not going to make it, and to just frog it!

My de-stash is going well too. I’ve given away over 8lbs of yarn, which means I’ve probably gotten rid of over 5,000 yds.

Destash totals (I only tally yardage once a project is 100% finished, including blocking and weaving in ends):

April 2015 (so far): -1,165 yds

YTD Yards Used: -9,371

YTD Yards bought: +4,000

Net Yds: -5,371 (woo hoo!!)

Current Projects, Daily Life, Designing, Knitting, Paid Crochet Pattern, Paid Knitting Patterns, Promotions, Reviews

Indie Design Gift Along 2014

I know i’ve been bad about posting regularly on here, but there’s a good reason! I’ve been preparing for the Indie Design Gift Along on Ravelry!! <– that’s a link to the Ravelry group. You should go check it out now. It’s ok, I’ll wait.

waiting….

Ok, you’re back now, and you realize how fantastically awesome this is going to be?!

(for those of you silly people who didn’t go check it out, here’s a brief rundown)

Do you know what that means?! That means almost 300 designers are having a massive sale together! That’s 3,822 patterns that are on sale. And then, as if that weren’t enough, we get to all have a massive knit along/crochet along to make christmas gifts together!

So. Much. Happy.

Must knit All. The. Things.

*sigh* I know I won’t be able to make all the things, but guess what? I get to include my designs in the sale!! You know how I said i’ve had a good reason for being AWOL? Check out the new patterns I was getting tested and published:

BWIS KPSIS Whalecowledited_small2

These are (from left to right): Black Walnut Infinity Scarf, Karen: A Puff Stitch Infinity Scarf, and A Whale of A Cowl

(aka examples of how my photography skills have improved *facepalm*) These patterns and more will be part of the sale (that starts in just 2.5 hours, at 8 pm EST – I’m so excited!! There’s a countdown clock here, I keep looking at it!)

So, what can you expect from me through the end of the year? Interviews with designers, project photos, me squealing with joy when someone has interviewed me and I feel like the most legit designer ever, and just generally a lot of yarn-y goodness!

 

p.s – like my new logo?!

 

Current Projects, Designing, Knitting, Paid Knitting Patterns

A Whale of a Cowl

Whalecowledited

I’m very pleased to announce that “A Whale of A Cowl” Is now live on Ravelry, and available for download!

{Link to Ravelry Pattern Page}

I’m quite pleased with this one – it comes in sizes all the way from the little 23″ cowl you see pictured, to a whopping 68″

“whale of a cowl” hehe. Get it? It’s the sister pattern to “A Whale of a Scarf,” which I published a couple years ago.

It’s been fully test knit, and i’m loving making it myself – I’ve already made two, and will likely be making more soon! I made the second to smallest version in about 1 day, so it really is a quick project!

I was going to post pictures of my WIPs, but my camera decided to die while I was outside taking a million pictures of my little guy watching a lawn mower. You’ll see pictures. It’s adorable. I couldn’t help myself.

Here’s the WIP status right now: (remember my handy dandy spreadsheet? I can’t find it on my computer! ahhhh!)

  • Giraffe Mittens: Need to weave in ends on one mitten, and photograph the pair (see aforementioned camera issue)
  • Galilee Slippers & Juliet Mitts for a friend: Not yet started. Supposed to give them to her Saturday, 10/11. Right.
  • Urban Jungle Slouchy for mom’s b-day: b-day is tomorrow, “party” on sunday. I’ve started the brim of the hat.
  • TARDIS blanket: supposed to cast on this week. Likely not happening yet.
  • Design project. That’s all i’m telling you.
  • Second Design project. Also that’s all i’m telling you. Secrets will be unveiled in the future.. {mysterious music}
  • Silk and Lace drawstring bag: side 1 totally complete. Side 2 75% complete.. then I ran out of thread. More is on order.
  • Cotton Flowery Cruise Purse: Outside totally done. Flowers in the works. Need to sew in lining.

Whew. This is only like 10% of what i’m planning on making/working on, but it’ll do for now!

Current Projects, Designing, Uncategorized

I’m finishing up my PhD!!

No, really, i’m finishing my PHD!

my Projects Half Done!!

 

There will be pictures soon, I promise! I have soooo many projects i’m in the midst of, you wouldn’t even believe it! Ready for my list (because i’m totally a list person…) I’ll link patterns when I can, but some of these are either my own pattern, or i’m test knitting for someone, so the pattern’s not up yet!

This is me:

knitallthethings

1. Squirrel’s Paradise Lace Baby Blanket Test Knit – Finish cabled i-cord bind off over 650 (ish) stitches!

2. Crocheted princess hat with braids and crown – add braids, make crown, ship to customer!

3. Doctor Who double knit blanket squares (5) – Start… make… finish.

4. Samantha, the big Fluffy Teddy Bear – Make Legs, attach appendages, give to Sister in Law – this pattern is a mix of two: Sam and Jif

5. My orange Wool of the Andes Spinning Project (as seen in the post below this! Ravelry Link for those interested)

6. A Pink Mesh Cotton Beach Bag – Make and add handle

7. Fluffy Rainbow Colored Owl Obsession Blanket – Add White parts and sew together

8. A Rainbow Infinity Scarf that i’m designing – Make 85% of it, and get pattern tested, publish pattern

9. A crocheted bag that i’m designing – make 50% of it, and get pattern tested, publish pattern

10. Lafayette Scarf – Finish other 50% of it (I’m using 1 skein instead of 2, I think, for a scarf instead of shawl)

11. Blue Serenity Blanket – Finish the last 25%

12. Waterfall Blanket – Finish last 40%

13. Jude Bag – Just Add Lining!!

14. Cabled Slipper Boots – Make 1 foot, and 2 tops

15. Color Block Blanket – Make the other 50% of the squares and sew together

16. Cool Kid Cowl – Knit 20% more and Finish off

 

There’s more, but I think you get the picture for now!! This isn’t even including the ones I WANT to make – That’s another list in and of itself.. maybe you’ll get to see that sometime too!

 

Stick around, you’ll be seeing a lot of progress/ finishing pictures of these projects and more soon!