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!!)

Blog, Crochet, Daily Life, Food Allergies, Knitting, Parenting

Perspective

de-stash415

Today has been one of those uber busy, non-creative, mom is running errands type of days.

Little Bear had to go to the allergist (food allergies! yay!!..), which went amazingly well, I mailed out some de-stash yarn, which was a total plus (hooray for more space!!), and then had lunch with my mama… before going food shopping.

Plenty of normal everyday type stuff, but then I received an e-mail from a hospital I asked about making baby hats for, and was told that the need lapghans/small afghans for cancer patients, and those undergoing chemo treatments. It kind of puts things in perspective, when you realize that those who are stuck in the hospital with a prolonged illness would love to have the day I just had.  I’m tired, but they’re exhausted from fighting for their lives.

Guess my day was pretty good after all – I got to spend it with a happy, smiling Little Bear, and got to see my mama!

Tomorrow is surgery day, so I won’t be around tomorrow, and likely won’t be around for a couple days after that. Prayers are welcome (it’s just a minor hernia repair – nothing crazy!), as always.

Current Projects, Daily Life, Housekeeping

Flash Your Stash 2015

A few years ago a tradition of “flashing your stash” was created, and if you weren’t aware of it before, it can be a really fun way to keep track of the yarn & projects you have. It’s kind of like spring cleaning for knitting and crocheting people, especially since we seem to be prone to amassing large quantities of yarn without realizing it, because it’s just so darn pretty!

Here’s my stash flash for this year:

Sport-super bulky

WIP&Fabric

SF1

SF2

So. Obviously something needs to change. I’ve already come to that realization (see the post below about changes being made over this summer), but doing this stash flash confirmed it for me. I’ve obviously gotten into the habit of just buying yarn because it’s pretty, starting projects, and not finishing very many of them. These aren’t really character traits I want to be known for; I would rather be someone who exercises self control, and finishes what she starts. Therefore, I will be working SOLELY from what is in these pictures for the foreseeable future. There’s absolutely no rational reason why I shouldn’t use what I have and finish the projects I’ve already started. I’m really excited to show you all progress photos as these goals are achieved!!

Have you done a stash flash yet this year? What does it look like, and what did you learn from it?

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, Daily Life, Knitting

Progress!

I’m very pleased to announce that I’m actually making progress on the tote of projects I posted about a couple days ago!

Remember this? My Sock Yarn Blankie?

wpid-imag1321.jpg

It has 18 new squares! I haven’t counted yet, but i’m probably going to need about 30 more before it’s completely finished, and will also be doing the i-cord edging, but 18 in a couple days is pretty significant for something I haven’t worked on in years!

Here’s a couple of the new lovelies:

wpid-imag1361.jpg  wpid-imag1363.jpg

Can you spot them? I’m using a bunch of mini-skeins from Ravelry swaps, and it’s turning out quite nicely, I think. I’m just wanting to finish this one for now (you’ll find out why in a week or so..), but i’m thinking if I did one again, I’d probably just buy a bunch of mini skein grab bags off of Etsy, or something like that. I have a bunch of fingering weight yarn, but a lot of it is solid, and in large quantities, which really doesn’t lend itself to this project!

 

Also on my list for this week is adding more products to my Etsy shop. I’ve gotten really bad about that, because i’ve MADE a ton of things, but haven’t added them all to the shop. Hopefully I can add one or two per day, and get everything listed this week!

Blog, Current Projects, Daily Life, Spinning

So.. I have a spindle and fiber.. How do you actually SPIN yarn?

There’s plenty of things in life that we know what they should look like in process, but just can’t quite execute ourselves. Have you ever tried to cut your own hair like the hairdresser when you were a kid? Exactly. You know what it looks like to get your hair cut, but you can’t do it.  Spinning isn’t like that. North American culture (for the most part) doesn’t use spinning, or even know about it beyond sleeping beauty pricking her finger – and even that’s on a wheel, not a drop spindle!

I got a comment on this post I wrote about making my own drop spindle, which for some reason didn’t show up on the site, so i’m not able to respond to it there. I’m sorry Katie, whoever you are, I hope you see this post!

-Katie asked: What did you do after you made it?  I mean to spin it and all.  I have never attempted this or even thought I could do it.

-Answer: I’m a super beginner when it comes to drop spindling, so I can’t necessarily tell you how i’ve perfected my technique, what to do, what not to do, all that. BUT! I can show you where i’m learning from!

The internet is fantastic, and i’ve found a number of excellent spinning videos, and i’d like to share a couple of them with you (and what i’ve learned from them).

Absolute favorite tutorial: Abby Franquemont, hands down. This video will help you with drafting, basic spinning, and understanding what in the world people are talking about in other videos when they explain spinning.

You have to be able to draft the fiber before you spin it

The Paradise Fibers Intro Tutorial – I really like this one for its details, and not making you feel silly!

Megan La Core – She also has an entire series on spinning

This isn’t so much a tutorial, as a fascinating video of a very experienced Navajo spinner/weaver. I find it extremely helpful to watch

people who are skilled at what i’m trying to learn, and to listen to their advice, because it stays in my head when i’m attempting to spin.

 

So here’s what i’ve learned so far:

-Spinning (at least the basics) isn’t the difficult part – consistent drafting is.

-Consistency takes practice – your first spinning isn’t actually going to come out looking like machine spun yarn.. because it’s not machine spun. Did you miss what my spinning looks like right now?

Image It looks like twisty wool. (I’ll post better pictures soon. Promise.)

-Watching experienced spinners (even when they’re not doing tutorials) is an awesome way to learn what spinning should look like.

 

Katie, I hope this helps, and that you saw this!

 

Anyone else have good spinning tips? Like I said, i’m still a super beginner! I can use all the help I can get!!

 

 

 

Daily Life, Designing, HPKCHC, Spinning

In Which Ruth’s Fiber Addiction Reaches the Next Level!

It’s finally happened!

I knew the day would come…

I can finally spin my own yarn!! {because I made my own spindle!! you can too – keep reading!}

 

I’ve dabbled in spinning before, but without having done much research and, it seems, without having a decent spindle, most of what I produced was super super super bulky weight yarn, which doesn’t do anyone much good.

I know i’ve mentioned before that I participate in something on Ravelry called (don’t judge my nerdiness) Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup (henceforth referred to as HPKCHC). I love this group because i’m forever learning new crafting techniques and being challenged to try new ideas! This month, the Room of Requirement challenge is to make your own spindle! There were a couple tutorials but, being me, I wanted to figure it out on my own.

I went digging through my craft drawer and found the following:

A dowel (don’t ask me the size, I don’t know), and a wooden wheel of some kind

Spindle and Wheel

So My first problem is that the hole in the wheel wasn’t big enough. Thankfully, I have a lovely husband who knows how to use power tools, loves to help me make things, and fully supports my fiber related endeavors!

First we matched the drill bit size to the size of the dowel:

Matching Sizes  Matching Sizes 2

 

Next, I got to play with the power tools and drill a hole in the wheel

Drilling Hole Making Ruth's Spindle 011 Making Ruth's Spindle 012

 

 

Clint had to help me put the wheel on the spindle, because it was a super close fit and I didn’t want to use any wood glue to keep the pieces attached:

Making Ruth's Spindle 013

 

Since I didn’t have a hook to put at the top like normal people have, we used a screw.

Clint says to tell you that if you’re going to do this, you must drill a hole in the dowel first, or else you could crack the wood. I’m also supposed to tell you to use a small-ish bit, because you still want the screw threads to catch the wood, not just be all loose and rattly in the top hole.

Making Ruth's Spindle 016 Making Ruth's Spindle 018

 

Making Ruth's Spindle 019 Making Ruth's Spindle 022

 

I left the screw a pretty good bit out of the dowel, and Clint cut a notch in the side of the screw for me.

I tried to use just the screw to secure the fiber (silly me!) but alas.. it didn’t work. The notch in the screw works REALLY well, though!

Want to see what happened when I started spinning?!

Making Ruth's Spindle 024

BAM! I’m so pleased!

Better pictures will come soon, but I just couldn’t wait to share this!!

 

Have you ever made a spindle? What materials did you use, and how did it work out?