Knitting

Return of Stash Dash

Another year another stash dash. I am aiming for 5k again this year, though if I get my butt into gear and get some jumpers finished I might be able to make 7k.

So far I have finished two projects, a hat and a shawl.

Across the Ditch beanie – 165.4m. Knit out of ColaGirl Collective Outback 8 ply in the Banksia colourway. The pattern was also designed by Nicole of Colagirl Collective. Love it so much! Was also my first time making a pom pom (using a pom pom maker) since primary school!

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Patronus Shawl – 624m. This was such a fabulous pattern. I saw Dani’s version on the Little Bobbins Podcast and fell in love. So pleased with how it came out, though for the some reason my edge at the start of the WS rows is looser then the RS (even though it is mostly garter stitch so it shouldn’t be that different??) The yarns are Colagirl Collective Drover sock in Spiced Chai and Rhubarb Crumble.

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I picked up all the yarns at the Handspinners and Weavers Guild of SA open day in May. Along with a skein of a self-striping and a project bag (also from Colagirl) and a Nostepinne from Spinning Woodie.

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I’m hoping to finish a few pairs of socks, another shawl and at least 1 jumper during stash dash, along with my Vivid Blanket.

I discovered today that my Vivid Blanket has been a WIP now for nearly 5 years! I was recently motivated to pick it back up again after seeing a picture of a handknit blanket, backed with fabric. I am hoping to do the same to my vivid. I have now finished 13 squares out of 25! Since the squares are acrylic I am steaming them into shape instead of washing them. I did the ones I had already finished the other day and they look great! Getting really excited about working on it!

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Knitting

February Goal – Finish ALL THE THINGS

Knitting was minimal in January, thought I did put a bit more time into other crafts like spinning and cross-stitch. I guess it is a combination of the weather and wanting a bit of a change.

To try and get a bit of knitting mojo  back, I am decided to set myself a goal of trying to finish a few projects that have been sitting on the needles for a while. Some of my projects that I would like to finish are:

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My Spin drift shawl – I have just started the lace edging and only have two more repeats of the lace and the picot cast off to go.

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Through the Darkness shawl – I have finished the garter section and am now up to the body lace. As this is 8 ply I am hoping the lace section will go quickly, but I will need the larger cable from the Spindrift Shawl to make it easier to knit on!

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Paulie Cardigan – this is so close to being done, I am almost halfway through the second sleeve and then I only have the button band to go. I will be playing a bit of yarn chicken, but I have a similar yarn to the MC that should work fine for the button band without looking strange (I hope)

I also have another cardigan in 8/10 ply – the Forest Cardigan, which also only needs sleeves and button bands which I would like to finish as well.

My other goal is to try and finish at least two pairs of socks. I am falling behind on my box of socks kal knitting, but I am sure I will be able to catch up without too much trouble as I begin to feel more inspired to knit.

cross-stitch · Knitting · sewing

Starting slow for 2017

This year has started off slowly with some extra time off work and some terrible weather. I have not felt at all like knitting, with the exception of a scrap yarn blanket I started just before Christmas. I’m a little surprised at how much I am enjoying it, I’ve avoided starting one for so long, but glad that I have started it.

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I am also surprised at how unconcerned I am with not being interested in knitting. In the past I have been quite frustrated with not getting any knitting done, but this time I am not particularly fussed. I suspect the hot weather has been playing a part in both my lack of interest as well as my feeling about it, so we shall see where it goes.

Instead of knitting I have been doing a few other crafty things instead. I got the opportunity to sew myself a new skirt. Beginning to feel a little more confident in garment sewing, so hopefully I will be able to muster up the confidence and time to sew a dress for the first time soon.

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I have also been bitten by the cross stitch bug again, which surprises me, but I’m happy to roll with it. I decided to start a geeky monthly sampler. Each month will feature a motif or logo from a geeky thing that I love. I’m mostly making it up as I go, taking some cross stitch patterns from online, or designing my own. For January I have stitched a Triforce from the Zelda games, which I will probably embellish with some rupees as the month goes on.

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I also purchased a book themed cross stitch pattern from Etsy which I am also really enjoying.

I’ve also been trying to put some time into getting some spinning done, if only because I have some gorgeous new fibres on their way to may and I want to be able to spin them as soon as possible!

 

Knitting · sewing · Spinning

Reflecting on 2016

I knit a lot of socks, but didn’t feel like I finished the things I had hoped to. Many of my crafty goals fell through either to lack of enthusiasm or finances. I hope to knit a few more garments in 2017 and perhaps get more spinning more. I would like to expand my stash in a way which results in more choices for future projects. I found myself wanting to knit things, but not having the “right” yarns to do so. Want to expand colour options particularly. Need more silk blends!

My favourite knits of 2016

I would like to learn more spinning techniques to increase how much I do and improve my output overall, spending a lot of time spinning, but not getting enough yardage to knit anything significant.

I would like to get more sewing done, especially making my own clothes. I’ve been having a lot of trouble finding clothes in styles and colours that I like and hopefully I will be able to improve this by making my own.

Knitting · sewing · Spinning

Knit Funk

I’ve fallen into a knitting funk of late. Partially I think this has been influenced by being tired – work has been extremely busy of late and I haven’t been able to muster the enthusiasm to knit when I get home. Even simple knitting hasn’t been attractive to me at the moment.

I managed to reach my Stash Dash goal of 5000m with a week or so to spare. I really happy with all the knitting I got done, and pleased with all the projects I finished. Out of everything I think my favourite is finally finishing my Ginny’s Cardigan.

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I’m quite pleased with it overall. It is slightly oversized (I knit a size 40″ for a 38″ bust). It was my first time sewing on pockets which turned out alright, if a little lopsided.

I have also been neglecting my spinning as well, though I have started a new gradient which is turning out great so far. Looking forward to putting a little more time into it as soon as I am feeling a little more motivated to take up more crafty pursuits again. I also got a new spindle at the Mount Pleasant Fleece and Fibre Fair in August which is very beautiful.

I did get the chance to put some sewing time in. A year or so ago I made my sister a messenger bag which was beginning to look a little worse for wear so I made her a new one, hopefully it will be a little more hard wearing then the last one. 13687354_321618151510762_177921862_n_medium2

I have got quite a few projects on the needles which would be nice to get back to, mostly a couple of shawls and some jumpers/cardigans. Hopefully once work calms back down again I will feel more like knitting again!

Knitting · Libraries · Spinning

Nerd Furniture for Nerds (& Stash Dash)

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I’ve been steadily chugging away at knitting and a little spinning since I last updated. For a while there it felt like I wasn’t getting anything significant done, but this last week or so I have made quite a lot of progress.

A quick overview of Stash Dash FOs!

In knitting I finished another pair of gloves for a friend, my amazing rainbow sparkle socks, and Acai hat and my Willard pullover.

 

In spinning I finished my Autumn Fibre Club from Kathy’s Fibres, and the sparkle merino/silk that I brought for my birthday!

I’m so pleased with the Autumn Club spin, I love the colours and they’ve turned out beautifully in the finished object I knit with it (more below!). I’m overall quite happy with the sparkle one – the meterage was quite poor for a fingering weight, but it’s my first spin on my new wheel!

I went ahead and brought the hand crafted double treadle upright I was looking into and it’s gorgeous! There has been a bit of a learning curve with it, and I’m still trying to find the most comfortable way to use it. But I am hopeful that with time I will really love it.

In much newer FOs I also finished my Daybreak shawl this week, after losing at yarn chicken for both the striped section and the bind off. Fortunately I decided that I could live with one less stripe, and I had a second skein of the gold yarn to finish the bind off with.

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My other super quick FO was the Calzone shawl, I started it on Saturday evening and finished it yesterday! I would have probably finished it on the weekend if I hadn’t spent most of Sunday working on my Daybreak instead. I’m so pleased with how it turned out and it is such a a fun and quick knit. I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants a quick and pretty knit when they only have a small amount of yarn (mine used just under 300meters of a fingering/sport weight)

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And after years of coveting and waiting and dreaming, I have finally brought home my library card catalogue cabinet.

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My boss, who is both wonderful and amazing, promised me this cabinet several years ago. We finally got around to moving our active shelf-list cards from the old cabinet, to the bigger and nicer heritage listed cabinet, freeing this one up to come home with me. I’m so happy to be able to have one of these magnificent cabinets, especially one that I have a personal connection to due to;
a) it’s played a big part in the history of the library I work in; and
b) I have been using this cabinet daily in my work in Special Collections for the last 4 years.

That this cabinet now has a home here with me is a wonderful feeling. In a way it’s as much a part of my history, as it is part of my workplace and libraries in general.

 

 

Knitting · sewing · Spinning

Stash Dash update and Birthday Acquisitions

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My stash dash progress has slowed considerably. Only finishing a pair of gloves for a friend since I last updated. I have almost finished the first sleeve on my Willard, and made progress on my Daybreak, as well as finished the first half of some spinning however.

For new projects I started some birthday socks, and sewed myself some new pajama pants and a drawstring bag to hold my new socks!

The day after my Birthday, I went up to the Clare Valley to visit my parents.My mother gave me some stitch markers she made herself, as well as a set of interchangeable Knit Pro Karbonz needles. I’ve been looking forward to trying them some time and had planned to buy myself a set next time I went to the yarn store, but my mother bet me too it. I’ve only just started knitting with them, but I am looking forward to trying more of them out and getting a feel for them.

Of course, while I was in the area, I took the opportunity to drove over to Clare to visit Knit, Spin Weave.

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I love this shop so much. Every time I visit the layout has changed ever so slightly, showcasing different aspects of what is available. The owner, Tracey, has a great sense of style and colour, and the store is always so welcoming. I love walking up to the door and seeing Tracey sitting in the window and spinning. While I was there I was able to get everything I wanted and a special present to myself as well! I grabbed another skein of Coop Socks, Socks Yeah for my Daybreak, a new bobbin for my spinning wheels, a skein of Opal sock yarn for some vanilla socks and a braid of Polwarth/Silk/Stellina fibre for spinning. I just couldn’t resist the amazing colours and the sparkles!

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I’ve had a week off of work, so I’ve also been enjoying the chance to sit down at the sewing machine and making a few more project bags. Today I finished a large size bag with a zipper and a flap pocket on the front. Quite pleased with this style of bag so will be looking forward to making a few more. The pattern is from a picture tutorial for a linen makeup bag I found on pinterest, with a few minor changes.

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In spinning related news, I’ve been keeping an eye out for a new spinning wheel to add to my collection. So far I have two single treadle Ashfords and have been looking around for a double treadle and/or a portable wheel. There hasn’t been a lot coming up secondhand, but I recently found for sale a brand new double treadle travel wheel made locally here in SA. Hopefully I will be able to collect soon!