Rules for Feeding the Stash

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Hello my dears!

I'm playing around a little bit with the blog layout right now, trying to make things work better and look at least a little professional.  Things will probably be a little ephemeral here for a little while while I tweak things.

In other news, check out my award from community theatre:
"Best Knitting Skillz."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

On the Other Side

This is what I've looked like for the past week:
One thing about community theatre is that there's this really slow, tedious buildup over the first month or so, then there's two weeks that just ram into you like a semi and eat up all your spare time and keep you out later than you intend (I would like to state that this can be either good or bad, and usually depends on how much coffee I've had to drink).

The play's over now, and there are parts of it I'm already missing.  But I'm also glad to have some of my life back.  Tonight, I'm catching up on over two weeks worth of laundry, doing at least an hour of yoga, drinking wine with my mum, and not much of anything else unless I feel like it.

As usual, I made the most of my time backstage:
Ravelry Link: Neville's Socks
Yarn: I have no idea.  I bought it at my LYS maybe three years ago, wound it up, tossed the ball band (rookie mistake), and threw it back in stash until this past spring.  I know I've seen other people online using it, and I've already wasted a couple hours of my life trying to track down what it is.  If you do happen to recognize it, let me know, okay?  Mum's got her eyes on these, and I want to cut her off before she gets desperate.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

FO: Heartmate

I really love how this came out.  It's so perfect, and I really think it will go well in the bride and groom's home.
This thing grew about 10cm each way after blocking.  I don't have blocking wires, so to block this I decided to try using spare yarn like the Yarn Harlot for the first time.  I still need some practice at it, but it was much easier than using all my pins to try to get a straight line on all four edges.
 All things told, this was a very enjoyable knit.  Everything went smoothly, and it took about 9 days total, spread out over the last 3 months, so I never had real stress about making the deadline. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

You Don't Want to Know What My Week Looks Like

This week is tech week in community theatre land, and our performances are this weekend, so I'm a bit more frazzled than usual.  I have an FO post all ready for you for Heartmate that I'll put up later this week so it looks like I actually have time to blog, but beyond that I'll be pretty scarce.  BUT to keep you all happy until my life goes back to normal next week, here's a few pictures of what I've been working on:
Since we're doing Oliver! for our musical this summer, I was asked to knit Fagin a pair of fingerless gloves.  No pattern, just knit flat and I'll sew up the sides once I have the actor's hands in front of me so they fit right.
Baby Blanket!  This baby's got a cool ocean-and-sailing themed room, so he needs a blue feather&fan blanket.  That's two out of 5 balls of yarn so far, and going pretty quickly.
My much-abused Ella, with a new first sleeve that's almost done.  I can't wait to get her done and wear her, but the Fagin gloves and the Baby Blanket have taken up most of my knitting time the last few days.
Something new!  A skein of Colinette Jitterbug, waiting to become some kind of pretty princess shawl.  As soon as the blue Baby Blanket is done, then this pretty girl gets wound up and swatched.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pattern: Lettie

My Summer Freebie was posted on Ravelry today!

I got the idea for Lettie from these two skeins of discontinued yarn that I had laying around my stash.  I wanted something that was quick and easy to knit, lightweight for summer, and easily adaptable to any amount of yarn.  Since I only had these two skeins, I wanted to be sure to use every last bit up.

Lettie features an easy eyelet mesh and two strong color blocks.  The stitch pattern hides the color change in the middle, and it is attractive on both sides, so it doesn't matter how the scarf hangs around your neck.  It's a perfect piece  to wear when the temperature dips a little in summer evenings.
Download for free on Ravelry, and let me know what you think!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Busy Busy Busy

I'm back, lovelies.  It's been a crazy week, and I'm going to be pretty busy for the rest of the month, but I wanted to share some things with you.

I went to my friend's wedding this past weekend, and it was so great to see most of my favorite people all together in one place.  At the reception there was a zip line, and a campfire, and hatchet throwing, and all sorts of fun stuff (and no one got hurt!).  We all got killed by mosquitoes, but it was worth it.  Heartmate was finished and blocked with time to spare, and you'll get pictures soon.

I brought the baby blanket and Mottled Daydream to knit on the bus, and I got a few rows done on the baby blanket before Mottled Daydream took over my life.  Alas, it was not meant to be.  This shawl is cursed and I will have to put the Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere away for a little bit before I can decide what to do with it.  (I still maintain that the pattern is lovely, and I do want to knit it, but clearly it is not meant to be with this yarn.  For some reason, it's jinxed right now.)
Of course, I found a yarn store in the same town as the wedding.  I behaved very well, I think (it helped that there was a huge sale and everything was at least 25% off).  I got 5 skeins of Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Worsted, for a future Top Sekrit project, and a Crazy Zauberball, that I think will become Pogona (I am so excited about that Zauberball, I've wanted to try one out for years).

I got back late last night, so I took today off of work.  I slept past 10 (I can't even remember the last time that happened!), so clearly not going to work was an excellent decision.  Today I'll photograph my summer freebie (more of a recipe than a pattern) and that will get uploaded to Ravelry this week (I apologize for the delays).  I should be able to have a couple more posts out for you guys this week (at least an FO post for Heartmate and a pattern post for the still-unnamed summer freebie), but I am still going to be swamped with community theatre stuff for the next two weeks. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Very Quickly, While I Have Time

Community theatre is starting to ramp up, and I have rehearsal almost every night.  My friend's wedding is this weekend, and I will be gone three days for that.  A very dear friend is moving away this week as well, so we have begun the process of goodbyes and transitioning to what will be a distance friendship. 

I still have to pack for this weekend.  Knitting-wise, I'll be bringing the baby blanket and Ella, and perhaps Mottled Daydream, just for kicks.  The bus ride is 14 hours there, 13 hours back, with two layovers each way (are they still called layovers in bus terminals?).  For books I'll certainly bring A Storm of Swords, Tales of Pain and Wonder (which I reread every summer), and Free-Range Knitter (I'll probably also end up bringing Stephanie Pearl-McPhee Casts Off: The Yarn Harlot's Guide to the Land of Knitting).

I'm looking forward to seeing my friends from college this weekend.  Most of them I haven't seen since May of 2012, so it will be a good chance to catch up with everyone.  I have been having some heath issues the past few days that aren't clearing up as well as I'd like them to, so I will have to make sure to stock up on juice and other snacks for the weekend as well. 

I have 19 more rows on Heartmate, so I plan to finish it tomorrow and block it on my bed Wednesday morning.  Aside from that, I have three more days of work, nine hours of play rehearsal, and one goodbye lunch before my weekend starts.  See you all on the other side!

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Maybe the Coffee was a Sign

The plan was for me to have the sleeves and body joined last night, and to have some progress on the shoulder decreases to show you today.  But we've already established how the universe feels about my plans.
This is how Ella looked on Sunday, before the Coffee Incident.  Body done to underarms, sleeve #1 almost done, and almost a week left to get the whole thing done.

I did recover from the coffee stain (vinegar works wonders), and I promptly started sleeve #2.  For a while it looked like I was going to be in the clear.  Last night I finished sleeve #2 and sat down to join everything together, and that's when it went to pieces.

Take another look at the finished sleeve up there.  Notice anything?  Like how it is a completely straight tube with no shaping, even though your arms are not completely straight tubes?  Yeah.  Not only did this knitter not read the pattern thoroughly, but she also completely forgot how to knit a sleeve and didn't even realize that something was wrong until she tried to piece everything together.

That decided it.  I will not be wearing Ella to my friend's wedding next weekend, so I have to figure out something else.  Ella will be done when she's done, and apparently it's all on her terms, not mine.  I started sleeve #1 for the second time today at lunch, and hopefully she'll really be done in time for me to wear her a few times before the weather gets too cool.
(Clockwise from top left: Sleeve #1.2, Sleeve #1 [to be frogged], Sleeve #2 [frogged], Body.)

I do wish I had some better progress on this one, but clearly it is not meant to be.  When I told my mum about the sleeves, she said, "maybe the coffee was a sign that this is totally out of your hands."  I think she might have been right.

(To my American readers, a happy Fourth of July weekend to you.  While our country isn't perfect, it is far better than many, and it's not a bad place to call home.)