Rules for Feeding the Stash

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Pile of FOs

Do I have lots of pretty photos of finished knits to share with you? Yup. I washed my hair and put on a bra and everything. It's a photo-heavy post, but if there's anything we all have, it's time to scroll through and look at lots of pretty knitting pictures. Here we go:


Up first is my Old Harry, which is FINALLY finished after spending way too long on the needles. It came out exactly how I wanted it too, and I even got Lee Lee in for some pictures!




Pattern: Old Harry by Kat Riddell
Yarn: Knit Picks Preciosa Tonal Fingering,"Anemone" and "Boysenberry" 


Next is this cowl I made with a bunch of my Malabrigo Rios scraps. I love this so much. It came out exactly how I pictured it. I can't believe it took almost four years for me to actually finish it, but it's great. It's just moss stitch, changing colors when I ran out of one. I just magic knotted the yarns together, and changed them wherever the old yarn ran out, even in the middle of rows.




Ravelry Page: Rios Scraps Cowl
Pattern: None, I made it up IN MY BRAIN
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Rios, various


My first "Quick Win" project of Quarantine is my Purl Soho Bandana Cowl. I originally had another pattern in mind for this yarn, but I had thought I had two skeins instead of one, so the other pattern wouldn't have worked. I got this skein from my friend Annika, and I don't know what colorway it is and I'm too lazy to scroll through all of Malabrigo's colorways to check. It's a great color for me, though, and a great little cowl. Mine is a bit shorter than the sample as I only did three sets of decreases instead of the five that were written, because I ran out of yarn. I also had to knit it twice because I forgot how to read patterns. It's okay, I had the time.



Ravelry Page: Bandana Cowl
Pattern: Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Chunky, unknown


When I first designed Breony, I knew the original sample was going to go live with Tara. About a year after sending the sample to her, I grabbed this skein from her to knit a Breony of my own. And then I let it sit in my stash for years. I knew this hat would take only a few hours to knit, but I never cast it on. I'm thrilled with it. I made the brim a little deeper on this one than is written BECAUSE I COULD. I love the soft pinks in this yarn, and I'm super happy with how it knit up.



Ravelry Page: Breony
Pattern: Breony by Kat Riddell
Yarn: The Dyeing Arts Rogue, "Bermuda" 

As always, much love to you all. Every one of you individually is my best friend. You're doing great. 

Friday, March 27, 2020

Day Fourteen


So, clearly I'm still trying to adjust to whatever my new schedule is. It's weird. It's all weird. I love being home, and I love being by myself, and even I'm struggling with this new normal. My heart goes out to everyone who's really missing being around people and being in public places. This sucks, but we're tough.

I've pretty much stopped sample knitting. I don't know if I'm still mad at my vest for having the wrong increases, or if I don't love the concept, or if the weight of *gestures widely* makes the thought of "work knitting" just too much.

I very nearly cast on a laceweight sweater last week, but I reigned myself in and decided instead to focus on some quick projects that have been in my queue for an age and a half. Let me tell you, if you have the stash for some quick projects, they are GREAT right now. In just a day or two, you go from "a skein of yarn" to "new cowl!" or "new hat!" and that feeling is incredible. It's an easy win, and it's a sign of progress in a time when time itself feels meaningless.

So far I've knit a Purl Soho Bandana Cowl, a Breony (which I've been meaning to do since the original sample went to live with Tara YEARS AGO), and most of an Arikaa Cowl (it just needs a seam and fringe). I also finished my Rios Scraps Cowl, which has been on the needles since 2016 and came out EXACTLY how I wanted. I'm also doing Jessie Mae's MKAL, which I'm really loving right now—ribbing in the round forever and ever with medium-weight yarn? That's exactly what the doctor ordered right now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Numbers On a Wednesday

1. No photo today. Sorry. Things are just weird right now and I promise I'll try to get better/figure something out as I adjust to this new routine.

2. I'm on leave from work this week, and don't know what the next few weeks holds. I don't like uncertainty, but I'm trying to be chill and not worry too much.

3. Yup, I'm isolating. Because I'm diabetic, I'm high-risk if I get COVID-19. I don't want to get it. That would be very bad.

4. I had to rip out like six inches from my vest sample last night because I figured the rate of increases for the v-neck wrong. It is now in time-out, because how dare I mess up math.

5. I finally finished my marled Old Harry! I don't know when I'll do a photoshoot for it (I mean, I have the time, clearly, but I'm also very invested in not doing my hair this week, so we'll have to see if I can find any motivation to make myself presentable).

6. I have already eaten through most of my stash of Quarantine Chips, which is kind of a bummer, but also to be expected when I am alone with a bunch of chips and no supervision.

7. Please be safe, kittens. Wash your hands, avoid large groups, and know that I love each and every one of you.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Operation: SJW

I’m participating in Operation: Social Justice, and 20% of the purchase price of all my patterns and collections sold from March 15th through March 31st will be donated to Transformation Project SD, an organization that provides education and resources to trans youth and young adults and their families in South Dakota.

Check out #OperationSJW on social media to see what other businesses are participating and what organizations we’re supporting during this project.

Friday, March 13, 2020

New Pattern: Cervid


I love wearing triangular shawls, but sometimes that much fabric is too warm, or sometimes I don’t want to worry about trailing extra ends through my food, or sometimes I want something that I don’t have to worry about coming loose or falling off while I’m out and about.


Cervid fills all my stylistic desires without any of the hangups that can come with my beloved shawls. The triangular front of the cowl grows out of staghorn cables, one of my favorite motifs.


Cervid is worked flat from the bottom point, then additional stitches are cast on for the back neck and the cowl is worked in the round to finish.


Cervid is available on Ravelry and is 20% off through Monday, March 16th, with code CROWN.



Monday, March 9, 2020

Back in the Saddle


Has it really been two weeks?? I'm sorry for the prolonged absence, but in an effort to clear up this tendinitis flareup I've been strictly no-knitting since the last time I posted. I finally let myself try knitting a little bit yesterday, and I'm feeling all right. Not quite 100% yet, but it felt really good to get a few rows in.

I wish I could say I've been using the time I would have spent knitting the past two weeks wisely, but mostly I've been messing around online and wishing I could knit. I did manage to read a few books and get ahead on my goal for the year (here's my Goodreads profile, if you want to be friends).

My plan is to keep taking it slow on the knitting front for this week—two weeks is a long break, and while I'm eager to get back into some long knitting sessions, I know my thumbs are still a bit weak and inflamed and need to be treated gently. 

Monday, February 24, 2020

Weekends


Back on Friday, when I started planning my weekend, I thought I'd spend two long days getting a bunch of knitting done. I have a pattern to finish writing up, a couple of samples on the needles, a sweater that only needs half a sleeve left to go, and I really thought I had a good chance of getting a bunch of stuff caught up on.

Well, Saturday morning I had to admit to myself that I'd let my apartment get into A State, and it really needed some love. So I spent all day Saturday cleaning and WOW my apartment is so much better now. I even finally repotted my orchids after having that on my to-do list for months!

So I didn't get any knitting done on Saturday, but yesterday I sat down in front of Netflix with my vest sample and banged out a few inches. As you can see, the fronts and backs are joined and it's finally starting to look like an actual garment. This is my favorite stage of a project, right when everything comes together. Obviously, there's still a ton of knitting left to go, but cruising along through the body of a garment is one of my favorite things to do.

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Back to Routine


That long weekend was just the thing I needed—I spent most of a day in bed and finally kicked the end of a cold that I've been fighting for a couple weeks. I got a pile of costume alterations done for the dance studio as well, and I've only got three more to do now, which shouldn't take too long. I also finished the upper back of this vest sample and am on the second upper front now. It's at that stage where it looks a bit strange and twisted, but it'll even out and start looking like an actual garment pretty soon.

It feels good to be back to my regular routine after a couple of different weeks. I'm definitely a creature of habit! Last night I spent several hours in the kitchen, which I haven't been able to do for a hot minute, and I made brownies and a coffee cake and a sweet potato and chickpea skillet that I'll probably have for dinner tonight. It was great to know that I had time to cook without worrying about having to get somewhere, and it's so nice to finally have cake in the house again, I really missed it!

Friday, February 14, 2020

Color Shawl


It's been kind of a slow week here. I took a few days off from knitting because I've been having a tendinitis flareup, and I'm definitely missing it. I gave in and knit a little bit last night and felt okay, and I'm really looking forward to getting back into my usual groove.

(Unlike other problems with my hands, my tendinitis doesn't necessarily make it so I can't knit, and knitting doesn't tend to bother my thumbs at all, but the only real treatment for it is total rest.)

A couple weeks ago I pulled out these two skeins from The Dyeing Arts that I've been holding on to for a couple of years now and cast on a new shawl. I've been thinking about what to do with these skeins for a while, and now that I'm finally working with them I'm really enjoying seeing how all these colors work up.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Astrateia


Astrateia is a generously-sized lightweight shawl with a simple lace pattern. Featuring a garter border and a picot bind off, this shawl is perfect for draping over your shoulders or wearing around your neck. Designed to work with both solid and variegated yarns, Astrateia is both a portable project and a wardrobe staple.


Astrateia measures 61.5in/156cm wide and 27in/68.5cm deep and is currently 20% off on Ravelry with code HUNTRESS.


Friday, February 7, 2020

Updates on the Crud Front


Gosh, it feels like it's been FOREVER since I've spoken to you all, and I'VE MISSED YOU, KITTENS. It's been kind of crazy since my last post, so let's catch up:

-Saturday my mum and my sister and I went to Omaha for the day. It was tons of fun—we ate at our favorite sandwich/salad place, we went to a huge used book sale, and we stocked up at Trader Joe's—and even the long drives were enjoyable. Between the drive there and the drive back (about two hours each way) we saw twenty-three hawks (!!) and three bald eagles (!!!).

-Sunday I was exhausted and starting to feel a little crummy. I spent pretty much the whole day at home, did the bare minimum of housekeeping, and spent lots of time in bed with Lee Lee.

-Monday I felt like a colony of fire ants had moved into my throat. The doctor said it wasn't strep, probably a cold, and I tried resting and drinking fluids. Monday night I also had to go back into the dance studio to fit some costumes.

-Tuesday the cough and sinus congestion kicked in, and they've been holding pretty steady ever since. I don't know what this crud is, but there's a lot of crud going around this town (small town with four schools AND a major university = a petri dish of weird viruses that we all just keep passing around forever and ever).

So that's pretty much been me. I skipped choir and dance this week in favor of trying to get more rest, but I still don't feel like I'm on the upswing yet. In one tiny flash of good news, I did finally manage to get all the math and construction notes done for a new pattern for summer and have cast on the sample, which I'm so far finding ridiculously charming.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Short on a Wednesday


I yoinked this picture from Instagram because it's fitting week at the dance studio and I've had no time to take real photos, or even do much knitting! Monday was my night off, so I decided to do absolutely no work and just watch GBBO and work on my marled Old Harry. I finished the first sleeve and got the short rows finished on the second sleeve, and I'm pretty pleased with where it's sitting right now.


Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday


Happy Monday, kittens! I hope you all had a refreshing weekend! I spent Friday evening clearing out my storage closet and I threw away SO MUCH STUFF. It's crazy how much stuff I've been carrying around (and how much stuff my parents have been carrying around for me!). I still need to organize the things I'm keeping, but that space was really weighing on me and it's great to have that done.

I had a lot of swatching to do this weekend, and I managed to get it all done despite distracting myself at every turn with other things. I finished the shawl sample and it's blocking on the futon now, and I started this new cowl sample that I'm already completely charmed by. I initially cast this on as a way to avoid swatching, but I finally forced myself to set it aside just long enough to get the swatches for a couple of summer patterns done.

Linking up with Crafting On

Friday, January 24, 2020

Bordering Along


Here we are, Friday once again, and I have finally reached the border of this shawl sample. There's a part of me that would like to get the rest of it banged out this weekend, but I have quite a bit of swatching and grading to do, and that's going to take precedence right now. My goal is to finish the shawl up over the next week so I can get it written up next weekend, and I think I'm well on track to do that.

Like I mentioned earlier this month, January's always weird for me. I think my plan of just rolling with it and not trying to get lots of stuff done has worked, and I'm feeling pretty good about how this month has gone. I have a lot of big projects and goals I'm working on this year, and I think this sort of gentle start was the right way to go about this month.

I have finally started the most recent season of Great British Bake Off, and I'm looking forward to watching more of it this weekend while I catch up on some swatches. I'm also really close to finishing the first sleeve of my marled Old Harry. I'd hoped to finish that sweater this month, but that's looking a bit ambitious right now. It's not a big deal, though—even a February finish will leave me with plenty of winter to wear it! 

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

A Pair of FOs



Today I have not one, but TWO shiny new knits to share with you! Over the weekend I finally got around to photographing these, which have been waiting for me to take photos since the first week of January (I know, I know). Before we get into my first official FO of 2020, let's catch up on an unblogged one from last year.


You might remember this CYOA Tee that I wanted to knit for the OAL last year. I finally managed to finish the top in November and, well, this happened. I'd tried swapping out the ribbed collar for an i-cord one, and while it looked GREAT, it didn't actually fit over my head. So I threw the whole thing on my dining room table and didn't fix it until after New Year's. It took half an hour to fix.


I didn't swatch for this because I am a rebel, so it's a bit tighter than I'd planned, but it still looks great. I wish the shoulders were a touch wider, but that's all my fault, and only other people who make clothes or really care about fit will notice, so it's all fine.


Ravelry Page: Villainous CYOAT
Pattern: Choose Your Own Adventure Tee by Allyson Dykhuizen
Yarn: Cloud 9 Fiberworks Cumulonimbus, "Dr. Seuss Villain"


Now for my first official FO of 2020! I finished my Arachne on New Year's Day, so maybe I'm cheating a bit to say that I've already finished a sweater this year, but I don't care! I'm absolutely in love with this. My row gauge was off, so the whole thing is longer than written, but I'm really pleased with the finished length. I also love a deep yoke, so I'm not bothered by the extra length there as well. The black and the speckled green work as well together as I planned, and the whole thing is pretty close to my idea of a perfect sweater.


I alternated green skeins throughout, because I was using four skeins from three different dye lots. Overall, I think they blended wonderfully, although you might notice that brighter green band right underneath the colorwork. I have no idea how that happened. I didn't introduce a new skein there, I was doing the same thing I'd been doing in the rounds previous, and as you can see, it stops after a couple inches. It's a mystery.


Ravelry Page: Arachne
Pattern: Arachne by Andi Satterlund

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Midweek


I did some thinking, and I weighed my remaining yarn, and I decided that yes, I can squeeze another repeat of the main body in before starting on the border.

I'm not really knitting a whole lot right now, which feels kind of weird. I probably could bang the rest of this shawl out in a couple of marathon sessions, but for whatever reason I haven't felt the urge to just sit down in front of Netflix and knit for three or four hours. And that's fine! It just always feels a little weird when I'm in the "ebb" part of the ebb and flow of knitting.

Last night I did a couple of quick sewing jobs for a friend and made one of the best fry ups I've ever eaten. Tonight, choir starts back up again, but I still have a few weeks before bell choir starts up and my Wednesdays get really crazy. 

Monday, January 13, 2020

Plagues and Socks


Hello from the land of ear infections! I came down with some awful plague last week that made the skin start peeling off the roof of my mouth (I know, I know, it's disgusting), but after a few days in bed I am back to 100%...except for an ear infection that turned out to NOT be part of the plague. Apparently my ear is so swollen that the doctor couldn't even see the membrane without using the baby-sized ear speculum, so that's fun.

In my effort to knit more socks this year, I banged out a few rounds on this pair that I started after finishing xmas knitting last month. I've had the pattern and yarn for these socks since I was still in college (!!!!), so it's nice getting them finally knit up. My only issue with these is that I need to knit these on US1 needles, and that's just too small for me. I can handle US2 okay (they're not my favorite, and I need to take plenty of breaks), but my hands go numb pretty fast on anything smaller, so I'm trying to be real gentle with myself as I work on these. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

January-ing


January's always a funny month for me. It feels almost like liminal time, and many years I've struggled with wanting to start new things and having them crash and burn. This year I'm trying to take the weird sort of in-between-ness of the month and roll with it, and I'm trying to resist the temptation to cast on any new projects in favor of finishing up some WIPs.

I set this shawl sample aside in December (and, in fact, for quite a bit of November as well), and it's been my lunch knitting this week. It'd probably go a bit faster if I made myself sit down with it in front of Netflix, but so far I'm content with carrying it around. I'm  ready to start thinking about the border—I want just a garter stitch border, but I'm trying to decide if I should start it in a few rows or try to eke out one more set of lace repeats.

Saturday was my eleventh diabetes anniversary, and there's still a couple pieces of chocolate cake on my counter. I may or may not do some more baking this week. I really want this year to be the year that I maintain a sourdough starter, and I've been dreaming of sourdough biscuits, so maybe I'll try for those—assuming I can get a starter to maturity! 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Looking Ahead at 2020

I didn't really set any crafting goals last year. Ultimately, this was fine, as the entire year went a bit sideways and I barely got anything done anyway, but as I was looking forward to this year, I knew that I wanted a bit of direction.

In terms of my design work, I have six garments planned and I have the yarn ready to go for five of them (the sixth one I'm just waiting on the dyer, so they're pretty much all ready to go). These are all things that I'm looking forward to making and am excited about designing and writing up, and I hope that I get them all finished this year.

I also pulled out some sock yarns with the intention of doing a Yarn Harlot-style self imposed sock club. I pulled out twelve skeins and picked out patterns, but I think I'm going to pare it down to six. I have three pairs of socks on the needles right now that I want to finish, and I also have some sweaters in my queue that I'd like to knit up with a few sweater quantities in my stash.

I also decided that this year is going to be the year that I learn more about making my own wardrobe. I've been meaning to get into sewing more for a while, and I think I'm finally ready to go from thinking and reading about it to actually doing it more. I also think it's really important for me to have another creative hobby that's not work. Yes, I still knit other patterns for my own enjoyment, but I'm always negotiating in my mind, "do I have time to knit this and also get my design work done?" I'm also planning on a pretty big change (but more on that later), and I know I'll need to be aware of carving out time for me to do something purely for my own enjoyment and gratification, and I think that sewing will be a good fit for that need.

What are your goals and plans for this year? 

Friday, January 3, 2020

2019 In Review

2019 was a really hard year for me. In fact, it was one of the worst years I can remember. There was a lot going on in my personal life, and while we all made it out to the other side, I definitely didn't make it here smoothly or easily. My mental health went from "pretty well-maintained" to "well, technically it's been worse than this, but wow this is really bad and I'm just going to go back to bed." The very end of the year was pretty rough, so I'm still recovering, but I'm hopeful that I'll get back to where I want to be before too long.


I didn't really get a whole lot done in terms of creative output, but I managed to avoid stopping knitting all together. I knit 20 projects last year and released 9 patterns, both of which are less than usual. My favorite projects are my Jeri and my Currituck Sound, and I'm very enamored with my cropped Filled With Secrets and Hell Creek.


My writing output was also really small this year. I managed to write poems and some short pieces for my Patreon, but that was about it. I stopped submitting pretty early on in 2019, but that's something I definitely want to pick back up this year. I also have some great short fiction plans floating around in my head that I can't wait to play with and put on the Patreon this year.


One great thing that happened in 2019 was that I changed jobs in my library! At the end of October I moved from Interlibrary Loan to a brand new position in Oral History. I love my new job (and my new office!), and I'm thrilled that I have this opportunity. I'm working in metadata, which I love, and I'm also doing some transcription work.


I'm letting myself plant the expectation that 2020 will be a good year for me and that I'll have lots of opportunity for growth. I have plenty of new things that I want to try, and lots of things that I want to keep doing, but more on my hopes for the next year on Monday!