Category Archives: Knit/Crochet

Ravellenic Games & Stash Dash end

Well, I didn’t get anywhere near as much as I planned done for the Ravellenic Games, but, considering that we just unexpectedly got an additional dog on the 8th, I think I did pretty good. I got at least 1 project done for each Ravellenic team, and I got over 5k meters in Stash Dash! Last year I only did 3382, but this year I did 5041.37. Maybe next year I can make it to 7k 🙂

This is the dog that has come to share our home, Ginger. She is a Jack Russell Terrier, 6 – 8 years old.

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I didn’t think Shelley would be too happy about another dog in the house, but surprisingly she doesn’t really care, and Ginger quickly settled in. But man, I forgot how much work a new dog takes, even if it is older and housebroken. Ginger is very smart, which means she learns the rules quickly, but it also means she can figure out how to get into some stuff that I wouldn’t think to tell her not to, and that I can’t trick her into things like taking a pill by hiding it in cheese (if she hears or sees the pill bottle, she knows the pill is inside and will take the pill out). So she has kept me busy!

I’ve got to keep my nose to the grindstone, though, because there’s just a month until Ramencon!!

Ravellenic Games

I’m participating in the Ravellenic Games for the first time! I’m on 3 teams; Team Red Heart, Team Junkie, and Team Yarnbox. It’s one team per project (but as many projects per team as you like!), so I am fittingly doing my Red Heart projects for Team Red Heart, my Malabrigo projects for Team Junkie, and my yarnbox yarn projects for Team Yarnbox. Here’s the projects I have planned.

Today I wound up all the yarn I needed to wind for those projects. I have a hat that will be finished by tomorrow – and hopefully I will get an episode of Yarncast recorded either tomorrow or Friday – but I will be ready to go by cast on time Friday! This is a great way to motivate myself to actually get stuff done for Ramencon, because as always I’m worried I don’t have enough items. (And oh, my poor neglected blog, it’s almost time for Ramencon again and the post about last year is still on the main page – though this post might bump it off.)

On Friday, YarnCrush‘s first sock box ships! I should be posting a spoiler/review here sometime next week so check back for that!

Yarn in and upcoming KALs to get it out

Didn’t I promise you guys a haul? I’m sorry. I did make a haul video but shortly after that, I found out Koji Wada died on April 3rd. I was quite upset about that and it took me awhile to get back on track.

I didn’t really buy anything at Whinny City Pony Con, but I went all out at Yarncon.

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Details of the yarn are in my Ravelry Stash here, or in the video.

I was right when I said I probably wouldn’t have any more room for new stash after Yarncon. My stash is full and I’ve run out of room to expand.

Yeah, I’ve said that before. But you know what? I was lying. There was more room to expand. I had to anchor the shelf to the wall and I have to stand on something to reach the top now. Now there’s really no more room to expand.

Despite that, I signed up for YarnCrush last month :X

So now I get 5 deliveries a month. I get about 1600 yards from those 5 deliveries, which isn’t a problem because I knit/crochet about 1600 yards a month. The problem comes from the OTHER yarn… like at Yarncon I bought about 4600 yards. And then there’s that temptress, Tuesday Morning, calling out to me whenever I’m running errands, saying I should just check if there’s any new yarn.

Sigh.

Well, I plan to stop buying other yarn until after the MLP Fair and Convention, at least. And I’ll be participating in a few KALs this summer on Ravelry to try and get the stash down.

First of all, there’s the Summer of Socks with the Bakery Bears, which is May 25th – August 21st. I’ve got a lot of socks to work on, since Chance just outgrew the last of his socks, and I got behind on my Brown Bags. (Although actually, the 12 brown bags for this year are left over from the 15 I made up for last year, so I was already a year behind. Shush.)

Secondly there’s Stash Dash with the Knit Girllls, which goes May 27th – August 21st. Last year I did 5k meters, so this year I’m setting my goal at 7k.

The beginning of this overlaps with the end of MadMay. I doubt I will make any socks in Madelinetosh by the end of the month, so that’s just a double dip not a triple.

Until July 15 there’s the 5000k Contest in the KAL Fanatics group. I have a few eligible patterns that I was planning on knitting anyway, so I will be entering them.

In June, Knit Yo Balls in the Sassypants Knitter group will be doing neon balls. I have several neon balls, some that are destined to become socks, so… (yes, my multi-dipping game will be strong this summer. I have a spreadsheet to keep it all straight.)

June 15 – September 15 in the Actually Knitting Podcast Group there’s a podcast kal where you use yarn, a pattern, or a project bag from a podcaster you like. We all know I have a ton of Leading Men Fiber Arts yarn from Dramatic Knits! I also have a project bag from The Fat Squirrel, patterns from The Bakery Bears, and patterns from several other podcasters that I need to go find.

So, lots of things to motivate me to knit my stash this summer.

The one year sweater

Yesterday I decided I was going to finish this sweater I’ve been working on for Yuji. No reason in particular, I just wanted it done.

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Lately she’s been complaining that her arms itch when she’s wearing a sweater – but she complains while wearing any sweater, no matter the fiber, so I know it’s in her head. But I decided there’s no point in putting a bunch of work into a sweater she won’t wear… so I ripped out the sleeve I had started on, and made it into a short sleeved sweater.

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I’m keeping the remaining yarn and when it’s time to pass the sweater down to Chancey, it should be easy to rip out the ribbing and add sleeves. Anyway, when I went to update my project page on Ravelry to complete, I realized I had cast the sweater on exactly a year ago. Oops. Well, thankfully I always make sweaters for the kids too large (because if I’m going to go through the trouble of knitting a sweater, I want it to fit for more than a few weeks!) so it will still fit Yuji.

No Yarncast for Christmas

I’m really frustrated right now. I was filming an episode of Yarncast, and was about 95% done, when my camera batteries died. My camera does this thing where if the batteries are about to die, it warns me at the last possible second – not giving me enough time to stop recording – and then turns off, sending the video irrecoverably into oblivion. This wouldn’t upset me so much if it didn’t give that last-second warning. The fact that the camera gives that warning means it COULD either warn me sooner, or stop the recording so the video is saved. Then I would, at least, have 95% of a video and not 0%. If I had 95% I would change the batteries and finish the other 5%, but I don’t have time to re-record that 95%. Nor the disposition to not be cranky while doing it.

So instead, I’ll make a blog post of all the things I talked about. Continue reading

Off the knitworthy list and back again

Yuji left one of her mittens in the car last winter. I left it there for her to bring in herself, but she never did; so it spent its whole spring and summer back there. At some point it migrated to the floor.

I was finally cleaning out the car the other day and after months of being stepped on, the mitten had a hole. So I threw it out. She has several pairs of store-bought mittens and gloves passed down from Sabastian and Nathan, purchased before I started knitting. They sit in a closet doing nothing – I figured she could wear those.

Friday night and Saturday we had our first snow – several inches of thick sticky snow – so Yuji and Chance went out to build a snowman. Yuji had to wear some store-bought gloves. Her hands were quickly soaked and freezing, while Chance’s stayed warm. Yuji came in saying she needed to change gloves, so I gave her the one remaining mitten, and one store bought glove.

It didn’t take long for her to realize the difference. The hand in the handmade wool glove stayed warm, the other one quickly froze. She came in and begged me to make her more mittens. She apologized for not taking care of the other mitten and promised to take care of them if I’d make more.

How could I resist? I let her pick out some yarn and cast on some mittens. The first one is done.

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Loving my library and my stash

My goal of buying less patterns in 2015 is going well. I have purchased a few (3 and one ebook), but they were things I really needed a pattern for and plan to start soon.

I got a 3DS flash cart, but other than that all my fun money this year has been going toward yarn. Which means I’ve bought a LOT of yarn this year. This is my stash in January; click for details of what everything is.

Yarn Stash Jan 2015

And here it is a few days ago the acrylic hasn’t changed much (except that I got 15 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver in Light Grey, because it’s the perfect color for Derpy and seems to have been discontinued, so I bought a bunch where I could find it), so I didn’t re-photograph that, but I got some more self-striping sock yarn, removed the bamboo mix yarn from the solid sock yarn, and refilled the solid cube with wool and wool/nylon –

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I think my stash is a good size now, and I don’t have any more room to expand it. (Truth be told, some of it is on the floor right now because it doesn’t fit on the shelf. But I plan to use that quickly.) So I have decided to go “Stationary Sheep” – keep my stash the same size by only buying as much as I use – at least until Black Friday. You may notice that there is now a Knitmeter on the side, keeping track of how many yards I have knit and crocheted since February 9th. On my Ravelry profile I’m keeping track of how many yards come in. As of today, 1600 yards have come in and 1802 have gone out (since February 9th). But I’m in the Highland Handmades color study club and I have been buying the Leading Men Fiber Arts color of the month each month (and plan to keep doing so) so, I need to work hard to get more out before Yarncon! I’ll be good if I can keep getting out 900 yards a week… if I stop buying stuff.

So, I’m trying to take part in SnapDragonCrafts‘ Love Your Library Challenge. I also, at some point, signed up for BookishStitcher’s 15 oldest skeins challenge. My oldest documented skeins are from 2012 – that was when I started buying wool, discovered the LYS, and started knitting socks (I actually said back then that I wasn’t going to handwash socks. loooooooooololololol!). It was when I started buying wool that I started using the Ravelry stash, so while some of my acrylic may be older, I’m just not going to count that. So, here’s my 15 oldest skeins

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Most of it is from the same trip to Joanns. (I still have not used that book nor those bells :X) I wish I knew then what I knew now, so that I would have realized the Kashmira and Soles and More were being discontinued and bought more. The Kashmira especially, because come on; self-striping, 100% wool in something heavier than fingering?! How did this get discontinued?!??! Sigh. Well I have just used up the last of it. At least I made something for myself, so I can look at its wonderfullness.

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(Chance took this picture for me. Thank the lord, I finally have someone that can take the pictures I can’t take! My husband can’t take pictures of me for shit.)

These will replace my Vancouver Fog fingerless mitts – which were made out of the NaturallyCaron Country I got in that same haul, lol – but due to being 75% acrylic, and the fact that I use them all the time (inside the house, cuz like I said, if I wore them outside my fingers were cold), they kind of fell apart in some places and did-something-like-felting in others (of course, acrylic doesn’t felt, but it looks like they felted, just without getting smaller). I’m assuming/hoping 100% wool will fare better.

The rest of the Caron Country will be an afghan already in progress. The Patons Kroy and Soles and More will be socks. The Bernat Sox will be a Happypotamus. The Berroco Flicker (which I didn’t even have a full skein of left in the first place) has already been partially used in a hat, and now there’s little enough left that it’s gone into the scrap box.

So all that is left to figure out is the Plymouth Yarn Galway Colornep. I don’t remember what I used part of it on, but I used 20% of it – so there’s not enough left for a hat. I could make kid-sized socks if I did contrasting heels and toes, but I kind of want something long-lasting rather than something the kids are going to outgrow (though I am thinking of sewing all the handmade socks into an afghan once they are outgrown by the last kid. But that’s a different post…). So I’m thinking either a toy or some Lambing Mitts. But do I need more fingerless mitts? If I don’t keep them that kind of defeats the point. Maybe I’ll use it as one of the colors in Daphne and Delilah – I got the toys and the pattern in a Christmas 2012 swap and Chance has been asking me to make him a set every since. There’s that year again – maybe it’s a sign? Hmm.

On the otaku side of things: I totally scored today, I found a Lyra toy for $3 at Walmart!

Anyway, it is 1:45 am and I plan on starting a sweater tomorrow (I mean, later today) – one of those patterns I bought, a sweater for Yuji, but more on that soon. See ya!

Patons, we need to talk

Patons Classic Wool, for a long time now you’ve been my go-to worsted wool yarn. I told myself you were the cheapest worsted weight wool that actually came in colors, and limited though they might be, I thought I needed you.

I realize now I was blinded by love.

You are, at regular price, only .51 cheaper than Cascade 220’s regular price at Webs, and $1.01 cheaper than my LYS.

Now I’ll admit, your regular price at Joanns and Michaels is 2.01 cheaper. And you do go on sale a lot at Joanns, bringing the price even lower. And then of course I get that teacher’s discount at Joanns. Over the past two years or so, this is how you’ve kept me.

But over the past few months, something changed. The colors I need – the colors I know you come in – aren’t on the shelves at Joanns. I check the stock before I head to the store, only to be told it’s inaccurate or they just plain don’t know where you are in the back. So I trudge down the street to Michaels, and I can use a coupon on one ball, but for the rest I pay $6.99 + tax bringing it up to 7.48.

Or Michaels doesn’t have the colors either. So I go home, gas money wasted, and get on Joann’s website. Oh, they take paypal now. Which means no waiting for money from online sales to transfer to my bank account before I can buy more yarn! But I can only use one coupon or discount code per order. Which means I can’t use my teacher’s discount AND a coupon. I can’t use my teacher’s discount AND a free shipping code. When I add in shipping costs, you’re back up to that .51 cheaper than cascade. And Joann’s shipping is slower than Web’s.

I’m working on a project that has a sky in it, so I need a sky blue. And I realized that, Patons, you don’t even have a sky blue. So fine, I’ll use ‘Aquarium” – it’s more greeny than I wanted to use, but the sky looks that way some days I guess, so fine.

But I couldn’t find Aquarium in stores. So, okay, I’ll order it online. You’re on sale on the Joanns site! … but with shipping, one ball would be $12.95. Okay, let me see if Amazon has it! Free shipping with Prime! But it’s only an add-on item, meaning I’d have to spend $25 to get this consolation color. Or, I could buy a 5 pack for $49.40 – paying $9.88 per ball. More than Cascade 220 even cost at my LYS. At my LYS, which is much closer to my house than Joanns and Michaels.

And here’s the kicker. Webs has a discount system where you get 20% off a $60+ order and 25% off a $120+ order. If I buy $120+ of Cascade 220, the price is $7.20 per skein.

Yes, Patons, you read that right. Cascade 220 is $7.20 per skein while you’re $7.48 at the store (where I can’t even get the colors I’m looking for) or $9 – 12 online.

I’ve been so stupid. It will actually be much cheaper if I do a $120+ Webs order of Cascade 220 once a month, and supplement with trips to the LYS in between.

And not only will it be cheaper; I‘ll get the colors I want and need. It isn’t just the stores’ fault; Patons, your color selection is pitiful. You offer me these colors:

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(and two of those I’m guessing are discontinued since they are out of stock everywhere) But Cascade offers me these colors:

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So sorry, Patons, but we’re breaking up. Cascade 220 is now my go-to worsted weight wool.

I went to the LYS yesterday in search of that sky blue I needed in Cascade 220. I found a fitting color and the colorway is called… “summer sky”. It’s perfect.

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My 2ed Crochetversary!

Some time shortly after Christmas of 2010 I put away my crochet hooks, declaring crochet “too hard” with “too many things to remember”. But on May 4th, 2012, I picked it back up, determined to learn the magical art of amigurumi.

I knew nothing of choosing an appropriate yarn (which is why the new version is slightly less show-accurate in color), keeping stitches tight, row counters, wrong side vs right side, nor weaving in ends sufficiently – never mind advanced things like safety eyes and needle felted details! But I was determined. And on May 6th, 2012, a very special toy was born and given to my youngest, Chancey – who still loves, plays and sleeps with it.

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In honor of my 2ed Crochetversary, I decided to crochet the same pattern again, to look at how much I’ve improved.

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Looking at them side-by-side, the first one is a bit embarrassing. Oh, how proud I was of my holey, lop-sided, bulbous headed, one-leg-crocheted-wrongside-out Muno! But, we were all noobs once.

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The old one isn’t done in a fuzzy yarn – it’s actually pilled that much. And that’s just from being played with, it’s never been through the wash. It’s Banbry Crossing Wintuk, a yarn old enough to be not just acrylic, but 100% DuPont Orlon Acrylic.

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Despite all its flaws, Chancey assures me that his Muno is better. It’s the perfect color and I made it just for him. Though Yuji snagged my very first attempt – a misshapen “ball” which I made to learn the basics of amigurumi

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(I can’t even blame the time and love for this one – this picture was taken just after it was made)

– Muno was the first thing I ever crocheted for someone. And Chancey’s delight when I handed Muno over to him probably fueled my determination to get better, to make more, to in 2 years go from that misshapen ball to this.

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And the love he still has for that original Muno makes me think about how amazing it is that there are at least 200 people in the world with items I’ve made. At least 200 people feeling the love I put into every item.

It’s crazy. And I can’t wait to make more.

Totally not a stash problem.

Is it bad that I considered buying this

But then thought, “Nah, it’ll be cheaper if I take some coupons to Joann and buy those colors…” so I looked at the avalibility at my local Joann, thought about going and buying ALL of those colors, then thought… “Nah, I should use up the cotton I have first…” then looked through my yarn stash to discover I actually already own several of those colors?

That’s not a sign of a stash problem, is it? Isn’t it just a sign that I really like those colors? 😛

To be fair, some of them were from before I actually started keeping track of my stash on Ravelry. In fact, the Hot Pink and Hot Blue were the remains of the first yarn I ever purchased.

And since I had so much cotton and acrylic by the time I started keeping track, I just never kept track of those. (Though I’m thinking this is a sign I really need to start.)

Now that I think about it, I’m pretty sure the first amigurumi I ever sold, my first Etsy sale, was made from that blue. And the pink was used for one of the first amigurumi I ever attempted to make. So this yarn is the scraps of many firsts.

I just used the last of it to make a very long dishcloth. Because of its length, it will probably be a dishtowel instead.

So now I can go buy some more Hot Pink and Hot Blue – as well as the other hot colors I don’t have – without feeling bad.

I totally don’t have a problem. I can stop any time I want.