Wednesday, March 30, 2011

2KCBWDAY3 : Stashin' It Away


How do you keep your yarn wrangling organised?

My organizational skills are pretty lacking when it comes to my stash. It's not that I don't know where everything is and that I don't have a system, it's that I have i my system scattered in so many places. Because I have pretty limited space and I have to look to moving the stash every few months when I'm shuttled from my room at my parents house and my apartment, it needs to be fairly portable, so I use a few bags.


This is where the majority of my stash lives. Pretty pathetic, isn't it? The drawers aren't even really full. The top drawer is filled with knitting needles and labels (and trash, but shush. Clearly I need to go on a major cleaning spree). It also has a few ball of oddball yarn- meaning the yarn I intend to knit a pair of Jaywalker socks in once I free up my size 1 needles from my Vinterblomster mittens. You know, those mittens I started in January and still haven't even finished the first one.

The middle drawer has a few full skeins of Caron Simply Soft that are intended for specific projects. Most of it is for a blanket I intend to knit once my current ripple afghan is finished.

The third drawer has a few skeins of red heart and other yarn I'm not overly fond of.

I very rarely actually go into these drawers, unless I'm searching for a needle. Most of what I use is in other places. That Little Mermaid lunchbox is filled with bits of yarn for stuffing, needles, stitch holders, and other little tools that I use occasionally. There's also a cone of cotton and a calendar with patterns that a family friend gave me for Christmas last year- complete with hamsters hiding underneath.

This is the box I slip under my bed that holds all of my cotton and remnants. I dive into here fairly often for toys, and it's probably used the most often of all of my stash locations.

This is the bag of shame. I hide knitting that I want to pretend is still not on the needles. Like the vinterblomster mittens. I think those mittens are going to be the death of me.

This bag is filled with projects I drag over to my SO's place. They're not portable enough to stick in my backpack to bring with me wherever I go, but I still work on them when I have the chance. You can bits of my clapotis scarf and kitten peeking out.

I've really got to put this in a nicer bag. It's my ripple blanket. Since it's so darn large, I can't really bring it anywhere other than to Monkey's place for Buffy marathons. I usually throw in a pair of scissors in the bag when I move it. Thankfully, the blanket seems to be outgrowing this bag, so I should be done with it soon.

Last photo! This is where I put my bags of cotton and skeins of evil Manos. This is what I don't intend to work on for quite a while, just because other projects are taking precedence. That and the Manos is in time out.

I also have big bag of random acrylic stuff that my SO's mom gave me. It was her mother's so it's older than me by quite a few years. Because it's not stuff I necessarily want to use, it's at my parents house. I do intend to use it, but my own, handpicked stash takes priority.

This probably wasn't the most entertaining blog entry, but at least there were lots of pictures! And if you want to see what my stash looks like all laid out, you can see this post. A few balls have been knit up, but there's not a significant difference.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Planning for a Summer Road Trip

Two years ago, my family went on a vacation to Destin, Florida, with two other families. We rented a giant beach house, and drove about a million hours there. Unfortunately, I wasn't really into knitting at the time, so all of that potential knitting time in the car was wasted. Instead, I tried to sleep and my sister kicked me in the head. I did however manage to get a wicked sunburn and read Gone with the Wind. My sister managed to be terrified of jellyfish and refused to go anywhere near the water.

Attack of the Jellyfish!
Here I am, saving her from the terrifying jellyfish

Now we're going on the trip again. This time however, I'm going to be prepared. As if cramming four people into my father's truck wasn't enough, along with plenty of stuff, we're squeezing in my SO as well. We're only going with one other family, and my SO is going to be tortured entertained by their little boy. I predict there will be plenty of video games.

I am thoroughly excited about it. Not because we're going to the beach, because frankly, if I wanted to go to the beach, I'd just go into my parents' backyard and pretend. I'm excited about it because it means I get to knit for a million hours while we drive through Louisiana, which I assure you, is a lot less exciting when you realize you're not going to see any actual vampires.

Ronnie and the backyard
This is my beautiful friend Veronica, aka VeeBee over on ravelry. You can see a small snipped of the backyard in this photo. I assure you, it's even more awesome in person.

I have great plans to stock up my iPod with audiobooks and podcasts and knit through a great many projects. What exactly those projects are going to be is up for debate. It's a bit too soon for me to plan now, but I do have some general ideas.

I want to knit a Summer Flies for starters. I love this pattern, and I even know what I'm going to knit this in. I have a partial ball of Naturally Caron Spa or County (not sure which) in a pale pink that I think would be lovely for this, especially considering how many people have knit it in the same yarn. By then I should be off my stash diet, so I won't feel back about picking up some more yarn to finish it.

I want to knit something with lots and lots of mindless knitting. I get carsick if I try to do much other than knitting garter stitch or stockinette, so it'll have to be something super simple for most of the car trip.


Finally, I want to knit hamsters. Lots and lots of hamsters. I've got a box full of partial balls and the like that's pretty much exclusively there for toys, and hamsters are my favorite toy to knit. I want to knit at least one a day. And they won't just be for me- not only is my sister obsessed with them, the other two kids on the trip will want some as well, I'm sure. So hopefully I'll get quite a bit of those done- I think we'll be there for 7-9 days, and if I can get at least one done a day, then I'll be all set.

2KCBWDAY2 : Mad Skillz


Look back over your last year of projects and compare where you are in terms of skill and knowledge of your craft to this time last year.

This story dates back to my very first introduction to knitting. I'm not who exactly knit and how I learned about it, but I do remember that my great-aunt Lil used to crochet- as does my Grandma Arlene. Neither were interested in teaching me in the least bit, which is quite understandable considering I remember asking them to teach me when I was an obnoxious little kid. It also probably didn't help that they were both left handed and I most definitely am right handed. In any case, I was always a crafty kid and knitting sounded like the bees knees for me. So I conned my parents into buying me yarn and a set of size 13 Boye straight needles and a booklet.

Let's just say that it didn't go very far.

Fast forward to the summer of 2009. My friend Veronica and I were hanging out in my room. I think I was digging through my closet or investigating the dark recesses of my room and came across the yarn and needles. Upon seeing the knitting tools, Veronica squealed and asked if I knew how to knit. After I admitted that I didn't know how, she said she had always wanted to learn. That set it off. We both promptly went on the Internet and learned the knit stitch.

It took me until March of 2010 and infinite garter stitch scarves to stop knitting and learn how to purl. Veronica was more proactive. She not only finally prodding into learning to purl, she also showed me Ravelry. And that was love at first sight- although it probably took me a good three or four months to find the boards.


I began with toys. My first project on Ravelry was a tiny turtle, though I soon progressed to birds, headbands, and a RHSS linen stitch scarf. Then I started to look for more and more complicated patterns. I think I've covered a good chunk of knitting techniques in this last year. There are still certain things that elude me- like doing a decent mattress stitch and knitting socks- but those are things I fully intend to conquer relatively soon. Things I have conquered?

entrelac scarf

Entrelac. Easy as pie.

La La's Simple Shawl

Lace. Easy, but I have yet to try a super complicated pattern. I prefer things I can easily memorize and lug around with me everywhere. This is probably the easiest lace pattern I've knit, (see the sweater picture for a slightly more complicated pattern) but I think it demonstrates it pretty well

Viking Purse

Cables! The Knitmore Girls are right. These are definitely potato chip knitting.

February Lady

A sweater. Wow this was fun and turned out beautifully. I definitely will be knitting more of these.


Colorwork. Again, easy. I've since learned to tension my yarn better, however, which is why my vinterblomster mittens are still on the needles. Well, that and the fact that they involve staring at a chart and thus, aren't very portable.

I've made all of this progress in terms of skill, yet still, what am I knitting the majority of the time? Scarves. I guess we all go back to what we know the best. That or I'm just plain obsessed. Somehow, I'm thinking it's the latter. Who actually needs a million scarves anyways?

Meet the Hamsters, the Finale

I'm finally onto my last hamster in this family.


Valentina is Archibald and Regina's baby girl. She's a bit chunky because I overstuffed her she hasn't lost her baby fat yet. Since she's so young, her personality hasn't been fully shown yet. Still, one thing is certain. Valentina is outspoken and obnoxious. She's still in the play-all-the-time mode that kids will wear you down with. She's constantly driving her parents crazy with her antics.

All three of the hamsters are knit out of sugar and cream cotton yarn that I bought when I first started knitting. It actually work really well for these, but I have to say, I prefer the more highly striped yarn than the chucks of color. Valentina has some beautiful stripes, whereas Archibald and Regina have different colored behinds.

Valentina Stripes

I have to say, I can't wait until more hamsters join this family!

Monday, March 28, 2011

2KCBWDAY1 : One Skein, Two Skein, Manos Skein, Blue Skein!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled hamster update for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week!


Part of any fibre enthusiast’s hobby is an appreciation of yarn. Choose two yarns that you have either used, are in your stash or which you yearn after and capture what it is you love or loathe about them.

The first yarn I chose was Manos Del Uruguay Maxima. I bought this yarn over Christmas break last year, while the Woolie Ewe was having it's annual year end sale. When I initially went, I tried to deny myself the loveliness of this yarn, but I eventually went back that day with my SO to pick it up. I had only ever knit Manos Silk Blend before, and absolutely loved it. Since this was a similar colorway to that, I figured hey, what could go wrong?


This looks like clown barf knit up. That's what could go wrong.

Jeeze, it's bad. My first attempt at knitting it was the Honey Cowl. I knit a good three inches of it while Monkey and I were attempting to drive to Midwest City to get his uniform altered. Attempting, because he is incapable of listening to my directions and managed to make what should have been an half hour drive stretch out to an hour and a half. By the time I got out of the car, I was resigned to the frogging fate. Which, honestly, really torqued me. I still am obsessed with this cowl, but I'm going to wait until I get my hands on a semi-solid yarn to knit it.

Next, I opted for simple, but previously attempted. I found Mara, complete with a project on Ravelry that was in the same colorway, but with a suspiciously bad picture. It was difficult to see how the colors looked because of the lighting. Still, I thought, Mara has been in my queue for approximately a hundred years, it's so simple, it'll go great!

Again. Clown barf.

Finally, I gave up. I put the yarn on the shelf and decided that maybe, what it need is to be knit against a contrast color. I'm planning on knitting a Prism Wrap with it, once I get a white or off-white yarn to knit it up against. If it still looks like clown barf... Well, let's just say it will be put in the time out box for a while. (Have I mentioned I have not one but TWO balls of this stuff?)


The second yarn I'm writing about is Red Heart Super Saver. This is a yarn that really polarizes knitters, and I can understand both sides of the coin. Not only is it cheap, readily available, and in plenty of colors, but it is also scratchy, squeaky, and just generally not the greatest quality. I've heard rumors that it softens up tremendously in the wash, but the one scarf I've knit for myself out of it didn't managed to get much softer.

I've knit a fair share of projects out of RHSS, but I've come to one ultimate conclusion. This yarn is made for toys, and really, that's all I really intend to knit with it anymore. Currently, I'm knitting up a cat for my baby sister for Easter. No project link this time before for once, I'm doing it on my own. The color combination isn't exactly my favorite, but hopefully my sister will like it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Meet the Hamsters Part 2

I'm just going to preface this with a disclaimer. I'm actually writing these posts on the same day, but I'm going to hold off on posting them until I either knit more or take more photos so I have more things to blog about. I'd really like to be able to post more regularly, and I'm hoping that if I stockpile these posts when I have the chance, then I'll at least have some buffer room for when I don't have the time to blog.

On to the meeting!


Regina is the love of Archibald's life. She's tall, beautiful, and has a little peach butt that Archibald adores. She's a wonderful wife and mother and considers those two tasks the joy of her life. Regina is very quiet and timid. She takes quite a while to warm up to you. Once she does though, you won't regret it. Sweet as can be, she spends most of her time mothering any and everyone she encounters.

I lost track of the rows while knitting her, so she's quite a bit longer than Archibald. She's also got more of a flat face, and I'm not entirely certain why. She's still adorable though!

Meet the Hamsters Part 1

When I first came to Ravelry, I quickly fell in love with all of the toy patterns. One of the first that I found was Hamsterbeans! It took me quite a while to actually knit these, but once I did, I fell in love. I've probably knit around ten, though I've only kept three for myself. I've named them, and my SO and I pull them out to play with and project our own desires with.

His projections usually involve simulating hanky panky between the hamsters. Go figure.

First, we're going to meet Archibald.


Archibald was the first hamster I made for myself. He's the father of the family, and a real sweetheart. He cares about everyone and is just the kind of hamster you want to be around. His personality is usually relegated to the plucky sidekick, but don't let that fool you. He's not afraid to squeak his mind, and is ferociously loyal.

Clearly, I need some more outlets for my creativity. Or at least a life. Next thing you know, I'll be turning around and writing "books" about these hamsters like I did when I was a kid.

Stay tuned to meet Regina and Valentina, the women in Archibald's life!

School is in Session

After an entirely too short vacation, I'm back in classes. I'm not quite thrilled about it, although I am glad to be back in my apartment and with all of my knitting supplies.

The No Fiber Diet is going fabulously. I have yet to buy any yarn, and yet I'm slowly using up my stash. I'm about halfway through with the Strangling Vine Lace Scarf, and it's been promoted to my primary project. I finished the Super Secret J'onn J'onzz, and it is currently being loved on by my SO. It was definitely a success. If I can wrestle it away from him, I'll take some photos.

I thought I was going to be doing some serious knitting over the break. I had brought home my box of scraps, a bag and a cone of cotton yarn, and four UFOs. Other than rushing to finish the J'onn for the boyfriend, I really didn't get too terribly much done.

March Madness was a bust. I wound up ripping out my Vinterblomster mitten to the cuff, and barely got past the thumb in reknitting it. However, I did make more progress on my ripple afghan, though I still don't feel like I'm anywhere near finishing it. Hopefully this weekend Monkey and I will have a giant Buffy marathon (which I want now) and I'll get even more progress done on it.

I do have one positive thing to write about. I made a Star Stitch Hair Tamer for my sister to match her shrug.

Star Stitch Hair Tamer

I'm not... Thrilled with this project. It's wider than I'd like, the ends aren't very neat, and the yarn wasn't my favorite. However, I do think my sister will like it. I still have some yarn left from that ball that I'm not sure what I'm going to do with. In all honesty, it'll probably become some sort of toy.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Long time, no update?

I didn't intend to abandon the blog, I promise! It just kind of fell to the wayside. A lot of knitting has been happening on the home front and I'm not too keen on delving into it all right now. So I'm just going to hit a few points.

I've been listening to back episodes of the Stash & Burn podcast and I've got to say. It's really been inspiring me to work down my stash. While I know I definitely don't have the world's largest stash, it is big enough that it can use some pruning. It's more of a potential UFO problem than a potential stash problem. So, this inspiration coupled with the KnitCents podcast's No Stash challenge has made me decide: no new yarn in March.

I'm also going to try to see how long I can go past March without spending any money on yarn. I do have two giftcards from the SO that I can spend on yarn, and I'm not going to count those potential purchases since they aren't actually spending my money.

So here it is. The big, scary stash. (Not really).

the stash

The bottom right corner is scraps and cotton that are going towards various toys.

The bottom left corner is yarn that I have a specific project in mind for and just need to cast on.

The little row above that is yarn for projects that are on the needles (a baby blanket, a Martian Man-Hunter for my SO's birthday, and strangling vine scarf).

The top middle section is yarn I don't necessarily have a specific project in mind for.

Next to that is two cones and two bags of kitchen cotton that will go into washcloths, bags, and toys most likely.

In other news, I've been chugging away at my Mochi Striped Scarf since yesterday. I'm incredibly close to finishing and absolutely loving it. Once I actually finish, I'll write more in detail about it.

mochi stripe