Adding to the yarn stash

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve made some progress in moving fiber from the spinning piles to the yarn stash.

First is the Polwarth/silk yarn I finished at the early March finishing weekend, off the bobbin, wet finished, dried and in its final skein.

From this:

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To this:

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Over the last week I also plied and finished this humbug BFL fiber that I dyed back in January.

These:

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Became these:

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This makes 1.6 lbs. spun this year.  My goal is 6 lbs. so I need to pick up the pace a little bit, but my goal is definitely doable.

In knitting news, I’ve also started to work on a new cowl, practicing the two color brioche stitch that my friend taught us.  I started with a scarf, but didn’t like the way the edges were going, and I prefer cowls and shawls to straight scarves anyway, so I ripped it back and cast on for a cowl instead.

It is fairly simple now that I’ve gotten the hang of it, so this will be good mindless TV knitting.

 

We interrupt the silence to bring you a smidgeon of crafting news

Life has gotten a bit crazy lately.  We’ve spent a lot of our non-working/sleeping time house hunting, and now we are in the throes of house buying, with all the paper gathering and emails and phone calls that entails.  In the meantime, the kids still needed to eat and have clean clothes and get to track and Cub scouts and who knows what.  Some balls have been dropped, and getting anything crafty done has been one of those balls.

But I did abandon my responsibilities last weekend for another trip to join my fibery friends.  We rented a place through AirBnB and raced off through the rain storms to catch the ferry to Anderson Island for the weekend.

 

There was a lot of spinning on my part.  I finished the blue two ply yarn in the pic below, and filled another bobbin with the third single I needed to make another yarn.  I also worked on the I-cord edging on my Volt wrap.

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There was also a lot of learning.  Paige taught us all how to do two color brioche knitting, and Leslie 2 was quick enough at it to knit a shoulder wrap/cowl thing.

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We also learned it takes a great deal of junk food (and pineapple cider) to fuel so much creative effort.

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It was hard to leave and go back to the real world.  But we had a satisfying pile of progress to show for it.

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A small finish

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Despite the surprise extra days of leisure due to weather, there hasn’t been a lot of sewing lately – I’ve been on a knitting and spinning kick – but I do have one small sewing project I can check off the WIP list.

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These four placemats have joined their kin in a kitchen drawer, replacing some woven ones that were irretrievably stained.  A fun, quick project that used up a bunch of scrap strips and batting pieces.  I stitched each strip to the batting as I went along, so minimal topstitching was needed to keep the backing in place.  Of course, the tops lingered on the work table for a month before I actually got those backs sewn on . . .

Meanwhile, I’m still dunking fiber into dye pots.

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And I’m completely obsessed with how the colors of handspun are coming together in my cardigan knitting project.

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And then there is watching the snow fall – 8″ since it started last night.  A tremendous amount for where we live in Oregon!

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Cocooning

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Another stuck at home day, worsened by a very slight temp increase that has turned the powdery snow from yesterday to slush and icy rain. Tonight it is all supposed to freeze over again and kill anyone who dares roll wheels out of their driveway,

A lazy day for me is a new handspun cardigan knitting project started, plus tea and popcorn.

A lazy day for the boys is electronics, sword fights, HGTV and Wii.

I’m not actually sure what my husband’s been up to. He holed up in the office doing accounting type things for work. He did come out at one point to play Pokémon Monopoly with Son #2.

My cardigan is mostly the pattern Less is More, from Knitty.  I’ve made a few mods – worsted yarn instead of DK, I dropped the extra rows for the rolled neckline because I’m planning I-cord, and I abandoned the stripe pattern because I have about eight skeins I plan to pull yarn from rather than the pattern’s four.  But the basics and the shape remain the same.

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I’ve changed the yarn line up since taking this photo, taking out the red and adding in a medium purple.

img_7644Lots of winding yarn into cakes.  I’m a bit dubious about my gauge,  but I’m really liking the colors together.  Wrangling all those yarn cakes and balls takes some effort.  I’m carrying the extra yarn up the sides, occasionally breaking yarn when the distance gets too wide.  The plan is to hide all the ends and carries in the I-cord edging.  Fingers are crossed that works.

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A mountain of yarn

Happy New Year, everyone!

I felt a rare organization urge this morning and decided to tackle the yarn stash.

I dragged yarn bundles, baskets and bins from all corners and with the help of my boys piled it in the living room.

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This is the before picture.

I sorted by type and weight, created a bin for lace weight, one for fingering, a big bag for bulky, and so on. One big bin is now filled with remnants to go in the slip stitch afghans I make, and another is for thinner yarn remnants for similar scarves or weaving.  Sweater lots were put together, and all the full skeins of handspun went into a zipper bag.

I did try to cull.  There is a fair amount headed for Goodwill:

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One woven basket of yarn showed some signs of moths, so I threw out a lot there and put some in the freezer.  And no more woven baskets for storage.  I was also able to get rid of the big white plastic bins from the before photo, which frees up some floor space in the little craft room.

Here is the after picture:

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Still a ridiculous amount of yarn, and there may be more pruning, but it is more organized and took up less space when I put it all back.

I also pulled out all the yarn I spun in 2016 for its own photoshoot.

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In 2016 I spun 6 lbs of fiber into these skeins.  That leaves 26 lbs. more to be spun.  My 2017 goal is to get at least another 6 lbs. spun and to get and keep the fiber stash below 20 lbs.

The fiber is next up to be pulled out and sorted, but not today.

End of the Year: WIP update and 2017 goals

To get ready for the new year of crafting, I’ve revisited my previous WIP list and removed all the finished projects and set some goals for 2017.  This list will probably get revised again – one of my goals is to reorganize the craft room before vacation ends in a few days, and more forgotten projects are bound to turn up.

WIP for 2017:

Knitting

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  • Red sweater – my oldest WIP, knit years ago, it just needs a crocheted edging and buttons, but will it even fit now?
  • Blue cable sweater – just needs zipper sewn in
  • Volt wrap – complete i-cord edging

New Goal:  Knit a complete cardigan in 2017

Weaving

  • Rug – partially warped on floor loom – this one has been sitting there so long it is getting dusty

Spinning

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26 lbs. of fiber in the stash to be spun!   In progress:

  • Gray merino/alpaca/angora – 1/3 of ~7 oz. spun

New Goals: spin 8 oz. a month, 6 lbs. total through 2017; reduce stash below 20 lbs.

Crochet

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  • J’s red monster – needs a face

New Goal: crochet two cotton bath mats

Needle punch

  • Sheep in a field – needs the field

Sewing

  • Knit shirt conversion to tunic
  • Mom’s backpack purse – the pieces are cut out
  • Floor pillows/poofs – I’ve started combining the upholstery samples into fabric
  • Embroidered circles that need to be sewn into a pillow cover
  • Paper pieced snowflake that needs to be finished to become a pillow
  • Placemats – need backings to be finished

No new sewing goals, just need to finish some of these!

Embroidery

  • Wild flowers – figure out what the blue flowers should look like, add others

Mini quilts

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  • Mountains and flowers – needs some top stitching and a back
  • City and trees – needs more embellishment

New Goal: Make the Oregon wall hanging I’ve been mulling for a while

Quilts

  • Scrap in a box – top finished and pinned, needs quilting and binding
  • Red and white Xs – top finished and sandwich pinned, needs quilting and binding
  • Strings table runner – a couple more blocks needed
  • Oceans QAL – five blocks to complete before assembling top
    • needs octopus, orcas, lighthouse, shark. and seagulls
  • Scrap blobs – blob blocks need background
  • Jelly roll baby quilt – top finished, back purchased, needs pinning, quilting and binding

New Goal: Make a king sized quilt for our summer bed blanket

It is a little overwhelming each time I look at this list, but it really is shorter than it was the first time I made it, and I keep reminding myself that I enjoy all these crafts and it is as much about the process as the products!