Monday, August 31, 2015

Finished Object Role Call: August 2015


Pre-service meeting socks. Three and half pairs. 

And no Christmas Presents


These are Rosie the Riveter Overalls! 2 pairs for a cute mom and her daughter. They will be killin' it at Halloween. 
This is a mini quilt for a swap. The first quilt as you go and first applique I've done. 

If you'd like to see the FO's in progress, as they are completed, and some other random bits and pieces of life, follow me on Instagram!I also do GIVEAWAYS on Facebook.  You should go 'like' the page, be sure to be following it too! 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Block Swap

I recently signed up for a block swap on Instagram. The requirement was to make a specific number of log cabin blocks in Bonnie and Camille fabric. I didn't own any, so I order some off Etsy and Amazon. I love pre-cuts. I ordered two jelly rolls and a charm pack. 

One reason I love pre-cuts so much is they make the project go so fast! No worrying about getting strips exactly the same width, or if your center square is wonky. That's already taken care of, you can just grab and sew.

Now that I've got a start on the blocks, I realized that my original plan to make two quilts is not going to happen. The first 6 and half blocks used up an entire jelly roll. I've set some of my favorite ones aside from the second one, and am going to see how far I can get without using them.

I found another pack of charm squares that I plan to use with the leftovers from this quilt (I'm only using 12 of 42 squares) for a crib or lap quilt.

The rest of the jelly roll strips, if I have any leftover, will be used in a quilt. Sometime. No solid plans yet, of course, since I don't know how many, if any, will be left over when all is said and done.

I've got only 5 more big squares to go, so I might luck out!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

On Stashbusting

I recently experienced some... criticism?... for wanting to successfully stashbust my yarn and fabric. In a forum for yarn stashbusting, I asked for advice on how others were able to be successful with it. And the first reply I got was an individual who said I was crazy for stashbusting because I don't have all that much yarn (over 100 skeins, mind you) and I was very stupid for doing so. There was no way I could stashbust because there wasn't enough yarn to do anything more than a pair or two of socks (15 by my reckoning) and some dishcloths (or an entire PL blanket, *cough*). I'm an idiot.

Well, I'm still working on thickening my skin, aren't we all? And my reaction was not a nice one. I knew I wasn't stupid for asking for help, I know I'm in the right by wanting to stashbust, and this person must have been having a rough day or something. A moderator chimed in saying that I was fine, and offered some nice advice, as did several other people.

Later, someone posted a link to their stash of over 300 skeins, laughing (I hope from worry) about needing more.

I would like you all to know one of the reasons I stashbust, and it is a very personal one.

You don't want to burden anyone with your overwhelming stash if you were to pass away suddenly.

Why did I come to this conclusion, and why am I such a stickler about it?

A long time ago, my grandmother had to be moved out of her house and into an assisted care facility. Mind you, I love her, and this experience did not tarnish my view of her or lower her in my eyes by any means. But it did teach me a very strong lesson.

You see, Grandma grew up during the Depression, so she was an expert at "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without". She would hold on to things that were useful because she knew that you never know when they might come in handy, or when the economy might suddenly tank again and you would be left with only what was in your house. I totally understand this.

However, right here, right now, it's better for us to not stock up on things other than long term food storage, water, skills to live without modern conveniences, and money (specifically not having debt, having an emergency fund, and disaster cash). Yep. I said it.

Did you notice that things like yarn, fabric, and shoes are not in that list? There's a reason.

When tasked with cleaning out Grandma's house,  my mother and I found a lot of really cool, neat things that we love having. But we also found a lot of "what the heck" items. I rescued some dresses of hers to use as costumes, there were a couple of really neat antiques mom kept, I even got Grandma's sewing desk that I use every day and hope to be able to live up to her legacy with, each grand-daughter got an apron too. We kept things that had meaning to us, but there were also a lot of items that we just couldn't keep.

By far, the most overwhelming thing was the sewing and knitting stash. Overwhelming. And the issue with it is that, well, things that were bought 10, 20, heck even just 5 years ago are not what is in the market now. They aren't in style, they aren't the same materials, they aren't the right colors, and so on.

There was a moment when I said something, and my mother mis-heard me. Her response to what she thought I said was to burst into tears and wail "You found MORE fabric?!?!!"

And I felt the same way. Tucked in the dark corners of dresser drawers, back in upper corners of closets, stuffed in shoes, even under old black and white family photographs stored in shoe boxes.

My mom is not a seamstress, she is not a knitter, her creativity is expressed elsewhere (the kitchen is one place). She was in tears over all of the stash that Grandma had because she didn't know what to do with it. And, as a seamstress and knitter, I was completely overwhelmed as well.

Sadly, the majority of the stash was thrown away. Yes, we tried to sell it, we tried to find places that would accept it, and when all was said and done, the majority still got tossed. Now I can not look at my comparatively small stash without thinking of my mother breaking down over Grandma's. I would never, ever want to do that to my family, current or future.

So yes, lady who criticized me, I am stash busting even though you think I'm crazy. I don't want to be the burden that you will be to my family if I were to pass away tomorrow. I'd rather use what I have now instead of waiting for "someday" or the "perfect project". If I use it and need more, I can get more. If I find a project that's perfect, I can find the yarn.

I'd rather my family remember me for the sweaters and blankets I lovingly made for them, than for the closet stuffed with good intentions and unfulfilled plans.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finished Object: The Noro Blanket

Today's Finished Object is the Noro Blanket. When I attended my first Yarn Haven Retreat, the ladies kept talking about Noro yarn, and how wonderful it was. At that point, I had not used Noro, and thought I might need to try some out. So, I got the idea to get some and make a blanket, because it made the most sense at the time.

Since then I have made some hats out of Noro as well. Sad to say, I don't really 'get' the hype over Noro. It's pretty and all, but it's not super amazing.

Date Started: April 12, 2014
Date Finished:August 15, 2015

Yarn: Noro Silk Garden Sock in color S 307 , approximately 6 skeins
Cost of Yarn: about $120 (yes, for real, you non-knitters are probably having a conniption right now. Eye opening, ain't it?)
Pattern: Modified from Mason Dixon Knitting's Mitered Blanket

Progress Picture! 
Approximate Hours: 72
Note on the hours: I didn't really keep track of full time. I timed myself making a couple of squares, averaged the time between them, and multiplied by the total number of squares.

Since this is a blanket, I knew it would take awhile to be finished. Especially since I was in grad school at the time, and had lots of other things I wanted to make because that's how life is.

I'm super glad to have it done! Finally. I'm having major mixed feelings on what I should do with it. Should I give it to someone as a holiday present? List it on Etsy? Hold a Giveaway? Keep it? I just don't know! Suggestions are welcome at this point.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Curls Project: Gridelin

With the completion of Cerise, I am ready to start the next Hunter Hammerson Curl, Gridelin. In the planning stages of this project, Gridelin was one of the two that I wanted for myself. I'm still feeling that way currently. But am also open to that changing if it needs to change.

I will be using some lovely gray Cascade Heritage yarn:

I've cast on and gotten a decent start so far: 

Stay tuned for more info on this Curl! 

Monday, August 10, 2015


I've been swapping on Ravelry for three years now. Off and on. Mostly on.

Recently I discovered swapping on Instagram. Sewing swapping. Which I thoroughly enjoy. However, it makes me super self conscious about my quilting skills. I don't have much right now, but I'm working on it.

Recently I realized I might have a problem. A swapping problem. So I'm trying to limit myself, especially since I'm not supposed to be buying any yarn or fabric. When I'm busy I'm really good at limiting myself, but I'm currently in the midst of a 3 week break while I wait to start at my new job.

Apparently 3 weeks was too long for me. I still have 2 swaps from the summer to finish up and mail off. But the little swap voice in my head kept whispering at me to 'sign up sign up sign up!'. I signed up for the Farmer's Market swap on one of my Ravelry Groups. Super easy, go to the farmers market, buy local, send it to your partner. I go to the Farmer's Markets here anyway, so it would be easy to pick up a couple of things for my partner.

Done. No more swaps.

But then  a block swap came up, I couldn't help myself. It's so easy to do! Just make x-amount of blocks in a specified size. Send off some of them, get the same amount back. And voila! All that's left for you to do is sew the blocks together and you have a new quilt!

I think I'm going to like this one. For several reasons: I always struggle to find extras, then I worry that my partner won't like them. And I worry that what I make isn't up to par. And when I get my package, I sometimes wonder what I'm going to do with all the little bits and bobs that come in a package. (don't get me wrong, I love swapping, but sometimes there's too many extras and I don't know what to do!) Then I worry that after getting an awesome package that I sent a not-so-great one and the other person is upset that they received something not so great.

The stress!!!

I will keep you updated on the block swap.

Saturday, August 8, 2015


Here it is, Curls Project 2 of 14 (this means I'm 14% done with the whole project):

HauteKnitYarn 155g SWMerinoDK 
I don't know the colorway, it wasn't on the band, and I received the yarn as part of a Swap. (I will be reviewing the yarn, along with another skein from HauteKnitYarn in a future post.)
Start Date: July 4
Finish Date: August 1

Modifications: After several attempts to get correct stitch counts, I decided to change the double wraps at the end of each right side row, and the beginning of each wrong side row, to regular old knit stitches. As far as I can tell from pictures, this didn't really affect the finished product. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

August Stashbusting

This month I've decided to take a new approach to my stashbusting.

I'm currently about 2 weeks into a 100 day no buy zone, known in one of my Ravelry groups as "Cold Sheeping".  Last time I excelled at the no buying thing. I really did. However, I did not use up very much stash in that time period, which is part of the whole point.
Old picture, most of this stuff is gone already. 

This time around I've decided to keep track of how many skeins of yarn 'move out' during this month. They can move out by being used up completely in a project, being sold, or being given away (I recently inherited a load of yarn from the preschool that isn't going to stay).

I currently have roughly 100 skeins of yarn in my possession, that doesn't include the partial balls. But when I count up the partial balls will count because, well, they take up space too.