Using the Stash

With the minimalist challenge that I’m doing this May, my mind has been more focused on what I can get rid of versus what I need. I am a process knitter (that’s code for I start many projects and never finish). And I love to peruse Ravelry and my favorite knitting blogs like MDK, so it’s truly an active challenge to not want to order more yarn and start more new projects.

Yarn was scheduled for Day 9, and I knew that in order to donate 9 skeins of yarn (to my daughter’s classroom, btw) I would have to first get an overview of what I had, then make a list of possible projects I could make with what I had, and THEN decide what was truly worth destashing.

I frogged so many projects (Aspen, several scarves and shawls, a Tea Leaves Cardi, to name a few). It felt so great! And in the end, her classroom will receive a colorful bundle to play with at her end-of-year class party coming up.

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Of course, with such a public destashing, the onlooker quotient was not factored in. I have now on the needles a purple feather & fan church shawl for my youngest daughter. (SO SQUISHY, MOM, CAN YOU KNIT SOMETHING FOR ME? I’m a sucker for that, you know.)

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On The Needles: Start-itis with Shawls!

I have a little March Madness happening with my knitting right now!

Start-itis is going strong, with shawls, and with no sign of stopping…

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Clockwise from top left:

And after that, maybe Meet Me in the Middle (yarn undecided). It’s a real problem 🙂

What’s on your needles?

An Imperfectly Perfect Scarf

I have cast on for so many knitting projects in the past couple of months. Some socks, some gloves, a scarf, but with all the holiday hustle I just couldn’t devote the time to reading a pattern or reading my stitches carefully.

I found these three colors in the sale bin and thought they looked nice and neutral together (I’m slightly wrong). I provisionally cast on with some big needles and knit the first skein of baby pink in moss stitch, when it ran out I added the black pepper one and went with garter, and when it ran out I started with the moss color. I wanted to continue the simple reversible stitch theme so I sketched out a simple knit/purl triangle pattern. It was January by then so I had a little more brain power to help the project. Unfortunately I had to center the repeats so it pulls in and curls a little imperfectly around the edges than the other colors. I used kitchener to pull it together to make it infinity. If I were the frogging type (which obviously I’m not), the moss color would have also looked great in moss stitch.

It’s unique, extra squishy soft and (most importantly) was generous therapy over the holidays.

Yarn: Cascade Yarns, Baby Alpaca Chunky in 601, 587, and 640.*

*This yarn is seriously soft and precious. It sheds a bit like alpaca tends to do, but I am forgiving of that flaw in both yarn and pets. I used US 10-1/2 needles, but would probably size down if I were knitting a more serious shawl or wrap again with this yarn.

Katniss

A couple of months ago, my sister texted me this picture of this Katniss-inspired cowl/wrap she saw online, and asked if I could make it for her. I told her sure and booted up Ravelry to find out what I’d signed up for.

Like many fiber artists out there, I tend to knit for recipients who use and take care of my knitted items. But it’s especially hard to resist when someone who appreciates hand-knits requests a special item.

I found several options for her and sent her the photos. Much to my delight, she picked this one. She liked the color shown in the picture but I needed to do some yarn research.

I typically go for yarns that my local shop carries, and for natural fibers. But ultimately I needed too much yarn in any “special” yarns to make this project affordable. So off to JoAnn’s I went (with my coupon, of course) and purchased several skeins of Lion Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick in the Barley shade, that the pattern recommended.

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I still need to add the braid detail to the cowl to finish it up, but I am overall very pleased with the pattern and the yarn. It’s a piece for layering, but with it being quite bulky, so it’s probably best that it’s not completely wool. She lives in DC, not the Arctic Circle.

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A Special Visitor

Hello there! My name is Rudy the Christmas Elf, and I visit this family every Christmas season. This is a very busy week for them, so I wanted to guest post with some of the gift-giving that I am seeing and hearing around their house.

Give

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Looks like Stephanie finished the map that she is going to give her dad for their lake house. A thoughtful gift does always make a good gift. Especially a thoughtful gift that answers the location question that her dad gets from every new visitor at the lake.

Eat

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These are Stephanie’s favorite indulgence. And if you are in Knoxville, stop by the French Market to grab some real ones. But decorating the tree with these is sugary perfection.

Get

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Stephanie loves stoneware and these beautiful tumblers are perfect for some evening hot chocolate. Or wine. But I prefer the chocolate.

Knit

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I saw Stephanie reading this one early this morning. I am pretty sure she would knit this for herself if she ever found the focus (and the yarn!) to complete so large a project.

Listen

Stephanie listened to this podcast this week while she made cookies for her cookie exchange with her friends. It was hard to take my mind off those cookies she was baking, but… Emmanuel, fully God and fully human. It’s mind-blowing.

Sweet wishes for a Merry Christmas,

Rudy