stashbusting

wip: seahawk nillas, garter squish blanket

Here's what I find are hands-down needs for me as a knitter, at least for right now anyway.

  1. I absolutely need a pair of socks in progress at any given time.

  2. I need a mindless scrap-eating blanket knit going on in the background.

These are two such WIPs I've got going on to preserve the natural and right order of life in this apartment:

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This would be a pair of plain stockinette socks made from my first-ever purchased skein of Manos Del Uruguay yarn that I bought a year ago in my new favorite LYS, The Nifty Knitter. It's in Issaquah, WA which is decidedly not local for my Los Angeles-based self but the pleasant, inclusive spirit of that shop is enough for me to hold off on certain purchases until I make the flight/drive up there. I LOVE the place.

The hank of Alegria used

was full of surprises. I initially bought it as sort of a joke. In Seattle, I show myself up as an Angeleno in a lot of ways, like calling it The 405 instead of I-405, or sporting the accidental tan that one gets just from working so close to Venice Beach.

My plan was to make a Seahawks cowl or hat or something with this squishy yarn to help camoflauge me a little more effectively while in this city. I liked the concept for this fun little knitting project but wasn't really in love with this yarn at first--it looked cute as a hank but...as a sock or hat? I...dunno.

But then I had it wound into a skein. and then I casted on.

As someone who's a bigger fan of more muted looks, even for things like socks, I might have to eat my mean words about yarns like these. Variegation and stockinette go together here like --this project is gonna be really cute, and when done and worn, I might pass as a Seattleite from 100 or so yards away in them (but not much closer than that).

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This guy over here is a Garter Squish Blanket in progress, right now being made with a combination of gifted red heart worsted, and some other big-box craft store yarn. It feels really hypocritical to cast on such a thing after reading something like Slow Knitting, but I don't know! They're gifted! I'm filled with knitter's guilt, and they need to be something!

On top of that it just feels good to have something mindless to work on while watching something in the living room. This blanket will probably need to have the crap kicked out of it in a dryer before it's amenable to touch, but I respect and value its role in the WIP rotation. The mindless trash blanket will probably be here to stay.

fo : clarke, rhubarb show-offs

2017 has been a year focused on a lot of other things, like the surprising turn my career took, the first apartment I moved to (with a partner I never thought I would meet and grow with). I lost a lot of good knitting time this year being swept up with a lot of that but still managed to get a few things off the needles.

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The problem (?) with taking so long to blog about something you've knit is that it's likely that you've already spent some time incorporating them into your life and putting them into use.

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pattern : Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond

yarn : Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Cobblestone Heather and Garnet Heather

needle : US 6, 7 [4-4.5mm]

size : 40

My Clarke sweater's already a little rough around the edges. I haven't really felt the push to block the garment to make this look as attractive as possible for the blog, I hardly even wove the ends in! As soon as it was bound off I wore it and continued to whenever the weather deemed it appropriate to. It can't be that heretical to admit that, right? I don't block that often at all!

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The first pullover I knit was a Jane Richmond pattern. It was such a simple and enjoyable process that I sank my teeth into the Clarke pattern expecting the same straightforward, highly customisable design. I was not disappointed and might make another sometime in the future. So far the Swish Worsted has been soft and very comfortable--no scratchiness at all. One issue I see is that it pills quite a bit. The pilling makes me wonder whether this batch of skeins I bought from knitpicks would suffer the same unfortunate fulling effect post-wash that I read complaints about on ravelry. It would suck to see such a fate from a sweater I love this much.

pattern : Show-Off Stranded Socks by Anne Campbell

yarn : Regia Hand-Dye Effect in Rhubarb

needle : US 1 [2.5mm]

size : medium, 10"

This whole sock project was a nightmare, and it was entirely because of the yarn. I had this in the time-out pile since 2014 and didn't pick it back up until 2016. I was determined to finish it. Ignoring the general convention of knitting both socks with the same types of needle to ensure gauge is the same, I just picked some aluminum dpns and sped through the last sock.

With the frustration of the yarn behind me, I can enjoy these gorgeous colors and how the Anne Campbell's pattern has let them shine. To give the pattern a good faith effort once more with less annoying yarn, I casted on once more with a Zauberball skein instead. Anne Campbell kicked ass with this design.

wip: GD


GD is very slowly, but very surely growing. It's shaping up to be a charmingly ugly piece, and I'm just itching to see it become my indestructible go-to-way of keeping warm. Hopefully this hardworking set of 5.5mm circulars doesn't give out before that day comes.

About 10 months ago I created a thread in the Scrap Happy! Group on Ravelry asking fellow knitters if there are any worsted-weight yarn scraps they wouldn't mind parting with. Willygal, Bigbadbrenda, and Sugarmagknowya very, very kindly delivered! I can't thank them enough! Here I have the what's left of the yarn they donated, all tied together and wound into cakes.
10 months later, GD is measuring up to right about 44 inches (~118cm), meaning it's a little bit less than half the length of my bed. Here's to 50 more inches of double-thick stockinette scrap knitting.

wips: lassie and GD + stash addition


The Lass socks are still happening. I thiiink I might not be much of a lace person right now, as I'm a little too nonchalant to make sure the pattern's made as intended. It's just too comforting a think to know that the sock will still be perfectly wearable, even if a yarn-over is off by a couple stitches, or some diamonds don't line up perfectly.

Blanket update! GD's been growing quite a bit! They're at 30cm now (about 12in). I've run out of worsted yarn, so the smaller quantities of fingering weight have been held double for some of the more recent stripes. I've been making a lot of works for shop for the sole purpose of using the leftover yarn in the blanket, so many things are in stock and ready to ship when ordered!

If you have any yarn scraps (anywhere between 1-25m) sitting around your home that you want to get rid of, don’t hesitate to let me know! I’d be happy to repay the cost of postage to you as thanks. At the rate I’m knitting regular projects with my tiny stash, this blanket might not be done for another...decade, so I’d love to help take care of your yarn stash too! Acrylics are preferred but I won’t say no to animal fibers or wool-blends. GD’s already a healthy mix of both so I won’t mind at all. Just no cotton please!
Speaking of stash yarn, I went out and bought a pair of skeins for my first shawl pattern. I’ve been thinking a lot about which yarn to use for a shawl I intend to wear often, and while the fine wools at our LYS’s would be a joy to knit, dryer-ability would have to be the key for me. Heartland seemed like the best bet for now. I’m planning to use the Stingray pattern by Evan Plevinski. This pattern's been sitting in my queue for months now and am excited to start on this once Lassie’s finished (let’s just disregard the existence of my Regia Handpainted sock for now…I'm still trying to forgive its frustrating splitty yarn after all this time).
So this concludes my personal knitting update for now. It has really been one hell of a stashbusting month for me. I’ve been piling up some charity knits from the more obnoxious looking yarns people have been donating to me over time, expect a update about those once I’ve successfully eliminated that stash.

Foray into Crochet + Stash-busting

Yep, still stash-busting that inherited yarn. On Friday, I decided to finally learn to crochet something more than a simple slip-stitch border. I learned about single crochet by name, took to Youtube, and got right to it. After figuring out single crochet I wondered if there was such a thing as double crochet and repeated the process with another skein of my ugliest yarn. Come this afternoon, I'm well on my way to completing a big ol' crocheted circle/hexagon. Thanks Youtube! And thanks most of all to the kind crafters who took the time to make such clear instructional videos!

These massive swatches (well the rectangular ones anyway) measure something like 15" across each side, which happens to be great for a shelter cat or small dog. The lovely Rokoknits commented on my post about this on Instagram suggesting I look into a local shelter that would appreciate this donation, and I think it's just what I'll do. Thankfully cats don't really care about what color their blankies are so I'll have no qualms about donating such garish colors.

What you see here is my stash of 'free' yarn--that is, yarn that isn't attached to a project or plan of any kind.Those tinier wads of yarn on the very left are all cottons, which i'll go ahead and make into a washcloth for personal use. The bright pink cake at the top was given to me without a label so I'm unsure of what exactly it is. It might be Lion Brand sock-ease? If I don't suck it up and make some plain stockinette socks, they might just end up being crocheted held double in another little cat blanket or something.
It's really pleasing for me to have a system put together to handle the yarn stash. The once untouchable pastel acrylics are going to a good cause, the cottons will soon go to good use around the house, and any scraps left over from shop or personal projects will be food for GD.
The fantastic and creative Marie of Frogged Designs made it very easy to choose what to do with my sock-yarn scraps, so I'm just letting that small stash grow for my very own Operation: Sock Yarn.

STASH-BUSTING! ~


For those who are curious: I used this tutorial by theknitwitch to learn single crochet, and this tutorial by Andrea Lemire to learn double.
This page on The Purl Bee helped me figure out circular crochet, so I recommend it.

wip: The Great Devourer


Last week, I was browsing scrap yarn blanket patterns after looking at the overfull yarn basket in my room (as you do), and found just the thing I wanted to try out for myself—Joan L. Hamer’s Mindless Knitting, TV Watching, Scrap-User Upper Afghan.
I didn’t have a needle large or long enough, and I certainly didn’t have enough scraps lying around for an entire blanket. But I casted on. It took 20 minutes to do it, but I casted on and just got started. Since then, this project has really grown!

This project has been really difficult to put down, so at one point I’ve had to lock it in a different room so I can get other projects finished on time. But we are quickly becoming very good friends though! He is—or more accurately, they are, since this project contains MULTITUDES—always here for me during reading time, and is always happy to eat up whatever worsted weight bits and scraps I dig up while doing my cleaning. Which is why I’m going to name my new pet GD, short for Great Devourer.
As of today, GD is about 8” tall and easily at least 85” around (He’s a big ol’ tube shape for now). I’m looking forward to how much GD will grow when I next post about them.

How about you? Do you have a scrap busting project on standby for what’s left of your primary projects? Any plans for one soon? Do tell in the comment section!

feature: simple seed stitch coasters projects

It's been a real pleasure to see what people can do with my little Seed Stitch Coaster pattern! It's about as simple as a knitting pattern can possibly get, but the excitement is enough to hopefully offset any anxiety about publishing more complex ones in the future.
Here are some projects recently finished using my Simple Seed Stitch Coaster design from last year.
This photo belongs to Freshwind on Ravelry.
Freshwind's idea for making a coaster for both her mug and her Chemex was a great one. The orange yarn color complements the brewer's wooden feature really well! Here's her project page here.
This photo belongs to Rumbleforth on Ravelry.
I love that Rumbleforth made a set with colors that coordinate really well together. This looks like the pattern served its purpose well as a stash-busting opportunity here. You can find more information on her project here in her project page.
This photo belongs to Amyupnorth on Ravelry.
These coasters here were made with two strands of Brooklyn Tweed held together, and with a needle size down for a slightly smaller gaauge. I think this made for a really pretty effect! You can see more photos for yourself on her project page here.

I look forward to seeing more little projects popping up on my design's page in the future! If you have some worsted (or even fingering) weight scraps lying around, why don't you bust them with this quick knit?

two coasters (& pattern)

Recently Jason's felt a little uncomfortable with resting his mug right on the dark finish of our new desks. But with my back to back personal sock projects and the Bapsicrafts pieces always on the needles, he's been reluctant to make a request. Now that my Chai Latte Socks are finished, and my traveling Bapsicrafts stash here is dwindling at a morale-boosting rate, I've had the kind of lull in my knitting that must have given him the strength to ask(I was happy to oblige!) I found some leftover wool from this past winter's projects, cast on until the width felt just right, and went to improvising a coaster.

And then--I made one for me, just to match. Like our lens mugs?

The coasters love each others' company! I'd hate to tear them away from each other when I go back to California in just under two weeks' time, so they'll stay to cushion Jason's mugs here in England. I'll look forward to our visits when I have enough saved up to come back. :]

For anyone interested, here's the simple pattern to make your own. It uses less than 25 yards of any leftover worsted weight yarn you have lying around. I worked this with 4.5mm needles.

Cast on 22 stitches.
Work 30 rounds of Seed Stitch.
If you'd like a neat slip stitch edge, slip the first stitch of each row purlwise, and knit the last stitch of each row.
Bind off, and weave in.