Monday, April 30, 2007

I fell off the wagon on Saturday...

Okay, first the yarn buying was a bad experience, then a LYS closed and had up to 70% off on the mounds of yarn that were left!! This is what followed me home - mia culpa! But really at 70% off - the sock yarn is Koigu, there is enough olive CashIroha from Noro for a cardigan, three bags of Noro Cotton/Cashmere/Nylon, a few pairs of addis, some Misty Alpaca Chunky, and Mission Falls 1824 cotton for baby hats... Now I will be good - I have the yarn, now I need to knit!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

wrap-up and report

I haven't blogged anything in about a month, but I have managed to finish a couple of things. I wish I had better pictures of Ella, because she was a great knit. She's much, much bigger than I'd expected, though! I had initially planned to leave out one set of increases to make it a bit smaller and, when it was halfway done, decided it was TOO ripped it back and made it the original size.
Anyway, here are some sneak peeks:

I was relatively good about yarn buying--I had one lapse, to buy yarn for a scarf for my fiance...But after the sanction was over, I bought a bag of yummy bamboo yarn. I'm not that sorry. ;) In total, I think I had 10 completed projects, if you count the little dishcloths I made as one, but most were relatively small: two shawls, three scarves, three hats, glove-mittens, and the one skein petal bib (plus a few dischcloths). I'm looking forward to plowing through some more of the rashly-bought single balls from before I knew how to build a stash and then starting some large projects, like sweaters, in the fall!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Stash and UFO's

I did manage to finish one of my UFO's but I am still working on the blanket for #2 son. I had so much to knit while this was going on, like the 2ply Baby Christening Gown, which is beautiful. Would I do another one - maybe after I do a Baby shawl in fine yarn.

I didn't buy any yarn, except for the 3 balls of 2ply for the Baby Christening Gown, which was for the Wollongong Stitch N Bitch Annual Exhibition held in April.

I am still slowly knitting away at my stash, I will get some pure wool soon to knit for the Guardian Pharmacy Charity as these go to extrememly cold countries like Mongolia, other than that I really want to get the stash off my floor so I can go and buy new beautiful yarns, expecially from CRK Daisy Design's Shop at Fairy Meadow (NSW Australia - a suburb of the City of Wollongong).

Over the last few months watching how everyone did, it is amazing how beautiful the knitting is that people all over the world are doing. Congratulations to all of you, it is so nice to check out what you are knitting and what you are knitting with.

Friday, April 20, 2007

So how did I do?

As it's the end of the stash and UFO bust-along round 1 it seems like time for a little update on progress so far.

My main aim for this project was to complete my trellis scarf which I started last May and had let languish and after that I wanted to make a sweater from a packet of blue alpaca which had been sitting in my stash for a good while without telling me what it wanted to be.

Kicked into gear by this KAL and Project Spectrum I have finished the scarf and made the Refined Raglan from last winter's IK and I love both of them.

I still have things on the needles but I'm somewhat inconstant in my project affections particularly if I have something with a deadline - hence the current obsession with a baby blanket with the baby due on May 14th. At the moment there is about 1 inch of a fairisle sock that I'm figuring the pattern out for, my pink aimee which I'm aiming to finish within April/May seeing as it matched the Project Spectrum colours, a tired roses silk scarf which I cast one while waiting for the baby blanket yarn to appear, the blanket itself and I'm about to cast on a pair of socks for my husband!

However, in addition to the two main projects I have also made a mitten and hat set, 4 pairs of socks for me and 4 pairs of socks for a friend's bookbooksecret. All of that (apart from the test socks) came from stash yarn and I had made quite an indent into the stash....

.... I say had because whilst I was very good during the stashbustalong with my only yarn purchase being the baby cashmerino for the blankets, both of which are gifts, and that was a purchase on 14th April, I have been on a yarn binge over the last two days and there is now quite a bit of sock yarn either in my house or on its way to my house!!

I think to continue this forward I will continue to focus on what I have in the stash in terms of lined up projects but I would like to be able to buy yarn for a number of projects that I have in mind for over the summer, perhaps one at a time though!

I've really loved seeing everyone's projects over the past few months and I hope that aspect of this blog continues even if our credit cards get a little more exercise than of late! Plus there's a wonderful sense of community from reading a certain blog, spotting a picture and thinking "I know that sweater!" - full credit to Cece for (a) finishing marmalade and (b) being featured by a knitting legend!

My new yarn...

I am so proud of myself - this is all the yarn that I purchased after my three month stint of no yarn purchasing. The whole yarn buying experince was bad - there are more details on my blog - but lets just say that there is a LYS that I will not be returning to, even when my stash is of manageable size... Although, on the upside, it is just more re-inforcement, that I should be knitting from my stash... Hopefully, there will be a FO posting from me soon...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Bustalong wrap-up

The good: I finished my two UFOs that were my goal objects. I also finished several projects that were not part of the "goal", and finished some charity knitting hats while stashbusting 4 balls of fun fur. I also started a pair of socks, which is good since my sock yarn stash is growing but my handknit sock pile has not been.

The bad: I bought yarn once.

The ugly (but pretty!): I received yarn and won 3 contests (yay! I don't regret this at all), all adding to stash, for a net gain in stash size.

Overall, this KAL has helped me stay focused, and for that I am thankful. After spending megabucks on yarn yesterday and today (oops), I'm ready for another round of bustalong-ing.

More details here.

Monday, April 16, 2007

I'm Back!

I'm back from my vacation! Sock Camp was AWESOME. And I did (as expected) fall off the non-yarn buying bandwagon...but for Socks the Rock MILL ENDS people! MILL ENDS!

I digress. I will post pictures and everything tonight, and Amanda and I will figure out the winners from this round, and the timeline to start the next.

Can everyone post the number of FOs and their success (or lack of) with not buying yarn!?

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Afghan complete!

After weeks of endless knitting, I have finished the afghan. I'm really glad I belong to this bustalong, because I can't post it on my own blog yet, since it's a wedding gift for my brother!

Project Details: Reversibly Cabled Afghan by Lily Chin
Yarn: Wool Pak Yarn, 7 balls
Needles: Denise Interchangeables, sizes 10 & 8
Finished Size: 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet
Notes: I have actually knit this blankie before, for Cece! It was a wedding gift that time, too. I usually don't like cables on items where you can see the 'wrong side', but on this blanket, it is reversible! This means that the whole thing is ribbed, which gets tiresome at times, but the end result is great. I would certainly recommend it.

Friday, April 13, 2007

FO #2: Aran baby sweater

Aran baby sweaterI finally finished my Aran baby sweater this weekend, thanks to this bustalong! I would not have finished these two baby sweaters without having set these goals and the target date! I was working on the sweater while the Sweetie was doing the taxes.

Read about it here.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Only three more days!

I have been knitting away at a large afghan to give my brother as a wedding gift, and have been neglecting ufo's. And, I am pleased to announce that I absolutely followed the rules thus far in the bustalong! I did buy yarn a couple of times for specific gifts that had to be done and for a project I was getting paid to do, but other than that, I resisted any and all urges to buy yarn.
Ooh, and, there is someone out there who has written a tutorial for how to use up leftover sock yarn: Shelly Kang. The example is under the title: "Blankie Friday: The Reckoning". Evidently, the Yarn Harlot challenged her readers to inundate Shelly with sock yarn leftovers. At some point, I might have to challenge people to send ME sock yarn leftovers, but not until I get to that particular project, eh?
Once Cece gets back from Camp Cockamamie, I think it will be time to discuss whether/ how we want to continue this fun and awesome knitalong. This has been very inspiring and wonderful. I have relearned to enjoy going through the stash and thinking of things I want to make, rather than wasting my money on more yarn I don't need. Hooray!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Toe-up socks

Toe-up socks
Originally uploaded by knitswithasilentk.
I've made some progress on sock yarn from stash. More about these socks here.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

A couple of FOs

I'm so happy to have finished what I'm calling the Green Bean socks! My BF loves them and claims that they are perfect (which is much better than my last knitting attempt for him)! While not technically stash busting as they are made from gorgeous yarn hand dyed and sent to me by my SP8 partner last month, they are an FO all the same and really, if I hadn't made them, the yarn would have been increasing rather than decreasing my stash so here I present to you Green Beans:

My other little FO is my cell phone cozy that was definately using up some scraps from my stash. I think it's kind of cute and it really helps when I'm trying to locate my phone in the deep dark depths of my purse that I forgot to put a pocket in the lining of! This week's goal is to finish my "Monkey Socks". I'm just about to turn the heel on the second sock, and given that they are the fastest socks to knit ever it shouldn't be too hard to get them done!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A getting toward the end post...

I am so thrilled with this stash bust-along!! It has changed my yarn purchasing life!! I love that I plan projects around the multitudes of yarn that I already own! It doesn't mean that there is not a list of yarn - three projects really and one secret pal gift- for April 16th. But I am excited to get back on and keep knitting from my stash! This bust-along has helped me to realize there will always be a more beautiful yarn out there, which doesn't mean that I need to own it. Instead it means that when I have a project for said yarn, something beautiful will be available! Also, it has taught me to think before I purchase, since there are a lot of yarns that I love, but will never knit with, don't like how they look or feel knitted and should not purchase just because they look pretty in their hank.

I have finished 32 projects since the beginning of the year - a lot of them are hats for commision or for sale, but all the WIPs that I started with are finished. There is one exception of the Hush Hush dress because I got half way through, and had to re-start it with different yarn, but I should be mostly done with that by April 15th. I have used or gifted about 70 balls of yarn at last count - yipee!! I still have a long ways to go... Off my big list of 25 projects, there are five totally finished and three on my needles right now, so about 1/3 of the way there and nothing more added to that list, yet. Finally, I have cut down my on the needles projects from a standard of 9-12 at any given time to a max of 4 (possibly 5 with my errand project). It feels so good to start projects and finish them in a time frame where I am still excited about them!

I love that this bust along was not judgemental and not too structured. It made it easier for me to learn the lessons that I obviously needed to learn. I will be stash busting at least through the end of the year. Although, I will not miss another sale like the one again. But the next time one of those comes up, there is room in my bins, so I will feel good about my bargains!! Thanks Ladies, I appreciate the support, and the lessons learned!!
I'm a pretty slow knitter, but I guess I compensate by knitting small things. I haven't started any of the bigger projects that I'd been hoping to, but I'm making my way slowly through some stash.

This, of course, is branching out, which hasn't made it onto my blog yet b/c it's a present for my SP. I had a ball of Jaeger Silk which I rescued from a LYS closing sale in my pre-thoughtful-stash-building days. It's absolutely lovely to work with, so I won't scold myself too much for succumbing to it.

I've cast on for Ella, which I might actually come close to finishing by April 15, given that I'm on break right now. We'll see! In terms of my stash busting success...well, I haven't had much. 9 FO's, I believe, counting this one, and all of them have been relatively small (although the convertible mittens were time-consuming). The greatest danger to my efforts was the yarn sale page over at knittyboard. Am I weak for planning to take a long look at it on April 16? ;)