Tossing The Stash

I recently signed up for the Yarn Harlot’s patreon and I have been watching her videos. The most recent one was a tour of her stash and how to best care for your yarn. One of the items she recommended was to do a “toss” off the stash a couple of times of year to look for pests and to reacquaint yourself with what you have.

I got a wild hair this past weekend and pulled out every skein of yarn I own. Warning….yarn content ahead. Avert you gaze if chaos and piles of yarn will offend your sensibilities.

Okay, I warned you. The below photo is the entirety of my stash. I very carefully emptied every tub and examined every bag. I found a single spider but other than that my yarn appears to be clean and pest free. And then I had to put it all back….

I carefully curated each yarn category and repacked into clean bags. For instance my sock yarn and lace yarn is below. Starting at the bottom left working clockwise I have a large pile of variegated yarn, then above that is my self-striping, then sock blanks and sock tubes, followed by lace mohair or suri alpaca, below that is sock sets, then a small pile speckled yarn and lastly in the bottom right corner are my solid and tonals.

I packed each kind of yarn together and but into drawers. And then for the first time I affixed labels to each drawer so that I know where to look for various items.

Some of my categories were by weight, fiber content or sometimes by manufacturer. It may not make sense for everyone else, but I think it’s going to work for me.

What did I learn from this? I have WAY too much variegated sock yarn, less self-striping sock yarn than I would have guessed, very few sweater quantities and almost no worsted weight yarn whatsoever. I’m hoping this review will help me make more productive purchases in the future. But who knows….sometimes a knitter never learns, lol!

Happy Knitting

So Much Sparkle

I found out one of my favorite podcasts/yarn stores has decided to close their brick and mortar operations. Mind you, they are in New Jersey and I have never been in person. But I feel like I know them after watching hours and hours of podcasts. I soothed my dismay by helping making a small purchase. I picked up a kit of sock yarn with coordinating mohair.

They even through in the tote bag as a special surprise! It is rose gold and super shiny. My children immediately tried to claim it.

The skein on the left is Chelsea Luxe Sock in the Rainbow Sherbet colorway. The yarn base is an 80/20 wool and nylon blend. The skein on the right is Chelsea Luxe Mohair in the Tube Top colorway. It is a 70/30 mohair and silk blend. I have no clue what they will grow up to be but I’m happy to support an LYS as they take their leap into 100% online shopping.

Happy Knitting!!

Sunshine and Plying

The day came this weekend for me to have been couped up in my house with littles just a teeny bit too long and it made me brave enough to attempt plying on my spinning wheel. I pulled out my well rested 70s kitchen themed singles and made a spinning oasis on my back patio sans kids.

I made a couple of lazy kates out of some amazon boxes and two wooden straigh knitting needles. I made sure to load my biggest bobbin and practiced treadling in the correct direction. Mind you I spun these counter clockwise on my drop spindle so I was plying the clockwise on my spinning wheel.

I also took a minute to enjoy the kid free silence and salute my heat wilted garden with a cup of hot coffee. I’m Scandinavian and we like our coffee hot and strong all year round. It’s genetic I think…we can down hot coffee on a 98 degree day and not miss a beat!

After a few false starts/stops and some occasional over plying….I made a successful two-ply yarn!! It’s thick and thing and all over the place with how I plied it. But dang it….it’s yarn and it holds together. I might even be able to knit something from this yarn!

My bobbin has been set aside to rest for 24 hours and which I will wash and whack the skein. I’m really interested to see how many yards I got out of 4 ounces of alpaca!

Happy Spinning!!

Happy Mail Day

My unabashed self caring buying continues. This week I had a couple of packages show up on the same day from two indie small businesses. It made for a happy mail day indeed! Today is also my 13th wedding anniversary so I’m going to count these as presents from the hubby, hehehehehe.

First up is an adorable bunny stitch marker from Hannah of The Corner of Craft in the UK. I think this will go right on to my Radiate as a progress marker!

Next up is some fiber and yarn from BlueBerry Chick yarn in South Carolina. I got her some Corriedale in her limited edition Tequila Sunrise color. And then I picked up some gradiate sock yarn minis in her Pansy fade.

I’m thinking the fiber is going to skip stash and go right on to my drop spindle. It is soooo summery that I just think it’s destiny.

Happy Knitting!!

I Found A Malabrigo Sale

I’m so close to finishing my Weekender that I’m making out of Malabrigo Rios. It was my first garment in Rios and my second time ever using Malabrigo. I might be in love…

I am also finding that my knitting mojo is really geared towards garments right now. My cup runneth over with scarves, gloves and hats but I don’t have many nice finished garments that show my current level of skill as knitter. And my stash is largely single or double skeins of yarn. I don’t really have any sweater lots. Which is why I fell hard when Twisted in Portland ran an online sale for Malabrigo Rios.

I managed to grab eight skeins of Jupiter which is a reddish brown variegation. Twisted was amazing and reached out before my order shipped to let me know that they weren’t all the same dye lot. They have five skeins in one lot and three in another and that they were markedly different. They even sent photos!

I decided to risk it. I’ll start my garment with the darker five skeins on the bottom and save the lighter skeins for hems, cuffs and/or collars. Maybe sleeves if I really have to. Part of my brain thought…I could find a five skein pattern for me and then use the last three skeins for a sweater for PB….

I am considering making either the Mountain High by Heidi Kirrmeier or the City Limits by Tanis Lavallee.

But first I probably should finish my Weekender! Happy Knitting!!

Yarn Mystery Box

I have been listening to the Nomad Yarns podcast for a couple of years now. It is a married couple who ran a yarn shop turned into yarn truck as well as dye independent label yarn. They have small children and pretty much speak my life. In this time of cancelled events and social distancing they advertised mystery boxes. You pick your price level and give them some suggestions of colors, weights of yarn, etc and they put together a surprise.

You guys….this was so worth it! It was a happy mail day indeed. My box was bursting at the seams and full of goodies!

I received two skeins of West Yorkshire Spinners Aire Valley DK in a nice blue, a skein of Nomad Yarn Twisted Branch sock yarn, a custom needle gauge, two mini skeins of Nomad Yarns Pallete, a set of Carbonyz Size 2 double pointed needles, a set of Knitters Pride stitch markers, and some waste yarn.

I loved everything in my box and it was neat to not know what I was getting. I have zero idea what to do with any of this and my stash is already at SABLE but this was a good investment. I supported a small business and I got to have the joy of new to me goodies.

Would you every order a mystery box?

Dyeing Finished Objects!

You guys, I have a dying FO this week! The weather turned a little nicer so I sneaked outside on a break from work and took photos of our Easter dying attempt.

The tie dye turned out very nicely! It was very muted compared to the yarn but I’m guessing that is the difference between a plant fiber and an animal fiber. I have zero idea of what we will do with this fabric as it literally just tiny remnants. But Jellybean was really pleased with this “art” and that might just be enough for me!

I think the yarn made a very lovely variegated skein! As predicted we have white/undyed spots for sure. But it’s not a bad first attempt. I have not yet re-washed this skein to see if I am going to have any dye loss. I will for sure do that before working this up into a project. I 1000% percent do not trust my dyeing skills…lol.

I think this looks really nice skeined up even! This skein was a partial leftover so its around maybe 50-60 grams? I’m not sure what I would even want to do with this once I’m safe the dye won’t run on me. But all the value of spending time with Jellybean and forgetting about the state of the world for an afternoon was well worth it. Even if I never knit this!

Happy Knitting!!

Easter Dyeing Project

I just couldn’t quite bring myself to waste the leftover Easter egg dye. And we are all still “sheltering in place” here in the State of Kansas so why not try a new craft? I dashed down to my stash and pulled some muslin scraps and some white Cascade sock yarn and started soaking both in a vinegar and water bath.

Once they were soaked we lightly rinsed them and laid them out. Jellybean helped me add rubber bands to the fabric. And then we waited until PB went down for her nap because I know better than to mix messy stain inducing crafts with a 23rd month old!

Jellybean was in charge of the colors and the placement of the dye. We had discussions of the color wheel and complimentary and contrasting colors. We make sure to turn our work and get the dye every where. (Thank god for plastic wrap!)

I then took the helm for the yarn dyeing. I took the skein and lowered sections into each of the five colors. Jellybean got to be in charge of pushing the skeins down with spoons. We totally on a scientific basis decided to let them soak for 7 minutes. I did zero research before starting this project. We literally just winged it and did what felt appropriate.

After the timer went off we pulled it out onto a pan. Then carefully under Jellybean’s watch we used the remaining liquid to blend the color sections. It was harder than expected and we ended up using some paper towels in the middle to catch the dye liquid form ruining other sections as it ran. We weren’t 100% successful but close enough for these novices.

We definitely have some white sections left on the yarn as it was hard to get complete coverage using solo cups and just pouring liquid over the yarn. I heat set this yarn and fabric in the microwave for 3 min and left to dry.

They are both still hanging fully dry in my basement as life took over. I’ll try to see if Jellybean is interested in helping do a FO photo shoot this week. I mean….we’ve got nowhere to go!

Canadian Stash Enhancement

This week’s self care is brought to you by Canada! I opened the Gauge Dyeworks newsletter at the exact right time for a shop update and the wrong time where I was feeling down about the state of the world.

This is the classic merino twist sock yarn in a self striping set of greens. The official name is Colour Study: Green. It’s 443 yards and 115 grams of the plumpest most glorious sock yarn ever. I have been letting this yarn sit out on my work at home desk so I can admire and pet before I add it to my stash.

Has the current state of affairs led you to pad your stash or use your stash? I’m somewhere in between the two….

Happy Knitting

Winding Anxiety

I have am really leaning into knitting as a balm for my anxiety and stress levels. My brain has been really drawn to my recent Apothefaery Yarns acquisitions. I really want to work the Suri Alpaca yarn and jump on the bandwagon. I have chosen a pattern yet but I did wind it up this past weekend. I have never wound laceweight before and I was nervous….

It was loose on my swift and I literally held my breath the whole time I was winding. Even with the floof….it wound perfectly the first time with no tangles! I was worried because it looked a little matted in the hank. I had more trouble with the fingering weight skein I picked to hold with the Suri! I had to wind that one THREE TIMES.

And while I had tools out I wound more yarn for some more socks. I pulled my BFL sock yarn from Amy of Stranded Dyeworks and some self striping Must Stash yarn. They both wound just fine. Although I didn’t pay attention and wound the Must Stash perfectly matched skeins backwards. One I will need to knit from the inside and the other from the outside.

I think this is all proof that I have a case of Cast-on-itis in the works!