The Ultimate Destash

So, I have a confession that most (if not all) knitters might make… Right now, I probably have way more yarn than I need. Since starting knitting in August 2016, I’ve accumulated a load of bits and pieces. When I first started knitting, I got excited about malabrigo yarn, so I have a bunch of worsted and other weight malabrigo… Then, I got really into indie dyed yarn, so I have a good amount of mostly fingering weight sock yarn. I’m still in my indie dyer craze and I have a big hit list for small businesses I’d love to support. BUT since January 2017 I have had a much smaller budget; basically, I really cannot allow myself to buy much yarn at all; maybe once a month or once every two months (if it’s indie dyed prices rather than the bigger companies).

I also have a massive project queue on ravelry, plus a handful of WIPs (works in progress) that need finishing off. Thus, here we are, with an ultimate destash blog post! Herein I will outline my plans for efficiently using the yarn I already have and annihilating my unfinished projects…

On The Needles

  • Honey Badger Socks – I’m partway through the second sock!
  • Seed Stitch Socks – I’m on the leg of the first sock.
  • Weareknitters Pyry Sweater – on the front piece; back piece is done.

Ready To Go

  • Hermione’s Everyday Socks – I have Olann sock yarn in Bloodmoon and… I forgot the colourway! I’ll check and get back to this.
  • [Undecided Pattern] Socks – In some grey Coop Socks Yeah! Yarn – I’m thinking of a non vanilla sock since it’s a solid colour yarn.
  • Featherweight Cardigan – I have 2 skeins of Countess Ablaze OOAK ‘Cult’ yarn waiting to be balled up and knitted into this cardigan.
  • Hat – for my sister, using Malabrigo Worsted which she bought and is sending me.

Stashbusting Projects

  • Snowmelt Shawl – I have 2/3 skeins ready for this, when I have finished my main projects I will buy the 3rd. Would love to start this though.
  • Beekeeper’s Quilt – A good plan for using up my languishing (yet beautiful) sock yarn.
  • Granny Stripe Blanket (crochet) – I can’t crochet… but I would love to do this? I would probably have to choose between this and the Beekeeper’s Quilt though.
  • Baby Socks – Babies on the way from relatives; I could use my left over sock yarn for them. The only worry is that even though these are superwash merino I’m scared they’ll be destroyed by the first wash as I can imagine the new parents may be tired and I’m sure ‘washing instructions’ may not be top in the priorities list…?
  • Swatch Placemats/Coasters – I would like to practice some more lace knitting and other bits and pieces… And to use up all my worsted weight yarn perhaps I could then use these swatches for coasters and placemats? Hmmm…
  • Frankensocks – I am quite interested in making some striped socks from all my sock yarn; although will have to see whether the colours mesh well together!

Even if I do this, I know there’ll be a handful of unused bits; tell me, what’s a good way of destashing assorted bulky & super bulky yarns? I do have a mini weaving loom although maybe would prefer to use the yarns for something else. I could felt them, I suppose. I also have a ton of yarn ends from sock knitting; what do people do with those? Maybe some pom poms are in order?

 

Podshare

Honey badger hand knitted socks

Today’s blog post features a picture of my Honey Badger socks! I have a half-object, going to cast on the second sock soon. Ideally I’m hoping to start making some silly knitting related illustrations for this blog but rather than have this particular blog post in incubation for ages I’ve decided to just post it and hope I can do illustrations in the future.

I wanted to do a quick feature on my blog to share some of the knitting podcasts/vlogs that I keep track of. I don’t watch that many regularly but I thought I’d share my favourites!

  1. Yarngasm: probably my favourite! Knitting, sewing, spinning and other crafting inspiration, plus lovely colourways dyed by Kristin, who owns Voolenvine Yarns.
  2. Sticks + Twine: I enjoy following Eric’s podcast as I like hearing how he talks about projects, appreciate his aesthetic and also I feel encouraged by his progress as he hasn’t actually been knitting for a super long time. His first pair of knitted socks inspired me to get over it and give it a go. I also want to try cables out too after seeing how well he’s doing on all his cabled projects.
  3. Brooklyn Knitfolk: Jaclyn is really inspiring, I really like her aesthetic, hearing about all her projects, seeing her cats, etc. and the occasional quote at the end of the episode. Her giveaways always have the prompt ‘3 good things from the past 24 hours’ (or thereabouts) in order to enter, it’s a great way to get me to appreciate things a bit more and I enjoy reading other peoples’ responses!
  4. Pinfeathers and Purls: I love Candace’s projects and colour choices, she has a cute pet birb and has great taste in video games, TV and anime!
  5. Creative Musings: Casey Maura is super cute, I love her style and seeing her knitwear and sewing projects.
  6. Michele Wang: Michele Wang is a beautiful lady with amazing skills in knitting and designing, I enjoy listening to her chat about knitting & anything else. I hope to one day knit from her patterns but I don’t think I’m there yet skills-wise.
  7. Dyer’s Notebook – Laura is a pro at yarn dyeing, in particular striping sock yarns. I enjoy listening to what she has to say, what projects she’s working on, hearing the recipe for milk tea, etc. 🙂

Non Knitting Podcasts

  1. Hello from the Magic Tavern – Improv comedy podcast set in a fantasy world – possibly my favourite ever podcast!
  2. Welcome to Night Vale – A close follower to Magic Tav, the famous WTNV podcast is a fictional community radio station set in a dark and mysterious world. I listened to this podcast since about 2012 and I have found it to be a real comfort during hard times and also a source of fun and laughter.
  3. Alice Isn’t Dead – By the Night Vale Presents crew – love the story and the voice acting. Mysterious and creepy.
  4. Lore – Exploring stories of hauntings and weirdness throughout history, calming and creepy.
  5. The Guilty Feminist – A new one for me – a UK comedy feminist podcast, each episode with a specific theme and pretty much always (as far as I’m aware) relating to current issues in the news – love it.
  6. Offices and Bosses – This is a ‘want to watch’ for me as it is featured on the paid for podcast platform Howl – I can’t afford right now to do paid subs to anything really so this will be one to listen to in the future when I get a better-paid job!

Okay… apparently I’m a big listener of podcasts?

Continuing Spinning

Grey handspun, breed unknownBlue merino handspun yarn

Here’s a progress update on the spinning…

First of all, I wanted to get my brown & pink initial handspun projects off the spindle, and I didn’t have a niddy noddy, so I wrapped them around a tupperware lid, soaked them, and now they’re drying while weighted down. There’s too much twist in them, though! I need to research how to avoid this next time.

I was eager to try spinning the yarn I cleaned and carded myself (first image), so I got started; here’s the problem… the fibre is a lot rougher than anything I’ve used before- it’s not top, I’m guessing? The fibre comes from random bits from the fleece that a friend kept, so maybe that’s why. Perhaps we need to card the wool even more… Is this what you call a rustic yarn? A REALLY rustic yarn.

My second photo is some more fibre from Witch Fibre Co. This time, instead of pulling bits of fibre separate from the main bulk, I’m trying to continuously draft from the fibre so I don’t have to keep joining stuff and stopping to prepare. It’s working better. I still can’t draft and have the spindle spinning at the same time but it’s an improvement, I think!

Knit Wise

I thought I’d give a mini update on the projects I’m working on in knitting; pictures will come eventually too.

  1. Honey Badger Socks – free pattern – I’m on the first sock, leg and heel flap done, going to turn the heel soon.
  2. Vanilla Socks with seed stitch panel – I’m using the fish lips kiss heel pattern I bought on ravelry. Am also referencing the Hermione’s Everyday Socks pattern in case I need a bit of extra help in terms of stitch numbers etc. I haven’t reached the heel yet so we’ll see how it goes.
  3. Pure Joy Shawl – paid pattern – by Joji Locatelli – this is the second Pure Joy I’ve knitted; this time for my mémère (grandmother). It’s almost fnished; I don’t have the yardage on my 2nd colour to do as much of the final panel as in the actual pattern but it will still be nice!
  4. Pyry Sweater – paid pattern/kit – by We Are Knitters – I bought this ages ago and still haven’t finished it. It’s a lovely colour and the wool’s nice, the pattern’s easy, but I think I got bored of not working on circulars, and of doing rows and rows of pure stockinette. Hoping to get this done soon. It’ll be nice when it’s done! I love the taupe colour.

Projects are linked to my actual ravelry projects so you can see pictures, progress and the patterns used. Feel free to add me, I’ll add back!

Adventures in Spinning

My parents kindly bought me a drop spindle kit for Christmas and eventually I finally got round to working with it a few months ago.

Handspun - brown Icelandic yarn
Handspun – brown Icelandic yarn

I was also lucky enough to win a giveaway from Witch Fibre Co (instagram | etsy) for a drop spindle and some fibre. I had been wanting to spin it for ages but didn’t put the time aside. When I did get round to spinning it, I really enjoyed working with the fibre, which was super-soft, in lovely colours and easy to work with.

Note: There’s actually an instagram giveaway going on now with Witch Fibre Co, if you want a spindle and some fibre!

Handspun - merino yarn
Handspun – merino yarn

The next step with this fibre, if I want to use it, is to get hold of a niddy noddy… or to make one. I found a great tutorial here, it seems pretty low-cost too, just hoping to source the supplies soon.

On the fleecy side of things, living in mid-Wales has some benefits; a friend from Japanese class kindly gave me a bag of fleecy bits from her flock (not sure on the breed – need to check). It wasn’t one whole fleece, it was a bunch of bits and pieces picked out. I emptied out the bag and started picking the sticks and poop from the fleece and gave it a wash.

Sheep fleece
Sheep fleece

This month I managed to get some carders to comb the washed fleece into rolags, ready for spinning. I watched a video on carding and it turned out to be pretty easy! My rolags aren’t exactly neat, which I can probably put down to my inexperience and also to the fact the fleece is quite matted and in small bits.

Hand-carded rolags from Welsh fleece
Hand-carded rolags from Welsh fleece

It’s been a great learning experience though! I don’t actually have any spare drop spindles, so I’ll be aiming to spin a bit more of the pink & brown fibres, then hopefully I’ll get a chance to put them on a niddy noddy. After that I can start working on the Welsh fleece!

I have vague goals of spinning it all, dyeing some of it, maybe even selling my handspun and/or hand dyed yarns in the future, if it’s a good enough quality… but I’m not going to worry about that for now, I’m just going to use craft as my relaxation and as a break in between painting (my main goal).

Self Introduction

I thought I’d write a quick little intro post for this blog; I’m not even sure if this blog will catch on with me or if it’ll gather dust, but I have been thinking about creating a craft-centred blog for a while!

My name is Elysia and my main pursuit in life is art; specifically, I hope to make artwork for video games. I did work as a generalist artist from summer 2015 – early 2017, but unfortunately the company I worked for couldn’t pay wages on time, so I needed to work somewhere more stable. I also wasn’t learning as much as I wanted to, so that was another factor in my leaving. Anyway, now I work part time in a cafe and I work part time on trying to improve my artwork and develop my portfolio.

In the gaps between, I knit and craft. I don’t know why I started knitting in August 2016, I had learned when I was a teenager but didn’t get very far as I didn’t realise I had to bring the yarn in front when switching from knit to purl! Finally, when I did start learning again, a friend enlightened me, and I’ve been addicted ever since.

Recently I became more interested in learning the process from sheep fleece to finished object (and I want to try and be more self sufficient and be better for the environment), so I started spinning, and also acquired some fleece from a friend. I’m going to try and document my adventures and experiments in craft on here!

In addition to yarny things, I would love to take up sewing as well. I also have made soap in the past and hope to get back into it – so hopefully these craft will feature here too.

Anyway, I hope this will be interesting to some people! Please add me on ravelry if you like, too!