We’re on high alert!
I’ve decided I want to go to EYF 2018 (Edinburgh Yarn Festival in mid-March), and that’s gonna be mega expensive in booking tickets, train, accommodation, but also in yarn purchases!
Therefore, I’m imposing a yarn diet until March, and a sort of destash (as in, knitting stuff up and finishing it so I have less yarn in the stash). I won’t totally abstain from yarn if there happens to be, say, a Qing Fibre update or something… but I will try my best.
Note, I’m not saying there’ll be a fibre diet. I’m still going to allow myself to purchase and spin fibre. Ideally I will sell some of it if I can!
On the destash side of things, I cracked and started a Penguono – while not good for increasing my number of unfinished projects back up from 3 to 4 (I know, doesn’t actually seem that many but I seriously have to finish up my featherweight cardigan, it’s been months…), it is a great pattern for using up stashed yarn. I will actually be trying to knit up as much of my handspun as possible. This will give me a sample (which I can show friends and so on!), and free up some stash space for more handspun. I also want to get a feel for the quality of my handspun when knit in a garment, and this should give me some more ideas on how to improve in the future. Photos to come!
Anyway, that’s all really! I just wanted to formally announce my yarn diet, haha.
So here in Wales we have transitioned into Autumn! It has been a little while and I have been keeping up with all kinds of craft so I thought I’d share a little update!
- I dyed seven skeins of Shetland wool, Aran weight, for a farmhouse cardigan – I’ll include photos soon (currently typing on parents’ iPad while visiting my hometown). The colourway is purple and grey and brown – called ‘mini roll’
- I am finishing up my sock projects – I had socks on the needles since May as I was planning to learn the fish lips kiss heel. I was a bit intimidated by the pattern PDFs but the other week I finally knuckled down and conquered it. It’s actually very user friendly. The second sock heel has been done and I just need to knit the foot and toe.
- My featherweight cardigan is progressing but it is slow and the lace weight yarn is quite difficult to work with when it comes to keeping tension consistent. Actually, my tension isn’t. I am considering frogging it. But maybe I’ll just push to finish it and hope that blocking fixes most of the issues.
- I’ve kept spinning up,made a few sales, spun a bunch of skeins. I think I should makes separate post for it. I’m enjoying it but trying to make sure I do most of my spinning on Sundays.
- I’ve been listening to a new crafting podcast; Stranded Podcast!
- I learned about cable knitting this weekend, maybe my ultimate goal of knitting a Michele Wang sweater might not be that far off after all. But first I’ll finish all my current projects and have my own little stash busting push this year. What a good idea actually, I could use the rest of the year to tie up loose ends (ooh, kinda pun) and use up stash ready for 2018.
I’m just watching A Homespun House podcast and thinking about what projects I’d like to knit in the future when my budget is doing better and when I have finished my current projects. I just wanna note these down so I don’t forget!
- Striped socks
- Bergere goomy patterned socks
- Regia patterned socks
- Non superwash high twist BFL socks – better for the environment as non plastic and compostable!
- Cable knitting – Michele Wang Shelter garments
- Stephen West’s Penguono
- Frankensocks – to use up sock yarn
- Granny stripe blanket – to use up sock yarn
These are just the knitted projects though! Other plans include:
- Hand dyeing my own colourways so that I get (hopefully, wishfully) exactly the colours/yarns/blends I want!
- Starting up sewing again – avoiding fast fashion/sweat shop/environmentally unsustainable fashion
- Getting back into soap making – for sharing eco friendly cosmetics with friends
So I decided to separate my woolly instagram posts and make a separate account for them, since they’re threatening to outnumber my arty posts on my main account. You can find the woolillbedamned instagram account here.
In other news… I’ve finished my Honey Badger Socks and only have to do one more sleeve of my Pyry Sweater! Getting close to casting on another project, maybe Featherweight Cardigan by Hannah Fettig.
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! (update Nov 2017 – done!)
- Seed Stitch Socks – I’m on the leg of the first sock. (done!)
- 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. (done)
- 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?
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!
- Yarngasm: probably my favourite! Knitting, sewing, spinning and other crafting inspiration, plus lovely colourways dyed by Kristin, who owns Voolenvine Yarns.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
- Creative Musings: Casey Maura is super cute, I love her style and seeing her knitwear and sewing projects.
- 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.
- 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
- Hello from the Magic Tavern – Improv comedy podcast set in a fantasy world – possibly my favourite ever podcast!
- 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.
- Alice Isn’t Dead – By the Night Vale Presents crew – love the story and the voice acting. Mysterious and creepy.
- Lore – Exploring stories of hauntings and weirdness throughout history, calming and creepy.
- 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.
- 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?
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!
I thought I’d give a mini update on the projects I’m working on in knitting; pictures will come eventually too.
- Honey Badger Socks – free pattern – I’m on the first sock, leg and heel flap done, going to turn the heel soon.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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!
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!