February 24, 2017

Loss of Grams

In January I celebrated yet another birthday.  Mercifully, no one gave me yarn.  However, as I get older and slower, I realize that I have to do something about my stash before I son sells it all off for $1 per skein so he can make a mortgage payment after I kick the bucket. 

See, here's the thing.  Getting older is a privilege,  a joy because there's lots of knitting and spinning to look forward to, and other than social security and a retirement home in the country (suburbs) I can't get much happier than that.  Being 'fake retired'  (real retirement doesn't happen until July), I've been purging my house of all the things I don't want to spend the rest of my life with.  Some of it went to the trash bin, three bags full of clothes no one wants, but managed to make it's way to the laundry every week, ended up in the donation bin, and some of it given away to friends who want it more than me.  None of it was yarn or fiber.

Having cleared out a closet of  the stuff I don't want and making room for stuff I do want brought me face-to-face with my stash.  My wonderful, adorable, sweet smelling and beautiful stash.  There might be two or five skein in there that I don't love, but the rest of it is near and dear to my heart.  Still, there is too much of it and love like that is demanding, consuming and has psychic weight - something must be done about it, so I'm committed to knitting it down.

Now, if you've ever gone stash diving looking for a particular skein and the same scraps keep popping up, well, that's a sign that it needs to get knit up.  Such was the case when I found these:

I know the top skein is Jojoland Melody, the other two are mystery white sock yarn.  None of these big scrap balls are enough to make a pair of socks on their own, so I mixed them up and came up with the Flower Patch Fair Isle Socks.  It's a paid for pattern on Ravelry, and if you look at the original pattern, you'll know that these socks are busy as heck, so I toned them down a bit.

I eliminated the picot cuff, the corrugated rib, the drive-me-crazy heel turn pattern and I added stripes where there were none.  Yay me.  That makes sock pair number three for the year, and I only used (most of) the Jojoland Melody and all of one skein of white.  Maybe the second skein will stay in the bin once I stuff it back in there.

Right now I'm working with some Regia Pairfect in denim, pair number four.  It's a skein of yarn that claims to give you two perfectly matching socks as long as you follow the instructions on the inside of the label.  Well, I read the label and this is what I got:

Not so matchy-matchy, eh? I'm gonna love them anyway.  The pattern is Socks on a Plane, but knit top down since I'm not so good at toe up sock knitting.  These are replacement socks since the old pair had some sort of run in with something that totally destroyed one sock - and I'm pretty sure it wasn't the washing machine.  I'm not naming names, but ... (Miss Kitty)

Regia is a sturdy yarn, hard wearing and will look just as good a year from now no matter how much I wash them, and more likely to be covered with Miss Kitty's hair than pills.

A few months ago, I pulled out twelve braids of fiber to be spun.  They have to go because they are eight years old, at least, and every time I open the fiber cabinet door something falls out.  Who is more blessed than me to have such a hoard? I refuse to get a bigger cabinet so these braids that fall out have got to be dealt with.

So, I took some Abstract Fiber in the hopworks colorway, 100% BFL which is my favorite fiber to spin. This is braid number four of 12 and it spun up like a dream:

I ended up with 151 yards of this lovely Navajo plied yarn in a worsted weight:

And because I was so in love with it, I made the Bankhead hat with it:

Sure, there was yarn leftover, but not enough to do anything with and I can live with that.

So now I'm going downstairs to spin the Frabjous Fiber on my wheel that is the colors of Valentine's Day, and after that I'll finish my sock. 

I bid you adieu for now.  You can find me on Twitter and Instagram as BronxKnitter, and on Ravelry as BronxKnitter1.  You can also find me on YouTube.  Until we meet again.

Happy knitting to you.

February 12, 2017

Twelve Months Of Twelves

Happy 2017 everyone!

I know it's been a long, long, long time since I last posted a blog.  It almost seems like a lifetime ago.  The thing is, since I started the vlog/podcast on YouTube, it almost seems redundant to do the blog, but I think the blog might fill in for the long gaps between recording.  And I know some folks would rather read than watch - and truth be told, I kind of like reading blogs too.

This is also a good place to 'park' my knitting, and a much better place to for me keep track of it.  So, if you will forgive my absence I'll just get on with it.

This year I have decided that it would be a good idea to buckle down on the stash down.  I have too much yarn and fiber to store in one place (my craft room) without stubbing a toe or breaking my neck!  Clearly, I had a problem called 'having' which means I wanted 'it' - not to knit or spin, just to have.  Which is the exact same thing as hoarding.

Without throwing my hands up in the air and just selling everything or giving it away, I'm going to attempt to refrain from buying (except at festivals), and I'm going to knit and spin until everything fits in the tiny little room I have for craft storage.

My first objective is to knit 12 pairs of socks, and so far I've knit two pair in January:

Vanilla Latte Socks by Virginia Rose-Jeans for my son.  I used Miss Babs Babette 2-ply yummy in the Into the Void colorway:

He never used to ask for socks, and now he doesn't stop asking.  The problem is, the very day after I give them to him, he loses one.  I am aware that socks get lost, but not after one day.  I'm going to have to rethink is knitworthiness.

The next pair was a pair for his girlfriend.  She saw me wearing my Cup of Tea socks by Robin Lynn and she wanted a pair for herself.  I used White Birch Fiber Arts sock yarn in the Crime Scene Barbie colorway:

This makes the second pair of socks I've made for her.  She has both of her socks.  Which makes me think that she's more knitworthy than my son.

I'm also dedicating myself to spinning up my fiber.  Not all of it, mind you.  Just the ones that fell out of the fiber cabinet when I opened the door, and the ones that prevented me from closing the door.

Twelve braids will have to be spun, some of it has to be dyed, some of it will have to be washed.  Oy!
I have made a dent, though, and for that I am grateful.

Skein one was a braid from Into the Whirled called Mithrandir:

I tried to spin up a worsted weight and this is darn close.  A bunch of greens that look like collards, kale, iceberg lettuce and what all!  This will make a lovely hat that's not too busy since the yarn seems to be screaming colors.

Skeins 2 & 3 were a two-fer.  I spun a Loop bump called overcast, and a braid of Sunset Fibers (she's on Facebook only) that looked like this before the spin:

And looked like this after the spin:

This turned out to be more than 500 yards of a 2-ply fingering weight yarn.  I could have dressed it up better for the photo, but I was so excited with the yardage that I hurried things along. This is going to make a great contrast color for the hap baby blanket I'm going to make - one day.

I would have linked back to my project page, but Ravelry is down or technology truly finds me offensive and will thwart my every attempt to be a good blogger.  All of the projects here can be found on my Ravelry project page (BronxKnitter1).

It doesn't help that I'm a little rusty at blogging.  Missing details, no mention of what I'm working on now, no links to the KALs I'm participating in - the list goes on - but my toes are wet and that is what matters.

And if this post pops up because you're still subscribed after a 2-year hiatus - thank you.  I'm going to sign off on this post and update my blog page details.  I'm no longer Sharon V on Ravelry.  I'm also on Instagram (as BronxKnitter) and I have to figure out how to add all this stuff to the page.  It's going to be a long day.

Until next time, my best to you.