Hey, guys! I hope you’re enjoying my podcast. It is proving to be quite an adventure, as we transition from Summer to Fall and into the school routine. I am planning some big things for this year, not the least of which is the Sneaky Gift KAL that I am hosting. You can get all of the details on the podcast or in the podcast group on Ravelry, which you will find right here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/little-woolly-things-podcast
My Etsy shop is also on sale through October 17. Everything is HALF PRICE! Coffee, affirmations stones, amigurumis, patterns and all! Most of my items are one of a kind, so don’t wait around. Once an item is sold, it will be gone.
Etsy shop news: Everything in my Etsy shop www.littlewoollythings.etsy.com is on sale 50% off through October 17!
Today’s coffee: A 60/40 blend of Papua New Guinea peaberry and Bali Kintamani beans.
Podcast love: The Girls in the Yarn Cafe. Christy, who is @yarn_cafe_creations on Instagram and Trysten who is @dragon_hoard_yarn on Instagram.
WIPs: On the Spice Market Shawl by Melanie Berg. If you have any yarn suggestions for me to use instead of the handspun yarn that I am running out of, please comment and let me know!
Think of Me shawl – I am finishing up this pattern and will be looking for test knitters soon. Let me know if you are a lover of lace shawls, you can finish on a deadline and you are interested in test knitting. Photos will be required.
FOs: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder in Paton’s Stretch Socks.
Seagrass Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes from the book: Toe-Up 2-at-a-Time Socks in
Classic Elite Yarns Summer Sox Variegated
Autumn Pumpkin Trio, which is a brand new pattern in my Ravelry store. http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/autumn-pumpkin-trio Worked in Knit Picks Palette
Sneaky Gift KAL update:
Prizes will be given periodically from the KAL chatter thread on Ravelry. The podcast group is here: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/little-woolly-things-podcast
You must be a member of the group to participate in the KAL and win prizes. There will be a grand prize winner chosen at the end of the KAL from the FO thread. KAL runs from September 1 2017 to January 1 2018.
If you would like to donate a prize for the kal, please message me on ravelry. Donations are more than welcome!
You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Etsy as Little Woolly Things and on Instagram as Wendelika Cline.
My patterns are available at www.knitpicks.com, in my Ravelry store at www.ravelry.com/stores/little-woolly-things and in my Etsy shop at www.littlewoollythings.etsy.com
Follow my blog at www.littlewoollythings.com
Thank you so much for watching and don’t forget to hit the like button and subscribe!
All of you knitters and crocheters out there know how the story goes. You’re young, you’re in love with this new crafting thing and you just can’t stop yourself. You have to have yarn in order to knit (or crochet). You buy a skein. Then, you use up that skein but your project isn’t finished yet. Who knew that anything could use up more than a skein of yarn?? You go back to the craft store to buy more yarn. While you’re there, you see another color that you really, really like, so you add it on to your purchase with no idea what you’re going to do with it, but it’s just so PERFECT and so gorgeous that you know you will make something completely amazing with it.
You start scanning the internet for the perfect project for that yummy skein that you just bought, but everything that you really want to make requires two skeins – or more! But you only bought one. Now, what?
That’s right. Back to the craft store. But, you know, it’s a fun place to browse around in, so it’s not so bad.
Before you know it, you have amassed a basket full of wool in the living room, a storage tub full of acrylic blends in the closet, a wheeled storage box full of fingering weight under the bed, a stack of tubs full of yarn in the corner and you’re using another one as a nightstand. Your family all know that they will receive something made with yarn for birthdays and definitely for Christmas and you can be commonly identified as “the one over there in the handknit shawl/hat/scarf/sweater.” You justify all of this yarn with the knowledge that you can always create a gift for someone out of your yarn stash at any time. You will never be without a project to work on. Boredom no longer exists.
Tell me, am I the only one?
So, you decide to slow down on the yarn. Use up some of your precious hoard before you buy more. We call this a “yarn diet” and it works about as well as a calorie-counting diet does, especially when the holidays roll around and you start planning out your gift projects. You paw excitedly through your bins and boxes of yarn looking for the right yarn for every project. You find a skein or two, but either the colors you have aren’t quite right or the color is perfect but it’s too chunky or too fine (gift projects need to work up quickly, after all, if you’re going to get them all done), or the yarn you want to use isn’t machine washable (all gift knits should be machine washable), or whatever. SO, you get online and order yarn for all of your holiday projects. This is most of your Christmas shopping, so you’re really saving money, right? DIY is the way to go.
So, you start making things. You use a lot of the yarn that you bought for the holiday gift projects, but there’s always some left over to feed the stash some more. But hey, there are birthday presents to make, too! And every once in a while you have to make something for yourself. You’ll get to it.
And then, you decide to make a rule for yourself. You must finish one project before you can buy yarn for a new project. I don’t know about you, but that resolution doesn’t usually last long for me. I am not a monogamous knitter. My creative brain comes up with ideas for new projects faster than I can knit them up. I actually have a Trello board set up to keep track of my new ideas and which stages my projects are in. Now, if I could just get my workspace that organized, I would be unstoppable! [cue evil laugh]
Sorry, I’m getting a little off track. I might have had enough caffeine today. Back to the subject.
After a while, though, (there is no set amount of time, as individual results may vary) you find that your stash has grown beyond your ability to work up within your lifetime. It’s a horrifying thought, but the truth is that it’s time to push some of your babies out into the wide world.
Now, the way I see it, there are four different approaches to this dilemma.
Method number two: gift some of your yarn to a friend.
I have done this, but in very limited amounts. I once gifted some of my precious handspun (by me) yarn to a very good friend as a Christmas gift because I knew that she would properly appreciate it. And I still, technically, “made” it for her, since it was my handspun.
Method number three: donate to a thrift store.
I actually did this last Summer. I took every storage tub full of yarn that I had, opened them up and looked at every single skein/ball/cake of yarn in each box and asked myself if I would really enjoy working with it in any way. I know that’s a pretty broad question, but it was my first time. I found that about 1/3 of my stash was actually yarn that I didn’t like the feel of or didn’t even want to look at. Wow! Into the donate box it went! And then into the back of my car and then directly to the thrift store before I could change my mind.
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It was really nice, actually. I now know that I can go to my yarn stash at any time and I will only find lovely yarn that I know I really want to work with. My stash is so much more inspirational, now. Which can actually cause me to spend a lot of time dreaming up more projects, if I’m not careful. With great creativity comes great responsibility, I guess. I mean, the kids need me to cook dinner. I can’t just dream about my yarn all day.
Method number four (which realistically isn’t an option when we’re talking about something with as much crafting potential as yarn): throw it away.
Yup. Into the landfill. I know, it’s not really an option for me, either, but I just thought I’d throw it out there (ha ha) in the interest of being thorough.
If you can’t bear to take any of these approaches to your excess yarn, you can always continue to hoard it and let your children and grandchildren deal with it someday after you’re gone. I actually loved using the yarn, crochet hooks and knitting needles that I inherited from my husband’s grandmother, but she really didn’t have that much yarn stored up. And every time I use one of her crochet hooks, I think of her, which makes me smile. I sincerely hope that there is someone else in your life who will love what you leave behind (someday) in your stash, too. And I hope that you will stay creative, in one form or another, until the end of your days.
I’m going to be tote-woolly (bad pun) honest. I started writing this blog post yesterday and then realized that I was just rambling about pretty much nothing, so I decided to delete it and start over again, because, you know, I could go on and on about all of the things going on, but it would take me until next week to list them all for you and I just don’t have the time for that. I have a rehearsal dinner to plan (because my son is getting married next weekend). Sorry. I know you were looking forward to that list, but I really wouldn’t want you nodding off in front of your computer or your smartphone. If you happen to be in the company of other humans, that might be a little embarrassing.
Anyway, since this is supposed to be a blog about woolly things, there have been a few recent happenings in the woollier part of my world that I can share. I had a design proposal rejected. I have not given up on it, though. I am keeping it around and planning on refining it some more. It might work with just a color change.
I also finished a shawl pattern and got the photos done. Yay! As soon as it goes live, I will shout it to the world. You can count on me.
And I have another pattern finished that just needs the photos. There is actually a little sunshine happening out there today, so I just might see if I can talk my 17-year-old into modeling for me. She was pretty good-natured about working with me on my last photo shoot, and I do believe the battery for my camera is actually charged right now, so that’s a bonus. It’s easier to get photos done, that way. Ask me how I know.
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I am also working on a new project, of course. It’s so new, in fact, that I don’t even have an Instagram pic to show you yet. I started playing around with a 2-color linen stitch and I’m really liking it. I’m actually “swatching” in the size and shape of a cowl, so that I can write up the pattern if it turns out to be super fabulous and then, I won’t have to work it up again. I sometimes cheat like that.
I’m actually pretty excited about this one. The best designs are the ones that capture your imagination and just won’t let you go. My Gypsy Caravan Shawl was one of those. I didn’t realize how much this one had gotten hold of me until I was at my acupuncture appointment this morning and I was lying there (supposedly relaxing) thinking about some really cool things that I could do with it. I came up with three different ideas! Thought about them all the way home and decided which one I like best, so my plans for this evening will definitely include a little bit of woolly experimentation. I have never seen anything like this before (not to say that it has never been done), so I am really excited to see how it will turn out. Wish me luck – or better yet, skill.
This week’s blog post is brought to you by homeopathic sinus tabs, herbal compresses and lots and LOTS of tea. Oh, and coffee. I can’t leave out the morning cup of coffee because, let’s face it, without the morning cup of caffeine, the headache would be a lot worse than it already is.
When my husband peeked into the bedroom to check on me this morning and ask me how I was feeling, I think I said something in my head but what came out was more like, “Uuuuuuurgh.” I can’t be completely certain, though, because my ears are plugged up and I can’t hear much.
So, if you haven’t guessed, I have a head cold. Not only a head cold, I have a whopper of a head cold. Normally, I try to avoid sounding sound wimpy, but I haven’t had one like this in a very long time. I won’t try to gross you out with the details because this is about knitting, not snot, right?
In the words of my 14-year-old daughter, “I’m sick and dying.” [slight exaggeration]
But, the sun is shining and it’s Saturday as I write this, so the hubby and all but two of the kids (who are currently reading and napping) are out helping my parents-in-law and doing outside things, so it’s pretty quiet in the house. And since I have been left largely to my own devices today, I have been moving from room to room with my tea mug in one hand, a supply of tissues and my current almost finished project in my arms, mom-style, kind of like carrying an infant with you wherever you go. It even hung out in the bathroom with me (over the side of the tub) while I tried to steam my sinuses open with a hot essential oil bath. [Sorry, no photos of that.]
This project is so close to being finished, I can almost taste it! You know the feeling, right? I’m on the last row before the bind off. THAT close! You can’t put down a project when you’re on the LAST ROW, for goodness sake! I might be just a little bit obsessive about it.
The last row on this project has about eleventy-million stitches in it, so I’m really hoping to have it done by next week. That’s not much of an exaggeration. Just keep knitting, right? As I am typing this, it is sitting on the end table beside me begging me to pick it up and keep working. It wants to be finished, too.
If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have seen some obscure photos of a wildly striped design in some very bright colors. (see photo above) Yep, that’s the one. This is actually the second time I have knitted this up and it’s going to be sent out to my tech editor very soon. Well, as soon as my eyes stop watering enough to finish typing it up. It’s going to be fabulous! I can’t wait to show you the whole thing, but you and I will both have to wait until it goes live for that. In the meantime, you can anticipate asymmetrical stripes, bold colors and lace. I promise I will let you know as soon as I possibly can.
Here is a photo of our adorable (and somewhat obnoxious) bummer lamb. Her name is Jessica and she is getting so big!