(Join along with me any time if you need a head start or moral support for your holiday crafting. You can read more details here.)
With all of my “must make” holiday gifts finished, I’m now free to turn to the fun stuff!
You may have seen my previous posts about the great swaps I’ve had on the A Swap A Month group on Ravelry. Sadly, the group began unraveling a few months ago when it was discovered that the moderator was a naughty swapper herself. Some of the members have reformed into the Strangers in Good Company group. Our first swap is an ornament and card swap for Christmas, so I’ve been scouring the web for awesome ornament patterns.
I found this adorable sweater ornament pattern by Jessica Spencer and had so much fun making these that I think I will create an ornament gift tag for each of the Christmas celebrators on my gift list. (I mentioned before that my winter holiday gift list includes people who observe a range of holidays.)
I made a camouflage version and a cherry chocolate version. These is also a wonderful way to use up little yarn scraps. And, unlike when making a real sweater, I don’t really mind that the sleeves are not the same length for both arms.
How is your holiday crafting going? Feel free to share your holiday crafting journey in the comments!
I started participating in A Swap a Month on Ravelry in July. I had a little extra crochet time over the summer, I love swaps, and I’ve been reasonably good about destashing so I figured adding one surprise skein of yarn to my stash each month couldn’t be all bad.
Most of the swaps include a handmade gift, and I have a few finished projects that I can share now that they’ve finally made it to their destinations.
I tried something different this month. Instead of buying yarns in the appropriate colors for my September swap gifty for A Swap A Month, I traded and bought partial skeins on Ravelry instead. So rather than ending up with three new skeins of yarn, I ended up with three partial skeins of yarn that should be close to exactly what I need for my project.
I guess it’s pretty obvious that the stash won this month! I brought in 25 skeins and 3 partial skeins, and only finished off 3 skeins.
Lately, I’ve been craving new yarn. I’ve been fighting the urge to buy new yarns online or run into Knitty City for a quick haul. I know that I’ll be going to a fiber festival in September, so I vow to be reasonable with my purchases – I’m setting a budget limit as well as a 3 skein limit.
I’ve finally found a local charity online that seems interested in yarn donations. I will contact them and hopefully move out a large amount of yarn.
This may be wishful thinking, but I’d like to spend more time crocheting and knitting this month! If I do, I shouldn’t have a problem busting through some stash.
Truth be told, I’m a bit afraid of variegated yarns. Sometimes, there are mystery colors hiding inside of the ball, skein, or hank that are just plain scary. In the case of this yarn, the color changes are unexpected, but still attractive.
Most of the yarn is a darkish green, which looks grey in these pictures for some reason. It’s more obvious in the close ups, but there are little flecks of brown repeated throughout which kind of pull the whole thing together.
I expect that this will be a holiday gift for one of the ladies in my dad’s family. I have four that I’m making gifts for this year. I might even make each of them a variation of the same design.
Assuming I have enough yarn, I plan to make this one an infinity scarf.
Just because it isn’t July yet doesn’t mean that I haven’t already sent and received my July Goody Box Swap! I joined A Swap A Month on Ravelry when the July swap was still taking sign ups. My partner is carajv, who seems to be my twin in opposite world. She has been knitting since childhood and just picked up crochet, whereas I’m the opposite. She also raises sheep, which is one of my life fantasies. (I say fantasy because I actually know nothing about raising sheep, so I couldn’t possibly even consider it as a dream at this point in time.) We messaged back and forth on Ravelry and I was so excited about getting her package together, that I basically ran out and bought everything within a few days and mailed my package in mid-June! I hope this didn’t create too much pressure for carajv, whose package to me arrived on Thursday night.
The second package was very squishy and I knew from reading the card it would have handspun yarn from carajv’s sheep.
This package included two yummy skeins of yarn, each weighing in at over 100 grams. The color is a beautiful, undyed cream. The yarn is ultra soft, and I really can’t wait to get it wound into cakes! As if that wasn’t enough, carajv also included a little bag with some super cute notions – a stitch holder and cupcake stitch markers – as well as a pencil and 5 Hiya Hiya dpns. There were two great patterns in this package, too!
Perhaps this swap will help me get over my fear? hatred? of double pointed needles. Or, perhaps not ;). But either way, I have some amazing yarn, cool notions, and great patterns to play with!
After successfully avoiding yarn shopping and extraneous crafty purchases for most of this year, June was filled with hauls of all kinds! I decided to write up one giant post with all of my purchases during the month.
Year of Projects preparation
If you’ve been following the chatter in the Come Blog-A-Long group on Ravelry, you know that many of us are gearing up for the second Year of Projects. This year, instead of working my way through one book, I will unveil a list of projects I’d like to complete and techniques I’d like to learn by June 30, 2013. (My official list will be posted this Sunday, July 1.) I happened to see a copy of Alasdair Post-Quinn‘s Extreme Double Knittingin real life, and decided to order it, along with a digital download, from Cooperative Press.
Knit-A-Way, Take 1
This month, I had the pleasure of taking a wonderful 3-week Bruges lace class at Knit-A-Way with Tatyana Mirer. (Side note: She is a great teacher, and if you are in the New York City area, you should definitely take a knitting or crochet class with her!)
It didn’t end up being a good fit for the class projects, but it did whet my appetite for more shopping…
July Goody Box Swap
This next shopping spree doesn’t really count because none of it was for my stash. I joined A Swap A Month on Ravelry just in time for the July Goody Box Swap. For my swap partner, carajv, I bought two skeins each of Classic EliteClassic One Fifty and Frog TreeAlpaca at Knitty City. I had so much fun in the shop, feeling all the yarns, that it was almost inevitable that I would go shopping again…
Interweave Hurt Book Sale
And then it was time for the InterweaveHurt Book Sale. Many of the books I’ve been eyeing throughout the year seemed to be calling me seductively. And, since a few could also fall into the category of “things I want to learn during the second Year of Projects,” I convinced myself to buy four.
When I returned to Knit-A-Way for my second Bruges lace class, I brought my own yarn from home (Galler Yarns Parisian Cotton). It just worked out better for swatching, but I felt compelled to pick up somethings in the store. After all, that’s why yarn shops hold classes – because they are hoping to increase sales!
When I learned that the Sparkling Wave Scarf from The Complete Photo Guide to Crochetwould be the final project in my Bruges lace class, I knew it would make a great holiday gift for my friend, OB. I have definitely been trying hard to make all of my Holiday Stashdown Challenge gifts with stash yarn, but, after some investigating, I learned that OB really wanted any gift items made in charcoal yarn. I strolled over to my LYS, Knitty City, to hunt for a machine washable charcoal yarn in a natural fiber.
After a lot of debate – including wandering out into the street with 4 skeins of yarn to see which one looked more grey in the sunshine – I ended up with a skein of madelinetosh tosh sport in Kale.
Even Tatyana agreed that it was a great choice for the scarf.
Knit-A-Way, Take 3
My final purchase of the month was something totally unexpected.
In the last class session, Tatyana brought her sloper for me to see and we were discussing how to design projects that actually fit. She heartily recommended Sweater 101: How to Plan Sweaters That Fit… and Organize Your Knitting Life At the Same Timeby Cheryl Brunette. Although I am not necessarily planning to make a sweater, the book really caught my eye. Once I got home and read about the book’s origin, I was even happier to own a copy. According to Tatyana, the schematics for different sizes are absolutely flawless, and after seeing her beautiful designs in person, I’m sure she is right.
Needlecrafts, handmade creativity, and other good stuff