If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that I’ve been really trying to reduce my yarn stash this year. But, you also know that I find giveaways very hard to resist – and I’m kinda lucky.
So when I saw this giveaway on Robyn Chachula‘s blog, I had to enter. In my defense, it wasn’t clear exactly how much yarn would be in each of the five goodie bags Robyn was assembling. Even after winning, I was blissfully ignorant for the next few days.
And then, this arrived.
And when I opened it, this is what I saw.
I may have lost consciousness for a few seconds. But then I came to and took some more pictures. Here’s what I found inside the box:
A notions case - I’ve been using this to store all the goodies for the socks I’m making for the Ravellenic Games. It is the only one I have long enough to fit the size 1 double pointed needle I’ll be using as a cable needle.
A circular Susan Bates Velocity knitting needle – This looks like just the right size for subway knitting.
Thanks, Robyn, for sharing all of these wonderful goodies with me! It certainly didn’t help with my stashbusting efforts, but I’m thrilled nonetheless.
(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.)
I’ve reached the point in life where I’m feeling overwhelmed by stuff. This might be due to the fact that we’re living in a one-bedroom apartment in New York City, or it might be because I’ve been trying to live more minimally. Although I’ve reduced my stash by one full 60 quart plastic tub so far this year, I still have quite a few yarns with no intended purpose that I’m putting into the maybe list for gifts.
Several small balls of 100% wool yarns that I’ve dyed using Kool Aid or cake dyes.
I also found a pair of Slipper Soles in my sister’s size. Since I have fewer skeins that I’d like to use for holiday gifts than people on my gift list, I’m sure I will end up buying yarn at some point. But for now, this will give me a great start.
I read a great post by FreshStitches yesterday about using the stash feature on Ravelry, so my plan for the next week is to try and link up some of these yarns with patterns and project ideas.
I will mention here that I had a super awesome post written, but I lost everything. This is the best re-write I could muster after midnight.
Tell us all about the yarns you plan to use or buy for the Holiday Stashdown Challenge in the comments, and share links to your posts with us!
If you need some inspiration for a Holiday Stashdown Challenge post for next week, here’s the prompt for Tuesday, 5/29:
Now that you’ve sized up the yarn in your stash and the people on your gift list, what types of projects do you plan to make? Are you making the same type of (or the same exact) project for multiple people, or does everyone get something unique? Do you have lofty project goals for everyone on your list, or do you make small gifts with love? Tell us more about your project ideas!
I read more about Jenny in Crochet Master Class but was dubious about creating my own woven plaid crochet project. Full disclosure: I was a plaid fanatic in high school (perhaps because I never wore a Catholic school uniform like my cousins? or maybe it was just the grunge years?), but I have never had much success with crocheting plaids – they always come out messy, or skimpy looking. I am also not down with fringe, so that fringe finish on crocheted plaids never really wowed me.
I was very excited to see that Jenny would be in New York City teaching, but even her pedigree as a designer didn’t completely convince me that she could actually teach me to make attractive and full looking crocheted plaids in three hours. Let’s be honest – some people are great designers and some people are great teachers, and only a few are both. Luckily for me, Jenny is one of those few!
Jenny opened the class by sharing some historical details about Scottish tartans. She has designed about 200 crochet patterns that feature the plaids of various clans. The project for the class was based on the Fire Department, City of New York (FDNY)Emerald Society Pipe Band plaid, which was a very nice local touch. Making the mesh base was simple enough, and Jenny provided me (and the rest of the class, of course) with a few tips for joining colors and keeping our ends tidy.
Jenny also has a great sense of humor. She kept the class lively by sharing anecdotes and tips. She also admonished us, “You have to check with Jenny before ripping out!” and “Don’t point out your mistakes!” She also told us that she has never made a gauge swatch (egads! It’s like designer sacrilege!).
Finally, with mesh complete, we were ready to start weaving.
Jenny introduced us to the Tartan Weaver, a great tool that makes weaving much easier and faster. Her method uses chains rather than strips of yarn for weaving, and she also shared quite a few tips for sizing and weaving the ends of the woven chains.
I left the class feeling pretty good. Finally, a plaid project that is neat looking and where the woven strips actually fit into the mesh! I decided to order two of Jenny’s books, The Tartan Rug and U.S.A. and Canadian Plaid Afghans, from her website. I’m particularly looking forward to the Black Watch pattern, since that has always been my favorite plaid.
I’ve made a bit of progress since class. I made another mesh and all of my green chains and my white chains.
After the two meshes are woven, I plan to join them and make a small, decorative pillow. Thanks, Jenny King, for teaching me how to make plaids that don’t suck!
I didn’t use the recommended Lion Brand yarns for my project. As I mentioned, I’ve cut back on buying acrylic yarn, and the Lion Brand Yarn Studio was out of Lion Wool when I bought the supplies for the class. I ended up using an old skein of Bernat Lana I had laying around the house and some Patons Classic Wool in the recommended colors purchased at Michaels.
I felt a bit guilty since I know that the main reason the Lion Brand Yarn Studio offers over 100 classes per month is to sell yarn. So I decided to go shopping in the store and spend about as much as I would have spent on buying the yarn there. I bought two skeins of LB Collection Superwash Merino.