Some of my regular readers know that I love to participate in swaps. There’s something fun about meeting a new fiber friend and who doesn’t love receiving a package in the mail?
Right now, I’m participating in the International Scarf Swap‘s Wishlist Swap. The main idea is to choose a scarf pattern from your partner’s Ravelry favorites and make it! This is a secret swap, so can’t tell you who the lucky recipient will be, but let’s just say this scarf has a long journey ahead of it.
First, I dug deep into my stash to see what I had on hand to match her favorite colors, and I happened to have one remaining skein of Cascade 220 Superwash in Pacific.
My partner had a great wishlist filled with all of these beautiful knit and crochet scarf, cowl, and shawl patterns. I decided to make Ali Green‘s Seafoam Scarf because it looked simple enough to remember the pattern repeats without being boring enough to put me to sleep.
For me, this was a quick knit. I finished it in just 4 days (including a holiday and a weekend, but remember I’m a slow knitter).
This was something that definitely needed blocking to open up those dropped stitches.
I secretly hoped it might get a bit longer after blocking. After all, it’s just a one skein scarf. But my partner mentioned she sometimes wears scarves in the summer, and this seems perfect for that.
I debated adding a button. I like to have buttons on short scarves, but I didn’t find one that seemed to be asking to pair up with this scarf.
Growing up, I was fascinated with the Nativity scene my maternal grandmother would set up during the Christmas season, and I remember being eager to place the baby Jesus into the manger after midnight on Christmas Eve. That Nativity set was the one physical object that I most associated with the holidays during childhood, and since I first saw crocheted Nativity scenes, I’ve thought about making one for my mother. I bought Carolyn Christmas‘s Amigurumi Nativity pattern in paper form a while back, but never had the time (or the right yarn on hand) to make it.
At the beginning of the year, I started planning to make the set. I definitely don’t have much in the way of “flesh tone” yarns in my stash, so I appealed to the folks in the Surmount the Stash group on Ravelry. The generous mamajulia stepped forward to send me some yarn she had leftover from a project, thus helping me avoid a trip to Michael’s that might result in a stash explosion.
The last few weeks have been tough for me, so over the long weekend I wanted to pick up simple that I could make without too much thought. The Amigurumi Nativity seemed like the perfect project, but of course, I couldn’t locate the pattern. I searched high and low and finally gave up and was ready to order another copy. And that’s when I learned that it’s now available as a Ravelry download. I’m a longtime fan of Carolyn’s work, and I’m always happy to support another independent designer, so I bought the pattern on Rav, added it to my Kindle Fire, and set to work.
I plan to vary the skin tone for the three Wise Men, so my amigurumi version will be similar to my grandmother’s set. This is officially my first holiday project for 2013. (Last year at this time, I was just beginning my holiday crafting list, so I feel like I’m on pace for this year, too.)
I also made some progress on my temperature scarf. I have one row for each day of 2013 through May 24th.
I’ve used all but one color now, and it is really interesting to watch the scarf unfold.
And, back in March, MC and I watched The Bible miniseries, and that got us talking about the actual Bible. I’ve never read it in its entirety, and since – regardless of your faith and religious beliefs – it’s such a significant work in the development of Western civilization, I decided that I should actually read it all the way through. After a little bit of research, I bought The NRSV Daily Bible: Read, Meditate, and Pray Through the Entire Bible in 365 Days last week. Although it is tempting to read more at each setting, I decided to follow the book’s pacing. It has been interesting to read the Bible in these little snippets, and I think I’ll probably remember each section better since I’ll have more time between readings to reflect.
I decided to make her a baby blanket using some stash yarn. I started with the motif from Frankie Brown‘s Jelly Mould Blanket and some leftover Red Heart Super Saver in Candy Print, but I ran out of yarn after 14 squares. The stiffness of the yarn was the perfect pairing with this pattern.
Since I didn’t have another complementary color in my stash, I thought it would be the perfect time to use my 20% off coupon to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio. Once at the shop, I decided I wanted to go in a new direction, and instead of choosing more pink, I picked up three skeins of Vanna’s Choice in greens. (I was feeling a bit spring-like at the time.) Vanna’s Choice is much softer than the Red Heart, so it wasn’t as suited for the 3D shape of the Jelly Mould motif.
I used a stash skein of Caron One Pound in white for all the borders, and joined each of the motifs in rows of 7.
I had a bit of a tough time taking pictures (thank you Central Park, for serving as a backdrop!), but I really like how the blanket came out. It’s about 32 inches square, and I used about 990 yards of yarn (including about 530 yards of stash yarn!).
The whole project was much more improvised than my baby blankets usually are. I guess you could say that the motifs came about organically. And I used different techniques for joining the squares together to form rows, which helped to even out the slight differences in sizes. I also used two different methods for joining the rows together (the green join is a very decorative v-stitch join, and the white join is a chain join). These joins were inspired by ones I found in Robyn Chachula‘s Crochet Stitches VISUAL Encyclopedia.
I think this means that my next blanket may be a bit more spontaneous!
I completed some major (mostly top secret) crochet and knit projects in January, and even used up over 4,500 yards of yarn.
Unfortunately, none of it was stash yarn. Some of you that design for publication may know about yarn support. This is the yarn that a designer is sent for free in order to crochet or knit a sample. Back in December, my buddies in the Surmount the Stash group on Ravelry helped me to realize that unused yarn support does eventually become part of my stash. (I know it’s obvious, but I was secretly hoping to just avoid its existence forever!) I ended up adding about 1,620 yards of unused yarn support into my stash.
And then, there was Vogue Knitting Live…
So I ended the month with about 1,800 more yards officially in my stash than I started with, but I also actually moved out a lot of yarn. I’m back down to 4.5 plastic tubs instead of 5 overstuffed plastic tubs.
My goal for February is to use up stash yarn and free up more space in my yarn bins. I’m hoping to get some charity projects done and really work through my acrylic yarns, which now fill the smallest (half-sized) yarn bin that I have. Not very tangible, I know, but for February I’ll need to take stashbusting one day at a time!
It’s amazing what you find out through Facebook. For example, I had no idea my cousin’s wife was even pregnant until she posted pictures of her newborn, Brooklyn Sophia.
Being of the old fashioned naming sort, I assumed that Brooklyn was an adjective describing Sophia. (As in “born in Brooklyn” Sophia.) Later, I came to understand that is her actual name. I imagine that I should be proud to see my home borough reaching a status like Paris where people are just naming their children after it. Apparently, my cousin is feeling a bit of nostalgia for the place he, too, was born, but hasn’t lived in for about 20 years. Either that or he is now a Nets fan.
I plan to make this blanket entirely out of stash, so when I run out of Candy Print, I’ll need to decide if I’m using another color for the rest of the blocks or a completely other design. I do have a good amount of white, which I plan to use when I square up these blocks.