knitting it up in a big way

Tag Archives: stash


my grandma found these at an estate sale recently! i’m ashamed to say when i first saw them, i originally thought they were mismatched marachas, and i picked them up to shake them. mais non! they are old darning eggs! and i’ve been using them a fair amount since i got them, as recently i’ve been doing bits of mending in between knitting projects.


coolree, fingering weight, 50/50 merino/silk, 400 m/437 yards

in our mini early christmas celebration while emi was here, i received this beautiful skein of irish yarn. her method of yarn shopping for me is very effective, and amuses me greatly. apparently, she enters a yarn shop and asks for their rarest yarn, one that couldn’t be found elsewhere. which has yielded a skein of yarn from a sheep that lived within throwing distance from where emi purchased it, and in this case, an indie dyer from county wexford!


kate wright designs, pashm, dk, 80/10/10 merino/nylon/cashmere, 200 yards

my cousins drive through viroqua, wisconsin yielded this gorgeous skein of yarn for me! the yarn shop is ewetopia fiber shop for the curious. this lovely skein seems destined to be some lovely mitts! this yarn company is new to me, but i love the variegation, and sara picked a skein for herself in a beautiful wheat-y gold brown.


not strictly fiber related, but i certainly reach for measuring devices to gauge my progress or check my gauge frequently while knitting. this little collapsible ruler is from a favorite antique shop in galena.

and lastly:


noro silk garden sock, fingering, wool/silk/nylon/mohair, 656 yards

we were in northwestern illinois with family for the thanksgiving weekend, and went to dubuque, iowa for an afternoon. we popped into yarn soup, which was really lovely. this cream/natural colorway of noro silk garden is one i routinely check for at every yarn shop i go to. for the most part i’m over the super bright striping that noro has to offer, except for this colorway. i can’t even remember the last time i’ve seen it on the shelf. but this time my routine check yielded results! i don’t know what it will be, but now i can start dreaming about it!

any exciting new yarns making their way to you? have you mistaken non-musical objects as percussion instruments before?


the blog has kind of been getting away from all things fiber-y, but believe me when i say it isn’t intentional. to prove it, here’s a post about only fiber-y things!

zig and zag cowl

this is my current wip (work in progress). it’s a test knit of the ZIG and ZAG cowl for foggyknits! i’m almost done… just a few chevrons away from the length i want it to be!

thrifted yarn

i stopped by the thrift store the other day, on a quest for a duplicate of the perfect belt for a friend (i found a pretty good one!), and in a little basket right next to the register were these cones of single ply fingering weight yarn, 100% new wool, 1000 yds, for $2. how was i supposed to say no? above is the cornflower blue. below is the bronze-y/split pea soup/chartreuse colored one…

thrifted yarn

no idea what to do with them. any ideas?

and in other fiber-y news, i’m working on getting the pattern for this hat finalized so i can finally publish it! jill and i met for coffee yesterday, and she was kind enough to use her photographic skillz on me and my hat:


i have had a fairly steady stream of yarn acquisitioning recently. behold:

more loft for my birthday:


the blue was from christmas, but my pictures didn’t do it justice, so i hauled it back out to model with it’s birthday counterpart. it’s so pretty you need more pictures, you say?



ooh, dreamy! with 825 yds of each color, i’m hoping to make the sweater equivalent to my favorite striped shirt.

also new:


ooh, ursula’s alcove kettle sock yarn in teal, with a staggeringly generous 560 yds. no specific plans for this one yet, and too many potential ideas to sensibly tell you about. yet.

jake’s birthday present for me:

malabrigo- paris night

5 skeins of malabrigo worsted weight yarn in paris night, one of my favorite colors! what is this destined to become? i can’t be 100% sure, but i sure have been drooling over this sweater recently…

and in case you thought this just wasn’t enough! there’s more! my momma brought me some randomly inherited boxes full of yarn!

inherited yarn

this actually only represents about 1/3 of the yarn she brought me… i sent a lot of it down the line to my grandma, who knits prayer shawls for the church, and she can use it or disperse it as she likes.

the one i’m most excited about is the bottom left corner… you only see three, but there’s actually 14 skeins of discontinued reynolds icelandic homespun. it could be… anything!

all my work last year of stash busting is now moot. i think it’s time to think about getting rid of some yarn in a non-knitting fashion. and if i keep acquiring at this rate, it might also be time to start up the official stash busting quest once more.


why wasn’t this sky happening on the day that ‘clouds’ was my assignment?

i haven’t been sharing much of my knitting recently. there’s no real reason that i haven’t been sharing it, except that i haven’t been taking many pictures of it. but everyday i’m working away on something or another.

first sock!

for example, i finished this sock! and cast on for the second! i made a mistake on the sole, that i’m hoping i can block out. fingers crossed! the pattern is glynis from cookie a’s sock innovation. these socks are for someone with very different sized feet than i, and i’m toying with the idea of diy-ing some sock blockers for them… maybe bent wire ones from a hanger? or, if i just want some one time use ones, cutting them out of cardboard?

recent aquisitions

i’ve been more adventurous in my online yarn ordering recently. i already had three skeins of elsebeth lavold silky wool in the celery colorway, but i needed a few more for a project. the rowan calmer is the color called ‘tinkerbell’, and it’s going to be mitts for my mother in law, who looks awesome in this kind of blue.

i’ve already cast on for the baby blanket that i’m making from the silky wool. i was too excited about it. so i’m switching between the baby blanket (my easy project) and the glynis socks (my more intense project) right now. in doing so, i’m ignoring a long list of other knitterly to-do’s (make tassels for my norby, knit the neckline ribbing on my raglan sweater). the time for those will come.


the whole world is blooming around here. our forsythia is gorgeous and bright, and a little unruly. so i cut some of the more exuberant branches from them. there’s plenty more exuberant ones that i’ll need a ladder to get to, but i think i’ll wait until this bunch has made its exit.

i’m gonna squeeze in the last FO of 2011 while it’s still january… barely.


smoke & daggers <–ravelry project page
pattern: rambled (free pattern)
yarn: manos del uruguay wool clasica
needles: US 6 (4mm), US 8 (5mm)


the pattern is simple enough, but looking over the FO’s, i think it’s a fabulous pattern for trouble yarns that might want to pool or obscure more complex knitting patterns.

this was the last of my two skeins of this colorway. it really lasted well. i made a hat for craig with it, and some fingerless mitts for martha.


i finished this on thanksgiving, actually. and we took some FO shots then, but when i reviewed them, i decided it really needed a blocking before i could call it an FO. it’s taken me this long to block it.

ok. that is all of the 2011 knits. now we can move into the unknown future. bee tee dubs, it looks like monday, feb 6 will be the beginning of my winter 30 for 30 (if we can call what we’ve been having around here winter). hopefully i will tell you all about my picks this weekend.

FO: wild honey
black cardigan target – purty new cowl i made that! – grey ruffly shirt rummaged j. crew – green chinos sale j. crew – yellow tennies h & m

FO: wild honey

FO: wild honey
pattern: avery cowl
yarn: brown sheep lambs pride worsted in wild honey
needles: size US 10 (6mm)

FO: wild honey
you can’t really see it, but my shoes are like a half shade darker than the cowl. made me feel all snazzy.

i followed this pattern to the letter. love it! i could have used more of the yarn, and pushed the knitting another half or whole repeat, but i didn’t. so i have a little bit of this yarn left. ah, well. i’m sure it will prove useful at some point.

FO: wild honey

blocking it made it longer than i ideally want it. this is a problem i keep having, specifically with cowls. with the stitch pattern on this, it really needed a blocking, though. have any of you had issues with that? maybe i’m stretching too much when i’m blocking. i’m really not trying to…

FO: wild honey

we went to get pumpkins! hurray! coming soon: pumpking carving, and seed roasting! nom nom nom!


FO: remnants of the day <– ravelry project page

needles: size US 8 (5mm) across the board.

yarns: i used loads of different yarns here… i went through all of my scrap yarns and pulled out my earthier tones: browns, greys, more subdued greens, blues and purples. i used all different weights, but primarily worsted and arans, with the occasionally lighter bulky weight, and if it was thinner (dk or fingering), i held the yarn double.

remnants of the day

-some brown wool/silk blend handspun
-bits and pieces of leftover noro silk garden (from vine lace)
-practically a whole skein of noro kureyon
-fibranatura shepherd’s own in dark brown (from maikke’s hat)
-leftover pieces of cascade covington (from mondo cozy)
-rowan scottish tweed dk in charcoal
-jamieson’s in denim blue
-malabrigo in black pearl (from sir janks’ mitts)
-berroco ultra alpaca light dark heather green
-queensland kathmandu aran in mushroom (from buttoned down)
-an unknown single ply loosely spun dark brown wool, bulky weight
-berroco vintage in a heathered mid-brown
-rowan felted tweed in purple (from buttoned garter mitts)


it’s super long, and it was super addicting, in the same way that striped noro scarves are. it’s fun to make sequence decisions, it’s easy to think ‘oh, i’ll just keep going until i’m done with this tiny ball of yarn’. it probably could be longer, if i’d picked up more stitches along the edges, or if i’d done a sewn bind-off (can you imagine how long the tail would have to be?!), but i think it’s plenty long.


i picked up stitches for the edge one stitch in, which was way easier. i also tried to knit in ends as frequently as i could, because i knew that otherwise, the post work on this scarf would be oppressive. i used to hate hate hate finishing. that is starting to change, slowly. as long as i have a very zen attitude about it, or i think it adds to the knitterly qualities of an object (like kitchener’s stitch on the rain on bricks, annoying? sure. but necessary for the creation of an elegently knitterly FO? definitely.), then it becomes another aspect of knitting in which i can take pride in my skills…


i have been knitting for ten years now, and my natural tendencies lean slightly towards what could nicely be called ‘a collector’. the oldest yarn i can identify here is from a project eight years ago (it’s the denim-y blue, from a striped garter stitch scarf i made a friend in his colleges colors). i do what i can to dissuade those natural tendencies, but yarn is a hard one for me. so i hold onto scraps leftover from other projects, and partial skeins.


but i am also always looking for good scrap-busting projects. there aren’t enough out there, is my thought. let me know if you find some really good ones! in the mean time, i’ll just keep making striped projects, or colorwork hats!


this scarf is lovely, and huge, and will get tons of wear. i’m already daydreaming about others: maybe an off-white base with green gradient striping? or a grey base with blues and purples? it’s not like my scrap yarns are in any danger of going extinct…

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