Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On the needles this week

I'm working on 3 projects this week:

Shawl which is using up 4 balls of discontinued Noro from my stash.

Scarf from Nancy Bush's Knitted Lace of Estonia in a fawn colored alpaca that I bought at the NC Fiber Fest (not in my old stash, but I couldn't resist). I'm just a few rows from finishing this and have more than enough left from the skein to make a second scarf, which my daughter has already said she wants.

Baby blanket in Sugar & Cream cotton. This will be one of 2 blankets for a friend who's expecting twins. One will be in lavender with yellow crochet edging and the other will be in yellow with lavender edging.

Oh, No! More Stash...

One of my knitting friends is also destashing. This week she gave me a bag of yarn that she wanted to get rid of. I planned to take it to my charity knitting meeting since people in the group usually grab up anything donated. Of course, I had to go through the bag first to see if there was anything I could use. And, of course, there were a lot of things that I couldn't believe she was getting rid of. Her stash discards are a lot more interesting and valuable than mine (I guess I've always been drawn to the bargain bin closeout yarn). I've pulled out about 2/3's of what was in the bag. So now, I've just increased my stash. But I've promised myself that I WILL find projects for these additions or off to the Knit Night group they go. And as I do finish using this yarn, I'll post photos here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Crocheted Bookmarks

Here are some scans of crocheted bookmarks I made last year for a literacy project. They were all made with various threads in my stash, mostly perle cottons. I used crochet edging patterns for most of these. The multi-color pastel thread is a perle cotton sold for sergers. The red/white/green is crochet cotton. The brown & black thread is a Japanese cotton I bought at Habu in NYC several years ago. The greyish bookmark is a nylon weaving thread that I bought at Hinshaws outlet in Burlington many, many years before they closed.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


Here's a shawl that had to be content with being a "shawlette." With only 3 balls of yarn I didn't think I'd actually make something other than a scarf. I started with a couple of stitches and increased 1 stitch at the beginning & ending of each row. Since the yarn is so fluffy, I just did it in garter stitch. Anything more complex would probably not have shown up. When the triangle was large enough to wrap around my shoulders, I bound off. I used the remaining yarn to crochet a ruffle around two sides (a cluster of double crochet stitches in each hole created by the increase stitches). The yarn is Phildar Geolite (rayon/polyester/kid mohair/nylon/wool/acrylic blend). Each 1 oz. ball is 94 yds/86 m long. This yarn is apparently no longer available. I think it was a find at a yarn shop that was going out of business.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Here's another Morehouse Farm pattern. This is a scarf for my sister who used to have pet mice. Eyes are red beads and noses (which aren't part of the original pattern) are black beads. I can't wait to give it to her and see her wear it. I made it with my favorite general-purpose yarn, Plymouth Encore which is 75% acrylic and 25% wool.
Ok, stash busting takes a couple steps backward. The next 2 projects actually used newly-purchased yarn. My excuse is that these patterns are irresistible. They're from Morehouse Farm.

The owl purse is the 2nd one I've made. The first one was from the Morehouse Farm kit; they don't sell the pattern alone. Now that I have the pattern I plan to make more as gifts. The first one, from the kit,went to one of my tatting friends who rescues owls and other birds of prey.
Knitting or crocheting for charity is a great way to use up stash. In January I joined a group of knitters that meet monthly to knit scarves, hats, blankets that will be donated to local charities. I love knitting or crocheting scarves. One ball of yarn is often enough to make a decent length scarf and, the thing I love most, gauge is not an issue. It's also a great way to try out new stitch patterns. Since I started shopping my stash in January, I've made 20+ scarves. I'll post photos of them as I complete them. Here's one that uses leftover acrylic yarns (mostly Red Heart) and is knit lengthwise. I like to the lengthwise scarves with the stripes symmetrical. Cast on 190-200 stitches and knit in garter stitch to either the desired width or till you run out of yarn.

January 2010, finds me, avid (some might say, obsessive) fiber crafter (knitting, tatting, crochet, weaving, etc.), laid off after 25 year career, taking early retirement, living on greatly reduced income.

Every crafter I know who works with yarn or thread has her stash...that accumulation of materials that were bought on impulse with no particular project in mind, that ball of yarn from the closeout bin, that really odd, but interesting stuff from the mill outlet. Now that I have more time than cash, the solution is to shop my stash. I'm starting with more than a dozen big plastic storage bins. My goal is to declutter and use up as much of the stuff in the bins as possible while indulging my creative urges.

This blog is my chronicle of the progress and, I hope, success of a major stash busting year.