Have knitting, will travel

Matt and I went to Kansas City at the beginning of the week for a couple of days with some friends. While there, I went to visit The Studio yarn shop.  It’s a cute little store near the Westport area.  I got some super shocking pink Regia sock yarn and one skein of Madeline Tosh DK in Filigree.  They had a Gnarled Oak Cardigan made with the Filigree colorway and it was GORGEOUS.  The yarn itself is lovely in the skein, but I probably wouldn’t have considered it in the same way without seeing it knit into something beautiful.  It took me a long time to decide whether I should buy a sweater’s worth of the Mad Tosh DK, or just a single skein.  I went for the single skein since Matt kept reminding me about my 3 out of 4 projects coming from stash goal at the beginning of the year.  I haven’t counted, but he had a good point.  And impulse buying a sweater’s worth of yarn without a particular sweater in mind is always a bit of a risk.  I can easily make a hat or a variety of accessories with a single skein.madeline tosh

I am always willing to risk buy skeins of gorgeous sock yarn though… regia

I was a little disappointed with their sock yarn selection.  They have some lovely brands, but it looks like they need to restock a bit.  I was happy to feel Anzula Milky Way in person, but they only had a single skein in a color that didn’t interest me.  I was really hoping to acquire more Anzula Squishy yarn, but they didn’t have any, despite showing some on their site.

The super shocking Regia (color Violett) will likely become some kind of tunic or sweater for Z, with the leftovers as socks for me perhaps.  I really enjoy the kind of pinks that make my retinas scream.

Dissertation edits are still happening, but they’re slowing down.  I’m ready for this baby to be fully done.  This feels like a super long pregnancy that’s finally coming to fruition.

I am nearing the finish on both BlueSand Cardigan and the New Girl skirt for my KAL with Angela.  Updates soon!

The winners are…

The remaining yardage in my stash totals 46,726.4 yards. Gulp. That’s a reality check! 

ImageThe two closest guesses came from Jocelyn and Damaris: 

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ImageI will be contacting you ladies to find out where to send the yarn to Jocelyn, and how to get a pattern to Damaris. Thanks for playing! Reading all of the guesses was really fun. 

 

 

 

 

_________Yards! A guessing game giveaway!

I’ve been trying out some new podcasts lately. I listened to the April 18th episode of Jane and Jen Knit Funny. I really liked the episode I heard. Then they mentioned their stashes. Each of them had about 12 or 14 different yarns in their stash and they each talked about how out of hand they felt like their stash was becoming. I felt like a freak! I have 124 different yarns in my stash.

Then, I was listening to Episode 128 of Stash and Burn and they were discussing their total yardage of stash yarn. Nicole mentioned she had over 45,000 yards of yarn in her stash. Well, that sounded like a lot, but I felt more like those ladies understood me. I hadn’t realized before, but tabulating your total stash yardage is something you can easily figure out in Ravelry. How exciting!

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There is a handy little button that lets you import your stash into an Excel sheet and download it. Then you can just sum the column to find out how many yards you have! I found out how many. It’s a lot… so I’m going to do a giveaway because it seems appropriate that I get rid of some yarn.

Leave a comment on this post your guess for the number of yards of yarn I have in my stash. This is just for fun, so please don’t go and do anything crazy and try to add it all up. That’s cheating. Whoever guesses the closest number without going over the amount (like The Price is Right) wins this lovely yarn:

stash-24_medium2A second runner-up will receive one of my patterns of their choice for free. I will choose a winner on Saturday morning at 9:00 am, so you have until then to make a guess! Take a look at my stash, but please just make a guess. One more hint, the Excel spreadsheet will not include anything up for trade or sale.

Happy guessing!

Stash-tastic.

Last July, I gave you all a little peek at the yarns in my stash. I’ve been trying to be good and knit lots of things out of it. Sometimes, I succeed, sometimes I fall in love with something new or see a deal too good to pass up. I think it mostly evens out over time, but that means the stash stays at a pretty stable level. I’m not at SABLE (Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy) level yet, so I’m ok.

One of the problems is that it’s all hiding in plastic containers under the bed, sealed tightly (because I have a fear of moths non-knitters might consider irrational). Every time I take it out I  fall in love all over again with the yarns. I remember why I chose them and what I thought they might be. I don’t feel guilty for having a big stash because I take pleasure in looking at my little yarn library, and I feel like my squirrel-like behaviors with yarn storage make me feel like a wealthy individual when I am not making very much money as a student.  I’ve been building up this collection slowly and steadily over the years, and I’d rather acquire yarn more than almost any other pleasurable thing. It turns out, I’m rather good at that.

Where is this going? Ok, I read Fridica’s post a little while ago, and I’ve been thinking about organizing my stash ever since. She points out the usefulness of knowing your dyelots. That is definitely useful for yarn emergencies. Last Wednesday I decided to take action and started photographing my stash like mad. For about 24 hours I didn’t knit a single stitch, but was wholly absorbed (probably in a flow moment) in cataloging my entire stash on Ravelry. Every time Zooey went down for a nap I was back at the computer, going as quickly as I could.

I did it! There are a few odd bits that I didn’t bother with, but for any partial skein that I cataloged I weighed them to calculate how many yards remained. It’s easy to calculate your remaining yarn if you know what the ball weighs at first and you divide that by what you have left. I always weigh in grams to be more exact. Then you can multiply that number by the total yards in the ball. For example, if I have 37 grams left of a 50 gram ball, I would divide 37 by 50 to get .74. If my ball originally had 230 yards, I just multiply 230 by .74 and I know I have 170.2 yards left.

There are 128 different yarns. This took me awhile. I think it’s well worth it.

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Some balls were more of a mystery. I definitely didn’t have tags for a lot of my partial balls, so I couldn’t put in the dye lots, but I tried my best to get in the correct color names or numbers while working quickly.  I had a skein with no label that I was a mystery for years until I did a little weighing and detecting. It’s Alpaca Sox by Classic Elite Yarns in Celadon. It’s a green/grey color that is gorgeous. Now that I know what it is, it’s easier to make something fabulous out of it.

I have also wound many balls thinking I would be knitting with them right away, but they’re still waiting. You can see a couple of items that are partially knit. I plan to rip those out and use the yarn for something else.

Besides knowing the dyelots on as many different balls as possible, I think there are many advantages to having these cataloged. Now, I can search within my stash when I’m looking at patterns on Ravelry. If I start a new project and choose to use a yarn from my stash, when I put in how much I used at the end it automatically subtracts what I used from the amount in my stash. That’s pretty awesome.

Also, I was thinking about bigger disasters. In the case of a fire, I have almost every scrap of yarn and project that I care about, as well as my knitting books (because I added those too) on Ravelry. That would help in a claims process much more than trying to remember everything.

I have a few that I’m willing to sell or trade, so take a look if you feel like enhancing your stash.

Ah, the mental relief of a documented stash.

Tour de stash.

I’m pretty darn local to my LYS. For one thing, I work there. I also happen to both love and respect both the present owner and the past ones, and I consider Cynthia to be a mentor. Sometimes I stray. I feel like we (the LYS and I) have a fairly open relationship. It’s perfectly acceptable that I look and sometimes buy other yarn from other stores when I’m on vacation. If it’s something we don’t carry or can’t get through one of our current vendors, I don’t feel so bad for buying elsewhere either, but for the most part, I’m fiercely loyal.

Well, I got a coupon for Jimmy Beans Wool that expires soon, so I’ve been looking around on their site, mostly at their sock yarns, to see if there is anything I can’t live without. I was seriously considering some Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock yarn in Botanical. It’s lovely and it’s hard to let a 15% discount go to waste. Matt reminded me that the colors aren’t always what you see online. Yes, I have been burned by this before. I can think of some Malabrigo Sock in Alcaucil that seemed to be a dark green that was actually just black in person.

Alcaucil: You look green to me.

I told myself it would be an upcoming birthday present to myself (ahem, it’s on the 14th). I’ve also been coveting this unbelievably gorgeous sock yarn in the Artisan Sock base in Euphorbia, Saffron, Hoppy Blonde, and Lime Granita, as well as Blue Moon Fiber Socks that Rock mediumweight in Lodestone, Blue Moonstone, and Winter Solstice. Nothing wrong with hoarding single skeins of sock yarn, right? I LOVE socks. He reminded me about the sweater’s worth of teal sock yarn (ONLine Linie 33 Cosmo) that I just purchased and am using for another Featherweight Cardigan. Uh, sure…but I’m already knitting that up…and the colorsDid you see those colors?!

We are having a baby, and I’ll be taking five months off of work to stay home with her. This means I should be more prudent about my yarn purchases, theoretically. She’s due at the end of August. Matt assured me that if I didn’t buy any yarn until the baby comes, he would buy me yarn. At first, I thought he meant any yarn, and I thought, “This sweet and wonderful man is going to keep me in yarn. Lovely, delicious yarn.” Then I realized he meant just that single skein of yarn that I showed from Jimmy Beans and I almost started laughing hysterically. I work in a yarn store one day a week just to be around the wool fumes, and buy the yarn without feeling a shred of guilt. All of the money I make during my time at Hand Held goes directly back into the till fairly soon. I don’t know if I’ve ever gone two whole months without buying yarn. Is that crazy? That yarn isn’t even my first pick on the list! Ha.

Let’s just see what kind of obsession I’ve got going on here. I’ll take you on a very brief tour of my stash:

The bulky weight bin, and some miscellaneous merino fiber.

Let’s start with my least thrilling bin. I don’t really spin, yet that merino fiber is so fluffy and I have a pound, so I’m just going to hold onto it for now… I don’t get very excited about knitting with bulky weight yarns. They tire my hands more easily with the larger needles, but I’m convinced I’ll make some amazing floor cushions if my hands can take the huge yarn one of these days . This isn’t really all bulky stuff. In the bags to the left are some worsted items, but I ran out of space in that bin.

Mostly worsted weights.

I have a sweater’s worth of Sublime hanging out and waiting to be a cardigan this fall (in the ugly plastic bag in the bottom right). That’s a must, even if I end up putting it off until November for a NaKniSweMo project. Yes, the bags are very ugly and don’t allow you to properly inspect my stash, but I didn’t want to take everything out for a quick pic. Most of these are organized into bags because they are all the same brand or all single ply or however my brain organizes these things.

Mostly DK, Sport, and Lace

There are some lovelies in my DK, sportweight, and laceweight bin. I’m definitely stashing some CEY Fresco, a little Malabrigo Silky Merino, a good chunk of Blue Sky Alpacas Sportweight . None of these are sweater amount’s worth, but they will make some luxurious little accessories at some point, and I really enjoy just touching them every now and then in the meantime.

Wouldn’t it make more sense for the lace weight to be in a bin with the fingering weight? Well, it would if I had any room left in my fingering weight bin…

The biggest loves in my stash. The SOCK YARNS!

This is where my heart lies. I can’t bear to put these in bags (except for the partial balls) because I get them out often and dream about fingering weight things.  On the left are two skeins of Opal Hundertwasser is hard to find. I am also hoarding a skein of the Opal Harry Potter yarns in the Ron Weasley colorway. If you’re a fan of Koigu, you might notice the big chunk of Koigu that is front and center. To the right of that are a few skeins of Malabrigo Sock (aka superwash merino heaven). Above that are a couple of skeins of Colinette Jitterbug, another one of my very favorites for the colors and the durability. There are layers here, people. I’m still hiding stuff under this yarn.

I don’t know if I’ll be “dieting,” but at least the cupboard is stocked pretty well in the meantime. I suddenly have the urge to cast on about 4 more pairs of socks…

Sock yarn saved!

I would like to give a HUGE THANKS to Andrea from Life on Laffer for her amazing untangling skills. Remember this pic with the insanely tangled Koigu from my UFO drawers? She volunteered to untangle it for me. At first I thought she was some kind of crazy glutton for punishment and that there was no way she was going to be successful with this. I tried and gave up about a year ago, and before I sent off the skein my fiance tried for about two hours. We were both beyond frustrated. Well… she turned it into this:

Koigu, untangled, washed, and re-hanked.

The woman is a genius. Andrea, I’m truly grateful. She saved my Koigu sock yarn. That’s sacred in my book. I was originally using it for these socks, but I think it will become something more exciting now, since it’s been reborn anew with Andrea’s touch.

For the curious souls, I don’t have my original label for this yarn, after studying Koigu’s site, I strongly suspect this is color P327S. I have no idea if they’re still dyeing it, or where to get it, but since it’s still showing on their site, you might be able to find it somewhere.