Sock yarn for an 80’s child

I was browsing Etsy for some self-striping hand dyed yarn awhile back (dangerous, I know) and I came across this yarn from Julianna’s Fibres:

sparkle self stripingIt’s her Sparkle Self-Striping superwash yarn in the colorway “Truly Outrageous.”  The name and colors immediately made me think of the Jem and the Holograms theme song from a cartoon I used to watch.

So naturally, I had to have the yarn that evoked my 80’s cartoon nostalgia.  I’m not disappointed.  The stripes are fun and bright.  truly outrageous It’s a good defense against the SNOW we got over the last couple of days.  Hello, March.  Shape up a bit, will ya?

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!

Early Mother’s Day!

This year I get one more holiday to celebrate! Since I’m officially a mother, that comes with some extra yarn, right? I want to start making a few warm-weather items, and a Goodale seems like a nice transition piece. I looked through my stash. I didn’t have anything that was just right, (the ol’ Goldilocks defense for new stash acquisitions). I usually have a pretty good idea of the yarns at my LYS, since I go there about twice a week to knit and hang. I couldn’t think of anything there that I had to have for the project, so I started browsing online and came across Frog Tree Pediboo in a Marigold color. Ohhhhh yes. It’s bamboo and merino. Perfect for spring and summer. It’s considered to be fingering weight on some sites, and sport weight on Ravelry, but I think it will work well and I should have enough to add a little extra length.

frog tree pediboo

I told Matt that I needed three skeins, picked a site where it seemed to be cheapest, and told him it would be the perfect mother’s day present. Hurrah! Yes, this might seem unromantic. I’ve already purchased his birthday presents and given them to him, even though his birthday is not until June. He told me exactly which blazers he wanted and I got them. He LOVES them and has been wearing both of them every day since he got them last week. I think we’re both satisfied with this arrangement.

Last weekend I got to knit, holding Z in my lap, while she examined a needle gauge. It didn’t last long (as baby attention spans often don’t), but it was sweet anyway.

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I will let myself cast this on as soon as I do some finishing on this and this and this. They’re all blocked. They just need some seaming and weaving of ends.

The kind of yarn that makes you wish you could spin.

pretty southern handspun

Handspun yarn from Pretty Southern.

One of my first knitting friends, Lynda Jo, sent me this magnificent skein of yarn in the mail last week. I’ve known LJ since about 2006 when we met at Hand Held during a knit night. I love knit night and all the people that attend. At the time, it was primarily women about 15 years or more my senior, so I was excited to meet LJ since she was much closer to my age. She also immediately pointed out that I’d been twisting all of my knitted stitches. I was still a fairly novice knitter and I had no idea. No wonder all my hats seemed too small at the time…

She spun this yarn just for me. It’s about 250 yards at 14 wpi, which I think is classified as fingering weight. I love how the plies look. I haven’t decided what to make with it.  I think it would look great as a slouchy hat, and I think the colors would compliment a lot of things in my wardrobe. I could also use some new arm warmers, because I lost my favorite pair last year and I haven’t made any new ones yet. I can’t wait to see what it looks like knit up!

She has a shop on Etsy called Pretty Southern. If you like the yarn, it looks like she’s having a sale right now. Many of her skeins are marked 40% off. I’m drooling over this one and this one too.

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.

Hi, my name is Cassy and I’m a sock yarnaholic.

I have a problem. A sock yarn problem. I just can’t get enough of it. When will I ever make all these pairs?! Why do I love it so much? Maybe I’m having an existential knitting crisis. I love the promise of sock yarn. When I’m just itching to buy yarn, sock yarn always seems like a safe bet because I know it will be just the right amount. So many times I have fallen in love with  yarn and bought some just to buy it and then I have no project in mind and it hangs out in my stash for perhaps all of eternity. Sock yarn has so much potential. It can make plain workhorse socks, elegant lace, fun and funky socks, or an endless list of possibilities. I find the whole process comforting. I’m sure you don’t need convincing, dear reader.

Today I bought five skeins of sock yarn. Yes, I need help. I’ve been coveting this colorway of Opal Hundertwasser for awhile now and it seems to be getting harder to find…so I bought two skeins. Just in case. Then I bought a skein of Opal Rainforest in the Toucan colorway. I bought this skein so I could teach Drew how to make socks, and he’s agreed. I’m so excited! I know some people aren’t crazy about self-patterning yarns, but it makes a nice and colorful mindless project that you can take anywhere. I’m also motivated by the way the pattern unfolds. It keeps me knitting just a few more rows, and keeps the socks moving quickly.

I also was curious about Lion Brand Sock Ease, and I needed new sock yarn in hand today, so I went out and picked this up:yellowhappy

Ah, the temptation of a pair of socks for ten dollars. It’s 75% wool and 25% nylon like Regia and Opal, so I will see how it holds up in comparison. The yarn is also finished with aloe vera to moisturize your hands as you knit. I’ll keep you posted.

And just for fun:

arkansas-parking-brake

I dub it the Arkansas Parking Brake.