Sewing Love Challenge

I loved doing the yarnlovechallenge , it encouraged me to think about my yarn and knitting and inspired me. It was almost like an online knitting group with the show and tell. It was nice to see everyone elses projects and prompts. This inspired me to think about my sewing and in the spirit of and inspired by it, I am going to do my own #sewinglovechallenge2018  in April.  I  searched social media to see if there was something similar for sewists but I could not find any that fitted the profile exactly or closely enough. I have done the prep work, brainstormed ideas for daily subjects with friends and written them all on small pieces of paper , these are being put into a Jar and pulled out at random to choose the subjects. There will still be an intro for the first day but the rest are up for choosing, my Instagramunnamed

 

 

 

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Weird

Today I am in the strange position of not having anything on the needles. The cove cardigan pictured below is finally finished,its more of a coat than a cardigan and I have 3 or 4 blankets to finish, but there are no squares on the needles so it is just weird. I really want to start a new project, but, as usual there aren’t any patterns in my vast library that jump out and say knit me. Well that’s not strictly true. I have grabbed a few balls from the stash I want to use these and it is for these yarns I can’t find the “knit me” pattern. I don’t want to knit a pattern I have knitted previously, I want to knit a new one. I keep going back to a new one I would need to buy, but why, why, why does this always happen when you have shelves full of patterns ?

Doing things in reverse Part 1

After abstaining for a few years, I finally succumbed to my friends request to go to the Knitting and Stitching show at Alexandra Palace, more commonly known as Ally Pally. Regular readers will know I have been trying to down size my craft stash for a few years. The yarn stash has halved but the fabric stash doesn’t seem to be moving at all.

Anyways,back to Ally Pally. We started the day with a lovely breakfast before the show opened so we were raring to go when the doors opened. We had a plan, to start at the far end and walk up and down each aisle. I was prepared, I had a short shopping list, I fell at the first aisle. The Lovliest Yarn Company had a lovely shawl in the, most, gorgeous, soft yarn, Juniper Moon Farm Herriot. It was love at first touch, 100% baby alpaca, so soft, so scrumptious, my will power went and I purchased the yarn to knit the shawl. The shawl on display was in green and I almost bought that colour but decided against it and went with……. red.

I was okay for a while and concentrated on hunting for the items on my list, I found the bobbins for my sewing machine , then it was the hunt for boys patterns, Harry’s red yarn and magazine subscriptions. If I am going to subscribe to a magazine, I prefer to do it at one of the shows. The price is generally a bit better and normally the free gift is much better than getting it through an offer in the magazine. Unfortunately most of them were doing three issues for a pound or six pound and then a rolling quarterly subscription which I don’t want. I prefer to pay for an annual subscription with a one off payment , so if I don’t require it after the year , there’s nothing to do, it just ends. Knitting magazine however were doing a fabulous deal. They gave you the current issue, a ten ball yarn pack, out of a choice of two and a years subscription of 13 issues for £50. My yarn choice was the mixed colour Stylecraft Super Chunky Special XL. This is destined to be hats and scarves for various family members.It also came with six pattern books, which I gave to a friend.


Harry yarn was next on the list. When I told Harry I was going to the knitting and stitching show, he asked me to get him some red yarn to knit him a sweater. As I have loads in the stash, I didn’t want to pay too much and I pounced on a bag of King Cole Galaxy chunky at Black Sheep yarns, it was only when photographing the yarn tonight, I realised I have made a boo boo. The yarn has sequins in it. Doh, I guess this is now Evalyns.


I have already started the Touch Me shawl pattern which is a free pattern on Ravelry, if  you want an easy shawl, relaxing to knit and looks good, knit this, I cannot praise this pattern enough. This is where I am doing things in reverse. I am planning on making and using the yarn and fabrics I bought at the Knitting and Stitching show instead of adding it to the stash and using the stash first.  There are still some bits from stash on the needles but I need to use these new bits first.

2016 The Year of the Clubs

For me this year seems to be the year of clubs and knit a longs -KAL. I signed up to a mystery mitten KAL but never got around to starting it. I signed up to Fiddlesticks mystery shawl which I am not sure if I will be actually knitting but we are only on clue one. As usual I am knitting Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket, not that I need anything to sell it to me but it was the lace knitting that sold it. I am on track so far but it’s only been one month. I love this years colours and theme so far.

Late last year I discover Erin Lane Bags, they are doing a Year of Winter ending in Christmas club. Alternate months you get a kit and a project bag based around the Narnia characters. I am knitting the Peter hat already and have to say the yarn included with it (Holiday yarn) is gorgeous to knit with. The project bag is very good quality and I would buy one from them.  It is a nice easy design and I will be using this as my travel and hospital project.Peters hat

 

The Kindred Spirit Shawl is still in progress but as it is such a pleasant easy knit, this is my mindless knitting so is being picked up between projects.

Stash busting 2016

I have been very busy crafting this year. I have been off work because of a chest infection which means that I have had time to finish some items. Harry’s pirate sweater has been finished. The shawl I have made for my daughters wedding has been blocked and I have knitted a couple of rows for the vibrant sweater. I do enjoy knitting the vibrant sweater however, as soon as I start making mistakes I stop and come back to when my mind is clearer.

This year I still plan on only knitting and sewing from stash, but this has got me thinking. I always try and stash bust only knitting  and sewing from stash, but what about new books and patterns? Should I also only knit and sew from these? It has me in a bit of a dilemma. You know how it can be , you want to use a particular yarn but you can’t find a pattern to match in your personal library. You log in to Ravelry and find the perfect pattern for it, if you’re lucky it’s a download , if not you purchase the book.  What should one do? I know there are people who say don’t worry about it , but with three ful to the brim tall, wide bookcases surely I must have a pattern to use .

Today’s fall from the pattern stash busting was for Tilli Tomas Symphony Lace. I have the American Beauty colour way, a gorgeous red with matching beads. It is a lace weight yarn and really needs something simple to do it justice. This is one yarn whose beauty would detract if there was an intricate pattern. I had a wrap/scarf pattern I would use but it didn’t jump out at me to say knit me. I found the perfect pattern in Kindred Spirits by Boo Knits. This a simple but elegant patten which will do the yarn justice. I can’t wait to start it.

So that was yet another pattern bought because I didn’t find inspiration amongst the thousands of patterns I own. Then I discovered two balls of Aran yarn which I thought would make a great top for one of the grandchildren. Once again I couldn’t, find a pattern for this. I did find a really nice one buy on Ravelry but on this occasion I am going to hold off buying it until I have knitted another item for them from stash both yarn and pattern. If I can’t find a pattern for it in my library I am going to donate it to a good cause. I am still undecided as to whether I should be buying anymore patterns but I feel that if I buy a new pattern book I need to destash an old one. I need to be more ruthless with my books. There is no point in having a book where you know you will not be knitting any projects from it and even looking through takes less than a minute. I love physical books but If I feel I have too many it’s time to donate them to a good cause. Most will go to the charity shops or craft groups and some will go to people I meet who are new to the craft to inspire them.

 

Working on a PHD or two

In this case my PHD stands for Projects Half Done! I still have a number of sewing projects to be done but I am working slowly but surely on the vibrant sweater by Marie Wallin’s from an issue of Vogue Knitting. I only have the body to knit and am aiming to knit a minimum of two rounds per week. Cosy by Kim Hargeaves is going well and I only have the front to knit. This years Mystery Blanket by Debbie Abrahams has made progress but I started to get a little bored so I have shelved this for the moment and have decided not to knit next years even though I know I will regret it at some point. Although I still have a number of projects on the go I have decided to cast on a pair of socks so that I can knit them at work. That has to be mindless knitting.
The gorgeous Liberty Alice In Wonderland fabric has been made in to a summer dress/tunic ( well some of it ), unfortunately the to do list from my previous list is unchanged. I also have to sew some bunting for my cousins gorgeous son Jacob Oliver . I also need to sew some for my adorable grandaughter,
The craft culling is going well although I am getting into my card making again so I need to be careful I don’t splash out on card stuff. I really need a good day so I can pull out everything from the workshop and sort out my notions.
When my grandson was born I made him some taggies which he never used. They just never appealed to him, his younger sister on the other hand cannot sleep with out one. She only likes one of them, it is in a Rowan fabric nd it is the fabric that she likes. Luckily I still had some of the fabric so for her birthday I made another 5. One for each grandparents house and car and a spare phew

SABLE

I have reached the point where I believe (according to the boxes in the shed and Ravelry) I have SABLE. For those not in the know SABLE stands for: Stash Approaching Beyond Life Expectancy. There are only so many lace weight shawls I will be knitting. I have been semi ruthless with the yarn and am going to choose certain yarns to keep and destash. All Rowan Wool Cotton, Wool Cotton 4ply , Cotton Glace and Felted Tweed will stay. Oh nearly forget the pure wool worsted is a definite keeper. All the Cashsoft and Cashcotton will go. I am undecided about the Handknit Cotton  and the Denim as I know I have a few blankets I want to knit, which is a bit of a laugh as I have only knitted one square of this year mystery blanket and still have last years to finish. I am working it out on meterage. I would rather sell off my mainstream yarns with the exception of those mentioned and keep the yarns from independent dyers and spinners. In my stash there is so much lace and 4ply yarn for shawls in the most amazing fibres that I picked up at various yarn shows including the marvellous I Knit shows and Knit Nation. I do not know why I have so much Rowan Kidsilk Haze in all it’s formations. Actually that’s a lie. I do know why I have so much I can’t resist it’s colours especially when it’s reduced. Fair enough however I am not a fan of knitting with it. Go figure. I have decided I am allowed to keep one nine litre box of KSH incase I get a change of heart. Even with the indie dyers I am looking hard at the colourways and if it’s not really my colour I am going to lose it.

I probably have SABLE for fabric too but fabric can be used quicker and this year I aim to sew lots of tops and dresses for myself. I have some gorgeous fabric, Liberty’s, Laura Ashley, Rose and Hubble, Some is vintage, some is …ahem, new. I have some fabric I don’t particularly like so will be using these to test new patterns so that if it doesn’t work out I won’t have wasted any fabric and of it does it saved me money buying more fabric for a toile. Wish me luck and watch this space