A Tale of Two Projects

I am currently knitting two projects (not including those in the UFO pile), my Cove Cardigan, which has been on the needles far too long and a Slip stitch scarf. They are very different project with yarns of completely different weights  and fibres. I knitted both this evening and whilst I enjoyed both, a realisation came to me. A light bulb moment if you like.  I knit them in a different way. The cove Cardigan, I enjoy the first few rows and then whilst I still enjoy knitting it , it is more about getting finished and becomes a bit of a chore.  The slip stitch scarf is a a soothing pattern to knit, I’m not sure if it’s the simpleness of the pattern or the yarn- Manos De Uruguay  Nanu- or the thin needles. The slip stitch scarf is so relaxing and enjoyable to knit, I am definitely knitting this one for pleasure . My only concern is how long the yarn will last.

It’s funny how different projects give you different experiences, both have wonderful yarns. For the Cove cardigan I am using the sadly discontinued Rowan British Sheep Breeds Chunky in a gorgeous undyed Shetland colour. The slip stitch scarf is knitted in  a silk, merino bamboo blend. It is deliciously soft and smooth. I am using a mid grey and deep blue. This pattern could be the one to use up all those skeins of sock yarn.

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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.

Not So Happy New Year

It is February, and I have to say I am very happy to see the back of January. I spent most of January sick with a recurring chest infection. I am still on antibiotics and a little breathless but I am on the mend. I wasn’t the only family member sick and it was touch and go at one point. More on this at a later date.

The de-stashing has been going very well despite this. It was a case of sitting on the floor with a pile of books and magazines for half hour periods , ruthlessly putting them in a charity bag or a few back on the shelf. I managed to donate over 6 large bin bags full of knitting, sewing, quilting books and magazines. These were donated to our local Community Learning Partnership who help people learn new crafts amongst other things. I also donated some fabric, yarn, sewing patterns with fabric that I had cut out to make for Evalyn that would be too small for her now.  It still doesn’t feel enough as there doesn’t seem much room on the shelves but it’s a start.

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.