2015 (yarn) stash flash and plans

Over on Ravelry, there’s a thread every year to show off your yarn stash.  I figured it’d be fun to show off what I have here (at least the bits that aren’t in WIPs) and talk a little bit about my plans for said yarn this year.

I will preface this by saying I have a fairly small stash and I like it that way — I’m finding that I prefer to buy enough for several projects in one go, and not buy yarn without a project in mind.

2015 Stash FlashI also labeled it by weight because I was a bit surprised by the nice variety of weights I have:

2015 Stash Flash w labelsOne of my big goals this year in terms of my knitting and crochet is to get through a lot of my old yarn that I bought without a project in mind.  I’d also like to make several of the projects I bought yarn for last year, as well, of course!  At the moment, I’ve got 13 skeins or partial skeins of yarn that were not bought with a particular project in mind, and 24 skeins or partial skeins that were bought with a project in mind (plus two partial skeins of black and white acrylic that are designated scrap yarn).

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I’m back

Well, it ended up taking a lot longer than I’d anticipated to get back to blogging after my vacation. I’m pleased to report that I did finish knitting my brother’s gloves in time to give them to him for Christmas:

2015 01-19 B's gloves

He approves.

I also did some more work on my Morning Flight cross stitch over the break, and got as far as adding the first full crosses!
2015 01-19 Full crosses

This is what it looked like before I took it off the frame:

2015 01-19 Morning Flight

I took it off the frame to begin work on the Save the Stitches blackwork sampler (free pattern available at Blackwork Journey). It’s a sampler of 131 different blackwork stitches, with multiple variations of each stitch.  I plan on finishing it as a wall hanging, probably with a black fabric border. This is one and a half of the 24 blocks making up the pattern:

2015 Save the stitches
(Sorry for the slight fuzziness — it turns out to be quite a difficult pattern to photograph for me.)

Holiday crafting progress report

Well, I’ve made a fair bit of progress on my brother’s fingerless gloves, although I’d like to be further along:

12-8-14 B glove

Part of the issue is that, now that I’ve finished Lily’s bed, I’m not feeling like knitting as much anymore. This means I’ve gone back to my Morning Flight cross stitch and made quite a bit of progress:

I’m realizing that the blues I’ve been working on are make up a huge part of the cross stitching in that pattern, so while I’m only barely into the number of colors I need to work, I’m pretty far into the total number of stitches

12-8-14 Morning Flight.

Good news/Bad news

First the bad news.  The knitting needle I’d bought for my Ocean Currents Rug broke!  The tip just snapped off the cable while I was working with it.  It’s been sent off to the manufacturer for replacement, but until I get a new one, there’s not going to be any rug progress.

To make up for it, I’ve had a fair bit of knitting good news.  I have a couple of projects I want to complete in the next year or two that I didn’t have the yarn for, so I put in an order and got it the other day.

I got some Supersocke self-striping sock yarn in the Mali Color Golden Shades to use in a colorwork sock along with some black yarn I already had:

I’m not quite sure why I was so drawn to this yarn — it’s not a color I’d normally pick, but as soon as I saw it, I knew I wanted to use it in that pattern.

I also got some Cascade Heritage sock yarn in Como Blue for another colorwork sock with my black yarn:

All the pictures I’d seen of this yarn showed it as blue, but it’s a fairly green-leaning blue-green.  The picture here is the best I could get, but it’s not green enough.  I’m slightly disappointed it’s not the color I was envisioning, but it should work out okay.

I’ve been wanting some custom fit gloves out of a very fine yarn, so I got some Malabrigo Lace in the color Vaa, which is super soft:

And finally, I bought someFilatura Di Crosa Nirvana lace weight yarn in Dark Teal for a lace shawl I’ve been wanting to make:

It’s super squishy and the perfect color!

As if that package wasn’t good enough news, I also finished the bed I’ve been working on for Lily for the last five and a half months.  She likes it:

In fact, she likes it more than she likes sleeping on the couch next to me!

(Click on any picture for more information on Ravelry.)

Refocusing

I’ve not blogged for a couple of weeks, due to a combination of begin busy and working on non-photogenic projects.  Please accept this photo of Lily “assisting” me with cutting out a pair of pajama pants as an apology:

You weren't planning on using this any time soon, were you?
You weren’t planning on using this any time soon, were you?

This year has gone very fast for me, and now that it’s December, I’m realizing I really need to focus on my christmas projects… I have five things I’d like to get done before christmas:

1) A pair of fingerless gloves for my little brother.  I’m using the lovely Hidden Gusset pattern from Knitty and some grey Regia sock yarn.

12-1-14 B gloveThis one is probably the most important to me, although knowing my brother, he’d find a glove and a half (still on the needles) under the tree hilarious.  I’d prefer to avoid that, however.

2) A knight on horseback hand puppet from an ancient kit I’ve got.  So far I’ve finished the horse and just need to make the knight.

12-1-14 Horse12-1-14 horse headLook at that cute (or maybe slightly disturbing…) face!  This one needs to be done by Dec 15 if it’s going to get done, as I don’t want to try to finish it at my parents’ house.  It’s not critical that it get done, either.

3) A dragon hand puppet from a similar kit.  This is the one I was working on earlier, but it got put on hold for a bit due to misplacing some of the pieces.  I’ve got them, so I just need to finish it.

Dragon projectLike above, this needs to get done by Dec 15 or not for this year.

4) Chocolate truffles.  I made truffles from How to Cook That‘s chocolate truffle recipes last year, and they were amazing, so I’m going to make them again (I’m planning on making orange, raspberry, caramel, and hazelnut praline).  I can’t start them until I get to my parents’ house, but I do need to write out the ingredient lists in advance so we can get everything we need.

5) Christmas crackers.  I always make homemade crackers to pull.  Like the truffles, this will be done at my parents’ house sometime between the 15th and the 25th.  I need to make some extra crackers this year, so I’ll try to get photographs of the whole process and put up a tutorial on this blog.  While I don’t need to start the crackers themselves yet, I do need to make some extra prizes at some point, which I can do now.

My projects for this year’s holidays work out pretty well, as I have some to do in the next two weeks, and some to do the two weeks after that.  I think I can get them all done, and as long as the gloves, truffles, and crackers get done, I’ll be okay.

What (if any) holiday crafting are you doing?  Or are you more organized than I am and are already done?

What to do with origami paper you no longer want, part 2

Back when I was doing a lot of origami, I picked up a pack of this rainbow paper:

11-12-14 PaperUnfortunately, it’s not the best for origami, as inevitably you get a lot of red and blue showing but not a lot of the rainbow.  I was looking at it recently, thinking how it’d be a really easy way to make rainbow paper beads.

I made some large oblong ones and some itty bitty round ones (with my hand for size reference):

11-12-14 ScaleHowever, I can’t decide which type I like better.  What do you all think?

Rug, week 6

This past week, I’ve taken the rug with me on a couple of days when I knew I was going to be sitting around for quite a while.  I ended up putting in about 3,000 stitches on each of those days!

Rug Wk 6It’s now big enough that I’ve been leaving it on the floor when I’m not working on it.

Also, I realized I’ve not linked to the pattern in my last couple of updates.  It’s the Ocean Currents Rug, just a little bit larger (details on my Ravelry project page if anyone else is thinking of doing similar).

I can’t believe I’m saying this…

…but I’m getting kind of sick of blue.

I’ve made quite a lot of progress on my cross stitch in the past couple of weeks:

11-7-14 Morning FlightHowever, most of it is in that bottom right section that’s so. much. blue.  The shades are super close and a bit annoying to keep track of…

11-7-14 Morning Flight closeupOn the other hand, some of the sections are fully filled in and I’m getting closer and closer to changing to the next color!

Hardanger embroidery

Today’s post brought to you by the serendipitous discovery of both a hardanger tutorial on YouTube and hardanger cloth in my cross stitch fabric stash.

11-5-14 HardangerIt was my first time doing any sort of cut work embroidery, but I think it came out really well and it didn’t take very long.  I did adapt the tutorial slightly, as I wanted my piece a little bit larger than it would have come out, and I wanted to preserve a section of the cut and pulled threads show the texture.  I highly recommend the tutorial if you’re interested in giving hardanger a try!