365 Days Handmade

Making life a better place, one day at a time


1 Comment

Day 355/365: One Last Yarn Splurge

Sean and I left Ventura and drove back up to Morro Bay this afternoon.  When we pulled into our driveway, I saw the rocking chair on the porch and felt immensely grateful to be living in such a safe neighborhood.

12.21.2015a

Four of the packages were Christmas presents.  The large pillow-shaped one on top, though, was the Attic 24 Sunny Yarn Pack that I ordered online from Wool Warehouse just last week Sunday.  I was surprised that it arrived so soon.  It came from England, and I had expected about ten days for delivery.

12.21.2015b

I’d been trying to resist ordering it, but seeing Lucy’s progress with the Sunny Crochet-Along on her website Attic 24 totally sold me.

As you know, I am currently crocheting the Coastal Ripples afghan that she designed.  Having the Sunny Pack waiting in the wings is now a good motivator for me to finish the Coastal Ripples afghan by the end of this year.  Luckily, I have some vacation time coming up.  I am very much looking forward to the holidays.

 

Advertisements


1 Comment

Day 271/365: Cherry Cola, Revisited

Remember the Cherry Cola crocheted afghan?  I’d planned to make it a large afghan that I could use as a blanket when I watched TV on the couch.  The problem was that, the more I added crocheted rows to it, the more the afghan became bulky and unwieldy.  When I pulled it over myself for a test run on the couch, it stretched and was too hole-y for my taste.  It just wouldn’t do as a crocheted afghan.

So I did what a lot of other people won’t do:  I accepted the fact that I’d hit a dead end with this project.  For all the hours I put into crocheting it, I knew I wouldn’t use this afghan.  I didn’t want to waste the yarn, so I spent the afternoon frogging it.

And then casting on for a new project…

9.28.2015


3 Comments

Day 263/365: The Failed Felted Bowl

I got it in my head that I wanted to make a felted bowl.  So I looked through the yarn stash and picked out two skeins of wool that I thought would go well together.  I tried knitting first and then decided that crocheting would produce a sturdier bowl.  It didn’t take too long to finish a small bowl shape.  I threw it in some hot water and soap, did some scrubbing and agitation by hand, and then tossed the wet bowl in the dryer with some socks and towels.

Unfortunately, the bowl did not turn out as well as I’d hoped.  I think the lesson to be learned from this is that you have to use super bulky yarn and not two strands of medium weight yarn.  And rather than some half-assed scrubbing, you’ve got to really rough it up in the felting process.

9.20.2015


Leave a comment

Day 125/365: The Afghan That’s Making Me Buy More Yarn

I know I said that I was only going to knit and crochet using yarn from the stash.  I even took photos of said stash to remind myself of just how much yarn I own.

As you know, I started my latest afghan project with yarn that I picked out of the stash.  Now I’m three skeins into it with three skeins left, and I realized that I have A Predicament.

5.5.2015

This is what three skeins of crocheted Red Heart Soft Baby Steps yarn look like.

The length is perfectly appropriate for an adult-sized afghan, but as you can see from the photo, three skeins of yarn do not produce enough width to cover a lap.  Three more skeins would add roughly double the width, but it still wouldn’t be wide enough to suit my taste.  So I had two choices:  Unravel the thing and start over with different dimensions, or buy more yarn.

I think you already know that I went with the second option.

Luckily, I was able to find more skeins of this particular colorway on eBay.  Now I can only hope that the dye lots will match, or at least come close.


2 Comments

Day 87/365: The Day I Broke Up With A Sweater

Remember when I was knitting this sweater last month?  I got tired of knitting in the round and set it aside.  I thought I should finish it, but there wasn’t any joy in the process.

I started and finished other projects, and in the meantime, that partially completed sweater remained sleeveless with half a torso.  It was taking up space in both my living room and in my conscience.

Today I made a decision.  I had to be completely honest with myself, and the truth was I didn’t care about finishing that sweater.  And even if I did, I knew I wouldn’t wear it.  There was just no real reason for me to keep knitting when my heart wasn’t in it.  I had no real love for the sweater.

I ended up doing this:

3.26.2015A

Goodbye, sweater that I would never have worn anyway. Goodbye, hours and hours of knitting around and around in stockinette stitch.

In under five minutes, I managed to unravel the whole thing into a couple of flat-bottomed balls.

And you know what?  I’m totally okay with it.  In fact, I feel less burdened.  That sweater was one more piece of clutter that I could remove from my life with no dire consequences.

Now if I could only tackle the hundreds of other pieces of clutter in the rest of my home…

3.26.2015B


13 Comments

Day 82/365: The Day I Show You My Stash

I started this blog back in January for several reasons.  One reason was that I had accumulated way too much yarn over the last dozen years.  A second reason was that I had too many unfinished knitted projects.  For 2015, I resolved to either finish those projects, or else frog them and wind the yarn back into balls.  I resolved to reduce the amount of yarn in my stash by either knitting or crocheting useful and pretty things that I could then either keep or give away.  I would document my progress in the blog, and once I went public, I’d really have to commit.

I mentioned these reasons to a few non-knitting, non-crocheting friends on a few separate occasions, and their reactions were all pretty much the same:  “Really?  You have that much yarn?”

Yes, I have that much yarn.

I have sock yarn, from the fairly inexpensive stuff you can purchase at chain craft stores, to the really expensive hand-dyed extrafine merino wool that they sell at independent shops with “Fine Yarns” added to the store’s name.

3.23.2015

I have balls and skeins.

3.23.2015A

I have Peruvian wool, lamb’s wool, merino wool, silk, cashmere, and super kid mohair.

They come from Romania or Japan, Italy or Germany, Wales or other places in the United Kingdom.  The labels and brands vary from the small and obscure to the names you know, like Noro, Cascade, Crystal Palace, Classic Elite, Karabella, Debbie Bliss, Berroco.

3.23.2015B

I have cotton, linen, and bamboo.

3.23.2015C

I have cotton-linen blends, and acrylic-cotton blends.

I have 100% acrylic that is made a lot softer now than the old scratchy stuff from back in the day.

3.23.2015F

3.23.2015E

I have a lot of yarn.

3.23.2015D

This is a stash that grew out of the last twelve years, starting in 2003 when I left my full-time teaching job and went back to graduate school to pursue a new career.  When I look at each ball or skein, I can remember where it came from and the general time in my life when I bought that particular yarn, whether it was during the MACP or PsyD program, pre-doc or post-doc, the dissertation, the internship year, the interminably anxiety-ridden months of licensing exams, or post-full-time-permanent-state-job status.

Now I can breathe in relief that those stressful years are behind me.  I’m happy in my present time.  And I have enough yarn today to keep myself knitting and crocheting right into retirement.