Tuesday, December 27, 2011

KDYS - Queue and WIPs

Happy New Year! I'm excited about this year of knitting down my stash. I've gotten skeptical looks from my husband and my knitting friends but I think I'm up for the challenge.

To start the project off, I have organized my stash and I have donated/given away yarn that I know I will never use. I also finally realized that you have to mark yarn in your stash "Used" when you use it all up. How many years have I been on Ravelry and I'm still learning. So the official stash count is 130.

I have 49 project in my queue (on Ravelry)  and 13 projects in my WIPs (Works in Progress).

My WIPs are a variety of projects from sweaters to socks and were started yesterday or in some cases, 3 years ago. For those of you on Ravelry, you can check them out. For those of you not on Ravelry, here is the run down.

O W L S for Yarn Mart KAL - started 1/1/2012
Nuvem - started 11/3/2011 for KAL at Yarn Mart
Baby Blanket for the Rattermans - started 12/10/2011
Spectrum Scarf KAL - started 10/13/2011
Grove Mitten Version 2 - started 9/8/2011
Graphic Sox - started 08/16/2011 for example for 2 socks on 1 circ class
Momma's Market Bag - started 7/7/2011
Dress for Julienne's Baby - started 6/4/2011
Huron for a Girl - started 1/11/11
Noro Lace Cover Up - started 10/10/2010
Socks for Van 2 - started 08/05/2010
Beret for Me - started 02/20/2009

Revision on Stash Count

Arrive over 3 years of using Ravelry, I just discovered that you have to mark stash yarn as "used up" once you have used it up.

So my stash count is really 129 instead of 142.

Knit Down Your Stash in a Year!

I'm a project person. I need a project to occupy my thoughts and my actions. Don't get me wrong - I love a day on the couch watching movies and knitting but I need something to be in charge of and I need to feel that I'm working toward a large goal. Opening a museum, designing a new kitchen, organizing a closet - all of these activities involve planning, thought, and execution. And I get a great rush from these activities. But a lot of my projects involve spending money. I'm looking for a project that is nicer to the wallet.

So for 2012 I'm going to knit down my yarn stash. For the non-knitters out there, knitters buy yarn and lots of it. Often it is not for a specific project - you just love the yarn, the color, the texture and you have to have it. I buy a lot of stash yarn on vacation when we visit other local yarn shops. I buy stash yarn because it is a good deal. I've even bought stash yarn that I have the pattern for and I'm going to start the project next and then something comes up and it joins the rest of the stash yarn. Where do I keep all this yarn?? Well, under beds and in closets mostly. I store it in plastic bags or in plastic containers. I know what I have thanks to Ravelry and the amazing stash feature there. As you can see from the screen shot below, I have 142 different yarns in my stash. That's not 142 balls of yarn - that's 142 different types of yarn. That's a lot of yarn.

My plan is this - I will select a yarn at random (depending my mood) and I will find a pattern and start knitting. The majority of my stash yarn is already tied to a pattern or project so this should not be difficult. What will be difficult is finishing the project. I'm a process knitter, not a project knitter. This means I enjoy the process of knitting rather than the joy of completing a project. When I get bored, I simply move on to the next project that catches my eye. Some might call it ADD Knitting and it results in a lot of UFOs (Unfinished Objects).  My husband gently reminders me from time to time about the pair of socks I started knitting for him about 4 years ago.

But the goal of this project is to actually finish projects. I'm not saying that I will begin one project and work on only that one until it is finished. I would be setting myself up for failure if that was the scenario. The goal is to use yarn that I actually already have and not buy more for a little while. That will be the real challenge.

Sunday, January 1, 2012 I will start a new project and continue working on several project I need to complete. I'll post about the projects I'm working on and the achievements and struggles. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I hope I will.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm back

Dear Breckinridge Diaries Readers,

I'm back. I apologize for the long silence but I've been super busy. First I've been spending the majority of my computer time redesigning the website for our local yarn shop. You can find my handy work at www.theyarnmart.com. I also started a e-newsletter for the shop and that has increased sales which is excellent for any small business during these difficult economic times. I have started a blog for the shop and my limited blogging time has been devoted to their blog.

But I'm back to my blog with couple of project to keep you reading. First I'm jumped back into my Breckinridge research and I'm making some new discoveries and solving some mysteries. I made a major breakthrough last week when I finally located the land that Katherine Breckinridge's birth home stood. I'll blog more details in the future but this was huge.

My other big project is "Knit Down Your Stash In A Year." I have a huge stash and last weekend I got it all out to organize it and add my most recent purchases. My husband commented "can you knit with some of this yarn? why are you always buying new?" He was really just teasing me but he had a point. I do buy yarn at a much faster rate than I can knit it. So 2012 is the year of the stash reduction. I've challenged myself not only to knit it down but to finish the projects I start. Much in the same vein of Sweater Quest and The Julie/Julia Project. I'll update the blog with my progress. It all starts in January.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rowan Love

When I first started knitting, I was drawn to Rowan yarns and patterns. Maybe it is because they are English and I love all things English. But to me (as a new knitter and still today), Rowan is the epitome of luxury yarn and elegant patterns. Rowan is selling a lifestyle or the hope of a life style. The first time I saw the price on a Rowan Magazine, I was shocked but then I discovered that it's more than a magazine. It's beautiful photography, patterns that take your breath away and a moment inside a dream world. It's like reading Jane Austen, or the Bronte sisters, or Wordsworth.

I first bought Rowan yarn only on ebay or on sale at LYSs. It was more or less for me to look at and cherish. I needed to find the right project to knit it into - it couldn't be misused. This beret was my first "Rowan" project. I got the pattern off Ravelry and ordered the yarn from a LYS in Massachusetts. I used the exact yarn and colors that the pattern called for because I loved the overall look of the finished beret. Knitting with Rowan is a dream. Wonderful stitch definition. Soft and easy on the hands.

Now I have purchased my first Rowan Knitting Magazine. Number 41 to be exact. On ebay. I'm so excited. I can't wait for it to get here so I can begin dreaming of living on a remote farm in the English countryside and knitting beautiful things with beautiful yarn.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What I've been up to...

Wow - it has been a whole month since my last post and so much as happened.

First this happened,

Chicago walking into the building - I work there.

Then this,

Member of Chicago warming up. All the guys were super nice.
Then there was this,

Chicago sound check.
Then a few people stopped by,

The Ragin' Cajun was appropriately dressed.
And a few more people stopped by,

Then they went out front to say a few words,

Then they came back in,

Then we all headed down the street for some fun,

And listen to some more music,

All in all it was a good day - very tiring - but good.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Knitting Inspired by Missoni

To continue the "obsessed with blanket" trend, I was inspired by fibre space's blog post about Missoni.Yet another colorful blanket that is on target and trend this season. (Pun intended!) I like fibre space's suggest that Berroco Vintage has the right colors and the right texture to make this blanket sing. And with Vintage you get almost double the yardage of the suggested yarn - making the yarn cost lower and the number of ends to weave in fewer. But Vintage's color are more variegated than the yarn used by the designer. I'm going to have to ponder this one.