This past year I’ve been working really hard on getting my ducks in a row and one of the things that I did somewhat subconsciously was to do a lot of the knitting I’ve done this year from yarn I already own. In the knitting community this is referred to as Knitting from Stash. I consider ‘Stash’ to be any yarn that is either a year or so old, or yarn that was purchased with no particular project in mind. That being said, I have a fair amount of ‘stash’ but it’s tiny comparatively speaking. But since what I have isn’t being compared to what others have, I decided that since I only buy what I love and I bought the yarn in my stash, I must love it and therefore want to knit it up.
I’ve knit pretty close to 10,000 yards of yarn this year (and we’re not done yet). That’s equal to about 9 KM or 6 miles. I’ve been reasonably diligent, mostly in the back half of the year. The first half of the year saw me knit about 2600 yards in new purpose purchased yarn, which is great! I knit a sweater and a shawl that make up about 2/3 of that total.
The rest was knit with yarn that was purchased over a year ago… I’m still working on knitting with yarn I already own… but this weekend was the big fibre festival and my stash needed a little enhancement.
I’ve just taken up spinning for real on my spinning wheel… I’m not that good at it yet, but I’m planning on taking a class and then I think it’s off to the races. I can get yarn out of it, but it’s not good yarn and I think I just need a bit of technical help.
So part of my purchases this weekend included wool to spin my own yarn. I’m not interested in spinning enough for a sweater or anything so I bought little bits that I can use to hone my skills and then knit mitts or use for trim on a shawl.
The top three were purchased from Caliope’s Fibre (spelled the Canadian way because she, and I, are Canadian!)
These are three layered batts with a base of wool and then sparkles and noils and everything lovely sandwiched in. These are likely not ‘practice’ pieces as I’d like to get some good looking yarn out of them. The fourth picture is a Shetland batt with some colorful silk threads added in. I bought it from Everything Old. Both ladies were very charming and talented!
The next two skeins I bought were one each from Caliope and Everything Old. Caliope’s is a self striping handspun yarn that is one stripe of a soft mint green/soft yellow bamboo and then one stripe of a crazier ribbony multi fibre… I don’t know what to do with it yet because I have to swatch (*gasp*) to see how the stripes work out. The one I bought from Everything Old is a 100% BFL in a colorway called Film Noir. It was one of the reasons I went back to the show the second day. It’s mostly gray with some red splashes thrown in and I think it will look amazing as a pair of mittens. It’s a bit washed out in this photo but it’s gorgeous in real life!
I also bought a skein of yarn that was dyed by local dyer Sweet Georgia, specifically for the show. The colorway is gorgeous and it actually screams Vancouver to me…
Here it’s shown wound into a ball (half a ball) and then knit into a partial mitt. Unfortunately I have to rip that mitt out and reknit it on a bigger needle. The fabric is gorgeous but a little bullet proof for mittens… Plus, on those small needles, the row gauge is off and they’re going to be pretty short!
In that top picture of everything together there’s also a cute little owl hat and some colored sticks… the colored sticks are actually colored pencils with felt balls on top. My plan is to use them as shawl pins altho in trying this morning, it is clear that the tips need a little sandpaper… they’re a bit rough for soft wool!
The hat was a bit of a lark… I was playing around trying it on and the artist was trying to convince me to buy it (for $30, which is perfectly reasonable for a hand knit wool hat). I wanted to I told her but I only had $10 cash dollars left… and that’s when she said she’d take my ten bux and I could have the hat because she wanted it to go to a loving home! I love the owl hat… he needs a bath because some jerk spilled coffee on him right before I bought him but I can wash that out no problem.
That’s pretty much the extent of my weekend… I’m hoping to make connection with someone I know that will teach me how to use my spinning wheel and then I will press my Mickey Mouse apron in to service and start spinning! (apron because otherwise you end up covered in wool).
I have no guilt about how much I bought at all! Also, someone (wise) mentioned that ‘souvenier yarn doesn’t count’ so there’s that too!