Friday, 31 January 2014

Stashdown #1 2014

This month was not so much a stashdown as a stash up. And February will be the same! I must knit knit knit to get all this incoming yarn down, if I'm to end the year at nil net increase.

I bought this yarn in January:

831 laceweight to make a shawl (on the needles already)
693 yards of KP palette for my colourwork mittens.
680 yards of Sirdar country style dk. Really, half of this was a mistake! I bought the wrong colour (online shopping!) so I had to get more. Still, it's always useful to  have dk in stock.
110 yards of WoTA for a very long term plan, which has slipped back again now so I didn't really need this yet. Oh well.

Altogether that is 2314 yards in.

About 60 yards of dk scraps on three small items. Here's one of them - a bluebird for happiness!

234 yards of 4 ply, including some of the Palette, making my colourwork mittens. They used five colours, but I only bought three, so it was partially a stashdown project. Of course, colourwork leaves lots of leftovers, but it was pretty nice yarn to work with so I think I shall use it in more projects.
130 yards of the Sirdar dk on my honey for tea cosy.
150 yards of the Sirdar dk on a waffle hat, made for a quidditch match. Ds is wearing it to school, so that has turned out to be very useful.

Total out: 578 yards.

End month net (which is also YTD): +1736.

Honey for tea cosy

I knitted a tea cosy this week. 

The designer wrote that she was inspired by the poem, The Old Vicarage at Grantchester by Rupert Brooke, specifically the last two lines, which read

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there still honey for tea? 

If you want to read the whole of the poem, you can find an annotated version here

Brooke is best known for his sonnet that begins "If I should die, think only this of me..." which he wrote during the First World War. He wrote this one whilst he was in Germany before the war, so it isn't really a war poem (although it perhaps contains a little foreshadowing) but it is a poem full of nostalgia and homesickness. 

Anyway, my tea cosy is like a honeycomb. I knitted the bees for it as specified for one side, but on the other, I sewed some bee buttons I had. 

Which side do you like best?

Friday, 24 January 2014

Patchwork Apron

Patchwork Apron by secrettrail

Remember last year, when I was given a book called Everything Oz and I said I wanted to make a patchwork apron? I finally got around to it!

It is very difficult to get pictures of me that are OK for sharing on the web. Honestly, none of my family members seem to be very good at holding the camera still. So the ones of me in it are a bit blurred, as in this example:

I enjoyed making this, but if I make it again, I would cut the piece a lot shorter. I took off 10 cms at the top, believe it or not, but it is still a bit longer than I would like. I did particularly like that it was a stash-busting project using up some of my fabric scraps. I only had to buy half a metre of plain blue for the main fabric.

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Garden mittens

My crafting mojo seems to be back! In January so far. I made a bluebird, a rose corsage, and two little smoothie bottle hats for the big knit fundraiser for Age UK. I hope to send them a big parcel of hats this year, so I'm starting early. Also, it helps use up my scraps so stashdown. I also sewed an apron, which I'll write about when I have taken photos.

My favourite project so far this month is the Torirot Mystery Mittens (link is to Ravelry page; sign in may be required. I started them on Jan 9th and I'm already pretty much through the first mitten, as they are so much fun to knit! Here's my progress pics:

Clue 1

Clue 2

Clue 3

Clue 4

Just the grafting to go, and then I can start the second mitten. The first clue for it was released today.

I only bought one other colour for this project, as I'm really aiming to work from stash, but I wish now I'd got a different shade of green, as a little more contrast would look better, but I'm still very happy with how my lovely mittens are turning out.

Annual Report

I'm late with my report but never mind! At the beginning of January 2013, I wrote this:

"Hello! Happy New Year! I decided not to set any craft-based goals this year, apart from the stashdown one, but I am hoping to lead a more sustainable life in 2013."

As I hadn't set any crafting goals, I don't have to say I missed meeting them! My crafting was down a lot on the previous year. I completed 23 projects over the year, of which only one was sewing. I'm a bit sad about that, but the House Cup imperative makes sewing lower down on my list of priorities. I should think that's going to continue for the foreseeable, but I would like to do a little more sewing in 2014.

I think I did achieve my objective of leading a sustainable life. I reduced and recycled generally throughout the year. My wardrobe is much improved after de-cluttering, as generally, I bought only what I needed. That did lead to the introduction of an extra two pairs of work shoes, but that is definitely a Good Thing!

I stashed down in terms of yarns and fabrics too (both of my sewing projects, completed and unfinished, were entirely from stash). I used the library all year and vastly reduced my magazine consumption. My house seems cleaner and tidier than previously too; perhaps that's because there is less stuff in it?

The biggest achievement I had in 2013, though, I didn't mention on my blog at the start of the year at all, as it seemed too dangerous to write it down in case it was jinxed. It was supporting my dd through her A Levels and helping her to transition to University. And since she's just gone back for her second term, at her first choice institution down on the south coast, I think that has been very successful.

In 2014 I shall hopefully knit and sew a little more. I shall help ds transition to secondary school. Also, I'd like to go on a proper holiday, since we didn't really have one in 2013. Fingers crossed!