stash busting

My new obsession…

I know I have been pretty quiet lately. Life has me incredibly busy. I can’t ever sit still and I always need to be making things. It’s been so hard to focus….I fee like I have crafty ADD.

I just started weaving. Yes, just what I need….ANOTHER hobby. I really love it though. It is super relaxing and a pretty great stash burner. Of course, now I want to bring ALL THE TOOLS into my place. I recently bought myself a small tapestry loom from Board and Bread. It’s gorgeous and great to work on. I bought myself a larger loom from Loom and Spindle on etsy, which is also a great starter loom. I ended up staining it a bright teal color.

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My new Board and Bread loom.

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Weaving with my daughter.

I had some embroidery hoops left over and, on the weekends, I’ve been helping her warp them so she can weave too.

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Passing it on…

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A larger wall hanging for my Mom.

So you can see, I just can’t get enough. I’ve already warped the looms back up and am ready to jump into some more weaving…well, as soon as the heatwave ends…

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Belated 2014 Tour de Fleece Roundup

Oh look! Another seriously belated post. Go figure!

But hey, I’m one step closer to clearing all those drafts out!

Here is what I completed this year for Tour de Fleece. I wasn’t spinning with a team or anything, so it really is NBD…but I thought maybe someone out there might wanna see what I had spun up.

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My completed skeins.

That’s pretty much all of it (well, minus a skein I had spun pre- tour and plied during the tour).

Pictured above is 2 skeins of Creatively Dyed (that I purchased at Stitches West a few years back) 20 milk protein/ 20 seacell/ 60 wool, try 3-ply, 729 yards total and 1 skein of wool/silk/abunchofotherstuff, 2 ply (ply only), 95 yards.

Also, just for fun, I figured I would show off a skein of non-tour yarn. Below is the yarn I spun for Courtney for her birthday. I called it Autumn Candy Corn and it is 80 Merino/ 20 Silk from Bee Mice Elf Fiber (purchased at CogKNITive Fiber Retreat last year), 2 ply, 390 yards.

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Autumn Candy Corn!

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Tour de Fleece, Days 2 and 3

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014 | fiber, handspun, spinning, stash busting, weaving, yarn | No Comments

I started off Tour de Fleece with a bang, getting quite a lot done. I knew I couldn’t keep up that pace though. Maybe I was overachieving to prepare for the dip in productivity during the work week?

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Tour de Fleece, Day 2 progress.

Not bad progress for day two of the tour. Day three was a different story. Monday I got all of 5 minutes of spinning in. It was a crazy day…and with the kids and our parents coming out to Los Angeles, this week might be light on spinning time.

I’ve been trying to get other projects done too though. I decided I want to try weaving and needle felting things I love. I had a friend that was in need of a good luck charm…so I made this.

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An attempt at a black hole.

I should have taken this picture next to something else for size reference. It was tough, because it is small (I think maybe it had a 4 inch diameter). I did the weaving first, then I needle felted on top of it. I think my friend liked it. After making it, I thought of a couple of improvements I could make. I am planning on taking another shot at it, but in a bigger size.

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Tour de Fleece 2014 – Day 1

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Some itty bitty crafting.

Ok, so my participation in Tour de Fleece this year is a little half-assed. I know I have serious stash to spin down, and honestly, the Tour is a good reason to do it.

For those of you unaware, Tour de Fleece is an event that spinners participate in on Ravelry during the Tour de France. There are actual rules for it, most based on what your team affiliation is. Different groups have different rules. I’m not a fan of rules, so we can call this Team KnitHitsTheFan, party of 1.

I waited until late afternoon to start my spinning. I spent the morning straightening up my project corner so I would be ready for that art project I am waiting to start (my twine is in the mail). I found some unassembled hearts, so I seamed and stuffed them. I also did a little bit of weaving. That’s that round thing in the picture above. Trust me, it’ll look better once I get more stuff on it.

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First Day Tour projects.

Since the holiday was on a Friday, I moved knit night to Saturday. It was a good reason to get together and start the Tour off right. Court brought her supported spindle to spin on, and I rocked Lucy all evening.

I guess my first day wasn’t too shabby. I thread plied 176 yards of wool single that I had sitting on a bobbin from about a week ago. I also busted through 4 ounces of 20% Milk protein/20% Seacell/60% Wool that I got from Creatively Dyed a few years back. I have three 4 ounce braids, so I am planning on spinning them all, then plying all three together.

I hope to come up with a plan of attack for my fiber, but I know how ADD I am. I’ll just end up pulling things out of the stash willy-nilly and and if I get bored spinning a color, I’ll switch to another. That is pretty much how I operate.

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Stopping by to say “hi”…

It has not been an easy road, but I am slowly getting there.

I started Big Al at least three times. Ripping out because I was unsure about gauge…ripping out again because of twisted yarn…I was starting to feel like a complete novice. I thought maybe I was losing my knitting mojo.

I hope I am not jinxing it, but I feel like I am on track now. My Miss Bab’s yarn has held up well despite my abuse. I am being extra careful, but not going so crazy that I can’t work on this project while I catch up on my favorite television. I am really liking the way it is turning out so far.

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He’s waving his little tentacle to say hello..

And now that I am getting a handle on double knitting, Courtney has talked me into trying a steeking project. I am not sure where it will fall in the queue for this year, but I already have all the yarn I need for it. Court frogged the Mountain View Cardigan that has been sitting half-knit in my stash closet and wound it into the most amazing center pull balls. It’s ready to be Oranje now.

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Seriously, Court’s hand wound, center pull balls are legit.

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I’ll get there eventually…

I am sure that everyone has different ways of calculating the enormity of their stash. I believe mine boils down to volume. I’m constantly justifying it by saying things like “Once it’s spun down, it won’t take up nearly as much space”. The problem is that I haven’t been spending much time (until recently) spinning it down.

I live in a condo with three other humans that also have stashes of their own. From sports cards to toys, it all takes up space. Space we don’t seem to have. Sure, I have an armoire dedicated to my yarn (and some beads and other craft supplies), but I also have a pile of garbage bags behind my closet door filled with fiber. I have it jammed in a cabinet in my dining room and in the closet by the front door. It’s everywhere and it is starting to feel overwhelming.

(There you go…I’m sharing my fiber hoarding secrets with you…)

I am also starting to feel like I should be making more things with my hand spun yarn. I haven’t done much with what I have so far yet. I’ve sold some, or given it as gifts, but I should really be making things with it too.

On the other hand, I am trying not to beat myself up about all of my fluffy things. I will get there. I am skipping yarn crawl…so maybe that might be a good weekend to binge spin.

In the meantime…you can take a look at my new pretties… all dry and skeined up! They’re just waiting to be tagged and placed in the space I made in that armoire for my very own yarn.

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This is some scratchier fiber I spun up. I am not sure what to do with it yet. (I’ll take suggestions…)

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Blarney Yarn Fiber, Red Fish Dyeworks and Octarine Fibers!

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Operation Spin Down…

So, I think it’s time I make a confession…

I have a lot of fiber in my stash.

I feel incredibly guilty about this. It’s really taken over my stash. I even have it hidden in weird places around the house. It’s making me feel like I can’t breathe. This is how I know it’s time to really start spinning again. It’s a good thing this feeling is coming on now, post Stitches West, when I still have the momentum to get things made. This is also one of the reasons I decided to skip Los Angeles Yarn Crawl this year…

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Lazy weekend ball winding setup.

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A couple of singles…

To start, I decided to clear off some bobbins that had been full and ply some of my singles. One of these (the blue and orange one) was a gift from a coworker. I’m excited to share how it looks once it’s spun and set.

For now, it looks like this…

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Hung up to dry over my kitchen sink.

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Let’s Talk Crafty Christmas…Part 3

Ashley’s presents were all Hannibal themed this year.

Last year, For Ash’ birthday, I had made her a shoe box Hannibal Lecter Playset by modding a few Mini Mochi patterns. It included Hannibal and a stag in Hannibal’s office. I told her I would try and make her more characters. I didn’t realize how difficult they would be. It is hard to make characters that you can actually identify when knitting so small. I tried to get as close as possible, but Will Graham’s hair was a serious challenge for me.

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Like I gave his little tiny soul a fright!

Yes, I put in al the little hairs individually…like a crazy person.

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This is what I ended up.

I also decided to weave her a nice sized scarf with a combination of some of my hand spun singles and commercial yarn I had in my stash.

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A woven scarf…

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…and a really awful picture of the felted stag head detail.

I think she really liked them! Hopefully at some point I will get a picture of all of her little Hannibal characters together!

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Let’s Talk Crafty Christmas…Part 2

Friday, March 7th, 2014 | crochet, FO's, Holiday, scarf, stash busting, Tunisian, yarn | No Comments

Angelique’s present this year was a challenge for me, but I learned a lot. It is my very first Tunisian crochet project (well, completed project anyway).

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This was an interesting experiment.

The pattern is Ziggurat, designed by my friend Alexis.

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It’s mostly tunisian mesh with a section of striping.

The colors scream “Angelique”…and this will look great with that new shawl pin she bought at Stitches West.

This was actually a great beginner tunisian crochet pattern, although I really wish there were more online resources for Tunisian crochet in general. It seemed like finding tutorials for different stitches was difficult for me. Maybe at some point I might have to spring for a stitch/pattern book or something. I haven’t yet because it feels like all of the tunisian projects I see pictures of on the internet would be popular for an age range much higher than mine. This pattern, however, had a more modern feel to it.

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Let’s talk Crafty Christmas…Part 1

Thursday, March 6th, 2014 | dye, FO's, Holiday, knitting, shawl, stash busting, yarn, yarn snobbery | No Comments

Well, all of the Crafty Christmas gifts have been given, which means I can finally start sharing them with the world. I am so glad too, since it’s been really difficult to keep these projects under wraps!

Let’s start with the present I made for Courtney…Pigment from Leethal Knits.

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I really love this shawl.

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I used Blue Moon Socks That Rock and some of my hand dyed candy corn colored yarn.

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Spaghetti!

This was a fun pattern to knit. I think at some point I will try and make one for myself. It appealed to my love of weaving in ends.

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This was so fun to knit!

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I liked it so much that I plan on knitting one for myself at some point.

Hopefully I’ll get the chance to take a photo of Courtney wearing it some time. It turned out to be the perfect size… and the color combination made me super happy.

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