I guess it’s been a little longer than I thought since I wrote last. Let’s just say that 2014 was a bit of a whirlwind and leave it at that? Summary – I made a bunch of stuff, Team PI is awesome, Nerd Wars ended (forever…I know! It’s super sad.), I went to Rhinebeck for the first time (it was GREAT), met up with people from Team PI for real (also GREAT), made more stuff, and bought a TON of yarn.
Now that’s out of the way….2015! Goals, plans, stash!
Nerd Wars may be gone, but Team PI lives on. There are other games, but none of them have really attracted my interest. To be honest, I was really slacking on the amount of time I was able to dedicate to challenge projects and I think I may have wound up leaving the game at some point anyway. BUT we still have our team…which is great. I really do enjoy spending internet time with these people. Why am I talking about this? Stash Down 2015.
One of our very smart team members brought up the idea of doing a team Stash Down for this year and boy do I need it! One of the by products of learning new knitting skills and having a little extra money is that I seem to have acquired quite a lot of yarn. It’s not the room-fulls that some people have, but it is starting to exceed the space I have to store it for sure. Plus, it’s full on sweater quantities in some cases. Oh & I still have a megaton of cotton yarn because I never did complete Project Use Up All The Cotton.
2015 Knitting & Stash Goals
- Knit up the items which I specifically purchased yarn for. Things like my Owl Sweater that I’ve been wanting to make for over a year. I’ve put them all at the top of my Ravelry queue and I’m going to stubbornly resist starting other things until I get through these 5 or 6 projects. (Only exception is baby gifts. New babies don’t care about my stash goals and need hats regardless.)
- Finish the projects that have been in the works for a super long time. There are 3 of them: 1) Raven socks. 2) Trillian shawl. 3) Linen stitch scarf.
- FINALLY use up all of the cotton. I still have quite a lot sitting in a bin just waiting for me to do something with it. I think it’s time to get moving there.
- No yarn buying except for baby gifts (if the yarn I need isn’t already in the stash) and if I go to any festivals like Rhinebeck.
Right now, I’m happy with those goals. If I can accomplish those, I’ll have brought the stash under control and made some really nice things in the process. (And made lots of room for more yarn!)
I’m so done with winter. I have been for a while. I’m ready for spring. I think it might be the colors.
And I am ready for spring colors. And flowers. And plants (I keep thinking about what veggies I’m going to plant in my container garden this year).
But since spring isn’t here yet, I decided to create a little bit of spring for myself.
How about some flowers?
Pretty, pink, and functional too…flower dishcloths.
The pattern is Flower Power Dishcloths by Doni Spiegle and is a free Ravelry download. It’s an easy-to-follow crochet pattern and it works up super fast.
I think I’ve figured out the two things I like most about crocheting.
- I can make a crochet project much faster than the same thing if it were knitted.
- I find it to be much easier to do shaped things – like flowers, Mickey ears…etc. (There are plenty of ways to do the same things with knitting, but they don’t come as easily to me.)
And bonus, the dishcloths are made from my stash of cotton.
Project Use Up All The Cotton Totals: 54g for both flowers
468 grams of yarn used, 618 grams to go
Way back in May, I started a cotton de-stash project – Project Use Up All The Cotton. (Side note: I could have sworn it’s been longer than that. May feels like it was a REALLY long time ago.) I’ve had a few detours since starting and haven’t used up nearly as much yarn as I’d hoped by now.
BUT I did make another washcloth this week. I am proud & disappointed in it at the same time.
From a looks perspective, it didn’t come out that great…and I know that’s my fault. I made a poor choice in yarn. You’d think I would have learned to make these types of picture patterns in solid colors by now.
On the other hand, for this washcloth pattern, I did 2 things I don’t usually do and for that I am proud. The pattern itself is actually just a chart for the phoenix picture. So I did all the math to figure out exactly how many knits & purls I needed to make the right sized washcloth with a centered picture. Plus (and probably what I’m more pleased about), I read the phoenix pattern straight from the chart. Usually I follow written patterns (you know – knit 2, purl 5, knit 10…etc), but this time I just used the chart ( you can find it at this site).
I do like the chart itself and, now that I’ve figured out the math, I’m thinking that I’ll make this one again…this time in a solid color so you can actually tell what the heck it is you’re looking at.
Yes, I am a bit behind. I have excuses…many of them – daughter’s birthday, commission projects, Nerd Wars. I’ve just been a bit underwater lately, but I think I’m finally able to come up for air.
Want to see what I made?
Project 3 is a USA washcloth made in Lily Sugar ‘n Cream “Field of Dreams.” I have no idea what Nerd Wars challenge I’m going to use it for yet, but I’ll reach out to the team and figure out something. I will be using it for Giving Geeks though and sending it to Warmth for Warriors, a charity that mainly sends hats to US Troops, but has requested 100% cotton washcloths as well.
Project 4 is more of a dishcloth than a washcloth since I used a bigger needle size and it came out GIGANTIC. I call it my “Very Hungry Caterpillar” cloth. I used Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Scents in “Aloe Vera” (side note: The scent to this one was SO MUCH BETTER than the last scented yarn I used from this line. I didn’t feel like my head was going to burst this time.) This one I’ll be assigning to the Nerd Culture challenge. We need to find a Google Doodle and make something inspired by it. Here’s my doodle:
Make sense now? I made my cloth based on a line from A Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle, “He ate through one apple…but he was still hungry.”
And now for the totals:
Project 3 (USA Cloth) – 27g
Project 4 (Caterpillar Cloth) – 56g…one full ball!!
83 grams down, 926 grams of yarn to go
It’s week 2 and that means it’s time for another cotton project. This week I made a scrubby washcloth.
For a pattern I used, All Washed Up by Jill Arnusch. It’s a pretty pattern that will also be good for scrubbing the Kiddo. I actually messed it up a little because I wasn’t paying proper attention to the instructions and forgot to do the top & bottom borders. Although I do think it looks good without, so I’m still happy with it. Also, since I’m planning on using it for my daughter, I made it a touch smaller. I know tons of people who say that regular sized washcloths are just as good for the kiddos, but I disagree. Tiny people require smaller washcloths.
As for yarn, it’s Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Scents in Rose Petal. The color is great. It goes from light to bright pink and looks quite nice in the pattern. But holy cow! The Scent!!! It’s unbearable. I mean, it’s supposed to smell good and I guess it might be nice when not so concentrated. Knitting with it is almost painful and actually managed to give me a headache. If I hadn’t promised myself to use all of the cotton yarn for something, I would be tempted to throw it all out – I have 2 other skeins in addition to what I have left over from this project. I’m going to have to wash it a few times before I can let my daughter use it…she has really sensitive skin and things with scents make her all itchy. If I can’t get the smell out, I guess I’ll use it for dusting or something.
28 grams down, 1009 grams of yarn to go
For the very first project of Project Use Up All The Cotton, I made a Swiffer Cover.
I have recently learned to crochet and it has opened up a whole new world of patterns. Had I knitted something like this it probably would have taken me far longer to do, but since it’s crochet it took me only about 2.5 hours. (And I think it only took me that long because I kept screwing it up and ripping back.)
The pattern was free on Ravelry and was quite easy (Crochet Biffer Shrug by Krysten Lewelling). I like the concept of it because it has ridges which will be good for scrubbing.
As for yarn – I used up almost an entire ball of Sugar ‘n Cream in Moondance.
49 grams down, 1037 grams of yarn to go
I don’t really like knitting with 100% cotton because it really does a number on my skin as I’m trying to work with it. So how I ended up with this much of it, I don’t know.
Actually, I do know how I ended up with so much. It’s cheap at the craft store & a lot of the colors are really pretty. So I buy it even with no project in mind and there it sits…waiting for me to need it.
I need to do something with it.
Introducing Project Use Up All The Cotton!
Every week, until I get through my cotton yarn stash, I will create another cotton yarn item. We’re talking wash cloths, dish cloths, bath puffs, boo boo buddies, swiffer covers…you name it. And bonus, this will be a great way to practice crochet and chart-reading skills even as I’m building my “green” cleaning and shopping supplies.
And for the sake of record-keeping, the current total weight of the stash is 1086 grams of 100% cotton yarn – all Lily Sugar ‘n Cream brand.
Please note – Lily Sugar ‘n Cream has no idea who I am. I have managed to accumulate all of this yarn on my own with my own moolah.