2015 already?

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!

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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!)

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Do I have to?

Things I don’t feel like doing right now:

  • Cleaning the kitchen
  • Making a shopping list
  • Buying stamps
  • Assembling hats
  • Vaccuming
  • Laundry

Things I DO feel like doing right now:

  • Knitting
  • Cuddling on the couch with the cat
  • Drinking tea

Doesn’t this just look so smooshy and warm? It’s like it’s saying, “C’mon…you know I want to be a pair of fingerless mitts. Hang out with me!”

Squotient

I think this yarn might be a bad influence.

Just so pretty

And so soft!

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This pretty green/blue one is from a local alpaca farm – Wools Edge Farm. I got it at a farm market over the summer. It’s 100% alpaca and it’s fantastically soft. I don’t event know the color name, but it’s really pretty.

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And this gorgeous one is 100% superwash wool from Ewereka Yarn. The yarn itself is called Squotient and is super duper smooshy. The color is Nebula. It’s from my Nerd Wars yarn club and was the color that I got in October. I still get 2 more (November & December) and I can’t wait to see what they are. (Happy Birthday to me from my mom! Yay!)

There is just something about really nice, good quality yarn that makes me happy.

Umm…it’s $100 yarn

Oh Nerd Wars! You just keep giving me reasons to love you. I’m never going to have time to learn how to sew.

So, the powers that be in the super awesome yarn-crafting game that is Nerd Wars have created something new and exciting. Nerd Wars Yarn!!!

I usually stick to the cheaper stuff because well, it’s less expensive and also because I’m usually making things for small kids that need to washable and hearty. Really nice hand-dyed yarn is kind of lost on a 3-year-old. But when I saw the announcement about the Nerd Wars Yarn Club, I squeed out loud and immediatly sent a link to my hubs (my birthday is coming up after all).

And here’s how the subsequent conversation went:

Hubs: “Umm…it’s $100 yarn.”
Me: “Not really, it’s a yarn club. So it’s actually 3 things of yarn (plus some other stuff) totaling $100!”
Hubs: “But it’s $100 yarn.”
Me: “No it’s not. It’s really $22 yarn plus shipping for 3 months in a row!”
Hubs: “But it’s $100 yarn.”
Me: “Nevermind.”

Then I talked to my mom and she said, “Well, I want to spend about $100 on you for your birthday. What do you want?” So I told her the story about the Yarn Club and she said, “Go and order it!”

So yay! I’m getting the Nerd Wars Yarn Club for my birthday!!

Tournament the First – Squotient in Ball Pit Colorway (in honor of Team Bazinga) – photo credit: Ewereka Yarn

 

What’s next?

ANOTHER PUMPKIN!!!

Actually it may be my last for a while. After this hat, I’m going to be out of the gorgeous pumpkin colored yarn I’ve been using and it doesn’t look like I’m going to be able to get any more. Curse you Knit Picks for discontinuing the Comfy Worsted in Sweet Potato!!!

I’ve checked a few stores and I haven’t found another yarn I like. Either the color is right, but the texture is all wrong (usually too rough…I mean, these things are going on sweet, tiny baby heads here) or I find a softness I like, but they don’t have a good pumpkin-y color.

This last (for now) pumpkin is being made by special request of the hubby’s cousin. I gave her an apple hat for her baby shower and she asked if I could do a pumpkin for this fall. She doesn’t even know about my pumpkin hat “history.”

Pumpkin Hat

Zoe’s Little Pumpkin Hat

 

Zach’s Pumpkin Hat

 

Punkin Hat

 

Someday we’ll find it, the Rainbow Connection

For my first trick this Nerd Wars tourney, I made this –

I bought this super fun washable wool yarn before I decided to get back into Nerd Wars, but once I rejoined and was placed on Team Fraggle (for lovers of all things Jim Henson) there was no way I could avoid making something with a Rainbow Connection theme.

The yarn isn’t only fun, it’s wonderful…soft & easy to work with, but not so soft or fluffy that it gets all over the place.  It does have a name – Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted Multi (in Rainbow, of course) – and no, it’s not cheap.  2 skeins cost me $42 at my local yarn store.  I am not sad at all about spending the money.

The pattern…hah!  Here’s the funny thing about the pattern.  I used Ravelry’s pattern search. I knew I wanted a cute hat for a little kid with pom poms because duh, this yarn screams “MAKE SOMETHING WITH POM POMS OUT OF ME, FOR THE LOVE OF PETE!”  So I looked at lots of pom pom-enhanced patterns and found one that I thought would come out really cute with the yarn colors, not take forever, and look really nice when done.  Unless I’m looking for something specific, I don’t look for a certain designer or another.  It doesn’t really matter to me so long as the pattern is good.  In the end, I picked Dream Catcher Hat to make, only using one “color.”  Guess who wrote it?  Yep – Susan B. Anderson, writer of all of my other favorite baby hat patterns and author of the “Itty Bitty” books (Itty Bitty Hats, Itty Bitty Nursery, Itty Bitty Toys).

In keeping with my plan for my Nerd Wars submissions to be usable items that could be gifted or at least played with by my little one, this hat was given as a birthday present to my friend’s daughter.

A holiday miracle?

Well, kind of….I quested for days to find the yarn I needed to finish my sister’s Christmas present.  I scoured the internets and checked site after site with no luck.  I finally decided to try my luck on Ravelry.  Thousand upon thousands of crazy knitters like me who catalog their items and yarn, surely someone had extra Moda Dea Vision Karma.

And someone did.  Actually a bunch of someones.

The first person I asked was planning an “as yet to be determined” project because her mom gave her the yarn.  Boo!  (Okay, understandable but still…boo!)

But on my second try I found someone who had experienced a similar problem a while ago and another Raveler* bailed her out.  She thought it only best to pay the kindness forward.  So, we agreed on a trade and she said she put the yarn in the mail (I need to do the same tonight with the things I’m sending her).

Hooray for the internet!!!

*A Raveler is a person who uses Ravelry.