Like 10 million other bloggers, I thought I’d resolve to do a craft project a week in 2013. I mean google it, and you’ll come across a slew of bloggers sharing their amazing crafting success (and the much more entertaining craft fails). Perhaps I was thinking I could be featured on the amazing CraftFail because I know they would not (all) be beautiful at all! I mean, there are very few places you can be non-snarkily praised for failing
But as I walked to lunch to sit and work on a cowl I have on my needles, I realized I was, as usual, being way too overly ambitious. I already have a blog idea I credit to my 10th grade English teacher, where I hope to write 10 minutes a day about a random word. She made us do this once a week – she’d come up with a topic or random thought, and we wrote non-stop, with no-editing, for up to half an hour, depending on the plans for the day. I loved it - and realized I should pick it up again. So that’s my 2013 blog plan.
The real reason I opted not to do a craft a week, other than it’s been done before, is that I know I’d do it for two weeks and fall off. As usual. I’d also spend a boatload of cash along the way, which is pretty silly.
Remember this? My crazy stash circa 9/2012
Then there is the fact that I have quite a lot of yarn in my stash. So much yarn that I somewhat vowed to use a lot of it before I can break into my awesome gift basket from the recent Yarn Crawl (which is thankfully divided into projects!). So I think I am going to try and inventory my yarn this weekend (ha), and then come up with a project plan to get rid of some of it, so I can delve into my basket o’ fun!
Got any crafty New Year’s Resolutions?
But I probably spent just as much in product, but that was MONTHS ago, so it shouldn’t count, right?
This summer, I had been invited to be part of the Denver County Fair. My friend Becky had taken over the craft pavillion, and she kept asking me to be enter some of my knitting in the competition. My easy out was a vacation planned for the same week. Then Becky went ahead and organized a holiday craft sale, and I decided I needed to get in on the action. I had a slew of scarves already knit, so I just needed to make a few trendy ruffle scarves, and I’d be set. It was a low investment – like $40 for a space, and I knew I could sell two scarves at least, to make that back.
Overall, the event went well. I made about $200, netting $150 when you take into account all the taxes and licenses and stuff, and I learned what sells. Those trendy ruffle scarves are very, very popular. My favorite lace and Queen Anne scarves are not.
I don’t know if I’ll do that again – it was fun, but it was a lot of work – though not half as much as Becky and Stephanie put in to make it a reality. I will eventually get my etsy store up and running – I’m still in need of a model or a dress form to better display my works, and I’ll actually be able to market The Stitiching Squirrel. I can’t deny I totally approached this event half-assed.
In the meantime, I guess I’ll try and keep up with this blog a bit more regularly!
*****update – I made $260 or so – I forgot the sales I made to friends and family after the show! No, I still can’t make a living at this, but I can pay for more yarn!
I was being so good. My friend had twin boys, and I needed to knit up some blankets quickly. I had one already completed in my stash, so I figured I’d make another, using the yarn in my stash. I had a nearly full cone of Peaches & Creme in Shaded Denim, which should be close to enough for a blanket. Well, it wasn’t exactly a full cone. And even a full cone might not be enough for a blanket.
Peaches & Creme has basically been discontinued. The yarn production was purchased by another company, and the colors have changed. Shouldn’t be a problem, right? I mean there is tons of yarn on etsy and even Amazon. Yeah, not so much. One little skein on etsy was all I could find.
I put a plea out for the yarn on Ravelry, and thankfully have a few takers. Had I just bought a new cone of yarn, it would have been easy, and I could finish these last 80 rows this weekend. But I was being good, and knitting from the stash. It has now come at a premium, as I’m basically selling my kidneys for 200 yards of yarn.
Such is life.
A quick inventory of my ADD Crafting Lifestyle….here’s what I have going on:
- Baby Blanket for Wigginton Twins – I cheated a little on this one, in that I had a baby blanket I finished for another friend, but never delivered. Their son is like 2 now. Oops. This pattern is the completely mindless, but always adorable Diagonal Comfort Blanket. I’m close to half way finished, so I’m hoping to finish it up by Sunday, October 6.
Ruki immediately jumped on my finished creation!
- Bronco Ruffle Scarf. I picked up a skein of Denver Broncos orange and blue mesh ruffle yarn during Yarn Along the Rockies. This should take about two hours to knit, but I keep working about two rows and move on to something else.
- My second Vanna’s Stripes blanket (first one is the photo on the right). I had enough yarn left over from the first to do another, I’m close to halfway through this one too – I want it off my needles!
- Fish Hats – one for a Cleveland Browns fan (using ALL stash yarn), and one in honor of the Denver Cutthroats Hockey Team (a cutthroat is a trout). The latter may hopefully create some interest in my knitting – and minor league hockey fans will buy anything!
- Fashion Yarn Scarf for my mother. We visited a local yarn shop in Colorado Springs last week, and my mother fell in love with some fashion/novelty yarn which is incredibly soft, and a sort of faux fur. This will be a quick knit, probably 90 minutes, but I need to free my larger needles for this! She spent a bit on the yarn, too, so I’d like to give it to her when we go to the theatre on October 9th.
- A baby sweater (right-handed) that my friend Mary handed down to me, which I’ll get done by the time she has grandkids (her daughter is only 5 now).
AND I won $400 worth of amazingly awesome yarn a week ago in Yarn Along the Rockies. Like I needed anything for my stash! I’ll be posting more on that later, but I’m just about drowning in yarny goodness in my Craft Cave! I need like a week off work just to knit!
I am a little proud of myself. I bought yarn for a project and I actually used it all!
My friend Mary and I are swapping crafty goods – she made me business card holders, and I offered her “anything.” She selected a slouchy hat. She actually joined Ravelry to search for patterns. I was pretty impressed by that – and also the fact Ravelry is big enough that there’s no longer a waitlist!
I immediately fell in LOVE with the pattern Mary selected – a Quick Cabled Slouch Hat. It has a simple, but beautiful cable pattern. Friday night I ran out an bought two skeins of Bernat Alpaca Natural Blends in lavender and started stitching. I basically did the hat in about 3 hours, but I decided to make one extra cable repeat. The result was more of a Rasta hat than a slouchy hat.
Saturday morning, I made the tough decision to FROG the whole thing. The best thing to come out of that was explaining to my husband why it is called FROGGING. He spent the drive home from the gym saying “rrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiiiiip” and giggling a little bit. I can’t really blame him, as it is a perfect term.
The final product is gorgeous. I don’t think my camera (actually my phone and my husband’s much better phone) do it much justice, and seeing as I can’t wear slouchy hats, I need to get a photo of it on Mary when we meet up. I may be making these hats all winter long! I just love them!
Quick Cable Slouchy Hat
I ended up with an extra skein. Of course I did. I offered Mary a scarf or wristers. She had never heard of wristers, and loved the idea (she’s a children’s librarian, so they are pretty cool). I took a few patterns I found online, and like a real grown-up knitter, I made my own pattern. They didn’t come out perfect, but I do really like them. I probably wouldn’t have made them as long in the fingers, and of course the second glove is tighter and look a little better than the first, but that’s how doing accessories one at a time works.
I really am trying to use the yarn I buy for specific projects. On my shopping trip, I did pick up another skein of ruffle yarn in pinks for Race for the Cure coming up in a few weeks. I know someone will enjoy that, and I super cute skein of stretch sock for my own fingerless gloves. That gave me a +2 for the week. That’s probably not so great. But that’s better than +4.
I had 30 minutes to kill while waiting for a prescription at Target, so I dangerously walked into Michael’s, sales coupons in hand. I had a project idea in mind: The Garter Stitch Slipped Scarf. It was originally done in Noro, but I wanted to try the pattern for a lower cost, so I snagged some Lion Brand Amazing.
I also walked by some novelty ribbon yarn, and of course thought, “scarves!” Four skeins, two in taupe, and two in a teal. I’ll keep telling myself that scarves are fast, and they’ll go quickly in that etsy store I’ll eventually start. I am SO good at rationalization!
I snagged four pair of reading glasses, and walked to the checkout.
My total was about $50. Ugh – how did that happen? $14 on glasses, $16 on novelty yarn and $16 on the Amazing. Ooof. But then the discounting started, and I walked out the door for $36.
Whew. I don’t feel that bad.
But I do know I need to knit it up in the next few days to feel better about it. Then I can dive into some stash busting projects!
Really Michael’s? Seriously? 15% off my entire purchase today? And I have some other coupons, and a $5 bonus for being a rewards member? Yes, I will be buying more yarn. But I may get some Superwash Merino or something, but no sock yarn. I promise. Even though it makes cute wristers and scarves and….
My mother, an addictions counselor, once told me, “you know there is a reason that knitters and heroin addicts both have stashes. It’s pretty clear you have a yarn addiction.” Oof. She was right. For the last eight years or so, I have been buying, but not always – ok – rarely – using all sorts of yarn.
Most of my purchases are made with projects in mind and patterns even pulled. I’ll find the pattern, buy all of the supplies (one can never have enough stitch markers either), and then file it in my knitting room. Again and again. Do this for a few years, and the extra bedroom looks like this:
The Crafting Cave, September 2012
I’ve been “knitting from my stash” for the last few years, and though it’s hard to believe, this is organized AND less yarn. Kinda. The rules for stash knitting include the caveat that if you are making a gift, it doesn’t need to be knit from stash yarn. Perhaps I included gifts to myself in that rule. And then there’s clearance yarn – it’s just not right to pass up a good deal. And sock yarn. You can never have enough sock yarn. Ever.
That’s how you never make progress on a stash. And that’s OK. Except I do want to clean up this room. So I’m going to work on some projects for Project Linus, make some hats for shelters, and snuggles for pet shelters. That will take care of some of this yarn.
If you find yourself with a stash, here are some of my favorite patterns for busting it – really!
How do you work? Are you a project knitter? Are you disciplined to only buy the yarn you need for a specific project? Are you drawn into the textures and colors when you see a wall of yarn? Share your thoughts!
Welcome to the Stitching Squirrel. I started this site in hopes of displaying some of my work, blogging about all sorts of crafty stuff, and sharing a few “Pro Tips” along the way.
I’m a self-taught left handed knitter and crochetter. I’ve picked up a lot of skills and a lot of bad habits along the way, but I still love that I am able to create, even if it’s not the “right” way.
Eventually, I’ll link to an etsy store, but I’ve been saying that for about three years, so don’t hold your breath!