Happy New Year! Just before I left for Adelaide and the New Year’s Eve party I made the 70s costume for, I got all retrospective and put this post together:
At the beginning of the year I ‘signed up’ for Knit From Your Stash, an idea that Wendy of wendyknits came up with.
It’s silly, but seeing the sidebar pic I made on Wendy’s site was such a treat!
My aim was to clear out some old yarn ready to bring in new, better yarns. I used 40% of my stash used over 6 months. It led to me looking at my stash and buying habits in new ways, which sparked the creation of my Stash Manifesto.
Later in the month a weekend camping trip turned into a boat rescue by a park ranger, after unseasonal rains made the roads undrivable. During a week in Adelaide while we waited for the roads to dry out enough that we could retrieve our cars, my hosts gave me an armload of yarn to knit and crochet with. I think it kept them as entertained watching me turn it into stuff as it kept me occupied.
The very colourful Marta of Marta’s yarns passed away and local knitters mourned the loss of a very talented lady.
I had my first Blogiversary and prize draw.
I’d also ‘signed up’ for Project Spectrum at the beginning of the year and in March I had a crafty weekend of papermaking and book binding.
I’d set myself the challenge of reviving crafts I enjoyed in the past, including calligraphy, pottery, linocut printing, macrame, papermaking, string art and bookbinding.
February/March: Blue, White, Gray
April/May: Green, Yellow, Pink
June/July: Red, Black, Metallics
August/September: Brown, Orange, Purple
Just when things were going well with Knit From Your Stash, I was gifted with the stash of a deceased knitter. A knitter with very good taste in yarn. There was cashmere. There was camel. I put it aside to wait until KFYS was over. It took considerable willpower.
Bendigo Woollen Mills finally launched their website.
I snuck a small skein of hand-dyed yarn from Tarcutta’s Farmhouse Industries Handcraft Shop into the stash during a trip to Canberra. Then came the Cleckheaton Cocoon. I suspected my willpower was weakening.
Finally I moved into my new workroom and the stash was sorted into new tubs in a shelving unit of its own.
I stayed to Katoomba in the Blue Mountains in order to work distraction-free for two weeks (only to get the flu). Travelling via Sydney, I visit Tapestry Craft for the first time. In Katoomba I hung out and knit with Mark, Lara, Kate and David of Sticks & String poscast at a delectable chocolate shop, then later accompanied David and Lara to a Knitters Guild meeting. This was definitely one of the highlights of the year.
I decided that six months of knitting from my stash was enough and immediately ordered the yarn I’d been drooling over at the store in Katoomba.
I also came up with the Bust Out of the Box Sock Challenge
The idea was to knit seven types of sock (sideways, colourwork, lace, cables, textured stitch pattern, toe and heel not tried before, and non-wool yarn) from seven sources of knitting patterns, both online and print. The aim was to try new techniques rather than the same old toe-up method I’d settled on. I learned a heap of new sock construction methods and reduced my sock yarn stash… a little.
SC#1 Simple Ribbed Socks
SC#2 Mosaic Socks
SC#3 Sideways Socks
SC#4 Flow Motion Socks
SC#5 Butterfly Socks
SC#6 William Street Socks
SC#7 Non-wool Socks
And I joined the Box Hill Hand Spinners and Weavers on a trip to the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show. More stash enhancement. Nice group, too.
I decided to dig up some UFOs and finish them, sewing up a woven blanket and knitted pillows, refooting socks, and turning socks into wristwarmers and fingerless mitts.
With the Sock Challenge coming to an end, I came up with Knit From Your Books.
Inspired by having learned so much while making myself try new sock patterns, and motivated by guilt over having a lot of books that I’ve never knit anything from. So far I’ve knit three of the six garments. Still deliberating on the yarn to use for the Jo Sharp cardy, and I might knit a different garment from Knitting Nature.
I also decided that I don’t really like spinning that much, but I do like weaving a lot.
At the end of the month I drop by the Australian Country Spinners mill shop on the way to Canberra, then Stitch’n'time in Canberra and then the Tarcutta shop on the way home, and the stash gets a serious boost.
Though my Ravelry invite arrived in September, I didn’t have a chance to explore until October. I started uploading projects and reading groups. I found it is an excellent way to check out patterns before knitting them, and the groups are fun, but I baulked at entering all my stash.
With the house stuff coming to a head, I didn’t post as much. But I did come up with:
The down side to all that sock knitting was that, once we are able to move into our new rooms and start filling the wardrobe up, it becomes clear I have a LOT of socks. I decided to explore other uses of sock yarn than socks for myself. Socks for others is fine. But I can also make gloves, a scarf, a vest, some crochet trim and use sock yarn as weaving warp.
It was the time of year for flashing stash and counting FOs, looking back on the knitting (and crocheting and weaving) year and making plans for the next. I realise I’ve knit, crochet and woven a LOT of fos and, though the challenges, learned a great deal, too.