Normally we buy bins to have to contain the excess stash…. Or enclose the items that we have “added to cart” so it is noteworthy when things go the other way and space is being made in the bins.
In the last 2 weeks I have pulled 16 ounces(4 bags) from my plastic bins to spin up, its is not a ton of fiber but it is making space. A tiny fact I didn’t consider when I started spinning was how much more space fiber takes than yarn. I I can’t emphasis how much more cubic space it takes. There are challenges that people have called “Spin the bin” which measures the project by freeing up space. I myself have not participated in any of these challenges but this month for Tour de Fleece I am going to attempt to make a big dent in the fiber stash. To be b=honest I am not sure I can keep ups this pace but I need to try…. The ugly truth is that since I belong to a fiber club that I have 8 ounces of fiber coming in to my house every month so if I don’t spin more than that and I am buying my stash is accumulating at a steady rate.
So I have done some math I figure if I get 28 ounces of fiber spun up that will 12 bags of fiber which is a little more than a bin of space that I will get back and buy myself about 3 months of stash reduction, or at least delude myself for 3 months thinking that I don’t need to buy a bin.
On the topic of “stash management” it is not going great, but its not going horrible either…
I am reaching the home stretch on the sweater and it looks like I will be under by a little more than one skein…. I finished the 1st sleeve… while I am happy with it but want to waive in the ends and fix some part of the sweater before I move on to the next part. I think most people would want to finish the knitting portion, but I know myself and if I go straight to the knitting, I will procrastinate forever.. so since I am no longer in a race to the finish ( I missed the KAL deadline) I can take my time….. although this approach will slow down the effort to “stash bust” if I leave this as a work in progress.
So here goes nothing. There will be a major effort to make a dent in my stash courtesy of Tour De Fleece the annual spinning event that takes place along the Tour de France. I am five days in and I have to say things are really moving:
I plied a little more than 2.5 ounces SW merino.
I spun up the remaining 2 ounces of the Merino Cashmere Nylon.
I have spun up 6 ounces of SW merino
I don’t really have a goal other to get as much of it out of the bins as possible. So It will be interesting to see what happens.
In my younger days I used to watch “Oprah’s Favorite Things” It was so good! Every year that she shared the stuff that she loved I instantly googled the item that she put up. The absence of this on network television left a void. Oprah’s show was the shiz-nit, so in the spirit of paying homage I put my favorite things for Summer:
O-M- G Danielle Pederson’s ceramic art is amazing and it the perfect balence between whimsical and tasteful. The prices range may be more than just a normal tchotchke but in my onion its totally worth it. Each piece she makes is a piece of art. She makes freestanding pieces as well as these pendents.
So while I haven’t seen every product on the market I am positively in love with TUFT Woolens Hand and Body Balm. So many great things to say about it, it comes in one size which is smaller than other products I have seen, but it is kind of genius because it makes it very portable to toss in a project bag and with the plastic container light so it doesn’t weigh your bag down. The added bonus of the product being designed with a knob to push up the product and make it accessible makes it easy to only put as much on your fingers as you need easily. Lastly, and best of all the product is not creasy, its easy to use a little goes a long way and it is not sticky and has not seemed to rub off on my knitting when I have used it.
Next up is The Plucky Knitter’s yarn base called “Sweater” after a brief retirement it has been brought back and I am really happy about it. It has a extremely tithe twist and is a “workhorse” of a yarn it is one of her more economically priced yarns and has good yardage. It is a merino nylon blend which while is out of my “cashmere blend” wheelhouse is a fantastic yarn for everyday knitting, has fantastic stitch definition and takes a cable really well.
Lastly, anything by Emily Fodon of Viola yarns. She is a genius at small batch hand dying. Everything is small batch and it is hard to get but this speckles semisolid indy dyed yarn just makes me smile.
I think there is an expression somewhere that talks about how water won’t boil if you are watching it. It is a universal truth that when knitting somewhere from 5 to 10 inches that you over measure. You pull out the tape measure from your bag (everytime you think you have made a big dent towards your goal you measure) and notice that at most you have added another 1/2 inch to your project.
There is a heavy exhale with “That can’t be right it seems like more” you knit a little more put the project on timeout ad repeat the process a little bit later. I estimated this week that I did about 2 inches towards my goal on the skirt of my new sweater. I estimate that I am overdue to measure my progress in another 15 minute 😉
I am slowly but surely working my way through the yarn for my Woodfords. It feels so great get to the point when you finish a skein and must wind another the next one. I am alternating skeins which I highly recommend when using this yarn and I am really enjoying the results.
The last couple of days I have been musing on my sweater and if it is ever going to be finished. I really seem to embrace the concept of the “glass half full” when I am knitting a sweater. I am about as pessimistic as one can get when I knit one. I am not complaining about complaining but I have just come to realize it as the “natural” state when I am working on a sweater project.
The other day I realized I had roughly used up 3 of the 13 skeins of yarn I have for my Woodfords that is less than the 30% complete… I think the expression a “Oh crap!” went through my head.
In the meantime while I have been SLOWLY knitting along I have also been buying craploads of yarn.. maybe from stress? Well anyways I digress the real lightbulb moment was when I realized that buying sweater quantities of yarn that you likely are not going to get a chance to knit anytime soon is the knitting equivalent to keeping your small size “goal” jeans around the house that you can’t fit in to. There is no logic in buying the yarn.. just like it is unlikely that one isn’t going to fit in to the jeans that are 2-3 sizes to small but are still in the closet… but is sure is fun to imaging the possibilities:)
Well, I finally pulled he trigger and launched my handgun hope on Etsy. It has been a long time in the making. I have really debated whether I do it or give my surplus of handspun to friends. There are so many elements of having this as a business that make me step out of my comfortzone: having to put oneself out there, pricing one’s work, opening myself and my hand spinning to feedback, and interfacing with customers.
While I spin yarn for pleasure I really considered all of the angles to pricing and consulted several people that I knew in the industry. The honest truth is that there are so many more variables with hand spinning an using “raw” fiber than other making activities. While it is easy to look at the time aspect there are other things such as the amount of dealing with the same amount of raw materials products that are of a different yardage and weight of yarn.
I have thought about certain aspects I am sure there are unexpected elements that I will encounter. I think of this new venture as a growing exercise and am looking towards it with a great sense of curiosity.
I have so much appreciation for mothers now that I am one. Happy belated Mother’s day to all of you out there. You are miracle worker’s, cheerleaders, teachers, kind, and are there when the chips are down and there is nothing left to give. It can be a thankless job sometimes and a single day doesn’t seem like enough to convey how much they are appreciated.
The weather in Seattle held out and we got to to brunch and the local farmer’s market which was a lot of fun:
Today seems like as good as any to blog. I don’t have anything really exciting to report or new that needs to be shared, but I realized I have lapsed a bit in the frequency of blogging. There hasn’t been so much knitting time lately, which I expect to change soon, I have some WIPS and I have created a bit of a backlog on the yarn I have spinning that needs to be plied.
Crafting these days seems to be therapeutic, which is really nice when I can get sometime to actually do it. I finally broke down and bought a Hansen Minispinner last month. The good news is that I was receptive to one of my friends “selling” me on the entry level model. If you know me, you know I have a hard time going “on the cheap” or being “economical”. It is not that I am looking so spend money but I have a strong belief that you should enrich your life with things you will actually use. After the initial purchase there is nothing that has make me regret the entry level model, which really makes me smile.
So I guess I just should focus on all of the “Work in Progress“ projects. I did manage to make a tiny dent this weekend
It has been a long time since I did this…. so I guess it is time to check in and see how I am doing on my fiber related purchases and project. I liken this to weighing yourself after eating your Thanksgiving meal. It is not really fun….. but without the snapshot its difficult to tell where you are.
On the Needles:
Shepards Hoodie by Kate Davies
Woodfords by Elizabeth Doughtery
Grannystripe blanket Attic24
SQ. ofElsawool Cormo for Iliya
OrangeFlower Superwash Merino Aran
Gregoria Fibers ( a couple of skeins)
Frida Fuchs minis a gift from one of my BFFs
Must Stash Sheep self striping sock yarn
Viola Merino Lace (bought of destash)
Wound Up Fiber Arts MCN
SQ of Barrett Wool for Palmyre
Sunday Knits yarns from my Fibershare partner
Nanostitchlabs from my Fibershare partner
Gifted 6 skeins of handspun
Spun up 8 ounces of fiber
Crofthoose Hat by Ella Gordon
LowBrow hat by Thao Nguyen
Fern by Katy Tricot
Delta hat by Ella Austin
Escher by Ella Austin
Origami hat by Lori Versaci
I’h hopping that there is less in “acquistions” next time I do this exercise and more in the “finished” list.