Squirrel and Stash

 

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.

A belated Happy Mother’s day

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:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am a WIP

2ply in Spelling Bee from Nest Fiber

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

 

Woodfords for Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 8

Being accountable sucks..

 

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

Christmas Diarama

Grannystripe blanket Attic24

Acquisitions:

Hansen Minispinner

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

Finished:

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.

 

 

 

200….

3 patterns out of my Ravelry queue

I don’t know what your number is but I delude myself into thinking that if my Raverly queue is below 200 that I have sold control and am managing the patterns I want to knit reasonably well. Last September when I was at the Glamping with Plucky event several of my friends had a conversation about how big everyone’s rarely queue  cold be and how we manage our wants and needs. I purposely put a lot of the patterns I want to knit in to the “favorites” to keep my “queue” number about 200. I have friends in the 15 range, 400, 2000, and 4000+ so it was clear to me that everyone has a different take on queue management.

With my Mad Hatter March challenge I am so close to hitting or getting below 200. It has me pretty excited. The nice things about knitting up a hat is how fast you can check them off your list. I think their is a nice pile of sweaters in my queue.. I’ll have to get creative how to knock those off my list, because the majority of them are adult sweaters.

My cup runneth over….

 

Origami Top hat by Lori V. in Koneko Handspun

Stash seems to be a common knitter’s dilemma, and I know I have mentioned once or twice a couple of other areas that get neglected but add to the clutter (i.e the partial left over skeins that accumulate and the finished items that stack or hang neatly in your front closet). I am not sure I am being proactive on the front of trying to avoid more knitwear but it dawned on me this year that I could give a lot of my Mad Hatter March hats away to knit worth friends. There are a lot of you out there, but  I can’t knit fast enough to give everyone a hat (If I could I totally would). I need to get better at more regularly  culling through the finished objects and partial skeins to let go.

It is really hard to let things go…. I like many look at the amount of dollars and time that was spent knitting an item. and while you want to give thing away you have no idea if a person even a “knit worthy” person will cherish and use the gift that you knitted up, but I need to try because it is not going to get better if I don’t put some effort towards that front.

So in the meantime I have 3 of the 8-9 hats I am knitting slated for friends. I hope that a couple will be teacher’s gifts  in about 7 months time and I plan on taking one of the hats to me with Shetland and Edinburgh in September.

In a few years time I am hoping that I can get courageous enough to let go and gift a crochet blanket, but I am so not there yet.

Oh, and I will finish this post with a R A V E about a new yarn I tried. I knit the Escher hat with  BC Garn Semilla Organic( I know it is available at Fibre Space and LOOP London). I first hear about this on Michele Wang’s podcast and have had some in my stash for a while. OMG people I love this yarn. It is the perfect balance between “wooly” and “refined” I.bought the dk wight but hope to use more in the future.

Escher hat with a TOFT pompom from ButtonsButton in Vancouver, Canada

Little Boxy


I was really excited when I saw the Joji was going to be publishing a kids version of her Boxy pattern. My daughter has been growing like a weed lately and I needed to make her a new sweater, and getting to test knit Little Boxy was a perfect win-win. I have been wanting to see how a drop sleeve would work and have yarn on hand( your shocked aren’t you?) for an adult version of the pattern. I really think knitting a kid’s sweater pattern is a great way to learn new techniques or understand the pattern.


I used the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Fingering in “Some Pig” and played a little game of yarn chicken. I opted to use a contrast color in a Canon Hand Dye’s merino cashmere nylon blend in her ” Silver” colorway and stripe the sleeves to ensure I had enough yarn the knit the sleeves. I really like the end result and while I did have to buy another skein of yarn I was able to used up 2 skeins in the stash so I can say I still made a dent in the stash:)

This is the 2nd test knit I have done for Joji and I really like the way she writes her patterns. They are clear and easy to read. I think this would be a great pattern for a newer knitter the pattern is straight forward and you have some options on how to knit this sweater there are two options that allow the knitter to choose if you want to knit the body flat or knit it in the round.  Other things that a newer knitter can learn is  short row shaping at the shoulders, a three needle bind off and learning how or getting more comfortable with picking up and knitting stitches.

 

I won’t lie the body is a lot of  knitting (but perfect for mindless knitting, especially if you opt for the “in the round” aka “seamless” version) but it is such a beautiful sweater and may daughter loves it. the oversized drape makes for a really lovely casual sweater, and when I was at the pharmacy the other day I was asked if I had bought it in a store.

Mad Hatter March Day-1

Casting on!

Yup.. It is actually happening. I cast on last night for the Origami Hat by Lori Versci. I remember when the pattern was released earlier this year and for me it was one of those moments where you bypass even questioning if it should be queued and just assume it is going to be made. I think it is the perfect pattern to use handspun yarn and I have decided to cast on in Koneko Handspun’s 2 ply. I have wanted to use Caterina’s yarn for a long time and I have to say it feels so nice on the hands. Her yard is less dense than mine and I am already getting some ideas about how to experiment with my spinning. I need to correct that last statement, to add when I actually have time to spin, because Think I will be quite busy with knitting hats:)

MAD HATTER March

Last year I gave myself a challenge to knit as many hats from my Ravelry queue as I could during the month of March. this year. I have to say it was the fastest I have ever burned thorough items in my queue and my stash. I have hopes of doing it again this year, but have picked 8 patterns that I want to knit.  I think that this goal is definitely doable, but  think that it might be a stretch because there are a bunch of hats that must be knit using a fingering weight yarn.

I really subscribe to the school of “under promise and over deliver” so for me to say that this is possible to knit is really increasing the amount of pressure for me because it is a bit out of my comfort zone.  I have a my “Shabby Chic” granny stripe blanket which I can’t stop working on because it is so much fun (to be honest I find myself  winding up skeins of fingering yarn just to add a single stripe).

I need to get back the topic at hand.. the hats…. I am hoping that I can make a dent in some of my handspun stash and work down some of the partial skeins I have on hand for the colorwork hats. I also will be happy to make a  Crofthouse hat as that is one of my goals for the knits I want to take to Scotland with me this fall.

 

Fern

Lowbrow hat

Delta

Crofthoose hat

Origami top hat

Escher 

Bough

Star Anise