Saturday, 19 November 2011

Yardage shock

I've spent several hours last weekend and today (Saturday) excavating, photographing, and stashing my yarn onto Ravelry.  I couldn't do it in the week because it's dark when I leave and get home, and I'm using natural light for the photos. 

I've set up a primitive photo studio made out of two pieces of foamcore with some freezer paper clipped to them.  Despite tinkering with various settings on the camera based on advice from websites (white balance etc.), I was unable to get the camera to faithfully reproduce the colours of the yarn.  Using the natural light setting is the closest, although still a bit lighter in colour.

I think DH was pretty stunned when I brought in my storage crates of handknitting yarn from the machine knitting shed.

And I certainly wouldn't have taken my card index of yarn to work, to type it into Ravelry in the office, because that would be wrong.  :)

I'm still not finished, but so far I have stashed 129 yarns.  Ravelry lets you download an Excel spreadsheet of your stash, and on that you can add up your yardage.

106,728 yards.   So far.  I haven't even put it all on yet.

I am a bit stunned as well.  Considering I am not a particularly fast knitter, that is really a rather horrific (or splendid) total.  It's also a bit of an eyeopener that the entire stash is about 1/3 pink, 1/3 blue, and 1/6 purple.  Not only do I have enough yarn to keep me knitting for the rest of my life, but I will be very recognisable due to always being dressed in the same three colours.

I think it may be time to seriously consider going on a yarn diet.  Or at least banning myself from buying sweaters-worths of yarn - sock yarn and lace skeins shouldn't count, they're low fat.  Perhaps that should be my resolution for 2012, to only knit from my stash.  I think I have a bit of a collecting problem, because I have mammoth stashes for all my hobbies. Obviously somewhere in my brain is a voice screaming "buy it now, you might never see it again! What if it all disappears and you don't have enough!", etc. etc.

TV knitting this week was the cotton baby hat kit that I bought in America.  In the end, it was too small for me as the stranded knitting pulled it in too much.  After this picture I washed it, and it is currently drying in the airing cupboard.

I also made a start on the other kit I bought in New England, for the Tilly Thomas bag.  This is a pure silk drawstring bag, with a quilted top edged with grommets where you can pick up stitches onto a circular needle.  This makes the first few rows a bit challenging to knit, as the quilted fabric is bunched up under your needles, but it gets easier once you are away from the grommets.  The kit comes with mercerised cotton yarn in red and two blues, and the instructions are basically 'knit what you like until you've covered up the lining'.  I am doing some fair isle patterns with a few purl rows thrown in. I am using the extremely useful 'Complete Book of Fair Isle Knitting' by Sheila Macgregor, which has charted designs grouped by the number of stitches in the repeat.  I have 108 stitches, so I can use any of the 4-stitch repeats and also the 12 stitch repeats.

I've also done some tv knitting on the Drops cabled yoke sleeveless cardi.  This is much easier to knit using Stitchminder on the Ipad, because I can run two counters simultaneously, one for the cables and one for the short rows.  I'm getting near the end of the yoke, just a few more inches.

I finally blocked the Seriously Gorgeous Silk Drop Stitch Shawl, although I haven't taken a photo of it being worn yet.  It's really lovely, like silky gossamer but surprisingly warm.

I had to sit through two hours of speeches and other people's children one evening this week, in order to applaud my son's year and my son in particular who picked up two academic awards at the prizegiving.  DH dutifully clapped for a solid 60 minutes but apart from clapping my son's year, I was knitting on my Fan Stitch Half Circle Shawl and the Debbie Bliss fair isle wrist warmers.  I didn't get a lot done on the wrist warmers in New England because I switched the yarns between hands halfway through the first one, and decided I didn't like the effect, so had to rip back to where I'd switched and knit again.  I knit fair isle with one yarn in each hand, but I always have trouble with the tension being uneven, it's hard to judge how far to spread out the stitches and sometimes I end up with tight or loose stitches.

Today I've had a lovely peaceful day as DH and DS were out, so I spent the morning working on finishing some of the quilts that I did on my frame before the holiday.  I did some stitch in the ditch and a bit of free motion to finish off the Christmas gingerbread house wallhanging, and put it through the wash to remove the marks, so it is currently drying on the door.  I trimmed the edges of four more quilts and cut the binding out for them, ready for some marathon binding sessions.  I've also been doing a secret cross-stitch project for a gift.  I love the look of cross stitch but can only do it for about 30 minutes at a time because my eyes go funny and my wrist starts to hurt.  There's a woman at work who churns out about one massive cross stitch picture a week, I don't know how she does it.

1 comment:

Daisy said...

Wow, that's some yardage. Could you do like the Yarn Harlot and make up some of your stash into "kits" for each month of next year?

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