Friday, December 27, 2013

52 Weeks of Stash-Busting

Christmas is over and New Year's Day is looming on the horizon. I'm not really a big resolutions gal because I just break it in a month with the rest of the nation and then feel like a loser. So, this year, I'm setting some goals.

Like this gorgeous attic craft room...

With visions from pinterest dancing in my head, I've begun to formulate a plan to transform our bonus room from cavern of crap to sweet WOman cave/crafting haven with a guest space. Aside from a wall of books, the majority of which I'd love to transfer to nice bookcases downstairs, there are DVD's, CD and then a whooooole lotta random items purchased for crafts that never came to pass...but that doesn't mean I don't want them to.

I have found that my etsy shop is a great way for me to create something beautiful and then have a good venue to pass the finished product to somebody else. However, I have learned the hard way that I need to be realistic with the amount of time I have to devote to it, and also to guard my passion. It's wonderful to make a pair of socks that I hand-knit from beautiful yarn and relax, and watch the stitches glide off the end of the needles row by row. When I get to try a new technique or pattern at the same time, it's so satisfying! Making three pairs of basic stockinette socks right in a row to fill an order as quickly as possible? Not so much. It's what turns a hobby into a chore, and it was completely my fault for letting it get to that point. Plus, inevitably, the one color I don't have is what's requested, so in addition an opportunity to cull from my stash is lost.

It was in looking through a small bag of embellishments I'd purchased with the intent of making notecards to list in the shop, but never had time for, that the idea for the year of stash-busting came to me. Sure, I've seen lots of people commit to not buying yarn for a year, but my supply hoard goes a little deeper. From chalkboards to fabric for maxi-skirts and everything in between, I've probably got it. Not massive amounts for each thing, but enough to complete one. From works in progress, to those never begun, I've got plenty to keep me busy for the year, and my goal will be to bring any one of them to completion each week. I will create, photograph and blog about the project and then list on my etsy shop if it wasn't purchased specifically for someone...and cross my fingers that it sells so that I don't end up with the new problem of hoarding said completed items. 

Idea firmly planted, where to begin? I thought a good place would be with the sweater I started for the Summer Sweater Knit Along, which I paused in knitting so I could test-knit the Antrorse Sweater for Shannon Cook. That test-knit was exactly the kind of project that makes me giddy with creative happiness. The front of my sweater is complete and I cast on the hem stitches for the back yesterday, so that I can complete it by next Sunday, enabling me to actually wear the sweater while it's still cold enough to do so. 

Here's to a year of stash-busting, please look for a new post each Sunday night! I'll work on creating a badge, and will post when it's ready, who else has a stash that they'd like to bust along with me?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Testing, Testing...

For a long time, I've wanted to test knit a pattern. Just being part of the creative process, and being able to help a fellow knitter bring their idea to life, is so appealing to me. I was honored to be included in the test group for Shannon Cook's first piece of apparel this fall; Antrorse, which was part of the book, Journey, by Shannon and Jane Richmond. The book is now available, full of gorgeous patterns, and I can't wait to knit more of them. The photography alone makes it coffee-table-worthy, and you'll be gazing at the pages over and over again.

Knit up in Quince & Co.'s Osprey (100% American wool) in the color snap pea, the vibrant green and aran weight yarn were so much fun to work with. A central chevron motif that leads the eye up to a funnel neck that can also be unbuttoned and turned down, make it flattering for almost all body types. Visually interesting and quick to knit, it was instant gratification, which I can't say about my sock weight wonder, Hitch, which is beautiful, but will take a little more time to complete. 

Without further ado, here are a few photos of my finished product, and the work-in-progress. 
Before knitting the left arm.

center chevron panel

Thanks again, Shannon for including me in the test group, and I hope to work with you again soon!