Category Archives: stash

The Knitter’s To-Do List

Oddly enough, it does make me feel a smidgeon more accomplished, to have gone from something like this:


…to this:


Yarn, you and me have got a lot of work to do. One at a time, there’s room for all of you on my needles.

It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it. Game on.


Filed under design, stash

Knitting Detritus

A while back – I mean, four or five years ago – I remember reading about how if you save all of your yarn labels you could do super fun things with them like collages or decoupaged dress forms or various paper crafts. And I like stuff, and I like saving things that could potentially be useful (hello, yarn stash, nice to see you), so I just started shoving my yarn labels into a bag whenever I started a new project.

Some times, this comes in darned useful. If you are ever unsure of exactly how many yards were in the skein, or which dye-lot you used, or if that was the Cascade 220 blueish heather or somebody else’s blueish heather, or if you’ve got 34g leftover, how many grams did you use up from the original ball of how many grams did that weigh again?

But years later, I can see that what I have ended up with is, quite simply, a pile of yarn labels.


I can’t help thinking as though this is the moment when a Yarn Archivist should spring out from the next room and say “Aha! This is what it all means.” I can tell the yarns I have used most often, and also which yarns I only used once or twice and then never went back to.

Also, just looking at some of the labels themselves is sort of interesting. Let me tell you, yarn dyers – if you’ve got a label that can stand out in a pile like this, then you’re probably doing something right. Colours, shapes, images, logos, paper quality…they’re not all the same. Sort of neat to look at, in a really geeky way.


I don’t think I want to do any decoupage any time soon. But still…NOW what do I do with them?


Filed under stash

More or Less

Thanks to you fine folks, it looks as though I am going to be sending well over $350 to the even finer folks at Doctors Without Borders. Just as a reminder, 100% of cash from my pattern sales from now until January 30th will go into a donation to MSF/DWB. So that means you get more patterns to knit, I get the fun of knowing that more people are knitting my patterns, and MSF/DWB get a pile of money. I call that a win-win-win.

It is odd, at the same time that harsh reality is so confrontingly harsh in particular parts of the world right now, to be a person contemplating the parts of her own life with so much abundance. Last weekend I took a plunge into better stash organization and did a long-awaited IKEA trek to acquire new shelves for just this such purpose.


Dudes, I have a lot of yarn. Like, a lot. Is it a good thing or a bad thing that my yarn room/office now looks a lot like my own personal yarn shop? It is at the very least, all yarn that I like, and it’s taken several years to get to the stash collection that I have. My stash and me, we’re gonna do fun things.


As, I suppose, many people do from time to time, I have plenty of moments when I wish parts of my life were different. But I do have a lot of yarn, and it is yarn that I like, and it holds creative possibility. And in some ways that is a lot more than I could have.

So, I have decided to be okay with the fact that I have yarn. If it’s the one part of my life where there is too much of a good thing…I can be good with that.

And when I get home I am totally going to give it a hug.


Filed under stash

What comes of not having a plan

Exhaustion is starting to become a theme around these parts. Now that the term is in full swing I’m starting to feel it, and even though in a couple of weeks I know I’ll start to turn that corner when the end is near and I get a burst of energy back, right now it seems to be enough just to make it to dinner time. So it is both enjoyable and odd that I would add another layer of travel exhaustion onto all of this by hauling myself off to a weekend wool festival.

The reason I bring this up is that today I got home in time enough to photograph my Rhinebeck purchases (daylight hours are starting to diminish), and dudes….some of this stuff I only have vague memories of buying it. And then I remembered that my Saturday at Rhinebeck was sort of this odd plan-less mixture of relaxation (from being with all the knitters and the wool) and fatigue (from the work-travel cocktail), and not only that but guys…I had no plan whatsoever when I went to Rhinebeck this year. None. I think the extent of my plan was “I like yarn and will buy some.” Usually I say to myself “I will look for a sweater’s worth of something in worsted” or “must definitely stop by this particular booth,” but this year by the time I realized I should have done that, it was mid-afternoon and my tote bag was already half-full and I was sort of adrift on impulse. Next year I will go with a plan.

Not that I came home with crap, mind you. Oh no. I may have picked up bits and bobs of things that I didn’t fully understand at the time (like the armload of A Touch of Twist in this post, which is beautiful but I swear I have no idea what I am going to do with it), but mostly I think I chose wisely.


As, for example, with these 3 Into The Whirled braids. I know that once I finally get back into a spinning routine, these will be so much fun to try out. They are, from bottom to top, merino, merino/silk/bamboo, and polwarth. And the colours are beautiful and how can you go wrong with awesome colour?

Also, for the first time this year I finally made it into the Brooks Farm booth. (Note to self: get there earlier next year). This was the point in the day when I was trying to find a sweater yarn, but then flamed out and decided “you know, Glenna, maybe you should shoot for hat and mitts.” (The temperatures may have had something to do with this thought). So after some decision-making, I got 3 skeins of Solana, which is a worsted-weight superwash that comes in their usual awesome Brooks Farm colours.


I also remembered the sock yarns. I remembered to go by the Holiday Yarns booth, because I got a skein of their Flock Sock last year and quite liked it, so I grabbed a skein in ‘Orange You Glad’ to break out of my colour norms, and also a Kitri kit (not pictured). The red and the blue yarns there are J Knits sock yarn, from the Seaport Yarns booth, because I remembered at the end of the day that I’m currently on the lookout for red and blue sock yarns (for a design project currently in its conceptual stage…soon…soon…)


But you know, I think my favourite purchase from the day were these 2 skeins of sock yarn (fingering weight, in the teal, and sport weight in the lilac) from Steam Valley Fibers.


It’s a vendor I haven’t purchased from before, and you know, those 10 minutes or so that I spent looking at all the colours and pondering which ones to get, and chatting with the other knitters who were looking at the same yarn, and then paying and inquiring briefly about the yarn with the vendors themselves…those were a pretty good 10 minutes. One of the challenges at Rhinebeck is the crowds and the patience and the wanting to get to the yarn that you want, and you know, the Steam Valley Fibers booth wasn’t stressful at all. It wasn’t empty by any means, but it was still good to get into and get out of and the yarns were beautiful. I like these 2 skeins.

So even though I wish I’d been a bit more organized about my purchasing, I’m happy that I grabbed several things I’ve not tried before, and as a result I have expanded my toolbox stash a bit more. I’ve got some things that I’m glad to try out or see what comes of them, even if they don’t have specific plans attached.

And you know…looking at all the yarn now, I gotta say, it’s pretty restorative. I like yarn. And it’s nice to look at and know that it’ll become something, some time in the future.

Knit on, my blogland friends!


Filed under rhinebeck, stash

Socks on Sunday

Thank you all so much for your comments on my last post. It is wonderful to hear from so many people who want to get into the world of sock knitting – after all, sock knitting has pretty much transformed my own knitting life! With the help of a random number generator, I am pleased to announce the winner of the copy of the Big Book of Socks is….Kathleen! An email has been sent to her and the book will be headed her way.

Speaking of sock yarn, I’m pondering which of my stashed Lorna’s Laces to pull out for my next transit-knitting pair of Jaywalkers. Clearly when I said my next pair was not going to be anywhere in the purple or red or green area, I was on the crack. It’s so hard to choose…


This is how it starts, folks. One day you’re innocently knitting your first pair of socks, and then suddenly you have to start sub-categorizing your yarn stash not just according to yarn weight, but different brands of yarn weight.

Not that you’ll hear me complaining, of course.

It’s gearing up for Thanksgiving time around these parts, or certainly around my house. Technically Canada celebrates Thanksgiving tomorrow but like many our family feasts on the Sunday. If you’re in the ‘top half’ of North America, Happy Thanksgiving! And a happy weekend to all, nonetheless.


Filed under socks, stash

Reports from the Field

1. Although I’m pretty pleased that I haven’t had to use my Pattern Notes and Errata page in a while, the wee errors do sometimes slip through there occasionally, and I’ve begun an entry for Rendezvous. They are small errata, but there none the less. In the interim, I am going to try to work harder at the whole “being perfect all the time” thing, but I’ve heard that this might take a while. Further bulletins as events occur.

(Incidentally if you are a person who has downloaded my patterns through Ravelry, you’d get any updates automatically anyway. This is when it pays to keep your email address in Ravelry up to date.)

2. Yea verily I did what the internet told me and after starting my new socks yesterday morning, I am pulling the kid mohair strand from the outside, contained within a plastic baggie next to the merino sock yarn within my travel knitting bag, and it’s all going very well so far. The socks are actually working up pretty neat and I’ll be sure to post about this later.

3. At the Kitchener-Waterloo fair yesterday I ran into a couple of knitters who found this same Fleece Artist sock kit and bought it as a direct result of my enabling. I regret nothing.

4. The Kitchener-Waterloo fair was great. It was pretty hopping, too, more so than I remember it last year. Apparently there was a line-up waiting to get in right at opening. Inside the two vendor rooms was lots and lots of good stuff, and good people too.


I believe the final count was around 80 Vendors participating, and they did not disappoint. It was wall-to-wall knitting and spinning supplies and lots of happy people with happy bags and armloads of things, in varying quantities. I ran into several friendly faces, including Lisa, Michelle, Theresa, Rochelle, blogless Elizabeth who I met in Ottawa in the spring, and probably several others who I am likely forgetting. I like that even though it’s a big event, it’s still pretty easy to find people you know and stop to chat at the edge of a corridor somewhere.


5. I bought some yarn. I bought more than I thought I would, which I realize in and of itself is not unusual for me, but I suppose I was felled by two things: First, the K-W fair and the Rhinebeck trip in October are the sanctioned yarn-buying times that I am allowing myself for the forseeable future. Second, I was, as of the beginning of the day, on a complete blank slate. I woke up and had no projects on the needles, for the first time in I don’t know how long. I think as a result, my brain reached for things I didn’t expect it to.

The fact that, after I got home, I cast on a (blue) sweater with yarn not purchased yesterday, is not important. What IS important, is that I managed to not buy blue yarn. Having prepared myself beforehand, I gave myself rules to branch out of my current colour tendencies and get other things. And my knitting brain said, “you want ‘not-blue’? Hah! I’ll give you so much ‘not-blue’ you won’t know what do DO with yourself.” Exhibit A, three skeins of the awesomest bright colours you’ve ever seen:


From left to right, these are Van der Rock yarns, Lorna’s Laces, and Tanis Fiber Arts. Van der Rock yarns are a relatively new Canadian outfit, run by two extremely adorable people. I encountered their booth at Sock Summit for the first time and was happy to encounter them again. I walked away with the pink skein above in “Neon” (all their colourways are named after elements from the Periodic Table, or molecules…you can have Arsenic green, Lead purple…good geeky knitterly fun), and really enjoyed chatting with them.

The Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (this one here is the ‘Satsuma’ colourway) was an (unsurprising) addition to my quest to have as many Lorna’s Laces Jaywalkers as I can knit (we’ve moved well beyond the goal of ‘a week’s worth’ now), in a variety of colours, and the Tanis skein is her new colourway called “Lemongrass.” It’s so bright it had to come home with me.

Also, I bought Noro sock yarn. I have no explanation for the fact that I brought home 6 skeins of it (2 silk garden, 4 Kureyon), other than that it was on my list for sock knitting this winter, there were lots of sales, and I am helpless. Also, even when there is blue, it’s not just blue, so that totally is allowed in the not-blue rules.


I may have also bought a few bits of spinning fibre. Maybe. I’ll save that for later. Today I’m going to continue knitting my new sweater, and ponder what I’m going to do with my new acquisitions. Fun times ahead for Sunday. I hope you have a good one!


Filed under knitting tourism, stash

Ask the Internet

First off, it has dawned on me that I may be heading back into a teal/blue colour jag, as witnessed by both my spinning and the knitting that is about to go back on the needles. I’m going to try to head this off at the pass and cast on something that is not teal, but since I know Chante always manages to catch me on these things, with her steel-trap powers of colour jag observation, I thought I’d better fess up right up front. If you’re anti-teal (though why would you be? it’s so bright yet soothing…) I promise I”ll try not to make it a habit for too long.

Second, I have some show and tell and a question. Back in July when I was in Toronto one week, I met up with Kim and we perused Romni Wools while they were having their summer sale. The summer sale is not to be trifled with. All their yarn goes on 20% off, and the store is huge. If you haven’t trained beforehand, you could really hurt yourself.

I managed to exercise some self-restraint, but even for a person who “wasn’t going to buy anything” (because at this point I was “trying not to buy much before Sock Summit” hahahahahhah), even coming away with a few skeins is a lot. BUT, one of said skeins popped back up in my memory this week and I pulled it out to get ready for the weekend. I’ve got a little bit of car-knitting time in view, and no current sock project in the travel bag, so this seemed like a good bet.


This is a skein of Fleece Artist merino sock yarn, put together with matching yardage of a matching colour of kid mohair/nylon. The idea (I think) is for you knit the two strands together, and since the mohair/nylon is quite sturdy as well as being as soft as kittens, you get a very colourful, soft, decadent, but practical pair of socks. Sign me up. I remember back in May when I was taking Cat Bordhi’s class at Lettuce Knit, the store had just gotten some of this in stock and Cat saw it, saw that it was regularly priced at only $20, and said something like “buy them all right now before they realize what a great deal this is!”

So anyhoo, fast forward to now, when I’m ready to break this kit out and do some soothing stockinette sock knitting with it, and I wind up the merino half and after struggling to find the ends of the mohair/nylon I manage to wind that up too despite the fact that it resembles a matted bundle of cobwebs…


…and that is when I remember that I have managed to never once in my life knit with a brushed mohair/nylon blend like this. Not once.

So my question for you, dear knitting internets, is if you were about to go knit with this stuff and want to save yourself as much agony as possible in the face of clingy grabby mohair….Would you pull that ball from the centre, or the outside?


Filed under socks, stash