Against the stress.

I will take a deep breath now and focus on writing a nice, calm post about knitting. And yarn. And planning presents for wonderful people. Because I just read another news article (this time about the upcoming French election), and the nationalism shown in the comments make my guts turn. I cannot escape politics right now. I check the news several times a day and in 90% of the time, something new comes up. Some of it is good, but most of it leaves me sitting in front of the screen with disbelief and worry.

I could write more about this, but I won’t. Enough. I need some space to breathe and to relax. There are other things, good things, important things. I think it is wonderful that in times like these, act of kindness still happen, and we should show them more, and use them to remind us and others that not everything has gone down the drain.

Here we go.

1. Look at this.

geschenk-von-stacey-januar-2017

Last year, I found Stacey from weekendknitter on tumblr (or rather: We found that tumblr was another way to connect for us, as I have been reading her blog for ages, and she, as I am happy to say, reads mine, occasionally), and it’s wonderful to see her short postings about spinning and spindling and doing all things yarny there, and to be in touch. Stacey is a mother of two, a wonderful, strong person, an incredibly talented (fiber-) artist, and she is all kinds of awesome. We updated our addresses, and she spotted this at Joann’s and send it to me. It’s absolutely terrific. Not only are the articles interesting (what awaits you at a fiber festival, how do you spin batts, how can you play with colourful fiber and spin it up the way you want to knit it later), but the patterns in this magazine are great. Simply wonderful. Stacey, I love you, and you’re one of the best people! πŸ™‚

2. The mittens are done.

raucherhandschuhe-07 raucherhandschuhe-04
Knitting them was really interesting – I have only knit fingerless mittens before, and while I didn’t find knitting the fingers hard (it wasn’t even as fiddly, because I was knitting with aran weight yarn and 3.0mm needles), I changed the pattern a bit and measured my father’s hands thoroughly. I am really happy about the stripes (the original pattern has two, which looks nice as well), and, what is most important – my father loves them, and they fit him fine.

raucherhandschuhe-05 raucherhandschuhe-06


3. I bought yarn.

250grams of aran weight, to be precise.

shawl-fur-monika

As you may know (or not know – well, you know now), Little Church Knits (link to designer page on ravelry) has a Free Pattern Friday every week – this week, it’s The Big Skinny. (link to her blogpost, where you will get the code for this pattern).

Little M.’s grandmother will celebrate her birthday next month, and she wears mostly cold colours, so I thought that a nice garter stitch shawl would be a wonderful present for her. I am not 100% secure about the colour combination, but I like it, it reminds me of art deco somehow, and something else I cannot quite lay my finger on. But I hope she will love it as well.

4. I knit myself a new pair of socks.

wearing-my-greens-05

Last year, we were doing a Secret Santa at work. Quite a few colleagues joined us (we were ten people in the end), and the coworker who drew me got me – yarn. While I probably wasn’t the hardest candidate to get a present for (everybody at the office knows I love to knit), she really put a lot of thought into it, went to a LYS, asked whether the ball of yarn she selected would get me a pair of identical socks, because she was sure I’d prefer that (!), and made sure that one ball of yarn would be enough for a pair of socks at all. I was over the moon with joy, and at once decided that this would be the first sock project of the year for me.

wearing-my-greens-06

This was my travel project for January, so I put an afterthought heel in and did them in simple stockinette stitch. I love them! Yarn is Schoeller+Stahl Fortissima Color, knit on 2,0mm needles (64 sts). (Yes, I have worn them at work and showed her the socks. πŸ˜‰ ‘Course I did.)

5. Philipp is getting scrap socks.

When I weighed my “leftover” stash last year, I discovered that I had about 750grams of “leftover” sock yarn. This is quite a lot, particularly, because some of the balls are about 30grams. I put three colours together (the little ball at the top of the picture might not be used, I haven’t decided yet) and, after asking Philipp whether he approved of them (he did), cast on.

wolle-f-restesocken

The toe was knit in Opal Sweet & Spicey 2 “Weintraube” (the bright blue yarn), and now I am alternating the green yarn and the Regia yarn. Actually, I am on the second version … the first sock had really big ladders at the sides, but it’s better now.

10-for-31-02 10-for-31-01

There is more to share, I knit so many things for Christmas I didn’t get around to blog about, and I took pictures of my stash as well – guess I am going to write one big post about all the projects and show them off in one go. Meanwhile, keep your heads up, my friends, and your hearts open! We will get through this, I know it.

All the love!
Julia πŸ˜€

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So, how’s it going with the Stash?

Hi there! πŸ™‚

Woah, that was a long time … Again … But there is a ton of stuff going on simultaneously right now (I’ll tell you in a separate post).

So! The first three-and-a-half months have flown by (at least that’s how it feels for meΒ  – anybody else thinks time is slipping away right now?), and I thought I’d give you a first update on my stashbusting plans for this year!

So, if you remember, I started out with 9,202 kg of yarn, and over 1 kg of fibre (you can read more about this here, if you want to).

For those of you who have already read that blog entry, or don’t want to read it right now, here is a picture of it all being spread out in January:

Stash 2015
And you might remember me saying that this was absolutely too much. And it was. I want to bust some serious stash, especially because I’d love to buy yarn again without beating myself up the minute I step out of the store, and it has worked quite well over the first three months!

I have several ways to keep track of my stash. First of all, I put it all on my ravelry stash page – this is a quick and easy way for me to link yarn and patterns, or to have a look if there are any great items I can make when I have leftovers (this is especially handy for leftover lace yarn).

I am also a member of the “Stricken statt klicken” (“Knitting instead of clicking” – referring to clicking on “buy” when you buy yarn online) group and have an entry in the “Stashtistic” thread there. The “Stashtistic” entry can be as elaborate as you’d like it to be – I simply state how much yarn I buy, how much I knit, if I gift some or if I sell some (this is rarely the case).Β  I do the totals for every month and for a total for the whole year – and to be able to compare numbers, I made myself a very simple spreadsheet where I only enter the totals for each year, so I can see how much I knit up from (or added to) the Stash in 2014, 2015, 2016, etc. Really simple.

So! How did it go?

Stash 2016 01
I am very proud to say that one of these bags in front of the two boxes is GONE. Yes. I used up enough yarn to transfer the yarn from one bag into the box. Don’t get too excited, it’s the smallest bag in the middle – but it IS progress, and I am really happy.

During the last three months (fueled by the House Cup), I knit

Now, I know that for some folks, this isn’t much, but it was enough to keep me occupied, and with all the other stuff going on, it was sufficient. πŸ˜‰

I only bought 200 grams of yarn during these first two months: 100 gram as insurance so I could finish the sweater (I didn’t use it and won’t use it and I still have the receipt and I will finally take it back, so I didn’t photograph it), and a ball of sock yarn of Regia Vermont Color:

Regia Vermond Color
Which looks simply stunning when it’s knit up (look here!) and will become a pair of socks for Philipp.

And then I splurged (well, you can’t really call it a splurge) and bought 100grams of a uni-coloured sockyarn for a change:

Sport- und Strumpfwolle_hellblau

I know that I have enough sock yarn (although the number of unused balls starts to dwindle slowly, but surely), I have wanted to knit a pair of patterned socks for a change, and I since I have wanted to knit the Polly Jean socks for ages now (and in light blue, too), this was too good an opportunity to miss. πŸ™‚

Apart from that, I didn’t buy anything new, and thus, I am happy to announce that I lost 520 grams so far, which leads to a total of 8,682 kg. When I will FINALLY have the Amiga Cardigan finished, I will be able to add at least another 300 grams on top of that, which is cool! πŸ™‚ (I’m small, so sweaters don’t seem to take up that much yarn. On the other hand, it also means that I don’t have to buy so much of it)

The only department where I haven’t made any progress so far, is spinning:

Stash 2016 03

But I am optimistic that I will get to that as well. πŸ™‚

 

Have a wonderful Sunday, friends! Love ya!
Julia πŸ˜€

Resulting Resolutions

Happy New Year all! πŸ™‚

I hope the first few days of the new year have brought nothing but joy for you, and many relaxing, happy moments.

I, for my part, cancelled each and every single weekend plan – I found it irresponsible to spread more germs around than necessary. Thus, I have neither been at knitting group (grrr) nor at my grandparents’ today, which was a real bummer – but, as you might recall, my grandparents are over 80, and even if they were younger, I wouldn’t want them to catch that.

So … Resolutions! This will be a pretty standard “start of the year” post, and lots of others are doing it, too – but please bear with mine, I have lots of pictures! Promise. πŸ™‚

Stash 2016 01

Since I have started this blog, Continue reading

Handmade! Or: Stash additions (TONS of pictures!)

Ausbeute Handmade 2014

Hi folks! πŸ˜€

Are you okay? I have been really busy last month, we still haven’t unpacked all of the boxes – since today, Philipp’s CDs and most of our DVDs (I never knew we had so many!) have found their place and it dawns on me that Continue reading