Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014- FO, WIPs & Year of the Stash Down.

Her she is! My Jade Shawl is finally a FO! This is my first FO of 2014!

 I am very happy with the end result (please ignore the end that wasn't not woven in for this picture). I wasn't sure how to block out the lace edging and decided to just let it relax on its own and I am glad I did. The drape on this shawl is lovely and it is actually rather warm. I just love how everything 'aired out' after soaking it, which was another reason I did not block it out severely. Once blocked it measured about 4 feet in wingspan and 2 feet (give or take) in height from the cast on edge to the tip. Isn't she Lovely! 

Now that my Jade shawl is off the needles I have three WIPs. Last week I cast on a pair of His and Her socks using the Level Up design by Heather of Highland Handmades( I will be knitting these socks two at a time, casting on a 'her' sock and a 'his' sock so I don't have to worry about splitting my skeins into two halves or forgetting to drop the yarn for one sock when I move over to the second. The color changes should act as my reminder to switch yarns. I am using Opal Smokey Eyes and Coloured Lips in 6640(her) and 6647(his) on my 1.5 Chiaogoo Red Lace (32" cable).

I haven't done a whole lot of knitting on these as I wanted to finish up the Jade Shawl ASAP but I am in no rush to get them down. I have been knitting now for roughly 9 years or so and haven't knit anything with cables since I first started to knit and did a test swatch. I want to take my time and make sure I am paying attention so I don't screw up somewhere. I actually tried knitting these in December for my bf and got as far as the foot when I lost track of the cable repeat and frogged them. I may have kept going but further up in the leg I had a few errors in the cables and wanted to start over fresh with the new year. So that's what I did only this time I had plans to knit two pairs, one for him and one for me, this is another reason for knitting them two at a time with one of each cast on. I know if I just worked on his first I would lose motivation when I finished them and never get to knitting a pair for my self. This way I will be forced to cast on a second time if I want a completed pair. I'll see how this works out but for now I think it's a good plan. 

For my second WIP I cast on another Lonely Tree Shawl this time using GnomeAcres Dk Jazzy Gnome XL base in Monster Kerfuffle. Right now I am not loving the way this color is knitting up with this design but I think as the shawl grows wider it will be really pretty.

This shawl will be gifted to my mother's boss and will be entered into another GnomeAcres Make-A-Long. Amanda is having another MAL for the months on January into mid February with a 'warm up' theme. You can knit anything that is meant to keep you warm during the cooler months. If anyone is interested in joining just stop by her Ravelry group. They also have a team set up for the 'Ravellinics', which I did join. This will be my first time taking part in the event and hopefully it's not a complete fail for me. I hope to get at least one toy or pair of mitts completed in the two week time frame.  

Back in November (I think) I started knitting a garter stitch blanket in some Lion Brand Homespun that I had tacking up space in my stash. It was just suppose to be a throw blanket knit using four skeins, two in Waterfall and two in Deco, however because I did not check my gauge and just went ahead and cast on 200 stitches the blanket has turned out to be roughly 6 feet in width. 

As much as I wanted to keep this a stash down project I did need to buy more yarn to complete it. I managed to purchase seven more skeins on New Years Eve at half price from my local Joann's, not bad if you ask me. Needless to say this will be a year round project and is now going be large enough to fit a queen size bed, it  is hanging out in my Victoria Secrets 2013 Black Friday bag (it was the largest tote/over night bag with a zipper I had free). Half of my stash is taking up my other Victoria Secret zippered over night bag, which is larger but not by much.

My stash is a bit out of control which is why I have designated 2014 to be the year of a stash down! I have joined the Knitting in Circles stash down in hopes that everyone's support and FO's will keep me on track and motivated. So far it's working. Everyone has set their own personal goals and have been posting their WIPs and stash down tips. Even though I have been extremely tempted to buy more GmomeAcres yarn, especially now that I have tried her Dk Jazzy Gnome XL base and that her seasonal colors for February, March, and April are for sale, I have been good and have not caved yet. When I set my personal goals I did allow for a few purchase which included these seasonal colors, fiber festival purchases (if I go to any), and the use of a $30 yarn coupon I got last year when I bought a blocking kit from knitpicks. The coupon expires in May (a year after I received it) and I am planning to buy some yarn to knit a sweater. I am waiting to use it though, I want to have several projects completed (including a sweater or cardigan) before I add another sweater's quantity of yarn to my stash. As for the Amanda's seasonal yarn, I am going to wait until one of the last updates for the yarn and give myself some more time to ponder the purchase. I really like her 'Do Ewe Lurv Me' and 'I Lurv Ewe' colorways so I am going to try and use up at least two skeins of yarn before I purchase these two. 

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