FO Friday: Farfalla in Fall

I’ll be catching up on FOs for the next few weeks … and it’s a good thing I have a bit of a backlog of un-blogged projects, because everything I’m working on is TAKING FOREVER. I really want to cast on something (anything!) new, but I really really can’t. I have a bunch of “big” projects on the needles, and two things due to publishers, and new design projects waiting ever-so-impatiently in the wings …  But, enough whinging! I bring you … Farfalla!

Project: Farfalla in Fall

Pattern: Farfalla

Designer: Christiane Burkhard

Available: $6 on Ravelry

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos

This is a well-written and fun-to-knit pattern that makes good use of variegated yarn. I seriously enjoyed the whole thing! High marks to Christiane Burkhard, aka “Lismi Knits.”

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Stash is Back, Baby!

So … I sort of half-intentionally, half-by-accident, took the summer off.  Halfway through July I realized I hadn’t posted much at all, and I thought I’d take a nice break from blogging, and then dive back in once school started up again. Well heck, we’re almost done with September, the kids have been in school since the last days of August, and I still haven’t posted!  My thanks go out to a knitting-circle friend (Hi, Jane!) who kindly brought this absence to my attention.  Time to get back to blogging, dear reader, and I hope you haven’t given up on me!

One thing I did get around to this summer was a complete inventory and culling of The Stash. Now, I don’t have as much stash as SOME people … but I knew for a fact things were out of sync with Ravelry, and that’s a problem for me.  I love data, pure and simple, and I want it to be Right.  On a more practical level, I use Ravelry’s stash and queue functions in concert to decide what to make out of which yarn … and also what yarn I’m “allowed” to buy, and which I should pass on.  (If I already have something, I don’t need to buy more!)

First Rule of StashCull: Get It Out

Can’t sort what’s hiding … so I got it ALL out. I mean everything!  Old stash, new stash, the 2nd ball for the WIP … everything!

Second Rule of StashCull: Fix It In Ravelry

So … this part kind of sucked, but essentially I sorted my Rav stash by yarn weight, and then went through one entry at a time.  I laid hands on the yarn for each Rav stash entry, or updated the entry to reflect reality (oh yeah, I gave that skein to a friend) (oh yeah, I finished that project but forgot to update my Rav stash).  Any yarn leftover after I’d gone through ALL of my Rav stash entries needed to be photographed and entered.

Third Rule of StashCull: Sort With Merciless Abandon

Before I started, I made a bunch of categories up and wrote them on 3×5 cards and made stations all around the living room. As I touched each bit of yarn, I also decided where it should live …. and here are the results!  I’m proud to report that my total yardage (according to my Rav stash) went from 81K to 50K.

“Rest of Yarn for WIPs” and “Assigned to Queued Project”

Any yarn that is part of a current WIP gets to stay (obviously), as does yarn assigned to a project in my Rav queue.  (I also did a quick cull of my Rav queue, to make sure I wasn’t hanging on to something for a project I’m no longer interested in making.)

 

“Keep Regardless” and “Assign to Project”

Some yarn is extra pretty, or has memories attached, or is just the right amount for specific short-notice projects (Baby Surprise Jacket, etc.).  That yarn I keep, regardless.  Yarn I like but isn’t quite in that category has to be assigned to a project!  If I couldn’t find a single project on Rav for that yarn, away it goes to some other category.

 

“Sell”

Yarn in good condition, I listed on Rav as “For Sale or Trade” (FSOT) along with price and shipping details.  I actually sold my first skein before I was even done sorting.  Most of what you see in the photo below is already gone, so don’t get too excited!  But, know that FSOT is a great place to look for yarn, and it’s a great place to re-home yarn while putting a little extra change in your wallet. I usually knock a few dollars off the retail price, and include S&H to the continental US.

 

“Give Away”

Partial skeins, unlabeled balls, and orphans went into this pile.  I brought it to the next few knit nights, and made my friends happy with yarn!  It was awesome.

 

Not Pictured: “Swatching” and “Teaching” and “Trash”

I keep a box of yarn given to me by companies specifically to develop designs. I don’t feel comfortable using this yarn (even in leftover format) for personal use, so I keep it for swatching for future projects. I went through this box and took out any yarn that was no longer in production (most of that went to “Give Away”). I also keep a bag of worsted-weight wool in pretty colors for teaching kids.  The yarn in these two categories doesn’t belong in my Rav stash, since I won’t be using it for projects, nor would I sell it or give it away.

I tossed tiny balls, old gross acrylic, and called it a day.  Phew!

 

NEW Pattern: Mainspring

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PatternMainspring

DesignerRachel Henry

Available:  $6 on Ravelry, or $12 for the Clockwork Collection

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos in Windmill and Kyoto

Boing! Mainsprings provide the principal impulse that drives motion and activity. This shawl is inspired by the clockwork rhythm and bounce of mainsprings.

This curved shawl alternates between wedge sections and straight sections. Short rows create pools of color and fabric. Each row uses one color at a time – no stranding! Slipped stitches and shorts rows do the heavy lifting in this design.

Mainspring is part of the Clockwork Collection. Each of three shawls in the collection can be made with two 100-gram skeins of fingering weight yarn. Look for Flywheel and Cogwheel.

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NEW Pattern: Cogwheel

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PatternCogwheel

DesignerRachel Henry

Available:  $6 on Ravelry

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Tyche in Asphalt and London

Click! Clack! Kerchunk! Cogwheels mesh to transmit torque. Rotational simple machines inspire this design.

This crescent shawl begins with the toothed edging, worked sideways. Two-color garter stitch alternates with lace wheels, all worked as you go. The body is worked from picked-up stitches, creating the crescent shape with gentle decreases. Slipped stitches continue the look of the edging, providing interest for the knitter and support for the shawl.

The edging is charted — full written directions for all charts are included in the pattern. The body has written directions only (no chart needed).

Cogwheel is part of the Clockwork Collection. Each of three shawls in the collection can be made with two 100-gram skeins of fingering weight yarn. Look for Flywheel and “Mainspring.”

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Nashoba Valley Knitters’ Guild

Last week I was honored and excited to speak at the March meeting of the Nashoba Valley Knitters’ Guild!  I meant to take a group photo or something for the blog, and then completely failed, so you’ll have to make do with a photo of the cute little project bag they gave me:

I have to say I was a little nervous about this speaking engagement!  I know I talk to knitters all the time, about knitting in general and also my own designs, but I felt a real pressure to be “good enough” for this group of finely honed knitters. After talking things over with the guild president, we settled on my talking about the design process in general, with a focus on my process and my shawl design Evolution in particular. The guild is doing a KAL for Evolution as we speak, so it seemed like a perfect focus — and I knew I still had all my graph paper notes and swatches in a binder from The Fiber Factor.

 

I went through my drawers and storage bins and found as many samples of my designs as I could. I also brought my design swatches, hoping that this would also be interesting to the group.  I also brought print copies of my shawlette design Heartsick, which I gave away to everyone who came, along with a code to get a Ravelry copy of the same pattern. I decided to donate my contributor’s copy of Fresh Designs: Kids to the NVKG lending library.  I figured if all else failed, they couldn’t hate me too much if I brought presents!

I’m pleased to say that the talk went well — everyone seemed interested and engaged.  They asked lots of questions and I felt that I was bringing them new ideas and information.  I was especially touched when one member came up afterwards and said I had been very “inspiring.”  I couldn’t have wished for more!