MD S&W 2017 Recap

It became a sort of joke that I was never going to make it to Maryland Sheep and Wool again. I last went in 2009, back when I was a baby knitter and didn’t have much money at all to spend on yarn as I was still in school. (I spent that year walking around with Olga Buraya-Kefelian, a friend who also happens to be a knitwear designer who was just starting her ascent into knitting fame back then.) Every year after that, something would come up to keep me from going: we’d be out of town, be going to a party, I’d be sick, etc.

This year, though, I was determined to make it. Despite still not quite being over my cold, I went to the festival with my neighbor, Sara. We went on Sunday afternoon which, of course, is after all of the most popular items are gone but the crowds are far, far less than on Saturday or even right at opening on Sunday. We took our time and walked through each of the barns, the exhibition hall (which we missed the first time around, somehow), and the outdoor vendors.

I had gone with a rather laughable goal: buy two sweater quantities of animal-free yarn, one in sport weight and another in worsted. Yep, I went to a sheep and wool festival to not buy wool. Unsurprisingly, I did not meet my goal.

We did get to see an alpaca, though. Sara wanted to kidnap him and bring him home to meet her girls.

I couldn’t resist a few wooly things, however. I have quite a stash of worsted yarn right now, so went for sock and fingering-weight yarns, both of which I’m running rather low on.

Knittyandcolor Sock Yarn in the coloway Milky Way [to become socks for Sara]

I couldn’t resist winding it to see how the colors showed up.

Two gradients from Fiber Optic Yarns – Foot Notes Yarn (colorway: Thunder – Lightning) and Kasmir Yarn (colorway: Onyx – Crimson)

I took some time to wind the whole set of 15 little skeins up. (Then started on a shawl with it, right away.)

Any of you go to MD S&W? Get anything really fun?

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MD S&W 2017 Recap

State of the Stash

Although there’s zero evidence here, I have been keeping track of my stash the last few months. That said, I haven’t been great about adding yarn to my Ravelry stash as I’ve bought it nor weighing leftovers accurately. I’ve knit a lot this year, but also had a few times of going a bit nuts at my LYS or when traveling, so my numbers since my last stash summary, way back in May.

Here’s the numbers, with delta shown against those May numbers:

  • Total of 18248 (-1030) yards
  • Lace weight: 0 yards (same as before)
  • Fingering weight: 10873 (+3628) yards
  • Sport weight: 1587 (+443) yards
  • DK weight: 1587 (+443 yards)
  • Worsted Weight: 4108 (-2324 yards)
  • Aran weight: 254 (-2591 yards, mostly by giving it away)
  • Bulky: 988 (-144 yards)
  • Super Bulky weight: 0 yards (same as before)

Not too shabby, really!

Other than the little I have in WIPs, here’s what all that yarn looks like (inside of my very messy closet).

Top shelf: UFOs and FOs, waiting to be finished or delivered to their recipients

Second shelf: Bag with all of my needles and notions. Stash of dishcloth cotton

Third shelf: Bulky and sock yarn

Fourth shelf: Worsted

Fifth shelf: Fingering not suitable for socks

Last shelf: All of the leftovers

State of the Stash

State of the Stash II

I’m pretty impressed with myself, both in terms of how quickly I managed to acquire yarn after my last SotS (less than a week later) and also how much I actually knit this month.

Current statistics (delta from last month):

  • Total of 20,215 (+1262) yards
  • Lace weight: 0 yards (does not include the yarn I have up for trade/sale)
  • Fingering weight: 7,245 (+253, probably just something I found between stash counts as I did not buy any) yards
  • Sport weight: 11612 (+315) yards
  • DK weight: 1144 (+684) yards
  • Worsted weight: 6,432 (-249) yards
  • Aran weight: 2645 (+603) yards
  • Bulky: 1,131 (no change) yards
  • Super Bulky weight: 0 (no change) yards

What I bought:

  • Two Studio DK gradient kits (685 yards each, one used up in this month) from Neighborhood Fiber Company
  • One Rustic Fingering gradient kit (1100ish yards) from Neighborhood Fiber Company
  • One skein of Studio DK from NFC (which I just realized I never put in my stash…so is not above)
  • One skein of Jawoll in crazy bright colors (459 yards)

What I Knit:

  • Various leftovers from projects, mostly Sport weight
  • Started a skirt for E (though that whole total is still in the above)
  • Knit a Clapotis and a mini shawl (totaled 685 yards of DK, but that was all purchased this month)
  • Knit a Different Lines (used up 2 skeins of Spud and Chloe Fine)
State of the Stash II

Adventure in Two Parts – Part I

Every now and then, Matt’s parents will take Lizzie for an entire week. We get a break from being parents, she gets a break from us / gets spoiled by her grandparents, and they get to spend lots of time with her. Last weekend, we took full advantage of one and a half weekend days to explore and also revisit some of our favorite spots in Baltimore and DC. In this post, I’ll share about the Baltimore half of our weekend.

Saturday, the plan was to get together with one of Matt’s friends from college for hanging out and dinner. With hours before we had to be only 45 minutes away from where we’d done the Lizzie Handoff, we weren’t quite sure what to do with ourselves. Somehow, I convinced Matt to be dragged to two very Angela-centric activites.

We first stopped by the (free!) Charm City Craft Mafia’s spring Buzz! festival. I was too distracted by the fun things for sale to take photos, but it was a nice, small event with lots of different things for sale. We picked up a gift for a relative from Tiny Dog Press and a Virginia state bird map from Wooden Pencil Co.

While there, Matt pointed out that a yarn company was a sponsor. None other than one of my favorite yarn dyers, Neighorbhood Fibre Company. She didn’t have a booth, so I pulled out my phone to see just how close her shop is. Two miles! While it would take awhile to drive over there – the weather was still crappy at that point in the day – and he’s not really into yarn shops, Matt said ok to going.

Her shop is in the front half of her space and full of light. She’s got a few needles and notions off to one side, hanging out with some OOAK items.

See, proof that Matt was there. He was happy to play on his phone as I wandered around, touching everything.

In stock and on display was every color of every one of her major yarn lines. It was awesome.

Before I move on…A messy photo of my haul – two gradient kits in Studio DK, one in Rustic Fingering, and  OOAK skein of Studio DK.

After that, we drove over to his friend’s place and parked. Not sure of what else to do with ourselves – and the weather was now cool but clear of rain – we decided to take a walk all over his neighborhood and the ones adjacent.

 

Eventually, we stopped at a bar for a beer and some pin ball and skee ball and, later one, some dinner at a really great burger place. Then, it was goodbyes and we headed home.

(Tomorrow – or maybe in a few days – part II!)

Adventure in Two Parts – Part I

Stash Diving

I used to have a pretty large stash for someone who didn’t do a whole ton of knitting. Two big plastic bins of the stuff, taking up room in my office closet, staring at me. I was pretty good about going into the stash when I was inspired to make something, but was horrible at not saying no to a new yarn that I really wanted. I’d take about any excuse I could think of – this color/fiber content/dyer always sells out, worsted/fingering/sport weight has a million uses, I should learn how to knit with laceweight, this would be great for trying out colorwork, etc.

Now my life is a whole lot busier (and I no longer live walking distance from my LYS). Sure, I still have the room for the stash in those bins, but I don’t have nearly the same amount of time to knit or even to acquire stash. (I’ve never been one to buy yarn online, though I have occasionally when I couldn’t find the exact weird yarn I wanted at my LYS.) I am down to one bin of yarn waiting to be knit that’s not already tied to a specific WIP. That’s it – just one.

I haven’t updated my Ravelry stash in forever and I had some time (and nervous energy) on my hands, so I went to the task of getting everything recorded, photographed, and organized a few days ago. (This also forced me to vacuum my office for the first time in an embarrassingly long time. My excuse is I rarely sit in there for any length of time, it’s just where all of my craft supplies live.)

Let’s see what I found lying around that bin and, you know, the rest of my tiny office. It totals to the surprising amount of 10, 805 yards. And, don’t forget, these is all stuff that’s not part of a WIP. I also have ton of additional yardage in WIPs.

Lace Weight

I don’t own lace weight because I use it that often, but out of a feeling that real shawl knitters use lace weight and I want to be one of them.

2 balls of Anchor Freccia which is actually even more tiny than laceweight – picked this up in Spain last summer

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1 hank of Chopped Tomatoes Wanderlust which is 500 m of tiny, tiny silk I won via a blog contest

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2 balls of Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace in black and 1 in bright pink

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Fingering Weight

Love fingering weight. I use it for socks and shawls and, when I’m really crazy, I consider using it to make a sweater. (My one attempt at this was a horrible failure. I literally tossed the yarn I used for it.)

800 grams of random scraps or other smaller skeins – all kept and collected to make one of those sock yarn blankets. So far, I’ve only made about a dozen squares.

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1 skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co Studio Sock in Cleveland Park

1 skein of Neighborhood Fiber Co Capital Luxury Sock in Cooper Circle

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Sport Weight

I tend to buy this on accident, thinking it’s Fingering. I’m not a big fan. Hence the massive amount I currently own. Heh.

1 skein of Ms Babs Yummy 3-Ply in Algae (that’s the green one in the last photo)

DK Weight

DK is great because it’s not as heavy as Worsted so not as warm and not as bulky. And it’s close enough to Worsted that you don’t notice it’s thinner when you’re knitting it. (Or maybe that’s just me.)

1 skein of Berroco Vinatage DK in color 2194, a teal-y blue

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Worsted Weight

Bought for sweaters and hats and all that. Versitile but I have a love/hate relationship with it because of it’s bulk.

4 skeins of Berroco Vintage in color 5103, a dark chocolate brown (leftover from my February Pullover)

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4 skeins of Berroco Vintage in color 5154, a deep red (leftover from a different sweater I still haven’t finished)

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600 g of – yes – Vanna’s Choice acrylic in tan and lt blue/green/purple/orange (bought for a baby blanket for Squirms that I only worked on for a few weeks then quit)

85 g of Knit Picks Chroma in whatever the color with all the blues is called (leftover from a hat I made for Squirms while we were in Shenandoah)

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1 ball of Knit Picks Chroma in the blue/purple/pink colorway

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1 skein of Araucania Nature Wool in color 18 , in shades of dark blue

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80 g of Berroco Remix left from Squirm’s Halloween hat

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217 g of Berroco Weekend in purple

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Bulky and Other Heavy Weights

I buy this stuff when it’s the middle of winter and my hands are frozen. I convince myself I will use it to make myself a hat or gloves or something. Then I start to knit with it and remember why I hate it – it’s so, well, bulky! The needles you have to use are gigantic and unwieldy.

164 g of Berroco Weekend Bulky in a dark coral – not sure what I got it for but it’s leftover

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80 g of Eco Wool leftover from Squirm’s Halloween sweater

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218 g of Eco Wool leftover from who knows what in deep teal

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2 skeins of Araucania Nature Wool Chunky in color 116, light magenta

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Stash Diving

Ode on a Winder and Swift

Thou wonderful gift from loved ones for birthday,

thou saver of aggravation and time,

wood and plastic, I must confess,

you were almost worth cleaning the table of mine:

what nice, wound balls, do you produce,

of wool, acrylic, cotton, or blends.

but can you also manage silk?

what of large balls like Eco Wool?

or ones of thin thread like Squishy Toes?

what to wind first? what hank?
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugMy apologies to Keats. I couldn’t help myself. Matt got me the lovely swift and I used my birthday check from my parents to get the winder. Now, instead of taking a good 30 minutes – assuming I had zero interruptions and the hank was in perfect order – to wind each hank, it’s less than a third that amount. And, soon as I realized the leading arm thingy had to be locked into place, I can produce these lovely, neat balls of yarn.
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On Saturday afternoon, Squirms was napping and Matt taking advantage of the quiet time in his office, so I just took over the kitchen table and wound balls until my fingers felt like they were going to fall off. Enough Vintage to finish my sweater (the first ball was a mess so it’s not in this shot) plus one of Ms Babs sock yarn for socks for someone at some point. I should be good for a couple weeks, at least, though I can’t wait to have an excuse to take the winder and swift back out!

Ode on a Winder and Swift