Or at least I should be. This year I’ve committed myself to participating in The Knit Girlll’s 2014 Stashdash. For those that don’t know, a stashdash is when you have knitting/crochet/spinning/weaving goals that you meet using yarn (or fiber) from your stash exclusively. It’s a great opportunity to work thru some stash, make room for new stash and to get around to using all of those “myyyyy prrrrrrrecious” yarns that have being sitting around in ziploc bags that you’re afraid to use.

Sounds fun and easy right? It is!

HOWEVER, this year’s goal is to get thru 5K (5,468 yards) of yarn. Yup, that’s five thousand four hundred and sixty eight yards of yarn. A shit-ton. Oh, did I mention that you only have just over 2 months to get thru this shit-ton of yarn (May 23rd to August 7th)? Yeahhhhh, a shit-ton of yarn in a short period of time.

Of course this appeals to me in every way and I have to participate.

Since I’m not the fastest knitter and I like to nap, I figured that I need a plan.

Step One:  Over think the shit out of what to make. What do I really want to make? What can I make with reasonable speed? What pattern/yarn combinations do I really want to make happen now or save for later? What Wolle’s Yarn Creation Color Changing Cotton colorway do I want to use? Should I throw in a few more cowls? What about getting my dishcloths for the summer swap out of the way? Blah, blah, blah, etc, etc, etc…

Enter an Excel spreadsheet:


Why yes, it is color coded. Why do you ask?

Anyway, am I absolutely, positively married to all of these items? No. This is just a rough plan that helps me see everything that I would like to accomplish and how any changes I decide to make can effect the bottom line. It also gives me a reason to build a spreadsheet, which always makes me happy.

Step Two:  Break out the WIPS. My first completion was a beanie (Barley by TinCanKnits – my project: Chestnuts & Barley) that was 85% complete when the stashdash started giving me 148 yards right off the back. My Yellow Dwarf Shawl should be coming off the needles (sooner rather than later) and giving me over 500 yards towards my overall total.

Now is also the time to wrap up those high yardage WIPS that are lurking in the closet. For me this means breaking out my Sunny Spread and Granny Square afghans for completion. I’m guesstimating them coming in around 1,000 yards each, but its highly possible that one or both them will use much more than that. Wootie woot!!!

Step Three:  Have a fast, high yardage project in the mix. I’m not one of those knitters that can make a lace weight shawl in 7 days. I mean, theoretically, I coooooould but I would have to take a full week break from work and do nothing but knit (no sleeping or eating). So since that ain’t going to happen, I decided to put some easy, but awesome yardage in the mix: I’m going to make the Garter Squish afghan by Stephen West. I’ve been wanting to make that afghan since the pattern was first published!  Miles and miles and miles of garter stitch knitting and it uses worsted weight yarn that’s held double throughout. Ohhhhhh yeah. I logged it into my Excel chart as using 1,000 yards but it should really come in around 2,000 to 3,000+ yards.

I think this is a solid plan. If I can just stay true to my plan I should able to make this stashdash my yarnie beeeeyatch.


Beanie Bender

You know what you do when you realize you have a shit-ton of Caron Simple Soft? You make beanies for charity – that’s what you do!

Okay, so while my mountain of Simply Soft was begging to be reduced, I was also inspired by my friends Eve and Jill to do some charity knitting/crochet this year. Like Eve, I knit up some beanies for Knots of Love (organization website here) for cancer/chemo patients using two of their patterns: Basic Slouch from their Young Adult Line (beanie on the far left) and Madeline’s Cap (brown and blue beanies on the right).

But then I found a foundation called Knit with Love (organization website here). Well, actually they liked one of my beanies on Instagram and I checked out their website. I saw that they took beanies and other knitted items in all sizes and all types of yarn – which I liked. But what I really liked about them is that they give to people that simply need help staying warm: chemo patients, victims of natural disasters, the homeless, etc. I like that – I like that a lot. So they got three beanies too: (top) Perfect Crocheted Beanie, (bottom right) Textured Unisex Hat, and (bottom left) Better Late Than Never Beanie.

I really like how all of these beanies came out. I will definitely be using these patterns again and again…well except for the Textured Unisex Hat pattern. That pattern calls for lots of front posts stitches and I’m really slow with that stitch. It took me forevah to make that hat up. And if it’s going to take me forever to make a beanie, I better be knitting it damnit.

Just A Few Good WIPs

Since my post about living a monogamous knitting life I’ve tried extremely hard to concentrate on only a few projects at a time. I’m doing okay…ish…

Minus my two blanket projects that I haven’t touched in monnnnnnths, I only have three projects on the needles/hook:

Solid Granny

Solidan (pattern > Solid Bottom Bag Crochet Tutorial): This is going to be a project bag – hopefully a knit night type bag. You know, something that can hold a couple of project bags and a small notions bag and be thrown over the shoulder. I’m working it up in a fairly tight gauge because as we all know, cotton S-T-R-E-T-C-H-E-S something fierce and I want this to be a large bag but not a LARGE bag. The combination of a US F hook and a shit ton of Peaches & Creme cotton yarn seems to be producing a nice and tight stitch – so far, so good.

Pascal (pattern > Arrowhead Socks): After multiple (soooo many) sock patterns were bought and downloaded, I finally found a pair of socks to make for the 2013-2014 EpicKALCAL. This pattern hit all of my requirements for this project DK weight yarn, easy lace pattern and top-down construction. I busted out my MarigoldJen DK yarn for this project and magic! I love the way it’s working up! Please note that this is like the 3rd freakin’ project I’ve tried with this yarn…so glad I found a good pattern for it…freakin’ finally.

I also used this project to try out the ever so popular Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I don’t really like a heel and gusset because it doesn’t fit my foot well. It makes my socks bunch up in the back of my shoes and spill out. Not a good look. I like this method much, much better. Not only does it fit better than the usually heel, it works up like gangbusters! No counting stitches, holes or picking up stitches down the side. ANNNNND the stitch count never changes and you can use it on any stitch count. LOVE IT.

Kittyhawk (pattern > Yellow Dwarf Shawl): This project is kind of a thing. Okay, soooooo at first this was the Metallurgy Shawl. But that pattern made me its bitch and I didn’t like working on it. There was just too much back loop this and don’t back loop that and the lack of true rest rows took its toll on me…about 10 rows in. Which is sad because it was reallllly pretty. But one day I was cruising around Very Busy Monkey’s pattern pages and noticed that she’d started another shawl series called ??? that included a pretty shawl called Yellow Dwarf Shawl. I was like “Oh that’s cute! I should make thaaaaaaaaaaa…OMG! That has the same body as the Metallurgy Shawl!!! Maybe I could turn the Metallurgy into this shawl!!!”

*buys pattern and notes that bodies are the same and I can easily switch from one pattern to another…gives self high-five*

So after a lot of stitch counting, frogging due to dropped stitches, additional dropped stitches being fixed by a friend while watching football, my Metallurgy Shawl is now officially the Yellow Dwarf Shawl! Progress is being made! PROGRESS DAMNIT!!!

My plan is to wrap up my bag first because I have lots of free time this week and I have the Superbowl on Sunday. PRIME CROCHET TIME.

I want to start the Washington Square Cardigan and Steven West’s Garter Squish NOW NOW NOW but I will show some self control…maybe. Don’t judge me.

Must knit all the projects!!!

Malabrigo Mitts

Pattern: Adeline Fingerless Mitts with Faux Cables by CrochetDreamz (my project: Malabrigo Mitts)
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Worsted
Colorway: Uva
Fiber: 100% Merino Wool
Hook: US H (5.0mm)
Dates: January 5th to January 12th
Skill Level: Medium (basic crochet skills, slip stitch & using single [back] loops)

Notes: These are soooo soft and squishy and the perfect size. The Malabrigo was in my stash as leftover yarn from the trim of my Taste Like Candy hat. I wasn’t completely sure that I had enough yarn leftover to make these as written, so I shortened them just a tad by four cast-on chains and in turn, the bottom half of the faux cable. I ended up having more than enough yarn with this modification.

I really like that the pattern used the back loop technique instead of both loops to build ridges and the use of slip stitches instead of single crochet stitches is also super cool. It made for a very cool texture with well defined ridges. The making of the faux cables was insanely easy. Like it’s hilarious how easy they were to make. But I like the effect that they have on the overall project – gotta love it when a little effort gives you a big bang!

Adorable, right!?

Oh, and let me just add this: this yarn is amazaballs!!! Understand, the weather in LA is so not fingerless mitt weather at the moment. Like its getting up into the 70’s and 80’s by the middle of the afternoon (life in Los Angeles – tough). But does that stop me from randomly putting them on and walking around my warm craft room just because they are super amazingly soft and awesome? HELL NO. I seriously wish I could make everything in life out of this stuff. EVERYTHANG!

Malabrigo Worsted Deja Vu & Uva. Literally the most awesome stuff ever. EVAH.

This is an EpicKALCAL project!!!  =)


Pattern: Oveja by Ana Luisa Galvan (my project: Pecora)
Yarn: Unwind Yarn Company Touring DK
Colorway: Sanibel Stoop
Fiber: 100% Merino Wool
Hook: US K (6.5mm)
Dates: December 19, 2013 to January 5, 2014
Skill Level: Easy-peasy (chain stitch, double crochet, & double crochet increase/decrease)

Notes: Love this simple shawl! The body of the shawl was super straight forward – lots of double crochet that made for great TV crochet. The border took a little more attention but was well worth it. So nice!!!

This came out really pretty despite the two hanks of yarn not being exactly the same. As I noted in my Ravelry notes, if you look at my blocking photo you can see that the corner of the shawl on the right is more solid, saturated and with less lighter flecks than the left portion of the shawl. I’m assuming this is the life you live when you buy from smaller indie yarn dyers and you don’t check that the skeins came from the same batch. Luckily you can’t see it when its around my neck, so it doesn’t drive me crazy!

But make no mistake – this yarn was delicious to work with. The color is divine and its super cozy without being heavy so I will be rockin’ this shawl a lot. Also, this shawl didn’t need to be soaked and wet blocked at all. I simply pinned it down to the dimension that I wanted (focusing mostly on pinning out the points on the border) and steamed it good. Real goooood. Worked perfectly.

My only complaint about this project is the actual write up of the pattern. It wasn’t as clear as I’m usually accustomed to and I had to guess what the designer meant and fake/guess my way through multiple sections of the pattern. I did, however, like the hand drawn section of the pattern because it did a good job at showing what the designer meant to say but didn’t.

This is an EpicKALCAL project! 🙂


Pattern: Anna’s Shawl by Kounting Sheep Designs (my project: Rosie)
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted
Colorway: Natural Heather
Fiber: 100% Wool
Hook: US J (6.0mm)
Dates: November 27 to December 22, 2013
Skill Level: Beginner (single crochet, double crochet, chain stitch, clear and instructions)

Notes: Like my Sockhead Hat, this shawl is all about endurance. Miles and miles and miles of single crochet. Miles. The lace border goes by fairly quickly though with lots of double crochet V-stitches goodness. But let me tell you, it’s totally worth it! So cozy and so warm and great for cold nights on the couch watching TV with the puppy and knitting!

Can we say huuuuge though?

This thing is so big I had to block it on my guest bed instead of my dining room table like I usually do. This isn’t totally surprising because I used over three skeins of worsted weight wool in making this monster. So awesome though. I’ve never blocked single crochet in worsted weight before but it came out fabulously. It drapes sooooo nicely and I love throwing it around my shoulders (LIKE A DIVA)!

Uber cozy!!!

This is an EpicKALCAL project!

Raisin in the Sun

Pattern: Elise Shawl by Evan Plevinski (my project: Raisin in the Sun)
Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Sock
Colorway: Velvet Grapes
Fiber Content: 100% Merino Wool
Hook: US I (Boye)
Dates: January 8 to October 30, 2013
Skills: chain stitch and single/double/triple crochet stitches

Notes: This shawl came about because as much as I looove Malabrigo sock yarn I was warned that it doesn’t hold up particularly well as socks. I’m already a fickle sock knitter so putting a ton of time into a pair that might wear out quickly didn’t appeal to me at all. This yarn is also slightly tonal and I was afraid the light spots would pool in a knitted shawl or hat. Soooo, after hunting around I came up with the idea of doing a crocheted shawl and found the Elise Shawl. And as usual…Great Yarn + Great Pattern = Fabulous Finished Object!

I have to say that it blocked out quite nicely. It was tiny when I finished the border but it blocked to the exact size that I wanted. It was a quick blocking job too. I used my Inspinknity blocking wires for the borders and two straightened wire hangers for the straight part of the top. Under 20 minutes from start to finish!

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