Almost stash-free

I am almost there, the stash is so close to be but a memory and I love it. It will slow down my knitting for a while I think. I have just two yarns left. The pink gift yarn, that I'm going to make into the French Press Slippers and some yarn that is leftover from the last sweater I knitted for my man. That is some very naughty yarn, I'll let you know. It itches when you knit with it. It's fine once it has been washed in the garment, but it is not worth knitting with. I was debating just throwing it out, but I've come to my senses and have decided that I'll try to wash it.
The yarn is on cones and frankly I have no idea how much yarn is still left. So I'll wind it into 100 gr. skeins, wash it and then I'll see if it is nicer to work with and figure out how many meters there are. 

My goal of being stash free was motivated by two aspects:
 1) I felt like I had too much money tied up in yarns and thus I felt like I couldn't buy anything new if I wanted to. For that same reason, I couldn't work on a project that caught my fancy at any time, only ones that could be made out of stash. It was really a very limiting feeling. 
 2) Our flat is TINY, I know I've mentioned this before but with so little room, knitting and yarn and fibre, it all just ends up taking over too much space. Both in the flat itself and in our tiny basement. I wanted my knitting to fit into my knitting basket.

As I'm writing this I have nothing at all on my needles. I have finished the squares for my John 6:12 blanket and not yet cast on for my slippers and I like it. I can't remember the last time I had nothing on the needles and could start a project with brand new yarn without that feeling of guilt. 

I have decided to wash the naughty yarn before I cast on for the slippers. No procrastination here baby. I even made the eyes for the elefante:

They didn't turn out perfect, but they are good enough.

Well, since my goal of simplifying knitting is so close I had to tackle by knitting basket that was more like a pile of junk really. See how overflowing it was:

The items in it was separated into three categories,

The spinning stuff went into the basement. Because if I have to get my wheel from down there I might as well get the rest of it.
The knitting was sorted into tools and projects (only the ongoing John 6:12, which I don't count as a WIP when I don't have any yarn for it and the slippers to be).
Half the embroidery yarn went into storage in the basement while the other half, the two kinds of fabric and my frame all were aloud a place in the knitting basket.
Then there were the occasional weird stuff in there like a scarf that once covered the basket etc. And a lot of old patterns that had to be recycled and some stored for later.

When done the result looked like this:

See how it all fits in there and there is plenty of space left over?
This is knitting bliss. 

Small gifts can mean the world...

I happen to have awesome friends all the way over in the United States of America and they know that a small token and some kind words can mean the world to you when life isn't a walk on roses. One friend sent me a lovely present not too long ago and while I was away this last time around another package arrived.
This time it contained a little something from two dear friends.
From the first I received this unexpected gift: 
I'm not sure if the origami bird is a crane of peace, but I would like to think so. The bowl is hand turned and the bracelet fits just like it should and I love the colours in it. By the way, the bowl reminds me of my KnitPicks knitting needles :)

The second I knew was coming and was so excited to see. It contained pretty much all my deep loves, a book, tea and yarn and a pattern. I was happy to find that I was not allergic to the ingredients in the tea and I have already begun reading the book. It appears to be just what I need at the moment. 
I'm slowly finishing up knitting the squares for my John 6:12 blanket and once that is done, I'll cast on for the French Press Slippers.


I'm finishing a lot of WIPs at the moment, in fact I have finished all my WIPs. This little fellow still needs some eyes and then he will be ready to travel the world.   

Elefante by Susan B. Anderson was a quick and fun left overs project. I must admit that I enjoyed the knitting more than the seaming. I made him old school with visible seams on purpose, since that is my favorite kind of stuffed toys.

These here are my mum's Christmas socks. Oh yes, it is late August and I'm done with all my Christmas knitting. I really hope December will be a breeze this year.   

It is the Tip Toe Through the Tulips socks from Wendy D. Johnson. I made them in a Cash Sock from Gepard. My mum argued that I could just leave them with her now, so I didn't have to bring them for Christmas, but for once she will have to wait for the 24th to get her present. 

It was a strange feeling to have nothing on the needles, so I cast on for squares for my John 6:12 blanket right away from the leftover sock yarn. 

My stash is disappearing in front of my eyes and I love that. I'm so close to my goal of no stash. No stash to stress me, only 1-2 projects on the needles, bliss...

I might not do as much knitting this winter, since new yarn isn't in the budget, but who cares when you have a basement full of Danish wool, you can spin up into lovely yarn. 
I have yet to knit with my own handspun, as my mum has been stealing it to make felted slippers. (Also I have been practicing on the orange wool, I'm not good with orange and this one is ugly, that is why I'm trying my hand at it first, so when I get to the pretty colours I'll be a much better spinner.)

Speaking of felted slippers, I can't wait till I get home and can cast on for the French Press Slipper that a Ravelry friend sent me both the pattern and some yarn for. Pink is not really my colour, but I'm so excited to try knitting with a Knit Picks yarn since I've heard so much about them, but never seen one in real life. I might end up gifting them so somebody. And if I like the pattern I have spotted some blue yarn in my mum's stash that is begging to become slippers ;)

p.s. I know the picture quality hasn't been great lately, but it is so easy to snap a picture with my iPod and upload it. It is a question of these pics or no pics. And I love the effect on them. They make me happy so they stay.

Zen and the Art of Knitting

I was gifted this little book by a Ravelry friend in Baltimore and I must say it was a quick read. There wasn't a lot in it that I didn't already know, but that is just because I have already read a lot about this topic. It was however an interesting read. Each chapter has a stitch and a stand alone essay and those essays are easy to read. It is a mixture of Bernadette Murphy's personal story, which is touching and interview with knitters from all walks of life.
I particularly enjoyed the essay about the Steiner schools and the story of the nun.
I wouldn't pay big bucks for this book, but I would get it from the library.
My copy? Well it is going to another knitting friend, who might enjoy it...

Beatnik and a care package

Knitting can bring you tons of good things. Like my finished Beatnik, that fits like a charm!

It can also bring you great friends, both in person and over the internet. One such amazing friend sent me a care package all the way from Baltimore to little ol' Denmark. And it had these lovely things in it:

Coffee from a local company (can you spot the reference?) and a book on Zen and the Art of Knitting. Looks like this friend really knows me, huh?! I can't wait to read the book and hopefully get some new insights. 

Ravellenic round up

As I've said before, I started a little late, a week late in fact, and I didn't finish my project. I probably would have, if I had had two weeks to knit in, but who cares.  I had fun and made a significant amount of progress on my WIP, the Beatnik. 

There wasn't a lot left to knit on the back so I finished that on my first day of knitting. The bright green markers show where I was before the game began. 
Then I continued with the front and was able to finish that as well. The markers show each day's progress, the last few days I didn't get much done at all.

Then I moved on to the sleeves and added a lot to those today. I'm making them longer than you are supposed to. I have just over 13,5" and want to get to 19" before I start the sleeve cap.
So all in all there isn't much knitting left on this project. The sleeves need to be finished and then the collar and finally it all has to be sewn together.


I think refashioning is the 'cool' word for what I did yesterday. I have been pondering making my jumpsuit into a pair of pants. I had sewn the jumpsuit a couple of years ago and loved it, but I didn't enjoying having to take it all off to go pee. So I sat down with a nice cup of home brewed chai and started cutting and pinning.

After trying out two new seams on my machine and adding a broad elastic band in the waist, my pants were done and pretty. In my eyes they don't look 'homemade' but 'handmade', which is the look I'm going for. 

I have wanted to learn how to sew better for years and yesterday I made a move towards that. It is going to be a long process, but some day I hope to be able to make whatever item of clothes that is in my mind. For my next pair of pants I think I'll add in some pockets...

Danish summer

Sunshine, sunshine reggae.. Or rather it's pouring cats and dogs here. But I don't mind because it is a perfect excuse to sit and knit all day.

Knitting is a sport, right?!

I'm taking part in the games formerly know as the Ravelympics, now the Ravellenics. what ever.
It's usually a lot of fun. My first time around was the winter olympics in 2010. I made a giant blanket in 14 days. This time I decided to do some WIP wrestling and dug out my Beatnik in a lovely soft blue Cascade 220.

I had a back mostly done, the ribbing of the front and two sleeves to the end of the decreases. I vaguely remember casting on the front at a knitting club my mum frequents, because I needed something mindless and twisted rib was as close as I could get. I also remember casting on the sleeves because the cables were making me insane and then being afraid that I would run out of yarn, putting them down when I came to the straight part.

I started knitting on it again yesterday, one week into the games, because I didn't think I would get anything done in Germany so I didn't bring it. I finished the back yesterday and today I was able to do my designated amount of knitting as well.
I'm pretty sure I won't be able to finish in time. I'm using 5,5 mm needles and my hands are used to working with 2,5-3,5 mm needles. So I have to take a lot of brakes and knit less, than I could on the smaller needles.
The chart is finally beginning to make sense though and I have cracked the code so now all I need is the chart, no written explanations.

I would really love to get the front done before the games end on August 12. It would mean I would only have the sleeves left and those should go fast, as they are not full length and in moss stitch.

Normally I wouldn't recommend racing to get anywhere with your knitting. It is supposed to be relaxing and restful, but once every two or four years won't hurt you and it is great fun, especially if you are on a team, so that you can report on you progress and cheer on other's.

This year the game is also aiding me getting rid of my stash and WIPs at the same time. So I'm not just having a great time, I'm working towards my goal of being stash free.

Are you participating in the games this year?