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Category Archives: using up stash

then, before you can say Jack Robinson…

…or knife, or whatever your favourite similar expression might be, it’s February! OK, there are two days remaining in January, to be technical and pedantic. But they’ll be gone before – see above.

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This year already feels a bit as if that excavator has had a go at it! Photo taken late last century. Dr B on the left wearing that wondrous jumper I knitted for him 🙂

Life has been hectic and full of small and not-so-small sideswipes that seem hideously unfair in many instances but totally expected (in a bigger picture way) in others. Nonetheless, you can’t help muttering with a fair degree of frequency, “Things can only get better.”

You mutter that particularly frequently with regard to technology but, you know? So far, not so much. It’s nicknamed “Cayman Mal’s Fraudband” for good reason.

Yeah, it seems that 2018 is already shaping up to be another of those years.

That’s not to imply that we didn’t have an enjoyable festive break. It’s also not to imply that I’ve actually taken down the Christmas cards. We’ve had a hot week, then today is so cool that I’m reaching for a cardigan and thinking that summer is over. It’s not. We’ll have more hot weather, but the mornings are starting to draw in; something we’d notice even more were YoungB still rowing. We miss that for all sorts of reasons but the early mornings don’t feature among them!

I have a couple of sewing projects that I should be turning my mind to – that new summer nightie that I wrote about ages ago? Yeah, I never did get around to doing that! – and there are always rescue missions on old and well-loved garments. The trouble mostly is that they are, in fact, old. Then the question becomes, how many times can you mend a jacket? And even if you can, should you?

I have one RTW jacket that was in time-out towards the end of last year because I’d had enough of mending it. After 20-plus years of hard work, it owed me nothing. But it’s a good cut, the best in-between weight jacket I own, and I needed it for work. So I mended it. Again. Ideally, I should unpick it and use it as a template. I’m not sure I have the space for that, but it appeals to me as a good option for ending up with a jacket that I can wear for much of the year. And I could spice it up by lining it with guitar-playing skeletons, couldn’t I? (I have some fabric like that in my stash, honest.)

Then there’s the, “I feel a mitten-knitting orgy coming on” urge that often hits at this time of year (as ridiculous as that sounds when the mere thought of woollen yarn makes hands sweat). The attraction of the idea is that there’s still some daylight when I get home after work, so I’m much more likely to be able to see what I’m doing. That improves my chances of completing things, particularly darker items. So if I start now, whether on something new or one of the many WIPs, I might have something ready to go when those winter birthdays roll around.

Also, I need some crochet to work on while I’m watching TV. I don’t watch TV often but, when I do, I find it difficult to just sit there. I make too many mistakes if I try to knit at the same time but I can manage simple crochet. So I’m off to dig up another lot of stash yarn to do a knee rug to take to work. Oh, wait, didn’t I say that once before?! I promise to stop earlier with this one; or make separate granny squares so that it’s a better commuter project.

Whatever the status of your year, I hope it’s providing you with plenty of crafting opportunities.

 

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those rounds are getting longer

Dr B is surprised every time he sees me folding up my crochet project. I agree, it’s getting to be quite a size. It’s also becoming heavy, meaning it’s less ideal for working on now that the weather is warming up. I think there are about 60 rows. It’s worked in (mostly) 8-ply yarn on a 5 mm crochet hook. Smart people – that is, not me! – could probably work out an approximate size from that information.

Since this photo was taken, I’ve completed the second row of light blue, added another of dark blue, and am now doing some more teal rows. The end is probably nearing. I won’t use all my spare yarn, so I’ve decided that I could indeed work a semi-matching cushion cover (or bolster cover) to give any potential picnickers something to lean on.

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It looks at home as a picnic rug out on those re-laid pavers, doesn’t it?

 
 

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stash-busting ongoing and a spot of gardening

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Happy little heterozygous plants 🙂

My so-called commuter crochet project is already too large to be taken on the bus. That’s because I’m just going round and round my not-quite-square and have rounded too many corners. I’m no longer able to roll it up small enough for my project bag. I can truthfully admit there’s no pattern or plan. I seemed to have an enormous number of balls of barely-dented – or dented by about half – 8-ply acrylics, so I have them in a bag next to me and I don’t really worry too much what comes out next. Having said that, I’m doing a bit of mixing and matching in terms of variegated and plain, in the sense that I’ll do a few rows of variegated, then a few rows of plain (that might or might not work with the variegated). I calculate that that mitigates some of the wilder colour changes, because if it’s to go out into the world – whether as a knee rug at work or as a picnic rug – then it had better not look too silly. Right?!

As stash-busting, it’s going well. I’ve had a couple of moments of wondering if I’d get to the end of the row. So far, I’ve managed without mishap and have had no real call to think I’m playing yarn chicken. I happened to see the WIP bundled up on my chair a little while ago – waiting for me to introduce a new colour – and I can truthfully say that it is bright and colourful (and therefore probably cheerful). It was a good piece of distraction during a few days when I was unwell and at home. I made the effort to get up and get dressed rather than stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. The feeling sorry for myself was mitigated somewhat only because YoungB was also unwell and sounded worse than I did; each of us with head on point of explosion and both coughing to point of exhaustion. But slowly improving 🙂

Even so, the stash-busting continues. One day I made a point of sitting in the sunshine for a little while, doing my best lizard impersonation out under the apricot tree that has now burst into leaf. Spring is here, and the allergies with it. And, zounds, my garden? It’s looking fabulous. That is to say, the couple of garden beds that I’m tending have flowers that are a testament to spring and hardiness in about equal measure. The lavender in pots – two different varieties – is going along well. The one that Dr B accidentally nudged with the whipper-snipper is going, if perhaps a little less well than the other two. The snails made short work of a couple of the petunias that I planted, but half a dozen or so have already bloomed The irises  flowered remarkably well. it’s unlikely they will ever all flower at the same time, but we had about eight or nine blooming simultaneously, which provided a gorgeous burst of dark purple.

YoungB is fascinated by the snapdragons, which he tells me are heterozygous because their blooms are red-and-yellow (as you can see in the photo). I’m surprised he’s able to distinguish the colours, but impressed by his scientific know-how. They flowered not long after I planted them, and are now flowering again. That makes them a pretty addition to the greenery of the agapanthus at the back of the bed.

Whatever you’re up to, I hope your in better health than our household currently seems to be! But if it’s spring where you are, may it be a colourful one.

 

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if that was the beanie, that was it

Morning cheer, with snapdragons already adding a splash of colour.

That bit of knitting I showed you last time? That’s all you’re ever going to see of that beanie, because it flew off my needles and onto the recipient’s head fairly urgently around an emergency hospital admission. Dr B wore it for a day to block it! Life gets a bit like that sometimes. The friend – who was certainly in a bad way – has been discharged, I’m relieved to say, and while he’ll never be back to full health, he has improved remarkably.

In gardening news, I’m delighted to report that not only have all the lifted and transplanted rhizomes and bulbs bounced back to a state of flourishing, the geranium is well on its way to thriving. Mission accomplished. The seedlings are settling well and some have already flowered. The mystery bulbs are shooting and close to flowering, but I still have no idea what they are! It’s cheering to step outside and see everything looking so bright.

And in commuting news, I’ve started crocheting a (deliberately) just-off-square granny-square knee rug for use at work, or as a throw rug, or for picnics. It’s mainly something to keep me occupied on the bus or while I half-watch TV, and it’s an effort to use some of my cheap but cheerfully coloruful (or that might be colourfully cheerful) stash. So far doing well on both counts.

I hope your endeavours are all meeting with success 🙂

 

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