Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Little MRS Cowl Co.

Well, followers.

I have not been kind to you in the past months. I set my knitting aside as the crunch of wedding time drew closer.  The bad news?! I haven't blogged or bought yarn for months. The wedding budget prevented me from yarn shopping, and the time and exhaustion prevented me from blogging. The good news?! I am a happily (happy is actually an understatement in this case) married woman, I have more time to knit, and the yarn diet is OVER!  

Our honeymoon destination were the lovely Hawaiian islands - a place you would never THINK to buy yarn (really, who needs wool when you're living in tropical paradise). I found a yarn shop in Kauai, and bought two gorgeous skeins of Hanalei hand-dyed bamboo/merino. The colours reminded me of the sky and ocean waves - and I can't wait to find the perfect pattern for knitting it up!

Hanalei Hand-Dyed Bamboo/Merino

Once we got back from the honeymoon, it was organization overload. Being in a condo, we are a bit crunched for space, and my yarn addition doesn't help. I updated my Ravelry stash and picked yarn to knit up quickly (helloooooo dishcloths) and yarn to go in my basket beside the couch for immediate knitting. Sweater quantities and yarn that I haven't decided what to do with yet went into bins and up into our locker. 

I thought to myself, "hey, I can burn through a full bin by the end of 2014" - I had hats, dishcloths, cowls, cardigans and shawls I wanted to knit up. Then there was the Knit Picks sale. My knitting friend e-mailed me and asked that if I was making a purchase, to throw in a single skein for her as she found herself short for a project. At the time of the e-mail, I didn't know Knit Picks was having a sale. PANDEMONIUM ENSUED. 

I bought bulky cotton in a gorgeous dusty lavender hue, bulky needles, Chroma in a discontinued colour, extra yarn for a previously queued project so I can actually gauge this time, books and supplies. My husband had a mini panic attack - especially at my ease of justifying the yarn overload. We just finished organizing all the yarn, and here I am bringing more in!

I have identified that I have a mild-yarn addiction. Mild. I knit every night, but since I am a slow knitter, the yarn doesn't knit up as fast as it seems to come in. I am organizing my Ravelry library, favorites and queue - in the hopes that I can enjoy and love the yarn I have (some of which I forgot I had) and make room for new patterns, new yarn and new ideas. 

Tips for de-stashing and organizing if you have Ravelry:

1. Go through your library. Tag thing in your favorites based on yarn weight, technique (i.e. cables, in-the-round) and type of project (cowl, shawl, hat etc). This way when you are looking to knit up a particular yarn weight, you can search within your library easily.

2. If you have a yarn specifically designated for a certain project, pop it into your queue. Add the yarn from your stash, so every time you look at your queue you know that yarn is already set up for that pattern. I update as I go along - sometimes I change my mind and switch up yarn and patterns.

3. Photograph your stash, organize it into categories and (if you have a lot and/or you have space), buy Rubbermaid-type bins. Update your stash with the information. For example, I have a bunch of kitchen cotton. I photographed it all, put it into bin #1 and put that info on Ravelry. When I was looking to knit up all my kitchen cotton, I picked and printed a pattern and knew exactly where to find my yarn. 

4. Don't be afraid of extra help! I use the Wooly App on my iPhone to help me. I take pictures and with the app, can upload them quite easily to my Ravelry account. 

Hope this has helped! 

Signing off, 

Little Mrs. Cowl Co

June 7th, 2014. 
Mr. & Mrs!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Swap 2014!

I know, I know. My postings are becoming sporadic at best. I have been too busy knitting and planning a wedding to write to you, dear readers. 

But fear not, I am back and ready to fill you in on my winter knitting escapades. It's been a productive winter, and I have (mostly) stuck to my 2014 yarn diet. This means I'm knitting from my delicious stash, making room for new treats come next year.

I'll update you in a series of posts...this one being dedicated to my recent group swap!

As most of you know, I am part of a little knitter's group. We meet up bi-weekly at a local Starbucks and bring our knitting gear with us. What started out as a small group of 3-5 women quickly grew to almost 10 ladies! We're taking over Starbucks, and getting quite a bit of attention while there. Last year was the inaugural year of our Swap - making something and gifting another group member with a hand-knit item, yarn and a pattern. This year I got the ninja-Knitter as my partner, and needless to say, was terrified.

This woman makes lace shawls and sweater knitting look like child's play. She creates the most incredible items in such record time that I was very frightened to make something for her. I'm a bit of a slow knitter since I still consider myself a novice. I quickly began searching her Ravelry favourites, library, queue and projects. I began to understand that she likes neutrals (well, gray in particular) and she likes scarves.

Since I am Little Miss Cowl Co, I settled on a pretty cabled cowl (the pattern is free on Ravelry, and accurately called "Cable Cowl"). I used Abuelita "Thick & Thin" in a lovely variegated gray. Although the yarn doesn't have as much drape as the yarn suggested, the structure of it gave incredible detail to the cablework.

Cable Cowl - in construction

I sewed the ends together as I forgot to include button holes when finishing. It turned out lovely and I'm seriously contemplating making myself one too!

Modelling the Cable Cowl on a cold Sunday evening

I included an extra ball of the same yarn, a sock-knitting book and some bath salts. Knitting-Ninja partner has a toddler at home, so the bath salts should come in handy for some relaxing evenings when baby boy is sleeping.

We coordinate our swap with Chinese New Years, and this year we went for Thai at a local restaurant. We decided to skip the yarn crawl for a later month, hopefully when the snow has gone away.

The fellow knitter who had me was awesome. She's the type of person who does not let on as to how amazing of a knitter she is - so she is always surprising us with her knit items. I got such an awesome swap package filled with goodies that were quickly devoured. 

(from Left to Right) Chocolates, Knit slouchy hat, Cascade Magnum in a gorgeous purple, and Wedding themed Thank You cards.

So I should mention the chocolates are gone. They were gone in an instant actually - and worth every calorie. The hat is incredible and the picture does not do justice. The middle stockingnette stitch area is an ombre-effect colourway, and the hat has such a gorgeous drape. Of course, I'm known for my love of bulky yarn (instant gratification yarn as I like to call it). I already have a cowl pattern in queue for this. The lovebird wedding thank-you cards are perfect as me and soon-to-be Mr. Cowl Co!

All in all, I come to look forward to our swaps more and more every year! I love that I challenge myself with new and sometimes difficult knitting patterns (insert Kitchener Stitch) and gift someone who really does appreciate knit items with something made totally from the heart. 

Happy knitting, friends! Hope this dreadful winter has brought about lots of knitting joy for you all!


Little Miss Cowl Co.