Monday, 1 March 2021

February Wrap Up

 Well, it is the second month of my limited buy, stash busting year and I am pleased to say that I made only one craft purchase this month. 

It was not even yarn! A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I used to do cross stitch. I am not even sure why I put it away for years. I think maybe I found knitting to be easier when the kids were little. Anyway, Flosstube has encouraged me to renew my love of cross stitch. 

On 1st March, the #itsbeenonehellofayearsal is starting. This is a SAL for the Pandemic Sampler, a gorgeous free pattern by @sarcygurl. You can find the link to the pattern on her Instagram profile. 

Long story short, I had no fabric big enough in my stash so I purchased some. 

And that is my only craft purchase for the month! And I feel great about it! I don’t feel at all like I am missing out (only a few times watching YouTube). But then I remember this is much more fun and creative than just buying new stuff! 

Anyway, what did I make in February? 

I completed six projects from stash yarn, including one long-standing WIP. I want to focus on clearing at least one long standing WIP per month. 

The Valentine Socks used 336m / 80g of yarn, from yarn purchased in 2020. This was our February socks project for the Hand Me My Knitting group. 

The Valentine Hearts dishcloth used 72.1m / 46g of Peaches & Creme that has been in my stash since 2006! I bought tons of this cotton on eBay long ago (I have enough to keep the whole world in dishcloths!) 

I love the Blue Barley Hat! Our February stash down theme in the Hand Me My Knitting group was ‘head’. My daughter claimed this hat as soon as I posted a photo on Instagram! 

This used a total of 285.9m / 70g of yarn. The blues were three minis from the KnitCrate minis in 2015. The pattern is from the book Knitting From The North by Hilary Grant which I borrowed from the library. 

And another gold Christmas tinsel! These are the perfect car knitting project and we had to go to Bendigo for my son’s basketball state championships. It used 72m / 50g from yarn purchased last year.

Another dishcloth - the Oak Tree Dishcloth. More of that cotton from eBay! It used 70.5m / 45g.

And my long standing WIP was the Pool Party Leg Warmers. They used 341.3m / 91g of yarn which I received in a Woolswap in 2018.

So for those that have been keeping track, that is a total leaving my stash of 1177.8m / 382g. 

Per my rules, I have allowed myself an earning rate of 35c per 10g. I know this doesn’t seem like much, but I wanted it to be a quarter or so of the yarn being knitted. Otherwise the stash won’t be diminishing! 

So I have ‘earnt’ $13.37 for my knitting in February. And I’m not even slightly tempted to spend it! 

I am finding that I am not even that interested in browsing the internet or looking for things to buy.  And this is giving me back heaps more time to spend actually crafting! 

Hopefully this wasn’t too much number crunching for you! Does anyone else do something like this? Or keep track in some other way? I’d love to hear about it  

I am looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in March - and I’ll have some cross stitch to show as well (that is a whole other earning process! 😀)

Happy crafting! 

Sunday, 28 February 2021

I'm All About The Numbers!

 2021 is time for a reset. It seems as though lots of people changed their habits in 2020 - and why wouldn’t we?! It was the craziest year I’ve ever experienced! And now is the time for some changes.

With us all at home so much, I think we may have reacquainted ourselves with our home spaces and what is in our home. And for many, this had led to some reevaluating. 

I certainly already knew I had a lot of craft stash but still I kept adding to it. Why was that? Some of it was the ‘I deserve a treat’ mentality; some of it was me not being able to resist a sale/bargain; some of it was watching YouTube and seeing all the things other people buy - yes, a bit of the ugly green monster of envy was definitely there! 

So I had already been thinking about this a lot when I came across Hand Me My Knitting’s YouTube video about her no-buy year and new Patreon group. I know it seems counterintuitive to pay to join a no-buy group 😬, but it has been a fabulous support and well worth it.

Anyway enough of that! Let’s get down to business! 

I do love a spreadsheet and some number crunching, so have borrowed a few ideas to help me quantify my no-buy, knit and stitch from stash year.

Let's clar
ify this from the start - a complete no-buy was not going to work! Total denial was just going to make me want to rebel!  

So I have set up a tracking system (told you I love number crunching!) which will keep track of how much yarn I knit and fabric I use, etc.

I also love having notebooks rather than it all being on the computer. I think it is a lovely visual reminder of the year as well as a valuable resource to look back at. I will not abandon Ravelry, of course, even though it is quite daunting to see just how much yarn is in my stash (and it isn’t all on there yet!)

So basically my idea is that I will ‘earn’ spending money depending on what I use up. 
For knitting, I have just set the rate of 35c per 10g knitted. I know this sounds like next to nothing but I wanted to make it about a quarter or less of the equivalent cost of yarn. Otherwise the stash would not decrease! 
For cross stitch, I have borrowed a costing idea from a Facebook group called Stitch From Stash. I won’t outline it here as it is not my idea to share but you earn different amounts based on the stitch count of the finished design. 
I have yet to work out a calculation for quilting. 

So I will do a monthly wrap up at the end of each month, detailing my ‘earnings’ and spending. 

Is anyone else doing a no or less buy year? Maybe you are drowning in stash, like I am, and it is time to fall back in love with what you already have? I’d love to hear your plans, goals and experiences! 

Monday, 1 February 2021

January Wrap Up

 About halfway through January, I discovered Hand Me My Knitting's Youtube channel and her no-buy year for 2021. 

Her decision to knionly from stash particularly resonated with me, as believe me, I have enough stash to last many lifetimes! 

It has already really helped me to be more mindful with my purchasing - just because something ion sale doesn't mean I need to rush to grab it! Sales come around fairly often! 

So I have completed five projects from stash yarn in January.

The Bee Hive Cowl used 328m / 82g of yarn, from stash purchased in June 2020.

I made two tinsel garlands, per Arne and Carlos. These are so much fun and I cannot wait to add them to my tree in 2021. They are just knitted i-cords, using King Cole Tinsel yarn. These used 72m / 50g of yarn each, from stash purchased in December 2020.

I also finished my first Icelandic jumper. I made a child's size so I could practice the technique and I loved it! 

Kambur used 462.8m / 230g of Knit Picks Wooof the Andes Worsted, purchased in April/May 2019. 

And lastly, I made the Mercury Socks. These used 360.8m / 88g of Garnstudio Drops Fabel, purchased in February 2017.

They have been added to my very first boof socks, which true to the no-buy year, is a shoebox from my son's new school shoes! 

Thus, in January, I
 knitted 1295.6m / 500g of stash yarn. 


But, I did slip off the wagon and purchase some yarn. I have been thinking about shopping triggers and what makes me feel that I need to purchase something. And this purchase was made because the shop sent me an email to say my rewards points were due to expire. SI had to use them, right?! I could have let them expire but sales and discounts are definitely my shopping triggers and I couldn't let those points go to waste. So I actually purchased 2080m / 500g yarn - more meterage as iis all sock yarn. Thiis less than I wanted to buy - definitely less than I would probably have purchased previously. 

 I did not purchase any patterns. All of the patterns I used were either free on Ravelry or already in my pattern stash. 

Do you have any particular goals or plans for 2021? 

I'm looking forward to seeing what I can achieve in February! 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Finally Some More Knitting!

Finally I am back with some knitting!

Joining today with As Kat Knits for Unraveled Wednesday.

Not my shelves - I just wish I had this organisational space! I am more the plastic crate kind of organiser! 

2021 seems to be the year of stash knitting, if the number of KALs related to using stash are any indication. This suits me just fine as I had already decided this would be the case for me personally this year. 

Believe me when I say that I have enough yarn to last more than just my lifetime - I think I could keep a few people in yarn for their lifetimes as well! My Ravelry stash says I have 664 items. What?! Admittedly, about 100 of those are 20 gram mini skeins, but still - that is a lot of yarn!

I am also hoping to stash away some savings for a change in home this year, so stash knitting would help in a few ways. Obviously I could save money by not purchasing yarn. But I could also save by making the majority of my gifts this year from stash yarn as well. Double saving, yay!

I will tell you up front that I will be purchasing a little yarn this year as I will lose my Deramores reward points if I don't use them. But I will not just impulse buy because I love the colours. I will purchase yarns that can be added to other stash yarns, for example if I need a specific colour for some colourwork. 

Added to this, I will also be using stash patterns and books. Same as the yarn, I have LOTS of these and they just do not get the love they deserve as I am easily drawn in by the next new, shiny thing! 

All that being said, let's move onto some actual knitting!

I have completed one project this year, which is a free pattern from Deramores called Oh Bee Hive Cowl. You do need to have signed up for an account to download the pattern but it is very easy to get their patterns and they have quite a lot of free ones. 

The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4 ply in Turmeric and Poppy Seed which has been in my stash since June 2020. The project used 382 metres / 82 grams of yarn. Not much to have left my stash but it is a start! 

I am now working on my first Icelandic jumper from Lopi 28 pattern book. I thought I would start out with a child's jumper so this is the Kambur in size 4, using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted. So far, it is a lot of fun. I cannot believe how fast it is knitting up compared to the cowl, which seemed to take weeks to grow a few centimetres! I have a feeling this will not be my last Icelandic jumper! 

Reading wise, I have set up my 2021 reading challenges in my LibraryThing group and am excited to have kicked up the new reading year. 

I am currently reading The Yield by Tara June Winch, which is a book to really immerse yourself in. It is wonderfully told using three different voices which helps to relay so much more than just using one. 

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year, no matter how you had to spend it this year. And that 2021 is treating you kindly so far.