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A Yarn Story

I wish I was an Octopus: all these WIPs! June 09 2015

I said to myself in May "In June, I am going to work through my WIPs and clear the board before I start anything new." That notion came and went with the release of Stephen West's latest shawl patterns... He has been releasing new patterns as part of his Spring Scarf KAL and while I have loved all of them and been tempted by each, the Garter Goodness pattern just struck a nerve with me. So on Friday morning I dumped a whole load of sock yarns on the table in the shop and decided to play around with color combos and post them to Instagram as inspiration for others. I thought this would satisfy me enough to keep me from needing to cast-on myself. I was ok for two days but yesterday, one of my color combos was just calling to me and so I wound the skeins up and cast-on.

With this new project cast-on that officially makes 6 projects on the needles. Then I have the Works In Progress(WIPs) that either need blocking, fixing or still need casting on but I count them anyways because the pattern is bought, the yarn chosen and wound, so casting on is really just a formality. Taking all of that into consideration I now have 10 WIPs. How did that happen?

Several of these projects have been hibernating since I decided to open the shop. Because as any LYS owner will tell you, opening a shop will drastically reduce your actual knitting time. The photo above shows 5 of these hibernating projects. It includes the Cap Sleeve Lattice Top which I am knitting in Malabrigo Arroyo, some mittens I made for a friend that were too short, another pair of fingerless mittens that I promised a friend for her birthday last year and Stephen West's Daybreak, which I only need to knit about 6 rows on the border to finish. Oh and there is the scarf that just needs to be blocked before it can be a lovely shop sample.

I also have an item that I can't show you because it's last year's Christmas gift for a friend and she doesn't want to know what I'm making. There is very little left to do on this project as well but its the finicky part and there is stitch picking up involved and I'm not a huge fan of picking up stitches. It is one of those tasks in knitting that makes a project look beautiful and professional but somehow really annoys me.

None of these projects should take me very long to finish but they have been sitting in a box upstairs because new projects have caught my eye and I just couldn't resist. Such is the nature of knitting and craft in general sometimes. Sometimes I start a project because I want to learn something new and if I get far enough into that project and feel I have learned what I needed, I move on to something else. Other times a project gets neglected for an upcoming event, like someone's birthday or the birth of a friend's baby or a designer has released a new pattern that I love. All legitimate reasons to cast-on new projects in my book.

Then there is the gorgeous In Stillness sweater that I have been working on. I was flying along on this and thought I might get it done in time for the shop re-opening and then there were about three weeks when I didn't knit a stitch. This is at the main body part of the pattern though so it does make for good mindless TV knitting at the moment and the yarn is great to work with. It will get done by the time it's cool enough again to wear it.

And lastly we come back to the Garter Goodness shawl that I just had to start yesterday. The colors were just too pretty not to be turned into a massive abstract shawl. I think this combo of Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Damp and Typewriter along with The Uncommon Thread Singleton in Hi-Vis Green and Life in the Long Grass semi-solid Sock in North Atlantic are going to be just amazing together.

So I'm going to make a new pact with myself and this time I'm making it publicly and not just in my head, so you can all help hold me to it. July will be all about finishing off some WIPs. Let's see how many of these 10 projects I can clear out by July 31st.

How many WIPs do you have on the go? Who wants to join me for a month dedicated to finishing some of those off? M.aybe we can have a WIP-along

-Carmen


AYS loves Moms March 06 2015

My mother was here visiting from the States last week and I got to show her the shop for the first time. She had been here in September and had seen the space before I moved in but it looks quite different from what it did then.

 

Mom checking out the premise last Sept.
It was so nice having her here and being able to show off all the lovely yarns to her, especially since its really all her fault that AYS came to be in the first place. I can’t remember exactly when my Mom first taught me to knit; I know I was quite young but I do remember making a beautiful chunky red scarf during a winter break from university. I lost that scarf somewhere and even though it left fuzzier on everything, I am still a bit upset about it. It was also when my Mom came to visit us in Ireland that she decided she wanted some nice Irish wool to take back with her and once we found a great wool shop (This Is Knit) I decided I would try my hand at knitting again too and well, the rest is history.
Mom checking out some yarny goodies
While my Mom was here, she knit herself and me a fantastic one cowl in Malabrigo Rasta. She is always freezing cold, so as soon as it was off the needles it was on her neck and not going anywhere. I had been eyeing the Whale’s Road colourway for sometime but hadn’t had a chance to make anything, so I was really excited when Mom volunteered to make me one too. The pattern is Red Rasta Cowl and is a FREE pattern on Ravelry. It just takes one skein and will keep you toasty warm.

My cowl in Whale's Road

 

Mom walked away with a ball of Cashmered in True Blue in order to make the Long Striped Hand Warmers by Purl Soho, which is also a great free pattern. Lastly Mom wanted to knit a poncho and decided to do it with Hedgehog Fibres Merino Aran in Graphite which she held double with Shibui Knits Silk Cloud in Mineral. This is being used to create two large rectangles that will be sewn together and then she is knitting a turtle neck into the center of this join using Shibui Knits Baby Alpaca in Mineral. She is improvising the pattern and I’m sure it will be excellent, so I’ll share a photo when she’s done.

Mom knitting away on her poncho


Poncho’s have been a common theme in the shop as of late, so I wasn’t surprised when my Mom said she wanted to knit one. I had a few suggestions on the ready, but in the end she decided she was going to improvise one. For those of you who may not want to improvise one here are two of my poncho pattern favorites: Easy Folded Poncho by Churchmouse Yarns or 134-15 b - Pompom Poncho by DROPS Design.

You might not have time to whip up a whole poncho for Mum before Mother’s day but a springy shawl is still be doable such as the Shattered Sun Shawl by Felicia Lo done in one skein of Sweet Georgia Cashsilk Lace or maybe Noordzee by Rachel Brown in one of the beautiful shades of Kettle Yarn Co. Islington. Or if you’re not the knitter but Mum is, perhaps a copy of Rachel Coopey’s newest book Socks Volume 2 or a a funky knitting needle gauge for her notions bag is a nice gift.

Moms are the best and it was great having mine here for a visit and I’m so glad she taught me knit!

-Carmen