The Great Stash Dash

the blog

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


I have finished knitting Paddington but not all of his gear. Since a fruitless search for wellies indicated I wouldn't have him ready for Christmas mail (and the accompanying books were too heavy to post) I am waiting until Eve is in the east to give him to her. I added black ears because the pattern left out his ears and I am still uncertain about the yellow hat (but that's the colour yarn I have). Here he is so far.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Bauble bling

Copper sparkle

Used a Spotlight leaflet to make some baubles for a Knitting secret santa gift. I used Moda Vera Tinka in green and Filati Bertagna Cometa in copper to make plain round baubles. The pattern was too loose and if I do it again I will adjust it.
Green sparkle

Monday, December 13, 2010

Present Projects

washcloths made from cotton, and bamboo/wool blend
Mercerized cotton bookmarks
I have finished three washcloths for my staff and half a dozen bookmarks for my book group. Paddington Bear is knitted but not sewn up or stuffed (and I still have to do his clothes) so I have done some of my Christmas knitting but whether it's all going to be completed in time is another story. So much for working my stash down though most of the stuff I have been working on I have had to go out and buy yarn specially. Only the bookmarks marked some knitting down and at just over 100m it was hardly significant!

Crocheted and knitted bookmarks

Monday, November 29, 2010

To Dye For (not knitting!)

Just had a brilliant weekend at Main Creek near Dungog. It was a quilting weekend with some teachers from school and others I didn't know. I am not a quilter but it sounded like fun: a weekend away to concentrate on craft, good food, beautiful surroundings and pleasant company. The plan was to dye fabric on the Saturday and make a bag on the Sunday. I did the dyeing but I wasn't convinced about the bag so ended up with an array of coloured material and knitted all Sunday, finishing one little Christmas project and making a bit of an impact on my Paddington Bear project. I'm thinking of knitting the dyed fabric after cutting it into strips. Watch this space on that one.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Yay! I have finished Paul's cardigan. Knitted in Sean Sheep Prairie 100% wool in windchime colourway it's got a nice brushed wool finish (it's sold as suitable for felting). Of course yesterday Paul Bevan on ABC radio was having a go at cardigans particularly grey ones as being weatherman wear. And Paul was listening too. But he's still going to wear the cardigan (I think) but it'll be next year because it's too late in the year for it now.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas knitting

Paul's cardigan is so almost finished. Just a little bit of buttonband to go and the rest of it is already sewn up. In the mean time I have started on my Christmas knitting. I have a $5 secret santa gift to do. I spent $4.18 on string and made a string bag. I now have an 82 cent budget to put something in the bag. I have a free Delicious magazine which came with another magazine, I am looking forward to the 82 cent challenge. My next projects will be bookmarks.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Word Clouds

Someone on Ravelry suggested making a word cloud from the words in one's blog. So I had a go at a couple of sites - Wordle and Tagxedo. These are the results:
Made with Tagxedo
Made with Wordle

Friday, October 29, 2010

Another Beret

I have finished another beret. This time however it is my own design. I was too lazy to do the maths so I started off with 144 stitches and just knitted in different patterns, increased a bit and then decreased at various points and then secured at the end : easy! I had three colours of 4ply alpaca bought at the Markets and I wanted to put them together so it was a fair isle style. And I think it looks pretty fabulous.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Vintage yarn knits

Fair Isle Beret by Fiona McTague
Way back when Grace Brothers had a yarn department I bought wool to make a fair isle jumper. It was a jumper for Paul so I bought heaps (this was before yardages were printed on ball bands). Needless to say I have been hauling it around the state since. I have finally used some of it knitting Dad's knee rug and a beret for me. The colours look fantastic if I do say so myself and I am very pleased with the way both projects have turned out.

Princess squares blanket by Pam Allen

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bags of Bows

Finally made up the bag I finished knitting in April. I am quite pleased with it. It's made from Moda Vera Tucano a wool/bamboo blend sadly discontinued. A simple rectangle folded, the pattern is the Mallory Bag in Creative Knitting.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Stash really!

Ros was really pleased with the stole - it even co-ordinated with the dress she was wearing when I gave it to her so she wore it straightaway. One successful present. Then she put in an order for the shrug I was wearing (the frilly lilac one) for Christmas so I'm on a winner with the knitting presents idea as far as she is concerned.

I am now working on a rug for Dad which is a huge stashbuster, using up yarn I bought to make Paul a fair isle jumper back in the 90s some time. It is the Princess squares rug from Designer Knitting and I think it's looking pretty fabulous already (this picture is how it looks after 5 days knitting).

It is proving to be a very quick knit all in garter stitch and a little a time as it's modular. The really horrible thing will be the ends at the end (won't think about that). The original pattern calls for 6 contrast colours but I had 8 so that's what I'm using so I used my own schematic and I'll have to do more rows I think to make it suitable for a knee rug. I'm planning to add a border with Dad's name in it so it's obvious for the nursing home.

Monday, September 27, 2010


Have completed a stole for my sister for her birthday. I chose a stitch from my stitch dictionary that looked pretty similar from both directions so I could knit it one way and didn't have to graft to get a symmetrical look. It's knit in Spotlight's kid mohair blend (not for the first time I wish that they hadn't discontinued this yarn this year, the beautiful colours were what largely inspired my wholesale return to knitting and foray into lace shawls). I did think to dye it a more vivid pink but Mum persuaded me that the original pale pink made it more versatile as it is more neutral (it's also in keeping with the 'nude' or 'blush' colours which are supposed to be in this season).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Bos Comes to Call

This is what I put into the box
This is what I took out of the box
The month of September was marked by the arrival of the travelling tea and yarn box from the "anyone for tea" group on Ravelry. It was an impressive array of exotic tea and yarns which was so tightly crammed in the box it was daunting to get the stuff out to look knowing that one had to get it back in. I was too sick at the time to enjoy tasting the teas (couldn't taste anything) so I took a few to try later and it was very difficult to choose which yarns to keep. Watching over everything was the mascot: Rooibos nicknamed the Bos. I showed him Lake Macquarie, managed to get everything into the box, and posted it all on to its  next destination.

The Bos checking out the garden

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A shower of shawls

Well that title may be a bit of an exaggeration. A couple of shawlettes would be more accurate but not alliterative. I have used a couple of the special yarns from my stash and made a couple of small shawls/triangular scarves. One is made  from Filatura Di Crosa's Superior : rose coloured cashmere/silk blend and the other from Collinette's Jitterbug in forest. The former is a bottom up birch lace pattern and the latter a garter stitch shawl with an eyelet edge that I called rick rack because the garter stitch in the variegated yarn looked a bit like rows and rows of rick rack.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Frills and thrills

The frilly theme continues with my swap gift for my swap partner in the Australian Knitters group on Ravelry. My partner said she would like a tea cosy and that she liked strong jewel like colours. I created a frilly tea cosy in Needleworks Luxury Gold Seal Mohair from my stash. I used black as the main colour and knitted in rows of frills in red, purple and pink. I have christened this design "Cancan tea cosy" as the frills reminded me of the frills on a cancan dress.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Flounces and frills

My two latest projects employ short rows and both are frilly frothy girly garments. The scarf was knitted on 23 stitches so much easier to handle than the hundreds of stitches needed to create a similar effect with increases.

The shrug made me thank heaven for the long cable on my circular needle and I couldn't bring myself to count how many stitches I had.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Nifty notions

Since it is the holidays I took the opportunity to check out a couple of local wool shops and I picked up a few nifty items including a couple of useful tools that I had been thinking about buying. A definite impulse buy was the 'Stitchopoly' game which is a needlecraft version of Monopoly (not knitting unfortunately but appealing anyway). I also picked up a knitting calculator which makes working out stitches to cast on based on stitches in a tension square a breeze, very handy and low tech. Both of those were at the wool shop in Toronto.
                                                                             Later in the hols I finally found where Hand to hand has relocated and found a set of marking pins which I had seen online (plus some of that furry yarn which I thought would make a good trim with a black wool).

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dolly Couture

I used up the pink Patons Fruitdrops I had in my stash to make Eve's cardigan but I still had some white left and I used it to make a matching cardigan for her doll and I had enough pretty odd buttons to match the random button scheme I'd used on the original. The outfit was completed with a pleated skirt.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

More gifts

Two more gifts completed to be sent westward : a stole for Teigan and a cardigan for Eve. I don't think I have ever knitted so many different projects. Usually I knit jumpers or cardigans for me and that's it. Working on doll's clothes at the moment.

And the display in the library has Knitting Barbie. I knitted her outfit and gave her some knitting. I am especially proud of her toothpick and bead knitting needles.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Birthday beanie

Another birthday present down : a beanie for Matthew. Modelled here by Barnabas.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Knitting in Vogue

I am so excited! I have finally managed to complete my collection of Knitting in Vogue books. I have had Knitting in Vogue 2 & 3 since they came out but I borrowed number one from the library, copied all the patterns I thought I'd do and never bought the book (a decision the copyright police side of my professional self deeply regrets and thinks it serves me right that I couldn't get the book). Now of course it is so easy to find a second hand book that you want in a bookshop on the other side of the world and I bought it when I found it. Yay! And of course now that I have it there are beautiful patterns that I want to do and add to my queue on Ravelry that I hadn't copied.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


 I am maintaining my resolution to make gifts this year and have just completed two:  the fingerless mitts I made for Bridget for her 18th coming up next week, and the lacy scarf I made for Michelle for her birthday last week (no wonder my jumper is in hold!). It's a great way to feel virtuous (or it would be if I hadn't bought more yarn today because Spotlight had all the reduced yarn down to $2 a ball). I now have Mothers' Day and Teigan's birthday coming up in May so two more present opportunities and a cardigan for Eve to co-ordinate with the jeans I've already bought for her birthday. Plus I am giving a couple of balls from my stash to Paul for his buddy so an impact is being made!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Further whittling!

I've now finished my lace stole (3 balls of Moda Vera kid mohair blend which cost me $1 each). So some reduction in the stash has occurred. Unfortunately Spotlight had a sale so I've bought even more bargains (many balls of Noir in several different colourways and some 4ply for a Debbie Bliss pattern I have earmarked and some Tinka for Christmas decorations). So that sum total has gone up not down!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Well here it is. My completed bag. I added a horn button for closure which I like very much and the colour and the yarn have really set off the pattern really well I think. So I have used up just over six balls of Tucano and I might make another bag with the rest. I might try felting this time.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

On the needles

Have started another stash whittling project: a Debbie Bliss pattern for an aran bag. Called Baltoro it is proving very quick to knit and will use up my crimson Tucano yarn.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

People who want to use up their stash shouldn't go to craft fairs

I have never been to Newcastle's Craft Fair before but I thought I would have a look (and do some research for my textiling daughter). I was a bit disappointed at the range of knitting stalls (hardly any) and those stalls were pretty much just yarns as I was really keen on getting some knitting accessories. I did however succumb to some yarn: cashmere and silk, recycled sari yarn, and a skein of Jitterbug. I only bought a ball each of those but I bought 10 balls of a viscose/linen mix in a lavender colour which will match a linen skirt I have nicely.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Currently I have three projects on the needles. The dreaded burgundy jumper (a WIP since 1988) in Patons Bluebell, a fairisle pattern in caramel and cream I started last year from the Elle knitting book 2 and a lacy stole in kid mohair from a Simply Knitting pattern which I haven't even put on Ravely yet. I was getting bored with the stocking stitch in the leaf sweater do I started doing the stole (but I am almost up to the patterning in the fairisle so I should just get the plain stuff over). The burgundy jumper is a nice pattern with a lovely lace enhanced cable but I already have a jumper this colour which I don't wear very often. I am thinking of unravelling it and doing something else. We'll see.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What it's all about

I have too much yarn. Way too much. My weakness for pretty colours in mohair which is too scratchy to make into comfortable garments means I have heaps of the stuff which will probably never make it on to needles. I also have a weakness for bargains hence a lot of yarn purchased because it was cheap without much consideration of whether I have time to knit patterns in 4ply. This blog is about my determination to use what I have up (!)

So far since making this resoution (no it's not a new year's resolution I started the work last November) I have made me a bolero and a top, and three stoles/wraps and a bookmark as gifts. As I continue I will to document the process of whittling down my stash.
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