The potential of yarn

Does the potential of yarn make it difficult for you to give it away? It does for me.
Is it easier to knit and give away the finished item? It is for me. Although finishing knitting projects take time sometimes weeks to months or years.
So in an effort to reduce the time it takes to finish a yarn project, I began dabbling in weaving using a large size pot holder type loom I put together.
Add a rigid heddle loom and it opens up a whole new way to realize the potential of yarn! Watch this space for more weaving projects.


May 2019 hat for the #WNHyearofhatsKAL2019

Knitted with Premier Chamonix® Yarn

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Knitting with anti-pilling yarn

My version of Udina – a top down seamless cabled pullover pattern by Norah Gaughan

Yarn used: Premier Anti-Pilling Everyday Yarn (used to be Deborah Norville Collection when I bought the yarn few years ago).
I’ve knit several other sweaters with this yarn and compared to other yarn (including wool yarn) it doesn’t pill much. It is soft to knit and wear, warm, budget friendly, and machine washable. This yarn is great for knitting sweaters, blankets, cowls, hats etc. and a good alternative for those sensitive to wool.


March Hat for the #WNHyearofhatsKAL2019
Pattern used: Sideways Bobble Hat by Woolly Wormhead
Yarn Used: Premier Yarn Every day and Premier Serenity Sock

Photography, a non knitting skill that is helpful to knitters

February Hat for the #WNHyearofhatsKAL2019
The pattern used was Fruju Hat by Deb Cunningham
Yarn: a merino bamboo fingering weight yarn by Taylored Fibers I bought few years back.

As a hobby knitter it takes me days and sometimes months to complete my  knitting projects and yet I spend very little time when it comes to taking good photographs of the knitted items. I think it’s important to spend the time to learn how to take good photographs of the knitted items to showcase them on blog sites, Ravelry or any other social media. Nowadays smartphones with good camera resolution can be used to improve photography skills. There are many resources and tips* available online on how to improve picture taking skills with a smartphone.

Here’s a general summary of some of the tips mentioned:

  • Clean the camera lens before taking any picture with a lens wipe or a microfiber cloth
  • Find a good location around the house, outside etc.
  • Lighting – as much as possible use indirect natural lighting
  • Focus camera on the item to be photographed
  • Take as many pictures to get the one that is good for posting
  • Be ready to spend quite a bit of time to get that one good photo.
  • Take time to edit photos using the photo editing tool on the phone

With lighting, location and other tips in mind I took several more pictures of the hat I knit this month for the hat knit – along. Here are the original and edited pictures of the ones I thought were the better ones.

Original Edited

I’ve learnt a few things about taking good picture taking but need to learn more including how to use the picture editing tools. The only downside to taking pictures with a smartphone is that you need to spend a bit more time removing all the pictures that didn’t turn out well!

How do you take photos of your knitted items?


* “Take better smartphone photos with these simple tips and tricks
* “How to Take Amazing Product Photos With a Smartphone

2019 and knitting hats

  • This year will be a year of knitting a hat (or two) a month,

I knit the Antler hat by Tin Can knits and added a pom pom. More details can be found on my Ravelry project page.

Hat made with two strands of sock yarn held together. More details can be found on my Ravelry project page.

  • a year to explore and learn more challenging stitch patterns,
  • and a year to continue knitting sweaters and blankets with the yarn I already have

Finished Sweaters:

Finally after two years this lingering Top down striped tunic is complete. It turned out to be different than what I had initially planned to knit. While I was not quite successful in helical striping (see more details on my Ravelry project page), I did learn how to crochet and sew the duplicate stitch. 

In the Top down moss stitch pullover, I knit a double brim collar after picking up the provisionally cast on stitches.


 

2018 and the year-long knit-along

My blanket for the #21 Square of the Month KAL Afghan by Hannah Wallace

Knit-along Blanket

The yarn: Lion Brand® Vanna’s Choice.*

My knit-along experience:
I enjoyed exploring many new knit stitch patterns this year. The knitted squares were joined using the flat single crochet method (a tutorial by ChemKnits). Since I made the blanket twice as big as the knit-along pattern, the blanket fits a queen size bed lengthwise but could be a little wider for a better side drape. I may add additional squares to increase the width or add more rounds to the single crochet edging.

The things I would do differently was to make sure I had all the yarn I needed before modifying the knit-along pattern and joining the knitted squares earlier rather than waiting for all of them to be completed. Knitting a square or two a month with yarn I already have is doable and great for exploring and learning many knit stitch patterns. At the end of the year there’s a completed blanket. This year was a year I learnt new stitch patterns, learnt a new joining method, tried different knitting and crocheting techniques, and took part in a year-long knit-along.

Thanks to all knitters and non knitters who read this blog.
Coffeeteaknits


*Click here to read about how this yarn supports the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Revisiting minimalism and the craft of knitting

My January 2016 blog post (Minimalism and the craft of knitting) was about my focus that year to knit as much as possible with the yarn I already had. Since then, I have completed several projects using the yarn I had and have also limited my yarn purchases. Still the amount of yarn I have left is not comfortable for me. So after more than two years of trying to practice minimalism in the craft of knitting, the time has come for me to let some of the yarn go.

I read a few knitting blogs on some yarn de-stashing tips and the KonMari method seems to be the one mentioned most. I will try to use this KonMari method but unlike this method I will do this gradually not in one or days. Since I didn’t get all the yarn in one day, discarding or donating most of it in one or two days doesn’t work for me. At the end of this process, I would like to keep yarn that I have specific projects for. One of my goals by the end of 2019 is to have all my yarn fit in two clear storage bins (not including project leftover yarn or yarn already in use).

My journey of letting go of yarn will include:

  • sorting the yarn (synthetic and natural fibers, project leftover yarn etc.) and donating some to knitting charity etc.
  • organizing yarn and making sure I have enough yarn for knitting patterns (including modified or personal patterns) before I begin new knitting projects – most of my limited yarn purchases this year was because I didn’t have enough yarn to complete the modified blanket pattern for the year-long knit along by Hannah Wallace.

I will repeat these steps a few times during 2019 till all my yarn fits in a couple of storage bins. I know all this sorting and organizing will eventually decrease clutter and reduce stress, but at the moment it seems to be taking my time away from actually knitting those unfinished projects.

Do you have any other helpful tips on de-stashing yarn?