Destash Challenge

Ah, every crafter’s dilemma.

There are so many beautiful yarns to be bought and knitted with, but you have so much room in your home.

I’ve always thought I had it under control–Since May 2013, I have not purchased any yarn…until this month, when I accidentally saw 25% off total purchase coupon at Michael’s, and actually went to Michaels on my own volition, and bought 7 balls of Patons Classic Wool, and 12 balls of Patons Kroy Socks. #fail

Our home is in the (SLOW) process of re-organization and purging, in order to make room for the new HUMAN member of our family. I’m not the one to go crazy with re-decorating an entire room/house for a baby, but I know that I would still need a lot of space for the baby’s STUFF. We will be re-purposing a lot of our own furniture for the baby, like emptying out my yarn stash shelf and put it on its side so that we can store baby’s things on there, and use the top for the changing station.

And that means, that yarn stash need to go someplace else.

Along with my 3 sewing machines, and all the fabrics I have accumulated over the last 5 years, cutting boards, a cutting table, not to mention all the notions that go along with sewing and knitting.

Don’t even get me started on spinning because my spinning wheel and fiber stash found their home in the living room already.

I have decided to move the sewing station out to our Home Office area, and bought a sewing cabinet on Amazon last night (with wheels!) so that I can safely stow away pins, needles, and sharp scissors.

But here’s my situation with yarns. I have, not one, not two, but THREE 20-gallon Rubbermaid plastic container FULL of yarns + one Ikea Shelf full of yarns + 3 fabric baskets full of yarns. #sigh

SO! Here’s my Destash Plan. This will continue over the next year or two, as we will definitely be needing more space for the baby as the baby grows into the toddler years. The guest room/my studio will eventually become Logan’s room in the next 2~3 years. My goal is to bring down my yarn stash down to just 1 Rubbermaid plastic container (…until maybe we find an excuse to move into a bigger home?????? MAYBE??)

1. Knit like crazy. But only using yarns at home.

2. For every 10 skeins of yarn used, I reward myself with: 1 skein of sock yarn; OR 4 oz of spinning fiber; OR a book.

3. Keep track of this process with #DestashChallenge, starting today, 11/17/2014!

This, of course, excludes any yarns that I receive for my designs. That’s work. :P

Selling my Kiwi! (sad!)

I’ve been dreading this for at least 6 months now. 

I got a really good deal on a Schacht Ladybug in January and I took the plunge. I love the wheel, but this meant that I had to think about keeping two wheels. I really wanted to! But I live in a small townhouse, and my “design studio” (aka guest room) and living room is now full of yarns and fabrics, I just can’t justify having 2 wheels at this point of my life.

So! With a heavy heart, here is my beloved Kiwi. I never named it. I guess it makes it easier.

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I bought the wheel around May 2012, and loved it ever since. I cleaned it regularly with wood conditioner, and it works beautifully. I bought it unfinished, stained and finished all the parts, and everything works. I almost exclusively used the hi-speed whorl on mine but I have both regular and hi-speed whorls in here.

-Ashford Kiwi Wheel ORIGINAL (so the cutie Kiwi bird is engraved on the right treadle) 
-Standard Whorl & Flyer & Drive band 
-5 Standard Bobbins (3 finished; 2 unfinished) 
-High Speed Adapter Kit (whorl & drive band) 
-Lazy Kate (free standing fits 2 bobbins) 
-Price: $350 + shipping within U.S. If you’re in Southern California area, we can meet up and save on shipping.

Handspun FO

Few months ago at Torrance Fiber Festival, I purchased this beautiful targheetop from Abstract Fiber, in “Tulip” colorway. It actually reminds me of a parrot than tulips!

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The colors were so bright and beautiful, but they were such primary colors that it kind of scared me. The last thing I wanted was a self-striping yarn. So, I decided to make this into a 4-ply yarn, while making sure I blend the colors as much as possible. First 2 bobbins were straight from the top, I just divided it into thin strips and drafted a little bit before spinning in 14:1 ratio.

For the other 2 bobbins, I carded the different colors.

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They looked so pretty in the box, and I really really enjoyed spinning it this way. I’m really going to try to pick more crazy color tops from now on. It’s really fun watching all the different colors getting wound onto the bobbins.

The end product is this:

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With 4-ply, the colors were blended in really well, creating yarn with more consistent colors. It’s sportweight, perfect for an accessory item. I can’t wait for it to become something.

TNNA brief

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TNNA’s very first show in 2014 was in sunny San Diego. The Convention Center is located in the Historic Gaslamp District and it was a really good getaway weekend, full of knitting and chatting and shopping. Not much sleeping though.
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I hung out mostly at the Crafty Diversions booth.

Crafty Diversions Booth

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Anne was one of the designers I enjoyed working with as a sample knitter while I was in law school. A couple of her earlier works even has my pictures wearing her designs as I modeled for her too, as we live pretty close to each other in Orange County.

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When I first got there, the artist was still working on it, and I had no idea this was what she was doing. On Day 2 of the show, I finally saw the finished product and was blown away!

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This place, Lion Coffee, is a bit farther away from the Convention Center and Gaslamp District, but it was so worth it. I had to be up early for my 8 o’clock class and I didn’t know any coffee places that were open in the area. I Yelp’ed and this place came up. I got a large caramel macchiato, and an Acai Bowl, which is a delicious combination of strawberries, banana, granola, and blended frozen acai, finished with honey drizzeled all over. YUMMY~

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Shot during my Sunday morning class, “Joy of Finishing.” I was the only designer, the rest of the class were shop owners. I was a little bit disappointed as I didn’t really get to learn anything truly new. There were some tips I picked up, but the techniques themselves weren’t new to me.

By the way, the weather was really weird! You’d think: Hey, Sunny ACalifornia. But this was shot Sunday morning. It was cold and foggy.

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At least it cleared up the next day.
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I stayed at Omni Hotel and they brought me a glass of OJ and apple every morning!

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My room. I kind of really liked the room, and felt a little bit sad leaving it on Monday.

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I don’t have that many shots of the exhibit hall as this was my 3rd TNNA show and was more interested in talking to people than taking pictures of it :P

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So while hanging out with Anne in her booth, I learned to STEEK. I’ve always wanted to try it, and had seen a lot of tutorials on it but never really tried it in real life. Anne kindly took the time to explain the easiest way to do it and that’s the end result. Will I use it in my next design…??? PERHAPS.

Day 2 was very long. After the show, Anne, Stephanie (of Sunset Cat Designs), Pam (of Pam Powers Knits), and I went out for dinner/happy hour then dessert at this gelato place, Chocolat.

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All in all, it was a great show. I picked up some yarns and fibers from SweetGeorgia and Anzula, and needles from HiyaHiya, as well as some tools from other vendors.

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Torrance Fiber Festival 2013 (Torrance, CA)

It’s pretty much the “only” well known fiber festival locally, so I try to go although it’s about 45 minutes away from home.

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I didn’t go for a couple of years so I was really excited. This is the courtyard between the two exhibition halls. Hello Yarnover truck!

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I live in Orange County so I don’t really get to see Yarnover Truck very often. It’s so cute and lovely inside too.

 

 

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3 beautiful rovings I got from the festival! The top is from Abstract Fibers, purchased at the Custom Handweaving booth. The bottom two are from Capistrano Fiber Arts. Capistrano’s rovings are sold at 2 oz increments so I liked that you can try more high end fibers without investing TOO much. I like to spin very thin anyway so even with 2 oz, I could knit a lace shawlette or something. The only pictures of me from the festival were from my shopping at her booth because I sent my husband away with my camera (hehe) but I was told not to take any pictures at her booth by the owner so I can’t post them here…

 

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This shop I loved too. The name was Forbidden Woolery, but their Etsy shop seems to be empty right now. I liked their FB page for updates though!

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Overall, it was a great show. Now that I got into spinning, the show felt much more relevant, and my husband also had a great time looking at the stuffed Alpaca from A Simpler Time booth and generally being the supportive husband. Oh and we found some great restaurants near Rolling Hills Plaza and even talked about moving there hahaha. (No, we love Irvine and our new home too much).

Tour de Fleece 2013 – Dyeing more roving

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I have a 2-wk trial and lots of deadlines coming up and sometimes don’t have enough energy to spin at the end of the day. Like last weekend. I had a long (more like a full-day) meeting on Saturday so on Sunday, I spent few hours dyeing some rovings.

 

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I just wanted some soft colors that I could spin and ply together. I only dye with 4 dye colors. I mix and match and control the absorption

 

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Soft Cotton Candy? hehe Milkshake Colorway

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Both are really yummy colors right? I’m so happy how the colors turned out. There’s that piece of me that gets so satisfied when I pet the colors that totally get me.