Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Stash Dash

If you listen to knitting podcasts like I do then you likely know all about Stash Dash.  It seems that just about every knitting podcast that I listen to are talking about Stash Dash. 

It's a giant knit along (of sorts) hosted by one of my favourite knitting podcasters - The Knit Girllls. It starts every year around this time and pretty much lasts the whole summer. The aim of this KAL is to use up as much of your stash as possible. 

In previous years, the goal was always 5000 meters of yarn. This year they've broadened it to include people that are aiming for 3K or even 10K!!

The aim is also to try to get languishing WIPs (works in progress) finished - to turn UFOs (unfinished objects) to FOs (finished objects)

It's a great motivator. You can count WIPs that you started long before Stash Dash started. Even if you only have several rows of knitting to finish on an item, that total yardage will count towards your final tally. It's great!! 

Here are the first two things that I've finished for Stash Dash. 

This hat is called "Ocean Breezes".  It's by one of my favourite designers Lee  Merideth.  It's so unique. See the buttons and the tabs on the brim? That is such a cute detail. And those colors!! Amazing. The yarns are both from Rhichard Devrieze. (A Canadian Indie yarn dyer) I bought them both from Cast On! Cast Off' in St Johns, NL. 

Here is another cute FO made from the same yarn. Both of these patterns are from Tincanknits (A Canadian design company). The hat is called Barley and the sweater is called Flax. They are both free patterns available from Tincanknits as a part of their learn to knit series. That is so generous of them!! If you are a newbie knitter I highly encourage you to check them out.  

So these projects bring my total so far for Stash Dash to a little over 300 meter. Lol. I've got a long long way to go yet. But to be positive I DO have A LOT of very old UFOs that haven't seen the light of day in forever. It will be nice to get some of those finished. 

I forgot to mention that spinning also counts. Every meter of finished yarn that you spin, ply and set can be counted towards your total. And if you knit with that yarn then it gets counted twice. 

Some of the WIPs that I'm currently working on and hope to soon count are 

Hitchhiker Scarf/Shawlette

Afterthought Heel Socks

There are countless others and I'm excited to rustle through my knitting room to see what old UFOs I can come up with. It's gonna be an interesting summer. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Viral Knits

Do you know what I'm talking about when I say viral knits? I'm talking about those patterns that kind of defy logic. There is just something about them, no one can really say what it is, but every knitter wants to make it.

I have made some viral knits in the past. There was this drops sweater that everybody made years ago including the yarn harlot. I even cast on (but never got around to finishing) the clapotis. The "Owls pullover" that I made into a cardigan and the "Colour Affection" shawl are what I would call viral knits or bandwagon knitting. 

Honestly, I usually try to resist the siren song of the viral knit. Everyone is knitting it - why should I? One of the reasons knitting appeals to me is that you get to be different. You can produce a garment or accessory that is so unique that no one else on the planet owns one. 

There is this knitting pattern that's been on my radar for about 5 years or so. It's called "Hitchhiker" by German designer Martina Behm. When it first came out I wanted to make it. Then everyone else made it, so I wouldn't. There are more than 19,000 of these posted on ravelry. And you know not every knitter is on ravelry (shocking and hard to believe but I have met them) and you know that the knitters that are on ravelry don't always post their work (again, shocking but people use the site in so many different ways). 

Last week I could resist the lure of this pattern no more. I cast on and I was smitten. 

It's like it was made for this yarn! I just love the garter stitch squishiness of it. I just lover the colour transitions. I just love how I keep wanting to make 'just one more point'. 

I totally understand why it's been made over 19,000 times. What I don't understand is why it's taken me 5 years to cast on.  

I vow from this moment onwards to not resist the call of the viral knit. If everyone else is making it, there must be a reason. Usually that reason is because it's a fun and engaging knit. Why am I so stubborn?  There are more Martina Behm patterns in my future I think.