Friday, 4 January 2019

December 2018 Update

Happy New Year Everyone!
I do love the start of a new year. It always brings thoughts of tidying up and finishing off things started during the year, yarn related or otherwise. And then there's looking forward to the new year, plans and ideas, and new year's resolutions of course.
I expect mine are similar to those of many of you - lose weight, exercise more, buy less yarn and use more, maybe decorate a couple of rooms, keep the garden tidy, book a holiday ..... I could go on.
But back to a round up of what I did to reduce my stash in December. Well, the answer to that is that although I made quite a lot, it was in fact the only month in the whole of 2018 where I gained more than I used! However, over the year I have used 23,515g making 133 items and only gained 6,100g so a pretty good year by my standards 😊 You can see the summary of how my stash progressed throughout 2018 under Stash Stuff .
Octopus For A Preemie UK was to blame for all the yarn gained as they did '12 days of Christmas' offers where yarn suitable for making Octopals and other related things were for sale and I eagerly bought into three of them, plus I was fortunate to win some yarn in their draw for newbies in a CAL teaching us how to make an octopus. Just look at all this gorgeous cotton yarny squishiness, how could I resist all these beautiful colours??
 Above is my CAL draw win with yarn, crochet hook and stuffing, in fact everything needed to make an octopus and below are my yarn purchases to keep me going with makes for OFAPUK in 2019


So, what did I make in December to use up some of my stash?

To start with I wanted to finish up the DK yarn left over from making the Darcy slip over top last month. So first I made a Seaman's Cap using two strands of the DK yarn, followed by three cowls, also using 2 strands of yarn.  The cowls were made using my own patterns although they're so simple I hesitate to call them a pattern at all but have posted them under My Free Patterns. They are the Super Simple Garter Stitch Cowl and Super Simple Ribbed Cowl. These were all taken to RAFT just before Christmas, together with a huge box of items sent to me from Loving Hands.

Next I made a baby blanket using some Red Heart 4ply that a neighbour gave to me a couple of years ago. The pattern I used is the Sideways Shells Blanket for Project Linus and it will be the first thing in my next box for Baby Basics South Somerset

After that came a pair of Fingerless Gloves on Two Needles - a Christmas present for my husband for when he's working out in the garage in the winter doing whatever it is that men find to do ion the garage?! The pattern uses 4ply/sock weight yarn but as my husband is 6' 3" tall and has big hands I used Stylecraft Special Aran in graphite and silver from my stash, and using 4mm needles they were just the right size.
Then came a Christmas present for the rats! Yes, I did say rats! My new daughter-in-law has kept rats since a child and still has some now. I have to admit that they're not as bad as I thought they would be and might even venture to say they are quite cute, in a ratty sort of way. Anyway, at her request, I made a Wildlife Rescue Cave with added tabs on top so that it can be suspended from the top of their cage. She was delighted and the rats seem to like it too, and what's more it was made using 2 strands of odds and ends of DK yarn.
I eventually got round to making my 4th octopus for OFAPUK and am waiting to find out if it is going to fly (to an angel) or swim (to a preemie). I'm hopeful that this is a good one as I've really tried to take on board all their advice; I can't see any holes, it's within size limits and I stuffed it as hard as I could.
So this brought me to Christmas week and I was wondering what to make and having had such a varied month I decided to do something different yet again by making this Filomena Shawl using some discontinued Noro Sekku, a lace weight yarn that I bought on ebay about 10 years ago. It still needs to be blocked but you get the idea.
And we come to the last week of the month when I decided to do one last pet blanket for the year using 6 strands of coned yarn with 7mm needles and a basic garter stitch square starting with one stitch and increasing at the start of every row up to 85 stitches and then decreasing at the beginning of every row until one stitch remained. Why is it that when I do this pattern, which should be perfectly square, I always end up with an oddly shaped piece with a pointy end (bottom left)? I can only think that it is because the weight of the blanket distorts it when it gets to the end.
So there we go, in December there was a bit of something for several of the charities I support and also something for me, my husband and the rats!

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