Tag Archives: craft

Stash Guilt?

This past weekend I spent some time organizing and taking inventory of my stash. I started taking photos of some new (and not-so-new) skeins to upload to Ravelry and had a twinge of guilt for my wool-piggery, but then I caught myself. Why? Why should I feel guilty for indulging in something that makes me happy?

I was tagged by @thereadingknitter for #widn. I have a cold, so I'm going to my happy yarny place and cataloging some new stash (and maybe casting on a new project--or two). I can always count on @yarnhoarder and @swordofaknitter to take me to a happy yarMy stash has become somewhat of a joke among my knitting group and my family. Last year I had a purge and put the spoils out for my knitting friends to take, and I often give yarn to my mom (which often results in my getting a knitted gift in return). Chris, my husband, calls it “his investment”. A few weeks ago, Chris and I were talking about our will, and I joked that I’m making a friend an executor of my yarn. He told me that, no, he’d be putting it up on eBay or Etsy. I know he was joking, but I felt a flare of anger as silly as that sounds. The idea of my stash being sold off without care really bothered me. My yarn brings me joy, each skein, and I enjoy sharing that joy when a skein no longer speaks to me. I suppose this brings me back to my initial thought: Why do I feel guilty for indulging in something that makes me happy? The answer seems to be that I feel like I should. I often hear knitters talk about their stash with that tone…that guilty tone, like we’re doing something wrong because we indulge ourselves. You hear it at retreats and fiber fairs a lot. My #stitchesmidwest2015 haul. I was deliberate in my purchases, but I forgot to pick up another @kitchencountercrafter needle-minder. Clearly, I'll have to hit up @javajennie when she gets home.

Well, I’m done with that tone. I have a well-curated stash, and I’m proud of it. When I see a new pattern on Ravelry or Instagram, and I’m feeling knitspired, I know I can go upstairs, dig through my yarn, and find the perfect skein. I recognize that isn’t for everyone. Some knitters function better by buying only for planned projects, and that works for them. That makes them happy. But for me, I like that my yarn room overfloweth, and I don’t want to feel badly about that.

My lights are still on, my son is fed, and my yarn brings me joy. So I’m standing up (figuratively) and saying, I’m Sarah. I have a large stash. And I’m proud of it.

Cultivate and Create: Episode 1


Thank you for checking out Episode 1 of the Cultivate and Create podcast.

Currently Knitting

Foolproof by Louise Zass-Bangham in Marigold Jen merino/silk single.

Something I want: A wardrobe of handknit cardigans

Something I need: Take better FOtos

Something I wear: Bryum by Cailliau Berangere

Wearing my newly-finished and blocked Bryum today. This might become my go-to shawl this winter. The yarn is @anothercraftygirl in Ponkie Brewster and Deep Blue Sea...such a perfect pairing if I do say for myself. #fallshawlfreeforall

Something I read: Greenglass House by Kate Milford

Knitting + Inspiration = Knitspiration KAL

What inspires you? What patterns do you just have to knit now? What yarns do you dream about knitting into something beautiful? Whose projects do you find yourself wanting to imitate? Who posts photos of the most amazing spinning projects on Instagram?Let’s knitspire one another, using #knitspirationKAL16 on Ravelry and Instagram.

  • Choose yarn, fiber, a pattern, or another knitter’s project that inspires you (can also be an inspired WIP).
  • Finish between January 15 and February 29 of 2016.
  • Post one time in the FO thread, but add and tag those knitspired entries as you finish them.
  • Prizes TBA, but I’ve got some goodies.
  • Must be at least 50 grams.
  • Must be a member of the group.

Find me on Ravelry and Instagram as mrsshoo and the Ravelry group Cultivate and Create.

Shenanigans Ahead

@thefatsqrrl The #shenanigans are this way! I'm taking @prairiegirlsusie's Ozukuri on an adventure tonight.I’m not usually one to look back. I prefer to look ahead and consider what’s next, but for whatever reason, this year, I’m feeling very introspective. As I’m typing this up, I’m looking back through my Flickr and Instagram photos and rediscovering all of the fun I had in 2015. Much of it was with my family… #hellossk15 My name is Sarah, and this is me and my mom @grammylynne. Conveniently our annual trip to Nashville has once again hit on SSK weekend ????. We won't be attending the retreat, but we will be visiting the market. And I'
Dashing through the stash at the farmers market. #stashdash2015 #havesockswilltravelBoth of had stash enhancement at #yarncon. G went a little crazy @sunvalleyfibers. #graysongram

And nearly all of it involved knitting.

I don’t think I realized when I began knitting how much of a part of my life it would become or the friends I would meet because of it.
Best. Fiber. Weekend. Ever. #IowaSheepandWool #DesMoinesPride
But knitting has become the constant in my life. Next to family and friends who are like family, it gives me the most comfort when I’m facing a difficult decision and the most joy when I need it. Looking back over my projects for 2015, I realize I didn’t knit nearly as much as I have in years past, despite working parttime. There were many times I remember simply sitting on the couch holding my yarn. Staring at my needles.

2015 was a year of fun, but also a year of flux. I moved away from places I was comfortable with, and I began new endeavors. Some felt great, and some I was terrified to take the leap. I’ve doubted myself a lot in 2015. I’ve fished for peptalks from my husband and my friends. I’ve stood, staring in the mirror, questioning myself and talking myself up. I’ve avoided situations that make me uncomfortable or anxious.

But looking through all those photos and remembering the fun I had also reminded me that when I took the leap, when I faked confidence until it was real, I had fun. A lot of it. I felt joy. So, my word for 2016 is confidence. I will be strong and confident. And if I’m not feeling that way, then I’ll fake it until it becomes real.

A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous.

When I started knitting my first shawl, I wondered why in the world I was doing it. Now here I am ten or so shawls later and wearing one nearly every day when it’s chilly out.
The first shawl I knit was huge, 1000 or so yards. While I love it, and it is so cozy and warm, I don’t wear it very often because it isn’t as practical as some of my later shawls. Although I do love to snuggle up in it when I’m reading or watching television in my chair.

Calming Waters

As I became more skilled at knitting and realized I enjoyed knitting shawls, I started to consider how exactly to wear my shawls, and I began to really think about what I was knitting instead of being dazzled by the yarn. I really love shawls for their warmth and for their ability to pull together an outfit. I tend to be a warmer person, so I like that I can throw on a shawl on a chilly day, and while it takes off the chill, I don’t get overheated like I would in a sweater or jacket. I also feel like I’m actually dressed, even in a t-shirt and jeans, if I wear some sort of neck wear. My students would frequently comment on how cute an outfit was because of the shawl I wore with it. (And if teenager girls compliment you, you know you’re doing something right.)

Elk Tooth

I frequently see people ask on Ravelry how to wear shawls, and I found myself doing the same thing. Finally, I grabbed several of my own shawls in several different shapes and just starting futzing in front of the mirror. In doing so, I definitely figured out my preferred method of wearing shawls and also my preferred shawl shape, not that I don’t deviate from that, but it has to be an amazing pattern.

Because I’m a shawl-lover and wish I could convince the world that these are the accessory to wear, I grabbed my resident photog (Chris) and two different shawl shapes and did a photo shoot to model different ways I wear a shawl.

All stretched out

I find crescent shapes a little more difficult to wear, as I sometimes feel like they look like a bib when worn around the neck. I tend to wear them off to one side or the other.

More formal

Sometimes that gets too warm, so I just drape it over my shoulders; in fact, this is how I wore it at knit night on Tuesday. The AC was on in Panera, so there was a little chill; I just draped this guy over my shoulders, and I could knit and talk with my hands and not freeze.

Just hanging there

The great thing about longer, shallower shawls is that you could wrap them over your head and around your neck if you forget a hat. My husband thought I was crazy when I did this last night, but there have been some windy winter days where I needed something on my head.

Head Scarf

Triangle-ish shawls are typically my favorite shape. They just seem to be easier for me to wear.

All stretched out

I’ve seen people wear them tied around in back so the shawl almost looks like a shrug in front, but while this looks cute in front, on me, the back looks lumpy. Other people pull off this look, and it makes me jealous. I’m afraid the problem is my body, not the shawl.

Shrug

If someone has the secret to making this work, please let me know!! (And I made this picture small intentionally; no one needs to see this one in large-size.)

Tied in Back

This is a more traditional way to wear a shawl. I know some people think it looks granny-ish, but if the shawl style or colors are modern enough, I don’t see a problem. (Disclaimer: I am not the pinnacle of style.)

Tied in Front
More Traditional

My personal favorite way to wear a shawl is kerchief-style. It’s really easy, just a little wrap and twist, and really low-maintenance. I wear nearly all my triangle shawls this way since it is so easy to do. I also don’t find myself tugging and pulling and rearranging like I do when I wear them other ways.

Kerchief

IMG_8683

Like I said, I’m not the pinnacle of style, but I do think I might have some cred in this whole thing since my students did frequently tell me how cute my shawls looked. (Ok, maybe I don’t since I just used the word “cred”.) It took me a while to get comfortable wearing a shawl, but I really do think that’s the key to pulling it, and any style, off. My thinking is that I like it…who cares if anyone else does? However, I do love when someone compliments me on what I’m wearing, and I get to tell them I made it.

Even my husband can look good in my shawls because of his ability to rock it.

Even the husband is modeling

Title quote by Coco Chanel