Stashdown

In December 2013, I looked at my shelves of yarn and noticed how they runneth over.  My craft supplies, including most of my yarn, are stored on two bookshelves in my bedroom.  I originally designated three shelves for animal fiber yarns,  one shelf for cotton yarns, one shelf for my knitting books, and one shelf for finished projects waiting to be gifted and UFOs. Here’s what the shelves looked like when I first put my yarn on them:

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By the end of 2013, 6 shelves were stuffed with yarn, and I had more yarn that I needed to put away but did not have space.  I updated my Rav stash to current, and discovered that I had 93,835 yards (that’s 53.32 miles) of yarn.  That is too much.  Something needed to change.

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HPKCHC Spring 2014 Term

The Harry Potter Knitting / Crocheting House Cup (HPKCHC) Spring 2014 Term started on May 1.  Before term starts, I usually plan out my projects.  I did some of my usual planning for this term, but did not finish or get a chance to write a blog post about it because of getting ready for and attending Maryland Sheep and Wool.  Today, I am finishing my planning.  I did talk about this topic in the one podcast episode I published, but in case you haven’t seen that episode, I will explain in detail how the game works and how I plan for a new term.

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Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, May 3 & 4, 2014

Back in February, I turned 40.  My parents wanted to do something extra-special for my birthday present.  They came up with the perfect idea: all travel expenses to Maryland Sheep and Wool for me and my friends Stacy and Beth!  We had an awesome time!

A 4-H girl took our picture. In the back, left to right, are Stacy and Beth.  I look ridiculously formal because I'm standing in a little ditch, trying not to lose my balance!
A 4-H girl took our picture. In the back, left to right, are Stacy and Beth. I look ridiculously formal because I’m standing in a little ditch, trying not to lose my balance!

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Birch Leaf Shawl

I chose to knit the Birch Leaf Shawl (Ravelry pattern link) because I was looking for a travel project.  My sister is in her final year of medical school.  My parents and I were flying from Florida to Baltimore to attend Match Day, which is when fourth year medical students find out where they will be doing their residency.  I needed a knitting project to take on the trip.  My personal criteria for travel knitting are:

  • The pattern should be easy to memorize so I don’t have to look at it all the time.
  • The project should be easy to pick up and put down, even if I am in the middle of a row.
  • The project should take long enough to knit that I will not finish it before I get home.
  • The project should require only one or two skeins of yarn.

In addition, I was looking for a project that would fit into one of the HPKCHC prompts for March.  The Ancient Runes prompt was about Celtic runes and their connection to trees.  One possibility was to craft a a project that represented one of the trees connected to the Celtic runes.  Birch trees were on the list.

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