Knit all the things!

Wow. Is there anything like fall to ignite a serious case of start-itis in knitters?

With the cooler temperatures here in the UK (although it's been grey-ish low 20s with peekaboo sunshine the last week or so) it's been getting harder and harder to spend time in my office with my stash whispering seductively from the sidelines. 

This gorgeous beauty has been telling me that I need a new hat for my new winter coat.

This gorgeous beauty has been telling me that I need a new hat for my new winter coat.

It didn't help that Kate from the A Playful Day podcast has been hosting a craft-a-long this month in her Ravelry group. They're harvesting - reaping all those WIPs and other things that might be languishing in stash and project bags... And those lovely folks at L'Oisive Thé are starting a Color Affection knit-a-long. This is a proejct that somehow I never managed to knit when I bought the yarn for it when it was popular the first time around... Finally, Soak has been hosting a daily photo challenge on Instagram (search for the hashtag #soakphotochallenge) which has been getting me reaquainted with old projects, my tools, my stash, and my plans for said stash!

Madelinetosh, patiently waiting to be turned into a Color Affection shawl.

Madelinetosh, patiently waiting to be turned into a Color Affection shawl.

Then someone mentioned the C-word (Christmas!) on Ravelry and that got me all in a tizzy as my brother and his wife are coming to visit and they are definitely knitworthy! And I still haven't finished Mr. H's Harry Potter sweater which was also destined for this Christmas. Or at least it better be, as I bought the yarn in last year's post-Crimbo sale at John Lewis! And then of course there's the spinning that I've been doing with the loan of Rachel's e-spinner and the Mind the Gap socks that I've been working on for this year's GLYC (which aren't going to be done so have been shockingly abandoned!).

Progress has been made on Mr. H's Christmas sweater. On now to the sleeves!

Progress has been made on Mr. H's Christmas sweater. On now to the sleeves!

Which is all to say that I basically want to cast on EVERYTHING and KNIT. ALL. THE. THINGS.

I've been managing to hold on to a modicum of control though, thanks to another wee distraction in the form of gearing up with Rachel for the second annual Great London Yarn Crawl. It's been a lot of fun putting it together this year as we have more shops, more routes, more sponsors and more participants! It means we'll raise more money for Refuge, and really - that's fantastic!

I'll still be knitting these Mind the Gap socks at the Great London Yarn Crawl - at least this project is portable!

I'll still be knitting these Mind the Gap socks at the Great London Yarn Crawl - at least this project is portable!

There's less than a week to go, thank goodness, as I feel that the thin thread of my control is close to snapping at this point. In the meantime, I'm determined to carry on as best I can until the end of the month. But October 1st, all bets are off with regards to starting something new!

How is your autumn knitting coming along?

All over the place

I know. I know. I owe you guys pics and project notes of the Sleepy Monkey Blanket that I tweeted about being finished. Patience my pretties!

With work and finishing up some knitting, visits and keeping on top of my little guy's activities, I'm not quite sure where this term has gone.

What I have noticed though, is that as often happens when I'm overwhelmed, my organisation skills fall victim to an untidyness that can only be seen to be believed. Witness my shame:

The horror. The horror! Meet my disorganisation nightmare.

The horror. The horror! Meet my disorganisation nightmare.

That my friends is my workbench, which not only holds my stash but *should* also be able to hold and keep organised various projects as I work on them at the same time, or in a queue, and thus help keep *me* focused. Sadly, my system has failed and has happens periodically, needs to be reset.

In all the busyness, my workbench has become a dumping ground (and let's not even talk about the area in front of the bench, or the floor of the office off-camera!). I was reading about New Year's cleaning traditions and it being bad luck to have the old year's dirt stay with you into the new year instead of being swept out with the old year. Knowing that I have some big plans for 2014 in terms of work and projects, it seemed like just as good a time as any to start getting that solid footing sorted out.

So I've been clearing out the piles and binning random bits and filing others, which is also helping in terms of my planning for 2014. Some my 2013 goals fell by the wayside quite early on and I suspect that having goals without necessarily having a plan for those goals was where things fell down. 

It's a start. hopefully it will make things easier when I do a stash tidy-up to see what hasn't been put in right storage container, what hasn't been logged on Ravelry, and of course the stash toss to keep a vigilant eye out for critters...!

More to come!

KCBW Day 5: The voices in my stash (a guest blog)

Hello all! I'm currently on the train on my way to Malvern to meet up with a friend Alison from last October's P3. We're going to have fun and hang out before heading up to Wonderwool Wales bright and early tomorrow morning! In the meantime, since today's post for Knitting and Crochet Blog Week is supposed to be different from how we would normally blog, I thought this would be a perfect day for someone to guest blog for me. Enjoy! --Alli

Who are we?

We are Alli's stash.

We are what happens when a knitter wants to work with good materials, and to have those supplies on hand.

We can make you a yarn snob too.

We have been blended to form exquisite temptations of softness. We are bathed in hues that are soft and natural, vibrant and strong. Sometimes by hand.

We have been both open and stealthily acquired. Without even realising it. We are also gifts, and the manifestation of gift certificates.

We are pretties and precious-es. We are to be petted and stroked and fondled. Caress us.

We are also pure.

Cashmere.

Silk.

Alpaca.

Angora.

We are the great distraction. The reason for countless WIPs and UFOs.

Our numbers are legion.

We will be enhanced. Alli will enhance us.

We are Alli's stash.