Sunday, January 6, 2019

New Beginnings...

Let me begin this post by hoping for you all that you have a great 2019.   I'm content to have wrapped up 2018 and be moving on to whatever is in store for the new year.

Speaking of wrapping up...  I was able to complete some projects this week that were begun in 2018, and I began some new projects.  I'm not sure which excites me more.

Okay, okay...  I'm probably most excited about finishing my second Spicier Life Blanket this past week (pattern here):

While these "Spice" blankets are really fun to make, and I don't even mind all the end-weaving, the most challenging part of making these  is dealing with how the different stitch patterns behave throughout the blanket (making for a wide variety of widths among the many rows).   I try to minimize this problem by using different sized hooks, and then before crocheting the borders on, I pin these blankets out hard, and give them a steam blocking (taking care to not touch the hot iron to the yarn).  

It's also very easy to second guess my colors the whole time I'm crocheting, and wish I had followed someone else's plan, but having finished four Spice blankets (two different designs) I've yet to be unhappy with any of them.

Seriously... who wouldn't love lounging under all these cheery colors?

And I can't help but smile over so many happy stitches and the pretty border.

Okay... I suppose that's enough of that.  Thank you for indulging me.  😊  

On to my new projects...

Yesterday I wrote about starting a Temperature project.  If you're at all interested, you can read the details here, but I'll just be brief today and explain that this will be a one-month (at most, two-month) project and I'll show a progress picture here each week.   While I'm only doing a short-term scarf/shawl (using this pattern), others in Our Happy CAL Place on Ravelry are making year-long blankets and scarves.  Consider yourself invited to join along if something like this sounds interesting!

This is 6 days into my Temperature Shawl:


Another CAL at Our Happy CAL Place is a Shawl/Poncho... CAL going on during January.   Jenn from Jenn's Crafty World made this cute Lace Edged Poncho (and is wearing hers in this video).  I love Jenn's multi-colored yarn, but not having anything that cute, I decided to work with my stash of Lion Brand Heartland yarn.  

Haven't gotten very far, but this seems to work up fast:

The only other thing I did this week (yarn-wise) was to finish up a little knitted dishcloth - the likes of which I've shown many times here already.  Unfortunately, it only used up a half a skein of yarn.   But that little 1/2 skein got counted in my yarn used total!


And with that, it's now time for my final report of how much yarn I used up last year.  After tallying up my yarn used on projects I began in 2018 and finished this past week, I got really close to my 100 skein goal.  

Get ready for it ...  

Drumroll ... 

2018 Yarn Stash-Down Results: 
 94.8/100 Skeins !!!

I was (sort of) hoping my Spicier Life Blanket would push me past the 100 skein mark, but honestly...  I'm super happy to have come this close.  And as of this writing, I have boxed up 6 skeins of yarn for donating - to bring my total destash to 100.8 skeins.  

I plan to keep on keepin' on with this de-stashing business.  In 2019 my goal will again be to diminish my stash by 100 skeins (and hope I can actually do more than that).   I don't know that I will give myself a moratorium on purchasing yarn, but I will definitely be selective and any yarn brought in will mean I'll need to use up that much more yarn to reach the "100 skeins" goal.

On that note, I am reminded of the 10 or so balls of cotton thread I bought last summer to make doilies with.  Considering that, I actually did use up more than 100 skeins.  One hundred and five skeins, if I'm figuring correctly.  So that's nice to know.

With it being January, I'm filled with enthusiasm and great expectations.  Let's hope my enthusiasm is warranted, and my expectations are met come December of 2019.  😉

To see what other YOPers are up to 
visit our group on Ravelry.


  1. What a fantastic achievement and so many beautiful things you've made with those yarns. The blankets remind me of the bright colours I saw in Bolivia woven fabrics, which made me wonder if you've tried weaving, as that would be a great stash buster as well. I like the idea of the temperature, but I know I'd end up getting behind and wondering what the whether was like last week! But the idea of them is great and if you did another the following year it would be interesting to see the differences. We've had such a mild winter so far. What yarn do you use for your dish clothes?

    1. I love the look of woven items, and I think I'd love to try it, but at the moment I really don't want to buy a loom. Something to consider in the future, though! I use various cottons. My stash of Sugar 'n Cream yarns is way too large, but my favorite cotton for dishcloths is Hobby Lobby's I Love This Cotton because it's very soft and makes a supple dishcloth - knitted or crocheted. Knitted Sugar 'n Cream cloths are nice, though, and make for a fairly long-lasting cloth. I just use small needles (size 4) to get a bit more refined cloth.

  2. The blanket is perfect. I have loved all you Spicier blankets. A temperature shawl us a very novel idea. And only doing 4-8 weeks is quite manageable. I love the colors you are using for your poncho. Congrats on your yarn usage this past year. You really worked at it. Have a grewt week.

    1. My thought is that I can do anything for a month (or maybe two). I know me, though, and I'm pretty sure I'd grow tired by March of working on a temperature project as large as a blanket. And if I end up thinking it's a fun idea, I can always make another scarf another month. :)

  3. Well done on the destash, I think it's fantastic how well you did and am sure that reaching your goal in 2019 will be no problem. Like you I'm going to think twice before buying new yarn but only because I already know how much lovely skeins I already have in my stash and it's a shame not to use them up! Now to the Spicer blanket, it's gorgeous Becki and how could anyone not be happy snuggled up underneath that! Well done!

  4. Oh that SPice blanket is so colorful and cheery! Reminds me of Lucy from Attic 24.....I've only made a few adult size blankets....

  5. mmmmm - I love that blanket! All those amazing colours just plain make for something that looks happy. Good job on hitting your target number of skeins used - now on to a hundred more!

  6. Well done Queen of the de-stash! Your blanket is so lovely. Here's is to 2019 and let the de-stashing re-commence!

  7. Oh Becky, that blanket is just soooo beautiful! I makes me want to make ALL the blankets this year! Well, at least one home decoration crochet project should be possible - thanks for the inspiration!

  8. Thank goodness I am not a poncho person or I would be longing to start that too! Your colors and yarns are simply beautiful and I may be in for the temperature project as I have wanted to do a temperature project for awhile now. I am definitely going to participate in Our Happy CAL Place this it! Congrats on your over 100 skeins gone! I need to do that...I thought I was with the Cozy Memories blanket but it's a slow boat to China. I think I will be donating some of that old acrylic for sure! Thanks as always for the wonderful inspiration and the Spice of Life blanket is out of this world! I'm thinking maybe one for my grandson. Have a great're off to a grand start!

  9. Yay, your blankets are gorgeous. And 100 skeins used/gone is amazing, well done.

  10. You've done 2...they're so beautiful. I should try it!

  11. The blanket looks gorgeous! Great job on the de-stash challenge too: this is my year to do more hooking and less buying. I did make a lot last year, but brought in over double of what I used up. I see a few scrappy blankets in my future!

  12. You have a good colour sense. The blankets are lovely. I don't currently have the patience for CALs, but one day I might, so it's good to know they are there waiting for me.