winter decluttering and spring cleaning sprinkled with new knitting projects

January 30, 2016

My post title says it all--I've been on a ruthless winter de-cluttering and spring cleaning binge--not just in my own home and garden, but in my church's kitchen and my son's house.  After Christmas I got this de-cluttering urge that could not be ignored.  After putting away the Christmas, I sent boxes of unused/unloved/forgotten treasures found throughout the house, not just the kitchen, to Goodwill.  Also, our church's professional kitchen was sadly in need of a de-clutter attack and deep-deep-cleaning and since my role as Fellowship Elder revolves around food and the kitchen,  I organized a small team to take it on.  Then lastly, my son is moving a few miles closer to his work and was overwhelmed with the packing and all that he had to do--mom and dad to the rescue!  And all of this was in January, but my cleaning madness actually started in December when I helped my mom reorganize her kitchen and bathroom with the advent of new cabinets and paint.  I don't need any help or inspiration to clean up and clear out--it comes naturally to me and I'm one of those kind of people who actually enjoys it.  I've heard that we spend the first 40 years of our lives accumulating stuff and the last 40 years trying to get ride of it.  I wish I had known that 40 years ago! So...if you've noticed that this blog has been neglected lately, that's why!

As for the last segment of my blog post title: new knitting projects--I have taken on a few.  We have a few spring trips planned and I look forward to packing my knitting projects even though it's tricky, this packing for travel: something smallish and light, but must last the length of the trip and hold my interest while not requiring a lot of concentration.  Here's my new projects from which to choose:

This is a feather and fan lace sweater, Simone from Kim Hargreaves knit in the new Summerlite DK, fantastic stuff and is the nicest cotton I've ever knit with:  tame and soft, but more about it later.  Probably not a good travel knit for me. 

This is going to be the Speckled Shrug from Lion Brand knit in some vintage Rowanspun Aran.  I'm really glad I hoarded this lovely tweed yard and found the perfect project for it.  This is a touch knit project and has become my movie knit and probably too bulky for a travel knit.

This is my version of Tochigi by Lisa Richardson.  I'm using the new Rowan Softyak DK, and man do I love it!  It's softer than silk, but more about this later.  This I hope to have finished before my trips so I can take it and wear it.

Hmmm, possibly a GREAT travel knit.  I adore Kidsilk Haze and all it's sweet sisters.  This is some sparkly Eclipse in an off white.  If you knit this doubled it becomes a DK weight and would be perfect as Martin Storey's Sapphire.  I've got the pattern copied and needles ready to cast on!

The lovely yarn in the cage above is for a variation of Marianne Isager's Tokyo using some lovely Isager yarn.  I purchased this kit last October in London at the huge yarn show at Alexandria Palace.  I saw the knitted shawl in person and bought the kit on the spot.  The colors are soft grays and taupes with a bit of white and pale blue and a smidgen of orange.  Great travel project.

This has possibilities of being a travel knit.  It's the beginning of the new Martin Storey KAL afghan knit in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted.  I'm making a baby blanket in these 4 gorgeous colors.  I'll add links at the end for this free pattern.
Martin's afghan Knit A Long has just begun and we are on the first week.  There are 8 free square patterns in total; one will be released every 2 weeks to give you plenty of knitting time.  First, login to the site before downloading.  If you are not registered, it's free and easy.  Martin has designed 4 colorways, blues, greens, neutrals and spice or you can choose your own.  All the information can be found on the Rowan site below.  The pattern makes a full sized afghan, but I'm making a baby blanket and chose my own colors.

Download the first pattern, Moss Stitch Hearts (free)
Watch this interview with adorable Martin Storey and check out Kate's coat! 
There are a few KAL forums on this Rowan Ravelry group and lots of lively chat!

If you like to leave a comment, click here.


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  1. I felt like de-cluttering my craft room as well and am still in the middle! I've collected so many craft magazines over the years and realized I am not going to make everything in them! So have decided to part with many of them. I'm only keeping the very best knitting and some quilting mags. I had to laugh at the comment about collecting until you're 40 years old, so true! I'm working on a baby blanket (your pattern-garter stitch edge and stocking stitch front) with thick stripes of navy, grey, mint, and white.

    1. De-cluttering the craft room is one of the most satisfying cleaning jobs, isn't it? I had to come to terms that some of my craft supplies were so hopelessly out of fashion, that by the time they did come into fashion again (if ever), I would be long gone! Off they went to the craft room at my local senior center!

  2. I like that you are knitting the Martin Storey KAL as a baby blanket. I searched, but didn't see any references to making it smaller. I thought I would prefer that as well, but how do you know how much yarn, and what changes are you making to which/how many squares you are doing to complete the blanket for a smaller size?

    1. I think I will make it with 20 squares--4 squares wide by 5 long, but I'll know better as I go along. I see that Martin is going to show different ways to do the hearts, with eyelets and other accents, so think I will make mostly hearts. I chose 4 colors to start, and bought one skein of each, but have a feeling I'll need one or two more of the favorite color, plus I will want to make a border most likely. I may decide to make it a three color blanket if I find one of the colors doesn't fit well. It'll be a work in progress and I'll know more as I go along.

      Hope that helps!

    2. Yes, thank you for taking the time to reply, and so promptly. It gives me a good idea of where to start at least. I need to purchase the yarn while I am away in a city, so wanted some idea of how much to get as I can't just pick it up at a local shop.


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