The Finish Line: Stash Dash

So apparently, I’m going for monthly updates at the moment. Oops. Oh well. August has passed in a blur of getting ready for my first adult job, and by getting ready I mean getting my fill of sleepy days wandering around in pjs. Edinburgh was lovely and rained most of the time so I could justify staying in and reading and knitting. Then the inevitable happened last Monday: my long summer ended and work started.

I can hear all of you who’ve been in the work force for years laughing at me, but it’s so alien from student life. There’s the bad things like having to get up at a reasonable time (ugh) and the existential terror (what am I doing, why am I doing this, what if they think I’m terrible…), but also nice things like weekends. Weekends are wonderful.

This is my first proper weekend, but I’m already a fan. I got up early, but still later than I need to for work so it felt luxurious, and baked some pain au chocolat. Okay, they’re the kind where you buy the dough ready formed and you just have to stick it in the oven but it resulted in pain au chocolat warm from the oven which I could eat in my pjs. A firm win in my books.

But my summer wasn’t the only thing to be ending, Stash Dash ends soon too. And since my summer is over, and I’m sat here working on a crochet blanket that isn’t likely to be done in the next three months let alone three days I’m not going to be changing my total any time soon. So what have I been up to these past few months?

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Over the finish line: the projects which made it

The top row are the one’s I’m most proud of: my ‘Rains of Cashmere‘ jumper and my ‘Watermelon Pi‘ shawl. The jumper, or sweater to you Americans, is a top down jumper with set-in sleeves using a technique from Ann Bud and a pattern by Mary Annarella with the texture inspired by the Threshold jumper. I flipping loved knitting this. The yarn, by Eden Cottage Yarn, has cashmere in it and it was a dream to knit with. The construction worked well (though I modified the neckline to suit my crazy whims) and when you add to the mix the easy cable pattern it’s no surprise I want to cast on another. I did record my modifications on my project page should you desire more information on what I did, but I can’t highly recommend the pattern and the yarn enough. Oh my, they’re fantastic.

I only finished the jumper on Sunday in a race to have it done before work stole my attention away. It took until today to photograph and I still want to try to get a better shot. Story of my life, really.

I’ve rambled on here enough about the Watermelon Pi shawl. Suffice to say, circular shawls are so much fun and adding in a cool gradient makes it even better. Best travel knitting and so summer-y.

The others projects I’ve probably talked about less. The t-shirt is Bonny by TinCanKnits which turns out to be a great addition to the wardrobe when you’re on holiday. Tossed it on over a camisole and suddenly it looks like you’ve put way more effort into your outfit than you actually did. It made me feel elegant which is impressive when my hair’s a mess from the salt water and I’m, well, me.

The Baratheon square for my Game of Thrones blanket puts me one step closer to having it done. I was hoping to get more squares done this summer but I’ll get cracking on that this winter. I’m hoping to have it done by the time the final season airs, but we’ll have to see.

The green thing is my Japanese Knit Tote bag. Cast on mainly so I’d have something easy to knit during my final university exams, this little bag stretches. It looks tiny, but it is practically a TARDIS. It’s knit on the bias (like a dishcloth but a long rectangle which then gets folded and seemed and voila, a bag) which allows the bag to grow to accommodate all my groceries. When it’s not full of boxes of tea and english muffins, it scrunches up nicely in my bag. I may have to knit another one because fun to knit *and* useful? Too good to pass up.

Finally, I knit a cowl (the Starshower Cowl) and some footie socks (these). If you can’t already tell, I’m less excited by them than the other projects. I enjoyed knitting the Starshower Cowl but I’ve not yet worked out how to wear the finished cowl in a way that makes me happy. The texture stitches show off the variegated yarn well, in my opinion, but the finished cowl feels floppy around my neck. I don’t think it’s the pattern; I think it’s me. Fingering weight yarn makes for a more drape-y fabric, so perhaps the next cowl I knit should be in at least DK weight yarn for a more substantial feel? If you have any suggestions, please chime in.

All in all, I knit around 3744 m this summer. I was expecting to knit a fair bit more than that, but I enjoyed what I did knit.

Actually, what matters more than that number to me is the changes that have occurred since the end of the last Stash Dash. I’ve finished off my degree, found a job I’m excited about, and (the cream on top) I’m wearing more of what I knit. My Rains of Cashmere and Bonny are already are go-to items in my wardrobe. The Marius that I bought the yarn for almost exactly a year ago? In the laundry pile because I’ve worn it three times this week. The watermelon shawl makes for a great picnic blanket.

I really don’t know where I’ll be this time next year. For the past four years, for my whole life even, I’ve known roughly what the next year will look like. Hopefully, everything goes to plan and I’m settled into my new life here but it seems so uncertain to me at the moment.

This time last year, I was thinking about how I might need to move in the following July and how it would be a good thing to trim the stash down to make the move easier. A key feature of that revelation was the idea of buying less yarn than I knit in Stash Dash. This year’s Stash Dash actually reflects that with 5 out of the 7 projects being from long term stash and the other two (the blanket square and the bag) from the few balls of yarn I’ve bought this year. I did move successfully, and my yarn stash was only minorly a hassle. I still need to work out what the meterage is of my current stash, but I don’t think it’s grown too much. I definitely bought less than I knit last year in Stash Dash. It seems like the target both worked and feels manageable. Let’s see if I can do another year of it.

So, yes. What a ramble! I hope your Stash Dash was fun and you have a great weekend.

 

 

 

 

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