Feeling pretty low today so I thought I’d cheer myself up by going through the fabric I purchased at the weekend – there’s more than I remember buying.

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The best bit is sorting through and working otu what I’m going to make with it. I have lots of ideas – and will hopefully have chance to bring them to life in the next few days.

I’ve been busy this weekend – mainly in the world of Etsy (joining groups, chatting on forums and putting pictures on flickr). 

I’ve also put another item into the shop:

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Ooh and I bought some great fabric so there will be more bags soon too.

I’ve also set up a twitter account – you can follow me by clicking the link on the right hand side.

I’ve just discovered another feature on Etsy – the Treasury – see my top picks from my favourites and add a comment here.

I seem to have started another stash:

the other side of 'the chair'
the other side of
the other side of the chair that ‘hides’ my knitting stash.
Then last weekend I bought some more:
more?

more?

and what do the bags contain? – I thought I’d better get it all out and take stock:
fabric
FABRIC! I didn’t mean to but some of it is gorgeous:
I’d better make some more bags then …..

Have you ever looked at something and thought ‘I can do that’? Yeah, me too but time often gets in the way. I’ve been a bit of a ‘reusable bag’ hoarder for a while now but some stores are charging high prices for the ‘green’ option. It was on one of these shopping trips that I thought – I could do that. I accompanied my mum on one of her fabric buying excursions (she makes all the soft furnishings in our family and is a dab hand at upholstery), grabbed some offcuts at a ridiculously low price and dragged the old Singer sewing machine out from the bottom of my wardrobe, threaded it and made an attempt.

In short it was a disaster. I couldn’t get the machine’s tension right and a needle broke. I showed the result to my mum and she came over to ‘look at’ the machine she managed to coax it to stitch for a while but then ceremoniously pronounced it dead. It was the machine that she made her bridesmaid dresses on – and my parents celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary next year. In truth it probably needs a bit of TLC to coax it back into life but I’m of the ‘if it doesn’t work give it a thwack’ school of engineering so I’ll probably freecycle it to a good home.

Whilst I decided to go ahead and purchase a new sewing machine (the previous one had been untouched in the bottom of my wardrobe for several years) I hand stitched a bag – and I love it.

Swag Bag

Swag Bag

I even managed to sew in a lining and a pocket:

inside Swag Bag

inside Swag Bag

It was originally designed as a Christmas present but I’m using it. It did take ages to hand stitch so a sewing machine was duly ordered and I’ve been stitching away at new ideas with the hope of eventually setting up an etsy account.

What slogan would you put on?

My reason for querying the lack of ‘stash’ in the Ikea catalogue the other day is because it is a topic that preys on most knitter’s minds – when they can add to it, where they can hide it and what they will make with it. It starts in the wool shop (or website) when our eye is caught by colour or our hands tempted by texture and before we know it we’ve made a purchase, often with no idea of what we will use the wool for in the future.

my wool stash

my wool stash

At the moment in my stash I have: 10 cones of chenille in various colours – bought to make scarves with last Christmas, a large tote bag full of ‘baby’ wool for making prem outifts (much of this has been donated), 500gs of lilac double knit to make ‘something’ for my goddaughter, 3 balls of dayglo fluorescent wool – I think that was for knitting aliens, several 100g balls of double knit in brown and navy for making school jumpers, 300g of green cotton (a birthday present from my mum), about 10 balls of ‘fancy’ wool (with glitter and bobbles, etc) for making scarves, wool for making socks (I’ve yet to turn a heel), wool for making hats, wool for making gloves and some that I intend to one day make a top for me.

The picture above doesn’t look too bad until I point out that it goes behind the chair ….

wool stash 2

wool stash 2

The other side of the chair contains my fabric stash – which is another post …..

I think I may have a problem and I’m trying to cut down on my urge to visit wool shops – at least until the stash has depleted a bit – or until the next knitting for charity challenge from Loving Hands.

I learnt to knit at my grandmother’s knee. Being left-handed I have an unusual style – I knit right handed but hook the needle under my right arm and my left does most of the work – this has ended in many bent needles. My mother taught me to crochet but I never took to it.

I was defeated at 18 by a huge aran cardigan with cables – something went wrong at the shoulder and though I finished it I was disappointed with the result. It was about that time that I met the boy who would later become my husband – up until a few years previously his mother had been the manager of a wool shop and he abhorred everything to do with knitting.  there is one picture of me at uni knitting squares so I must have kept on for a while but I don’t remember when I put my needles away. I always thought that I would knit again when I had children but I was so busy during my pregnancy that I didn’t even think about it. My mother in law and my aunt gave me some beautiful cardigans for my son and that’s when my fingers began to twitch. I found that a lot of the clothes I put him in were knitted and I kept thinking ‘I could do that’. However it wasn’t until he was 18 months that I sat my husband down and gently told him that I’d been secretly buying knitting magazines and I’d ordered some wool and it was going to happen whether he liked it or not. He was a bit hostile at first but 2 years later he’s resigned to the ever growing stash that is hidden behind a chair in our living room. He has even held his tongue whilst that pile has been added to with my ever growing fabric stash with my new stitching craze. I think the fact that I solved a lot of Christmas present dilemmas with Debbie Stoller’s scarves last year helped his tolerance! Over the next few posts I’m hoping to share my reaquaintance with knitting and my new stitching craze (this year’s Christmas presents will be bags). Feel free to comment and offer advice as we go.