Wednesday, June 24, 2015


Spoiler: I haven't. Not yet.

Recently, I scrolled all the way down to the bottom of my ravelry projects page, and saw this:

Not bad.

But then I wanted to see how much yarn I still have in my stash, and whether I had actually achieved SABLE yet or not. So I exported that excel file using that handy ravelry function, totalled up the yardages left, and saw this:

I can totally use all of the yarn I purchase! Look at how much yarn I've got! I must be super productive!
This gap between what I have actually produced and what I have left with which to produce new things is a bit overwhelming. It's more of an abyss, truth be told.

Granted, some of my projects have no yardage listed because I used cone yarns and I'm too lazy to measure out how many yards they are per gram. Also, none of my weaving projects save one have yardages listed, and I think those probably do eat up quite a bit of yarn. (The same argument goes both ways, though: none of my cone yarns have yardages listed in my stash. So actually there's more yarn than the numbers suggest, both in my stash and in completed projects.) Anyway, I decided to break things down.

I've been a member since 2010, so that's 5 years. I've been knitting more in these past couple of years than in the beginning, so let's actually count from 2013 onwards. That'll be more representative of how much yardage I consume yearly, on average:

2013: 6422 yds
2014: 9832 yds
2015 (so far): 10 800 yds

Hey hey! Do you see a pattern? I seem to be getting pretty good about using more and more yarn, so that's good news. More good news: it's only June, end of June. I have a couple of projects still on the go (another test knit for Nadia - go check out her designs!) and more that have been queued and are in the foreseeable future that I've linked to stash yarn.

Now, the bad news. Unfortunately, I can't seem to sort all of my stash according to date added on ravelry and still see exactly how much I got each year, but here's an approximation (cone yarns not included, of course):

Rate of acquisition per year.
Prior to 2013, it was mostly cone yarns. Which explains that super low yardage. Also, I was only just getting into knitting. Then came 2013 and my rate of acquisition shot up. More specifically, I purchased approximately 51 times the yardage of 2013 and before. 2014 was my worst yet, but growth-wise, I was only 1.5 times the 2013 acquisitions. So not too bad, right? (Right?) And this year has been showing great improvements: so far, my acquired yardage for the year has been only a quarter (1/4) of what I purchased last year. If I continue on like this for the remaining half of the year, that means I'll have decreased my habits by half! And I'm already actively trying to not purchase more new yarn, so the rest of this year will probably see even fewer additions to the stash.

Let's sum up all that I've said, then:

  1. On average (extrapolating from my usage these past 6 months into the future 6 months), I use about 12 618 yards/year. That's a very safe average, considering I've already used 10 800 yards.
  2. I have in my stash 97 934.4 yards.
  3. If I do not add to my stash (... I'm not calculating the likelihood of that), it will take me 7.76 years, so approximately 8 full years, to use up all of my stash.
  4. Life expectancy is 84, from a quick search on google. I am not 76.
  5. In conclusion: I have not yet achieved SABLE. (In order for me to be at that level, I would need to have more than 782 316 yards of yarn. I'm not too sure whether I should be happy to relay this or not, but my stash currently makes up 12~13% of that number.).
Regardless, I think I really do need to do more stashbusting.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Lovelier colour than I had imagined when on the cone: stone.
Not an actual mouse (thank goodness? sadly?), but this lovely silvery grey that came from an old cone I had purchased years ago warped up a lot lighter than it appeared on the cone and reminded me of a mouse. It's really quite a lovely colour, if a bit boring at first glance. The top and bottom of the cone have probably been exposed to sunlight for long periods of time before, and so have become more of a pinkish colour as compared to the rest of the cone (the colourway is officially "stone", I believe, though the label has long been lost), resulting in short pink slivers popping out occasionally on both the warp and the weft. Like mice.

Or spiders. Speaking of which, a spider rested itself upon my wall right above the loom and stayed there for a good part of the day as I wove: a good omen, I think. I mean, spiders are master weavers, aren't they?

Look how relatively evenly tensioned that warp is! And those little pink flecks! Charming.
I think I'm starting to get the hang of winding on the warp on my own! I might have to shove something into the back beam on the right edge later on (odd; it's usually the left side that's loose), but for the most part, the tug-and-wind method is working beautifully for me. For the first couple of warps it was a bit difficult simply because the plastic warp ties bounced back into shape, but they have since curved much more and go quietly into the back beam without too much hassle.

The check pattern cloth has been finished for a number of days now, and I just have to take some pictures of it and figure out what to make with it. I'm pretty happy with it, though I can't imagine myself wearing it... perhaps it will simply remain a wrap and end up in the store?

Monday, June 1, 2015

Weaving Through Checks

Check check.
I've started weaving a 2-shaft draft using my AKL, and while the reed marks are distorting the pattern a bit (a lot), I can see it coming out if I try to shift my focus on a point beyond the actual weave! Exciting times. Hopefully the reed marks will lighten up, or better yet disappear, once it's off the loom and I put it through the wash.

More of the check pattern. And the reed marks.
So. While it's pretty obvious in hindsight - and I'm not too sure why I thought it would be the case - I thought that the checks would be larger. I envisioned them larger. (Which, if they were, would have made the cloth pretty unstable in the middle of the checks if I were ever to cut into the cloth to make something of it.) Even though I knew, just by looking at the draft, that the checks would each have 3 strands making up their width. Oh well. At least I know how to translate weaving drafts onto my rigid heddle loom.

That being said though, I'm not completely satisfied with the sett that I can achieve once I move onto doing anything beyond plain weave, especially once I get to 3-shaft drafts: because the threading sequences don't necessarily use every hole and slot, I can't double my sett even using the two heddles (because each hole/eye acts as a different shaft, and then the slots act as the third one). Even with this draft, which was made for 2 harnesses, my sett was far from doubled, even though I used two heddles. As it is, it's not too light, but I really like the idea of working fine, so perhaps a floor or table loom would better suit my purposes? Something to think about for the future.

You can see the two heddles here in rest position.