Yarnplanner's Blog

Blogging to control yarn and fabric urges

End of Week challenge round up August 27, 2012

Filed under: finished objects,Uncategorized,Year Long Challenge (YLC) — yarnplanner @ 9:52 pm

I’m still in ‘excited’ challenge mode and am really enjoying ‘shopping in my own store’ and using up fabrics that I own and getting rid of some that I don’t love anymore.

It was a busy week ‘in real life’ with the ‘Book Character Parade’ costume taking most of my sewing time but the result was good as my little Pinocchio was a hit! Pity I didn’t get a really great photo but just for the record:

If you’re wondering that is a leaf at the end of his long nose – it doesn’t work very well front on!

Onto the YLC (Year Long Challenge)

This past week the lovely Donna and I destashed a big pile of fabric (and me a little yarn) at the fabulous Fabric-a-brac.   It was a great afternoon.  Not only did I get rid of a heap (either by selling, donating or sending off to the op shop) of dreary, never to be used fabric, I didn’t leave with anything but 4 patterns. I have to admit that I nearly ‘caved’ but in the end, found the enjoyment of walking away better than the thrill of buying new fabric.   Donna did very well with just one canny purchase of fabric to match a pattern she had also just bought and she is following a very sensible  ‘buy to make’ rule because her stash is no where near as monstrous as mine.

I have also made FOUR skirts this weekend.  Two from the fabulous Nikki M’s A-Line Skirt pattern (I know, I know, I am so late to the party on that one) which is the best pattern EVAR!  I cut the full pattern out of a vintage sheet with the intention of making a proper muslin but it has worked out so well, I’m starting to rehearse fabrics to make a top to match.  It was late on Saturday night but I still had enough in me to cut the skirt part from again and throw a yoga style fold-over stretch band where the yoke should be.  It worked a treat and I actually wore the skirt to work today and was super comfy all day.

This is the muslin

The other two skirts were both the Fay skirt pattern from StyleArc.  This is the funkiest pattern I have ever seen! My first skirt was in a heavy weight two way stretch ‘something’ and it worked like a dream so just for fun I pulled out a one way stretch poplin and it is just as good.  These skirts are to die for, each taking less than an hour from beginning to end so I’m now stash diving to find a fabric for my third.

This is the stretch poplin which I cannot seem to photograph at any flattering angle. but trust me – it’s great!

So for the record I am now at day 42 of my challenge.  I’m loving it.


The Year Long Challenge – not to buy fabric or yarn (yes you read that right!) August 17, 2012

Filed under: fabric,yarn,Year Long Challenge (YLC) — yarnplanner @ 2:38 pm

Like many crafters I have too much fabric and yarn.  I have more than:

  • I can use in the foreseeable future (but not a lifetime)
  • sits comfortably in the space allotted to it
  • is the limit at which my husband makes disparaging comments about my appearance on ‘Hoarders’ or some other such reality TV program. 

 I have always justified my stash by saying (and these excuses will be familiar to some):

  • The bills and mortgage have always been paid first
  • I don’t spend time on much else except work, looking after the family and contributing ‘sweat equity’ to our house and garden
  • I rarely buy clothes because I can make my own
  • I gain a lot of pleasure from having lovely fabrics and yarn around me.

But I still have to admit it. I have too much. 

So I recently tried to ‘destash’ some of it. I pulled out yarn and fabric that I didn’t really have a project for, it doubled up something else that I already had or I just didn’t really love.

That wasn’t very successful.  Unfortunately, for everything I have bought in the past, I can see what it was going to become which to be honest, is the allure of crafting in the first place.  Whilst I can still see that ‘something’, I found it very hard to move on.  I don’t consider this a character flaw, just the sort of person that I am.  To be fair on myself, there were a few things – fabric suitable for a child younger than mine would ever be again or that I had worked with but didn’t really enjoy anymore.  Yarn that was in too small lots to be anything other than a hat (and I don’t wear hats very often) or in a colour that I knew didn’t work for me.  

 So instead of giving up I started to think about what my aim was (to physically reduce the amount of fabric that I have on hand) and what I can do about it – to use it up (and not buy any more). 

So I have set myself a challenge.  A year without yarn or fabric.  A year to work with all the supplies that I have to make those things that I envisaged and to make space. Well, all the supplies except patterns and notions.  Those things I might need.  I don’t have an extensive pattern stash and I know that some of the things I will want to make, I don’t have a pattern for.  Zips and bias tape are things that I just don’t keep in my drawers, I have always bought them as I needed them. 

There – it is out there – I have to do it now!

It sounds like a long time and it probably is.  But I have cheated a bit. I’ve just had a trial month to see how it feels.  I’ve used that month to pull out those few pieces and skeins that I know I can get rid of and they won’t go back. They will be sold or donated in the next couple of weeks. 

The space I have for fabric and yarn

 I’ve also reorganised some of my space to ensure that my current project is worked on and finished before I can move on to the next and I’ve set my challenge as to how much space I will create by July 16th 2013.  

The space I want to clear by July 2013 – perhaps not by using all this fabric but making space elsewhere to put this away.

I’ve also pulled out some pieces of fabric that I’m excited to use and matched them with patterns that I already own as an added incentive to get stuck in.

my first stashbusting projects

 I hope you will come with me on this journey and follow me as I make things happen.  I aim to give you a weekly update so you can all keep me in check.

 What would your stashbusting tips be to help me through the year?


Still on holiday May 15, 2012

Filed under: bits of life,embroidery — yarnplanner @ 3:25 pm

Still looking at things. My boys in the pool.


My (not so) little, not quite five year old playing on the beach front.


And yesterdays embroidery


I’m just playing with stitches, trying to combine them and seeing which ones and what I enjoy most.


We’re on holiday May 14, 2012

Filed under: bits of life — yarnplanner @ 12:39 pm

So some of the time I’m looking at this


And some of the time at this


Lucky me!


Quilts Part Two – A very special quilt May 6, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnplanner @ 4:13 pm

One of the best things I did in 2010 was participate in Sheridan’s Around the Block, Round 1.
The group of girls involved in this bee were an absolute inspiration and being new to quilting, I felt very lucky to be involved and to be able to contribute to all their quilts and end up with one of my own.
What I wasn’t prepared for was the completely awesome quilt that I would end up with.
It took over a year and needed to very special help of Donna but it was finally finished at the end of last year. Ididn’t work on it continuously and it was a slow process as I ‘ummed and ahhed’ over sashing, binding and quilting decisions. At the end, I was in awe of how fabulous it is.
Here are my original thoughts on the quilt and what I was trying to achieve. I am proud to say, I succeeded, 10 fold.
Of special note in my instructions is; I am excited about getting a wide variety of block types, each telling a little story on the quilt.  This is what makes the quilt so special for me.   Another special part of the quilt was that I had Spoonflower print up some fabric with my boys name on it and asked the girls to make sure there was a little bit of that fabric in every block.  My little boy (now nearly 5 years old) still squeals with delight when he finds his name on a block.
So onto the photos:

Rocket Quilt - the front

Rocket Quilt - the back

And finally to all those fabulous ladies:
Sheridan, Donna, Helen, Lara, Becky, Louise, Bronwyn, MJ, Amy, Lyn, Rita, Kate, Rachel, Jan, Annie,
my heartfelt thanks for making this special quilt with me.  I’m sorry it has taken me so long to recognise all your hard work.


Quilts Part One May 5, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnplanner @ 11:31 am

One of the things I really should have been blogging about are the quilts that I have made in… oh… the last couple of years.

I don’t see myself as a big quilter but I do love the way the different fabrics come together, making the whole so much more than the sum of the parts.  Yes, I was one that once asked a quilty friend why (on earth) would you cut up all those little bits of fabric just to sew them back together again.  I also ask Donna on a regular basis how many quilts she really needs.  So I guess that puts me on the outside of the quilting fraternity until I deeply, truly and wholeheartedly understand the answers to those two questions.  

Nevertheless, I have made a few quilt like things and this was the first real quilt.  It was made from a kit which overcame my first fear of quilting – having to chose all those fabrics.  I’m pleased to say I’m over that fear now and even though I am still a novice, I am learning step by step about fabric choice and I really enjoy that part of the process . I am sad to say that I can’t remember who I bought the kit from.  I should, but I can’t.  It was called Top Gear and I bought it at one of the craft fairs at the Brisbane Convention Centre.  If anyone can help, that would be great!


It was made for my boy and I had it professionally quilted with a cars pattern all over.  The cost of the kit and the quilting made it quite an expensive process but I am pleased with the result and we all use this one regularly.  Even though it was made for a (then) three year old, I think the colours aren’t too babyish so this will be good for a while yet.

ImageA good start I think.


My Swallowtail May 2, 2012

Filed under: finished objects,yarn — yarnplanner @ 4:43 pm

I finally got around to knitting a Swallowtail, a pattern I have been wanting to try for a while.  I started it while we were on a beach camping holiday between Christmas and New Year.  If it hadn’t ben for the solitude, I’m not sure how far I would have got.  I found the knitting very challenging and had to concentrate on every row.
The yarn is Misti Alpaca lace weight on 3.75mm bamboo needles.



I love it.


If Chaletgirl can do it… so can I! May 1, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — yarnplanner @ 5:59 pm

When the master of the blogging community says she is back… a mere padawan like myself can but follow.  And whilst I don’t have any party photos to share I might have a thing or two that I have been working on in… oh… the age since I last blogged.  But all I needed was a good excuse and I’ll make an effort.  I promise.

Thanks Sheridan for the kick up the tracky dacks.

More soon.



A quick FO September 28, 2011

Filed under: finished objects,sewing — yarnplanner @ 8:03 am

I have been trying to improve the quality of my finished objects. I’m quite pleased with this one, a skirt I can wear to work.
It will be better when I give it an iron.



Another FO August 24, 2011

Filed under: finished objects,Gryff,sewing — yarnplanner @ 3:30 pm

This little one is a bit more recent. While at SIT, I bought this Kristen Doran embroidery pattern because it was just so darn cute. Then my boy asked me to make him a robot. I’m fairly sure he wanted it to be made of metal and have flashing lights but this is what he got.

He is so sweet he didn’t show a hint of disappointment. He is even good enough to take it to bed with him every now and again.