Memoirs of a stash junkie

a.k.a the inane ramblings of a mind filled with fluffy stuff...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

One ball, two ball, three ball, four.....

....five ball, six ball, well thats all but you get the idea! I've done some custom dyeing for a friend, can't believe someone actually wants me to do it to be honest, i'm far from good at it, but it's fun! So, heres the wool!

Lots of pretty colours! Its on the merchants chest at the bottom of the stairs at the moment, and you get a lovely whiff of tropical punch koolaid everytime you walk past it! Yum!

I had some help balling it up too......

And meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have some storage boxes to sort the expanding stash into by orders of the management (for management read disgruntled husband) so thats a job for this afternoon. The weather is cruddy here again, I think 2 weeks of glorious weather is our lot this year. Poo. I've taken Thomas to nursery, Leo is asleep, Stu is in Germany so its just me and the cat watching tv and stroking some shocking pink merino sirdar I got on Ebay. No idea what i'm going to knit with it, but it's soooooooo soft!

Picking my new car up on thursday too. I say new, it's actually Stu's mums car, but with only 4000 miles on the clock, it may as well be new!! I'll soon ramp the miles up a bit, starting with a trip to Hinckley next wednesday! Can't wait!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

What kind of yarn are you...

What kind of yarn are you?

You are Merino Wool.You are very easygoing and sweet. People like to keep you close because you are so softhearted. You love to be comfortable and warm from your head to your toes.
Take this quiz!


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Shamelessly stolen from Artis-Anne!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Patting myself on the back

Probably a bit of a daft thing to do, pride after all is one of the deadly sins, but just for today sod it, I am pretty proud of myself. Not only did I hand it in 4 days early but I got a good mark again.

I've really enjoyed this course so far, it's not been easy to be disciplined with myself all the time, after looking after 2 children under 3 all day, mostly I just want to collapse come evening, but I've persevered and I've done some ok writing.

Below is the latest assignment to be marked which I'm happy to blog as it was pretty much inspired by blogs in the first place. Read and enjoy. Or not. I'm easy!

In other news, Glyn didn't win BB, but frighteningly I quite fancied him when he came out of the house in his beanie. This could be a hormonal thing as I was also hankering after Chris from Doodle Do earlier. When I start fancying Justin from Tikkabilla I shall seek professional help.

We now have a new microwave after the exploding incident of yesterday, so I managed to finish off the 6 skeins of wool I was dyeing. It's now drying on the towel rail in the bathroom so it can wing it's way to Sarah hopefully tomorrow.

And my cable bag is growing nicely, knitting is ace!

A Journey Through My Addiction

Hello, my name is Gemma, and I’m an addict. Probably not the sort of addict that immediately sprang into your mind then, I haven’t been to rehab yet (although the minute someone opens one for people with my condition I’ll be one of the first through the door), and my addiction isn’t making me physically ill as such, only my husband when he gets the credit card bill each month. No, my addiction isn’t the usual kind, you see, I’m addicted to being addicted.

I can tell you’re already sceptical, surely people get addicted to a particular thing, the usual suspects, drugs, alcohol, gambling etc, maybe even something like stamp collecting at a push, but addicted to addiction? No, that’s just silly. I understand, I’d be sceptical too, but trust me, this is not something I’d readily admit to, were the evidence not so damning. Let me tell you about the events that led me to this conclusion.

I would say come back with me to the dim and distant past, to a childhood that undoubtedly laid the path for my current predicament. This would be great, except that try as I might, I cannot find one single thing to substantiate this assumption. I mean I collected things as a child yes, stamps for one, and these funny little things called Pogs, which were as pointless as they were expensive. But none of these little collections ever escalated into anything more than that, just little collections of knick knacks that I couldn’t even tell you the location of now. I really don’t think there was any hint of what was to come. Of course, I may just have answered my own question there, note the use of the word ‘expensive’ a few lines back. Obviously being a real addict costs money, and that’s not something you have in abundance when you are a child. So no, there’s nothing to see back here in my idyllic village childhood, let us leap forwards in time to a period of infinitely more money and therefore infinitely more ‘stuff’.

My first big addiction only became apparent to me when I moved house. Until then I must have been in some kind of denial, because I honestly had no idea things had escalated quite so much.
Packing boxes to move is not much fun at the best of times, packing boxes with a two year old who’s entirely disgruntled that all his favourite trains are now lying at the bottom of a large packing crate is even less fun. Add to the mix a two week old baby with no concept of less than helpful times to be screaming for milk and you have a recipe for a nervous breakdown. To avoid this undesirable occurrence, I foisted the baby onto my husband, placated the toddler with a chocolate biscuit and fled to the sanctity of the spare room-come-office, a.k.a the home of Gemma’ s stash.

Stash, for those not familiar with the world of arts and crafts, is the word we crafty hoarding types use to refer to the collections of bits and bobs needed to complete our fantastic projects. Stash is a long standing joke in our circles, it is generally considered that we all have a little too much of it, and certainly have no qualms about adding to it. Obviously I couldn’t be included amongst these people, I didn’t have stash, and I only had a few cross stitch kits to my name, maybe the odd magazine.

By the time I’d filled the third packing box with my stash, I began to realise that I had perhaps been underestimating just how much I had accumulated over the course of the last few years. In actual fact, my stash was so impressive, a seasoned cross-stitcher would have been proud of it, and I’d only been doing it with any real enthusiasm just recently. I had more cross stitch kits than I could ever hope to complete in this lifetime, but they were all just so lovely.

At this point alarm bells should have been ringing. It’s obvious to me now that I am just not the sort of person who can admire something from a distance and be content to imagine someone else doing it, no I have to have it for myself, regardless of whether I can actually envisage myself making it anytime in the near future. You might even go as far as to say I’m addicted to buying the odd kit or two. But there’s no harm in that is there? I’m not sure the poor removal man that had to carry the boxes out (once the fifty or so cross stitch magazines had gone in there were four of them in total) would agree with me there!

About this time last year I was pregnant with my second son and feeling that warm inner maternal glow that you get when you are expecting. I was generally floating around imagining myself to be Ma Walton and thinking happily of all the wonderful things I would do with my new offspring (think running in meadows, baking cakes, swimming in the town pond – I blame the hormones myself), so when my mother in law offered to reintroduce me to the joys of knitting I jumped at the chance. Please don’t think badly of me, I really did believe I was the epitome of the 19th century Midwest earth mother and that knitting was only the natural thing to be doing. If someone had offered me a rocking chair I feel I may have just wept with the joy of it all.

Anyway, before knitting could commence there was the small matter of visiting the wool shop to get the required equipment. I’d been in wool shops before, but usually just on the outside chance they might have one or two cross stitch kits hiding away just waiting for me to discover them. Never before had I actually been in solely to look at wool, it was a whole new experience and not by any means an unpleasant one, I hadn’t noticed before just how many different types of wool there are, so many styles, colours, and so many things to turn them into. This really should have been another alarm bell moment, but as we all know, it’s not quite functioning as it should, and so I took note that wool shops may be somewhere to visit in the future and thought no more of it.

By the time I’d finished the jumper I’d been knitting for the new baby, it didn’t fit him, and the amount of wool I’d accumulated no longer fitted in the draws I’d allocated for it. I don’t know how it happened, it just sort of snuck up on me, a ball here, a skein there, and don’t even get me started on Ebay, that place was invented just to tempt people like me into buying things they can never hope to find time to use. I’ve had wool delivered from all over the UK, and even some from Germany. I don’t know what I want to do with all this wool, all I know is I have to have it! Once I get the taste for something, all reasoning goes out the window. I throw myself wholeheartedly into the project, I get all the kit, everything I need to make something spectacular, but then I never actually seem to make anything! This is generally because I get my head turned by something else to become addicted to.

My most recent addiction is to crochet. What started out less than a month ago as a quick lesson in crochet so I could finish the legs on a piece of knitting I was attempting, has now escalated into several books on the subject, acres of crochet cotton and every kind of crochet hook under the sun. It’s official, another addiction has begun.

Looking about, the clues are all around me. I’ve never been able to pass a bookshop without picking up several books, even though I already have lots I haven’t had a chance to read. We have bookcases and shelves filled with books because I also can’t bear to part with them once I’ve read them. And then there are the nappies. I started using reusable nappies with my second son to save money, and of course the environment. Well, the environmental thing has held firm, but I seriously doubt I’m saving much money. Have you seen how many fantastic nappies there are out there to be bought? Seriously, long gone are the days of boiling white terry squares, on my washing line right now is a long row of nappies in a rainbow of colours, I just can’t resist them! I blame Ebay for that too of course, I wouldn’t have half the opportunity to buy all these things if it wasn’t there, tempting me on an almost hourly basis.

So you see all the evidence points to an addiction to addiction. I just can’t help myself, hobbies turn into monumental excuses to go wild and hoard everything I can find that relates to it.

And the worst thing? I’m not overly sure I want to be cured!

Thursday, August 17, 2006



How clever is this lady! She turns my experimental wool into fabby wool pants, can't wait to get Leo's cuddly bum into them!

I just blew my microwave up dyeing some more wool up. Nightmare!

Monday, August 14, 2006


Today is not going well and it's not midday yet.

I've changed my mimd yet again about what I want to write about, and I was all set to get going but now i've totally lost the vibe. This is probably due to the amount of poop i've had to deal with already this morning, Leo, ok, he's 5 months old, I don't mind his. I do object to the cat doing it on the sofa, and to Thomas doing it in his pants 2 minutes after getting off the potty. Ack.

In fact so far the only thing to have gone according to plan is that the BBC got the weather right for once. I have to admit, I had my doubts as I hung the nappies out in the gloom this morning, but now the sun is beating down on them as promised.

Something to smile about at least!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Here's one I made earlier..

These are the 2 unlucky balls of yarn that didn't quite cut it enough to be made into super dooper babylonglegs pants. It was a tough fought contest with all the yarn giving 110%, but there could only be 2 winners. These runners up will now face the indignity of being knitted by me. I appologise in advance wool, as I was balling you up I realised just how much I like your colours and you deserve more than my mediocre knitting. I'll try my best.

I'm still procrastinating, can you tell?

I want to knit socks.... these socks....

Saturday, August 12, 2006


I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this OU assignment weeks ago and was feeling so smug with myself. So why, with a week to go, have I not managed to do anything?????

To be honest, i'd rather be doing anything but, i've got things to knit, things to read, things to crochet....

But no, I must persevere! Imagine how great i'll feel when it's done and submitted and I can get along with all the other million things I want to do.

Out of interest, do we get clothes moths in this country? Only asking because i've been reading the Yarn Harlot book and now i'm fearful for my stash......

Friday, August 11, 2006


I think I have a problem you know. The fact the second skein I did didn't have any stand alone red in bothered me so much i've just done another skein. So now I can relax, I have 2 virtually identical skeins to send to Sarah and 2 that are funky in their own right that I can use to make something, I think perhaps a hat! And i've seen a bag I want to knit on the Garnstudio website.

So much knitting, so little time!!


Its been an strange sort of a day really. First there was the sad news from MO about Anna's hubby. It's made me think a lot about things, faith etc, and made me want to hug Stu and never let go. So sad. And then there's all this foiled terror plot stuff on the news, we live in a much changed world now.

I needed to chill out a bit come teatime, so left Stu in charge and went off to Borders to the much fun Stitch n Bitch. I even managed to crack out the cardigan I started for Leo months ago, though I doubt very much it will fit him now. If it turns out well I might send it down to baby Harry.

I also managed to dye some more wool today. Sarah is going to use it to make some of her fabby new shortieshorts so we can trial them for her. I think i've mastered the Koolaid dyeing now, although I made a huge mess doing it. Its great fun though!

Got some new knitty type books to read too, Yarn Harlot, and At Knits End. They look good. I also got a book which should hopefully help me knit sweaters in the round. We shall see!

And now its late so i'm sloping off to bed.


Monday, August 07, 2006


I'm feeling quite accomplished now, they took me well over a week to do, but it's the first time i've knitted on circular needles and there were a couple of techniques involved i'd not even heard of let alone tried! So woo hoo, I will have one very psychadelic wooly clad bibble come winter!

In other news, said bibble and I made our way on the train down to Nottingham on friday to meet up with some fellow MumsOnliners. We had a really fabby day, it was lovely putting faces to names at last, and meeting the knitting queen herself Sarah! She even gave me an impromptu lesson on short rows with wraps on a picnic rug in the grounds of Nottingham castle, what a star! She also came bearing woolies! 1kg of lovely BFL to play with when my extra koolaid arrives, and 3 completely gorgeous snuggly hemp Stuffie Nappies and wipes purse and matching wet bag made by the very talented Lottie. If you don't own a Stuffie nappy or seven then you should definately get some now!!!!

Thomas came back from his little trip away with Stu's parents a very happy camper (well caravaner technically but lets not split hairs) having spent much time swimming and generally running amok. Thinking we might escape to a caravan park when the summer holidays are over and its a bit less busy.

Took the number one son to the cinema for the first time on sunday, how much fun was that! Kerchowwwww! (we saw Cars in case you can't tell ;) )

What to knit now I wonder...... well actually the next project is a crochet one, not very well practiced at crochet so that could be interesting! But anyway, before that i've got an assignment to do for my OU creative writing course. It's autobiography / biography this time, so i'm wondering if I can explore some of the less happy clappy chirpy side to myself, a.k.a the bit surpressed by prescription drugs ;). Not quite sure how i'd work something like that though so we'll see!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The Longies So Far!