Yep, I've been on vacation and it's been a much needed one. Not that all vacations aren't needed, I just felt I really needed it. When I scheduled it, I remembered I hadn't had a week off since I returned from knee surgery and that was mid-October. So it was definitely overdo.

I have some updates on knitting projects as well as a few other things.  To start, an update on the reusable dryer sheets that I posted about here. I would say that it's a success, at least for me. They each still have some life to them even after 20 uses, however, for me and the aroma strength (and continued softness) that I like my dryer sheets to be, I would say 12-14 was about their limit. So, I will re-soak them and start over because I will continue to do this, I like it that much.

At Stitches, I bought some thick and thin yarn to make a cowl. The premise is you knit in the round and you knit the thin yarn and purl the thick.  This allows the stockinette portion to be the thin yarn and the thick yarn to stand out extra with the purl bumps.  It will be fun to wear.


The next item finished is the Triangular Poncho.  This one is made with Tranquility from Universal Yarns. I know I have a color pattern going on here and that is the teal/aquamarine colorway. I have always loved it.  This yarn is a little slubby, in that it's not a perfectly smooth yarn. It has imperfections. That's why it's perfect for a poncho. Started with 3 stitches, increased one stitch each row until I reached 150 stitches.  I made 2 triangles and then attached them at the shoulders with a whip stitch. I crocheted a chain around the neck to strengthen and smooth out the stitches. It'll be perfect to throw on this fall.
Many years ago I had a subscription to Yarn of the Month. So every month I would receive 4 little bags of sample yarn.  This was a great learning experience for someone who had limited knowledge of the different yarns. (yes, that was before I became a yarn snob)  So I made swatches with some of the yarn, kept the list in a spreadsheet, bought some yarn online based on some of the swatches I liked, etc. I would say overall it was a good experience. I finally stopped the subscription a few years ago, but the dilemma was, what to do with all those little bags of samples. There are a lot of bags.

Well, I've started 2 blankets, all done in garter stitch, so it's cushy and mindless knitting. It stays beside me on the couch and I'll do several bags per night. This is just one of them which is knit in a modified log cabin.
There's no rhyme or reason as to the next bag I use. There's a mixture of cottons, wools, rayons, funky fur, and I've even added some leftover project yarns, from handspun to sock yarn. I think I'm using a 7 or 8 needle and I use the same needle for all yarns. I'm making my way through the little bags of samples, then I'll move on to the sample yarns from like this one below. I probably have 20+ of these cards, so it won't take too long to get through them.  I've also used the Elann and the sample bags of yarn on my Zoom Loom and that worked pretty well too.
Is this blanket project diminishing my stash? No, but it feels good to use the yarn in the bags nonetheless. Do I need another blanket for the couch? No.  But if I decide to continue to make these with leftover project yarn, then I may decide to donate them to Hospice and if I do that, then I want to make sure that they will be worthy of donating. If nothing else, maybe smaller versions for donation to the animal shelters. We'll see. Meanwhile, I'll continue to work on the 2 I've started.
I'm still working on my Claire stole, although it's become more of my Wednesday lunch group knitting. While I'm working on the blankets by the couch, my WIP's can seem to languish, although I did finish the cowl and the poncho.  I do have a bit of startitis though. I bought this at Stitches and I'm itching to cast on for it. Not sure which yarn I want to start with. I bought this from Miss Babs. Love her yarn!!!
 Both yarns are from her Sojourn line.  It's a 2-ply of 65% cashmere and 35% silk. yummmmmmmy. 

This one is named Berlin.

This one is Shaken, Not Stirred.
My plan is to make the middle cowl and it's called Benton, a pattern by Veronica Parsons.
I think that's it for today!!