Drachenfels and the Art of Thrifting Yarn

Making good progress on my Drachenfels. I chose to make this a four color design instead of three, so mine is shaping up a little different (which I love). The original pattern starts with two colors and about halfway through, the first color is phased out and the third color is added. So, in the sample knitted by Melanie Berg, the shawl is chocolate and light pink on one and and red and light pink on the other. For mine, I chose to start with colors A and B and transition to C and D, so the two ends of my shawl will look very different from each other. I was not sure initially that that was the best choice, but I love it. I really do. I’ve just phased out the second original color so am working only with dark grey and light blue. So so cool. These pics help show the last color transition:

IMG_3847 IMG_3848 IMG_3846

And this helps show what the different parts of the shawl will look like together:

IMG_3849I’ve mapped out how much bigger I’ll make it. The pattern calls for continued increasing throughout the garter ridge stripes, then a solid color section, then the edging and I cord bind off. I’ve already knitted to the total number of stitches the pattern calls for but I’m going to keep going for a ways. I’m not a petite person and I want to really be able to wrap up in this. So, I’m going to do a 2 color stripe section for 42 rows, a solid color section for 42 rows, then the prescribed 30 rows of edging. At least. That will put me at around 114 rows and 72 stitches over the pattern. If the solid color section looks like it needs to be longer, I will just keep going. Lord knows I might as well use up some yarn!

Speaking of using yarn, I’m sad to report that I’m on something of a yarn diet. While my mom was in town, we got into a rhythm of checking out thrift stores and just poking around. Predictably, I always found the yarn section and my rate of acquisition increased (by a lot). I tried to limit my purchases to yarn with at least some cotton or wool content and with enough yardage to be useful. I think my best find was at our local Goodwill By The Pound, or GWBTP as we’ve dubbed it. The official name is the Goodwill Outlet, I think. We discovered this place about three years ago, shortly after we moved. Have others found similar places? It’s a Goodwill but instead of items being priced individually, everything is sold by weight. Clothes are a certain price per pound, housewares another, etc. etc. Shoes and furniture are sold individually at very low prices. For someone like me who loves to pick through stuff to find bargains, it’s pretty much akin to heaven. I do have to be in the right mood as it’s labor intensive and, frankly, pretty gross. But I’ve found some awesome stuff there for ridiculously low prices.

Anyway, a day or two before my mom left for home, we stopped by the GWBTP for a bit. I almost never find yarn there and, when I do, it’s usually in really poor condition. The wifey once found a ball of nice kitchen cotton there that became flower washcloths, but that’s it. Well, that day I found a bag of yarn with several unmarked balls along with three nearly full skeins of Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I would describe the color as electric purple. I love it. That yarn typically retails for around $15 a skein. I don’t know exactly how much that bag of yarn cost me, but it was well under a dollar. Just call me Charlie Sheen!

IMG_3843I also found a big batch of knitting and crochet needles in a fabric case. I sorted them all out the other night and added the hooks and dpns to my inventory. I haven’t gotten to the straight needles yet. Here’s a shot of the bunch:

IMG_3845That doesn’t include the case or the straight needle orphans. That’s 16 pairs of straights, one circ, five complete sets of dpns, three crochet hooks and two stitch holders. The handful of dpns in the upper right corner are orphans. I’ll keep them so I can supplement some of the four needle sets I have. The bag was $7. Some of the things are really interesting. For instance, the set of 5 tiny dpns half wedged under the packet of red needles is a very old set of sock or stocking needles. Those are gauge 0. I have another set just like them except 00. If I ever decide to knit stockings, I’ll be all set. Also, there’s a set of 10″ red aluminum dpns. I love longer dpns–they come in handy if I don’t have the right size circ and they’re easier for me because I have large hands. The two steel crochet hooks are a bit of a mystery to me. I tried doing some online research to determine what sizes they are but didn’t have much luck. I do know that one of them is the smallest crochet hook I’ve ever seen by far. I suppose I could use it to fix dropped stitches when I start knitting my cobweb-weight stockings with my 00 dpns (ha).

After my mom went home, the steady rhythm of thrift store shopping has slowed. That’s probably a good thing as I don’t really need yarn. I still keep an eye on sales online but am limiting myself to only really lovely yarn at equally lovely prices. What? I can’t just stop cold turkey! At least I have projects in mind for lots of it. I intend to keep it moving and, in my mind, that justifies my stash.

Right?

EDIT: I’m posting from a coffee shop with less-than-awesome wifi. The images in this post aren’t showing up when I try to view it. If that’s the case for anyone else, please leave a comment and I will try to fix it when I have a better connection.

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7 comments

  1. Midnight Knitter · September 9, 2015

    I love your Drachenfels! Mine is sadly still just a box of Yarn waiting for the magic to happen. Sigh. So much yarn, not enough time. Anyway, yours is fabulous and I can’t wait to see the finished product. 😃 Your pictures came through safely and look great.

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 9, 2015

      Just get started–it’s a little addictive. Thank you, and good to know about the pics!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Maggienesium · September 10, 2015

    I’m really digging your snuggly looking shawl 🙂 Right now I’m having to do some massive will powering through the urge to try to find nice DK yarn for nice prices. I don’t know how you do it, or if it would work where I live but as soon as I’m ready to start all the tops I want to knit, I’m coming to you for pro tips!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 10, 2015

      It’s all chance and vigilance, really

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maggienesium · September 10, 2015

        I’m kind of relieved it is actually 🙂 My laziness might just be enough to keep my yarn supply in check then. I’m still going to keep my eyes open for deals and between that and all the knitting I have going on, I might end up with something with a small footprint for my next set of projects.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. PeachPod · September 17, 2015

    We have a Goodwill outlet in my town too. It’s my second home, lol. Sooo much fun digging through the bins (though it is gross sometimes), and I’m always amazed at what can be found sometimes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • alexand knits · September 17, 2015

      I know, right? It’s kind of addictive. We’ve gotten some pretty incredible finds there.

      Like

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