Stash

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A mild re-stash

I have been going through my yarn, and there is some that I don’t think I will ever use. Surely it is wrong and poor economy to hold on to such yarn in case I need it — especially as there is some possibility that one day I will need to pay to live in a larger place to store my yarn. I don’t even buy food in bulk because everything goes bad before the two of us can eat it, and even if it doesn’t it is never fresh anymore.

There is a limited amount I can knit, and I like fresh yarn.

I think the source of my yarn hoarding is that when I learned to knit I was so poor, and I never had enough money to buy yarn: I actually went through periods with nothing to knit. But now I am like one of those people who lived through the Depression and and hoards pencil stubs

Some of the yarn I am getting rid of I am pretty sure no one wants, so it is going to the thrift store. i am not offering it to you, because you can always go to your own thrift store and get something equivalent. There are no treasures in this lot: it is the fibre equivalent of mystery meat.

I do however have some rather nice yarn that I don’t think I will ever use. This is Noro Silver Thaw, colour 1, colour lot B, 50% wool, 25% angora, and 25% nylon, 110m (120 yards) / 50g:

silverthaw-21

There are nine untouched balls and one that I knit a swatch with and then unraveled (see the last picture).

silverthaw-3

silverthaw-1

I listed them in my Etsy shop, but they sold almost immediately.

Susan Gibbs over at Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm is raffling off her entire stash to help her uncle buy a special wheelchair (for full details see here). Besides being very generous, this seems like it is too targeted at my demographic* to pass up, though where I would personally put it all I am not sure.

This raises all sorts of musings for me, the main one being: imagine having a stash that was actually full of yarn other people would want? I would definitely have to cherry pick my stash, or no one in his or her right mind would thank me.

Good luck to all the entrants.

*fibre obsessed people

I was so horrified in January when I took all my stash out and looked at it in one place, and I decided I would do something about it. I bought one more tote to put it in, and separated the yarn into three containers: warm, cool, and neutral shades. The lids even almost closed properly. Then I knit Lyra’s coat (the pattern for which I will rationalize one of these days: if any of you actually want to knit it, please let me know so I will do it faster for you), and it used — well, more yarn than you can shake a stick at.

I thought I was almost home free: I had space in the totes, and I was so proud of myself, but I find I have lapsed into my old ways. I cleaned up my knitting basket yesterday, which was threatening to take over the living room floor (again), and I found that there was all this yarn I have bought on my various trips to other cities and yarn stores. It represented so many ideas and whims, but I find I cannot make things as fast as I can think them up. I suppose when/if I ever start making more money with my designs I could get contract knitters to whip up all my ideas — that makes me so jealous of the big designers — they have people to do the knitting for the projects they can’t get to.

I don’t have any room in the totes anymore, and I don’t have space in the closet for any more totes, so I am reduced to putting the yarn in question into my suitcase:

It’s all just so pretty and precious, and I want it out all the time so I can commune with it, but I live with someone else and feel it is wrong to monopolize the floor any further.

My feelings of guilt/horror/shame were not dissipated when Jon came into the living room and took one look at the yarn, unfinished objects, and other fibre paraphernalia and said: “so I am not judging you, but how much money is represented by this stuff? $300, $400?.” I was overcome by a little sinking feeling as I did a few rough calculations in my head, and just had to nod: “yes, something like that.” But now the contents of the basket are contained by the basket, and I will not do that anymore (until next time).

(I will be very annoyed with myself again the next time I have to go on a trip.)

closeup1

I just can’t tell you how fun this project is.

I notice that so many bloggers I have been watching (e.g. Knit and tonic) seem to be destashing, and while it does seem like selling yarn is kind of spreading the love, a lot of what I have will not likely be wanted by anyone, and this project uses so much yarn and it is so pretty.

Okay, so I like garish colours and if I could wear red all the time without seeming odd (well, odder than I already do), I just might, except that I like other colours too. Look at this red:

CloseUp2

All it came from is this:

lyrascoat-yarn2.jpg

And that picture looks much better than the mess of yarn in my living room, from whence the knitting came.

I feel like an alchemist, that I have created a singularity in space-time and reversed the force of entropy and am creating pure order out of chaos. Ponder this:

Closeup3

You could do this with yarn from your grandmothers attic or the thrift store, any old thing. That’s why I can’t bear the thought of buying yarn for this project, however pretty it may be, and though you wouldn’t need to wash the mustiness out of it before you wore it.

I made this cushion last weekend:

crochetpillow.jpg

The motifs are from a Norah Gaughan Hemp Flower Necklace from Interweave Crochet, Summer 2005, and the fabric is corduroy for a skirt that never materialized.

I had this rug yarn from my granny, and I thought maybe I could make an area rug out of it with motifs, but there was not enough and it seemed like a tripping hazard, so it sat and sat, and then I had the idea, so now I have this nice new floor cushion.

crochetpillow2.jpg

I am so pleased with myself – I used only materials I already had. This may just mean my stash has reached critical mass.

Oh the shame . . .

Some of my stash

I recently took out all of my stash to judge if I had enough yarn for a particular project (Lyra’s garter stitch coat from the Golden Compass, see here to see how that worked out). It is now covering my entire dining room table, all the chairs and part of the floor.

How did this happen to me? I can’t believe how much yarn I have, when did I get it all? Was I there? Did I agree to this? Will my renter’s insurance cover thousands of dollars in knitting supplies?

I have been asked if I will make a pattern for Lyra’s red sweater coat from The Golden Compass (see here), and as promised I have checked my stash, but I just don’t think I can do it. I have pulled out all my yarn in red, pink, burgundy, purple, brown etc. that is thicker than fingering weight and this is all I came up with:

Reddish yarn from my stash

I just don’t think it is enough for that coat. Also, I think a large part of the appeal of that coat comes from the sections of novelty yarns, especially the eyelash yarns (see here), and I have never really liked eyelash yarns, so I don’t have any — though now I think that I just don’t know how to use them to the best effect.

However, if anyone feels that I would be any help in working out a pattern I would be happy to do what I can (later I changed my mind, please see later posts).
I do plan on posting a pattern for Lyra’s cap here later this weekend though, so please check back (see here).

Over the holidays I went to the beautiful and mild west coast, and perhaps most importantly went to two of my favourite yarn shops (in this case Birkeland Bros. and Urban Yarns) and stocked up.

Here is a preview of coming projects I am now fully prepared for:

New stash items

It has occurred to me that I have so many more ideas for knitting projects than I will ever be able to complete that perhaps I should share them and others can carry them out if they feel so inclined.

One of the most pressing design challenges I have at the moment is how to make a throw blanket using every weird scrap of yarn I possess, but making it look good and be warm. I both want a throw and space for more yarn in my back closet. This may be a lost cause, but imagine how proud of myself I would be! I am contemplating the Catherine’s wheel crochet stitch from Teva Durham’s, Loop-d-Loop Crochet, if I made it on a big enough hook could it be made of different weights of yarn and still be right?

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