Even though Christmas hasn’t happened yet, my mind has moved past it already (blame working in the publishing industry; there I’m getting started on 2017). Potential New Years Resolutions are streaming through my mind, and knitting-wise, the same one pops into my head each year (just like the perpetual “I will lose weight this year!”): stop buying so much yarn and knit down the stash.
I realise I’m a little early. It’s not even Christmas yet, and I’m getting ready for the New Year. The thing is, I’ve been on this get-myself-organised kick, and I don’t want to lose momentum.
As I mentioned, I figure one of my big resolutions, which I won’t officially set until next week, is to knit down the stash. I have what I think of as a decent but modest size stash. I have really kept my spending down over the past year, so I’m happy about that (or sad in a way, since this meant cutting back on my fiber festival habit). My stash did expand into a fourth Ikea cube drawer, and the only thing not in the cubes is my sweater’s worth of CVM that needs to be spun up. Not bad. (Although, I do envy those mega-stashes. I’d love a tub full of yarn!)
Now I’m ready to temporarily pause my purchases altogether and start using the beautiful things I’ve acquired. Don’t get me wrong. There are beautiful things out there made by some seriously talented spinners, dyers, and such. I’m not meaning to not support them. In fact, you could say I’m making room to add more of their work into my collection by using up what’s 2, 3, even 4 years old.
In preparation for the New Year, this weekend and over the course of this upcoming week I’m going to catalog my stash on Ravelry. As you can see in the picture above, I’ve gotten started on my big project. I finished one cube yesterday, and I plan to do at least one more today. I haven’t been an active user of Ravelry’s stash feature, but I have to say I love it. Why didn’t anyone tell me that when I pull from stash on there for a project, it tells me roughly how much is leftover when I’m done! It’s like a stash-buster’s dream. (I know, I know. I’m late to the game.)
The second part will be to find stash busting projects. In some cases, this will be using up leftovers, such as for my Ten Stitch Blanket by Frankie Brown, which is being made out of all of my leftover Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. In others, it’ll be keeping an eye out for new patterns that excite me and that Ravelry says I have stash for (how awesome is that stash feature, seriously?), as well as digging through my extensive collection of patterns.
I see this being both a tough but also really fun experiment. I have seen some great potential stash-busting projects that I can’t wait to get on the needles. Do you have any favourite stash-busting patterns? Please share in the comments below! I love finding new things!
Actively on the Needles
I went from nearly zero knitting mojo at the beginning of the year to a snowball racing downhill. Seriously. According to my Ravelry page, I have 10 projects going right now. For me, this is a fairly large number, but I love them all!
I have found that while I tend to cast on a bunch of projects, though, I get hyper focused on just a couple at a time. Right now, these are the Sequoia sweater vest (free) by Algeria DaSilva and Viajante (paid) by Martina Behm.
The Sequoia vest has been my at-home project. I love the cable panel that runs up the back and the simple but relaxing stockinette around it. It’s a really easy pattern. I’m making it out of Alpine Wool in Chili by Lion Brand, which has been an absolute dream.
(Oh, and PSA: Attention Meijer shoppers. If you’re interested, I got this at Meijer for a steal! But it seems to be a temporary seasonal item, so stock up quickly! I may have also gotten it in black and oatmeal.)
The Viajante has been my work project. I have been working on this during lunch breaks (especially when our work knit club meets up) and on those rare occasions I get to work way too early to function. I even took it to the office Christmas party. It’s plain stockinette but with an interesting construction. I find I don’t have to look at it until I hit my stitch markers. It’s almost completely mindless at this point, so it settles my fidgetiness.
I’m madly in love with the fabric, too. I’m making this out of Malabrigo merino lace in Paris Night. I love that the yarn isn’t a solid color but shifts from darker to lighter tones randomly. That’s the beauty of the way Malabrigo dyes its yarns, and this project shows it off like nobody’s business.
I also might’ve cast on for the Just for You Two (paid) MKAL by Laura Aylor. I’ll go into more detail later, once I have more to show for it. I’m making it out of Alpine Wool in Oatmeal, and I’m really enjoying it so far.
While my Viajante and Sequoia have been working out amazingly, a couple of projects have been relegated to my time-out shelf. We’re not getting along, and I just need some space. One only gets a day or two, but the other is indefinitely paused.
The short-term paused project is the Insta-hat (free if by Instagram, paid if by PDF) by Lee Meredith. I’m making it out of Alpine Wool (yep, again!) in Black Pepper. It’s a really fast and really interesting design. I started and finished it yesterday, but I’m not happy. This is no way reflects the quality of the pattern. My husband has a smaller-sized head, so I erred on the side of small. He said it looked fine, and once it was cast-off, he loved it, but it barely covers his ears. We live in a cold climate; that’s just not going to cut it. I plan to rip it back to the ribbing and make that a little longer (maybe by half to a full inch). It won’t take that long. I think I’m just hesitating to get it done because of the black yarn.
The longer-term paused project is Leftovers Cowl (paid) by Wendy D. Johnson. It is this gorgeous, multi-color, stash-buster’s dream project. I seriously love this pattern. So why pause? I’m finding I don’t like working on it with my metal needles. I’m still fairly new to colorwork, and I’m struggling to keep my tension even while leaving enough length on the floats that everything doesn’t pinch together. I think switching to my Karbonz will help, so we’ll see. If you have any advice, please share in the comments below. I learn so much from you guys!
What projects are you working on? Any last-minute holiday knitting? Share in the comments below!