Well, I’m back and finally blogging about yarn and knitting and all matter of fibrey goodness!
For any non-knitters who are reading this, stash is yarn that has been purchased, but it yet to be turned into an item. It waits, in bags, shelves and containers for the perfect pattern to come along, sometimes for only days, sometimes for years. Some people have rules about what is and is not stash. For some, if it’s purchased for a specific project, it’s not stash. Some say that sock yarn isn’t stash. For the purposes of this exercise however, I’m excluding my own handspun because it’s more difficult to calculate the meterage and I don’t want to be dissuaded from spinning more frequently. If it’s sat unused for more than 2 years, I call it deep stash. The longer I knit, the longer that period may become. I don’t know.
I love my yarn – I love collecting indie hand-dyed squishy skeins. I’m partial to those with silk, cashmere and/or bunny blends. I’m a self-confessed yarn snob. There is almost nothing in my stash I would part with. Sometimes, I like to just take it out to look at it and then I carefully put it back in its anti-moth zip-loc bags, so I won’t be reducing my stash by giving items away or selling them.
At the beginning of 2014 had approximately 27 kilometres of stashed yarn. By December I had increased that stash to around 44 kilometres of yarn. Over the last couple of years I’ve averaged about 4kms of knitting, which means I have stash enough to last me for over ten years, without purchasing any more yarn. And that’s not counting my fibre stash or handspun!
Here are a few skeins pulled from stash. There’s some indi dyer goodness from Little Dipper Yarns, some Mayhem and Chaos and some The Good Sheep. There is also some professional? manufactured? yarn from Misti Alpaca and Fyberspates on show. What you can see in the picture constitutes less than ten percent of my total stash. It is time to turn the tide. This year, I’m on a yarn diet. My goal is to end the year with fewer kilometers than when I started. It’s not going to be easy – I was given a yarn voucher as a farewell gift when I left my job, and as a result added another 1.25 kms to the stash in January. I’ve also joined a sock yarn club! As at time of writing I’ve knit about 1.25 kilometers, so I’m breaking even but am yet to get ahead. Are you on a stash diet? Do you have any exceptions that exclude certain yarn purchases from stash? Comment below!
Works in progress
1. Achromatic Affection A genuine stash-busting project. I purchased yarn for this shawl last year and didn’t make it. the yarns I chose were three Cascade 220 Fingering yarns in [instert colourways]. However when I started knitting, it turned out that the light grey and the orchid were far too similar in tone and I wasn’t loving the result. My the original dark great became colour 2 and I pulled from deep stash an even darker grey – charcoal, almost black, for the third colour, hand dyed by the Quizzical Owl. I now love the result and am looking forward to the cooler weather so I can wrap myself up in it. The pattern is the famous ‘Color Affection’ shawl, I’ve named my project Achromatic Affection given I’m only using shades of grey now. Why not monochrmatic affection? Because monochromatic means one colour – it doesn’t necessarily have to be black, whites and grey. You can have a monochromatic scheme in blue! Achromatic is technically correct. The project has been on hold for the past week because one of the interchangeable wooden tips lost a fight with my knee and was snapped. It made a fair effort though, my knee ached for a good 24 hours afterwards! I’ve now picked the project up and estimate I’m about 85% done. Pictures to come in a future post.
2. Clara’s Revolutionary Steampunk Shrug Another stash-busting project and a KAL (knit-a-long) project! This one is for the steampunk knit-a-long and kept me going while I was waiting for the replacement needles for Achromatic Affection. I’m knitting this project using more Cascade yarn, it was a borderline deep stash find, purchased just on two years ago. Thanking past self for purchasing two skeins because I think this colourway is perfect for a steampunk project. Hand painted in shades of blue, turquoise, purple and chocolate, it lends itself to the simple pin-stripe lace pattern. The pattern is from the ‘Needles and Artifice’ book published by Cooperative Press. One part steampunk novel, one part pattern book, it’s certainly a unique book. I can’t quite believe it has taken me so long to knit something from this book, but then again, I think my skills needed to improve before I could do it justice. In hindsight, I’m glad I waited – I think there’s a wee error in the pattern where it transitions from part A to part B and I was able to correct it. The lace repeats are simple, the pattern is quite easy to read. It’s day 8 and I’ve nearly finished one half.
Summary – as at 16 February
2015 meters knit: 1296
2015 meters acquired : 1250
Position: stash decreased by 46 meters