Saturday, November 30, 2013

49 before 50: Knit The Stash

The purple ink has hit the pages of my "49 before 50" notebook at last!
Rather than commit to a formal programme of reporting my outcomes against targets (which sounds far too much like the day job) I intend to blog about my goals as they start to gain momentum. So today I want to tell you about my intention to Knit The Stash.
I have been pretty good about keeping my Ravelry stash pages up to date. I have not documented leftovers, which are mostly sockweight and mostly intended for the Barn Raising Squares blanket (a legend of yesteryear if ever there was one!)
There are two gaps in my Ravelry stash account: 4 balls of self-striping Online Supersocke 100 (admissable, because I love them and think about knitting them almost every day) and two packs of colourful cotton dk in Attic-24-inspired colours for that blanket I said I would CROCHET way back in... um, yes. This yarn is stored in its very own plastic box under my bed. It feels like a guilty secret because... really? CROCHET?!
My promise to "Knit the Stash" is therefore an example of careful wording: I said I would knit, not crochet!
So... what's in there?
Garment-sized:
Enough AlbaYarn for three full-sized garments and several smaller colourwork projects
Yarn Pony Mustang in 4 colours for a stripey cardigan
J&S 3-ply Chunky to make a delicious forest green jacket (the Aidez pattern?)
Skein Queen Voluptuous for my planned Lush (Tin Can Knits) cardigan
Teos Handspun for an unidentified garment - possibly the Antler cardigan?
AlbaYarn - yum!
Laceweight: Four single skeins of laceweight, plus two skeins intended for a cardigan (ha!)
DK / Aran
Two odd skeins of beautiful hand-dyed dk for hats
One skein of Coldharbour Mill dk leftover from my Learn To Knit cardigan
Three balls of Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in black (a stash staple)
Six 50g balls of Rowan Scottish Tweed in Sunset Orange (aran or dk?  I am not sure.)
Luxury Oddballs:
Seven shawls-worth of luxury hand-dyed yarns (silk, camel, mohair...)
I definitely don't need to buy any more of the fancy stuff!
Sockweight:
Enough sock yarn for 16 pairs (including the afore-mentioned self-striping goodness)
Two colourways of Sock Hop handspun, which is too good for socks, so... shawls?
The ingredients for two pairs of imagined fingerless gloves using my remaining Yarn Yard Small Skein Society shipments.
Other:
...and I have the yarn I have set aside for my Kex Blanket - until I finish that, it still counts as stash.

Of course, there is another side to the stash, and that is the pattern collection! I have gathered together a large number of "must-knit" designs, particularly sock patterns.

Ha! Who remembers the "Socks From Stash" club?! I thought it was time to have another go at that approach.
The sock yarn stash... oops!
 In 2013 so far I have managed to knit 12 pairs of socks - woo hoo!

That included some manly monsters, so I reckon 12 pairs before I am 50 is pretty achievable and would absolutely smash the sock yarn stash into submission.

I decided to match patterns to stashed yarn... and I made a list! I even plan to label the yarn with the pattern-names - go me!

However... this worthy ambition was knocked on the head by the launch of the 2014 Knitting Goddess Sock Club, in association with Rachel Coopey.
My love of CoopKnits patterns is well-documented, and what a treat to have a guaranteed-gorgeous sock pattern and the matching yarn pop through the letterbox once a month!
The special twist to the 2014 sock club is that it is themed around favourite fairytales and includes a colourwork option within each design - how perfect! Sorry, sock stash, you are not the quick win I thought you were going to be!

So perhaps I need to simply commit to knitting 12 pairs of socks in the year, including as many of the Sock Club as I can manage?
OK, that's another 49 Before 50 target to inscribe in violet ink!

So how else can I make headway on reducing my stash?
Probably the best thing to do is to make some decisions about what I want to knit and just get on with it!
Skein Queen Voluptuous for the Lush cardigan
My next garment will be the Voluptuous Lush cardigan.
I will soon be casting on a new pair of socks.
And my next shawl / scarf will use one of my luxury skeins, to be set aside for future gifting.

But most importantly, I will not expose myself to temptation by visiting online yarn shops late in the evening when I am feeling a bit tired and vulnerable. Window-shopping is fine - just don't press "Buy It Now"! ;)

You may be wondering WHY I want to knit up my stash?
It's not that I want to be rid of it. I just want to have LESS of it, lying dormant in those plastic tubs by my bedside.
I can honestly say I am excited at the prospect of knitting every one of those skeins, when I consider them one by one, but when I see them all together it feels like far too much STUFF. And we all know I don't do stuff!
 And that goes for fabric too.
"Sew the stash" anyone?

12 comments:

gMarie said...

I love these goals. I'm feeling an abundance of stuff these days as well and not necessarily in a good way!

Will be watching your progress with interest. g

anotherlittlecraftycreation said...

Love the colour for your lush cardigan. I've just got to the arm holes of mine and am loving the pattern so far (except the few days when I had 300+ stitches a row!). Can't wait to see how yours turns out

Judith said...

I can almost hear your needles clicking from here! Your wool collection is just beautiful ~ have fun with it ... J

poppyinstitches said...

brilliant idea to de-stash, the best way of creating on a budget! I'm in for a fabric de-stash, but I don't have a big stash.

MaryinTN said...

Lovely way to destash! Look forward to seeing what comes off the needles as far as the sock yarns. I'm down to only 6 items left to knit before Christmas...but won't be able to destash any year soon;)

mags said...

Love the lush cardie, ts on my favourites now! Great plans, I did give some of my stash away, to a friend and oxfam, some of the wool I had gone off a bit, because I figured I only want to spend my valuable time on something I love.

Scruffybadger said...

Ooh the colours to be in your lush cardi, heavenly!!

I am lucky in not having a yarn stash, but I hear you on the sew the stash ! I feel I'm making headway and really only buying if no other choice. But. I know one trip to Birmingham or one of the other markets is my danger zone. I'm thinking of trying to change my behaviour too....

Claire Park said...

And thats why i dont stash :)

madeinoxford said...

Ah, The Stash. So much yarn. So little time. I sorted mine the other weekend and rediscovered a lot of hidden gems - it was like shopping, and meant next time I was tempted, I could remind myself of all the lovely things I'd forgotten.

Every year, I promise myself I will stash-bust, and every year, I mostly end up stash-growing. I will have to take you as inspiration, get it all catalogued and work my way through it. Look forward to seeing all your lovely projects :)

(and oi, nothing wrong with crocheting from your stash ;))

Te Araroa said...

I love this. I'm in - going to knit and sew the stash until it is all gone ... or until I admit that I am never going to use the leftovers and give them away ...

jessica said...

What gorgeous projects, waiting to come into being! I know how you feel about the stash - I feel the same way when I think about both my stashes - they stress me out a bit. I've been hard at work stash busting this year (though the yarn stash has grown, cuz of a couple "couldn't pass up these prices" opportunities), but it does feel really good.

Look forward to seeing your socks and other beautiful woolies!

acharmofmagpies said...

I feel you. I love all the things in my stash (es). I get excited at the right of sewing/knitting/embroidery/jewellerying every single one of them. But if I think about how much I have in total it all gets a bit (a lot) overwhelming. I must work the stash!