Monday, October 03, 2011

Stash Monster

People of earth: I have not abandonned you for Tumbler, I promise. Upon further reflection I decided that Tumblr was the lazy-man's way out and have chosen to renew my commitment to this here tried-and-true blog. I mean who am I kidding, I can ramble on about nothing with the best of folk. Just photos?! But then who would hear about all my pithy knitting-related musings? Oh right, just my husband and he DOES NOT want that... (seriously I think I need to find some real-life friends that are knitters, my bench is not very deep as they say).

Blogging about knitting would obviously be a lot less overwhelming for me if I didn't let the F.O's pile up to the point that they become a daunting Tsunami of things to talk about. (I know I know, better an F.O than a U.F.O at least--whoa knitter-speak whaaa?), so with that in mind I am going to do something I haven't done in a while and post about some current projects.

If you've been here before you know I am always talking about stash-busting, but the reality is that compared to most knitters, my stash is pretty small. At this point I can fit it all into one large rubbermaid container. Just one! That's pretty good I'd venture, but I have this dream about having NONE. I want to have none.

Does that make me weird? I know that this is likely an impossibility. There will always be scraps kicking around, and I am definitely someone who has been known to throw out yarn that I am just plain sick of looking at. (gasp!). But I still envision it all being gone one day and then being able to buy only new (or new-to-me) (and glorious) yarns for projects as they arise on a need-to-knit-asap basis.

I think I fell into that "new knitter" trap several years ago...where you are just buying yarn wherever/whenever you can in a desperate attempt to have.a.stash. And as such, that very stash is what I still appear to be left with to this day...mostly workhorse yarns or one-off skeins that I bought that I couldn't afford in "whole-sweater" amounts. You find yourself wanting a piece of the glory, but then you are stuck with a stash full of random incompleteness.

There has been the odd new-yarn here or there, but new yarn is only bought with an immediate project in mind, so it generally gets used up right away.

And I may have stumbled upon my most epic stash-eater to date: the Kiki-Mariko felted rug.

I cast-on additional stitches (I think it calls for maybe 118 and I did 154?) and off I went.

In no time I had blown through all of the remaining Cascade 220 I had leftover from the Missoni-Inspired blanket as well as most of the Patons Classic I had in my stash and I wasn't even half done!

I tried desperately not to care about my colour flow and pressed on grabbing whatever random colours I had available (it is more difficult to make "old gold" work with other colours than you would think --why did I buy 5 balls of that?! oh right--because it was discontinued that's why, and my love of seventies mustard colours is totally irrational). But then I stopped to actually take a look at what I was doing and knew I couldn't go any further.

I like to think I am somebody who can "just let it go" if there's a boo-boo or something I don't like, but the sad reality is: I am not that person. My colour combos looked like ass together. (those are conveniently not pictured here)

So I tore back and then yesterday went out and bought.more.yarn. Not only that, but more workhorse yarns (i.e the Cascade and Patons that I was TRYING TO PURGE IN THE FIRST PLACE). And in the same colours that I also would have never chosen in the first place if I was starting this project "new". GAH.

So, that in a nutshell is my current saga.

But I refuse to lose sight of my ultimate de-stashing goal, even though I am clearly the problem in this whole situation.

Another example of this: I knit a project and don't like the finished result. Instead of just donating the offensive garment to someone else that might actually appreciate it, back into the stash it goes. I need to learn to just get rid of these things and be done with them, regardless of whether I have additional amounts of leftover yarn to go with it.

and that is SO NOT what I did here:

swallowtail shawl

(yes, more mustard --but I can't be faulted for knitting with mustard in the FALL right? right?!). Still I am actually excited about this knit, it's been a while since I've tried my hand at a lace project, and 9000 other knitters can't be wrong about the Swallowtail shawl so it's time I joined that club anyway.

Also from the DEPTHS of my stash:

HOT pink boot toppers

Why yes that is the hottest-retina-melting-pink that you have ever seen.
Honestly, was this a thing I was into for a while? HOT pink? I think this was another situation where Rowan-yarn-was-being-discontinued-at-my-lys-so-I'd-better-buy-(only)two-balls-for-some-stupid-reason!

Guess it's a good thing neon has kind of come around again.

Also from deep stash:

I bought all that grey DK merino when Knit 2 together was a revolutionary new book from Tracey Ullman and I just had-to-have that shrug in there stat!

Now here we are 6 years later and you pretty much couldn't PAY me to knit anything in that book yet I still have all the original yarn to show for it. But wait a minute, those are some too-harsh's actually a great book, just you know, much like the yarn presently in my stash-- I am totally bored with it.

So I'm thinking about using up said yarn for this November sweater. Yes, even though I know I VERY RECENTLY OPINED: "no more sweaters".

What can I say, I'm an enigma.
(and also apparently, a liar)


Evelyn said...

Hands down, this was one of my favorite posts I've read all day! Firstly, I love the felted rug pattern -- you may not remember but you absolutely inspired me to knit the Missoni-inspired afghan (which I'm more than half-way through) and you may have just done it again. Secondly, your thoughts about de-stashing are spot on ... it's a complete fantasy for us knitters to ever imagine only having yarn for one project at a time. And finally, I love the November sweater. Can't wait to see that FO when it's done. Rock on!

SmashingPuffin said...

Am I laughing hard or what?

I may be approximately twenty times worse off than you stash wise, but I have started to donate my Unwanteds to the charity shops. I can't bear to frog anything I've ever knitted, but handing it over to a shop seems quick and pain free. Once it's gone I don't care what happens with it.

If we had similar amounts of stash I'd race you in a destashalong.

Reckless Glue said...

HAH! you'd probably still beat me...I seem to be one step forward, two steps back at all times...

Anonymous said...

I am also on an endless quest to have a none stash. I recently decided that I was going to knit one sweater/garment a month until all the large quantities of yarn were gone. I've knit July, August, September, and am working on October right now. None stashes are possible don't give up!

kgirl said...

busted reading your blog at work cos I was laughing out loud at the "part of the glory" comment.

I find big stash-busting projects ALWAYS end up involving yarn purchases, sadly...

I actually like the retina-searing pink, so on-trend right now ;)

and the mustard Swallowtail (esp styled with the tiki mug, so gorgeous!) is lovely.

I'm doing a deep-stash diving month for October, let's see what horrors are uncovered!

Melissa said...

ha! Just a couple of days ago I put my copy of Knit 2 together in the donation pile after having a serious conversation w/ myself that I was never, EVER going to knit any of those patterns (and yet, I've been holding onto that book for years). And let's not even talk about the yarn. Oy.

lizzlizzlizz said...

I'm glad to see you posting again!

First off, my favorite color is retina searing pink. No joke. If I could have had a retina searing pink jeep, I would have (as it is, my wrangler is almost-retina-searing blue).

That snipped of your blanket looks fabulous. I really want to knit one just like it now, even if you claim to not like your color combinations. I always find myself going out and buying new yarn whenever I meant to use a project as a scrap/stash buster, so I can definitely relate.