First things first: I am super jealous of your stash. 15 whole sweaters worth of yarn! Countless pairs of socks! My mind reels at the possibilities presented by your stash. And the quality of yarn you’ve curated is nothing short of enviable. While I have to take the credit for introducing you to the Plucky Knitter, I can’t take credit for any of the other stuff you’ve got in there. Your camel/cashmere/qiviut/silk collection makes me green with envy. As a knitter, you truly know how to treat yourself in a way that I can’t wait to experience for myself in the near future, when my student loans are paid in full.
When it comes to diving in and working exclusively from stash for as long as it takes to make a sizable dent, I am totally game. I’ve been a knitter longer than you have (maybe not by much, though), and my stash has grown to such an impressive size that I’ve been feeling uneasy lately about adding to it before using what’s already there. So a few months ago I resolved to chip away at my yarn collection before adding anything new, and I’m doing a mostly good job of sticking to my guns. The last two sweaters I made came directly from the stash, ridding me of yarn purchased in the early days of my knitting that had languished so long, I thought it would never be used. I’m glad that I kept and, finally, used this yarn, because they’ve become beloved sweaters that have been in steady rotation for the last few weeks. And the best part is that stash diving has made me hungry to see what other gems I can pull out of the bounty in my living room.
This leads to my ultimate point, which is that, upon reviewing my yarn situation, I can say with confidence that the diet is working. I have two new stash-sourced sweaters under my belt plus a third more than halfway done, and the only new yarn I’ve purchased since the start of the year was used to make a new pair of socks for the K-Man. (Frankly, the sock yarn in my stash is for me. I’m selfish that way.) My stash is beginning to shrink, and I’m breathing a little easier.
That’s not to say that I didn’t spot any problems. The big issue that most people (myself included) like to ignore is that, whether using newly purchased or stash-sourced yarn, knitting any project almost always results in the re-stashing of yarn remnants. And after 3 years and dozens of pairs of socks, I’ve got quite the collection of leftover yarn to contend with.
So, here’s the truth: this is not the first time I’ve thought about taking action and dealing with this colourful mess (and this isn’t even all of it!). A few years ago, I was excited enough about the idea of knitting a sock yarn blanket that I got started knitting squares. I didn’t join them together at the time, reasoning that I could do it later and really be artful about combining the colours. But my collection of remnants wasn’t that big back then and I wasn’t all that into seaming things together either, so I quickly got bored and stopped working on the project. I stuffed my baker’s dozen of finished squares into a Ziploc sandwich bag, tossed them in one of the plastic tubs that holds my surfeit yarn, and set my Ravelry status to “hibernate”.
But this weekend, I decided that it’s time to revisit and get serious about my sock yarn blanket. The real difference between then and now is that, now, I have enough leftovers to make an actual, honest-to-goodness, adult-human-sized blanket. And the yarn choice available to me for squares has improved a lot since I abandoned my project, so I’m sure this blanket will keep me entertained long after I run out of leftovers (whenever that will be) and have bound off the last square.
On Saturday morning, I resumed work on my blanket, seaming the original squares together and knitting new ones onto the block. Now that it’s starting to look like a blanket, I’m very motivated to keep going and get this thing growing as quickly as I can. Don’t get me wrong: I know it’s going to look like something best described as “clown barf”, which I agree won’t be to everyone’s taste. But to be quite honest, I love how crazy this block looks so far and I can’t wait to have this blanket dressing up my couch and warming my lap. One of the best things about this pattern is how easy it is, so I think many evenings will be spent chilling out with this project for at least as long at there’s still a nip in the air.
Have you made any plans for your stash yet? What have you got on the go right now?
P.S. Happy Galentine’s Day!