Wednesday, August 23, 2006

A Well-Edited Stash



I have knitted quite a bit this summer: a few pairs of socks, a couple of sweaters, some baby stuff, even a beach bag, a few ballband dishtowels, among other things. It represents close to 30 balls, skeins, or oddments of yarn that have been knitted into finished objects. I wish that I could have knitted some more of the stash, but this summer restored some sanity to my knitting, as my "to-knit" queue stopped growing exponentially, and some long-desired projects were finally tackled. Without the constant infusion of new yarns, I have been able to actually accomplish some knitting!

However, the most satisfying aspects of the Summer of Stash for me has been the "stash release." You may remember the big bag of acrylic-ness that I released to my kids' preschool at the beginning of the summer. I knew I would never knit with it. I also released some purple novelty yarns, purchased on sale when I first began knitting seriously 5 years ago. I had no idea what to do with it then, and now, 5 years later, I still didn't know what to do with it. I gave it to my friend, who loves purple, and is an extremely creative crochet-er, an expert at blending yarns.

I even re-purposed a long-languishing UFO, making a pillow from a cardigan. This cardigan was a knitter's failure, a loser of a project, as the sleeves did not fit around my arms. Keeping the yarn around was making me feel wasteful, and like a quitter. Now the pillow I made from the same yarn makes me feel creative and resourceful!


Sorry the pic is blurry. There may have been some apple martinis involved...

So last night, I released the last of the taunting yarns, the Plymouth Outback Mohair that has been lurking in the stash for three years. It had been knitted into a big fuzzy cowl-neck sweater, then immediately frogged, as it looked horrible on me. The pattern was for a lightweight mohair, a confection of a sweater, intended to float ethereally about the wearer. The Outback is bulky, the wrong yarn for the project, and it showed. My shoulders looked like a linebacker, and the cowl neck was so heavy it practically dragged on the ground. And so a sweater's worth of mohair, a knitting failure-in-a-bag was there in my stash. But last night, I released all of it to a fellow (blogless) SoS-er, Aileen. It is the perfect yarn for the Portland Pullover in the new IK, and this yarn is not emotionally loaded for her. For Aileen, the yarn is a potentially great project. For me, it represented a host of mistakes and bad choices, all typical beginning knitter mistakes, but ones I am still apt to make from time to time. The yarn will be loved with her.

My stash isn't significantly smaller than when I began this summer (remember my epic fall off the wagon a week or so ago?), but it has now been edited carefully, purging the guilt and failures and the useless, leaving only the loved and useful yarns behind. I now have a stash packed with potential and anticipation! What else can one ask of a Summer of Stash?

x-posted to Summer of Stash

9 comments:

Mintyfresh said...

Sounds like you used up a ton of stash to me! I'm impressed, to say the least :)

margene said...

You've done well this summer. Replacing old stash with new is still progress. It was hard for me to get past the apple martini, however.

Martina said...

Good for you!

jody said...

you did well! i certainly didn't stick to the SoS either, but i do believe i would have more stash now had i not participated.

small victory...i'll take it :)

Ann said...

You have definitely out-de-stashed me ... what kind of word is that? Well, I think you know what I mean. Way to go my friend! I'd love to see a picture of the bulky mohair knit up when Aileen is done with it ...

Anonymous said...

MORE apple martinis? (snort, chuckle)

you have knit so much, so fast. the pix brought it all back.

knit on!

anne marie

SpiderWomanKnits said...

What a great summary. SOS has been so interesting. I too have let go of yarn that languished w/o attention or had failed to obey and been sent to the back of the stash. It was a release.

I hadn't realized the emotion attached to each acquisition until SOS. I am not going to be stingy from now on but surely more responsible in my purchasing.

You have some great FO's to show for it though! :-)

Wendy said...

Well done! I'll drink to the fall season!

Wendy

Tygher Knits said...

Wow! That's awesome work on the stash! I didn't do so well, but it's because I got a job and school started, so I don't feel as bad. At least I didn't add to the stash!