Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dramatic Stash Reduction

My stash lives in our guest room. I have a large dresser full: one drawer for wools, one drawer for cottons, and one mostly of odds and ends and leftovers. There's also an old china cabinet with all the books, sock yarns and other special yarns jammed in there. I keep sweater quantities in the closet, along with lots of other craft supplies. It's been a easy way to keep organized, but this summer we anticipate some longer visits from various family members. And this fall, we'd like to do some remodeling to the master bedroom and bath, so Mr S and I will have to move into the guest room during the duration of the construction.

So this Spring, I have been reorganizing the yarn room, making more room in the closet for our guests and their things, and getting rid of some other, unused things. But as I was working in there the weekend before MSDW, my husband got a full-on view of the stash. He saw all of it. At once. His eyes bugged out in shock, but just for a moment. He didn't say anything except something about my plans to buy more yarn at MDSW the following weekend.

Later, he acknowledged that I do knit a lot. And knitting a lot requires a lot of yarn. He really did understand. He was just surprised that it was that much. I've never hidden any of my purchases from my husband. I stay within the budget, and since he pays the bills every month, he knows how much I spend. And although he didn't get at all angry or even seem annoyed, I realized it was time to really reduce the stash. It has gotten a little unwieldy.

Dramatic stash reduction was called for. I not only had to make room for my guests, but I had to prove to my generous and understanding husband that I really did intend on using all of that yarn, that my abundance had a purpose. There was only one thing to do: crochet a huge scrapghan. Being a crochet project, it would use up a ton of yarn, clearing a lot of space in the yarn dresser, and it would create a useful item for the whole family.

I cleared out all of the worsted-ish woolen leftovers, singletons, or random yarns bought for unrealized projects from the wool drawer. I stuck them in the basket and began Bella Dia's Vintage Vertical Stripe Blanket.


Week One: 27 rows

I have been crocheting at a feverish pace for two weeks, and currently have 56 rows of double crochet, or a blanket about 70" long x 20 " wide. The rows are long but simple, as this pattern has you crochet into the space created by the row below, instead of having to insert your hook into the V's of another stitch. As a crochet beginner, it is a great project. I'm trying to crank out as much as I can while I am still enthusiastic about the blanket and before the weather gets too hot to have a huge wool blanket on my lap.

Week 2: 56 rows

I'm still working of different knitting projects as well, all from stash. But for now, it's all about cranking out those long double crochet rows and using up all this yarn.

15 comments:

SockMamaLiz said...

I'm right there with you. I have a huge bag of singleton worsted wool that I need to use up. Thanks for sharing this pattern... I love to crochet but am not good at it. I'm going to give this one a go and hopefully do some stashbusting myself.

... as far as construction on the master... take some before/after photos for us!

LaurieM said...

It will be an awesome blanket. I love that folksy look.

Ann said...

Liz, it looks great! How much time have you put into sequencing the colors? B/c the colors look wonderful with their neighbors. It looks like you're switching colors at regular intervals rather than crocheting until you run out, is that right? I'm very interested in doing this ...

Sally said...

*sniff*

Crochet Sensei is so proud of her student. Even though Crochet Sensei has never actually taught her student a damn thing about crochet.

;o)

Theresa said...

Perfect - turn the yarn in your guest room into an afghan in your guest room! Ah, stash reduction. . .

kamfam said...

I look forward to using that awesome blanket and your guest room this summer (and I won't mind the stash!)!! - SoCal SIL

SJ said...

What a great idea! It's going to be a great blanket come this fall/winter, and it's great that it uses up so many odds and ends.

Suzanne said...

You are doing the right thing...but isn't there another stash storage solution? Under the bed boxes, closets, attic....something? I could not store my entire stash (of which more than half is leftover odd balls from past projects) in any of my tiny drawers. I have the two rubbermaid bins in the attic where it all lives. Well, new stash lives in the freezer. I have a morbid fear of bugs in the stash.

Think out of the box! Show your craft some love!

Angelika said...

I love using up scraps, whether it's quilting, knitting or crochet. I sure have enough of either one, yarn and fabric and next time the movers come into MY "guestroom" I hope to have worked off a little.

tiennie said...

What a great hubby!

That is a fantastic stash busting project!

Jenna said...

I hope that you informed your husband that your heating costs for your guest room were probably lower than for other rooms because of the excellent insulation.

In any case, I think that feeling that you've just got to use up the yarn and get it out is a good one, especially when it produces such a lovely afghan!

jane said...

I remember the day that Bob saw all of my stash at once. He was amazed and said, "Oh my God! That must be $1000.00 worth of yarn!" I said, "Yes, $1000.00!" and quickly led him away. To this day he thinks I have about $1000.00 worth of yarn in my yarn room! Jane

Elinor said...

Um, yeah me too. I even have a crochet ripple blanket going in the same spirit. Those leftovers are so hard to get rid of! You're a good spouse for doing it!

Marnie said...

\i love it! you're making me change my mind about the mitered blanket i've been making with my odds and ends. crochet is so much faster plus no seaming! yours is lovely.

Madge said...

Thank goddess. When I first read your post title my heart leapt into my throat, and I feared evil scary moths had invaded, or your house had burned down, or some other horrible tragedy had befallen you.

Whew. It's just crochet. Whew.

And to that I add...look at you go, you crocheter, you. Yay!