Well, I think WordPress are beginning to sort themselves out (I love being an unofficial beta tester, not), so let’s see… I think it’s confession time.
My stash is embarrassing. This is but a part of the whole; no fluff here, no spun yarn, no fleeces. And there’s even a substantial amount of actual yarn missing too – I tend to forget about what’s behind the sofa. So it’s worse than embarrassing, especially if you add my fabric stash. Eek! This came home to me yesterday; a friend is coming to stay (hiya!) and help me process a fleece, and I had to tell her that the spare room is, er, full. So I have committed myself to ensuring that it is significantly less full by mid-June. OK? OK? (I hope my stash is listening.) Radical action is needed.
Realistically, there’s some stuff in here I am not going to use, and there’s some which – on close examination – proved to be unusable. Charity shop for the 2kg of extra-fine cotton in a sludge colour that flatters no one, for instance, and bin for the rotten Yarnworks tweed I bought in another charity shop. (I must stop buying yarn in charity shops without testing it first. Um – I must stop buying yarn in charity shops. Or, indeed, anywhere.*)
I’ve been knitting up for a few months now, and I’m quite please with what I’ve managed to use, bearing in mind that I have persistent hand problems. There’s a giant cardigan from a Norah Gaughan pattern, knitted in a whole heap of DK tweed, used double. That ate a lot of stash. And it’s lovely; I’ve been wearing it today as it suddenly got chilly.
I’ve made some fingerless gloves, but that didn’t diminish my stash of single skeins much. Predictably, I suppose. And I don’t knit socks (don’t get me going on why, I just don’t).
Better for the single skeins has been my ‘Hitchhiker’ production line, though I think I would now rather cut off my hands than knit another Hitchhiker. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lovely pattern and a really useful shawlette cum scarf, but by lord it is boring to knit. And I love garter stitch, too. I’ve got one on the needles right now but I feel the Void opening beneath me as I look at it. Guess it will get finished at some time. But I’m glad I knocked this one off; silk and baby camel. Yum.
Possibly the oldest item in my stash was a giant heap of purple mohair, bought on York market when I was a student even though I couldn’t knit at the time. I know, I know. But note the past tense: was. Because I’ve used it.
Um. This is confession time, after all. I’ve used a lot of it, not all of it – when I say ‘giant heap’ I mean ‘giant heap’. But I have used a significant amount. And I have the most gorgeous, warm, snuggly throw to show for it:
It’s done with some bits and pieces of Colinette Giotto and some scraps of their Wigwam yarn, as well as some odd ends of a similar Louisa Harding cotton tape.
As well, of course, as an unfeasibly large amount of purple mohair. And there’s more left, so another throw is going to happen. (Yes, there’s more Colinette, just in different colours. Son of Throw will incorporate shades of gold.) I love the contrasts in textures as well. And it’s a simple pattern – I did a border of K3 at the start and end of every row, then it’s simply yo, K4, sl 1, K2tog, psso, K4, yo, K1, repeat until your arm falls off, last repeat ends K3 instead of K1. Wrong side is just K3, p to last 3 sts, K3.
Of course, it does leave you with a vast number of ends to be woven in, but one of our Guild members showed me a trick, and I’ve now bought my own rug-making latch hook. Brilliant!
So what’s next?
Well, I’m actually using up some handspun, and making a cushion. Then there’s another shawl (you can never have too many shawls). About five Wonderwools ago I bought some naturally coloured 4-ply alpaca. I can’t manage 4-ply with my hands, so I’m going to double it up and knit a lovely shawl from the current edition of Interweave; I should have just enough, I hope, and it’s as soft as a dream. Shouldn’t take too long to knit.
Er, when I’ve finished my stash-busting stripy cardi. Honestly – my next resolution really should be not to have so many WiPs (works in progress), but I’ve a valid excuse for that. It helps my hands if I vary the thickness of the needles I use. No, really.
As for the rest, well this is what I say to those who criticise my stash** now:
I’m afraid that is indeed me (my Dad was a photography nut, but could only develop black and white in the kitchen). Always and ever the lady.
*I did it. The Red Cross Shop in Porthmadog had a huge quantity of pure wool Jaeger yarn in bins – brown, fawn, rose pink, blue, teal, cream. All apparently sound. And I walked away!
** Otherwise I will ‘mention’ stashes of wood which might come in handy. Not to mention motorbikes, dead and alive. And their parts. Everyone has a stash of something. I also do bowls (why?) and lipstick (looking for the perfect red, honest).