Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Woe is Me, Not Enough Stash

As I mentioned below, I've totally lost my mind, and signed up for 2 lace knit-a-longs, Spring Shawl Surprise, which starts January 1, and Secret of the Stole ii, which starts, I think, January 16. Both projects require approximately 1500 yards of yarn, or .85 miles of yarn per project. I spent Saturday at the shop contemplating my choices, but the thought of winding 1500 yards of Zephyr off of the cone at 6:00 p.m., after a day of boyfriends, husbands, and nephews coming in and saying, "um, I need some yarn . . . uh, for a scarf maybe, I dunno . . .", wasn't appealing. I must have something in my stash, mustn't I?

So, after a hearty meal with the Tall Boyfriend at Five Guys Burgers and Fries, I decided to visit my stash, and spent some quality time with it. The doors of the closet flew open - and BOOM! It was an explosion, a tidal wave of yarn:
I didn't suffer any injuries, although I felt like I was visiting a stranger - is this all I have?
Ok, I know, I know, it LOOKS like a lot of yarn, but when your stash doesn't have what you're looking for at that particular moment in time, is it really a big enough stash at all?

Here is my laceweight - as you may be able to make out - there's great stuff in there. 880 yards of Black Bunny, 1400 yards of a lacey lamb like thing with some cashmere thrown in for good measure (the squishy red balls), 3200 yards of merino/tencel from Skaska (in red), 3200 yards of lovely brown cashmere from Hunt Valley Cashmere, Lisa Souza alpaca, 1500 yards but very variegated, 3200 yards of a purple/red merino from Cherry Tree Hill, 900 yards of Laci from Blue Moon in a gold colorway, 1200 yards of golden bamboo from Habu, 1200 yards of mohair from Habu, a variegated Shetland, 880 yards of alpaca in a cream color, some left over pink Misti Alpaca, another big hunk of Mohair, that I don't even remember what it is, and I don't have the label anymore, some Sea Silk, and 1500 yards of skinny skinny Yak/Silk.
And then there's my Anne - always suitable for a laceweight project, but only 1150 yards per 2, and I do have mostly twins in there.

See, my stash is too small - I don't have 1500 yards of anything. Ok, I could chop down those big hanks of 3200 yards - but I know there's going to be a gigantic project I'll need it for (i.e., I have the red merino/tencel saved for Frost Flowers and Leaves from Gathering of Lace, and I think the cashmere is for Forest Path Stole), and if that gigantic project doesn't happen, well, then I'd have to find something else to do with the rest of the hank - what? knit with the same yarn twice? Nah. And, I just think the variegated, Lisa Souza and Cherry Tree, is too big of a risk for a mystery project.

So, what did I learn from my long visit with my stash. Here are a few things:

a. I'm just going to have to break down, and darn, buy yarn for the 2 projects in January;
b. I have too much sock yarn, and I'm never going to knit it all:
Socks that Rock, Black Bunny, Mountain Colors, Opal, Online, miscellaneous Shetland from MSW, on and on - how many pairs of socks are there that are never going to be born - 19 or 20. I know that 19 to 20 skeins of sock yarn is miniscule to many stashes out there, but for someone who doesn't really knit socks . . . foolish, no more sock yarn for me.
c. Where's the sweater quantity? I stash very little sweater quantity yarn - and I think, the next time I'm on the fiber festival circuit, rather than picking up the random sock yarn, I'm going to shop for sweater quantity in those homespun yarns that I love, like the Alpaca I used for Wicked. Not pictured, but in the stash, is sweater quantity in Morehouse Merino Bulky, and 2 sweaters in progress - one in Koigu, and one in Karabella marble. The Koigu sweater my be ripped in favor of becoming Jeannie from the new Knitting, and the marble, well, it's such an easy knit, I'll get back to it someday.
d. I don't have as many unfinished projects as I thought I did - in my knitting bag downstairs, I have a half dozen, at least, unfinished socks, or unpaired socks. As far as sweaters - I have Martha, in progress and definitely to be finished, the Koigu and the Karabella. I have a Rowan shrug in its final lap, and a Blue Sky Alpaca Silk Shrug, also extremely straight, boring knitting - all will be finished in time, except . . . for the socks. So, sock yarn - I love looking at you - but I'm done with you. As you can see, I've done careful analysis, and you're voted out of the stash.
e. I have a lot of leftover yarn from finished projects, and I have Merrill's castoffs, many miscellaneous skeins of Silk Garden. I need to find a good mix and match project . . . something to think about.

All that stash - and, it's like walking into my closet full of clothes and saying, "I have absolutely nothing to wear." Feeling guilty about my gluttony, I lovingly returned the stash to its moth proof bags, organized by weight, and color: Don't feel too bad for it - I'm sure I'll find projects for that "meager" amount of yarn someday . . .


Andrea said...

All I can say is WOW after reading that post. You're incredible, and I'm impressed.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and I also hope that the New Year brings you everything you wish for and more. See you at the shop!! =)

Bridget said...

That's some mighty pretty yarn! I can't wait to see what you decide to use for your two knitalongs.

JoAnn, Wynnewood said...

That pile of yarn is frightening. I feel much better now! Today is my anniversary and chubby hubby took me to the Rittenhouse for lunch - period. We had burgers there - very good - with truffle parmesean fries - very very good. I felt cheated because there was nothing I could hold in my hand so I schlepped him to Loop to buy yarn. I don't need yarn - I wanted yarn. I hinted for jewelry but I only get that on years ending in 5 or 0 and this is 37. I love your stash but you're right, there's never what you want/need. Good luck with the knitalongs.
Oh, by the way, I love how you've stored the yarn in the shoe bags. Very clever.

WandaWoman said...

Umm, sadly, I do know what you mean. I signed up for the Mystic Waters shawl and while I had enough yarn in blue, it was being knit in another lace shawl. I was "forced" to buy more yarn, because the rest of my lace weight, the yardage wasn't sufficient for the project or I had the yardage, but the yarn was variegated.

Sometimes the stash doesn't hold all of what you need and you're required to buy more for the current project needs.

Macoco said...

Whoah, that is a great stash! I have to say, I really like your organizational skills there. I wish my stash was half as organized as that.

Kessa said...

Wow, nice stash! Love how you have it all neatly organized. That's pretty impressive.

Nautical Knitter said...

Welcome to the Secret of the Stole II. Glad to have you aboard.

Carol said...

Very brave to unveil all that! I think looking at my stash at one time would be like looking at the sun. I'd still use something from stash for one of the projects. If you haven't started Forest Path, etc, use the yarn now and buy yarn for that later.

Chrissy said...

Hi Wendy...

That is one organized stash! Which is a good lead in to my announcement:

Well, I've really done it this time. I've launched a professional organizing business. Hiring an organizer is a great thing for knitters (as well as for members of the general population)... an organizer can help you eeek out more minutes in your day, and more minutes equals more time to knit! Please visit me on the web, and sign up for my free newsletter: Organize Today.
...a professional organizer helping you to find creative ways to manage the tasks of everyday life at work, at home and at play.

I've already made the paper. Look here:

Please feel free to put a link to the new site on your blogs and web pages... the power of knitters in the blog world is awesome and would really be a great boost to this new endeavor.


Jana said...

Item c is my new stash tactic too-I need to buy sweater quantity (worsted preferably) and stay away from the random sock yarn. First of all if I concentrate on just knitting a pair of socks it still takes me about 2 weeks to finish them. Compare that with the number of pairs I could make with my stash and there are years of knitting time built up there. That and I feel like when I knit a sweater quantity out of the stash I can really see the difference, the stash amount really goes down. So yeah, I agree with you!

Knitting Novice said...

What a Stash! LOL! I love your organizing!

raederle said...

If you'd like to part with some sock yarn with lovely purple colors, just holler!