Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Stash Busting 2009

For me stash busting has been an ongoing process for several years. I rarely buy new yarn for a knitting project, but I did buy yarn last year to enhance the stash, for future, yet-to-be-determined projects. That was not supposed to happen. It didn’t happen a lot, but it wasn’t supposed to happen. At all.

I suppose that in order to bust stash I should know just how much I’m dealing with. Well, I did start organizing the yarn and made up an Xcel spreadsheet a few years back. But after 1,500 balls, I ran out of storage room in my upstairs closet, and didn’t add any more to the list. Now this closet isn’t small – it runs the length of the house. But half of it was full of puzzles, games, sewing supplies, and other odds and ends. I’ve been working at getting it cleared out, so I can continue with my yarn storage project.

But try as I might to keep it contained, yarn just seems to keep showing up everywhere. In my bedroom, there are four totes hung on the doorknobs, with in-progress projects. There is also a pressed tin bucket that my sister gave me a couple of years ago. This became a catch-all for odd balls, and a few balls I brought down to try in projects, that didn’t make the cut.

I’ve decided to start with this bucket, and work on the yarn in it until I use it up, or put it away. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to empty the bucket, and how many projects can come out of it. One of those cases where, if you write it down, you’re more likely to do it!

Here’s a photo of the bucket today.
I wish I would have thought to take one before I started, but you get the idea. Full! Here’s another picture of the contents, spread out on the sofa.
I’m going to put all the tiny oddballs either in the leftover totes for their specific fiber, or in a bag to take to the Goodwill. I usually try to use up every bit, but see that purple eyelash yarn? I have no idea what to do with that little leftover bit. I made and sold a hat from the rest of that ball several years ago. I’m sure this little bit would make great trim on a Barbie dress, but I’m not ready to go down that road just yet!

Here’s what I’ve made so far:

Two cotton washcloths, using a ball of Lily Sugar and Cream, and Bernat Handicrafter. I should have gotten two blue cloths from the Sugar & Cream, but there was a knot in the yarn, near the beginning, so I cut it out. After I finished the cloth, the remaining balls were not big enough to make another complete cloth. These, and the leftover Handicrafter, will go in the “leftover cotton” tote upstairs. A Ganomy hat from Elizabeth Zimmermann’s “Knitter’s Almanac”. I used one of the two balls on Lion Wool. The hat came out a little on the small side for me. And it only used a little less than one ball, so now I have to figure out what to do with the remaining ball. In progress is a child’s hat. This is from a ball of unlabeled acrylic. Probably Red Heart. Rough texture, but cute colors. I know that I can steam this into something that feels better, but I don’t want to take away too much stretch. And the next project from the bin? A pair of socks. There was one ball of Cervinia Jacquard in the bin, minus its ball band. I found another ball in a box upstairs, and I’m hoping that they’re the same dye lot. I can’t see any difference. I like this Cervinia yarn. No, it’s not as posh as some sock yarns, but I think the finished socks look and feel just fine. I’m basing this pair on another Cervinia pair I made in October, and had the foresight to take notes on!

That’s the stash busting update for now. I’ll continue these updates as I work my way through this one bucket. It isn’t much, but I have a feeling it’s going to take longer than you might think to get through it. And hopefully the projects will be unique, and a bit creative. We shall see!

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