Thursday, January 08, 2009

Inside the Stash

Last weekend I jumped in and pulled out all the yarn. I dug it out of my office, from under beds, out of closets and came clean with what I had. My husband says that's the first step. Admitting you have a lot of yarn.

This here on the bed is just the stuff being sorted. There is more, believe me, there is more. My mom came over in the midst of all this chaos and her first response was "Elizabeth, I taught you better. Never drag this all out when your husband is at home." She-who-knows-what-she-speaks-of. Mom quilts. And has the closets of fabric to prove it. And normally she would be right, you shouldn't be flaunting your stash in front of anyone who isn't going to appreciate it or at the very least, be green with envy, but the DH was surprisingly calm about discovering what is really holding the foundation of the house up. Even now, four days later, I am not unconvinced that he might have been swapped out by aliens.

But here was the real shocker. This is my sock yarn. I'm not a huge sock knitter, but apparently I love me some sock yarn. And lots of sock projects with one sock knit and the other languishing. Look at all this up there. This bin is two skeins deep.

I have enough sock yarn here to knit up a pair of socks for every day of the month. And not some puny month like February, but a real meaty month with 31 days, like January or December. Believe me, the all day Cat Bordhi class at Madrona next month could not come soon enough. I hope she ignites my sock knitting mojo. Something has to. That or I am going to be knitting enough Baby Surprise Jackets to clothe a third world country.

And I know the next suggestion: knit mittens out of the sock yarn. That would be helpful if I didn't already have a bucket of "mitten yarn."

But more than just having a lot of yarn, (which I have inherited, thrifted, swapped, bargain hunted, shopped and collected like the proverbial girl who can't say no) I discovered some things I'd forgotten about, some projects that are just hours away from being completed, and some that just darn need to be frogged and the yarn set free. Yes, Elizabeth, step away from the yarn.

So I sorted the yarn as follows: Projects I most want to finish, Mitten yarn, sock yarn, sweater amounts of yarn, yarn for charity knitting, and finally, Good-God-whatever-am-I-going-to-do-with-this-yarn. I've got all the yarn I need for my Madrona classes, so no need to start obsessing that I don't have the right yarn.

I do.

As I sorted, my goals for 2009 became only too clear, other than the obvious two that my husband (who probably hasn't been snatched completely by aliens) is shouting at me from the other room (being 1) no more yarn and 2) Really, no more yarn). But with the sorting came an excitement all over again for these yarns. I collected them for some mad reason and now it is time to give them life. So for 2009, I plan on the following:

1) Christmas knitting all year long - which is doable. As long as everyone wants to get dishcloths and mittens. Oh, and socks. But they'd probably expect a completed pair, wouldn't they?

2) Charity knitting. I want to donate another 12 hats to Warm for Winter next November, so I think I will knit those during my cross-country travels this year. With at least four trips to the East Coast before July, I should be able to get the hats done at 40,000 feet and clear out a lot of Cascade 220 and other leftover wools. Perhaps more of the Basic Twined Hat (see above) by Lisa Ellis or Tiennie's Norwegian Star Earflap Hat.

Best of all, I know these hats go to men and women in my community who have very little and it is a humbling process to knit for them. I saw evidence of this first hand on the news the other day as they were interviewing people in a homeless shelter and they all had hand knit hats on. Every single person. I smiled to myself. There were Sister Tufte's hats being put to work. God bless her for conceiving this project and infusing all us local knitters with the desire to help.

3) Finally, finish the first bin of yarns I sorted out. Which includes using this Mountain Colors Twizzle I bought make a vest out of. Along with two sweaters that are nearly finished, a couple of shawls and scarves and some lonely socks looking for mates. Apparently eHarmony does not match solo socks. Really, after Ravelry, wouldn't a source for the other half of your single socks be a godsend?

What have you resolved for 2009? Have you ever aired your stash?


Margaret G said...

Good for you! I'm impressed by your stash. But even more so with how you've organized what you are going to do with it this year.

My stash is small yet as I just took up knitting again about a years ago after many years of quilting. Hopefully, it will rival my fabric stash one of these days. LOL

I am having deep envy over that nifty plastic bin, however.

Mae said...

I agree with Margaret and your mother, you shouldn't pull it out in front of people who will think you're crazy, BUT you've showed it off to a bunch of people who ARE impressed by it, therefore canceling out letting your husband see it. haha.

Im going to have to air my stash now too... oh man, you'll have to stay tuned for that one... ha!