Ah the knitter’s stash and stash-busting.  For the uninitiated, the stash is what knitters call their hoard of yarn.  Stash busting is using yarn from the stash, thereby making the stash a tiny bit smaller.  

The title of this post is really only figurative, because while my stash occupies a large portion of my closet, it has also spread to sections of my book shelf, and, horror of horrors, the terribly yarn-un-friendly location of the garage.  
Lori, Lori, quite aquisitory, how does your stash grow?  

Well, I am guilty of what I will call “whole project buying”.  I see a pattern, I love it, I buy all the yarn needed for it, and then I squirrel it away because I certainly don’t have time to start a new project, I have several projects going already!  Sometimes, three years later, I start these projects, sometimes, I don’t.  

Sometimes you need a tiny bit of black acrylic for the ends of the eye stalks of some hermit crab, and so you buy a giant ball of red heart, which never, ever, ends, all the while taking up a lot of cubic inches of stash real estate.  

A lot of the time, you know that it takes 100g of sock yarn to make a pair of socks, so you buy 1000g of sock yarn, 100g at a time, with the expectation that some day you will make ten pairs of socks.  Not an unlikely expectation at all.  

The only problem is that then, the new knitting magazines show up on your door step, or you spend a night browsing on Ravelry, or someone you can’t refuse says, I found this pattern, please make it for me, and then you find yourself buying more yarn.  And at the end of these projects, there is always a little yarn left over, and so the stash grows a little, even though yarn is leaving the house.  

But then, none of this is really complaining, because gazing at your stash is a satisfying sort of activity in it’s own right.  

But so is stash busting.  

I’m working on two stash busting projects right now.  One is a sweet sweater I started about one year ago.  I’m re-starting it really.  The little dutch sweater dress that will some day be a reality.  
A pretty cute little sweater confection.
I’ve got miles to knit before I sleep on this one, but the pattern keeps it entertaining, imagining what little dutch people would say while they were waiting for their heads to be knit.  Instead of just making the original vintage pattern larger, I’m using the general pattern suggestions for the Global Warming sweater, I’m looking forward to doing the sleeves!  I had a brief conniption last night because, while I’ve known I will need to order more of the white yarn for a while, I’ve been putting it off.  The white is a nice thick sport weight from Knitpicks called Telemark.  Well, "they" have discontinued Telemark, and it seems, replaced it with Wool of the Andes, which I don't have a particular gripe with, except that WotA has about 30 yds more per 50g ball, which means it is not as thick and sturdy.  I was imagining all kinds of tragic looking outcomes to this situation, but this morning I found 6 balls of the yarn hanging out in the UK, and that should be enough to finish the project.  Hurrah!

But even while I have this project that is so sweet and tons of fun, and even has some technical planning aspects to keep me engaged, I’ve been just pining to crochet.  So much so that I made this a few nights ago:
Don’t worry, it's only 6 ½ inches square
I was pouring over my doily books, almost drooling, wondering where I could get size 30 cotton thread.  However, I am well aware that clearly I don’t need more thread, and really, more doilies.  So, the part of my mind that wasn’t overtaken with feverish doily planning remembered a box of yarn from 2009 that was in the garage that was waiting to become a ripple afghan.  Ta-da:
Violet, you're turning violet, Violet!
Not that we need blankets either, but I dream of a day when I’ve got a lovely purple ruffle afghan on the back of one chair, and a beautiful mustard Girasole over the back of the couch.  I haven’t bought the yarn for the Girasole...yet.  
1/31/2012 08:48:29 pm

I love the dutch sweater pattern. Where on earth did you find that?

My mom would love it too. She loves to knit sweaters, and since we are dutch it would be a great fun pattern to knit.

2/8/2012 01:45:13 am

Hi Lisa, the graph of the pattern is from a vintage Bestways pattern I found on Ebay. I've adapted it (I hope successfully!) to DK weight yarn instead of fingerling and made a lot of other changes, so I'm not using the actual pattern of the sweater. The original pattern says it is sized for an 11-13 year old.

2/2/2012 05:39:15 am

I have a stash just like that, which never gets smaller however much I knit. And a pile of projects which never gets finished even though I spend hours knitting. It's all very surreal! So glad it's not just me!
Best wishes,

2/8/2012 01:33:51 am

Hi Jennie, I know just what you mean! I think I must have selective yarn ordering amnesia sometimes because I lament about my stash, and then a box of yarn shows up on my door step, which, to any sane non-knitter would, I'm sure, be actions which appear to be at cross purposes :)

old man
2/6/2012 10:58:56 am

THIs is a terrific posting. I didn't know that there was so much in common between knitting and flyfishing. Kniters seem to buy yarn against the day when they will do a project that they can't start yet and fly fishermen load up on flies and buy special rods for distant streams that maybe someday they will fish. Thanks for such an enjoyable trip into the mind of a knitter.

2/8/2012 01:29:03 am

Thanks old man! The tools of knitters and flytiers share a lot of common ground as well. Our house definitely abounds with tiny scissors and bits of string.

2/24/2012 11:52:34 am

There's pulse to this post, a contagious motivation. A ravenous, or ravelnous, hunger. It makes me want to restart my own projects.

2/28/2012 02:56:02 am

I'm glad it was motivating! It was motivating for me too :)


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