and now for something completely different…

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last stash enhancement...

Like many of my crafty friends, I’ve decided to make 2011 a year in which I don’t add to my stash. I’ve got way too much yarn for my own good (seriously, don’t even go look at my Ravelry stash page, which is, I think, totally up-to-date…it’s embarrassing!). I’ve noticed over the last few years that while my stash is full of wonderful yarns that I bought with particular projects in mind, I don’t actually knit from it very often at all. Instead, I get yarn for whatever new project has caught my interest, and the stash just slowly grows and grows. What this means, I think, is that stashing doesn’t really work for me. So I’m going to try to shift from a “stashing” model to a “buy what you need when you need it” model.

I can point to a lot of reasons behind my stashing habit – I love finding a good bargain, so if a yarn I’ve had my eye on goes on sale, it’s hard to pass up. And I also worry (far more than is reasonable) about favorite yarns getting discontinued. I still metaphorically kick myself for not picking up more Rowan Cork when it was being discontinued, because I loved knitting with it so much and now I just have a couple of balls of leftovers (and a couple of comfy sweaters, too, but still!). And I like trying out the new yarns that come out in case I want to design something in them. But, it’s out of hand.

So what you see up at the top of this post? That’s my last yarn purchase for at least a year. Yes, really. I decided to make it a good one, and picked up a rainbow assortment of Wool of the Andes so that I could copycat Chawne and knit a rainbow version of Elinor’s Min Ulla set. I get so gloomy during the winter months, and the thought of having a wildly colorful set of warm woolens to counteract the dreariness brings a smile to my face. And I like that I’m making a project that’s inspired by a couple of my favorite people.

101: min ulla beginnings

And I’ve already cast on for a mitten! I’m keeping the balls of yarn in a desk drawer here at home, so that I can knit a few rows while I’m working. As is my habit, I’ve already deviated from the pattern, and used an i-cord cast-on, just because I like the look of them. I’ll probably also modify the thumb, since thumbs that grow out of the side of the mitten fit my hand infinitely better than “peasant” style thumbs – I don’t know if I just have weird hands, or what, but I can’t wear mittens that have the thumb growing out of the palm, especially when there aren’t increases involved.

No worries, fans of the garter rib cardigan – I haven’t forgotten about it, and in fact, have started putting together a pattern/tutorial for it. It’s still very much in the “not intended to be read by others” stage, but hopefully this time around there won’t be such a big lag between when I finish my “sample”, and when I finish the pattern.

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11 thoughts on “and now for something completely different…

    • Thanks! I’m determined to make this attempt stick. I’ve asked my husband to hold me accountable, and we set up a Mint account so that we can track our budget, so it’ll be REALLY obvious if I don’t hold to it :)

      -whitney

  1. I tried a yarn diet last year, but didn’t have my heart in it, so it was a failure. This year, I actually believe I may make it. Like you, I did one last purchase before the end of the year. I am giving myself a binge for Stitches West, but otherwise am going to buckle down. I can’t wait to see your Min ulla. I’ve also somehow gotten away from your blog (last post read – FFO?!?!) and I’m enjoying catching up. Love your solstice gift. Happy new Year!

    • I’ve tried before and failed for the same reason – but I’m really into it this time around. We’re trying to save up for a few things so I’ve got lots of inspiration this year! Happy New Year to you too!

      -whitney

  2. I’ve been thinking I need to knit my stash down (or donate some of it!). Of course, as I’ve also joined some sock clubs this year, I know I won’t need more sock yarn!! I like the idea of only buying as I need, especially since, like you, I don’t tend to knit big projects from what’s in stash (for one thing, I don’t tend to buy sweater amounts of yarn, so every time I want to knit a sweater, I have to go shopping, and something else always slips into the basket). I love that rainbow!

    • It’s going to take me a long time to switch over to a “buy as you need it” model, because my stash is seriously huge right now, but I think it’ll be better for me eventually! I DO tend to buy sweater’s worth of yarn (because I am an obsessive knitter of sweaters), which is part of why my stash is so insane – I could probably knit like, 15 sweaters from it. Or more. Goodness gracious.

      -whitney

  3. Lisle

    Hmm, interesting concept. I’ll have to think about that some. It’s almost like I have a buzzing in my head when the words are in front of me…

    Seriously, though, what’s a Mint account?

  4. Lisle

    Cool! I’ve checked it out a little–looks like a great concept. Mint, I mean. I’m still considering what it means to quit buying just for fun… Although I did resolve to only buy really good yarns this year–so now my LYS is far enough away to discourage frequent shopping.

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