A non-knitting friend recently asked me sternly: ‘So how much yarn do you have?’ It took me quite a while to add it all up mentally, and I realised that at my present shameful rate of progress, I probably have enough stash to keep me knitting for at least half a dozen years. (I well remember how I used to churn out six to ten sweaters a year… alas, no more.) It struck me as a fun idea to photoblog it. I want to say that this public display of accumulation might shame me into knitting from stash, rather than Stash (where I made an only semi-immodest visit yesterday), but come on. That’s hardly likely, is it?
Let’s take it from the top. Where by ‘top’ we understand recent acquisitions, where the rationalisation is still clear in my mind. Actually no, let’s take it from the WIPs; I haven’t actually photographed all of these, but you’ve seen ’em anyway, at least in bits.
A word of warning before we begin. Even by my standards, the picture quality is horrendous. Feel free to tut tut over my poor photographic technique, but before you ask ‘darling, what were you thinking ?’, please give the yarn the benefit of the doubt. Trust me, it’s all a lot prettier than it looks.
The works in progress:
1. Gecko Ridge. 30 blocks done (actually 33; I stopped counting and overshot a bit). Between this photo session last night and lunchtime today, I managed to sew up five strips, and sort-of attach each strip to the next one – just enough to make sure they don’t get out of order. Further thoughts on the whole project will follow with the traditional fork photo.
Yarn: Noro Kureyon, one ball per block. The scraps (it’s quite remarkable how widely the yardage varied between balls; some blocks barely got finished with their one ball, some had masses left over) will get added to those 3 lost blocks to make a cat blanket. Not like they need it, but Jemima in particular has been so very keen on Gecko for the duration…
2. Denim jacket. No pics. Slow progress. Having started this one in a mad fit of wossname, I immediately got distracted by socks and this is now in danger of turning into my Wednesday Wallflower.
Yarn: Rowan Denim, 1kg. I’m hoping that’ll be far too much but I hate to run out. God knows what I’ll do with the leftovers.
3. Chenille wrap, just started. This one’s a not very well-conceived rush job (I need it for product styling purposes, have I mentioned?) and frankly I’m not convinced it’s going to make it, but we’ll see.
Yarn: an eBay special – 500g cone of purple DK-weight chenille. Beautiful colour. If the wrap works out I’ll probably use it all up.
Okay, so now you know what I am doing, let’s turn to what I *plan* to do. Remember, pretty much everything in my stash had a clear purpose at the time of acquisition, so I’ll be identifying these according to what they are in my head. Let us proceed.
The latest infatuations:
The ladder-stitch summer party top.
This will be a reworking of a top I already have, which gets people very excited every time I bring it out, but the design just isn’t *quite* there.
Yarn: Louisa Harding Sari Ribbon, 6 hanks. Vintage: yesterday.
Bottom row, left to right: cosy magic-loop, toe-up socks (Wollmeise Granatapfel, worsted weight); knee-high somethings (Wollmeise Farn); regular size somethings (Posh Lucia).
Middle row and first ball on top: Cinder’s Secret Stockings (Piece of Beauty).
Rest of top row: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Socks. Colour… Black Watch? Not sure.
Vintage of all these: within the last two months. (Shepherds, yesterday.)
I’m keen to compare and contrast lots of different sock yarns, as well as sock construction techniques. So far – having made precisely one pair – I am most attracted to the toe-up, short-row heel, 2 socks on one circ idea; and Lucia seems by far the softest. I think the Shepherds are least impressive to the touch, but then again they may wear the best.
The cowl-neck, extra-long aran.
Yarn: Rooster Almerino (1kg of it). Vintage: pretty recent. There was a bargain offer for the London SnB mailing list. I’m weak. And I want to be warm this winter.
The stripey top:
Yarn: 500g of Filatura di Crosa in every colour I could grab. Vintage: March 2007 (Venice).
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Lion & Lamp, in Watercolor. Vintage: around October last year.
The problem: I wound one of the balls up long before the other three, for reasons that passeth understanding. On doing the rest last night, I noticed that – although all four of these balls have been stored in the same dark chest all this time – the three that were in skeins seem to have faded dramatically compared to the other one. It’s a scientific marvel! And really pisses me off. I don’t want a mini-Clap. And I don’t want to have to go buy more yarn. *pouts*
The shawl-collar chunky lace jacket (shut up. It’ll totally work):
Yarn: alpaca/mohair from Texere, at an exceptionally good price. Vintage: Ally Pally 2006.
The fair isle cardi, plus something else, maybe a cute cabled ribby pullover, I haven’t quite got the details yet:
Yarn: Lang Silk Dream (silk/merino blend, great value). Vintage: Ally Pally 2006.
The, um, I keep changing my mind on this but there’ll be two of them and they’ll be really pretty and stuff, you know, light summer jacket sort of things:
Yarn: There’s actually two batches in here, around 600g of each in assorted colours. One is cotton boucle, the other is a really stunning bamboo (you can only see a bit of that here). Both are from a wonderful little shop in Cape Town that gets its stuff custom dyed. Vintage: November 2005.
The… er… I think they’ll be two jackety things, probably, I have some ideas and even suitable patterns lying around somewhere:
Yarn: Rowan Summer Tweed, 500g each of two colours. Probably not *actually* enough for a jacket each, then. Hm. Vintage: some time in 2005. A John Lewis sale.
The long-line summer cardi of some sort, probably in a kind of broken rib, and dear lord there’s a lot of it so maybe it’ll end up a kind of twinset:
Yarn: Rowan Linen Drape, now discontinued. 21 balls. Vintage: er… January 2004? Maybe? I know it was a John Lewis January sale.
That concludes the supposedly planned project line-up, and brings us to the rather sad and lonely corner where hide the unloved, the widows and orphans and black sheep of the stash family.
The novelty yarns.
These were all gifts from very well-meaning but clueless non-knitting friends. But I love that they tried. One or two of these are even very pretty, but I have no idea what to do with a single ball of Jaeger Firefly. (Nor much desire to buy it a mate.) Most of these are going to be disposed of pretty shortly.
The frog pond.
One of these was attempting to be a very cute multidirectional jacket in Rowan Cotton Glace. I was running hopelessly short of yarn and haven’t quite found the inspiration to find a Plan B. The other was the terribly ill-starred Red Hot Mama that I was working on around the start of this blog. (Which is as much indication as you need of how awful these photos are… that yarn (Jaeger Siena) is red hot, seriously. Not muddy brick. No. It glows.) It went through two entirely separate incarnations, both doomed. I’m a little scared of trying anything else with it now. And besides… I think we’ve established I’m not exactly short of distractions.
Vintage: both 2005. The purple cotton, January; the red, more like September.
I had a second photo, of a box full of scraps, but it seems to have gotten corrupted. Never mind. It looked quite a lot like a messier version of this.
No, I don’t know why I’m keeping a box full of old swatches either.
And the completely random.
This pile is mostly a combination of gifts, impulse buys, odd balls bought as samples or parts of projects that for whatever reason never even made it to complete yarn acquisition phase. But for some of these, too, I have actual plans. On the right there – singularly failing to show off their wonderfulness – are wound skeins of Seasilk and Artyarns Silk Rhapsody; these are probably going to be my initiation into the mysteries of the Moebius. That sequinned Tilli Thomas is a scarf gift in waiting. Other than that… yeah. It’s anybody’s guess where these’ll end up.
Vintage: the oldest (those balls of chenille) are from January 1998. My first trip to London, where I found John Lewis and almost expired from excitement. The most recent (two balls of Cathay) was just a few weeks ago; they were to be the accent colour on a teal cardigan. Turns out everyone and their aunty seem to be sold out of all the good colours of Cathay, so I’m left with just the accent.
So what do you think? Do I have a stash problem? Or is this really very modest and reasonable and it’s nobody’s business but mine if I hover over the Posh Yarn sale tonight?