Organizing and planning

The other night I was in my Wool Room, fiddling and petting my fibers, when Andy walked in. He visits my wooly realm quite often, but as I suspect is the case with many spouses of fiber-fanatics, he has become a bit immune to the amount of yarn and spinning fiber I have. This particular night, however was an exception. He stood in the doorway watching me for a moment, and then made a rather obvious statement.

“You have a lot of yarn,” he said.

Instead of becoming defensive or embarrassed as I usually do when this fact is pointed out to me, I replied, “Yes. It makes me happy.”

“That’s a lot of happy,” my husband said solemnly, and we laughed.

It’s been on my mind though, even before he said something. I do have a lot of yarn, and even more potential-yarn currently in the form of spinning fiber, and it does make me happy. I’m not really a person to hoard things, particularly when I know there is not a shortage. When I was living in Alaska, having a moderately large stash made some sense: I was pretty far from a sizable yarn store, and when I placed an order, I ordered large to make the shipping costs worth it.
Now I really don’t have that problem at all. The is a small but well-stocked yarn shop here in town, and a huge one just an hour away. Most mail-order yarn gets to me in less than a week, with inexpensive or no shipping. I feel completely satisfied when I look at the yarn in my wool room, and I want for very little.
In fact, I’ve started to wonder something that might be, to some of you, very shocking indeed.

What would it feel like to reach out, calmly and with forethought, and choose the last ball of yarn off a shelf to cast on with?

It’s a thought that is intriguing me.
When we first moved to this house, I made an effort to put my wool where I could see it, because I had the space and knowing that I would be more likely to use it if it was in view. (Not to mention the fact that I appreciate the decorating aesthetics of a stack of colorful yarn; can’t help myself, it just makes me smile.) I’ve gotten into the habit of saving the odds and ends of yarn balls, at least the ones that have a decent amount left, and I’ve found myself using them up. The tam I made last week is a good example of such a project.

This is the other result of that effort, by the way.

Though I only used three balls of yarn for the tam, I sorted through and made a basket of all the substantially sized single balls of worsted weight yarn. There is a good array of color, and I’m struck by new color combinations every time I look in. My hankering for colorwork has grown measurably.

I’ve been inspired to organize and work with my stash, not as a resolution and not as a part of a knit-along, not as a yarn-diet (because that just makes me yearn for the yarn I am not allowed) but just for the pleasure of rediscovering the yarns I loved enough to buy in the first place.

I borrowed an idea from Becky, a new way to work through my sock yarn.

I plan to tuck an index card with a pattern behind each skein, since I can spend a good chunk of time choosing a pattern for a particular yarn before I cast on. This is, incidentally, nearly all of my sock yarn. I can actually imagine a day in the future (perhaps this year!) when I will cast on the very last sock from stash yarn, and that image is very exciting to me for some reason.

Here is the rest of my stash as it stands now, not counting the spinning fiber, of course. Still, I’m fairly impressed to see it all out.
Most of the yarns have a purpose already in my mind, they were bought for a particular pattern I haven’t gotten to yet. Seeing them all reminds me of the things I’ve been wanting to make but forgot about.


So what have I been knitting on since I last posted?
After the glut of gift knitting, it was incredibly freeing to cast on a couple projects for myself. I haven’t forgotten my Loose Knit Group commitment, but I think I deserve something every now and then too.

A pair of picot-cuff socks with some Shibuiknits Sock yarn that I bought ages ago. I really love the colors (it’s “Earth,”) and I’m glad I chose to knit it up in a plain stockinette pattern.

I also (finally!) started a pair of Endpaper Mitts, which I’ve been wanting to knit for quite some time. The yarns I originally planned on using didn’t work out so well, so I switched them out for some leftovers.

I’m using the rest of the Mimosa three-ply handspun I made the Golden Delicious socks from, along with the Louet Gems Pearl left over from some socks I knit last year. I really love how the changing colors of the handspun make the background pattern fade in and out of focus.
I was so excited to get the colorwork started I forgot to go up a needle size after the ribbing, so the first glove needed some rather severe blocking to make it fit, but it worked out well in the end. I’m hoping to get the second one done tonight. (My little paws are getting chilly!)

There’s only one complaint about my new organizing plan so far.

“If you knit up all my playtoys, whatever shall I do at night while you are sleeping?”

All for now!

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11 thoughts on “Organizing and planning

  1. You know what? It doesn’t really seem to me like you have a very large stash. I’ve seen *much* larger stashes. Yours seems very moderate. That being said, I’m in love with your Endpaper Mitts! And I love what you’ve done with your sock yarn. What a clever idea. That Becky is a smart one.Poor Hannah. I’m sure she’ll still find a way to get to her toys. Actually I hope she doesn’t. Maybe those little catnip mice are the answer? I’ve been thinking of making some of those for mine. (gosh I got wordy!)

  2. Love your husband’s reply! My husband was with me once when I bought a knitting book. Instead of telling me he didn’t think I needed another knitting book, he said, “Does that book have anything different than the other thousand?”

  3. Loved the surprise guffaw at the end! I cast on today with a ball of yarn that showed up in the mail as a total surprise gift from a friend yesterday, paired it with a strand from two balls of Kid Seta that I’ve spent the six months since I bought them going, why did I buy this stuff? It’s pretty, but I have no particular need… And now I do. The two yarns are absolutely made for each other, and I like the two together much more than either of the two apart. I call my stash my yarn library, and I love that I can have inspiration and serendipity grab me like that.

  4. What a fabulous stash. I think it’s good for a yarn lover to be surrounded by yarn. Wine lovers collect bottles of wine, art lovers collect paintings…so why not? Enjoy.

  5. ooooooh I love your endapaper mitts! I am just getting ready to cast on a pair for a friend!I came to find your mitten questionnaire but couldn’t find it. Can you point me to it please? I am going to be matching parters next weekend.Thanks!

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