Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stash Outing and Going Cold Sheep!

Do you have a yarn stash?  Most knitter's do and I am no exception.  The problem with stashes is they tend to get out of hand.  Mine did.  Yes, yes it did.  Perhaps you remember this post where I sold some of my stash off to make amends (so to speak) to my over indulgence?  Those skeins were good ones to sell and I'm glad I did.  They were all impulse purchases bought mostly for colors that I just loved, but don't go with anything I own or look good on me etc. (you get the idea.)  What yarn I saved all have a workable future project in the planning stages. 

So here goes.  My yarn stash in their containers.  It's a lot:  2 full sized Rubbermaid tubs, 1 half sized tub, 2 large baskets and 1 IKEA tub that fits into my IKEA Trofast storage unit.  The amount surprised even me as all these tubs and baskets are spread throughout our house .  I couldn't quite stomach piling all the yarn together so what follows is a series of pictures grouped by projects. 

This is my sock yarn stash.  Enough to make 11 pairs of socks.  I average 2-4 a year so that's at least 3 years worth of sock yarn.  Can you tell I like blues? 

Here are my two work in progress or WIP socks.  I hate knitting with that blue yarn as it gets so twisty and tangled.  And even though I am so close to finishing I started on the rainbow pair instead.  But, alas second sock syndrome set in and I still have just one sock.   

Dan's younger brother Bill requested warm wool socks for a Christmas present this year and I did knit him a pair using the above yarn.  The pattern took 1 and a half skeins so I purchased another skein to make a pair for Dan who also get very cold in the winter (it's their Philipino blood I think.)  Hopefully I will have no left over yarn this time around.

Here is some lovely Madelinetosh DK yarn whose future will be as thick socks for my mother.  I already knit her a hat and cowl in the wine and a cowl in the pink.  There will be enough of the pink left over to knit this hat which I will give to my friend Amy for her charity.  Her charity "Team Yarn" donate hats and shawls for chemotherapy patients at various facilities in and around the Twin Cities Metro Area.  If you would like to donate a hat or yarn to Amy you can find her information here.

I am making the same hat as I mention above and it with the rest of this yarn is earmarked for Amy's charity.  It's a lovely soft merino wool from Artyarns.  

Beautiful blues no?  These skeins of Cascade Paints were supposed to be a Wallaby Sweater for my son Sam, but then he made the declaration that he wanted no more hand knits from me.  Children can cut you to the quick sometimes.  Instead of fighting it and spending all the time knitting him something he doesn't want I decided to knit shawls from this, again for Amy's Charity.  I choose this pattern.  The first shawl blocked out beautifully so I am excited to make a second one and use up this yarn!

These many skeins of superwash merino wool are also destined for hats for chemo patients.  It's just so soft, warm and easy care so a no brainer on what to do with them.


Next up is a Shetland wool scrappy vest I am knitting for my husband Dan.  Most of the yarn is left over from a vest I made for him this past Christmas (of which I have no photos as of yet.)  The pattern called for steeking the armholes and v neck which will be new to me.  Maybe that's why I've stalled out on this project?

A cabled vest WIP for Dan.  You can find the pattern here.  The merino yarn is limited in amount (I purchased it a long time ago before I knew to save labels) and should be enough to finish, but I am nervous about it so I have yet to find out.  Besides, the cables take me forever.

This lot of Jamieson's Shetland yarn is for a lovely Argyle patterned vest, again for Dan.  Here is the pattern.

I have no pattern in mind as of yet for this heathered gray yarn, but there is enough for a man's vest.  Guess who for?  Can you tell he doesn't like sleeves on his sweaters?  

So, with two in progress vests and two planned vests I have enough yarn to cover Dans' birthday and Christmas gifts for the next 2 years.

Now, on to sweaters for me.  This is also Jamieson's Shetland yarn but this time in a DK weight.  I barely started into Elizabeth Zimmerman's Fair Isle Yoked Sweater which I believe I will make into a cardigan.  We'll see when it comes time for steeking how I feel.

This orange yarn is gorgeous!  It's Ella Rae Extra Fine Heathers which was being discontinued at WEBS.   I purchased it on a tip from the Yarn Harlot and I'm glad I did.  I'm knitting Cassis by Baby Cocktails which I have knit before, but this time I'm knitting it with long sleeves.  Short sleeves are cute, but don't keep me warm enough in the winter here in Minnesota.

Yet another WIP for me.  Can you tell I like to start projects a lot!  This will be the famous Color Affection Shawl knit with fingering weight yarn.  I think it's going to be stunning, but it takes some thinking to remember where I am in the pattern.  I don't always have enough uninterrupted thinking time so here it sits unfinished.

Sorry for this fuzzy photo.  The light was getting pretty dim when I took it late in the late afternoon.  It's Rowan's Felted Tweed and I planned on making this tunic pattern, but I'm unsure now do to the lack of sleeves. 


Here is a redo where the Gap Cowl  turns into this scarf.  It's knit on chunky needles so it should be quick, but it's boring to knit. Hence, it sits waiting for a good movie to knit through.


Last up for me is a hat and mitten set which is almost done.  the only problem is I don't like the hat (too loose of weave) and I wish that the mittens were lined.  I'm guessing I will start from scratch on this project.  
Any suggestions?

Two small and four large knitting projects just for me.  I knit about 1 - 2 sweaters for myself a year (although some get frogged as I'm picky) so I have at least 2 years of knitting here too.

Next up is my mother Jean.  I knit her a sweater for the first time last summer as all of her sweaters decided to up and die at the same time. I knit it out of Jamieson's Shetland as I wanted it to last forever and I'm Scots and have a yarn bias (there I've said it and now you know.)  I am going to try and knit her another Shetland sweater this year using this Elizabeth Zimmerman pattern.

Here is the leftover yarn from the Blathin Sweater I knit her last year and some 100% angora yarn I spun myself.  The idea is to make angora lined mittens as angora is super warm and the Shetland wool is super durable.  I'm going to try and copy the flower pattern from the sweater too so she'll be matchy matchy which she likes a lot (hmm we must be related.)

I knit Dan a buttoned down tweedy professor like vest out of this Knit Picks yarn and here is what was left over.  I plan to knit mom this beret styled hat from it.

All in all one big project and four little projects (don't forget about the Madelinetosh socks) for mom.  I'm guessing this will get me a little bit over a year as she has 3 holidays where I give her gifts (add in Monther's Day to the usual two.) and I just like making little somethings for my mom 
(she gushes and who doesn't love that?)

For the house I just have a couple of projects.  This 10 Stitch Afghan by Frankie Brown has been sitting for a while and gets knit on when I'm cold because I can cover my lap with it as I knit.  It's pretty close to the finish line though with only 2 new skeins to go.

I think this project is super cute.  I bought the alpaca sport weight yarn a year and a half ago intending to knit these coasters for a friend, but I had trouble with the yarn.  I knit hers from some thick cotton yarn I had on hand instead and completed them easily.  Now that I found this yarn again I don't know what my problem with it even was.  They do take forever being double knit, but are so pleasing when finished!   
I will make 6 coasters and 3 small trivets from this pile.

Now, we get into the un-dyed yarn.  Yes, you heard me right un-dyed yarn.  As if I needed more steps in the knitting process.  My plan was to plant dye the yarn myself to sell in my Etsy shop Simply Playing.  I hoped to take over dyeing the yarn I use for my knitted toys instead of purchasing it from the fabulous Judy of Mamajude.  Well, let's just say there is quite a learning curve to plant dyeing so that probably won't happen.  I might just sell this bunch, but I'm still on the fence.

Here is a large lot of indigo dyed yarn.  I did it myself.  It was fun, intense and sadly still not over as it all the yarn needs to be rinsed more to get the residual indigo out.  I am knitting a felted yoga bag out of the bulky yarn and hope that the felting process will wash out the loose indigo dye so it doesn't mark up my yoga mat like it does to my hands while knitting.  If I can get the yarn to stop turning my hands blue I will probably give some skeins to friends and knit some into chemo hats.  None of the yarn is good enough to sell.  
Learning curve.

 This batch of yarn was dyed with Black Walnuts  (dyeing with them is a breeze) and one skein was dyed with Annatto seeds (which was ok, but I wasn't wild about the results.)  My guess is the worsted browns will become teddy bears for my shop and the sock yarn I might just knit into socks for my mom and me.

Well, that's the end of my stash and WIPs and if you made it this far into this post congratulations to you!  You must like me or be strangely pulled in to see how much fit into those tubs.  What I'm hoping to do next is check in with all you lovely people about once a month to see what if any progress is being made into emptying those bins and baskets.  I will also update you on how many days I have gone going "Cold Sheep".  If you have not heard the expression fear not I didn't know it either until I read it on another blog of a lovely lady who lives across the pond in England.  It's similar to going off drugs/alcohol or whatever your addiction is "Cold Turkey", but this is about not buying yarn, which comes from sheep, which is why we say "Cold Sheep".  My current day total of going Cold Sheep is a mere 36 days, but I'm hoping to stretch it to at least 1 year if not 2 or 3. 

Next up will be my fiber stash because sadly there is more obsession with wool than you can shake a stick at in my life.

Joining in with Tami for WIP Wednesday.


  1. That's a very fine collection, both of yarn and works in progress! I love the expression 'cold sheep' :D Good luck with it!

  2. Yes, I had to stop buying yarn AND fabric cuz the space available to me overflowed. In our small space (542 sq ft) we reach a maximum capacity and then we must go into Divest Ourselves mode until we can breathe again. I'm making and giving away quilts as fast as I can !~!