Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Time of Reckoning

I'm moving in about a month, and all I can think about is: where am I going to put my stash in the new place? It's an issue, because the new place is only about two-thirds the size of the old place (but with a washer/dryer and dishwasher, so very much worth it). This, of course, leads to the usual question of "How do I turn all this stash into useful stuff, like clothes and gifts?"

And that, dear reader, led to a very useful review of What's In the Stash.

Disclaimer: I started my DIY life with virtually no stash. My grandmother gave me just enough of her stash that if I wanted to try out a new stitch pattern (or, in the case of crochet, a whole new craft), I could do it, but not have much more of any given colour than was enough for a few inches of fabric. That was fine — it encouraged me to experiment without going for the grand plunge of a whole new project to work on.

Then I inherited my grandmother's stash, plus the stash of a friend of the family who gave up knitting due to her arthritis. I also started earning a reasonable income. The consequence is that I have a crazy amount of odd balls of yarn, mostly in acrylic, and absolutely no compunction to give them up. When I mention it, people always tell me to give it to charity. They don't get that I don't want to give it to charity. I will buy new yarn and give it to charity, no problem. But this is my inherited stash, and what I'm really interested in is in turning it into cool-looking clothing that doesn't look like I made it from stash.

Not everything is in odd balls. Some yarn I have enough of to make a solid-colour sweater. Other yarn I have enough of to be a main colour with contrast colours either gathered from the stash or bought new to supplement. I love Sally Melville's adage that, "It takes a little cash to use up a whole lot of stash!".

To that end, I'm currently crocheting a wool cardigan from Teva Durham's Loop-d-loop Crochet book (the one I'm making is the one with the Irish crochet medallions on the front). The main colour is stash; I bought the contrasting colours. It's all in Mission Falls wool, so it all goes together nicely. I'll post photos here when enough of it is done.

It's also a good time to recycle ideas I had for things that didn't work out in previous stash-reduction exercises. A couple of years ago I tried making a woven-look tailored jacket out of the Golden Hands/Creative Hands set I have from the early 1970s, and while the fabric looked great, it became rather obvious I was going to run out of yarn. Now I've discovered other yarn, in a different colour and in greater quantity, and I'm thinking it's time to resurrect that idea.

Plus, the opportunity to try the really "grand" projects that would be prohibitively expensive to buy as a single project, like those wonderful knee-length Kaffe Fassett coats. Sure, you're supposed to make them out of luxurious Rowan and other yarns, but even acrylic starts to look nice when you combine enough colours.

As scary as the yarn packing is going to be, this could be a lot of fun. If only I had time to both knit and pack....

2 comments:

  1. You're moving?! Are you leaving the Beach?

    I have an old (70's?) pattern for a mohair jacket. I actually remember my mother's friend making it for her. It was her "coat of many colours" and was perfect for camping. When I inherited that stash there was a ton of that same mohair...perhaps it's time to make a coat of my own?

    Let me know if you'd like the pattern - I'll scan and email it for you.

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  2. I can understand being attached to the stash you inherited. You'll come up with some cool things, you always do!

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