Tuesday, May 13, 2014

5KCBWDAY2 - Introducing Stash Match

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It's the second day of Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, and I am already veering off-piste. Apologies to Eskimimi whose well-thought-out topics are about to get re-interpreted/ignored! Rather than write a dating profile for an FO as per today's topic prompt, I'm using today's post to launch a series of posts I've been pondering for quite a while. You see, it's my stash that needs some love, not my FOs. Hence, Stash Match.

Stash Match: What it is
(I didn't intentionally steal the phrase from anyone else, though some quick googling yields it on a quilting blog. I hope she doesn't mind.)

Over the course of an undetermined number of blog posts, I will attempt to allocate all (or most) of my stashed yarn to patterns / ideas for future knitting. I reserve the right to change my mind about these stash-pattern matches, but having a concrete list rather than a nebulous cluster of vague thoughts will make me feel a lot more organised.

Why I am stash-matching

In theory, I prefer to buy yarn with a pattern in mind. For sweater quantities of yarn, this works quite well in practice. For single skeins of pretty sock yarn, not so much - rather than a specific pattern, I end up telling myself "This could be a shawl(ette). Or it could be socks." That is not untrue; however, it is also not helpful! I end up with lots of beautiful yarn not allocated to a project, and when I need something for a particular project, I just buy more - invariably, nothing in my stash at the time seems right.

I try not to let it bother me too much, since pretty yarn sitting in stash is pretty yarn, but I think I have hit the point where I need to go through it all and at least tentatively allocate yarn for specific projects. After all, I have an extensive queue and favourites list to draw from - surely there are some perfect yarn to pattern pairings just waiting to be recognised! I can always change my mind if something even more awesome comes along.

The Candidates 

Most of my stash is in the photo below. Not included are sweater quantities of yarn, most leftovers from other projects, and handspun. (I have some handspun, but I didn't spin any of it myself, so don't get excited). And anything else I couldn't find or forgot about.

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After much deliberation, I have grouped it into rough categories as follows:

Green: Too pretty for socks
Cyan: WTF yarn
Yellow: Destined for colourwork
Pink: Alpaca
Blue: Sock yarn
Orange: Laceweight

The Green section is the one that is taunting me the most right now. I have deemed these Too Pretty for Socks because from my perspective they are unsuitable for socks for at least one reason. Some of them aren't superwash, some of them are too delicate, and all of them are so beautifully dyed that I can't imagine hiding them in shoes.

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From top to bottom, it includes the following:
Malabrigo Sock (402 m)
SweetGeorgia Cashluxe Fine (365 m)
Natural Born Dyers BFL-Nylon High Twist Sock (370 m)
Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Bamboo 4-ply (366 m)
Old Maiden Aunt Superwash Merino 4ply (366 m)
Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (411 m)
Fyberspates Sheila's Sock (365 m)
Shibui Sock (175 m)

So there it is. Team Too Pretty for Socks is up first for stash-matching. After blog week, I will be back with a post talking about the matches and how I came up with them. In the meantime, let me know if you have any brilliant ideas for the above yarn. Do you need to do a stash match, or is your stash already perfectly allocated to patterns/projects?

Monday, May 12, 2014

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week, Day 1: A Day in the Life

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Describe a day in the life of a project that you have made, or are in the process of making.

Sunday, 11 May 2014 - 9:30 am
The knitter awakes, goes through her morning ablutions, and emerges. The Dragonflies sweater in progress is resting on a chair in the living room. The knitter ignores the project and proceeds to eat breakfast and drink a cup of tea.

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10:30 am
The knitter appears to decide to get some knitting in before going to work. Upon picking up the project, sitting down, and working a few stitches, the knitter realises that she is nearing the end of the ball of yarn. Lacking the motivation to wind the next skein into a ball, the knitter puts the project down again and reads her book instead until it is time for work.

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The knitter leaves to go to work. As far as anyone can observe, the project spends the day inactive; perhaps it is plotting and waiting quietly before making its next move.

6:00 pm
The knitter returns from work, starving. She spends some time preparing and eating supper. The project is still stationed on the living room chair, having apparently not moved the entire afternoon.

7:30 pm
The knitter decides to wind a new ball of yarn to facilitate working on the project, using a primitive set-up involving two kitchen chairs.

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7:45 pm
The knitter gets bored of winding and goes to play on the internet, continuing to ignore the project which remains on the chair, looking a bit lonely.

9:00 pm
The knitter finally finishes winding the yarn, which doesn't actually take that long once she gets going. She attaches it to the end of the old yarn with a spit-splice (but uses soap and water rather than spit, since she finds it works better) and sits down to knit.

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The project has been dormant all day but finally achieves a small measure of progress before it is time for bed.