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Boxing Day Comes Early

Ugh, the stash. It's funny how much I love/loved each individual item in the stash, but collectively, I hate 'em ... which is incidentally often the way I feel about children and Netflix dramas: each one's wonderful, but a bit overwhelming four or five or more at a time.

This week I tackled the stash. My goal was to make it less hidden (i.e. currently all my yarn is dumped in large Japanese fabric boxes, albeit mostly-but-not-entirely sorted by weight) and more useful. I tromped to the local dollar store and found a paradise of clear plastic boxes, ranging from shoe box size ($2) to small lunch box size ($1, but sold in packs of three), and I walked out of there with as many as my arms could carry, ready to relocate the stash.

I'm not yet finished (so can't quite pat myself on the back, not just yet), but I'm made some wonderful headway.

  1. I took the cast-on projects and moved them to their own plastic box, with the pattern (if printed out) included, or at least the name of it scribbled on a slip of paper and dropped on top). Now, when I finish a more urgent project (Christmas is coming, and I'm racing to complete presents) I can reach for a box, and it'll have the pattern (probably), the yarn, a semi-completed sock (probably, or scarf, or mitt), and the needles, all together, ready to begin again. Fun! The only semi-completed projects to escape are the ones I am working on every day, who simply hang out on the furniture near my knitting corner.

  2. I took leftover bits of balls (worsted, aran, if the colour worked just a few bulky for contrast, and likely an accidental DK or two) and made a Magic Ball* with them. I had quite a bit of red, blue, blueish, reddish, grey, cream, and whitish yarns, and they're going to go together beautifully.

  3. I took non-cast-on projects (which, at this point, are just balls of yarn), and if they were still in skein form I wound them on my ball winder and popped the balls of each project together in their own plastic box, with the pattern name on a slip of paper. When I want to start an exciting new project (rather than complete an old one), I can reach for this pile of boxes. Most (not quite all) of my yarn is actually assigned a hypothetical, subject-to-change project, and I've kept track in an excel spreadsheet. Before I commit, I double-check on Ravelry that nothing newer and more exciting has arrived, but in the meantime I do have a plan for my yarn.

  4. So all that's left will be a few random skeins/balls of undesignated yarn. I'll quickly find projects/patterns for them, and pop 'em in their own box. In no time at all my entire stash will be organized and visible.

  5. I'll keep a few balls of undesignated yarn (especially if I like the yarn) and then decide if I want to grow that particular yarn (i.e. order/buy more of it so I can actually make a vest and not just a hat). Otherwise single balls (of worsted) can just rest in a "doomed to be a hat" box, and single balls of sock yarn can remain in a "destined to be socks" box.

  6. Anything remaining, out-it-shall-go.

I feel so virtuous!

Term of the Day

"Yarn Chicken" ... when you foolishly begin something (an entire project, a row, a section of intarsia) while knowing there's a good chance you won't have enough yarn to complete, i.e. you're in a race again the yarn-running-out and you hope you win.

This could be on a grand scale (i.e. embarking on a sweater while you supposedly have the right amount of yarn but no extra) or a small scale (embarking on round 99 of the Sophie's Universe blanket with part of the necessary coloured ball left, such that you run out a mere 7 double-crochets from the end of the round, as happened to me this week, forcing you to order more yarn (or rip it out and redo in a different more plentiful colour)).

For more about the actual game of "chicken" (which gives Yarn chicken its name), see here which explains it all.

On the Needles (and actively being worked on):

  • Sophie's Universe crochet project #2 (Part 4: Round 31)

  • Sophie's Universe crochet project #1 (Part 14: Round 99, and I've lost at yarn chicken again.)

  • Sea Grass Scarf by Janina Kallio (for my niece, in shades of grey to go with everything. I'm in part four, second set of stripes, and I've learned how to read my lace knitting, sort of).

  • GGN Norwegian Ski Sweater (finished the torso, currently well above the cuffs of Arms One and Two (I'm knitting both at once--but on separate needles, I'm not that clever yet))

  • a linen dishcloth, Eloominator's Diagonal Knit dishcloth by Jana Trent. I'm in the decrease section!

  • Persian Dreams Blanket (finally cast-on the fifth hexagon)


*Magic Ball = just tying one leftover bit of yarn to another, rolling it up, etc. Keep for a project that this suits, e.g. knitting a scarf lengthwise, which will end up with somewhat random stripes vertically. The results can be quite lovely, as here with the Paula Emons-Fuessle's Magic Cake Ruffle Shawl.

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