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I have been going through my yarn, and there is some that I don’t think I will ever use. Surely it is wrong and poor economy to hold on to such yarn in case I need it — especially as there is some possibility that one day I will need to pay to live in a larger place to store my yarn. I don’t even buy food in bulk because everything goes bad before the two of us can eat it, and even if it doesn’t it is never fresh anymore.

There is a limited amount I can knit, and I like fresh yarn.

I think the source of my yarn hoarding is that when I learned to knit I was so poor, and I never had enough money to buy yarn: I actually went through periods with nothing to knit. But now I am like one of those people who lived through the Depression and and hoards pencil stubs

Some of the yarn I am getting rid of I am pretty sure no one wants, so it is going to the thrift store. i am not offering it to you, because you can always go to your own thrift store and get something equivalent. There are no treasures in this lot: it is the fibre equivalent of mystery meat.

I do however have some rather nice yarn that I don’t think I will ever use. This is Noro Silver Thaw, colour 1, colour lot B, 50% wool, 25% angora, and 25% nylon, 110m (120 yards) / 50g:

silverthaw-21

There are nine untouched balls and one that I knit a swatch with and then unraveled (see the last picture).

silverthaw-3

silverthaw-1

I listed them in my Etsy shop, but they sold almost immediately.

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Susan Gibbs has finished her draw for her stash, so if you bought tickets, head on over and check.

I didn’t win, but that’s okay I don’t really need more yarn anyway and it sounds like the mounts raised are substantial.  She raised $10,380, when she needed $5000 to cover the costs of the wheelchair.

Congratulations Susan! You must be so happy your efforts are so successful.

Susan Gibbs over at Martha’s Vineyard Fiber Farm is raffling off her entire stash to help her uncle buy a special wheelchair (for full details see here). Besides being very generous, this seems like it is too targeted at my demographic* to pass up, though where I would personally put it all I am not sure.

This raises all sorts of musings for me, the main one being: imagine having a stash that was actually full of yarn other people would want? I would definitely have to cherry pick my stash, or no one in his or her right mind would thank me.

Good luck to all the entrants.

*fibre obsessed people

I was so horrified in January when I took all my stash out and looked at it in one place, and I decided I would do something about it. I bought one more tote to put it in, and separated the yarn into three containers: warm, cool, and neutral shades. The lids even almost closed properly. Then I knit Lyra’s coat (the pattern for which I will rationalize one of these days: if any of you actually want to knit it, please let me know so I will do it faster for you), and it used — well, more yarn than you can shake a stick at.

I thought I was almost home free: I had space in the totes, and I was so proud of myself, but I find I have lapsed into my old ways. I cleaned up my knitting basket yesterday, which was threatening to take over the living room floor (again), and I found that there was all this yarn I have bought on my various trips to other cities and yarn stores. It represented so many ideas and whims, but I find I cannot make things as fast as I can think them up. I suppose when/if I ever start making more money with my designs I could get contract knitters to whip up all my ideas — that makes me so jealous of the big designers — they have people to do the knitting for the projects they can’t get to.

I don’t have any room in the totes anymore, and I don’t have space in the closet for any more totes, so I am reduced to putting the yarn in question into my suitcase:

It’s all just so pretty and precious, and I want it out all the time so I can commune with it, but I live with someone else and feel it is wrong to monopolize the floor any further.

My feelings of guilt/horror/shame were not dissipated when Jon came into the living room and took one look at the yarn, unfinished objects, and other fibre paraphernalia and said: “so I am not judging you, but how much money is represented by this stuff? $300, $400?.” I was overcome by a little sinking feeling as I did a few rough calculations in my head, and just had to nod: “yes, something like that.” But now the contents of the basket are contained by the basket, and I will not do that anymore (until next time).

(I will be very annoyed with myself again the next time I have to go on a trip.)

I just got these beauties from Milkyrobot:

milkyrobotyarn-2.jpg

I figure you need to cut yarn like this, especially if you are buying it from someone else, as it would just be too expensive otherwise, though I do want one of these really badly.

milkyrobotyarn-1.jpg

I have special plans for one of them (the one is as yet unidentified).

I thought the pink one was more red from the photos, so now I am considering cutting it with grey instead of red (I have also greatly reduced my red yarn stash, but my grey is undiminished).

Glenda will be calling me within the next few weeks when my drop spindle comes in.

Pockets

Of course pockets in all knitting projects are optional and the original didn’t have any, but I have more or less dispensed with accurately recreating the sweater exactly (though this pattern could easily be done that way), I also love walking with my hands in my pockets, so mine will have some.

Work your sweater in garter stitch until you get to the part where pockets should be. I suggest trying it on (if you are anything at all like me this will be just the next in a succession in many tryings on) and figuring out where you want pockets.

At this point my sweater looks like this (click to see full size):

lyras-coat-at-pockets.jpg

I am also adding a few stitches for hip shaping here, which is also optional and will depend on the body shape of the person who will wear it. I have already added 2 stitches in one row and will add 2 more a little later, this will add about 2 inches. I chose to do this staggered, so it wouldn’t suddenly bulge – I spend quite a bit of mental energy in clothing selection trying to make my hips not look like they bulge.

The next step is to figure out how wide you want your pockets. I figure I want mine about 6 inches (18cm) wide. Change the width of the pocket to align with the size of the sweater you are making and/or your preferences: smaller sweater = smaller pocket and vice versa.

The next step is to go back and work how wide each front side was. Then I suggest taking the number of stitches on each front side, subtracting the number of stitches to make your pocket the size you want, and dividing the remaining number by 2 and placing your pocket that many stitches from the edge.

Now you know how wide your pocket will be and where to put it, on the next right side row (so the garter pattern will work better) work as many stitches as will be the edge of your pocket, take as many stitches as make your pocket and put them on waste yarn or a stitch holder, CO as many stitches as will make your pocket (I suggest backward loop cast in this situation), work until you are the number of stitches between your pocket and the edge plus the number of stitches for your pocket and repeat the process with the holder and the cast on. Work to end, turn and work as usual.

I plan to work the pockets at the end with one strand of whatever yarn I have left so it will not be too bulky. I will K1, yarn over, K1, yarn over . . . , so the difference in gauge will not be such a problem, and in the next row I will knit through back loop, so there will not be holes from the yarn overs. I will post about this too, but I am outlining it now in case you want to change order of knitting or get ahead of me.

My version

My two fronts are 19 sts each. My gauge is 7 sts /4 inches (10cm).

(6 inches (15cm) for each pocket) x (7 sts / 4 inches (10cm) gauge) = 10.5 sts (say 11 sts) for pocket

(19 sts / front) – (11 sts for pocket) = 8 sts / 2 = 4 sts from edge

Knitting of course is amenable to fudging and now I see that I don’t like the distance from the edge that my calculations came up with, so am am changing it to 6 sts from edge.

So I need to K6, put 11 sts on holder, CO11, K to 16 sts from end, put 11 sts on holder, CO11, work to end. In the next row I work in garter stitch as usual.

This is about what it should look like at this stage:

pockets.jpg

Pockets

Of course pockets in all knitting projects are optional and the original didn’t have any, but I have more or less dispensed with accurately recreating the sweater exactly (though this pattern could easily be done that way), I also love walking with my hands in my pockets, so mine will have some.

Work your sweater in garter stitch until you get to the part where pockets should be. I suggest trying it on (if you are anything at all like me this will be just the next in a succession in many tryings on) and figuring out where you want pockets.

At this point my sweater looks like this (click to see full size):

lyras-coat-at-pockets.jpg

I am also adding a few stitches for hip shaping here, which is also optional and will depend on the body shape of the person who will wear it. I have already added 2 stitches in one row and will add 2 more a little later, this will add about 2 inches. I chose to do this staggered, so it wouldn’t suddenly bulge – I spend quite a bit of mental energy in clothing selection trying to make my hips not look like they bulge.

The next step is to figure out how wide you want your pockets. I figure I want mine about 6 inches (18cm) wide. Change the width of the pocket to align with the size of the sweater you are making and/or your preferences: smaller sweater = smaller pocket and vice versa.

The next step is to go back and work how wide each front side was. Then I suggest taking the number of stitches on each front side, subtracting the number of stitches to make your pocket the size you want, and dividing the remaining number by 2 and placing your pocket that many stitches from the edge.

Now you know how wide your pocket will be and where to put it, on the next right side row (so the garter pattern will work better) work as many stitches as will be the edge of your pocket, take as many stitches as make your pocket and put them on waste yarn or a stitch holder, CO as many stitches as will make your pocket (I suggest backward loop cast in this situation), work until you are the number of stitches between your pocket and the edge plus the number of stitches for your pocket and repeat the process with the holder and the cast on. Work to end, turn and work as usual.

I plan to work the pockets at the end with one strand of whatever yarn I have left so it will not be too bulky. I will K1, yarn over, K1, yarn over . . . , so the difference in gauge will not be such a problem, and in the next row I will knit through back loop, so there will not be holes from the yarn overs. I will post about this too, but I am outlining it now in case you want to change order of knitting or get ahead of me.

My version

My two fronts are 19 sts each. My gauge is 7 sts /4 inches (10cm).

(6 inches (15cm) for each pocket) x (7 sts / 4 inches (10cm) gauge) = 10.5 sts (say 11 sts) for pocket

(19 sts / front) – (11 sts for pocket) = 8 sts / 2 = 4 sts from edge

Knitting of course is amenable to fudging and now I see that I don’t like the distance from the edge that my calculations came up with, so am am changing it to 6 sts from edge.

So I need to K6, put 11 sts on holder, CO11, K to 16 sts from end, put 11 sts on holder, CO11, work to end. In the next row I work in garter stitch as usual.

This is about what it should look like at this stage:

pockets.jpg

closeup1

I just can’t tell you how fun this project is.

I notice that so many bloggers I have been watching (e.g. Knit and tonic) seem to be destashing, and while it does seem like selling yarn is kind of spreading the love, a lot of what I have will not likely be wanted by anyone, and this project uses so much yarn and it is so pretty.

Okay, so I like garish colours and if I could wear red all the time without seeming odd (well, odder than I already do), I just might, except that I like other colours too. Look at this red:

CloseUp2

All it came from is this:

lyrascoat-yarn2.jpg

And that picture looks much better than the mess of yarn in my living room, from whence the knitting came.

I feel like an alchemist, that I have created a singularity in space-time and reversed the force of entropy and am creating pure order out of chaos. Ponder this:

Closeup3

You could do this with yarn from your grandmothers attic or the thrift store, any old thing. That’s why I can’t bear the thought of buying yarn for this project, however pretty it may be, and though you wouldn’t need to wash the mustiness out of it before you wore it.

I made this cushion last weekend:

crochetpillow.jpg

The motifs are from a Norah Gaughan Hemp Flower Necklace from Interweave Crochet, Summer 2005, and the fabric is corduroy for a skirt that never materialized.

I had this rug yarn from my granny, and I thought maybe I could make an area rug out of it with motifs, but there was not enough and it seemed like a tripping hazard, so it sat and sat, and then I had the idea, so now I have this nice new floor cushion.

crochetpillow2.jpg

I am so pleased with myself – I used only materials I already had. This may just mean my stash has reached critical mass.

Some of my stash

I recently took out all of my stash to judge if I had enough yarn for a particular project (Lyra’s garter stitch coat from the Golden Compass, see here to see how that worked out). It is now covering my entire dining room table, all the chairs and part of the floor.

How did this happen to me? I can’t believe how much yarn I have, when did I get it all? Was I there? Did I agree to this? Will my renter’s insurance cover thousands of dollars in knitting supplies?

October 2017
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