Since being home in retirement, I see, touch, and feel my yarn collection much more than when I was working. In fact, I might even say I avoided looking at my yarn as it seemed to yearn for my attention. Yearning yarn of yesterday has become quite the playmate for today. Corny, but true. Sorting, organizing, thinking, wondering . . . this is what we knitters fill our minds with. I am finding these scrap remnants a fun challenge in how to incorporate them into patterns I love. Here are some recent attempts in three different ways:
Little bits of scrapsfor an otherwise solid sweater ~ In this collection, you can see that most of the sweater is solid but there is a little color detail somewhere in the sweater. This is a perfect moment to look at your remnant stash to see what colors you can utilize. In the bear sweater which is in bulky weight, I wanted bulky scraps of a Kodiac. In the fair isle collared jacket, I wanted worsted fair isle colors for the collar, and for the pink pullover, I wanted sport weight scraps. In all 3 cases, I was able to easily succeed causing me only to purchase the MC of the sweaters.
Longer yardage scraps ~ Larger scraps for whole blocks of color can make up the entire sweater. Coordinating a few colors and knitting large sections of a sweater then sewing it together makes for a great way to utilize stash as seen here.
Large areas of multi-color can use up stash as in these 3 examples. The first is using many fingering weight scraps, the middle project used sport weight scraps, and the last utilized many worsted weight scraps.
As I forge onward, I have these on the horizon:
By spilling out all my Rowan Scottish Tweed I have decided to put together just the brown and orchid for this gorgeous oversized lace sweater.
This past year, I have made a conscious effort to utilize the growing stash that is forming. I don’t mean the stash of yarn waiting to be worked on with particular projects in mind, I am meaning the remnants or leftovers of yarn from already completed projects. I call the first the stash and the latter, the remnant stash. To help me think how I could utilize these scraps, I have organized them into bins according to their weight.
I do not necessarily remember the weight of all the yarn I’ve used therefore I rely heavily on the yarn bands that is full of information about that yarn. I never throw those bands out! When I come across a pattern whereby I think I can use some scraps of a particular weight, I pour those balls of yarn out onto my work table and play. It is in this way that this fair isle coat came to be.
It began with wanting to knit my daughter a Christmas present. Not being a fan of surprises, I did not want to present my daughter a knitted garment she hadn’t seen. Having to start somewhere in the investigation of what to knit for her, we began with patterns I had saved over the years. Our tastes are different as are our lifestyles, so I did not think she would actually choose any one of these yet I did think these patterns would lend some inspiration. Well, I was wrong. The bear sweater by Tiny Owl Knits stopped her dead. In my queue for a few years, she fell in love with it and visualized hers to be in the colors that are seen in the pattern. I found a great visual to help with the face.
The knitting of it was quick and easy; sending it off to her was another matter. She promised me a photo shoot (one day, maybe) so these are the only pics I have of it now.
As space is the constant, I continue to ‘play’ with different configurations on how best to store my hand-knits and how best to organize the stash. Consequently, the look in the yarn room keeps changing as I now use one room and its closet for both. Questions I ask myself: How can I store my obsession without looking like a hoarder? How can I see my full stash when it is time for creating? How can I treat my hand-knits to the best care for longevity? Light in the room? And, so forth.
In drilling down for answers, I’ve been reading. Topics such as: How do you store hand-knits? Is there a special way to fold sweaters? What shelving and/or containers are best for breathability of natural fibers? I am asking these questions because my hand knits are my wardrobe. I am noticing that when I pull out a sweater I haven’t worn in a while, I am seeing fold marks. Do people steam out those fold marks? Is that healthy for the fibers? Is there a way to prevent what seems like permanent folds in a garment? You see, I can go on and on with questions like this.
Topic: Wardrobe Planning. YES, I plan my wardrobe! I never thought to write about it. This question of wardrobe planning came up in the blog world and I am only too happy to answer. In short, I believe wardrobe planning, like everything, takes a certain amount of self-control and focus. The process for me begins with retiring belongings, otherwise known as cleaning out or donating, for the obvious purpose of organizing but in a knitter’s case, this careful consideration informs [knitting] project choice. Ravelry acts as a record-keeping system. What does this mean?
It is typical to find me in my closet of hand knits when I am looking for something to wear. This past week was no different. I pulled out my lovely tri-color tunic I finished about six months, ago. I thought it would be the perfect layer for the weather and proceeded. With a casual, happy feeling I put on this garment, looked into a mirror, and thought, “hey, what happened?” I felt like I was swimming in it. Did you ever notice that when something doesn’t fit the way you want, it becomes highly distracting? I was uncomfortable to the point that I changed out of it knowing I needed to do some adjusting.