Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Project Stashbust begins

IMG_9527Lately it seems a lot of my conversations with friends return to the idea of “enough.” This is hardly unique… it’s in the air right now. There are some really interesting bloggers writing about using what you have, squelching the knee-jerk impulse to acquire more for every project one desires, and exploring creativity within the limits of resources at hand. Since my yarn stash sometimes threatens to overflow its boundaries in various bins and cabinets, I am happy to join this movement. Or re-join it, as it were. I did a pretty good job back in 2013 when I joined the Stash & Burn “Use it or lose it” project, in which we made 13 things from stash in 2013.

To this end, I’ve been matching up some of my yarn with projects so they are easy to grab and go when I need a new one. I’ve been making an effort to assign some of my older yarn to projects… especially yarns I’ve been hoarding because it is so precious. If you see the tag “stashbust” in my Ravelry queue or favorites, that is what it’s about. In addition to knitting some of my older stash, I am making a concerted effort to find projects for my handspun skeins. Suggestions always welcome!

So… remember when I took a mitered square class at KDO last September? I had a vague idea that I’d start a long-term project knitting blanket squares from leftover sock yarn. And so I have. IMG_9530I’ve decided that it’s totally fine to knit the project in little pieces, because that will make it portable and I won’t have to have a solid plan for arranging blocks ahead of time. I took inspiration from this project in Ravelry (go look!). It has the color purple as a focus, so mine will be less unified in that way. Or maybe I will have so many squares that I can make two blankets with different palettes? It’s too soon to know.

Here’s how I make my squares: Using a 3.0 mm needle, CO 61 in black and knit back. Begin mitered pattern and work one more garter ridge in black before switching to CC. The mitered pattern has a double decrease on all RS rows (I’m using: slip 2 stitches purlwise, K next stitch, pass both slipped stitches over the K stitch). IMG_9528My finished squares weigh 8 grams each. When I’m done, I’ll have a lot of seaming to do… but the black edges of the squares will create a windowpane effect on their own. I’ll just add a border around the edge. (I did have to buy the black yarn to embark on this project…)

That’s it! Check back with me in a few years and maybe I’ll have another blanket.

Here’s another small stashbusting project I finished recently – a new hat for Boy 1.

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The yarn, Julia, is a 50/25/25 blend of wool/mohair/alpaca, and it’s very warm. I knit a hat from Julia a couple years ago, and Boy 1 modeled it for the photo. He commented then on how warm it was, and I’ve been meaning to make him a new winter hat with some of my Julia stash ever since. I showed him some of the hat patterns I’ve favorited in Ravelry and he immediately picked the Alewives hat. I showed him my Julia yarn and he immediately picked this cheerful green. So I cast on - immediately!

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The fabric is super textural and I love it. I did make some modifications, though. The pattern calls for 113 stitches to be cast on. I knew from experience with this yarn that it would be too big. After much study of the pattern (which is carefully charted), I decided to cast on 99. This gave me 98 stitches after the joining round. When I got to the chart for the hat body, I eliminated stitches 1 and 13 from the garter ridge panel, and 1, 14, 16, and 29 from the alewives panel. This make everything line up correctly when it was time to begin the crown decreases – I just started with row 3 of that chart. The finished hat weighs 102 grams and is very cozy. This slouchy look is new to Boy 1 – he calls it “poofy.”

I know I promised an update on the red sweater last time. Rain check? I’m working on the button band now!

3 comments:

Bonny said...

I really like how you have a definite plan for Project Stashbust. I think your idea to edge your squares in black is excellent and will make things so much easier when arranging and sewing together the squares. I've been whittling down my stash over the summer, but with your directions for squares, I may even start a long-term blanket with some of the leftovers I couldn't bear to part with. Thank you!

Steven said...

Argh -- I wish I had more leftover sock yarn. With my size feet, there's really a mitred square-worth's at the end of projects. But this is such a great idea. And to see all those sock knitting memories laid out in a big panel is going to be heart-warming.

Love Boy1's hat -- it looks great on him!

Kristen Eyssell said...

I really like that hat pattern! Good pairing with the Julia yarn. I, too, am on board with the stash burning.