Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Lot of Yarn . . .

We are in the Dog Days of Summer here in the Midwest - heading toward the fall, which is my favorite time of year.  Labor Day always feels like the New Year to me and so I'm thinking about finishing things up and tidying things up and just generally getting ready for the "new year."

Two comments in the past couple of days have me thinking about my yarn and fiber stashes in particular.  On Monday, my friend, Knitterary, reminded me of our handshake deal at a Stitches Midwest in 2011, I think - might have been 2010, though.  We agreed that we weren't going to buy any more yarn, that we had enough.  There were certain dispensations, of course - for me, the standard dispensation was vacation yarn (I was traveling a lot at the time). That little handshake in the lobby of the Renaissance Hotel was the start of my quest to get a handle on my stash.

I am one of the three Friendly Moderators of a group on Ravelry called Year of Stash Socks.  We put it together as a way for us to create a sort of self-imposed sock club and had no idea that it would become quite a popular group.  We've branched out over the years and we even took a break for six months, thinking we were done, but we rebooted the group in July 2014 and have been tootling along since then, knitting all sorts of stuff.  A lot of yarn - sock and otherwise - has been knitted up in that group since 2011.

Following on from Knitterary's and my handshake, the other Friendly Mods and I came up with an idea we called Slash and Smash Your Stash.  It was a year-long challenge to reduce our respective yarn stashes.  It was quite productive for me, particularly so since I had discovered that my stash was substantially larger than either of the other Friendly Mods.  We started with a 58-member team and ended with 27 members who stayed the whole course.  I started 2012 with 369,665.1 yards of yarn, which translated to 210.0 miles.  I ended the year with 247,620 yards, or 140.7 miles.  I tried again in 2014 with my "Year with my Yarn" personal challenge.   I didn't calculate yardage, but at that time I had sweater quantities of yarn enough for 20 sweaters . . .  I didn't get very far with it and I still have quite a bit of yarn, even with the destash I have going on currently.

Then, yesterday a chance comment about Slash and Smash Your Stash made by my friend, Tammy, The Proverbial Knitter, got me thinking about my stash again . . .  I did a quick calculation and I provisionally have less than I did at the end of 2012, which feels good to me.  I believe I currently have approximately 176,000 yards or 100 miles of yarn.  That's down 70,400 yards or 40 miles of yarn since the end of 2012.  I say provisionally, because I'm not sure everything is cataloged in Ravelry at the moment, and please feel free to check my math because I'm not known for my mathematical prowess  ;-)

And so, I'm going to spend part of my upcoming weekend taking a thorough inventory of my yarn again and making sure everything is photographed and in Ravelry.  Once that's done, I'll be able to figure out what I actually have.  I may even be able to add a little more to my current destash. :-)

Something else has been on my mind of late, too - over the past few years I have fallen into a very bad habit of starting things and not finishing them.  This is not just limited to knitting projects - I cannot tell you the number of books I've started and not finished and am going to have to start again because it's been so long since I got sidetracked that I have no idea what the books were about. :-D  I laugh, but that's not really funny at all.  It's bothersome.

As you can see, I have, of late, made some good progress on the "to read" shelves, so far reading books that have been sitting there waiting for my attention for a very long time - some of them even have Borders labels on them . . . Borders ceased operations in mid-2011 . . . yeah . . . Some of these haven't been cracked, and some were started.  And geez, I bought Breath of Snow and Ashes at the Borders on State Street on the day it came out . . . in 2005 and it's still sitting here. I guess that means that I'm four books behind in the Outlander series.  Oh well.

I have 14 16 WIPs (a WIP is a Work In Progress).  Three of these are sweaters, and four others are projects that were completed earlier this year but couldn't be blocked because construction was ongoing at that time.  I don't consider a project completed until it's blocked (unless it's socks - I don't block socks). That 14 number changed - off of the top of my head it was 14.  When I actually counted, well . . .

You're going to prolly want to click to biggify that.  I did number them all . . .
  1. Rock the Kasbah - just needs to be blocked.
  2. HPKY Stole - just needs to be blocked
  3. Hume - just needs to be blocked
  4. Upstairs Downstairs Cowl - just needs to be blocked
  5. Wild Goose Shawlette - current project - in progress, about 50% completed
  6. A plain vanilla sock in  Fiesta Baby Boom - part of the first sock - probably been on the needles for at least four years because I got this yarn probably 7 years ago from The Loopy Ewe and I have no idea where the second skein of yarn is.
  7. One plain vanilla sock in JWrayco Sunflowers on the Beach - I made the cuff and heel in my favorite colorway of theirs that I shrank.  I have no idea where the last of it is, which leads me to believe that this is probably going to get either frogged, or tossed if I can't find that multi to use on the second sock.  At least three years old.
  8. The Big Easy Gansey - started in October 2014 after getting the pattern at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago.
  9. Fine Sand - cast on in June  2015
  10. Quick Sand - cast on in July 2015 - this is the same pattern as Fine Sand, just in a heavier weight yarn.
  11. Fly Away Home - cast on and finished the first sock in two weeks, July 2014 - first YOSS sock of the reboot, and then I must have gotten distracted and never cast on the second sock.
  12. Dear Mam - Mystery KAL - just cast on in July 2015.  Extremely intricate - I really have to pay attention and I had to restart the cuff four times before I got it right and I still missed one YO.  It's a design feature now  ;-)
  13. Rhiannon - cast on in 2013 when I was still preparing for piping competition in 2014.  It's still sitting here and I'm not piping at the moment.
  14. Hello Sweetie Cowl - Cast on in July - I just need to finish the duplicate stitch design and then block it.
  15. Elementary Watson - Cast on in October 2014.  May frog these - very disappointing knit.  The pattern is wonderful, but I think I picked the wrong yarn.  It just doesn't show up.  These would be much better in something like STR.  The Miss Babs Windsor Sock yarn seems fuzzy somehow.  I'm on the fence here - Frog or Finish?  Not sure.
  16. Holidazed - cast on in December 2014.  My YOSS socks for December.
I also have a WIP-to-be, because I just got yarn to my my cousin's little girl a Canyon Cowl.  It's very bulky yarn and I think it will be a very quick knit.  I couldn't really say no on this one - she bought the pattern and it is cute - plus it's knit rather than the crochet stuff I usually get asked to "knit." ;-)  I haven't actually started it, though, so I didn't include it.  It's my hope that it will done and dusted in an afternoon.

No matter how you slice it, clearly I have my work cut out for me.  This is crazy.  You would think I'd have learned my lesson with stuff like this after my St. Brigid sweater - that KAL started with my knitting group in February 2009 . . . I had to frog and restart with the smaller size, and then I got sidetracked . . . the next time I mentioned it here on the blog was in December 2012.  It still wasn't done.  I picked it back up in January 2013 with the intent to knit solely on it until it was done - which I did - and it was done on March 26, 2013.  Oh, and I have some fiber that's only partially spun, so there are WIPs there, too - but for now, I'm just going to concentrate on the knitting.

Apparently I have not learned my lesson.  16 WIPs is not only ridiculous, it's disturbing.  It's time to either finish stuff or frog it.  Too much energy is tied up in these projects.  Energy I need for other things. . . .


Theresa said...

Looks as though it's time for a blocking party! That will knock four items off your list right away. That's better, right? :)


Linda said...

My knitting bag contains two shawlettes and one pair of socks that are just waiting for me to weave in the ends. Really. The shawlettes are even blocked, which is something I had put off for a long time, but completed back in the late winter/spring. I keep bringing these things to knitting group every week and never working on them. I have no idea what my mental block is around these things!

I also have a big bin of sock yarn sitting in the guest room that I need to go through to confirm what is documented on Ravelry. I'm not sure if I'll get around to it this weekend or not, though. Maybe so, since it is supposed to be in the 90s here over the weekend and I'll likely be either hunkering down in the A/C or running away to the cooler weather along the coast. (As if I need another reason to run to one of the beautiful beaches out here!)