Stash & Pain


It turns out one of the 7 deadly sins a hand-knit designer can commit is to design with discontinued yarn and it turns out I do this often.  I have only been designing hand-knit patterns for about a year, so I give myself a little leeway with the mistakes, but I have used discontinued yarn for at least 4 of the patterns I published this year.

I was reminded that I should do something about this sorry state of affairs as I was  listening the latest episode of  Hannah Fettig was all about the stash and her superb new Knitbot app and I was chivied into action to do something about my own.  So this morning, the only thing to do was an airing of the stash, ala Brenda Dayne.

So I tipped all the bins out and started sorting.

ELK stash before


Compared to some, I realize this is small fry.  But for me, the issue of stash guilt is bizarrely real.  It drives me nuts to have all this lovely stuff, some of it for many years, and not have enough time or hands to make it All the Things.

I began the good work of sorting through what was truly loved and in significant enough quantites to design patterns.

the real ELK stash

In other words, the real stash.  There is something inherently beautiful and useful in each of these yarns.  There is luxurious Quince and Co., Heritage silk Cascade, but also a sweater quantity of Drops Alpaca and cascade 220. It all speaks to me somehow.  And none of it has been discontinued.  Yet.

So now I have this lovely little selection and want to know how to avoid putting this all back into a dark and unseen cupboard?  What are your stash display strategies??

Then there are the odds and ends.  Some beautiful, some cheap and cheerful.  I imagine in the near future I will be very organised and run knit-alongs with every new pattern I publish.  These will be some of the yarns that will go into goody bags and be the kind of random thing I could give to someone else to make something wonderful.

Give away ELK stash

Then we have the random swatching yarns, things I couldn’t quite get rid of, such as left over bits from projects that I loved.  These have gone back into the plastic bins…ELK Swatching stash

Which just leaves me with the last group.  The banished yarns. The full balls will go to Wild and Woolly‘s super Stash Depot.  So no problem there.  The other, much larger bag to the left, though, is a problem for me.

Stash to deport It doesn’t look so large in the pic, but it is around 5-10 kilos of odds and sods. Full balls without ID.  Many partial skeins and balls, even parts of garments.  The obvious answer is to just throw it away.  But this kills a little bit of my wish-I-was-an-eco-warrior soul.  I had a look on Ravelry, and none of the yarn collecting groups seemed particularly current, or nearby.  I am happy to send it/take it somewhere in the UK, but postage elsewhere would be too pricy.  I am open to suggestions.  If you know of any art projects/people who do amazing things with old yarn, please let me know!!

Happy knitting,