Rethinking the Stash

So, I’ve just finished my modified Georgetown–more on that later! And this is my 5th sweater for the year! Whoa. And it means I have worked through all of my sweater yarn stash, with the exception of some Brooklyn Tweed intended for a Flight sweater.

But even after all five sweaters in 2017, I still have a massive stash–mostly of sock yarn. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love my sock yarns and my minis, and my handspun. But, I am thinking that, really, I’m a sweater maker first, and THAT should dominate my stash. This presents two issues: it’s often hard to get sweater quantities of yarn on destash or even at yarn shops/shows. And, what’s a girl to do with all that sock yarn?

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Problem #1 Resolved: admit it, accept it. I’m a sweater knitter and I need sweater yarn in the old stash. To this end, I will get around to knitting Flight; I have ordered lanolin-rich yarn for Spencer’s cabled wonder sweater; and, while at Wisconsin Sheep and Wool, I picked out a sweater’s worth of Green Mountain Spinnery’s fingering weight yarn. Yum. One would think this would keep me busy for quite some time . . .  we shall see. Two of these sweaters would be knit with fingering weight yarn, and that does go quite a bit slower 🙂

Problem #2 Resolved: knit socks. Oh, and find *all* the patterns that will work with variegated sock yarns. My real dream is a sock yarn blanket. It’s in the works (i.e. in my head), and not in reality; but I do know that it’s one of my biggest desires. And not a scrap blanket, either . . . In the meantime, I’m working up a quick Linus Shawl of some Into the Whirled yarn, in part because no one fancied it for socks.

I know many of you are working on Fades of various kinds . . . not so much my thing (even though I love seeing them on you!) What else do you all knit with your variegated fingering weight yarns?

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This entry was posted in choices, Georgetown, knitting, sock yarn, socks, stash, sweater, unexpected, yarn. Bookmark the permalink.

28 Responses to Rethinking the Stash

  1. I don’t purchase variegated yarn on purpose. I have some, and it sits. I guess it might work for weaving, eor with two complimentary skeins. Or, held double and used for something. Or given as prizes. Are we talking Christmas fruit cake here?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I always knit simple socks with variegated yarn. Over, the weekend though I met someone wearing a fabulous top designed to be knitted in gradient yarn in sock weight. I don’t have any gradient yarn, but I do have some lovely skeins of mottled sock yarn in colours that would work well together so I’m going to make the lovely Sugar Maple asymmetric top out of some of it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I could see this with some of the more subdued skeins–some of the speckled, lighter colors. But, I don’t have too many of those! It’s these wild purples and reds and greens that I love in the skein, but oh so rarely consider (or used to not consider) as I was making a purchase! Thanks for the pattern reference!!

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      • The person I met had knitted it as a rainbow… sadly I don’t have the range of colours in my stash, but I do have some nice purples/teal/blues/greens that just might work… I’ll have to play around with them.

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  3. whatzitknitz says:

    I am trying to work through my stash and become a responsible yarn connoisseur.
    somehow a few variegated yarns have wandered into my stash while I wasn’t looking. these become warm socks because nobody sees them any way when they are in my winter boots. they also become toys because even ugly toys are loved.
    as far as the very pretty one of a kind skeins, I am thinking striped t-shirts.
    as I work through my stash I am replacing it with fiber and have been spinning sweater amounts, but I still end up with a few colors or very small amounts that I don’t know what to do with. the last sweater I finished used up a lot of those tiny sample skeins. I gathered up all the grayish blues, greens and purples and striped them into a finger weight cardigan. at times while knitting I thought that it bordered on awful and I would never wear it BUT it has become my go to sweater and worn almost every morning. It is not so precious that I worry about it so it goes into the garden and out in the boat for fishing. now it just needs some pockets to become perfect.

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a lovely idea! Many of my skeins are complementary colors, so perhaps some striping would do. And I love the idea of not being too concerned with the garment’s wear and tear–so many of our knits are almost too precious to put on!

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  4. Cheryl Dambrowski says:

    I have variegated but it tends to just sit. I like very long color runs. You are, indeed, a sweater knitter and each is just beautiful! I am spinning some gray for, hopefully, a sweater but I imagine I will be spinning for a long time just to get the quantity I need. Buying is probably best.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ahhh, you are attempting my holy grail: spinning for a sweater project! That is so exciting!! Sadly, I don’t think I yet have the willpower for that one. So, buying my sweater quantities is likely the way to go. Enjoy the process!!

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  5. metaspencer says:

    Those sweaters are piling up! All super nice

    Liked by 1 person

  6. madgeface says:

    Oh lort – a blanket out of sock yarn? Pick a stitch pattern that’s more interesting than stockinette; trust me on this, I speak from experience. Also, there are sweater patterns out there written for sock yarn. I made Mon gilet rayé (http://ravel.me/MadgeFace/aye0x) using 3 different sock yarns: 1 solid neutral, 2 kettle dyed (I think) shades of burgundy and pink. So that’s a possibility, too. Really, I think you can make just about anything you’d like with sock yarn (other than socks, I mean). I’ve used it for shawls & scarves, hats, fingerless mitts – and one very laborious baby blanket in stockinette.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This made me snort, just a little, Mandy! I know, blanket with sock yarn makes me cringe just a little bit, too. The held double or triple suggestion is a good one. Maybe that woudl work for some other project types as well . . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • madgeface says:

        Oh! I wasn’t suggesting holding the yarn doubled or tripled, I meant that the sweater I made is striped; it’s 2 rows of a dark neutral alternated with 2 rows of one of the variegated yarns – I used all of 1 and had to switch to the other to finish the sleeves. Striping a variegated with a neutral seems to highlight the variegated colors more and allows you to make something bigger with that 1 (or 2) precious skein. And I’m glad I made you snort a bit but I’m serious about that sock yarn blanket; I was so glad to be done with that thing & give it to my SIL for my nephew.

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  7. valejandra25 says:

    Hi! The subject of The Stash is really troubling for me right now. I’m also a sweater knitter and I have at the moment enough yarn for about 10 sweaters. They are all sweaters that I’m excited to do and this stash is a bit large but is not the part that gives me trouble. The part that weighs in my mind is the one containing old and unappealing yarn, and all the single skeins (mostly sock yarn) that have no defined project and that I think I will actually almost never use. I’m trying to define a scheme for me to work this down and out of the stash, and that includes being more careful with my future purchases.
    I’m going to the Berlin Knits yarn festival next week and I’ve been doing and re-doing my list for it almost daily. I don’t want to comeback with big amounts of yarn but going to a festival and not buying yarn is probably impossible.
    I’ll be really interested to see what options you come up with for all the variegated sock yarn. I think a blanket would be great, but maybe with yarn held double or triple.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree with you that future purchases are the key element here. I just read of a fellow knitter who lost her stash to a fire. So sad to hear! And it makes me think “use it or lose it” a little bit more . . . some destashing is certainly in order because I just can’t spin or knit *that* fast! Have fun, fun, fun at the festival!!!

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  8. salpal1 says:

    lol I was just going to suggest a fade sweater when I got to the end. Oh well. 🙂 I do knit and wear a lot of shawls, and one I am working on now uses two sock type yarns – in bright and variegated colors if you want – rainbow warrior shawl.

    Otherwise, I use that yarn for socks, harts, mitts and cowls.

    Good luck! And good for you getting an SQ at WS and W – I wanted to, I tried to, I could not focus enough to do it. So I mostly got sock yarn, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. AJ says:

    I love knitting sweaters best too, though I still do plenty of other things:) I don’t know if you know about this book but there is a One Skein Wonder book using only sock yarn that does more than just socks with it. It’s a great book and I’ve used up a lot of my stash with it:)
    By the way, all your sweaters are gorgeous! They make me want to cast on a sweater right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Alina says:

    So much sweater goodness! Love how your handknit sweater wardrobe is growing – it must feel amazing to look at all these beauties in your closet! I very rarely work with variegated fingering weight yarn, my recent project was a shawl for my Grandma.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much, Alina! I have been pretty inspired by all of your cable-goodness and the new patterns (and gorgeous yarns) on your blog. I’m enjoying the sweaters–even if it’s hot here, still!

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  11. What a prolific sweater-knitting year – with all beautiful results! Wow! Your mods to the Georgetown are gorgeous and really transform the sweater. A sock yarn blanket would be.. whoa. Go for it! I find hats and mitts are a neat way to de-stash, and for some reason, a lot of the mitt patterns I’m finding use sock yarn. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Rethinking the Stash | By the Mighty Mumford

  13. Ooooh, it’s so impressive to see all your beautiful sweaters together in one place! I’ve really reined myself in as far as buying fine, variegated yarns goes… I know that, realistically, they’re going to sit for years before I get a chance to use them, so I try to resist temptation! Now my steely resolve is only tested when I travel – yarn makes the best souvenir! 😀

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