>So it’s New Year’s, and I’ve been steadily knitting for just under a year. In fact, I’m only just now starting to feel confident that I might know what’s going on. Like, I’ve finally realized I can’t buy sock yarn unless I’m really going to make–and wear–socks. It’s not like I don’t like socks, but those small needles intimidate me. I mean, I’m sure I can get through one sock, but then I actually have to start over and make a second one. And get them to match. This repetitive nonsense does not compel me to start the first sock in the first place. So obviously that’s an area of growth for me. But in other areas, I am progressing. I am slowly figuring out weights, gauge, and patterns. I’m gradually adding new stitches to my repertoire (and when I can’t mentally retrieve that repertoire, there’s always YouTube, thankfully). I’m not terribly good at self control when it comes to yarnporn; I’ve gone to two festivals this last year (Maryland, Rhinebeck) and came home with bags full of nom. It has slowly taken over my spare baskets and is spilling over onto the floor. Over the past several weeks I’ve finally gotten my stash somewhat in order, with pictures taken and uploaded, and information entered, so that when I get to choosing a new project–like now–I will be prepared. Errr, sorta.

Which brings me to now. Choosing a new project. I’ve decided I want to put a dent in my stash, and use up some of these big bags of nonsense so that I can find my floor again. I’ve gone through my patterns, matched up yarns, and this is my tentative game plan for the better part of 2010–or at least until Maryland’s Sheep and Wool Festival.
  • Araucania Magallanes: This green-grey yarn is hand dyed, and is going to be made into the long line waistcoat shown in Design Eighteen by Jenny Watson, in Araucania Collection, Book 3. It’s close to the same weight and gauge, and I think it will be beautiful. Fingers crossed.
  • Classic Elite Princess Yarns: A red-orange yarn that caught my eye in the closeout closet of The Yarn Basket, I actually matched it up with a pattern intended for this actual yarn that was marked in my faves–the waterlily shrug. I’m a bit worried that it’s only showing in medium; it’s a purchase pattern, so I need to either buy the book or find some knitpistol with it.
  • Rowan Cashsoft Aran: Mmmm, this is a nice feeling merino/cashmere/microfiber in a taupe I can actually wear without draining me of color. I have 1800 yds of this stuff, so I’d like to make a nice floppy sweater. It’s not chunky; it’s aran, so it will take me a bit to knit it all, but I would really like this one either in the Stitch ‘n Bitch’s big sack sweater or, if I can’t swing it, this bazic ribbed panel pullover.
  • Sirdar Denim Ultra: One of the few purchases I’ve made with a specific pattern in mind; mostly because I purchased this one-button jacket with long or 3/4 sleeves pattern at the same time. Thanks, Yarn Basket.
  • Blue Nommy Stuff: Apparently it hasn’t been put into my stash yet, but I want to make the high line shawl from it… again because I’ve been unduly influenced by Audrey’s prior projects. It’s beautiful!
  • Ella Rae Kamelsoft: One of the first big purchases I ever purchased, this one after a yarn tasting at Stitch Your Art Out. I bought the ella rae book thirteen collection for several ideas, but I think I’ve settled on Olive, in charcoal.It’s basic, but I think the beauty of the yarn will come through.
Yarns that I remember how much I like and want to use:
  • Malibrigo: This olive green nom is beautiful. I’ve bought plenty for a jacket; I’m just afraid to commit.
  • Lana Grossa Bingo: I’d really like to make a pullover with this purple sweater. It’s really soft, but at 1320 yds, there’s really not enough for a bulky sweater. Still undecided. Perhaps a vest or wrap.
  • Three different reds: Beautiful variations on a theme; I simply haven’t matched a project to the nomcolor.
Patterns I want to make sooner rather than later:
  • The every way wrap: I desperately want to make this 1235 yds of wrap and, while I don’t have a pumpkin (drat!), the cables are delicious.
Yarns I’m noticing aren’t yet catalogued in my stash:
  • Plum colored skeins, large, two; silky look and feel. Might be fabulous as the shadow cable jacket or the trinity stitch jacket, but I haven’t checked the gauge or suggested yarns. I just know this yarn has a bit of a sheen to it, and would be beautiful if I could figure it out. It must be said I really do love the rolled hems on these jackets.
  • One each of green, blue, and green-blue-purple variegated nomminess. No clues, and only one of each. Will have to be hats, or cowls, or gloves, or scarves… some sorts of one skein wonders.
  • Red/cream/grey/black skeins of baby alpaca in a scarf kit. Packaged together.
  • Cake of cream yarn, one skein, thin, packaged in a scarf kit. More springish.
  • Two skeins of navy blue tweed. Lovely, but only enough for a hat, or a pair of gloves or something of the sort. Not a lot here.
  • Black Cascade Pastaza, three skeins. Not sure if any are from same dye lot
  • Navy blue something, similar to Pastaza, one skein. Might have purchased it at the time to make gloves to coordinate with the navy blue tweed.
When all has been said and done, I’m a lot more familiar with my stash, and I think that’s a really good thing. I know I’ve done all the newbie knitter mistakes and bought everything I saw without the foresight to consider what I’d be using it for, and now I’m working through that. I really like having the ideas in place for what I want to do with many of the yarns I have in my stash; it also makes me aware that there are some outliers of yarns that I love, but don’t have enough to do anything significant with them. Those might well go up to “trade or sell” status at some point. Likewise, the other housecleaning step I’m about to take is jettison all the odd balls of hand-me-down yarn and discards that others didn’t want, but gave me to start on for practice. Gratefully appreciated, but if I’m not going to use it, I’d rather just lose it.
Wow. A very real queue, a stash with reliable data, and a better understanding of gauge, stitches, and resources. It feels really good to have a game plan.

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