Stitches West Prep

Stitches West is rapidly approaching!  Less than two weeks!

As usual, I’m working to remind myself that I don’t need to buy anymore yarn.  The first step is always looking at last year’s Stash Flash and seeing what got used.



So, yes, step one confirms my suspicions.  I blacked out all the yarns that got used up in 2019.  As you can see, there’s still plenty of yarn left.  Clearly, I do not need to buy more yarn.

The next step is a new Stash Flash.  I started with all the new yarns from last year.


Lots of fun in this pile!  Pride yarn in rainbow colors, yarn my Mom dyed, yarn I’m collecting for a future sweater, yarn from a trip to Steven Be in Minneapolis, sale yarn from a trip visiting my Sister.

No yarn from Stitches though!  I’m reminding myself on the regular… I didn’t buy yarn at Stitches last year.  It can be done.  It can be done…by ME!  I did it once.   I’m aiming for a repeat this year.

Unfortunately, at this point, my Stash Flash got derailed.  Next year I’ll probably be sad when I don’t have a big group photo but that’s just the way it’s playing out this year.  It’s enough of a reminder seeing all that 2019 that hasn’t been used…yet!

I did some winding so a bunch of this yarn is ready to go.  Yay for new projects!  Especially when they’re stash yarns!  I feel a hat binge coming on!

2019 Stash Flash

It’s time for the annual stash flash!  It’s part of my continuing effort to remind myself, I don’t need to buy yarn this year!

I started with last year’s photo, taken about this time in January and redacted everything I used up during the year.  I’m afraid I didn’t do so well.  There is plenty of great stuff left in last year’s pile.  Clearly, I’m not running out yarn anytime soon.


The stash definitely grew in 2018.  I started with just the new additions.  They’re pretty manageable.  Yarns my Mom dyed.  Yarns from Vogue Knitting Live.  Yarns from Stitches.  Yarns from my southwest trip.  Lopi gifted from a friend.  I definitely had a particular color palate in mind.


And then, shit got real.  I added my deep stash to the pile.


Everything is now stacked 3+ deep.  It’s a bit deceptive but trust me, it’s plenty of yarn for the year.

Someone tell Marie Kondo not to worry her pretty little head about it though. I checked…every single skein sparks joy.  That trend continues.  This all amazing yarn.  Some of this years best additions are a sweater quantity of Swans Island Sport and an awesome gradient speckle kit from Neighborhood Fiber Company.

Of course, all this old stuff is still pretty amazing too.  Quince, YOTH, Road to China lite…all untouched since last year.   And of course, my lopi stash…I’ve got a lopi sweater on the needles, so at least some of it’s finally getting some love.

This year, I’m serious about it all…cold sheeping and some serious stash busting!  I want to put a serious dent in these photos!

So far so good, I went into a yarn shop yesterday and came out with no new yarn.  It’s totally possible!

First up, a new sweater and finishing off the current shawl in progress!  3 Day weekend + Rain…I’ve got no excuses!!  Happy Friday Gang!  Hope you all get some good stashbusting in this weekend!


2018 Stash Flash

It’s that time of year again.


Time for selfish knitting, setting goals and looking ahead.  Looking, in particular, at Stitches West.  I’ve been going to Stitches since before it needed ‘West’, since the days it was held in Oakland.  You know all those ‘most wonderful time of year’ sentiments people attach to Christmas?  That’s only because they haven’t been to Stitches.

There are many time honored Stitches traditions.  The first is denying I’m even going to go.  I got over that pretty quick.  The next is casting on a new sweater, for the express purpose of debuting it at Stitches.  Yup, Check that off the list!  I think it’s gonna be a good one this year too!

And, perhaps, the most important tradition of all…Flashing the Stash.  I know what yarn I have but seeing all, together, in one place really helps drive home the mantra:  I’m not buying yarn this year.  I’m not buying yarn this year.  I’m not buying yarn this year.  I’m REALLY not buying yarn this year!

I’m really not buying yarn this year??

Yes.  and here’s why:

redacted stash

This is the stash, in January 2016.  I skipped the 2017 Stash Flash.  So we’ve gotta go back two years.  As a reference, I put my blocking boards down.  It’s a good size reference, this is 18 square feet of yarn.   Everything blacked out is gone.   That leaves a lot.  And, it goes without saying that the Stash grew in both 2016 and 2017.

Here’s what the stash looked like yesterday:


Unsorted, just in a pile.  There’s a 12″ ruler planted in the middle as reference.  It’s nearly buried.  The yellow bag in the back, that’s my Lopi.  This year’s Stash Flash officially needed a phase 2.

After sorting, it looked like this:


It broke free from it’s 18 sq ft boundary and it’s still about 8 inches deep throughout.  I took my job as a yarn collector pretty serious the past two years.

Phase 2, the Lopi phase:


The Lopi behaved well.  I spread it single layer so I’ve got an exact accounting of it.  With yoke sweaters being so on-trend in 2018 I think my next sweater may be a lopi-peacock-fade sort of thing.


Yes?  Yes!  That sounds awesome and clearly, requires no new yarn!

The rest of that giant pile holds even more awesomeness.


My YOTH.  Those beautiful greens are destined for a shawl…one day.


My Quince.  Clearly, I went through a teal phase.  I really need to get these guys on the needles.


A stash of Road to China Light, the teal phase was still going strong.  This yarn is a phenomenal blend of alpaca, silk, camel and cashmere.  One day, I’m really going to love wearing it.  Hopefully that’s soon.


I’ve got at least a sweaters quantity of Zooey from Juniper Moon Farms, acquired when cotton seemed like a good idea.


The section of yarns dyed by my Mom.   Definitely getting some of these on the needles in short order.


An assortment of speckles and other fingering weight hand dyed yarns.  So many happy hours of knitting in this shot!


Sparkly yarn, self striping yarn, barber pole hand spun yarn.  At this point, it’s all good stuff.  Nothing big box or acrylic about it.

I’ve got tweed, I’ve got solids, I’ve got blends, I’ve got chainette, I’ve even got one skein of chartreuse mohair.  What more could I possibly even need??

As much as I love new yarn, I really love my old yarn.  This collection has been carefully curated.  The junk is gone.  The colors are perfect.

AND, I’ve got a whole month to make a dent before Stitches.   Ready, Set, GO!


An Honest Accounting

This is usually the time of year, I do a stash flash.  I don’t think I have it in me for 2017 though.  It takes all day to drag all the yarn out, spread it all out…at least that’s the fun part.  Then it all needs to get put away, which takes even longer.  I just don’t have the time.


I do have last year’s photo though.  The least I can do is redact the yarn that is no more.  There are a few key piles that are gone but most of these lovelies are still with me.

It’s not that I didn’t use a lot of yarn in 2016.  I definitely bought new yarn last year.  None of it is in this picture.  Even more than that though, none of the half balls are in this photo.  I did a lot of scrap busting last year.  That’s a lot of progress not in the photo either.

I should probably be on a yarn diet.  HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.  amirite?

I really am trying to use it all, though.  I’ve got 9 WIPs currently (one less than I’m ‘allowed’ to have.)

I allow myself 10 on-going works in progress.  This is not an arbitrary number, there is method to my madness.  The genesis of 10 WIPs came from my view of Ravelry.  When I open my notebook, I see 10 projects without scrolling.


Unfortunately my tab organization has grown by a few rows.  The second row of photos is now obstructed.  I still get the idea but maybe it’s time to get my WIPs under control.

I’m still committed to each of these WIPs.  It’s way easier to get my WIPs in a pile than all my yarn so here they are…


I could get it down to 8 WIPs instantly, that ball in the lower right corner…nothing on the needles.  It was an idea that started strong but ending in a frogging.  So…there we go!  Progress…on a monday morning…before 7 am!

Yesterday, I worked on the bit of burgundy ribbing tucked in at the bottom of the photo.  It’s now 3/4s of a hat.  I think, sometime, after 7 pm, I’ll have the list down to 7 WIPs!


Watch out Monday, I aim to get shit done!  Ready, Set, Go…

FO Friday – Muh Muhs Shawl

muh muhs shawl blocking knitting knit shawl striped shawl 3 color shawl

My Muh-Muhs Shawl has made it to the blocking board!  I’m really happy with the outcome, I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about a bulky weight shawl!  The pattern was designed for bulky yarn so perhaps that helps.  Scaling up a fingering weight pattern isn’t quite the same.  There’s a lot to be lost in translation.

I followed the pattern as designed – no mods.  I would change the actual pattern if I was the designer though.  The lace is not charted.  That makes me a little crazy.  I feel bad for the staunch chart haters.  It’s so helpful to see how stitches stack from one row to the next.  I love charts.  I wish this pattern had included a chart.  Oh well.  I managed to survive.

The remarkable part of this project is the yarn.  Taria Tweed, a 40% merino, 30% silk, 30% llama.  It’s lovely.  I really enjoyed it.  Sadly, that means it’s been discontinued.  D’oh!  That’s what I get for letting it linger in the stash so long before using it.  I have no idea how THAT happened…


This is the 2016 Stash Flash from January.  I blacked out what I’ve used so far this year.  I’ve still got some work to do.  :)

2016 Stash Flash!

It’s time to Flash The Stash!  Every January, I get all my yarn out for one big family picture!  I claim it’s to get organized and to remind myself I don’t need to buy yarn when Stitches rolls through town.   In reality, it’s to pet the pretties or as one friend recently said to me ‘oh, you’re gonna play Barbies?’  Yeah, it’s kinda like that.  I love playing Barbies!

First up, review the 2015 photo!  I go through and black out all the stuff I used during the year.  Sort of eyeball what’s been hanging around, what didn’t get touched and of course to compare the general size of pile.


There’s actually not a lot to black out here.  The 2015 trend was definitely bring home new yarn and cast on immediately.  Turns out the rationalization ‘if you cast on right away, it’s not stash’ is totally true!  Unfortunately, I don’t have enough needles for all the yarn I bring home.  The 2016 pile is gigantic.  The stash definitely grew.


It’s covering the same amount of floor space, but the stacks are higher.  There’s a lot of stuff that isn’t visible here.  I think the stash probably doubled in 2015.  It’s not surprising, considering I worked for yarn in 2015.  For that reason, I don’t feel any guilt over being a rampant consumer.  No, I love my yarn barbies!  We had fun playing!  If I had a bathtub, I definitely would have filled it and jumped in!

One thing that’s happened over the years, the quality of the pile has increased.  There’s no acrylic in that pile, no big box craft yarn.  It’s actually a good thing to document for insurance purposes (another great rationalization!)   Of course, I couldn’t stop with one photo, so here’s a little tour of the stash…

The Bulky Section, pencil rovings from Iceland and Oregon, a couple tweeds.  The cotton section is in the middle there, along with my purple & acid green Baby Cashmerino and my Icelandic lace weight…I want to cast it all on!

bulky section

That’s the great wall of Lett Lopi, my icelandic yarn there in the back.   I feel like Miss Molly looking through the Magic Mirror…I see Miss Babs, I see Noro, I see Crazy Zauberball, I see Malabrigo, I see Road to China Light, I see Koigu, I see Mrs. Crosby, I see Kauni Effektgarn.

lopi koigu noro rowan

This is the MadelineTosh section, mostly Pashmina but there’s some Tosh Merino light buried and a bit of Tosh DK too!

madtosh pashmina tosh dk

Mom’s Hand Dyes, wedged between the bulkys & the Road to China Light!  Super excited to use all of that!!

moms dyes mrs crosby road to china light

We’ve got a little bit of Knit Picks Chroma buried in here, and Jade Sapphire’s Cashmere/Linen blend, Sylph–waiting to become a WestKnit–heavenly!!

omg i love yarn

The teals in this one are Quince and YOTH.  Duh…of course I’m excited for those too.

quince tosh babs yoth

That crazy pink, purple, green, grey, orange mess in the top right…a Miss Babs Yowza that’s intended to become a shawl.  I wish I could knit as fast I come up with ideas.  Not a single stinker in the lot!  I love it all!


And so, I have collected resounding proof that I do not, under any circumstances, need more yarn and that I am, in fact, a yarn collector who knits on occasion!  and I love it.