In January of last year, I started keeping track of my yarn usage. Not super scientifically, just how many skeins in and out. I actually did surprisingly well last year, and it came out about even by the end of 2020. This year has not been so successful. I’ve been feeding the stash a little too generously. Like, the last time I went to put new yarn into my stash, I had to rearrange a little bit to make room because my shawl yarn and sock yarn shelves were so full.
At the same time, I read someone’s blog post about wanting to be more thoughtful about stash additions, and some friends were talking about being conscious of how long it takes you to use up yarn, say one skein of fingering. Unless it’s sock yarn, it usually takes a while.
It all came together and made me decide it was time for another yarn destash. I’ve been knitting for over nine years now, and my tastes have changed, but I still have yarn I bought back then. I still have tons of alpaca, because I love to knit with alpaca, but I can’t actually wear alpaca. So why keep it all? Why not clear out some space and send the yarn off to a new home?
I pulled out probably 75 skeins of yarn, all told. Some of it went to a couple of knitting buddies, but the lot in the chair has been listed on Facebook Marketplace and I’d love to find someone who wants to take it off my hands. The second photo is my reduced stash. Before, all but the bottom two shelves were full of yarn, and the top two shelves on the left side were literally full, to the top. It just didn’t feel good anymore. This new stash feels manageable to me, and lets me see the skeins I love, some of which were just getting buried under other things. Now here’s hoping I can keep this up and be more thoughtful about feeding the stash in the future!
Earlier this week I saw a chair advertised at a local vintage market. It wasn’t any ordinary chair — no, this was a deep royal purple velvet chair, complete with matching ottoman. It was gorgeous. I’d very recently decided I would like a chair in my craft room, so this seemed like a sign: this chair should be mine. The market is only open on the first weekend of every month; there’s a whole neighborhood of antique and vintage shops that open for First Fridays. This particular shop opened at 5 pm on Thursday. We got there at 5:45 pm.
You can guess what happened, can’t you? The chair was gone, already sold. Someone must have been there right at 5, waiting to get their grubby little paws on MY chair. In my despair, I wandered back through the shop to another chair that had briefly caught my eye on my first pass. It wasn’t purple, or velvet, and it had no matching ottoman. But it was green, and cute, and it kind of matched a desk chair I already have. Best of all, it was very affordable at only $57. I dithered, because I really wanted a purple chair, but then the boy said we should buy it and once I got a purple chair, he’d take this one. That made it very easy, and now I have the cutest little seating area in my craft room.
Won’t you come and sit with me for a bit? Bring your knitting, I’ll make you tea. I’ll tell you, this room is one reason it’s tempting to stay in this house. Any house I move into from now on must have a separate room just for me, and now I know it must be big enough for yarn, my Twilight shrine, and my little green chair. Do you have a room of your own?
I really thought I was going to make more wine sweaters. I mean, I did make two more, and they’re cute and they’re going to a good friend who asked for them a while back. And then I thought about making more for the mother and the SIL and … just nope. They were going to be extras just for fun, so they won’t even know what they’re missing. And I get to move on to more fun knitting!
Last night I had the itch to cast on something new for myself, something with squishy garter stitch, something that’s bigger than fingering weight. I had a skein of yarn in mind but could find a good pattern for it. I went up to my stash to pull it out anyway so I could wind it, and in doing so, I touched a different skein. Friends, that skein had cashmere in it, and it said “HEY! KNIT ME! I’M SOFT AND SQUISHY AND DECADENT!” Well! Who am I to ignore the demands of my yarn?
This is Magpie Fibers Swanky DK, which is 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon and SO silky soft. I wanted to be able to feel it against my skin, which is why I chose the close-fitting cowl called Just Try It. It’s making me happy to knit and it’ll make me happy to wear!
In other fun knitting news, I have a table in my craft room now. The husband recently finished a huge dining room table so we got to move the old one upstairs. Once I don’t need it as a wrapping station, it will become a winding station!
Happiness is having a room of one’s own, I think. Happy Sunday, friends!
I made so much good progress on my sweater this weekend! I finished the body, including my first split hem which I kind of love.
After I took this photo, I looked around my craft room and decided it needed an update. I used to use a 6′ folding table as a desk and a few months ago switched it out for a smaller library table. I love the smaller desk; it’s beautiful, it belonged to my dad, and it’s a great writing desk. But when I took out the big table, I lost a place to spread out as well as a place to wind yarn. So every time I wanted to wind yarn, I had to take everything downstairs and clean off the coffee table. That got tiresome. So! Plan B: put the library table in the corner with the north light, so I can still set things on it for photos, and put the folding table back up!
Now I have a lot more table space, but the room still feels big and open. And I really like my desk in that corner. In fact, I spent the rest of the day up there, watching movies on my laptop and knitting. I wove in all the current ends on the sweater, added the neckband, and got the first sleeve picked up and started! The room feels very cozy. I think my long term goal is to get a small, comfortable arm chair for this corner, so I can sit here and look out into my craft room like this:
If I did that, though, my family might never see me!