Culling the Herd

This move to Oregon is going to be a very good thing.  Once we’re actually there.  Until then, I am struggling to stay positive amid the stress of keeping our home in show condition for a sale, packing, and purging, all while trying to maintain a family routine and have a fun summer.  Whew!  I’m tired just saying all of that.  The good news is, we’re almost finished with our house projects and soon will be able to spend more time on summer fun and less time painting, cleaning, moving dirt, and rearranging furniture.

The impending move has me mentally going through my yarn and knitting book stash, contemplating only keeping those items I truly love.  Over the 4 years I have been knitting, plenty of yarn has found its way into my possession.  Some of the yarn I purchased thoughtfully, others more spontaneously.  Then there is the gift yarn, yarn I accepted in destashes or swaps, and the leftovers from almost all my projects.  That is a lot of yarn.  I know it’s light and doesn’t take up much space, but I am trying to apply the same rule to my craft supplies as I am for the rest of our possessions: cut down by 50%.  It’s expensive to move, especially when you’re talking about moving some 3,000 miles coast to coast.  So we’re getting a shipping container and only taking what will fit into its 16′ x 8′ confines.  This is a bold and slightly scary strategy, but one that will leave us moving only the best of what we own and love.

I think this is a good challenge.  We seem to expand and contract our things to fit into however much square footage we are living in.  That means that when we moved into a larger home, we went out and bought 2 new sofas for the family and living rooms.  That leaves us with 3 sofas and a futon.  Way too many!  My yarn stash also increased when I was able to have a dedicated craft room. I guess all of this is to say that we will be having a family moving sale this summer, and I will be having a yarn and knitting book destash sale.  If you’re interested, please visit my Sale/Trade page on Ravelry and make an offer.

Also, it’s time for another giveaway!

Leave a comment on this post by the end of Monday, June 28th to be entered to win. Tell me about how you stash, de-stash, organize, or declutter.   I will draw a winner at random who will receive the following:

Classic Knits at Home by Erika Knight

Stash Reduction Rundown

I have been thinking about how much yarn I used up last month.  It felt like I was knitting constantly, both for myself, the craft fair, and a charity project.  Not only did I knit a lot of yarn, I also had the opportunity to trade and donate some to other knitters.  So just how much yarn did I take care of in September?

  • I knit approximately 982 yards of yarn into 7 finished objects.

  • I donated 350 yards of sock yarn to the 7 Long Knits Prize pool.

  • I traded 1,315 yards of stash to other knitters and received 648 yards in return for a net loss of 667 yards.

In total, I reduced my stash by 1,999 yards!!!

So I promptly went out and bought 6 skeins of Malabrigo and a ball of sock yarn to celebrate.  Let’s call it even, shall we?

Are you on any sort of yarn buying restriction or stashdown?

What are your goals, tips, and tricks?

The Kindness of Knitters

It all started about a week and a half ago when I joined the group Yarncycle on Ravelry. This is a group based on the principles of Freecycle, in which people offer and give away items for free, nothing required in return. This is a fantastic idea for knitters, since we so often end up with yarn leftover from a project, or an impulse buy that just refuses to cooperate with any project you try.

I decided to ask the group for Malabrigo leftovers. I always seem to buy the same 3 colors of yarn: shades of green, blue, and purple, and I thought this would be an interesting way to compliment my stash with some new colors that I could then do some colorwork with. So, I posted a request on the site for the unwanted scraps of Malabrigo, and was pleasantly surprised to find that a couple of people offered to send me things. For free! I was expecting a few yards loose in an envelope. Instead, I found my mailbox filled to the brim with generous amounts of yarn.

This is the first package:

The second package:

Then, at knitting group on Sunday, Pixisis was destashing, and I (foolishly) brought home 4 skeins of yarn.

Basically, I’m rolling in free yarn this week, and it is a lot of fun! But I feel like I have to keep the good karma flowing, so I have been offering up some freebies of my own. I have given away all my leftover sock yarn to a knitter working on a sock yarn blanket. Then I gave away 3 skeins of Knit Picks yarn to a knitter who was looking to try different KP yarns. Why not pass on perfectly good yarn that you’re no longer in love with to someone who could use it? It feels liberating to let go of some of these things and make room for new yarn and ideas.

And, since this is my 100th post, I have decided to continue with the theme of generosity and give something away to one of my lucky readers! I will be doing a random drawing from all the comments made on this post. You have until August 6th to enter (that’s one week!). A winner will be chosen at random, but just for kicks, why don’t you share what the most interesting free thing you’ve given or received has been. It can be knitting related or not, just have fun with it!

You want to know what the prize is? I suppose that’s not too much to ask. How about a copy of the Yarn Harlot’s latest book, Things I Learned from Knitting…Ooh, let’s go ahead and give away something else. I have a knitting T-shirt that is a ladies size small. It doesn’t quite fit over my girls, and as such has never been worn. It’s turquoise and says “Knit Wit” in red.

2 prizes, leave a comment to enter, I will draw 2 winners at random.

Pay it forward with someone in your life today. Random acts of kindness, no matter how small, are powerful and meaningful to us all.

What’s Next?

New Finished Object!

This was an especially fun knit because I improvised it as I was knitting. That’s right, no official pattern, just a little sketch and a dream of uniting this turquoise and red cotton into a perfect union. I’m pretty happy with the results.

  • Pattern: Improvised. If you’re interested, I’ll translate my notes and share it, just let me know!
  • Yarn: Sugar n’ Cream, 1 skein turquoise, about 10 yards of red.
  • Needles: US size 7, 4.5m
  • Notions: 1 fun button and a tapestry needle

I was on the lookout for a fun button, and happened across this one on my visit to The Point. A perfect match!

So here’s my dilemma: I just finished a project, and I have all this new yarn that wants to be knit. And yet I cannot seem to decide what to make. It’s too hot to start a large project, and I’m experiencing a little knitter’s ADD anyway…Second Sock Syndrom has struck, and while I am a couple inches into Hedera #2, it feels so done. I’m also still working on my granny square afghan, so that is more of a long term project. I need something fairly quick and satisfying that I can knit from my stash. Any suggestions? Help!

Sock Knitting & A Contest!

Well, the Sock Marathon didn’t go quite as well as I had hoped. Wednesday was a pretty busy day, and not very knitting friendly. I did knit while waiting for lunch at a Mexican restaurant, which was a first for me. I’d knit a row, then take a chips and salsa break, knit a row, etc. I’m not convinced that knitting on the go is all that productive for me. I need to get into a rhythm in order to really enjoy my knitting.

So I knit during lunch, tending to my obligations, then spent a couple of hours watching episodes of Oprah that my TiVo had recorded earlier in the week. This is great to knit to because you don’t really need to look at the screen continuously to understand what’s going on!

Anyway, after 2 straight hours of knitting on size 2 needles, my hands were wrecked. The finger joints were aching, and my big thumb joints were particularly inflamed. So I put the sock down for the evening, thinking that after I had some time to rest my hands I would pick it back up again. I never did.

I measured the sock this morning, and found that I had knit 4 inches in approximately 3 hours Wednesday. Since the recipient has size 10 feet, I have at least 4 more inches, or 3 hours of knitting, to go!

All in all, I view April’s Spring Cleaning mission a success. Here are my stats:

Starting Yardage: 12,252
Sold or gave away: 1,205
Knit up: 665
Purchased: 1,826
Ending Yardage: 12,208

For a total decrease of: 44 yards!!! That’s pretty good considering how much I bought at Webs last week!

To celebrate, I’m going to hold my first ever Giveaway/Contest on this blog! I am looking for inspiration and ideas for using up more of my stash.

  • To enter, all you have to do is tell me what your favorite knitting project is. This should be something you’ve knit at least once before and enjoyed. I would particularly be interested in your favorite sock patterns, or patterns done using sock yarn. Be sure to include the pattern name and source, and even a photo of your finished item if you like!
  • Leave a comment on this blog post or send me an email at with your suggestion.
  • I will use a random number generator to pick a winner from all entries received by May 16th. That’s 2 weeks from today, so get your ideas ready!

The winner will receive 1 skein of Knit Picks Shimmer in Turquoise Splendor!

Even if you’re not interested in the prize, please submit your suggestions. I’m sure we could all use some new ideas and inspiration!