If you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that I have been working hard to ‘control’ my stash of precious yarn. I was inspired by Lynne Rowe’s Use it or Lose it campaign last year which encouraged me to review my shelves and cupboards and develop a strategy to use the yarn stash I had collected. I now feel I have my stash under control. It is still a good-sized precious collection of yummy yarn, from vintage Natural Dye Studio to Triskelion Yarn, and the majority are completely natural fibres as I have also been working on reducing plastic in my life (and plastic means acrylic and nylon yarn as well). But it all fits in one trunk!
OK, it’s a deep trunk (and messy!) and finding what I need involves a lot of digging, but that is a pleasure.
One of the ways I have been working on reducing the stash is by keeping a clear record of what I have, so when I want to make something I can refer to the record and I’m not afraid to change my plans if I find I don’t have quite the right yarn in my stash. My record is a spreadsheet and it shows me brand, name of yarn, weight of yarn (DK, 4ply, lace etc), weight of skeins/balls, length of skeins/balls (in metres) and colour. When I first started this spreadsheet (June last year) I had 154 skeins/balls of yarn; I now have 97. You may think that means I have used 57, but I have treated myself to new yarn on occasion, so more than 57 have been ‘consumed’. But I have an aim to get down to 80 or less by the end of the year, so if I am to allow myself the odd new purchase then I do need to find inspiring designs to help me use it. And, of course, new designs includes designs of my own – and I have one that is almost ready to publish.
Stashaway is a lovely easy shawl that I find works up very quickly. It is an asymmetrical triangle shape. I designed it in 4ply yarn, but it can be made in any weight. I also designed it to use a variety of colours, in fact I had 3 half skeins of my favourite colours in mind. I enjoyed making it so much that I made 2, and I have a 3rd ready to start. The joy of this design is that it can be made in one colour, or 2 or more colours in a variety of stripes. It’s a solid design, no lace required, and after the first few rows it becomes easy to remember the 2 row repeat. My first shawl used 3 colours in varying widths of stripes and the colours repeated throughout (I enjoyed stopping to decide when and which colour to use next); my second shawl used a set of 5 mini skeins which I used in order and just changed once each skein ran out. My third one will be different again! I’m using this:
This is Artesano yarn from ‘deep’ stash – 2x50g skeins of Alpaca Silk 4ply in Violet Blue and 1x50g skein of Alpaca Blend 4ply in Lemon Grove, in total 600m.
To encourage others to keep using their stash I decided to publish the basic pattern free here on the blog, with a paid pattern including a chart on Ravelry and LoveCrafts. And then I thought: why have a ‘use it or lose it’? So are you up for it? Would you like to join me in a CAL?
I will publish the pattern in a week, meanwhile if you want to join me in a CAL then you need to start searching your stash – look for at least 150g of ANY weight of yarn (just as long as it is all the same weight). As a guide, approx 150g/600m of 4ply/sock/fingering yarn will make a shawl about 180cm long by 35cm at the widest part (that’s 71″ by 14″).
I’m looking forward to this CAL, I do hope you join in ……….you may find this shawl a bit addictive like I have!
Happy crocheting xx