Stashing down and away

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!

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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:

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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″).

The CAL will be hosted in my Ravely group and photos can be shared there or on my facebook page.

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

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