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"Knitting is very conducive to thought. It is nice to knit a while, put down the needles, write a while,
then take up the sock again." - Dorothy Day

Slow Thursday

I have so very, very little to report. The BBMM sock 2 is moving along, but how many pictures do you really want to see of the foot of a boring sock? That's what I thought. The not-socks are progressing, but I don't want to reveal that until I have something recognizable to show, and I'm just not there yet. I've also been working on another top-secret project, but it's really just chunks of yarn and scribbles at the moment, and duh, it's top secret!

So I thought I'd show you my stash. To me, this is shocking; when I took it all out to take the picture I nearly died. I know to some of you this is laughably small, but I would like you to keep in mind that I have been knitting for less than 4 years, and I didn't get crazy about it for a year or so. Also, this stash does not include any sock yarn. It also doesn't include about a dozen balls of Bernat Satin that I bought for an ill-conceived and barely started baby gift. I keep that in a separate place, so I didn't think to include them in the photo.

That's a whole lotta wool, yes? Here's the thing; until last year I didn't have a stash. That's not exactly true, but what I had I was able to keep in a shopping bag. One shopping bag. Then there were these two sales...

The first was the Suss closing sale, accounting for the pile on the left. Suss had two stores; an LA and a NY, and they closed the NY store last year. Everything was either 75% off (for Suss yarns) or 50% off (for everything else). It was a strange experience for me; I went one night after work and tried to hold back, but still purchased a giant shopping bag full of yarn; mostly Suss cotton, a nubby worsted weight. I bought a sweater's worth of a beautiful deep red, and scattered skeins of brown, beige and teal, thinking I would do a striped cabled V neck or something. I also bought the Araucania Nature cotton that I used for the Nature Cable cardigan. The next day I decided it would be silly to not stock up at these prices, so I went back. The place was pretty picked clean, and I had a total panic attack, snatching up things I will probably never use. I bought a couple random skeins of lace weight mohair, which I still can't find a purpose for. Some black Suss Alpaca, which I used for a hat and gloves for myself. Two skeins of Suss Alpaca Tweed, one of which I used for fingerless gloves. Six CONES of a lightweight thick & thin cotton; I can't even fathom what I would ever use it for.

The second was Smiley's once-a-year Manhattan yarn sale. It's held in a hotel ballroom, and yarn is available only by the bag; most bags are 10 skeins, so usually enough for a sweater. This is the pile of bags in the middle of the picture. It was there that a bought the Filatura Lanarota Summer Soft that I used for The Slink. Also from there; a bag of charcoal gray alpaca which I love, but it's small yardage, so maybe not enough for a sweater. A bag of a beige linen blend, which I'll use for a summer project residing in my head. A bag of black Bernat Lana; 100% merino in gigantic skeins, I'll get the Bob Dobbs from Domknitrix for BBMM, as well as a sweater (a hoodie maybe?) for myself out of it. Two bags of a tweedy wool in the most beautiful deep red, and an ocean blue (no plans for these yet).

The pile on the right is the rest of the stash. In defense, this is almost entirely either leftovers from other projects, or yarn that was somehow free. This pile doesn't hurt me so much, although I have GOT to find a purpose for the 8 hanks of leftover Cascade 220.

So like the rest of the knitting world, I put myself on the January yarn diet. You might say to yourself "Self, yarnmule sure seems to buy a lot of yarn for someone on a yarn diet". You would be totally right about that, but every diet has built in cheats, rights? Mine were easy:

1. Sock yarn is OK. In January I owned enough sock yarn for one pair, which I had already started. It became clear that I was not going to wait another year to knit more socks, so I gave myself that. Sock yarn has recently become not so OK though; the flash-buy of the Tofutsies, The Ugly, which I now have 800 yards of, plus the remaining Kroy; 2 pairs worth. I've got to be done with that for a while as well. I think two more pairs after the BBMM socks, then I can get more.
2. Gift yarn. Meaning yarn to knit gifts with, not yarn to give myself as a gift. That would be wrong. Yummy, but wrong.
3. If I start a project, I can buy yarn to finish.

So far, it's the end of April, and I have followed the rules. It's been hard though, and not even because I like shopping. I feel like it's stifling the creativity. I can't just find project, love it, buy the yarn for it and go. Nope, it's find a project, dig through the stash, see if I can get gauge, and if not find something else to knit.

Because of this, I'm changing the rules. My birthday is in July; if I can make it until then, I can buy yarn for one project. Also, if I make it through half the stash before the end of the year, diet is over, limits are lifted, dream projects will be created. That second part seems highly unlikely, especially with the current sock obsession, but you never know.

I really enjoy making up my own rules as I go along. I may try it in other areas of my life.

Incidentally, I am going away for the weekend, and will have many, many hours of car time. If all goes according to plan, I will be far enough along to reveal the not-socks by next week. Until then, have a lovely weekend!