I’ve never not had a stash. The first two projects I ever knitted, a baby blanket for a friend and a fluffy novelty scarf for me, were knitted with yarn I found on sale at Lewiscraft. (This was when Lewiscraft was a) still in business and b) the place I thought you went to buy yarn.) Like a good budding knitter, I bought too much and ended up with extra, although to be fair part of the buying extra was because I didn’t actually know how much yarn to buy for such projects. Now I buy extra on purpose anyway, but still…
The majority of my stash is comprised of yarn that either has a specific project attached to it and is waiting patiently for its turn in the queue, or yarn that has a specific purpose and is waiting for a project (i.e. my sock yarn). On the other hand, then there is my Patons Divine stash. It’s a sort-of-mohair-mostly-acrylic blend that I went nuts for. Admittedly, it’s pretty fluffy and soft, so the allure is understandable. At the time, I bought patterns for it too – still when I thought patterns and yarn had to come from places like Lewiscraft – and now I still have it. I have at least 8 balls each of 3 colours of this stuff. That’s a pretty crazy amount of mohair-acrylic yardage to have hanging around the house, and it’s been sitting there idle for. so. long.
It’s not that I didn’t use it in the first place. Darn tootin’ I did – I made the two-strand coat and toque, then got started on a long, long, cardigan jacket sweater (whose pattern book no longer exists) and made it about 2/3 of the way before putting it down never to return to it again. The two-strand coat and toque got worn twice, then I admitted quite reasonably that it did not fit me at all well (too tight at the shoulders, too loose everywhere else), and so I ripped it. I ripped out double-stranded mohair blend.
Then, I tried to knit something else with the pink stuff, and failed miserably. The yarn did not want to be that sweater either. So it’s been sitting there, unknitted, in nice re-wound balls, for months and years, gleefully causing me vague emotional turmoil every time I think about it.
After looking at Classic Knits a few months ago, I noted all of the chunky patterns included in that book, and I started considering the possibilities. These are patterns that use 10mm needles. The last time I used 10mm needles, I reminded myself, was when I was trying that crazy two-strand coat and toque that didn’t fit me. So I thought, ‘hmm, I could double-strand that stuff again’ – only this time not with another strand of Divine. I had a ball of pink Patons Merino that seemed to match the pink Divine quite well. I swatched just to see how it would work (I swatched! Look ma, I swatched!), and lo and behold, it turned out pretty well. Over Easter weekend I purchased some more Patons Merino and it’s been patiently waiting for its turn.
So now, after an evening of knitting, I am already half of the way through the back of the Wraparound Cardigan jacket from Classic Knits. This is stupidly fast knitting. And since it’s supposed to be a slouchy shapeless floppy sweater, I am harbouring no illusions about proper fit or proper purpose. This will be a sweater to wear around the house in the winter when I feel like wearing a blanket but am supposed to put on clothes like a grown-up. I am keeping the faith that the 3rd time is the charm, and that the knitting fates might just let me have a finished sweater in a week and will let me absolve some of the yarn guilt. I’ll still have those 2 other colours to worry about, but chipping away at the pink makes me feel a million times better.