Thursday, January 5, 2012

Stashbusting and New Year's Resolutions

I have honestly been trying to get my stash taken care of.  As far as stashes go, mine is definitely not the biggest.  However, I feel guilty spending more money on yarn and fabric that just sits for months and months and sometimes years.  So, I have decided that my resolution for this year is to reduce my stash, especially my yarn stash.  I am adding a link to a challenge for stash busting at  I had started this idea of using my stash last year, but ended up buying some yarn to work on a project for my friend and knitting with some Colinette yarn because I loved the sweater.

I knitted this sweater called Marilyn from the Colinette yarn in dusk from the book Rock gods.  It uses crochet for the cuffs and the band.  It was my first real try at crocheting.  It was fun, but I would not do a whole sweater with crochet.  Ravelry has several photos of this project.  I love the sweater, but read the reviews after finishing.  The comments were that the shoulders were too small and would not stay on.  I would agree with that assessment.  I had already knit the sweater from the top down, so it was too late to do anything.  Instead, I am going to add a button.  With the crochet band, the button will easily fit through and will hold the front of the sweater closed and keep it on my shoulders.  It is a great sweater to wear over jeans on a mildly cold day, but it doesn't really fit under any of my coats.  I knit the sweater much longer than the pattern called for.  I am not sure how I feel about it.  I am tempted to ask my husband if it makes my butt look bit, but have resisted so far.  Oh well, I am going to wear it anyway.  I am quite thin and rarely worry about things making me look big from the back, but this sweater probably should have been left a little shorter...

But, here are some projects that I am working on now to reduce my stash, both my fabric and my yarn stash.

First, I have leftover yarn from reworking my friends Irish sweater.  The Malabrigo yarn is so beautiful and so comfortable to knit with, that I went and bought another hank.  I am using it to knit my nephew a sweater.

I knitted my son a sweater with a cut away front when he was just a toddler.  I loved this sweater and so did he.  He loved the turtle buttons and wore it until it was just too small to put on.  Next, I had a daughter, and she also loved this sweater and its little turtle buttons.  She wore it until it got too small.  So, I think this design must be very comfortable for the kids.  It wore like iron, but I can't remember exactly what yarn I used.  It was a Debbie Bliss.

I decided to use the same design with a bit of modification.  I felt the sweater was a bit too wide, so I am knitting it not so wide, and just a bit longer.  Here it is.  I started by using circular needles and knitting a garter stitch edge, and then using a stockinette stitch up to the sleeves.  I bound off two inches for the sleeve holes, and then are knitting up to the neckline.

The one thing I do not like is the striping effect.  When I used a woven stitch using this yarn, I loved its look, but I am not as crazy about the stripes.  Also, I am not sure that I am going to have enough yarn for the button band or sleeves.  I will use the brown yarn to add in.  Both these yarns were in my stash.

The other project that I am working on right now is my daughter's sweater.  I showed my sketch for this sweater in the last post, and my start on it.  I bought this yarn with good intentions 3 or so years ago, and I have never gotten around to using it.  I have done the top knitting from the bottom up as I described for the sweater above.  Then, I picked up the stitches at the bottom and knit the purple band and then I changed to solid red and increased every third stitch twice to give a gathered look to the bottom.  On the bottom I am adding intarsia flowers.  My daughter picked out her favorite flower design from the books that I have around.  I will post a photo of the finished sweater, hopefully soon.

Front of sweater

Back of sweater

Finally,   I am also trying to reduce my fabric stash.  I bought clothes for my daughter two years ago on a trip to San Diego.   Now, the clothes have gone from being dresses to tunics and the pants from long to capri.  Holes are starting to appear, so I really have to get back to sewing.  My first project was to take my son's hole-filled jeans and cut them up.  My daughter wanted a pair of shorts and a skirt.  I took the bottom of the pants and cut them up and used some felted wool to make a box pleated skirt.  I would take a photo, but I finished them last night and she put them on this morning to go to school.  I will get a photo and post.  It is a cute skirt, a little long for her, but at the rate she is growing, it will be too short before  I know it.  In the meantime, I pulled out my stash of fabric last week.  We sat on the bed together, watched the movie, The Black Stallion Returns, and discussed her ideas about what she wanted from the various fabrics while my husband and son went to a basketball game.  I sketched and she talked and we have a plan.  So, I started cutting out over the weekend.

Here is my first pile.  I am going to sew a reversible Avalon jacket from Sewing Clothes That Kids Love, and the Insa skirt.  I love the Avalon jacket and would like to make myself one!  I have not sewn the Insa skirt before, but will try and photograph both as I sew them together.  I did that with the Feliz dress.  Now, I have to go out and feed horses, chickens, and the donkey!

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