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I Don’t Have That Much Yarn, Honest

The title of this blog is what I tell myself from time to time. I look at the two stacking boxes of yarn on top of my wardrobe, and think “that’s not much, really”. Recently, the stacking boxes have seemed to get a bit fuller, and there have been bags of random yarn lying round the living room. Then I decided to catalogue it all in Ravelry, and the site kindly printed me off an Excel spreadsheet that told me I had 14,200 metres of yarn approximately. That seemed like quite a lot, but I hadn’t even gone through the box of scraps or any of the stuff in project bags. So I decided that a bit of a sort out was in order. This post will probably be super boring for anyone who doesn’t like looking at yarn, but I’m going to look back at it every time I think I need to buy some more.

I took out all my boxes and bags of yarn and half finished projects, aided by the cat and the four month old baby. I’m sure you can imagine they were very helpful. Then I arranged my main stash on the floor like a big colour wheel, because it looked pretty and also a bit smaller. Here it is, in all it’s glory.

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This is a significantly smaller amount of yarn than I used to have, but it’s still a lot. Most of it has been picked up in charity shops, bought from Wool Warehouse, or left over from design commissions. Most of it was bought without a project in mind, because it was pretty and I thought I’d probably use it one day. There’s some lovely wee bits in there, Jamieson and Smith Shetland yarn, soft alpaca, a nice skein of lace yarn. I started to get ideas about what I could knit with it all, but then I thought I should really pull out all my projects and see what I could finish off first.

First up, and a work in progress for about three years, is this fair isle cardigan. It’s knitted in Drops Alpaca, which is lovely and soft. Normally I get stranded projects knitted up quite quickly, but this one has been my nemesis. The pattern isn’t as intuitive as I’d like, and it just seems like a bit of a slog.

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Next is the Bornholm Satchel, one my own patterns which I knitted up for publication in a lovely wool yarn. This sample is knitted in Drops Bomull-Lin, a cotton/linen yarn that’s a total pain to work with. It’s very splitty, and although the finished fabric is perfect for a bag, it’s not fun to knit – especially in this kind of herringbone pattern. I’ve done most of it though, so I just need to build up the courage to finish it off.

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Then we have a lace shawl in 2ply baby yarn, started in a moment of madness when I thought I could knit something enormous and lacy. I haven’t even knitted the garter stitch centre square yet, so this might not be finished for another few years.

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Next up is Kilda, a lovely fair isle cardigan. I started knitting this in two colours of Rowan Felted Tweed, and then discovered that the pattern didn’t show up. So I’ve started again, and will be using the basic pattern but making it striped instead. I’ve done approximately one inch of rib on the back, so again this will take a while!

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Then there is my current favourite project, a top-down sweater for my daughter in the most amazing pastel sparkly yarn. This is Papatya Batik Silver, and the pattern is the Contrast Sweater from Petite Knit. I love it, really simple to knit and working up quite quickly in a DK weight yarn.

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In contrast, my next WIP is working up very slowly. This is a cardigan I’ve knitted once before, Evie by Kim Hargreaves. I’ve been working on this one for a year, and I haven’t gone back to it because I forgot where I was in the complex shaping.

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I also have a few bags of yarn which are allocated to particular projects, but I haven’t cast on yet. There is a whole pile of Drops Nepal, which is going to be the Utivist cardigan by Helene Magnusson. I love the colours, but the idea of steeking is scaring me a bit, so I haven’t started yet.

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I’ve got some Drops Fabel all ready to start a pair of Sanquhar Duke pattern gloves for my husband, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll have to adapt the pattern to fit his hands, and that’s not a job I want to do anytime soon.

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Then a new parcel arrived from Wool Warehouse today, with two cakes of Caron yarn to make a Flax sweater for my friends’ daughter. This is the Mixed Berry colourway, and it’s lovely and bright and cheerful.

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I also bought some Cygnet Boho Spirit. I don’t normally like to knit with acrylic yarn for myself, but this stuff seems lovely and soft and it was quite cheap. This is earmarked for a cardigan from the new West Yorkshire Spinners Croft Shetland Colours book.

The final project waiting to be started is another Yves sweater – I’ve made two of these already for my son and my nephew, and it’s a great pattern. I have lots of the Scheepjes Colour Crafter yarn left over, so I’m making one for my friends’ son.

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After all this, I thought that I probably didn’t need to start anymore projects just yet. I remembered that I had a whole bag of Drops yarn on top of the wardrobe which is set aside for future designs, so that would keep me going for a wee while. Then I turned out the scrap bin, and realised that there was a LOT of yarn in there. This is where I put all my odds and ends of yarn that aren’t really enough for a project, and are useful for swatching new designs.

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So, after all this, I formulated a plan of action. I’m going to try and get all my WIPs off the needles, whether that means finishing them or unravelling them if I really can’t face finishing them. Then I’m going to knit up all the projects that I have plans for, and try not to start any more new ones in the meantime. After that I will go through all my patterns and yarn and try to match them up. And if anyone sees me buying any more yarn, remind me of this post please!

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