Back in the Christmas/New Year holiday, I unpacked my yarn stash and did a bit of sorting. It left me with an intense desire to knit with everything in my stash as soon as possible, especially some of the yarns that had been there for a while, languishing without being used, denied their purpose. I spent *ahem* a bit *ahem* of time day dreaming about what each skein was going to become. I may have lost some good knitting time to that day dreaming.
During this day dreaming and stash browsing, I realised that there were a lot of skeins that I hadn’t knit with because I didn’t have a clear idea of what I was going to make with them – just saying “socks” wasn’t good enough, which pair of socks? I started to think about some of the skeins that hadn’t previously had a plan.
While moving boxes around, I’d found a roll of tissue paper and somehow it became obvious to me that the tissue paper, the yarn that had been patiently waiting it’s time on the needles that I’d now thought about patterns for should be combined.
So I paired up a lot of skeins with patterns and then I wrapped them up, with the plan that every time I finished a project, I’d draw one at random from the pile of parcels and that would be my next project. It started as a sort of personal sock club but rapidly expanded to include scarves and other items too. I think I wrapped up 18 proto-projects in total.
I had a few things that I had to clear off the needles first – socks, the Follow Your Arrow MKAL etc. – but I thought I’d get started on unwrapping my first project pretty quickly. I was really surprised it took me until half way through March to clear the decks. But finally, the time came and I asked the MatSci to draw out the first package:
Is it everything you thought it would be? Look at the excitment, the possibility all wrapped up in that plain blue exterior. What could it be? Honestly, in the intervening two and a half months, I’d completely forgotten what I’d wrapped up so I had no idea what was inside so I was genuinely excited and surprised to find out.
It was this ball of Mad Tosh Light in the gorgeous blue called Fathom which I bought at the Bendigo Show in 2012.
I just love this colour. The pattern I’d paired it with was the Variance Cowl by Northbound Knitting which I’ve had my eye on for a while and which I thought would look gorgeous in this colour.
It turned out to be a super-quick knit (even though I initially cast on using needles 2 sizes too big because I’m a muppet), taking less than a week. It’s very easy and requires very little attention be paid. It also, to my surprise, took less than half a skein.
So then I had to find something else to knit with the yarn and after some thought, thought a pair of fingerless mittens would be nice. After some hunting on Ravelry, I settled on the Knucklebuster Mittens as I’d never knit a pair of mittens from the cuff-down before. These were also super-easy and a fun quick knit, taking a little more than a week because I didn’t work on them much – and I made them a bit shorter than the pattern called for as I wanted a pair of shorter fingerless mittens that wouldn’t interfere with sleeves.
The mittens took about a third of a skein so I was left with about 20g of leftovers which is a much more acceptable quantity than 60g.
I should mention, that the FO pictures for both of these were taken in Bendigo last weekend – it seemed appropriate for the finished items to be photographed where I’d bought the yarn two years ago. We went up to see the Royal Academy exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, which I throoughly recommend. We had a lovely time and afterward wondered around town for a while before stopping for a quick photo-shoot in the botanical gardens. We accidentally almost photo-bombed some wedding photos but fortunately noticed in time. Pretty though the mitten are, they wouldn’t have fitted with the wedding’s colour theme…
I love the mittens and I think I’ll get a lot of wear out of them, but I’m a bit ambivalent about the cowl. It looks lovely, the colour is, as mentioned, gorgeous, and the variation in the textures does look lovely. But. There’s just something about it that doesn’t work for me. It isn’t the fault of the pattern, its entirely me – I just like bulkier, less floppy neck-wear that covers more than just my neck. I would probably have been better off making the heavier weight version of the cowl, possibly by holding the yarn double since I do love the colour.
This is a conclusion I keep coming up against – I like big scarves, I like scarves made of thicker yarn or voluminous scarves made of lighter weight yarn to get a similar effect – so why do I keep making the same mistake and knitting smaller, fingering weight yarn? I don’t know, I think I just get distracted by the pretty. I think there may be another fingering weight scarfy thing in the box of packages so I may be compelled to give it another go later in the year when I’ve forgotten this lesson again.
I’ve already made a start on the next package out of the box, which I am throughly enjoying and is an older stash dive than this one.