Rethinking patterns for old yarn…

So, I have to admit, I have a stashing problem. I find a pattern, fall in love, and buy the yarn for a project or three. I’ve been knitting so slow that by the time I get through one or two, I’ve bought yarn for at least 5 more. It doesn’t help that there are beautiful new patterns I want to make coming out so fast I can not keep up. Then add the random sock yarn to it and my poor tote has long since been overflowing. I’m currently trying to get back into my tote and more importantly, use up some of the sweater quantities of older yarn I have sitting around.

Now I realize the easiest way to make the excess yarn disappear would be to destash. But for whatever reason, I’m too attached to these particular yarns to just let them go. Seriously, I get upset thinking about selling them, but can’t find the right pattern to use them. So they sit there. Grumbling at me from being in my tote for more then a year.

“Why don’t you use me?!”

“I’m not good enough for the ____ you planned to make with me?”

“I see you brought in more yarn, WHAT ABOUT ME?”

And on and on. I have been scrambling to find patterns to use up these yarns. Free or otherwise. Because you know you’re in trouble when you imagine that your yarn is talking to you.

Here are the worst offenders in my tote. They’re beautiful, but I just can’t figure out what to do with them.

First is that same Cashcotton DK I brought up on the blog before I went on vacation. It is still in my tote; I didn’t get around to using it while back in Wisconsin. I think I’m finally settled on what to do with it and if I’m lucky, I may make two tops with it. OK, not settled, but there are three patterns that would all be lovely in it. Yes, only three.

Then there’s the Rowan cotton 4 ply that was supposed to be a Jasmine, until I realized that is not the most flattering choice of top for me. It is such a beautiful raspberry color. It has been long since discontinued and was a chance grab from a Ravelry destash. A whole 10 skein bag. L-u-c-k-y. Good luck trying to find 10 skeins all from the same dyelot on a discontinued yarn. Only on Ravelry could you find something like that. It is screaming to be used. Right now, I’m waiting on the newest issue of France’s Phildar for a t-shirt that looks promising for this yarn. Good thing I can read French as I’ve seen no mention of an English translation for the current issue. And even if there were, it’s only the instructions. The magazine itself is still in French which I find amusing and rather quirky.

Last, there’s the Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece I bought to make a second Rusted Root out of. I adore my Root, but have been questioning if I want a second brightly colored one and man, this stuff is a bright, electric blue. So pretty and Cotton Fleece knits up really nice. It’s a good yarn for hot weather.

Since I’m almost finished with the baby knit I’m working on, I decided to get a head start on my next knit and cast on last night.

Isn’t it lovely? Obviously, the Cotton Fleece was the winner, and I chose a brand new pattern to use it with. The winner is yet another Connie Chang Chinchio pattern, the Tie Back Shell from Knit.1’s Summer 2009 issue. It’s that tangerine colored top right on the home page. Very pretty and interesting. My gauge on size 7’s is spot on and I might have to play with the top part a bit, but I definitely am making the largest size for the bottom. I might make one size for the back and the largest for the front. I have time to give this some thought and see how things go. I have a hard time reading ahead and visualizing what I’m going to be doing, so I’m taking this one step at a time for now. My gift knit should be done by the weekend’s end and then I’m focusing on this and my socks for awhile.
Going back to my original thought, about patterns in particular, it’s hard to foresee where one will end up in terms of what she wants to knit 6 months or more down the road. At the time I bought all the previously mentioned yarns, I was knitting really simple patterns and had plans to make simple objects out of them. Now that I’ve been knitting for two years, I’m growing bored with simplicity and have been looking for knitting challenges. Knits that won’t put me to sleep. Knits that have beautiful lace patterns or unique features. This is probably why I like Chinchio’s patterns so much. Like me, she loves finer weight yarns. She takes classic shapes and updates them and puts in gorgeous lace. They’re not quick one week knits.
Speaking of which, has everyone seen her newest pattern she just released? Yowza. Must clear out my tote and make some room for that.
More knitting, less blogging and surfing Ravelry, I suppose. 🙂


  1. Jen says:

    I have the same problem. I have such a large stash and I want to destash, but then I think of the money I would lose since I have so much invested… Oh well. I guess I just need to knit more and buy less. Maybe I will try something like I can only buy half as much as I use. I feel for you:)

  2. SusanB-knits says:

    I think my yarn talks to me too! So we must be normal, lol!I know I have more patterns than I'll ever be able to knit but of course I keep looking. The Kowloon Cardigian is lovely! Will you add it to your pattern stash?!

  3. Susan, I do plan to buy Kowloon in the future, but not until I've knit up quite a few more things. Once I have the pattern, I'll be constantly tempted to buy the yarn.Jen, I've debated trying a similar policy. For now, I'm hoping to go a few weeks with no yarn purchases and go from there.

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