How many years have we been knitting? I’m not going to admit my
number. And as the years go by, the balls of yarn keep piling up! I
don’t feel guilty about stray remnants, as they’re leftover from
successful projects. What weighs on my conscience are the five- or
ten-ball packs that were meant for some garment I can’t remember
any more. And then there are the sale buys—those irresistible 30 or
40% off yarns that you knew were going to come in handy for....
As you can see, these skeins aren’t knitting themselves…And I know
I’m not alone with this problem!
Kristen, who is the author of the blog, Knitionary, is a
wonderful knitting friend. She and I often meet at the patisserie near
our local yarn store and share knitting projects and challenges.
Her blog is filled with gorgeous knits, scrumptious recipes, and her
adventures as a Rowan Ambassador, and you can read all about it
Out of all the visually stunning blogs out there, Knitionary is by far
the prettiest. So I was honored when Kristen consulted with me
about her stash. I am sure it took courage for her to show me her
hoard—I have not quite gotten up the nerve yet to show mine to
anyone. But there is nothing more fun than going through someone
else’s yarn treasures, so next I will have to return the favor. At
Kristen's, we spent a delightful morning poring through the yarns
she had accumulated from sales over the years, and then we
happened on the delicious idea of organizing her stash into
kits. You can see photos of the kits we made on her blog
today---we timed both our posts to come on at the same time.
Kristen's kit project took us two days, but it was so much fun that I
went straight home and did the same with my own stash. Gone are
all my yarn doldrums now--my skeins are neatly organized into
future projects that have all my creative juices flowing, and I can’t
wait to dive in!
Edina from Rowan Classic Tweed
The kit I am most excited about is based on a pattern called
Edina from the Rowan Classic Tweed Book #21. It was Kristen who
had the brilliant idea of substituting my Rowan Felted Tweed
Aran yarn for the discontinued Cashmere Tweed in the design.
I have pined over the pattern for years, admiring the classic styling
and clever cabled belt that make it so unique.
I think the cost to make this design in the original cashmere yarn
would have been about $350, so needless to say, I gave it a pass,
and then the yarn was discontinued. But it turns out I have
enough Felted Tweed Aran, which I bought in a 40% off sale, to
make this coveted top. Squeal! It just goes to show that often
the greatest treasure is under our nose. But familiarity breeds
contempt. The great fun of making kits is that a friend can
show you the wonderful possibilities of the yarn you tired of
My Kit of Cotton Glace for Eldora
Designed by Marie Wallin, Rowan Magazine 55
Here is another one of my kits, based on the cover design from the
Spring Summer Rowan Magazine 55.
You see how easy it is to make kits of your own. In fact, I challenge
you to make a few kits from stash after reading this post! All you
need to do is write up a list of questions or get a friend to help you
make up your mind, and then assemble the things you already have
on hand. Okay, I admit, it is a time-consuming process. But think of
all the money you will be saving by shopping your own stash.
Not only will you escape the burden of your past mistakes, but you’ll
feel so virtuous!
List of Questions:
1. What garments do you currently need most for your
wardrobe? A cardigan to match a dress you just bought? A summer
camisole? What is a garment type you always need duplicates of?
And is there some mad gorgeous piece you are dying to have? Write
2. What five designers do you knit from again and again
because they match your style and their patterns are so much fun?
Pull out their books/designs and mark all the ones that match your
wardrobe needs. When in doubt, consult your Ravelry queue.
3. What are the colors and weights of the yarns you currently
have project quantities of in your stash?
a. Bulky: 1 lot of cream, 400 yds. 1 lot of grey, 800 yds.
b. Aran: 2 sweaters worth: navy 1300 yds. Mauve 1140 yds.
c. DK: 5 long-sleeve sweater worth: cashmerino, tweed, silk,
d. Fingering: 8 lots of merino, 1200 yards each: jewel tones, grey,
Once you have gone through all of the patterns and yarn you need,
start making up kits!
My Kit of Kidsilk Haze Glamour to make Aislin
From Kim Hargreaves' book, Heartfelt
For storage, there are 1.5 gallon ziplock bags, or if you don’t like
plastic, you might try a decorative box.
My favorite kit bags to use are the sheer bags that I received
from Loveknitting when I won my yarn prize. Their opacity allows
the true colors of the yarn to show through, and the mesh fabric
gives the yarn a chance to breathe.
Above is my project bag for La Boheme, a fabulous design by
Marie Wallin from Rowan Magazine 54. I can’t wait to get started on
this kit, as soon as my neck injury is healed enough that I can do
fiddly work like this fair isle design on size 2 needles. Look--through
the delicate lace netting of the bag, this design has the unworldy
beauty of an impressionist painting in pastels:
When I make up each kit, I print out the design photo of the pattern
and secure it within a plastic page protector just to separate the
inked paper from my yarns.
Maybelline by Louisa Harding
from Rowan Magazine 18
Kristen and I decided that these design photos would act as the
“titles” of our kits, and allow us to identify them at a glance. Using
my photos, I quickly ranked my kits in order of priority on a series of
hanging shelves. There are currently 15 kits hanging there plus three
other projects stored in decorative boxes on my desk.
My next step was to organize my Ravelry queue so that it matched
the order of the kits on the shelves. Now I can simply proceed down
the line any time I wish to start another project. All the thinking has
It is amazing how much this simple project has changed my outlook
on my stash. Gone are my frustrations with my old buying whims.
By looking at my yarns through this new perspective, I am glad I was
planning ahead for the wonderful treats in store!
Edina by Martin Storey
Let’s face it, our yarn stash is a real treasure that we should
celebrate. I’d love to hear if any of you have made kits, and
what your process is?