Like just about everybody else on the internet, I’ve recently gotten on board with the tidying craze (if you haven’t already heard about this phenomenon, read this book by Marie Kondo). While my tone seems a little flippant, the fact of the matter is that tidying, getting my house in order, has brought about a significant and fundamental change in my relationship to my things, and my pleasure in life.
Of most interest to you knitters is the change in my relationship to my STASH. Here is one of the results is this project, a super-chunky stashbuster blanket worked in tunisian crochet on a massive (19mm) hook.
Working as a designer for the past 6+ years, I have naturally amassed a MOUNTAINOUS stash. While naturally frugal, crafting supplies have always been a weakness of mine. With yarn classed as a business expense, the barriers to purchase have been further eroded! After I’d used Kondo’s method to clear out my wardrobe, bookshelf, kitchen, office supplies and cupboards, it was time to confront my stash head on, and determine which items genuinely brought me joy to have and to hold. My stash mountain has honestly become a weight upon me. At times I have felt guilty for all the beautiful and precious stash that I know in my heart will never become a knit project.
There were hundreds of luxurious bits and odd skeins left over from projects I’d completed, and dozens of single balls that I’d purchased thinking that I’d swatch with them, or knit a gift. There were even several sweater quantities of gorgeous yarns that I’d bought when I was touring around. Nearly every skein had a story, an emotion, a memory attached; such a weight that I was reluctant to let go of.
But I told myself that there was no value in having these things packed away in plastic tubs, if they were not bringing joy to my life and beauty to my home, and if, in fact, they contributed a weight of anxiety and guilt instead of the pleasure they might bring to someone else. If a bird in hand is worth 3 in the bush, then a skein of yarn in use (worked into something beautiful and useful) is worth 100 in the stash!
But how could I part with this mountain of alpaca, silk, cashmere, merino and hand-dyed luxury? Enter the Stashbuster Blanket!
I remembered working at Urban Yarns when I was in my designer infancy, and a project that the owner Anina had been working on, called the Stashbuster Blanket. At the time I thought I’d NEVER waste that much yarn on a single project. But lately, I’d been wanting to try the technique (tunisian crochet), and thought the finished object would be a lovely addition to my home, so last year I bought the pattern and hook, but never cast on. Well the ‘Year to Try Something New’ and this tidying project were a final impetus to act.
After a couple false starts, which blended colours a bit more radically for my taste, I settled on a concept; I planned an ombre of primary colours (blues, reds, yellows) against a lightening ombre of greys. Each colour block has 3 sections, darkest, medium, and lightest. The pattern calls for 3 colours to be worked at a time, but I began with a grey border in a single colour, then worked 2 slightly different colours of blue with this grey, then two slightly lighter colours with the grey, and so on and so forth. By the time I’d completed 3 sections of blue, then 3 sections of red/orange, I could see that the blanket was long enough, and adding yellows would make it out of proportion for a couch throw. So I worked a second grey edge and called my masterpiece complete!
stashbuster blanket project details:
Pattern: Stashbuster Blanket by StitchDiva Studios
Finished Size: I worked a blanket that is 60 sts wide, and 108 rows long. It measures 38″ wide x 61″ long.
Yarn: About a million different yarns… and I’ve no idea the finished yardage!
How do you feel about your stash?
How do you display it? Does it bring you pleasure just to own it, or do you suffer some anxiety or guilt? Share thoughts and photos of your stash mountain on your favourite social spot:
Pretty projects for knitting from stash: