A minimalist’s take on stash
If you’ve been following me, you’ll know I’m not a huge stash-er. I have about 2 medium-sized boxes of personal yarn (work yarn doesn’t count!), and to be honest, a fair chunk that was given to me by a de-stashing friend.
I always get a lot of strange looks when I say this. Don’t I love yarn?
Of course I love yarn, I just don’t feel the need to buy much of it without a project in mind. Let’s say you discover a beautiful batch of worsted weight yarn that you like. Without a pattern, how much should you buy? A sweater could take anywhere from 800-1500 yards (depending on sleeve length, pattern, collar, etc.) There’s a huge risk of buying too much or not buying enough.
Now, walk into my low-stash world for a minute. Let’s say you didn’t buy that yarn, and you happily keep that $100 or more tucked into your pocket. Months later, you come across a pattern for a beautiful sweater. Do you know what’s really fun? Shopping for the perfect yarn for that sweater: taking into account the color, ply and fiber that would make the best sweater imaginable. You have a bit of money tucked away… and no guilt about ‘needing to use the stuff in the closet’. Fabulous.
Is there any yarn that I’ll buy without a plan for?
Yes. Sock yarn.
You see, my main complaint about buying yarn without a project in mind (and ‘stashing’) is that you can never be sure you’re buying the right amount.
But with sock yarn, you can always buy a skein and knit a pair of socks. Or find a one-skein shawl pattern. Or make a hat. No worries.
Sock Yarn Studio
I’m already in love with sock yarn. It tends to be the thickness favored by indie dyers: meaning that you’ll find a dazzling array of colors and dye patterns available. And, like I said… you can always make a pair of socks!
But what if you don’t like socks? Should you still love sock yarn?
Oh yeah. Meet your new friend: Sock Yarn Studio.
This book is a collection of patterns that use sock yarn… but no socks allowed! Sock yarn studio is cleverly divided into one skein, two skein & three and more skein projects. So, if you’re like me, and already have a little supply of sock yarn, you’ll find the perfect thing to knit!
The projects inside are adorable hats, scarves, gloves and even sweaters… designed to feature the yarn. You’ll find projects in a range of difficulty levels, so whether you’re looking for a simple knit, colorwork or intricate shaping, there’s something for you.
What I love most about this book is the fabulous introduction. I’m a sucker for books that have a meaty chunk of information at the front- and this one has it.
Topics such as: variation in thickness among sock yarns, judging color repeats, how to avoid pooling, swatching and substituting yarns are covered. Everything you need to know to feel comfortable working with sock-weight yarn.
Why shouldn’t you give it a try? Just remember… sock yarn doesn’t count as stash!