Monday, August 29, 2011

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Here

I skipped out on blogging last week because I really had nothing to show. I'm at the point now where the rows on Katanya, the July Pins & Lace shawl, are so long that they take a while to do, and I just didn't have much time last week at all. Between work, things that had to be done at home and just generally being wiped out once it was all finished, I was barely managing a row a night, and some nights I didn't knit at all. But! Thanks to the hurricane, I had a good excuse to do nothing but knit this weekend. I'm not really sure how that works, since the hurricane wasn't inside and so there was nothing to prevent me from doing all the stuff that needed doing inside, but hey, I needed a break, so I spent a lot of time knitting on Saturday and I got through the mesh section of the lace chart:


Two charts to go, I think. There are a lot of charts in this pattern! However, you only do each chart once, so I'm okay with lots of charts.

Friday night, I finished this:


That's right, The Scarf That Would Not Die is finally done. I haven't measured it, but I'm sure it's over six feet. How do I know this?


CodeNinja is 5'10". It'll probably lose some length when blocked as I expect the rib to expand considerably, so it'll be much wider than it is in these pictures. (Please excuse my messy house in the background. I apologize for shattering any illusion you may have had that I am a neat and well-organized person. You may want to take some time to recover before reading the rest of this entry.) I would have blocked it this weekend except that I weep when I think about threading wires through six plus feet of solid knitting.

Sunday, I became possessed. I'm not exactly sure it happened, but I have six pages of flickr photos to prove it's true. We went out to run some errands Sunday after church, and I was telling CodeNinja how I've felt like I'm in a bit of knitting slump lately and I wasn't sure how to get out of it, and maybe I should pull some of my old projects out and see if one of them excited me, and then I sighed heavily because my 'craft room' (otherwise known as 'the vortex of chaos') is in such a state that I was sure I wouldn't be able to find the project I was thinking of even if I tried. Then I said, maybe I should pull it all out and organize the stash.

I say this often. I really do. But this time was different. This time, I went home - and I actually did it.

First I tried to do it a little bit at a time. That was not very successful. Too confusing. So, I pulled all of my yarn out of the craft room and the zillion other nooks and crannies it was occupying in the house, and I piled it all in my guest bedroom.



After this I sorted it roughly by weight, tossing all my sock weight on the left side of the bed, all my lace weight on the right side of the bed, accumulating worsted or heavier in one corner of the room, and tossed all my DK/sport weight into one bag. I enlisted CodeNinja, sat him down with the computer and my Ravelry stash page, and we went through the stash from heaviest to lightest. I pulled stuff out, brought it into the craft room, CodeNinja verified it was in the stash, logged it if it wasn't, let me know if I needed a picture, and then once the yarn was logged and photographed I put it away, as neatly as possible. When I came across a WIP, I put it in the corner, along with all the yarn that was supposed to go with it, to deal with later.

I don't have all that much heavier weight yarn, but the heavier weight yarn was the least well documented, so it took us a while to get through the worsted-or-heavier-pile. The DK pile was even smaller so even though it wasn't all that well documented, it didn't take that long to deal with.

Then came the fingering weight. I sorted it by color first, in rainbow order, with all the neutrals and anything that made me go 'uuhhh...' at the end.




Then I carried it by color group into the craft room, where we verified, photographed if necessary, and I put it away. Though this is by far the most extensive part of my stash, it didn't take that much time to do, because it is also by far the most well-documented area of my stash.

When we finished the sock weight I did the same with the laceweight and now, I present to you...the stash.


The worsted & heavier corner, which I'm afraid, doesn't look all that neat. I need a couple of bins to put this stuff in. The cardboard box has all my Valley Yarns stuff and then everything else is sort of neatly stacked and piled and there IS one little basket in there but it's so buried in yarn you can't see it. But, even though it is somewhat piled, it is organized. All the like yarns are together with their fellows, at least until I need something at the bottom of this pile and start tossing stuff aside with no regard for my previous organizational efforts. It's only a matter of time.

And this, the pride of my stash, the sock & laceweight yarn.


CodeNinja bought these shoe thingies for me some time ago for the express purpose of helping me organize my yarn, and they work pretty well. Of course, as I look at this picture I realize I have made the classic organizational mistake of not allowing adequate room for expansion, but we'll get to that in a moment.

I didn't have quite enough room for everything so some items are hanging next to it using my old system, ziplocks clip ed in skirt hangers. It works when your stash isn't so big, but not so well when it grows as much as mine has.


Then, I turned my attention to my WIP pile.


Some of these items are much loved, and simply unfinished because of unfortunate circumstances or laziness. Some of these are what I like to call, Things I Started Before I Knew Better, and serve as sort of a timeline of stuff I have learned over the last three and a half years of knitting about my own preferences. Unfortunately, some of my photos from this sort seem to be missing, so I'm going to save that for bonus post this week when I can really get into the "WHAT WAS I THINKING??" and maybe that'll make up for having no post last week.

My stash organization hasn't been perfect, even since then I've found more yarn that I didn't deal with during the sort, and there were a few things in my ravelry stash that I know I still have but can't find - but it's a start, and now I can actually walk into the room when I need something, instead of doing this sort of fraught-with-danger hopscotch around the room to try and get to where I think the stuff I'm looking for may be hiding.

One thing this has shown me, as if I really needed evidence, is that I don't really need more yarn. I don't feel like I have an unreasonable amount of stashed yarn, either. It's manageable. But, there aren't a lot of colors that I don't have here. This doesn't really mean I will stop buying yarn, because buying yarn is fun, but I will try to go to the stash first. Also...I really ought to knit more socks. I've got lots of sock yarn now that I feel like is too pretty for socks and that I should save for a shawl, but I really ought to just suck it up and pick some of these skeins out to make socks out of. I'm eyeing some of that Neighborhood Fiber Company Capital Luxury sock for my next pair.


Jeanne said...

I feel so much better now :-)

Saara said...

I bow before your organizational skills. I really should do the same, but I am lazy :P Also? I'd advise against blocking that scarf with wires - I'd just steam it while gently patting it into shape, and not just because of my aforementioned laziness ;) Gives you much better control of how much you want to spread out that ribbing, I think.

Karen said...

You have inspired me. I may tackle mine tomorrow.
Your shawl is lovely!