Friday, February 26, 2016

Bust the Stash: Finished Objects - Cowl, Gloves and a Hat

The problem with this stash-busting exercise is that, almost every time I finish a project, I have to queue another with the same yarn (of which I generally have 30 yards remaining). Have I said this already? Here's the deal, there aren't a lot of patterns that take 30 yards of yarn. Not to mention that I'm kind of done with any given yarn once I've made 2 or 3 projects from it. At least for a while. So I was pleased to be able to use up the remainder of my Misti Alpaca, a yarn the origins of which I greatly appreciate (thanks Ruth!), I'm not going to miss the hairiness and halo - even if the finished items are appealing.

Here's what I made with the alpaca stash:

Bust the Stash Project 7 - Seed Stitch Cowl 2:

Note: This is the same photo that I took of the first finished object because the two versions look exactly the same and I really like the photo. (The only diff is that, this go round, I didn't accidentally twist the stitches.) This cowl is a terrific project for a new knitter who wants to make a practical garment that truly makes an impact. It seems that every knitter on the planet has made it so there's no shortage of reviews on blogs and Ravelry.

Can you believe that it's the same yarn as that photographed below:

Bust the Stash Project 8 - Simple Fingerless Gloves:

The colour in the cowl photo is more accurate than that in the gloves photos.

The light here is super crappy at 5:30 pm, when I get home to take pics. What I can say about these entirely uneventful gloves is that I modified them to continue the seed stitch theme in the thumb and top (in case I decide to gift these together with the cowl). I don't think it worked outrageously well, from a continuity perspective, because the gloves were made on much smaller needles.

You'll also note that the glove stitches show some tensile inconsistency. That's NOT because my tension was uneven. One of my knitting gifts is even stitch tension. The issue is with the yarn - a very extensible fiber that doesn't have great recovery (that's how alpaca goes) which was wound in balls for years. In case you're wondering why you shouldn't wind your yarn till you're ready to use it, that's the reason.

I recommend the gloves as a super easy first knit-in-the-round project. They can be made in under 2 hours given the simplicity of the stitch pattern and the gauge of the yarn. The pattern is really well written. (There's no seed stitch component. That was my addition.)

Can't say I'm likely to make them again because I rarely work with chunky yarn and I certainly wouldn't buy it to make gloves. Nonetheless, by casting these on when I was 3/4 of the way through the scarf, I was able to use up every single yard of the yarn. Repetitive scarves are great in that way.

Finally, I made the first of 5 of these hats:

Bust the Stash Project 9 - Ribbed Hat 1

The great thing about this pattern is that it's simple while being interesting to knit. You really do have to pay attention for the crown decreases though - so that's not a social knitting part of the project.

It also takes only about 130 yards of fingering-weight yarn to make an XS adult size (admittedly, it's for a very small adult head). That's generally how much I have left over after making a pair of socks from a 400 yard skein. This hat fits my tiny head well. But for most, you'll want to make the medium or large adult size. That would take about 150 yards, I suspect. I've actually modified the XS to be longer than instructed. It's my way of getting a slightly bigger version because the hat stretches an outrageous amount horizontally, given the stitch pattern. Here's the thing, I only have about 130 yards of all of the stash yarns I intend to use to make this stash buster, so I will be making a bunch of modified XSs, size be damned.  For what it's worth, I sense it will fit most women and teens I know.

It's a very quick knit - as 130 yards is bound to be. I can make one with a little bit of effort in a couple of days.

That's how we're getting on with the stash-busting here. I'm impressed by how this is working out but, natch, I crumbled on the purchase front and bought a couple of Knitter's Pride interchangeable sample kits on Amazon. (WEBS may be more affordable and they sell the kits.) I'll let you know how it goes but, for 68 bucks CDN (including shipping) I got 6 different styles of needles and 2 24" cables and 2 40" cables that are interchangeable with them all. The needles are in sizes US 2.5, 4, 6 (x2), 7 and 8. I don't really like needles thicker than a US 8 so this works well for my needs. And I haven't bought yarn so it's all good.


  1. You do realise that you'll have next Christmas covered by about Easter at this rate! ;-) Love that cowl and mitts. Great colour.

  2. It's starting to look that way! Of course, all I want to do is knit a pair of socks - and there's no appropriate yardage in the stash for that. What is that about?? Can I not appreciate what I've got?

    1. It's absolutely the nature of the creative beast! Just imagine how lovely your house will be and how smug you'll feel when all this yarn is used and you can shop with wild abandon! ;-)

    2. Actually, today when I pulled out a bunch of yarn for my next thing (what, I like to pet it before I start!) My banker's box looked actually a bit empty. OK, there's lots more in there, but there was actually space!