Okay, so I’m not sure it’s “the one” yet, but I am knitting a new thing and I just listened to a podcast that compared making a swatch to a first date and I liked the analogy so I thought I’d run with it.
As a promise to my SO, I said I’d use up some of my stash yarn before I buy new yarn for myself (yarn for Etsy projects doesn’t count) and because I do things systematically, I sorted my Ravelry stash by date stashed and I’m finding projects I can make (in the time I have when I’m not making hats like I work in a factory) starting with the oldest yarns first.
This led me to Malabrigo Yarns Rios. Way back when I was a brand new knitter sometime in 2010, I got it in my mind that I was going to make SO a brown vest (per request). We trekked down to one of our many LYS in town (this is how long ago it was…the store is no longer where it used to be, it has since moved and is, in fact, the place where I bought my emergency ball of Rowan Pure Wool DK tan for 4th Doctor Scarf of Frustration) and started looking for brown yarn. What you should know is that this was literally the first time I had bought yarn anywhere that wasn’t a big box craft store and I had no idea what I was doing. The poor employee had to watch me while I wandered around for half an hour lamenting the price of yarn, then had to show me how to wind the yarn into cakes because I’d never seen an actual yarn hank before, then asked me if I knew about stranding with that yarn (obviously I didn’t since I didn’t even know WTF that yarn was). I said “yes” though, because I can’t possibly admit to a complete stranger who might be able to help me that I don’t know something. That’s just a particular quirk of me though. I imagine I had at least done something smart like write down what weight of yarn and what length of yarn I needed for the project, but I can’t be sure that ending up with the right amount wasn’t just a happy accident. So…if I bought the yarn for the vest, then what’s going on with it now? Well. I made the vest a few months ago (after about 5 tries because SO is bigger than the pattern and I don’t can maths), but I ended up making it out of Red Heart Soft. I don’t know why. Don’t ask me why. I imagine it was because I decided that after I spent US$45+ on yarn I was making something for myself out of it, dammit. So it sat in my stash, probably waiting for me to make *myself* a vest.
Then, at some point, I realized that I don’t wear vests.
For a long time, this was *still* my only trip to a non-chain craft store and my non-big brand acrylic yarn purchase. What can I say, no one ever raised me with the stigmas against acrylic yarns. Michael’s/JoAnn/Hancock would sell me yarn on the cheap, so I bough it. I ain’t ashamed. But, since I’m a borderline hoarder, and the Rios was still the most expensive yarn in my stash, I knew I needed to do something important with it and I didn’t have anything important to do.
Fast forward to now-ish. Periodically, I’d pull out the Rios (now not the only nice yarn in my stash) and think “I should make this into a thing”, but not have the time or the energy or the whatever to actually do anything about it. So it would sit there. And I’d buy more yarn (funny thing, I now own like 4 colours of Malabrigo worsted that I *also* don’t know what to do with). I had these plans for what order I was going to knit things in, but then I opened an Etsy store and had to make like a billion hats and forty 4th Doctor scarves, so that threw all my plans out the window.
Since I got hardcore into knitting podcasts over the last month, I’ve been getting all sorts of inspiration and ideas (usually from back in 2009) lately. One particular podcast did a challenge over the course of 2012 (yeah, I’m behind…story of my life) that encouraged people to post their goals for the year in the Ravelry group and then they’d draw prizes once a month for everyone who posted in that month’s thread that they had met a goal. Most of the goals included using up stash. Which, of course, was what gave me the revelation that I should use up stash. It wasn’t possibly the fact that I recently bought a plastic shelving unit to keep my yarn in so it wasn’t just haphazardly piled in paper bags in the corner of the bedroom and all the yarn STILL didn’t fit in there and had to expand into the ottoman and the antique chest that SO’s mom gave us. No. It was people talking about using up stash. But, it’s gotten me down this road and I’ve finally finished up some other things (I frogged a sweater that I’d made last fall and decided to reknit it…I’m blaming/thanking Ravellenic games for that one), so today I was home and I knit a swatch. Well, I knit two swatches in one, which is why the photo looks a bit wonky. I’m sure that’s not the approved method of swatching, but I’m lazy and I’m sure as hell not cutting any of this yarn (I’m not actually sure I have enough for the project I chose), so it is what it is.
I learned some things about swatching from yet another podcast, but that’s another post. I’ll keep you posted on how the Rios sweater adventure turns out.