After I decided to do the 111 in 2011 project and posted about it, I got a little stressed. 111 skeins/balls/units of yarn is a lot of yarn. Even if you decide to use 111 skeins of bulky yarn in 55 m skeins (not that that had crossed my mind no siree it hadn’t) that still works out to 6105 m to knit up. Or 6.1 km. Not far but not really close either. And since I’ve gone public with it, what if I don’t make my goal? It’s enough to make a knitter lose sleep.
So, to ease my nerves, I tossed my stash a few weeks ago and pulled out several projects worth of yarn (hats, coats, shawls, sweaters, socks) in various weights and piled them up on my desk. As incentive. I still don’t have one empty storage bin but I’m getting close.
I also pulled out several mill end bags and figured out what to do with them. Sometime last year I
went a little crazy got a great deal on Patons SWS mill ends at my local Zellers. I bought nine bags. Maybe 10. No, definitely nine. Ok nine that I’m admitting to. Each bag has five balls of yarn in it. I used 2/3 of a ball to make a hat. And the rest of it has sat, silently reproaching me. So I measured it, caked it and knit a French Market Bag out of five more balls. To be honest, I’m a little disappointed with the bag. It’s not as big as I’d have liked it to be (even though I knit the body another 7 inches longer) but that’s my problem. But, I used up nearly a pound of yarn and I’ll use the bag for something. And that’s what got the blood flowing.
I knit up a pair of fingerless mitts for me using yarn that’s been kicking around for a few years. I knit up some dishcloths for the house and cottage. I’m working through some Loops and Threads for kids mittens as well. I blew through four balls of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Superchunky last month and I’ve finally started that Lopi sweater (#18, Design 1) for the Hubs.
So, in nearly two months, I’ve used up 18 balls/skeins of yarn for a grand total of 1631 m knitted. Which is 1.6 km. Which is about the distance from The Money Pit to the highway on-ramp. Which is exciting.
I’ve got 93 balls left to knit and I’m just getting going. I’ve got some chunky blankets to make for the cottage, more felted clogs and lots and lots of socks and mittens. I am finding it kind of empowering to shop from my stash as well. I have a lot of yarn and most of the time I can make it fit the pattern I want to make. And if I can’t, well, the pattern is filed for future use when the stash is smaller and I can justify buying more yarn. I might it at that point. If I still like it.
And it’s nice to see some space emerging. No empty storage bins yet but I cleared off a shelf in our spare room closet last night and slowly but surely that giant pile of yarn on my desk is getting smaller. I also have fewer projects on my needles at any given time and I’m more organized about what I’m making. But the best part of all of this is the incredible sense of satisfaction I get when I can “x” out the numbers on my count down chart.
I’ve gone from I think I can to I know I can. I’ll update again in a month. And when I hit 5k, I’ll have a little something special planned.
You are an inspiration. I just got home from Madrona, where I swear I only bought eight skeins of yarn, and one of them is a gift.
rock on! I’ve put the brakes on consuming/buying more STUFF right now myself and it’s a great feeling to realize that it’s not really a sacrifice – just forcing me to look at what is already around me (in piles, and on bookshelves, in drawers, in closets…) and USE it — and be more creative about it too — like you said, making the yarn fit the project or moving on for now… Keep up the good work…
Great stuff! It’s nice to hear that stashbusting is getting so satisfying. For me the ticket out of my yarn funk was Christmas knitting. I realized how possible it was to get stuff done if I just put the time in and knit it. Now I’m hoping to burn through a couple of sweaters which I hardly ever knit.
Good luck with the project, it will be awesome to see the final list of FOs when you’re done!
An excellent start.