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With the exception of sock yarn, I am, for some unknown reason, not comfortable stashing much yarn. The presence of these yarns in my bins triggers a constant, uncomfortable, OCD-esque humming in my mind.

In the past few weeks, as the spring fogginess dispersed, the hum picked up and I have been driven to find the perfect project for ALL of the non fingering (or lighter) weight yarns in my stash.

Project 1: Patons Classic Merino Afghan

1. Log Cabin #1, 2. Log Cabin #2, 3. Log Cabin 3.0, 4. IMG_1448

Over a year ago, I picked up 18 skeins of Patons Classic Merino, for an afghan to match a summer quilt. I originally planned on knitting a striped chevron but I got as far as the swatch before moving on. This winter I fell in love with garter stitch when knitting a BSJ jacket and got on the log cabin wagon.

On my first attempt I thought I'd double up the yarn, alternating the solid sections with a section mixing the colors every other half row. After finishing the first row I realized my idea made flesh was unappetizing.

When the hum picked up again last month I had already decided on, and then abandoned, the chevron idea a second time. Last month, while digesting two seasons of my new favorite show, Heroes (via netflix's amazing Roku), I tried alternating the solid colors.

Unfortunately, the system I had thought would work did not. The colors on one side of the logs overlap, while on the other side they do not. So I opened up MS excel and charted out the colors until I found a design I liked that worked. I haven't gotten much farther than the bottom left hand photo indicates, but the project is a go and (more importantly!) the hum is gone!

Project 2: Lime Blue Malabrigo Scarf

1. Entrelac Scarf, 2. Lime & Blue Cabled Hat, 3. Foliage Scarf - frogged, 4. IMG_3066

Some time last fall I came across the most delicious malabrigo colorway, Lime & Blue. I loved how it looked en skein, but was less happy with how it looked knit up. When I finished a cabled hat with it, I fell in love with the pooling and have spent hours upon hours knitting and frogging different scarf patterns hoping to find the magic stitch count to court the process.

Yesterday afternoon a solution came to me: Entrelac. Being a child of the 80's, Entrelac embodies all that is 70s, which in turn means it is the epitome of gauche. My tastes, honed in the matchy matchy 80s, are often horrified as the fashions of the 70s surround me, from the multicolored empire waisted scarf shirts to the fantastic sock colorways I've begun to (love and) hoard.

When I would come across pictoral evidence of the Entrelac technique in one of my general knitting books, I quickly looked away unsure why anyone would want to create such a monstrosity of color and texture. But then, last September, I saw Minerva Turkey's Noro pillow. It's fabulous, go see. I had no intention of ever following in her footsteps, but I was then able to comprehend the beauty of the technique.

Anyhow, after another couple of hours were lost Sunday morning to more failed attempts the idea of Entrelac just popped into my mind. I knew right away I had found my holy grail for this yarn.

With the few inches I have so far, I am more than satisfied; the small blocks are the right sized canvas to showcase the jarring juxtaposition of the neon lime and deep midnight blues of the yarn. One more yarn conundrum solved.

Project 3: Manos del Uruguay Winter Set

I purchased this yarn at Rhinebeck last fall, and after the Lime & Blue Malabrigo, it is the second most pressing project I feel I need to knit up and out of my stash.

I am pretty sure this will be a My So Called Scarf with a matching hat and/or mitts, yardage allowing. I tried out the pattern this weekend, as a respite from the Malabrigo scarf swatching. I didn't get far before the Malabrigo scarf called me back. It looked like the needles I used were the wrong size so I quickly frogged what I had done and tucked the yarn back into its cubby.

Project 4: Cascade 220 Superwash Sweater

I picked up this yarn at Webs last summer. It is the last purchase from this trek left unused. By hook or by crook, it will be a sweater. As I mentioned the other day, my latest design is a FAIL and is wallowing in the frog pond.

The recent attempt has diminished my drive to ponder the yarn's purpose. This time around, though, I made pretty decent gauge notes so that whenever I get the urge to return to the drawing board, I wont have to reinvent the wheel.

Whew. Getting this all down and organized has been supremely cathartic. I totally feel I can move on to another shawl project with a clear mind (which I will totally blame on an unnamed blogger who totally suckled the bee in my bonnet. I wont name her, but she knows who she is. :-P ) All I need is the perfect yarn.


Beth S. said…
Aha, I see your entrelac project... with Malabrigo! Very clever use of that yarn, I think.

And you have some excellent colors to work with in that Manos, too. Should make a lovely So-Called.
Shannon said…
You know, I have no problem stashing sock yarn...but I cannot feel ok about stashing anything else either. :) It haunts me. I feel guilty if I don't use it.

At least I am not alone! Hahahahaha
Knitting Kris said…
If not for the fantastic knitting and photos, I love reading your blog for your wonderful use of the English language! Who else could use "juxtaposition" so well?

Lovely yarn btw. I love the log cabin squares! And that malabrigo is my favorite yet!
Nell said…
I love that Manos. My So Called Scarf would really be pretty in that color!