Stash-busting Knits

I have signed up for the WestKnits Mystery Shawl Knitalong: Earth and Sky. If ever there was an opportunity to make a hole in the sock-yarn stockpile, this is it!

It requires three colours of fingering-weight yarn, and I have been watching fellow-knitters blog about possible colourways. 2066 people had signed up on Ravelry the last time I checked!

I love the graphic approach of Stephen West, but hadn’t got round to knitting one of his designs until now. The design is released step by step, and you knit each section in a week, ready for the next set of instructions. Brilliant! Bite-sized knitting!
Being a very sad person, I used Excel to draw a pie chart for each size of shawl, to view the proportion of each colour used for each size. How interesting! I much prefer the balance of colours in large and small, compared to medium. Although it is impossible to tell at the moment, it suggests to me that the shawl is asymmetric, that Colour C is the background, Colour B is a “flash”, and Colour A is a fairly regular stripe. Time will tell!

Now all I have to do is keep up…I am not supposed to show my knitting until the mystery is over, but I can tell you I am using Drops Alpaca in purple, green and red. :)

I am trying not to feel disappointed when I compare my “nugget” of knitting with the Wollmeise-users and the handspinners. Mine lacks subtlety. It might even be ugly. But I need to be patient and see how this thing develops. For the time being, I am feeling smug that I am using up three stray balls of yarn which had no previous purpose in life. OK… they were meant for mittens… but who remembers that?!
My next stashbuster is aran-weight.

While we were away, FL discovered the joy of tea cosies. Instead of having to reheat his tea in the microwave at frequent intervals across the day, he realised that a tea cosy keeps the tea hot enough to drink – well, who knew, eh?!

Considering the contempt he showered upon our old tea cosy, I had never felt inclined to knit a fancy one. The old one was mysteriously sprayed in gravy and then boil-washed. As you would expect, it no longer fitted the pot after that treatment and was quickly discarded.

I had long been hankering after the Rosie Posie Tea Cosy from Issue 2 of The Knitter, so last weekend I seized my chance and set to work. I had a single skein of Schoppel Wolle “Kiss”: a bizarre novelty wool which alternates a skinny spiral with a big fluffy slub of roving at even intervals. I knew 35m was never going to be enough to make a tea cosy, so I hit the stash for the leftovers of plant-dyed aran from my daughter’s Staccato jacket.

In one evening, I had the main body of the tea cosy knitted. I then paused to learn to crochet a rose or two for the top. I was worried I run out of red and purple yarn, and thought I should prioritise the floral tributes! The remainder of the cosy itself was knit in stripes of Reggae Ombre and Noro Kureyon. As most of the rest is lining, the matchiness or otherwise of the yarn is not important. Do you know how much yarn goes into knitting a tea cosy?!

And then, full of the stash-busting spirit, I was struck by lightning in the form of Seraphine by Lucy Sweetland.

Oh wow!

This is the project that my DK-ish handspun yarn from the West Coast (last year) has been waiting for. I know I said I was going to knit Shalder out of it… but I don’t think I have the necessary yardage. But Seraphine? Oh yes, this is the one! ; )

What was that? Betty who? I was knitting a cardigan? Who told you that?

Um… yeah. I didn’t even unzip the knitting bag on holiday.

Poor Betty Jean! I’ll finish you one day, I promise!