I did some stash diving recently and I found yarn I bought probably 20 years ago in New York. It was mill ends, I think. It was wound into cakes and they were weighed and I was charged about $3 an ounce. Needless to say, I have no idea why I chose the colors I did, although I love them, or what I planned to do with the yarn. You’ve been there, perhaps? I can literally remember my heart racing over the yarn, but nothing else.
Stash Diving Productively
Since I first found the yarn (I actually always knew it was there), and today (which felt like more purposeful stash diving), I have started a project using this yarn. It was just to be a distraction, but I ended up wanting to perfect the project and make it for real, so I got the yarn out again.
I began putting the yarn cakes onto my office scale. Then I wondered what I needed to know. While I was doing that I wrote down the weight for each cake and put it into the baggie, which felt like a win.
I measured off some yardage and weighed it so I could figure out the yardage in each cake that I actually have. There is a lot of this, so my brain started going to all the things I could make.
Getting Useful Information
I sat at my computer to figure out how much yardage I had overall. I broke the cakes into color lots to help me focus. Here are the stats I had as I started: 6 yards in 2 grams. 4 colors. $3 per ounce. Varying amounts of each color, not all colors would work together.
I needed to figure out what ounces were to figure out the price of each cake (which is actually pretty irrelevant as the money was spent long ago!). But sometimes it is useful to seek one piece of information as a way of figuring out what else you want to know.
Really, I just want to know how much yarn I have. So I entered the weight of each cake into Excel, by color. I can now consider how I want to use the colors (and yardage). I set up an equation to figure out how many yards there are in each ball, then added them up. The table below shows how many yards and ounces I have in each color.
Putting Information to Work
Now I knew what I had found in my stash diving and I could start to plan. I have a lot of this yarn! I am working it on a size 9 needle.
There is another batch of yarn in there. I believe it is merino, 20 plies of 2 plies each but without the lycra. I’ll calculate that when I get ready to do something with it.
I’ve learned a bit while working on this, and the other piece I knit using the same stitch pattern. I copied the stitch pattern from a ready-to-wear (very fine gauge) sweater and experimented until I was satisfied with my result.
- To make spaced stitches without too much space, wrap the yarn for the YO back to front (like before the knit on JSSBO).
- To keep that dropped stitch (or in this case 3 of them) from becoming sloppy, on WS rows k1-b into each of the stitches, while dropping the YO.
- K1-b on WS rows of the stitch sitting between two stitches that will be dropped later (not the one referred to in #1 above). It will keep it tidy, but knitting into the back of the other two stitches makes them hard to undo.
- Place markers between each stitch multiple to make it easy to work even when reading subtitles.