Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Deep Stash Yadda Yadda

So, the DS marathon isn't going anywhere, as is evidenced by the scads of blog entries I haven't posted about it.  I also haven't been keeping track of the yardage faithfully (and there is a little some to keep track of), so the idea of going through the backlog to count it all is just a bad one.  It's not gonna happen.

I maintain that the marathon is a good idea, I've just been going about it too casually.  A marathon is a race, after all, and I haven't been acting even like a tortoise in a race.  It's time to introduce the game into this game and set some real goals and real consequences.

[Insert ominous music here.]

And knock down the yardage miles a bit to, say, a half marathon.

Beginning July 1, I'm running my first ever Deep Stash Half Marathon.  I have until the end of the year to work through 23,072.5 yards of deep stash yarn (13.1 miles) or else I must sell/give away/toss the difference of what I don't use in projects.  Either way, I will be rid of just over 23K yards of yarn.  Gone.  Outta here.  Boom.  The sad consequence will be that some of it I won't get to use myself; it'll just be yarn echoes in the corners of my mind.

[Insert Debbie Downer sound effect]

And there are rules!  As follows:

  1. Deep Stash is yarn that has spent five years or more in the stash (added in 2011 or earlier).

  2. Only yarn taken from Deep Stash counts toward the DSHM2016 goal total, not from more recent stash.

  3. Yarns can be held in multiple strands while working them into a project, and the individual yardage of each strand will count toward the goal total.  Because yardage that is gone, is GONE.

  4. All projects finished by December 31, 2016 (using DS) will count.  They do not have to be started after July 1, 2016.

  5. The goal total that isn't met by completed projects will be met as well by destashing methods (sell, give, toss) from Deep Stash.

  6. Deep Stash destashing may occur at any time during the half marathon, not just as its end, and count toward the goal total.

  7. So, how much do I have to work into projects to avoid the dreaded DESTASH decisions?

    23,072.5 yards = 3,845 yards/month = 961 yards/week = 192 yards/day (for a five-day week).

    Right.  Knitting almost 200 yards a day isn't setting myself up for failure.  Nope.

    Yeah, I know it is, but the challenge of the race here is the difficulty.  I'm simply trying to work as much yardage through my fingers before I have to destash the rest, unused.

    I intend to report yardage totals as I complete each project.  So, the blog entries may come sporadically, but I hope there will be several between now and the end of the year.

    Now, if anyone wants to join me, great.  But, this isn't one of those decreasing-stash-alongs where there will be prizes.  Therefore, there will be no rule nannies to keep anyone in line.  If you want to use my rules for your race, fine.  If you want to expand the rules to your entire stash, great!  It's just that, I know my deep stash alone is still at least 138K yards (78 miles), so I've got a few half to full marathons in front of me before I've whittled it down to a more comfortable level.

    So, okay then.  Get ready, get set...

    Monday, November 2, 2015

    Green Deep Stash

    Deep Stash Departure Yardage
    Since last tally: 2,756 1.57 miles
    Current Total: 3,182 1.81 miles

    It started with yoga socks.

    Actually, it started with decrepitude in my knees, officially diagnosed as oseoarthritis.  To strengthen the joints, I took up yoga this summer, and THAT prompted me to knit yoga socks.  For which, I dove into the deep stash and whipped up this unispiring yet serviceable pair.


    Yarn:  Unlabeled green acrylic
    Yards:  103.2

    Yoga Socks

    Tubes with holes for ankles, toes, and heels.  So, stirrup pants without the pants part.  Remember stirrup pants, Gen Xers?  A '90s nod to a more equestrian era, no doubt.

    I made a few modifications from Diana McKay's Mindful Yoga Socks instructions (free, through, such as working from the toe up, keeping an inch of the ribbing all the way around the toes but working stockinette stitch for the bottom of the foot.  I cast on with the stretchy Old Norwegian Cast On and bound off with my favorite Miraculous Elastic method.

    Weeks passed, and I knit on various and sundry things I'll write about at a later date.  My blog remained silent because I had nothing cohesive to add to it.

    And then the temperatures began to fall, finally.  In mid-October, for crying out loud.  So, I pulled out the fat needles and bulky yarns which also happened to be green.  (A feeble common denominator, thematically, for a blog post, but my life is what it is.)

    I purchased both of the following yarns at the same time with the intention of creating a matchy-matchy winter wear set.  And so I have.


    Yarn:  Mirasol Sulka in Pear
    Yards:  72.6

    Green Owl Mitts

    My grandma Mc was an owl fan, and I thought of her while I made these Owl Study Gloves, pattern by Meghan Bosanko.  Of course, I changed them a bit since I can't leave well enough alone.  I added more stitches to the cast on since my wrists are of the stocky variety, and I repeated the ribbing at the fingers.  Again, I used the cast on and bind off I mentioned earlier, except for the thumb which was the standard-issue bind off.

    The buttons came from the collection handed down to me from my mom.  I believe they're mother-of-pearl, the tiny kind that could once be found on the cuffs of ladies' dresses.  So, my owls have beady, untrustworthy little eyes.  They don't need to see anything, anyway.


    Yarn: same as above
    Yards:  37.4

    The rest of the Sulka I put into the Moura Headband, pattern by Clara Beauty.

    Moura headband

    I followed the example of a fellow knitter on Ravelry and tapered the beginning and ending of the headband.  I had enough yarn to work only six pattern repeats, but I had enough left over to extend the tapered ending by three or four rows of seed stitching.  I blocked it to about 23 inches before I seams the ends together.

    Moura headband seam

    I think that's the first yarn I have completely eliminated from stash.


    Yarn:  Cascade Magnum
    Yards:  almost 212.8

    Finally, I had a super chunky yarn that looks like pencil roving, so I put it into this cowl of fat, undulating cables designed by Patrizia Momigliano.  It's called Arctic Blanc on Ravelry.

    Arctic Vert Cowl

    The husband told me I looked like a shady Star Wars character when I tried it on.  Fine.  A shady, WARM Star Wars character, thankyouverymuch.

    I didn't modify the pattern in any way except for all the mistakes I made.  I've never cabled on the edges of a project before, and twice I held the cable needle to the back instead of the front like I was supposed to.  Also, my grafting stitches are loosey-goosey because I held the parallel needles too far apart.

    Arctic Vert Cowl graft

    For every mistake, I just was too unmotivated to fix it.  If they can't be discerned by someone on the back of a galloping horse (equestrian nod, again), and I can tolerate them, then they get to settle in.  There.  Proof of tolerance on my part.  Don't I feel morally wholesome now.

    A grand total of 426 yards have taken their leave of Deep Stash with all this.  A bit shy of a quarter of a mile.  Not bad.

    Acrtic Vert Cowl cable

    Deep Stash Marathon Ticker


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