Stash Game

Yay!!! Inaugural Stash Game! I hope this is a fun diversion!

Back-Story

StashGame is a virtual game where you send me a photo and description of your stashed, long neglected yarn and I’ll come up with at least one project idea for it and publish it here. There’s one hitch – you can’t request a type of project.

To enter, please send the following:

  • A clear photo of your yarn. It helps if I can get an idea about the colour as well as the texture (natural sunlight is best for taking pictures).
  • The name of your yarn (brand name and product name: for example Berroco Vintage)
  • The yarn’s weight (ex. 100g) and yardage (ex. 200m/220yds)
  • The yarn’s tension (ex. 18 sts & 24 rows = 4″)
  • The yarn’s suggested needle size
  • If available, the yarn’s Ravelry page: (ex. https://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/berroco-vintage)
  • How much yarn you have
  • How long the yarn has been in your stash (I’m just curious)
  • Any interesting or pertinent back-story (if it has an interesting one). Was it a gift from someone special? Did you inherit it from your grandmother? Do you love it? Are you afraid of it? Do you hate it? (please note: if you hate it you should probably just break up with it and send it on to a better place)

Send your info through any of the following channels with the subject/hashtag #StashGame:

Please Welcome Our First Guest!

The first yarn looks to be a gorgeous 100% silk, fingering weight, single ply hand-dye:

  • Woollisa Silk Singles (we think, the ball-band is kinda spartan)
  • 100% silk, hand dyed in Italy
  • 100g/400m
  • Fingering weight
  • Suggested needles 3.5mm/US4 to4mm/US8
  • Notes: received as a gift by a beloved friend 7 years ago

Why This Yarn?

This yarn spoke to me for a few reasons:

  1. The owner has been afraid to use it, which means it’s time for them to use it.
  2. The type of fibre – it has a lot of limitations.

Category: Too Precious

This is a great example of the ‘Too Precious to Use’ stashed yarn. These yarns linger in our stashes for years, sometimes decades, waiting for the perfect project and the perfect pattern at the perfect time. We know we will receive a sign revealing what we are supposed to make with it, we just need to wait until all the planets and all their moons align ….

The entry point for this type of yarn problem is the descriptor PERFECT. In situations like this we’ve put this skein on a pedestal so high nobody could ever reach it, and unless you’re prepared to bring it down and live in the real, messy world, you might as well put it under glass. Don’t worry, I’ve been here, I’ve done it, I survived to tell the tale (it isn’t especially interesting).

Spoiler, if you are of the mind that perfectionism is a good thing, you’ll probably prefer to skip to the next section where I talk about the fibre.

So here’s the hitch – it doesn’t actually matter what you make with this yarn, because as long as it is on the perfection pedestal it will NEVER feel like it’s good enough or doing the yarn justice. So, you’ve got a choice, keep the yarn in it’s a safe little bubble of too-goodness, or use it and put yourself face to face with the uncomfortable feeling of not-good-enoughness. If you choose to move forward and use the yarn you’ll be putting yourself in a position of growth … but hey, it’s only string, it isn’t alive, so the experience shouldn’t be painful, just slightly uncomfortable and take you outside of your comfort zone.

One thing I suggest for getting this project off the ground is to reframe it, take the focus off of the self. Don’t use this yarn for making something for yourself, use it to make something for someone else. Since it was a gift from a beloved friend, I would make something for the person who gave it to me.

Project Limitations: Silk is Gonna Silk

This yarn is made from 100% Silk, which comes with its own set of issues. Silk has absolutely no memory, and it actually tends to grow with use. The more silk content in your yarn, the less shape it will likely hold. This means that it isn’t going to be useful for making anything that needs to have a shape or keep its shape. Hats, socks, fingerless gloves are all out and sweaters are tricky because of the growth factor. This sort of limits the types of projects that will work out successfully. The yarn is also thin, so wraps, scarves, wrappy-scarves, scarfy-wraps and shawls are the best options for a yarn like this. Types of lace where the yarn is wrapped around itself will bulk it up a little.

The silk will look good with lace, it won’t hold cables so if a design includes that it would have to be very deconstructed. This yarn is lovely and should probably be used on it’s own so it can shine. I would use pointy needles for this yarn, it will help scooping it up when you make your stitches. I would also advise using wood or less slippery needles, it will probably reduce accidents. Definitely be diligent and use a lifeline.

Herald

My suggestion for this yarn is the Herald wrap. I like the modernity of this openwork lace. It’s simple, timeless, and elegant. Plus, the yarn is a bright pink, so it’s going to dominate. Herald is worked on the bias as a scalene triangle, so it can be worn as a scarf or as a wrap, and has a cool asymmetrical sensibility (this translates to “easy to make, interesting to wear”). This lace also makes the most of the yardage available and doesn’t suck any up in a dense stitch like garter-stitch.

Materials

  • 400m of fingering weight yarn (my current favorite choice would be Fibre Company Meadow)
  • 4mm/US6 needles
  • tapestry needle
  • scrap yarn for lifeline (optional but advised)
  • Pattern

Stash Conclusions

1. I think I need to do a reassessment of my stash and see how much of it is in the “Too Precious to Use” category. I’m sure I’m DEEP down this rabbit hole!

2. Currently, we’re are all already well outside of our comfort zones, and I know it sounds strange, but now is actually the perfect time to push yourself further. Our fears are running rampant right now, and we want to avoid those feelings because they are extremely uncomfortable, but it’s actually ok to accept them. Fear is part of being a human being. If we hold on to the fear we get stuck in it (which I think is really just being mean to ourselves), when we accept it then it passes through us. This video by Tara Brach on dealing with pandemic fears is excellent.

3. The best way to get out of your head FAST is to think about how you can help others – it clears out an immense amount of space! Now is a great time to make gifts for others …. the holidays will come, I promise you, and next fall you’ll be thrilled to have already finished your gifts. You can also make gifts for right now for the people you care about, and help them get through this tough time.

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