Do you remember the first yarn you stashed? I do; I found a single skein of Paton’s Ballybrae in navy Black Forest Tweed at my (very) local LYS not too long after I first picked up the needles. It was already discontinued in 2003, so with my usual retail obsessiveness I set off on a hunt across the interwebs. After several well-timed requests to knitting swap lists, I have a total of 10 skeins. I always thought I would make Kathy Zimmerman’s The Very Thought of Him or Bonne Marie Burns’ Ribby Cardi with it, because I do like a monochrome tweedy cardigan as much as the next person, but fate intervened.
Just a few days ago, knitonepurltoo’s Pattern Review Staff (aka my husband) saw Jennifer Hagan‘s Fionn pullover over my shoulder, liked it and it took about 13 seconds for me to realize I could use my oldest yarn to make my newest sweater. As if that weren’t cool enough already, I’m doing that knitterly thing of using the numbers from the next-smallest size to get the (bigger) size I want. For those who are all “didn’t you just promise to knit from your queue?” I did, but I also thought I’d give myself an exception, just in case, and this looks like it. We are still proceeding with the “buy as little as possible, because you already have four bins of yarn” plan, but unlocking a sweet spot in the stash with the perfect pattern feels like a gift. Don’t you love that?
That alchemy is my favorite thing about knitting – older, less-loved yarn marinating in the stash becomes new, fresh and fascinating when it meets the right pattern. I knit slowly enough that I have plenty of time to change my mind about what I should make with a given skein of yarn, and sometimes waiting pays off, because a combination comes to light that I can’t help but love.
And get ready for “Waiting pays off, part two,” my first skein of handspun yarn (more pictures here). This is approximately 125 yards of 2 ply Corriedale from gwen erin/granolasuit; it took a shockingly long time to finish because I developed a throughly unreasonable fear that I would somehow wreck the yarn in the plying. So the bobbins sat, and I spun a little bit of other things, and then I sat down once more with the Start Spinning video and did it. Yay! The knitonepurltoo spinning wheel pit crew (aka my husband) has already called dibs on this for a hat; it’s going to be hard to wait to cast on until after I can show off the finished skein at spinning guild tomorrow, but I’ll try.