Thursday, January 26, 2023

Beloved stash

How are you? 

Thank you for being here again and thank you for all the messages xx. 

We are deep in January, actually January is almost behind us and spring is taking leaps in the amount of light we are gaining every single week. The weather has been mild, good for outdoors and walking. And! There has been knitting again after a few weeks of hiatus. I have finished two projects, socks and a blanket, Anthology throw by Helen Stewart.

I saw these Anthology throws knitted as advent projects last year in December. I thought about joining but I did not feel like knitting much and so I did not. Then one night after the New Year while watching tv I felt the urge to have needles in my hands again and in a whim bought the pattern, looked at my stash and picked one little skein of yarn and cast on. (Maybe I picked red since we were so close to Christmas.)

In December people were knitting with advent yarns, either with 20 gram or 10 gram balls in the order they were unwrapping their calendars. I have never bougth myself those small advent skeins so I decided to take my huge red yarn basket (at the moment my stash is organized by colors) and weigh all the little balls and everything over 20 grams needed to be wound into smaller balls so that I would never knit with more than 20 gram ball. I used few yarns more than once. 

I am not sure why this way of looking at the stash made all the difference. I have used odd balls a lot, but wrapping little balls was interesting and enjoyable. I did not make exactly the same size, did not feel like weighing ever so often. 

Also I did stick to the same color family, with a few exceptions, to have little bit of unity in the final result. (I am looking at my blue basket and am thinking of knitting my next scrap yarn project in the same manner. I have not decided on the project yet. Maybe another blanket.)

I would love to say out loud (write down) that this will be the year of stash and year of scraps and orphan skeins or 52 weeks of scrap yarn! But… if I go and declare something like that, I will just do the opposite. I will start to hanker new yarn and will keep adding to my stash every turn possible. Knowing all that, I won’t say it or won’t write it down here. But I wish, how I wish I could have the discipline to do just that.
Would love to eye the patterns and figure out how to make them with small left-over balls I have accumulated over the past almost 55 years. (Before that I used my Mom’s stash.) There is lots of various fingering weights and they are so easy to pair with another or with mohair or alpaca or some lace yarn. Just think about that… 

Every single hat or pair of mittens or socks I have ever knit, has added to the left-over pile (ok, not every!!). And then there are the lonely skeins, I overestimated how much yarn I would need for a sweater and after the final stitch was done, there was one skein plus some left over. Let’s not forget the purchases, when I just needed to buy this one beautiful skein of yarn.

The stash has been in good use for the past almost 5 years, most eaters were the four blankets I crocheted, but still there is plenty. I have knitted Stephen West shawls with odd skeins, his shawl designs are usually huge and eat lots of yarn. Thus the state of my stash is not as bad as it could be, but still there is plenty -  maybe it is 500 grams lighter now (am counting the socks too!).

Fingers crossed it will not be 5000 grams heavier next December… That could so easily happen. So very easily…

Wool with you,



  1. Anonymous16:16

    Lene, Your throw is exquisite! Such lovely combinations of colors! I am very impressed with your knitting. Thank you for sharing! - Lynn in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA

  2. Anonymous19:45

    You are so prolific with big, BEAUTIFUL projects, and small, ADORABLE projects!

  3. Anonymous23:30

    I have a blanket on the go also. There is something comforting about knitting a blanket while the ice creaks and groans outside my window. Mine is scrappy hand spun. I like the way you decided to use one color family and made small balls of it. It is truly a lovely blanket

  4. That's a lovely project, and such an interesting way of putting it together! Last year I knitted a second Hansel Hap for friends having their second child, and have now begun a third hap - this one for myself, I think - using leftover yarns from the first two, and probably a couple of small skeins of additional colors as the blanket grows. The first three nights I completely messed up my sleep schedule by staying up until after 2AM knitting...I think I must have missed it!

  5. AnnNPan01:35

    Thank you for sharing this lovely project. The extra length in the final edging really adds to this pattern, and as always your color artistry is inspiring.

  6. Julie Parisien06:44

    Your blanket is absolutely lovely. I am glad you are blogging again and I keep checking for new posts about your work and also pictures of your beautiful surroundings. Using yarn from our stash is certainly satisfying so I decided to share the following link with you where you should be able to find the pattern for the Battenberg Blanket. I love it and hope you will too.
    Looking forward to your next post.

  7. Anonymous13:03

    That is just beautiful! Linda from Western Ma.

  8. The colours you have used. Very pleasing for the eye!!

  9. The throw is so beautiful. There is something so satisfying about using up a quantity of scraps. I wish you luck with the stash. I look forward to seeing how you use the basket of blue scraps. I looked at my stash and had similar thoughts - what if I just knit with yarn in the house. Like you I often buy an extra skein for a sweater or shawl project because I don't want to run short. I also am not making any rash statements about what I will and won't buy.

  10. Your blanket is lovely! Every year I decide to simply knit my stash & then laugh because I know that's not a resolution I'm going to keep. Like Julie, I'm glad you're posting more often. I always enjoy seeing your creativity & hearing about life above the Artic Circle.

  11. Anonymous20:10

    Beautiful work, as always! I’ve missed your blog - have always found it so inspiring - and am so happy to see some posts here again. My stash - it’s in great need of some organization, and I’m pondering your idea of grouping by color… Perhaps that would work better for me, at least for storing remnants/scraps … Must consider that…

  12. Beth in Maryland15:39

    I have seen a lot of Anthology throws at this point, but yours is by far the most beautiful! I am so glad you are blogging again. There’s nobody like Lene for sheer joy of creating! I hope you and your family have a wonderful 2023.

  13. Love your blanket and its colors. Fun to 'revisit' old yarns and make something new. :)

  14. Karen from Canada06:22

    Your blanket is gorgeous! I am, for the first time, knitting a shawl from scrap yarn. A friend and I exchanged advent calendars this year (each morning opening a small package, with 20 grams of yarn and a treat). We are making Lala’s Simple Shawl…not sure when to stop, but it is so colourful and fun to knit!

  15. Anonymous00:27

    Ohhh! what a lovely Anthology! I 'almost' want to go start a new project. However the weather is perfect for doing outside pursuits this week, so perhaps when it turns rainy and cool again!

  16. What a beautiful blanket! I have a basket of ends from knitting socks. A year or more ago I started knitting Granny Squares from those ends with the thought of stitching them together into a blanket. Well, I have a bunch of squares, but not enough for a blanket...I need to get back to it because the basket is over-flowing!

  17. I never thought about using a binder to organize my leftover yarn labels - what a great idea! That way I can easily keep track of the weight, color, and brand of each skein. Thanks for the tip!