Any crafter, no matter how casual, ends up with a stash of some kind. Mine started because of a bit of advice I received – always buy one extra skein of yarn than listed in the pattern just in case. It is good advice, because sometimes you knit looser than the pattern’s defined stitches-per-inch, or gauge. Then when you go to buy that extra skein, you can only find ones where the dye lot is different, resulting in a noticeably different shade. Or worse, the yarn has been discontinued, leaving you to madly scramble on the Internet for anyone who might sell you those precious five yards you need to complete the sweater you’ve been working on for the last five months. So I always bought an extra skein. The problem is those extra skeins add up fast, and I can never find the receipt to return them.
Then there’s the other way I add yarn to my stash. I call it the Gollum Effect. My non-knitting friends have witnessed this transformation with open-mouthed horror while yarn store owners think “there goes another one.” I will walk into a craft store because I need a new G-hook or maybe some size 4 double-pointed-needles. I walk past the displays of yarn and stop dead in my tracks. Slowly I turn. A golden halo surrounds a skein of yarn. I reach out and pick it up, afraid to crush the fragile bundle in my grip. Then my fingers tighten on it, an unholy light flickers in my eyes, and hiss “my preciousssssss.” I will then walk out of the store, having purchased a skein or five. Because I have to have an extra ball just in case the pattern calls four, even if I’m not sure what pattern I’m using yet..
Trying to organize the mountain of yarn, I realized if I did not buy any new stuff, I’d still have enough to work on various projects for at least a year, if not two. So I’ve decided to do what crafters call stash-busting. I’m going to try to make projects out of what I have on hand, instead of purchasing more. A few of these skeins are squirreled away for certain projects, such as this year’s BayCon costume. But I need a project that I can toss some random yarns together and still have it look good.
In my search, I came across The Apiary Puff. They are hexagon-shaped puffs based on the knitted hexipuffs from The Beekeeper’s Quilt. While an individual puff doesn’t use a lot of yarn, many of them are required to make a larger project, like a blanket or a bedspread. I can crochet one in about an hour, and because of the small quantity of yarn needed, I can keep one in my purse to work on while waiting at an appointment or standing in line. It is the perfect stashbuster.
So I’ve made up some rules for my Apiary Quilt.
- I shall try to make at least one puff a week.
- The majority of the yarn has to come from my stash.
- I will only buy yarn specifically for this project at the end, when creating the border to tie the colors together.
- In addition to whatever project I’m talking about on my blog, I will be posting pictures of my progress on the quilt.
You can follow along with my progress on Ravelry, a social site for knitters and crocheters. I will also be posting pictures of the puffs I’ve completed this week, like these two.
Hopefully soon, the mountain of yarn will be a hill. And I’ll be clutching puffs while hissing “my preciousssssss.”
Number of puffs made this week: 6