Getting my Knit Together

Closeup of peach bougainvillea

Good news everyone!  WordPress support helped me find my missing post.  Somehow a draft version had overwritten the final version, which was thankfully still sitting in history.  I feel rather silly I hadn’t thought to check in history, but user error is one of the easiest tech problems to fix, so I was like a break in some tech person’s otherwise stressful day, right?

I am still blaming the cats for the overwrite.

Now that the crisis is averted, I can return to cowering inside with tissues and hot tea and knitting.  And planning knitting.  Let’s talk about that, shall we?

At the beginning of the year, I took my old stash in-and-out spreadsheet and added one page for each quarter.  Then I took the list of projects I wanted to knit this year and assigned each project to a quarter based on when I wanted them completed.  In one column, I listed the total yardage for each project, and in the second I listed how much I had knitted (0 if the project hadn’t been started).  Then, I used a formula that would calculate how many yards I would need to knit each day of each quarter based on days left in the quarter and yards knitted (it’s live in the formula bar in the screenshot below if you’re so blown away by my stash geekery you simply have to make a quarterly stash file of your own ;)).

Screen Shot 2018-03-27 at 12.42.41 PM

The last step of this process would be to measure how much I knitted on several days to see how many yards I can knit in an average day.  To be really, really accurate, I could have tested my speed with different types of project, like lace and plain stockinette.  That, however, is a level of organization I just didn’t have the vim to pursue.  I know it would give my deadline-knitting accuracy and predictability I have heretofore been unable to achieve. But I also know I’d either get bogged down in the measurement stage or frustrated every day I didn’t meet my quota.  So I’m going to focus on knitting daily, logging my project progress regularly, and keeping an eye on that daily number.  If it starts to look crazy, I’ll plan on a laundry-free, macaroni-for-dinner day and kick out some knitting.

Speaking of organizing, I was out in the casita shortly after the holidays and found insect damage in the singles on my wheel.  INSECT DAMAGE PEOPLE.  Needless to say, I freaked out, called an exterminator, and began bagging my stash.  I hate using plastic, but that stash has taken me over a decade to build.  I am not losing it all to bugs.

Yarn being frozen in plastic bags to kill pests

Three months later, I am still bagging.  I haven’t seen damage in anything else yet, but I am taking no chances.  Every ounce of fiber, plant fibers and synthetics included, must be bagged and frozen.  My MIL has a spare freezer and is kindly assisting in the freezing process.  The WIPs and most of the wool yarn is done, leaving some plant fiber yarns, fingerinng weight, and the spinning fiber.  So much spinning fiber.

Now that the initial panic has subsided, I am putting the entire experience down as a really good way to reacquaint myself with my stash.  I like 95% of what I own and a good portion of it is American wool.  Most of the cotton, alas, is conventionally grown, but seeing all that conventional cotton has reminded me I’d like to invest in organic cotton moving forward. Or maybe just finish knitting with the cotton I have. I always forget how little is needed for washcloths, my primary use of cotton.

Normally I think of my stash in ounces and yards, but now that little body bags of it are filling the house, I’m starting to think of it I terms of volume. I have 13 projects lined up for 2018 and 12 use stash yarn. There are five sweaters, three shawls, two toys, a hat, a scarf, and a pair of socks on the list. A sweater’s worth of yarn fits in two bags, and five bags fit in a box, so that’s about 14 bags or three boxes.

Three whole boxes! If I can pull this whole schedule off, everything might actually fit on the stash shelf at the end of the year. Wouldn’t that be an accomplishment?!

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