Stranded Colorwork Hat

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Right after I finished knitting Christmas presents, I made myself a stranded colorwork hat. I wanted a hat that had a lot of grey in it. I also wanted to use up small amounts of blue and grey wool yarn in my stash. I had done a little stranded colorwork in the past and thought it would be fun to experiment with the technique again. I enjoyed making the hat and I am very happy with how it turned out. 

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I learned to do stranded colorwork when I read the book Knitting Workshop by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I knit English style and I learned continental so I could knit stranded colorwork with both hands. My first colorwork project was this grey and red hat. Later, I made another hat to play with the technique. I definitely want to do more colorwork. I enjoy doing it and it isn’t as hard as I thought to do the technique. I also see a lot of beautiful stranded colorwork on Ravelry and social media. At some point in the future I want to make a yoked color work sweater like this one. I also love this sweater by Tanis Lavallee.

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Log Cabin Knit Along

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This month, Karen Templer of Fringe Association and the women behind Mason Dixon Knitting are hosting a KAL* with a log cabin theme. Here is a post that details the KAL and how it works. This is the hashtag for it on Instagram. They announced it back in the fall. When I heard about it, I was very excited about it. I had recently found a tutorial for log cabin knitting by Very Pink Knits and I immediately really liked the idea. I loved that it creates a visually striking result from rows of garter stitch and scrap yarn. I really wanted to do this KAL.

 When it got closer to it actually starting, I was having second thoughts. I had just finished holiday knitting. I was working on 2 sweaters and had just started designing and making a cable scarf. I have been feeling tired and stressed out and wasn’t sure I had the energy to start another project I would be designing, swatching and sketching. I kept thinking that I should work on the projects I was already doing. I also was concerned that adding one more project to the mix would make me feel scattered and distract me from finishing the sweaters I want to finish.

 However I also have a lot of odd scraps of acrylic yarn I wanted to use up. I kept thinking that it would be the a great way to use up the yarn. I couldn’t let go of the idea and decided to try making a square. The first attempt didn’t work at all and I unraveled it. One night, I looked at the instructions again. I realized that it wouldn’t be as hard as I thought to make it. I started another square and this time I love how it is turning out and I can see why people say that this technique is addicting. I had wanted to make a wrap or blanket scarf but after I weighed my yarn and the first square I made, I realized I would only have enough yarn to make a scarf. I am using black, grey, white, beige, red and orange yarn. I am enjoying working on this project a lot.

*stands for knit along

Project Update-Stash Busting

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I am back after a hiatus; I had taken a break over thanksgiving week and that ended up being a longer break than I had thought. When I took that week off, I didn’t work on the blog or write. I lost momentum and then each day I didn’t write, it was harder and harder to get back to it. I finally got some blogging mojo back and I wanted to give an update of the projects I have been working on since I last published a post. I will start by writing about my stash busting projects.

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I finished this bag in the middle of November. I made this bag in part because I wanted to use up some yarn in my stash. The lavender yarn is yarn I bought on clearance a few years ago. I have had it in my stash for years but I couldn’t figure out how to use it until now. The solid colored light blue yarn is some Cotton/polyester blend yarn that was leftover from other projects. The bag ended up using more yarn than I thought it would. I ended up also using some other cotton yarn for the bag. The cotton yarn is the blue and white yarn. I am mostly happy with how it turned out. It came out a little uneven in spots and I had to go back and fix that. I think that happened because I got the stitch count off on several rows. For now I am using the bag to store the yarn I want to use for a blanket I want to make.

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I also finished the hat in the first picture. I started it because I was looking for a quick and easy project to relieve stress after I had to unravel a shawl I had worked on for months. I also wanted to use up the odd bits of worsted weight yarn in my stash. I had wanted to make a colorful hat out of my yarn scraps for a while. I am very happy with how the hat turned out and it is becoming one of my favorite hats to wear. I love the bright colors, they make me happy.

My Stash Busting, Theory Vs Practice

 

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In the past, I published several blog posts on stash busting. For 2 of the posts, I posted links to patterns I liked that I found through a few Ravelry searches. I still really like the patterns I found but I realized that when I set out to stash bust; I didn’t think to look back those posts I wrote or use the patterns I looked up. I decided to look back at the posts I wrote and review how many of the pattern links I posted I actually used. I found out that I didn’t use that many of the patterns from those posts. In one of those posts, I did publish a link to a log cabin blanket pattern that I am seriously thinking of doing next and instructions for the mitered squares technique that I used for the scarf in the above picture. But for the most part, I either improvised or used a pattern in my queue.

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Recently, to stash bust, I made 2 hats, a scarf, and a sweater. I didn’t use a pattern for the hats and used  patterns in my Ravelry queue for the bag and sweater. I made a hat out of small bits of acrylic yarn from my stash for a knit a a long. I am currently making this bag to use up some yarn I got on clearance and never knew what to do with and some other yarn I wanted to use up. I crocheted a hat to use up small bits of cotton yarn in my stash and didn’t use a pattern.I made the lace scarf pictures below for a knit design challenge, That was also a stash buster. I used some cotton wool leftover from a sweater I made. Finally, the Green Gable was a stash buster, I used yarn I had bought for another project that didn’t work out. I really liked the pattern and it was a good use for yarn I had for ages and wanted to use up.

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 Moving forward I really want to do more stash busting. I have realized I have a lot of odd skeins of yarn in my stash. I am itching to make a log cabin blanket ever since I watched a tutorial about a week ago. I have a lot of acrylic yarn I want to use up and this seems like a good way to use it. Plus, it is rows of garter stitch and a visually exciting result. I have seen some people on Instagram knit sweaters out of odd skeins of scarp yarn that are the same weight. However, I am not sure how gauge would work for if it would fit when I was finished. I also am eyeing this lace scarf. For that scarf, I want to use some knit picks yarn I have that is leftover from a sweater I knitted years ago. Right now, I want to finish my sweater and have some holiday knitting to do so I don’t think I will start these projects right away. How about you? How do you like to stash bust? Let me know in the comments. 

September Stash Bust KAL

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In September, I participated in the September Stash Bust KAL* hosted by Wolf and Faun Knits.  It is a KAL where people encourage each other to make projects that use up unused yarn in our stash.  The aim is to be resourceful, simplify and declutter.  Here is a post that explains the KAL. In this KAL, people have been posting pictures of yarn they want to use up and have asked for advice on how to use it and posted pictures of the projects they are doing to stash bust.   

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When I heard about this KAL, I immediately wanted to join. I like to do projects to use up odd bits of my yarn stash. In the past, I have published a blog post of projects for stash busting that I liked. This summer,  I made this hat out of odd bits of cotton yarn . I don’t like waste so I save even the smallest amounts of yarn leftover from a project. I also think it is a good creative practice to use what you have.

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For the KAL, I made a hat out of some of my small bits of acrylic scrap yarn. The hat is pictured in the top photo. I had been thinking about doing a project like this for a while. This KAL seemed like a good time to do it. I am thinking about making another hat out of my odd bits of worsted weight scrap yarn at some point. I enjoyed this KAL and, I liked looking at each others projects.

*KAL stands for Knit a long

Additional Stash Busting Resources

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While researching this post, I found a couple of resources for using up scrap yarn that I didn’t include in that blog post because I was worried that it was too long. I decided to share those links along with a few other resources on found on using up scrap yarn.

 This is a book of patterns that use scrap yarn. I like this sweater from that book.

 I found another book about stash busting

 Clara Parkes did a whole Craftsy Class on stash busting. 

This is A blog post by I love knitting with 5 patterns that are good for using up scrap yarn.

More Stash Busting Projects

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Recently I wrote about the scrap yarn in my stash and the projects I have done to use up the yarn. One night I looked up stash busting patterns on Ravelry and found some beautiful patterns. There are a lot of lovely and creative ways to use up yarn. Here are a few of my favorites.

 1: A lot of people like to make blankets out of mitered squares. I have seen a lot of pictures on Instagram of people making blankets made out of mitered squares using fingering weight or worsted weight yarn. I used these instructions to make a scarf but a lot of people use these instructions to make a blanket.

 2: I like this winter hat pattern that has been in my Ravelry queue.

 3:I absolutely love this beautiful pillow pattern. I love the bright colors.

 4: This is a cute pattern for a snake.

 5: I almost have to include a pattern for a log cabin blanket. I love how they look and want to make one at some point. This is another pattern that is in my Ravelry Queue

 6: This crocheted lace shawl would be a good pattern for summer

 7: The designer designed this knitted shawl to use up her scraps of fingering weight yarn.

My Stash Busting Projects

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One thing I love about being into crafts is finding ways to use what you have to be creative. I love looking up creative ways to upcycle. I also enjoy reading about projects that use ordinary household objects to make something creative and interesting. In that vein, I want to write a small series on using up scrap yarn. This week I will talk about my experiences with stash busting.

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 In my stash, I have 2 bags of small amounts of yarn that are leftover from other projects or from projects I unraveled. I also have several skeins of leftover yarn. I can’t bear to throw out any of it no matter how small the amount. I keep thinking I could find a use for it. Originally, I kept all the odd bits of yarn because I wanted to learn freeform crochet and I kept thinking that I could use it in that technique.

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I haven’t done much freeform crochet but I have used up scarp yarn in other ways. Periodically, I like to go through my stash and and find ways to use up odd bits of yarn. I made the bag in the middle picture to use up scrap yarn. I recently made these slippers to use up an odd skein of bulky weight yarn. I also made a hat and several scarves to use up odd bits of my stash. Some of the projects work better than others on stash busting. I will start a project to use up scrap yarn and end up buying more to finish it. I started the scarf in the top picture to use up some purple and pink yarn I had but ended up buying 2 skeins to finish it. I bought the grey to add a neutral color and I ran out of the purple and had to buy more. I wrote about the scarf project here. With the blanket in the bottom picture, I drastically underestimated how much yarn it would take and had to buy a lot more yarn than I was originally trying to use up.