Yarn hoarder

Stash view 3
Just a small part of the stash

I’ll admit it. I’m a yarn hoarder. I see pretty yarn, make a plan (sometimes) for its use, get it home, then stash it away. Once in a while, it will be used for the project I had in my head, but often it doesn’t. And since I’m also a reader and book hoarder (so easy now with Kindle), time is at a premium. Do I read? Do I knit? Do I weave?

For some time, reading has won over both knitting and weaving, with weaving coming in a distant third. I haven’t touched either loom since I moved into this condo 12 years ago. (It’s been 13 since Dan died, but who’s counting?)

I used to knit at all the ball games. Alas, COVID-19. My friend A’ndrea is a knitter, too, and we like sitting on the third base side, right above the opposing dugout. Last year, the coach of an opposing team turned around and saw us. He yelled “There’s no knitting in baseball! Watch the game!” We laughed and told him we were. Every time he turned around after that, he saw us knitting — and our eyes were on the play of the moment. He shook his head in disbelief and asked how we did that. We told him “practice!”

Back to the stash and hoarding. I very rarely throw out any yarn scrap. I have 32 16-qt. bins of yarn, and that’s not the whole of it. I have three spare bins, too. The rest of the stash is in a place I can’t get to easily right now, but that bit is actually minimal and will probably fit in the spare bins.

The reason I rarely throw out bits is because of winding out a warp. Those bits can be used as ties for the warping frame. This is why I was surprised I didn’t keep the last smidgen from a skein I used to make a pair of socks for A’ndrea and another pair for my mom, which she never wore in the two years she had them. But I digress … again.

Mom's socks
Mom’s socks

I knit these socks for mom when she was in respite care several years ago. Last year I took them to the nursing home for mom when she was moved there for the three weeks after her last hospital stay. It was December and she was always cold. There’s nothing like a pair of cozy, hand-knit socks to keep your feet warm.

The home put name tags in every item of clothing so nothing would get misplaced in the wash cycle. After mom came home in hospice, I clipped the tags out,

and yes, (dramatic music)

I snipped a stitch.


Ok. No biggie. I could repair that if I still had the remnant of yarn.

The socks have been sitting there for over a year because I can’t decide what to do since I don’t have the remnant. I could do it with thread, but thread could cut through the yarn and ultimately make the problem worse. I could look through the stash to see if there was anything close to that. Since I know my stash, I knew that was a lost cause.

So the socks just sat there in the drawer until I could make a decision.

As I was consolidating my stash into the 32 16-qt. bins, Look What I Found! 20200729_123405

Ta da! I can now repair the damage I did. Could I have fixed the socks with different yarn entirely? Of course. Would anyone know the difference? Not unless they got super close; in which case, I could kick them. But I would know and that would bug me so much I’d never be able to wear the socks. Yes, I might be a tad — a skootch if you will — OCD.

A living memorial? Or a home?

Several months after mom’s death, I sorted through clothes and some personal items, but I never quite go around to going through the bulk of what was left behind. I moved into the bedroom and that was about it.

It was beginning to feel like a living memorial to mom. Not only is mom not coming back, now that she’s fully in her right mind again, she wouldn’t want to.

There are many things I want to do, but no money for anything major. No pulling up the carpet and laying a wood floor. No kitchen reno. So I’ve come up with ideas of things I can do on my tight budget.

I can paint the linoleum floor in the kitchen, the kitchen cabinets, and eventually get a new counter top and sink. The carpet — there’s nothing I can do but get it cleaned — eventually. Area rugs on top of that.

This past month I started digging in for reals.

Continue reading “A living memorial? Or a home?”

Confessions of an OCD knitter

Still working on the Barndom shawl. I haven’t done anything with it for four days. Aside from one minor rant over the instructions — Yo, West! “k until 2 before marker, k2” is K TO MARKER! — I’ve been knitting along, happy as an annoyed clam.

Suddenly, BAM! I have no earthly idea why, but I counted the stitches between markers. One side of the shawl is correct. One side is not. Amend that: one section is not.

Now, mind you, the pattern doesn’t give any indication of the number of stitches I should have, but simple logic and an understanding of where the pattern is headed tells me how many stitches I should have between different markers at this point.

So now I have to look at the options: A) fudge it or B) rip it back.

Would it be a minor fudge?  Yes.

Are there enough pattern repeats for the fudge without messing up what comes after? Yes.

Continue reading “Confessions of an OCD knitter”

Barndom knit along/kill along — same thing

WARNING: My non-knitting followers might want to skip this unless you’re interested in a seeing a grown woman throw a tantrum. If you’re entertained by someone else’s nuking, by all mean, enjoy!

I’ve been knitting for many years. Many, many, many years. I teach knitting. I read patterns and charts. I have charted patterns and written patterns from charts. I have designed a couple of sweaters, socks, mitts and shawls. I have altered instructions for more items than I can count. In short, I know WTF I’m doing.

When writing a pattern, I assume I am writing it for a blind knitter with limited experience in charts and abbreviations. This means I ignore the fact that there might be clues in a photo and I write an abbreviations legend to fit the pattern. I guess that’s just me.

Continue reading “Barndom knit along/kill along — same thing”


Self-imposed deadlines are the bane of my existence. They are also something I can’t seem to stop myself from making. Geesh!

I have two friends getting married next weekend. I have a lovely dress that I still need to alter slightly. I have the shoes and everything I need — except something to wear around my bare arms. It’s an outdoor wedding and around here, the first week in October is a little iffy weather-wise.

So I decided to knit a shawl and I’m feeling the deadline looming.

Since the dress is a little retro Capture

Continue reading “Pressure!”