Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Lessons from the Stash

A wet snow began falling on Friday evening. Snow fell steadily, without any wind, until early afternoon on Saturday. Generally we have wind on the Great Plains. I can't remember the last time 6.5 inches of wet snow fell and stayed on the trees for more than a day. My book group met that Friday. Although we were small in numbers we had a lovely warm evening. Good friends, good food, hot tea, wine, and a lively discussion about The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane. Driving home in a snow fall was magical. I love the quiet that comes from a blanket of snow. I took a long walk on Sunday under snowy arches and then back at home I aired my stash of yarn. I have a grocery bag of odd skeins and leftovers for donation. I hope to find a school group that welcomes yarn. If not I'll give it to the Goodwill.

Moving yarn along to a new home is a good thing. Still I weed gently because I have adequate storage space. Now days I buy yarn for a project, say mitts, shawl, hat, or a baby garment of some description. I do not to buy a sweater quantity without a specific pattern in hand. This year I cleared out the last of a yarn I bought with no sweater in mind. I kept enough for a pair of mittens and a hat but if I cast on with the yarn and don't enjoy the project, those last three skeins will go to a new home. I aim to knit only what I enjoy. Life is short and I am too old to knit what can or should be knitted. Not surprisingly, I have plenty of nice yarn in unopened skeins. I plan to choose my favorites instead of saving them until I knit up older odds and ends.

Three ongoing works in progress are right for me. I like to have a carry-around project for waiting rooms and social knitting, a zen project for knitting when I am too tired to think, and one that requires a little more attention. My socks are almost finished and the shawl is too big to carry around. This week I cast on a pair of mitts from a book on my shelf, Drop-Dead Easy Knits. It is a pattern I've always wanted to knit and the yarn, from my local yarn shop, has a soft hand.

If you are looking for books about the north woods for children, you might flip though books by Betsy Bowen. She writes and creates illustrations with beautiful wood-cuts. Her studio is located in Grand Marais, Minnesota on the shore Lake Superior. If you ever find yourself in Grand Marais (I hope in the summer or early fall) visit her studio. It is wonderful. I just began listening to The Library Book By Susan Orlean. The nonfiction work is a love song to public libraries that I want to finish. The narrator's (author) voice is not to my liking so I am now on the hold list for a hard copy. In the meantime, I finishing Unsheltered. I read the last two chapters to learn the ending and then decided to read the middle. There are some passages of good writing and I find the middle better reading than the beginning.

Linking with Kat and the Unravelers.

Stay well. The walks are clear so I am off on another winter walk. I wish you warm and cozy winter days.


  1. Your walks must be beautiful through the snowy landscape! I admire your stash paring and philosophy. I haven't yet gotten to that stage, but I wonder if I would be better if I approached my stash with a different attitude ("I aim to knit only what I enjoy") instead of the guilt I often feel at having too much.

    I really miss children's picture books with no young children at home and not working in an elementary library, so I often peruse them when I visit the library. Thank you for recommending Betsy Bowen; she is on my list for the next time I go!

  2. The socks are amazing! And thank you for introducing me to the knitting book Drop Dead Easy!

  3. Your snow photos are beautiful!

  4. Beautiful snowy photos! I do love that hush that happens with a blanket of whiteness. Those mitts! Great reminder I just shelved my copy of Drop Dead Easy Knits - those mitts would make lovely gift knitting!

  5. I'm thinking like Kat - I have that book on my shelf and those mitts are perfect for gifting. And, like Bonny, I like your philosophy about knitting what you enjoy. I bet your walk in the snow was beautiful! I love to get out to the woods after a good snowfall. It can be such a balm.

  6. I'm hoping we get some snow which they are saying we are getting. I try every now and then to knit with the odd skeins and shrink the stash. I have my mother's yarn that I am unable to move along and yet I don't knit with it yet...I must decide something one day. Lovely mitts, stay warm!

  7. I am trying to make your knitting philosophy MY knitting philosophy this year. Yes, life is short, and we should knit what we enjoy. I just love your socks! They look Christmas-magical, and make me smile everytime I see them on your blog. XO

  8. Thanks for reminding us to "engage in all our creative pursuits " because we ENJOY them. I'm a firm believer that doing a hobby out of obligation is destined to not get it done.
    Snow is lovely...especially just fallen.