About Woolly Wits

I am a hand-knitting designer and teacher. See and purchase my published designs on Ravelry.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lessons from Stash Dash 2016

The handspun yarn for these Lowland
hats was a prize at Stitches MW
back when it was in St. Paul, MN!
This past Sunday evening at midnight was the closing of Stash Dash for 2016.  It was thoughtfully timed to conclude with the closing of the Olympics so that any Ravellenics projects could count towards both goals.  For one of these goals, I raced ahead of the pack to the finish, while for the other I didn't make my (secret) goal, but still achieved a personal best.

So what did I learn from my busy summer of knitting?

1.  Stash Dash is about clearing out stash.  This year I dug deep and pulled out some yarns that had been moldering in stash for a decade or more.  One hat I knit from 20 year old stash!  I had less success with a sweater's worth of yarn from a long-ago Michigan Fiber Festival, but maybe inspiration will strike again.

All that was found was a cuff,
but it became a charity hat
 and mitten set.
2.  Stash Dash is about clearing out UFOs.  On a rainy Saturday a few weeks before the start of SD, I pulled out all my UFOs (un-finished objects).  There was quite a pile and some projects were so old they had never been entered in Ravelry.  There were also several that had been 'in progress samples' for classes I had not taught in years.  If they had been started, even just a cuff of a single mitten, my goal was to get them done!  I was very successful in this, generating a big pile of FOs towards #4 and #5.

Only a few stitches left in the bind off
of my Ashburn shawl.  
3.  Preparation is key.  Once I assembled that pile of UFOs, I pulled out the close-to-finished items and got them to very-nearly-almost-finished.  Since to count for SD an item must be actively knit (or crocheted) and not just finished, I made a pile of items awaiting only a few more bound off stitches.  This was the key to hitting over 2K by the end of the first week and 3.2K by the end of the second.

4.  Charity knitting can be used to introduce fun, quick patterns.  I knit two full sweaters during SD and since I am not model sized, they do take time.  Mixing in some charity hats didn't slow my sweater progress too much, but were a nice break.

My pre-Stash Dash pile of UFOs.
5.  Summer is a great time to get a jump on holiday gifting.  I now have several hats, a few mittens/fingerless mitts and even some shawls set aside for presents.

6.  Yarn bombing creates a new stash of Red Heart Super Saver.  This summer I've been working on two different yarn bomb projects.  Since I think a yarn bomb should be all about crazy color, I've purchased more than a few skeins of Red Heart at my neighborhood JoAnn's using the weekly 40% off coupon.  I think that next summer I will set a goal to knit down this new stash, perhaps by working up a bunch of charity Mother Bears.

So what was my final Stash Dash 2016 total?  11, 703 meters.  Pretty respectable for just knit and crochet projects with no spinning or weaving.  But . . . perhaps I'll start now on that scrappy sock blanket with a deadline of next Memorial Day?