I am trying to come up with “stash” busting ideas lately because The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is coming up next weekend and I need to make room for MORE yarn! When I started knitting about 10 years ago or so, I remember getting snapped at by yarn snobs because I wanted to mix different fibers within a project. Well…..it seems that is the thing to do NOW, all I keep seeing are ads for yarns that contain many different types of fibers. For example, I am currently using a yarn that contains soy, wool, and chitin (shrimp and clam shell fragments) and I am seeing a lot of yarns that contain cotton but some other type of fiber is added to give it some elasticity- I think it all is genius because you can get a more versatile yarn in the end. I have even seen cotton and wool mixed in the same yarn!!
Above is something I love to do and have done many times as a “stash” busting project. I do a Log Cabin type of design for a blanket or throw with different fibers (it can be anything, just the same gauge) and instead of doing the traditional Log Cabin with garter stitch sections I do different stitches in each section -all that have a very similar gauge. It is fun and it looks really neat in the end. I think these blankets can be sentimental too, in this one I included some odds and ends of yarns that I got at various knitting events and even some special yarn that a friend gave me as a gift. I look at this blanket and I know where all the yarns came from.
Another project in which I mixed fibers is this throw (pictured below), I love how it turned out! It has every fiber imaginable in it (almost) and it is thick and chunky. I made this one by holding 3-4 strands of different fibers together throughout and then I would switch one or two of them periodically to give different textured stripes (knit 1, purl 1 throughout). This one is a particularly useful “stash” buster because you can create the same gauge by using more or less strands, in other words if you wanted to use 1 worsted strand instead of 2 sock yarn strands you could get away with it.
It just so happens that this throw is for sale in my Etsy shop (www.pkramarsic.etsy.com) You can also view more pictures there.
My last “stash” buster that I am working on is a pattern from an old Verena magazine, it is a cowl but instead of using the yarn that the pattern calls for I am using 2 lighter weight yarns held together. I discovered that if you use 1 solid colored yarn and 1 variegated yarn you get a sort of a tweed looking product. The yarns I used were wool (solid), a soy-cotton (variegated) and a mohair (solid). I used the mohair yarn paired with the variegated yarn in the ribbing giving it a halo just in the ribbing.
Anyway, The Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival is May 7-8 at the Howard County Fairgrounds (www.sheepandwool.org). Gotta run……….