Last weekend I sorted out my stash. I bought four under-the-bed storage boxes from the local supermarché and put all the yarn, fibre, and half-finished projects into them. I even had a system - box one is for stash yarn (surprisingly this is the fullest box), box two contains fibre and handspun, box three has WIPs and UFOs*, and box four is the location for finished objects (mostly as-yet-ungifted items and my shawl collection). The main aim behind the operation stash was to clear up some space in the corner of the living room which had been pretty much taken over by plastic bags of miscellaneous yarn and to ease my lurking fear that the carpet moths** which haunt our bedroom would tire of the all-carpet diet and seek out new prey.
However the exercise has had some unexpected benefits in that seeing all my WIPs and UFOs (and there aren't quite as many as I'd thought) in one place has really motivated me to work on them. Just this week I have finished off two pairs of socks, nearly finished the striped yoke baby cardigan, finished one mitten, and made really good progress on the second.
Remember these guys? I last knit on the Pomatomus socks (below) around the time of Woolfest. I had got as far as the heel of the second sock when I got so enthused by the whole British wool thing that I put them down for a while and then they always seemed just a bit too tricky to take up again afterwards. In fact it took just two days' knitting to finish them off and I was weaving the ends in by Thursday evening this week.
The handspun Monkey socks (above) were spun and knit on a schedule to be displayed at Megan's stand at FibreFest at the end of August. I was so pleased when I finished them a whole day before I was due to hand them over to Megan, then slightly less pleased when I realised that I'd somehow missed a whole repeat out of the second sock, d'oh! They might have been good enough to display but they weren't good enough to wear and they hung around in a paper bag with the leftover yarn for a whole month before bringing them out into the light motivated me to sort them out. These took only a couple of hours to finish off.
This baby cardigan was heading towards UFO-dom as I was afraid that I would run out of the cream yarn before I reached the cuffs, let alone the button bands. However, I faced up to my fears, ripped out my swatch and managed to finish both sleeves with the remaining yarn, phew! I don't think that there's enough left in the ball to make a button band so I plan to find a zipper in either pink or brown to match the stripes and finish the front edges in that colour. My niece just loves zipping and unzipping the zippers on anything from mummy's fleece jacket to her own sleeping bags so I think she'll be thrilled to have her very own zip-up cardigan. I just need to find a nice big zipper with a chunky toggle that her little fingers can grab onto.
Finally I popped these flip top mittens into my knitting bag along with the striped cardigan to work on on my trip up north this weekend. I started the first mitten in Geneva at the end of August and had started the second by the time our plane landed at Heathrow but I had to suspend work on them as soon as I got home in order to work on the Sheep Yoke baby cardigan for Clara. Now I'm down to the cuff on the second mitten which just leaves around twenty rows of ribbing, the thumb, and the finishing to go.
The really exciting thing is that once the mittens and the zipper for the cardigan are done this only leaves a Trellis cardigan to be sewn up and a fingerless mitten project to be completed before I can concentrate on the WIP I really want to get back to, my handspun Shetland Arisaig. Either that or I can create a whole new load of WIPs.
* the difference between WIP (work in progress) and UFO (unfinished object) can seem a subtle one to non-knitters but if you've not picked up the needles for a month or more then you're definitely heading towards Area 51.
** this is a big admission for any knitter to make as fibre-eating beasties are the STDs of the knitting world.