My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Tales From the Stash

Yes, I have a stash room. No, I am not posting photos of it. It’s a bit of a mess. Really. Ask L-B. Yes, L-B has seen my stash room — it doubles as my guest room, and when she came for a visit during the week after Christmas, I managed to clear the yarn off the bed so she had a place to sleep.

I would like to point out now that I have never seen L-B’s stash. I’ve never even seen a photo of it. Hmmmmmmm . . . one can only guess what it entails, eh?

Well, L-B only saw my Stash Room — but I forgot to show her the Stash Closet (formerly my linen closet).

Holly asked:
So, does this mean that you don’t keep an inventory list? How do you organize the stash? I’d love a written description of your system-if there is one :~)

I do not keep an inventory list. It has occurred to me that it would be a good idea, but it would be quite a daunting task. And it would take time that I feel is better spent in knitting.

I sort of have things grouped — Koigu in one place, laceweight in one place, Alchemy in one place, Colinette in one place, etc. But there are anomalies here and there.

When I did my Great Housecleaning of September ’06, I did go through most of the stash and try to reorder it in a way that made sense. So I have a vague idea of what is where.

I quite liked Susan’s idea:
How about a resolution in 2007 to knit from each others’ stashes. That could get interesting.

Boy howdy, wouldn’t that be something? I think we have the makings of a reality television show there, as Chris mentioned in a later comment.

L-B and I may well do a “Knit From Each Other’s Stash” project in 2008. But don’t quote me on that.


I am still doggedly knitting along on mindless black stockinette stitch. Gad.


There’s still quite a long way to go on this — I’ve got at least half of the front left to do, and the entire second sleeve. But at least while I am slogging through miles of black stockinette stitch, I get to look at the multi-hued yoke.

But I did finish the first of my Olives sock.


And lookie what I got!


These beautiful wristwarmers were made by Johanne, who I have dubbed Sweden’s foremost wristwarmer artist.

Do you recognize the beading pattern?


Lookie what else I got!


A box of “Williamsburg Rare Breed Vanilla Cookies.” That is a Leicester Longwool sheep cookie on top. The cookies were given to me by L-B — who else?

And look at this little miss:


“I’m not speaking to Momma. Do you know she left me alone all day today?”

But of course Lucy now wants a set of paw warmers. Sheesh.


  1. By the time I finish typing this, I probably won’t be the first comment after all . . .

    I’m sure this has been asked before, but do you ever save Lucy’s fur to spin into yarn? She looks like she’d make very yummy soft yarn.

  2. *sigh* I need a friend in Sweden like yours *sigh*

  3. At least you’ve got your stash confined to one room (and one closet). Mine tends to drift all over the house.

    Lucy cracks me up.

  4. I’m starting to think I’m the only knitter in all of knitterdom who has her stash (if I can call it that!) confined to exactly two bookshelves. And one of them contains books as well. Knit and crochet books, of course, and Wendy’s is one of them. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Happy Belated Birthday! Hope it was fabulous!

    I can attest to the stash room. Can I knit from your stash in 2008?

  6. I recognize your Ingrid pattern in those pretty beaded wristwarmers. I bought some undyed Gems Pearl to dye for my future Ingrid. Having seen your stash room, it is quite organized compared to mine. Al is quick to point out that my stash is in every room except his office.

  7. Alice in Richmond says:

    Stash Swap…kinda like Wife Swap. Some get luckier than others. Heh.

  8. Does Lucy get upset at you when you leave her, but ignores you when you are home for long periods of time? This is What Motorboat (our cat) does. It is quite anoying. She yells at us if you can call it that when we get home from trips and looks pathetic if we both leave the house at the same time. But she ignore us when we are home. I guess that’s why she is the boss.

    I would love to knit from your stash;-)

  9. How about a martini with those olives? You should have knitted red toes!

  10. Julie wrote: I’m starting to think I’m the only knitter in all of knitterdom who has her stash (if I can call it that!) confined to exactly two bookshelves.

    Mine is currently confined to one small plastic tub, a situation I’m working on rectifying. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Love the sulking kitty; I know that pose very well. Lucy looks like she’d make wonderful yarn, though it’d probably take a fair amount of time and brushing to make a small skein.

  11. Penny Tschantz says:

    I now realize that what I’ve proudly been calling my “stash” is actually a pathetic little collection posing as a stash. The clue was my confidence that I couldn’t possibly forget that I had five skeins of one color of anything, much less Kidsilk Haze.

    Instead of using 2007 to knit from this poor imitation , I obviously need to be augmenting it! Thanks for the inspiration, Wendy, and so much for resolutions ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Now that we know how you store your stash . . .
    Do you give away most of the items that you knit? (Knitted stash = stuff to store.)

    My stash is mostly in tubs arranged strategically along the walls of my condo, and my FOs are mostly in sweater bags on top of the tubs. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. I think I would actually pay money to come organize your stash… I have this innate need to organize, and also touch yarn. Your yarn room sounds like it might satisfy both obsessions. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. Happy be-lated b-day.
    love the pose I call it being fluff-balled. My Tristan would show his displeasure in such a manner either by sitting so that was the only view of him or walking away tail strait up with a clear view of what is beneath hence name.
    I did have a question– oh yes, i was going through my collection of patterns for yoke style sweaters (DALE of NORWAY) and they were bottom up not top down, are they usually written this way ? and converted seems a confusing way to knit (knit back ,front and 2 sleeves to this dimention put on circ and commence decreases in pattern.

  15. HOW did I not see the sheep cookies when I was in the ‘Burg in October for homecoming?!?!?

  16. Oh ho ho ho, it seems that the cookies are available online. I so need some of them.

  17. Sheep cookies??? I definitely need to find those.

    Did Lucy give you permission to photograph her from the backside? I’m thinking that if she knew it were going to be posted for all blogdom, she might have turned around and sulked at you directly.

    Paw warmers – I want to see that. My Zoe would eat them off her feet, stitch by stitch. She’d love that.

  18. It could be big, I’m tellin’ ya! Huge! What if a stranger menaced your Koigu?? How would you react? Perhaps a sharp steel dpn to said stranger’s finger??

  19. I just imagine that the stash IS the yarn shop and I get to figure out where everything is in the house. Like a little treasure hunt. This could actually be great fun! I thought they’re be some withdrawal or something. Looks like you’re in trouble with Lucy, you’re getting all the good stuff.

  20. Nice wrist warmers – and those cookies rock!

    And poor Lucy! Do you blame her – I bet you forget those baby chicks she thought she was getting for Christmas too!

  21. my stash is a room. the room used to be a spare room. now i have big plastic containers on the bed up to the ceiling, stuffed with yarn. there are bags and bags on the floor. i have a bookcase filled with books and bags filled with patterns and drawers filled with yarn and patterns. as for books — besides knitting — i have bookcases galore and big plastic containers in the basement and in the garage and in what used to be my parents’ bedroom.

    now, my question: wendy, do you make other sock patterns besides your toe-up? when you make other sock patterns, do you do toe-up, or follow the pattern as written? in other words, working a pattern written top-down would have to be knit in reverse going bottom-up.

    my big dread in knitting: two-handed knitting and intarsia. i have done intarsia and HATED it. i have tried two-handed knitting, and while i know how to do it, i find it stressful. i guess for some it is a challenge. for me, my life is over-challenging — ask me my story — and i need to relax. so for now, i’m knitting small projects — fingerless mittens (just did wendy’s and also two pairs of another pattern), scarves, socks, hats, etc.

  22. Aah, that guest room must be warm and cozy with all that insulation… ehhh, I mean yarn…

  23. There is a great idea waiting to happen here (from someone with more energy than me, fer sure)–a yarn swapping site. I recently stumbled across a book swapping site ( where used books are valued at x points each and then you swap based on points. Can’t you just see the possibilities for yarn? And for some people who want *different* yarn, but not *more* yarn…what a great way to swap stashes worldwide.

    I just wouldn’t want to be in charge of assigning points ๐Ÿ˜‰

  24. anne marie in philly says:

    no, julie, you are not alone.

    each project (whether on the needles or awaiting construction) sits in its own tote bag in the miniscule spare bedroom (spouse calls it “the sacred room”). there are 15 projects (6 started, 9 waiting), hence 15 tote bags. also in this room are my books and my music and my knick-knacks.

    no spouses or cats are allowed into this room. only a personal invitation from me will allow you to enter my space.

    as for williamsburg, I was also down there in october and (1) didn’t see l-b, (2) didn’t see the cookies in the CW shop, and (3) didn’t see emy. but I was on vacation, not for homecoming. if I had spotted a glimpse of bruce hornsby, though, I would have screamed in glee.

  25. Guess what, I AM actually knitting from your stash right now!! Your yarn (or at least it used to be) and of course your pattern. Proof here:

  26. I love those new Ingrid wristers! And I’m up for being a stash exchange student…the P-Man would love to meet auntie wendy!

  27. Re:knitting from each other’s stashes, are you prepared to knit all the psychedelic colors I have? ๐Ÿ™‚

  28. hehehe, Lucy be adorable even when she pouts!!

  29. Happy belated birthday- how clever of you to get that over with at the beginning of the year.
    I am now addressing my stash anxieties- it seems to have taken on a life of it’s own.

  30. Knitting from each others stashes sounds like a blast! Let’s really mix it up and do a blind swap – you get a name and address and you need to send a set number of oz/yds of something to them. Sort of like a gigantic Secret Santa thing! That would be a scream! Count me in! lol!!

  31. I like to keep stash photos on my website for my own reference. I see the beautiful yarn I have and it helps me refrain from buying more.

    I do need to update the photos though – sometime when my husband’s not around!

  32. I Love Lucy

  33. I am being FORCED to write this comment, held at claw-point by my handsome Alph cat, Brickle (who wonders why HE isn’t a daily part of his momma’s blog: Lucy is his new love and hero!

  34. I want a room with Ikea box shelves all along two walls filled with yummy yarns by COLOR … I can then look everyday at what I have and decide what to use next and what colors need replacing etc. But … then I need a new house so I can have that ROOM. Ah well.

  35. Kitty butts can be SO eloquent! Around here, we call that “petticoat position.” Not to be confused with “Peeps position,” in which all four limbs are concealed under a forest of fur, or “prairie dog position,” in which one balances on the haunches with front paws raised.

    The Bohus is looking very lovely.

  36. I’m worried about you, Wendy. You have space in your stash room for a bed? Or do guests sleep on the stash? If that’s the case I’ll feel better.

  37. Well, now that I’m working on knitting from my stash, I’m trying to figure out how I want to store my ” new and improved ” stash that I will be shopping for later this year. Shelves/containers/tote bags sound like good ideas BUT my main concern is … keeping Chloe from shopping in mom’s stash and trying to make it her own ( the girl pup loves yarn and will pull it out onto the floor and roll on it ).
    Ever see a 60 pound pup act like Lucy does when she’s ticked off at you ??? It ain’t a pretty sight.

  38. cheekiemary says:

    As a fairly new knitter I read a multitude of blogs and can only say that I dream of the day I can honestly say I have stash worthy of being called stash. And a dream with angel wings on it consists of a stash so big it needs to be purged. Sigh.

  39. Very cool. Your friends get to sleep with your yarn. She probably didn’t want you to clear the yarn off the bed.

  40. Wow, your stash is a lot larger than mine. Mine would fit in a small corner of your linen closet. Don’t worry too much though, I am working on it!

  41. Never having knit anything bohus in over 35 years of knitting, I plead ignorance with this pattern style and it’s nuances. Is there a reason why you can’t continue the sweater in the round once the patterned yoke is completed? It seems that this style of sweater would lend itself easily to knitting in the round. I’m obviously missing something in my understanding. Could you explain?

  42. Lucy, sweetie, don’t pout. Have you considered doing what this cat did and get a credit card to buy baby chicks when your mommy isn’t home?

  43. Those wrist warmers are awesome! Vanilla cookies, yummmm…

    Lucy looks so cute no matter what angle you take her picture from.

  44. Happy Belated, Wendy! I was just too busy over the last week to even read blogs, much less comment, but did not want to miss your *s*p*e*c*i*a*l* birthday!! Woo Hoo! Hope it was FAB!

  45. A sock question, and I’m a fairly new reader of your blog, so I’m sorry if you’ve already covered it, but… I just tried my first pair of toe up socks – the foot fits great, but I can just barely get the heel part over my heel and the top part of the instep closest to the leg. Your Olives sock looks like you used a short row heel (no gusset or nuthin’) – do you have any problems with your socks fitting/straining at the top of the instep?

  46. HOLY CRAP YOU’RE FIFTY????? WTF?????

    And here I thought I was older than you. You make it look awfully youngish, this fifty.

    Hope you celebrated appropriately. Or better yet, inappropriately. Happy happy and be sure to light a candle to our Patron Saint of Looking DAMN GOOD In Mid Life (St. Meredith of Vieira), that she may continue to protect you from abominations such as wrinkles and hairs on the face.

    Nigh Unto 49 In NYC

  47. Personally, I have always believed that one person’s definition of “organized” is far different than anothers… My stash is exactly the way I want it, and I know where everything is, and the other members of my intimate circle get so horrified by their perception of my stuff that they (and THIS IS THE BEST PART!!!!) LEAVE IT ALONE AND DON’T GO NEAR IT!!

    So you see. Method. No madness. My system is brilliant and offers me space and privacy!

    I say to everyone who has a stash (and what dedicated fiber artist doesn’t?) Its your stash; keep it exactly the way you want it, and change it when you want it. Its part of the art and beauty.

  48. The yoke on that sweater is breathtaking – so, so pretty

  49. you know, i’d love to be a guest in your guest room. i’d bet you’d never miss anything i might stuff in my empty overnighter…..

    i turn 50 this year, in November; my 49th was on thanksgiving. ladidah. i am so glad to be older. i still face a lot of stuff, but i did not like the younger years. you know what they say about fine wine — age it….

  50. mmmmm….i’m sort of liking the idea of a “knit from your buddies stash” swap, but i’m a bear of ver little brain and i’m not sure i could figure out how to organize one. c’mon wendy!

  51. Congratulations to those with small stashes – may you actually complete the projects you planned the yarn for!
    Myself? I buy yarn with one project in mind, then start thinking of what else it could be, then change my mind, put it aside and go to the yarn store for inspiration. where I buy more yarn! (yes, I do cast on eventually – but only after the proper accumulation of comfort yarn is obtained)
    I laugh when people give me a bag to store my yarn in! They think this will handle the entirety of the accumulation! (That’s because I store my stash in many cubbies!)

  52. Cathy/Cate says:

    Those luscious lovely wristwarmers are reminiscent of your “Ingrid” sweater to me!

    I had previously commented that my 2007 resolution was to organize my stash first, before I could possibly knit from it. Well, I’m 90% done doing so, with a system that makes sense to me if no one else (plastic boxes loosely organized by fiber type, yarn weight for wool and wool blends, sock yarn, and a few by manufacturer for special yarns). . .
    and now I realize that I DO need to knit from my stash! So many projects I bought yarn for or yarn that called to me, that got pushed to the back of the line by the next irresistible yarn! So– I did buy a ‘little’ yarn before making this resolution (in fact, some is en route to me at this very moment) but from here on out, I am on board with “Knit From Your Stash 2007”! I have already in 2007 made 2 1/2 scarves, and 2 hats all from stash yarn, so feeling virtuous so far (other than the mail order yarn, which was however ordered before I had this revelation)!

  53. Dawne Lucas says:

    this is a little late but … yipee! I won! Thanks so much Wendy and happy belated b-day to you. I’m on vacation with my family in sunny Cancun Mexico but we’ll be home back home in Canada mid-week. I’ve emailed ellie as per your request. Thanks again and Congrats on a wildly successful and most worthwhile project.

  54. Yikes, what beautiful socks. I am so glad sock yarn isn’t part of the Stash 2007 deal.

    The wrist warmers are lovely Wendy. I tried to leave you a HB wish for you but I think you ran out of server room. So, a belated HB. That was a very good year as I recall. I would like to turn the clock back myself. You and my Granddaughter share the same birth dates.

    Lucy is really cute when she pouts.

  55. Hi Wendy Happy belated birthday. Would you let me know when you make the grape arbor shawl pattern available for purchase? I am just loving the pattern and yarn is just wonderful.

  56. Hi Wendy,
    before attacking my yarn stash , I will proceed with my stash of unfinished objects I think…
    Lovely wristwarmers! Many cross stitch sampler patterns could be used to make them I suppose.