Monday, April 05, 2010


I am a knitter who does not like to have "stash." As a general rule I do not like a lot of clutter in my life, although I am predisposed to fold up brown paper bags for later use, save beer bottles for homebrew, and use old spaghetti sauce jars for everything from cat food containers to planters. I love reusing and repurposing, but I hate clutter.

This is a hard balance to find, and I often begin to err on the side of stuff. This is especially true when it comes to yarn. One ball turns into five; the box of yarn I've been carting around for the past several years is suddenly a 20 gallon Tupperware with the lid busting off. This yarn is saved for a sweater, that ball of wool for a certain hat pattern. Too quickly the beloved "stash" becomes "clutter", and a sense of horrid obligation replaces any actual enjoyment.

The bane of my existence is partial balls of yarn. What do you do with those balls that are too small for a whole project, but too big to throw away? Recently I have been favoring the put-them-all-in-a-big-ziploc-and-donate-them approach, but this is only due to serious spring cleaning, and a move in my near future.A lot of projects I see for stashbusting are again for things. I don't want a beer bottle cozy, or a cat toy or a headband. Those are simply more things I will forget to put away and that will end up in the box the cats drag their "prey" to. I want projects with a purpose.

Lately I have been favoring two major ways to de-stash, de-clutter, an really craft. The first is the Log Cabin square. Make a pillow, make a blanket, whatever you'd like. Just start knitting until you run out of yarn! The beauty of the log cabin technique is that it works beautifully with knitting, crocheting, quilting, and probably many other crafts as well! It's perfect for beautiful scraps of fabric, or those left-over stunning balls of hand-dyed yarn you've been hanging on to. My goal for the month of April is to knit another log cabin blanket like this one, and use up even more scraps. For now, gather up those odds and ends and check out some of these great log cabin instructions! has very clear instructions for a basic log-cabin square:

A great you-tube video from Mason Dixon Knitting:

And more great instructions from Mason Dixon Knitting, one of my favorite blogs!

What are you waiting for? Log cabin blankets are perfect for stash busting. Pour yourself a glass of wine or a pint of beer, pop in your favorite DVD, and just start knitting!

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