Some of you might be wondering why I’m having such a hard time with Helm’s Deep. The answer is because he’s my very first Sport Weight yarn.

Really.

I’m a worsted weight girl. That is the yarn I started with, and it’s my favorite balance of yarn. Balance, as in it is big enough that knitting goes quickly, and small enough (to me), that my stitches don’t look enormous for the things I choose to make for myself.

Most of my stash is worsted weight. Probably about 75%. The rest is bulky, super bulky, and sock/fingering weight yarn. Truth is- I just have not had the opportunity to work with Sport weight yarn. None of the patterns I have used in the past called for it. Until I took a sock class a few years ago- I had not worked with sock yarn. And until this year- I had not worked with DK weight yarn. Many years ago, I bought a purple variegated yarn (that turned out to be DK weight), so when I had the opportunity this year to make a knitted toy- that’s what it turned into. I still have enough left over that I may make a pair of socks. Hubby likes the look of DK weight, so he wants me to make him a pair of DK weight socks (after my Helm’s Deep obssession), so I will have to go hunting for some more DK weight yarn. (To be clear- he’s not partial to purple variegated socks, so those will not be for him.)

So I’m slowly branching out into other yarn weights. I’m still partial to machine washable/dryable yarns, as those are the easiest to care for; so the majority of my stash is acrylic and acrylic blends. However- I do own wool, I do own alpaca, I do own angora, I do own cotton, I do own silk (although I am not partial to 100% silk), and I do own bamboo. So I count myself good on fiber variety. And luckily- I’m not allergic to anything I have petted so far.

As for Stash Organization:

I am slowly winding everything (that’s not already into center pull skeins) into center pull balls. It’s a slow process, but I bought more sandwich bags, so that everything that is not protected WILL be. And as soon as it’s wound- it goes into a sandwich bag. That means everything I own will be project ready. I will also be buying a bunch of silica gel packets. (FIFTY 3-gram packets for $7 on Amazon? Not bad.) Why? Because I live in Tennessee. And humidity plus most plastic storage bags equals moldy yarn. (The freezer bags tend to hold up better, but they’re also more expensive.) So regular sandwich bags, plus a packet or two (depending on the bag size) of silica should equal smooth sailing yarn-wise. Now- you need to replace silica packets around once a year. So- if I do spring cleaning of our yarn stash EVERY YEAR – I should be fine. No pesky moisture, and no unwanted animals (read: insects and arachnids).

In fact- I have found that I can keep my yarn out in full view of my cat, as long as it is in a zip-top sandwich bag. Although he can bite through the bag (his front paws are declawed), he will not touch yarn in sandwich bags. It has to be out and floppy for him to grab hold of it. (I also don’t let him anywhere near my lap while I’m knitting, so that cuts down on animal hair IN my knitting. Even if I’m knitting for someone who has cats- I don’t let him near my knitting. It’s behavioral conditioning. So he doesn’t feel like I’m being inconsistently mean- I’m ALWAYS mean. There may be a stray hair or two that rubs off of my clothes, but for the most part- cat hair in my knitting is kept to a minimum. So as long as you’re not severely allergic- you should have no problems with my knitted items.)

I still haven’t found my elusive pair of Addi’s size 11s. I’m starting to think less that they are a part of some long lost WIP, and more that I finished something and stuck them somewhere. And forget where I put them. So they are probably in a bag. Somewhere. So I’m going to have to tear the house apart and look in every bag (lugagge, reuseable, cheap plastic, and craft) to find them. That is a project for next Saturday (the 10th). That is also when I will be OFFICIALLY starting my 31-day stash organization. Smashlee gave me the idea, so I will wander over to WEBS and see what each day will entail. That should take me into June. And once done with that- I will see how many of those tips can crossover to my kitchen pantry. It is in DIRE need of organization. (It also doesn’t help that we don’t have much kitchen space to begin with, or that my dear hubby doesn’t put things back where they belong. But- he’s a great cook, so I am not about to ban him from the kitchen.)

I will also be restricting myself to only three WIPs (this is Day 2 of Stash organization). One long term (which at present is my FIL mitred square blanket), one normal project (which right now is my Helm’s Deep trio), and one travel/movie knitting project (I am always in need of a simple mindless project to keep my hands occupied in a dark theatre/on a plane/in a car/or a slightly social or slightly familial situation). I may expand that to four WIPs, but I don’t want any more than two normal projects, one travel, and one long-term. More than that, and I start forgetting what I have on needles, and where I stashed them.

I also want to have complete sets of accessories for each WIP. Right now- all my stitch markers, crochet hooks(for catching mistakes), finishing needles, and scissors are all in one place – an old eyeglass case. This is fine, except when I have to track down the eyeglass case (which happens fairly often). All my tape measures walk around (either on their own, or with help from the cat). My MIL started the retractible-tape-measure-is-a-toy thing with the cat looong before I met him, so I have to contend with him stealing my tape measures and batting them around the house. I don’t mind. They grow legs and walk away on their own, so why would I mind if they have help?

Also- all this organizing talk makes me miss my needles. I made a trip to the Federal Building with two WIPS, and they took my needles (one was a Kollage square, and one was an Addi Turbo). This was years ago (probably 2009 or 2010), but I still miss them. And changing to wooden needles would not have helped at all- they take anything pointy that isn’t a pen (or doesn’t have a medical note with it). At the time- I didn’t have a car, so I had nowhere secure to put them. Side note- the cafeteria in the Federal Building in downtown Nashville has decent food. If you can survive the security checkpoint- you should check it out. Also- the Lifeway building (not the bookstore – the actual office building) also has a good cafeteria. Better than the Federal Building. You’ll have to sign in and state your business, but the security guards got used to seeing me and my friends when I was a senior in high school. This actually makes me wonder how many other office buildings are hiding a decent cafeteria. Hmm…

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