Stash diving

This afternoon I found myself in the rare and coveted (and usually very brief) situation of having finished all the active knitting projects I’ve had on the go for the last few weeks – including the Noro striped scarf, which has been duly deployed into service. Often I’ll just start a new project one at a time, when one gets finished, so that the number of projects I have going maintains a fairly consistent level, but this time I just had to get to the point of starting fresh. (Well, relatively speaking. There are a couple of other projects on the needles that are unfinished, but more on the sidelines than active works in progress). It’s just nice to have that feeling of a blank slate every so often.

I’ve had several things waiting in the wings to get onto the needles for quite a while, and today I took a couch-and-knitting day in an attempt to fend off some oncoming congestion (possibly a losing battle, but one does need to try, of course), and so NEW PROJECTS AHOY.

First I started the quickest thing I’ve been wanting to do – a big cozy seed stitch cowl (just like all the cool kids have been making these days) with some Malabrigo Rasta I bought this past summer. (The colour is ‘Solis’, since I know some folks will want to know – it’s wonderful).

Dec14-MalabrigoCowlSince starting with a quick project like this that is bound to be over almost as soon as it’s started – honestly, I can’t imagine I’ll still be knitting it on Monday, this yarn is super bulky and anything on 12mm needles can’t possibly be slow – is basically like stacking the deck in my favour, I also started in on a sweater. I’m pretty cool with the sweater not having a finite deadline in mind and it’s nice to start a sweater in December because even if you still take three or four months to finish it, you still stand a chance of getting to wear it before spring comes. (At least if you live in Ontario).


About a month ago I joked with Fiona that she should just tell me what to knit, since I was pretty sure whatever sweater I made for myself this winter was going to be one of her designs. And lo and behold I remembered then that I had long ago purchased her Bonnie pattern, and was pretty sure I had even put it away with the yarn to knit it with. So I went stash diving (always an enlightening experience if you have several years’ worth of yarn-stashing under your belt and haven’t had a full look-through in a while), and discovered that yes, in fact, I still had 20 skeins of Mission Falls 1824 wool. It’s in a deep dark purple which I sort of love for these cables. Even though they won’t stand out as much, they will be that much dressier and subtle, which is a nice combination to have in one’s knitted wardrobe.

This should be no problem at all. The size I want to make calls for 18 skeins, so I should have plenty, but there is a degree of difficulty here from the fact that this wool has been discontinued for about two years now. This means that if I get halfway through the button-band and run out of yarn, there is no more yarn. HAH HAH. I’m also planning a couple of pattern modifications (adding waist shaping, for one, cardigan-izing it for another), which shouldn’t necessarily add yardage to it so much as alter it, but again, you never know.


So, I’m starting with a sleeve. I think I’m good to go with gauge but just in case, I’m starting with a sleeve. If it works out I’ll knit the second sleeve before starting the body, and if it doesn’t work, then at least I’ll only have to rip out a sleeve before starting over again.

Also, it’s deeply satisfying to be knitting with yarn that has been stashed for so long – I’ve got to try this more often.

I hope you have a great weekend ahead, with some knitting time included! Happy Friday.




  1. Great minds and all that Glenna, I just cast on Blair by the same designer as Bonnie..also from stash yarn and got guage first time. There really is a Santa Clause!

  2. I just cast on a sweater from my stash and have another one lined up and ready to go 🙂

  3. I’m just gonna say I love Mission Falls and was heartbroken when it closed and buy any loose balls I find…same with Manos del Uruguay Cotton Stria…and I love the Rasta cowl! gorgeous color..hmmm I think I have 3 skeins in a deep purple..

  4. I must admit, that color of Malabrigo is filling me with envy.. I can’t wait to see it once it’s finished, the envy will be even worse, but maybe that’ll mean I can somehow justify some acquisitions of my own..

  5. LOVE that colourway of Malabrigo. So rich and awesome. I also love that your taking on this risky knitting project with stash yarn that you can’t buy anymore, nothing like living on the edge!

  6. Love that pattern (Bonnie) and that yarn colour! Reminds me of a good expensive wine!!!! Have fun! x

  7. It’s a shame that that this wool has been discontinued for two years. I really like it! I think the cables will come out really nice. Good luck with it!

  8. Those moments are so rare and fleeting….I’m a bit jealous:)

  9. Such gorgeous colors…I am inspired!

  10. I love Rasta cowls, they knit up in 5 seconds! My Syrinx Shells cowl pattern uses Rasta, too.

  11. Love the link to the GAP-tastic Cowl pattern. Thanks! Did a little stash diving myself and came up with enough Noro Kochoran to make the cowl. Last minute Christmas gift for my daughter.

  12. Bonnie has been in my queue since it came out. (I think it’s what inspired me to submit to Twist Collective.) Now you’ve inspired me to get to work on the pattern–it’s been ages since I’ve knitted anything that requires seaming, so wish me luck. Now, for a little stash diving of my own to find the perfect yarn. Perhaps some Galway in a deep purple heather? I think we have the same taste in colour!

  13. […] Stash diving ( […]

  14. I’ve done the Bonnie, it’s a fab pattern! Did it for my GF who has a narrow waist and wide shoulders, and no waist shaping, and I don’t think it’s missed – the cables seem to do the job quite well. Just a thought.

    Love the purple for it!

  15. I had such a disappointing experience with MF1824 wool. The sweater pilled to a fare-thee-well. I’ve worn it maybe 3 or 4 times and it looks like the old sweater you keep in a pile somewhere in case it gets cold and you need to wear something over your nightgown to take out the trash in the dark. Lots of effort for such a depressing result. I’ve heard from some that there were two versions of the yarn – a much better, earlier version, and then when the yarn line was resuscitated, a much worse version. Maybe you’ve got the original!

  16. Love Rasta!! Good choice:-)

  17. Your beautiful photos of yarn and recent FO track record has restored my knitting mojo! Here’s some reassurance that this tangled mess of blah I have on my needles will soon be something useful, and beautiful to boot. Hurrah!

  18. Loving your knittiing blog, and particularly the “Solis” Blue yarn. Its looks like a really gorgeous colour and composition. It’s not one I have come across here in the UK. I dont often buy yarn as I spin and enjoy making my own blends but I will definitely keep my eye out for that to add to my stash. Do you ever use Handspun yarn? I like the uniqueness of having something different and the creativity of making exactly what I want, or even letting fate take a hand and waiting to see what will transpire. I have just started an Etsy shop and have afew of my handspun yarns there if you want to take a look.

    Anyway keep up the blog, i look forward to reading more of your creative adventures.

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