Stash diving

There comes a moment when I'm getting ready to go on another trip when I feel compelled visit one of the excellent yarn stores here and buy the supplies for a new knitting project. The voice in my head is very strong.

You have two long travel days and two weeks among strangers. If you run out of knitting/weaving/spinning projects, you might not survive.
— Rebecca's head-voice

Resisting this voice is difficult, but I am determined to go shopping in my own yarn stash first. This is only practical. The stash is threatening to take over all available space in my clothes closet and even I need to wear clothes most days. Certainly I can find an appropriate match of knitting yarn and pattern for the upcoming teaching trip to Penland School of Crafts? Surely I can.

So with that little voice of reason in my head, I went upstairs to plumb the depths of the hanging shoe-holders that keep my knitting stash semi-organized and segregated from my actual clothes.

The goal is two-fold: 

  1. to find a pretty fiber braid to spin on my drop spindle
  2. to find all components of a knitting project that is fairly large but also very simple to knit. Perhaps a shawl. Pattern. Yarn. Needles.

I start with the braid and quickly found a Frabjous Fibers Colorshift Top braid I bought a few months ago. Done. I couldn't possibly spin the whole thing on a drop spindle in two weeks. I think the Jenkins Lark spindle will like this braid as soon as she is finished with the current project.

On to the knitting. Knitting is my lifeline when I travel. Something about the movement of my hands keeps me grounded and makes me act like a normal person (well, as normal as you can look with a knitting, spinning, or weaving project in your hands).

I have lots of single balls of yarn. I'm one of those people who like to visit yarn stores while traveling but usually don't have any projects in mind and so single balls of yarn find their way into my stash. Partly it is because I feel I must buy something to support small local yarn shops, but mostly it is because I just like yarn a whole lot.

I discarded loads of yarn apparently meant for baby projects and balls clearly meant for hats. These are not appropriate projects for where I'm going. I need large and mostly garter or stockinette stitch. Then I found this skein that I had set aside with a pattern for a scarf. 875 yards of baby camel and silk, naturally dyed. 

Perfect. Knit in the round and all stockinette. I'm going to be bored out of my mind knitting this. That means I can pay attention to the conversations around me and maybe even walk and knit here and there.

And so that leaves looms. I've never traveled to teach a workshop where I didn't bring a Mirrix loom, but Penland is different. They have tons of looms. If I get desperate, I can use one of theirs. I'm considering bringing this guy instead. It is the pipe loom I built a few months ago and have since found some longer pipes to make it wider. I want to work on more four-selvedge experiments and I won't have much time to weave anyway. I will be teaching after all!

And of course, the little Hokett comes with me. I'm almost done with the handspun project and I think sitting in Lily Loom house looking out at the Blue Ridge Mountains is the perfect place to do it.

Think I have enough projects? Suitcase room will determine which of them (or which piles of clothes) will get left at home.

Final panic involves yarn. (Always with the yarn!) How much yarn is enough for 10 people to use for two weeks?

 Hokett loom, 6-dent, warped double for 12 epi. The last of the  handspun tapestry project  on it. Bobbin by  Milissa Ellison Dewey .

Hokett loom, 6-dent, warped double for 12 epi. The last of the handspun tapestry project on it. Bobbin by Milissa Ellison Dewey.