First, the facts:
Author: Melissa Leapman
Published by: Potter Craft, 2011
1. Intro: It’s Not Just a Stash, It’s a Personalized Yarn Collection
2. Intro: Waste Not, Want Not: No One Will Ever Know These Projects Were Made from Leftovers
3. Oh, So Fine!
4. Lightweight, but Still Big on Style
5. The “Worsted” Case Scenario
6. In the Thick of It
The In-Depth Look:
Most knitters have a stash–a drawer or closet (or room) filled with “extra” yarn just waiting to be used. It could be leftovers from an old project or something you picked up because it was too good to resist. Even knitters who insist that they only buy yarn for their current projects end up with a stray ball now and again that they think they might turn into a matching hat or something one day. But all too often, nothing happens. The stash just sits there.
Simply put, stash happens, and this is usually a good thing. Except … eventually you need to figure out what to do with it.
Enter Melissa Leapman, who says, “But our beloved stash somehow stirs a sense of guilt. It’s a love/hate relationship. As much as we secretly enjoy that occasional midnight “Dive Into the Reservoir of Treasure” (DIRT), we also struggle to “Whittle All Stash on Hand” (WASH). We gaze upon the piles and bags and bins and sometimes think it’s a waste. That there’s just so much potential in there, if only we could figure out what to do with it.”
What follows are not only useful tips on how to deal with your stash (how to sort it, how to store it, what to do when it really does get too big), but also a series of patterns designed to use up odd amounts of extra yarn. These run the gamut of big and small projects–sweaters, afghans, bags, scarfs … even bracelets.
The patterns are sorted according to yarn weight (always a useful starting point), and are nicely varied. Not surprisingly, they are almost all made of multiple colors (or yarns) since the idea is that they ARE using up those odds and ends from your stash. Along the way, there are “Scrap Happy” tips on what to do if you’re working from scraps instead of full skeins, or how to combine lots of different yarns into a cohesive look, as well as other hints on how you can adjust the patterns to suit your needs.
I like the patterns in this book, which considering my tastes run toward solid-ish colors with maybe some texture rather than the “let’s throw everything in and see what happens.” Too often, stash-buster projects have too much of a crazy-quilt look for me, too random, with too many colors, but that doesn’t happen here. Melissa explains quite clearly how to mix your various stash colors together so that they look like they were always meant to be together. The resulting designs therefore do exactly that–look like they were intended rather than “just happened.”
Really, isn’t that just what you want a stashbusting kind of project to be?
You should definitely take a look. Like Melissa’s other books, this doesn’t disappoint.
This review copy was kindly donated by Potter Craft. Thank you!
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