For example, we were asked to bring "a mixture of yarns from your stash". When I mentioned this to Husband, he suggested that I hire a tank for the day in which I could safely transport my entire stash. Hilarious. I'm sure his DVDs take up more space than my yarn but hey, let's not start that. (Particularly as he may have watched all / most of his films thereby allowing them to fulfil their purpose in life.) Now I know that we've talked about my stash before and how I thought that most of its volume comprised "projects in waiting", i.e. complete yarn requirements for knitting said jumper / cardigan (yes, always something small!) but on further inspection, this may not be entirely true: It was scarily easy to fill both a rucksack and secondary bag with yarn "oddments" – and there was still some left. Hmm.... What part of this mixture was I to take?
I had hoped to tackle this problem in a relaxed manner (picture: early evening once the children were in bed, happily surrounded by stash, cup of tea in hand) , but a combination of a busy night before and the failure of my wake-up call (both electronic and from Youngest Son), meant that my resemblance to a hurricane on the morning of the workshop was more than a little disturbing. All of a sudden it didn't matter what yarn I had just so long as I had some! There was little evidence that my colleagues had suffered any such fate. They all had (smaller) more organised yarn "arrangements" – and one even had complimentary fabric!
I don't think that I've ever been privy to any one else's stash (or part-stash) and it wasn't just about the yarn, we were sharing part of our knitting histories: Soft wools from a recent bout of knitting baby-related garments, chunky yarns unused in a children's jumper, felted tweeds left-over from Christmas, beads from a mystery blanket project. Others had taken a different approach: "Project bags" containing balls of yarns of different colours and weights or the "free" yarn from the front of some knitting magazines. You won't be disappointed to hear that I had yarn from most of the above categories.
The colour choices were also revealing. One of our colleagues, who was almost entirely dressed in hues of blue, had a very similar yarn colour palette (which clearly I loved). Another reflected the knitter's obvious fondness of bright colours with a beautiful array of oranges, yellows and pinks which, at the end of the day, were embellished with matching beads. Another worked with earthy tweeds and showed us photos of the finished "original" garment that we all knew would look stunning on her.
So yarn in hand (or rather, spread across the table in front of us), we all chose a project on which to embark. The more adventurous among us consulted stitch libraries and designed unique and stunning swatches. Some tried beading or fairilse for the first time. Me? Well, I panicked. Debbie had brought examples of her own beautiful knitting and fabulous books and I had to stop myself from getting carried away – the aim was to use up my own yarn and NOT buy more to start something "big". But nor did I want to create a swatch which, no matter how beautiful and despite all my best intentions, would probably remain a single swatch and never form part of cushion cover let alone a blanket. I wanted something that I could start and complete in the day. And thus began Project Hairband. In a blend of Cotton Glace and Kidsilk Haze. With beads. And did I complete it? Hey, it's always good to have a small knitting project for when I'm out and about.