I must be ready for warmer weather. The Spring Blossoms Shawl by Eugen Buegler has been on my project list since I picked up the pattern at Stitches West last year. That project list never seems to get any shorter.
I dug into my stash and found this gorgeous violet/purple/periwinkle laceweight merino from Inspirations Yarn. Margaret hand-dyed this especially for me in her "Espresso" laceweight. I think the subtly blended colors are just perfect, and they are not so disparate that they detract from the lacework. I hope Mr. Buegler would approve. The yarn is very soft, and the shawl will be amethystly cozy. My birthday is in February, and I've always had a fondness for all things purple. My birthstone is amethyst, and my favorite color is violet.
Since I've started organizing my stash on Ravelry, I've begun to make some real decisions about what yarns to use for projects. Thus far, I've used Ravelry mainly for organization and reading about other knitters and projects. The socializing part of Ravelry is great, but it just adds another "thing to do" to my list of groups and forums.
Digging into my stash was particularly therapeutic and delightful. In recent years, I've earned some yarns by knitting samples for designers, and other yarns I've found by chance while visiting a yarn shop or a knitting show or conference. I gave up the idea of just buying yarn for specific projects long ago.
Now, my stash is my yarn shop. It's not as big as some knitters' stashes, but certainly respectable as far as stashes go. I've already photographed about 40 different yarns for my Stash organization project on Ravelry. This may be about half of my stash, but I won't know until it's all categorized and labeled. Do not judge me, lest ye be judged.
Ravelry's Stash tool allows a member to post a photograph and all the details about the yarn, including quantity, color, content, weight, gauge, etc. You can make notes about a potential project or anything else pertinent. In many cases, the yarn is already listed in Ravelry's database, so entering a yarn description is simple -- just modify the sample information to fit your specifications. If the yarn is not in Ravelry's database, you are given the option to add yours as the first example.
The entire Stash is then downloadable to Excel for data manipulation and sorting by color, fiber content, manufacturer, etc. This is a great tool for planning projects. Sometimes, I remember a color or type of yarn in my stash, but then I don't know how much I have or even where it is located. My overtaxed brain can use all the help it can get.
Ravelry's Stash tool has opened my eyes to my own stash. I have new appreciation for the yarns I've collected, and now I can see them all in one place. (Okay, two places. I did have to upload all the photos to flickr, the prefered photo host for Ravelry.)