Monday, September 6, 2021

New Life for Old Stash

sooo many fine threads
 There comes a time when you have to face the reality that you are just never going to use up all those ultra fine, odd coloured, thrift shop bargain or hand-spun yarns. When you run out of ideas for stash busting scarves, it is time for a cull.  Let a fresh set of eyes have a go at making something from your excess materials.  (Spinners and felters are not immune to growing an out of control fiber stash so this applies to you as well)  Consider donating your excesses to your local guild.

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild is grateful for the many donations of equipment and materials that we have received over the years.  The donations have allowed the guild to offer our members a rich variety of programs at minimal cost.  Sometimes the donations inspire joint projects, new learning experiences or just plain fun activities.

afghan from donated yarns

Take for example the stripped afghan in the photo to the right.  It is one of 3 woven on our 90 inch loom.  The afghans were a joint project created from miscellaneous wool yarns that were acquired by the guild over a period of time.  The afghan creators had fun matching colours and yarns, designing the stripped sequences and working out issues with sett.  Someone's cast offs became 3 lovely blankets.  You might call it a Stash Busting Blanket.

studio project 

Many of our studio projects start off with a warp that is created from miscellaneous donated yarns.  Check out the lovely stripes in the turned taquete piece that the bare foot weaver is working on.

nuno felting in progress

A donation can be the inspiration for a new guild workshop or activity.  Thanks to a generous donation from Janice Charkoand we recently held a workshop on nuno-felting.  Members made silk scarves embedded with wool and silk fibres.  This was a new experience for some.  Below is one of the finished products.
Jan's ruffled scarf

Sometimes the materials need a little help to shine.  Some one with a vision and ingenuity can turn a sow's ear into a silk purse.  Take for example the sweater shown in the pictures. 

sweater front

 The story starts with a donation of hand spun yarn, moves onto a dyer needing something to dye and then a knitter with some imagination.  The colour patterning is unusual because the wool was dyed with natural materials in small skeins.  The knitter made good use of the small amounts and used the blue yarn to tie the whole piece together.  The bonus with this design is that it won't show stains.


sweater back

So, if you acquired materials with good intentions and now feel you need to "de-stash" don't think of it as giving them away but think of it as giving them a new life in someone elses hands.