Making kits

June 23, 2014

Last week I was having coffee with my knitting friend Leah, yarnsytlist on Rav.  While we were sipping and knitting I was lamenting over my unwieldy stash when she volunteered to come over and help me make some sense of it.  At first I was embarrassed, I didn't really want anyone to see how out of control it had become, but she is sweet and non-judgmental and had a great idea to make kits.  She came over and WE MADE KITS!  Awesome kits from my own stash!  It took us two full afternoons to plow through it all, and all the work has paid off.  My stash is now organized into kit projects and I love it!  In fact, it was so successful, Leah went home and made kits from her stash!  Here's what we did:

First was to take out all the stash, but only the stash that enough yardage to make a sweater or other project.  The singles and partials were already arranged by color and divided into 4 bins, so this was just for yarn with multiple skeins.

Next we took out my favorite knitting books. For me it was all my Rowan magazines, the Rowan Studios and all my Kim Hargreaves books, plus a few other random books I love like Botanical Knits I and II. 

After that it was just a case of matching yarn to pattern making sure I had enough yardage and that the gauge and drape would work.  This isn't as easy as you might think and we had to spend a lot of time leafing through the books.  It was really helpful having Leah with me, I don't know if I could have finished it without her. Leah knows my knitting style and what I like and what will look good on me so we were able to go through it and decide fairly quickly, still I found it exhausting!

After we chose the pattern, I went online and printed out the picture of each pattern, then wrote the pattern name, the book source and page number on the picture.  The next step was to get large 1 gallon zip lock bags and jumbo 2.5 gallon bags.  Then it's just putting the yarn in with the picture and info, closing it up, and over two days we managed to make 16 kits. 

OK, so I'm a bit embarrassed I have all this yarn; but I'll tell you how I acquired it all.  For some reason, when a yarn was discontinued and gone half off, I thought I had to buy it in every color way.  I am proud to say I don't do that anymore, not for a year or more. I simply couldn't store anymore or imagine how I could possibly knit it over a lifetime.  I have slowly whittled away at my stash and determined to keep it under control.  Now, I do admit that I will be buying a little more in a month or so.  I've seen a preview of the yarns coming out for fall and there is no way I am NOT going to buy some of it.  There is some really gorgeous yarn that I know I won't be able to pass up, so I'm not going to!  But in the meantime, I absolutely love what we were able to do and now have a sleek and organized way to pick out my next project, and it's right at my fingertips. 

I cleared out two shelves in my sewing room to accommodate my new kits.
I added a picture with the pertinent info to each bag of yarn to make it easy to choose the next project.

Here are a few of my KITS:

I'm using Rowan Felted tweed in yellow to make another Easy Folded Poncho.  I wear my blue one all the time and love this particular project for knitting in the movie theater.  Felted Tweed is really easy to touch knit in the dark, as long as it's stockinette.

I made one kit for baby using Big Bad Wool Weepaca for the Fireside Cardigan.  I bought this at Stitches West and next time I need a baby sweater, I have one all ready to go!

I have enough Pure Wool Worsted in Moonstone to make this adorable poncho by Martin Storey.

There is a bag of Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a steely blue that will make a beautiful Autumn's End, a lacy pullover from the first Botanical Knits book.  I've had my eye on this for a long time.

I'm also making something from the new Botanical Book II.  I actually knit Bare Branches last year but it was for testing only and had to send it back to the designer.  I loved it too much and knew I would have to make one for me.  I'll also be using what she recommends in the book, Rowan Felted Tweed Aran.

I've been collecting bits of Rowan Angora Haze and other beautiful yarns to make this sweet little sweater from the Little Star book.  I have no little girl to knit for at this time, but I am so in love with this sweater I must make it anyway!   Charlotte by Marie Wallin, what little girl wouldn't love this?

I have two lots of Rowan Tweed DK, both in greeny blue shades.  One will be Cherie by Kim Hargreaves from the old Vintage Knits book and one of my all time favorite knitting books.  The other one will be Wade by Lisa Richardson from Magazine 52.


My Kidsilk Haze projects, of course there will always be a few of those:  Charcoal gray for the Looped Stitch Collar by Sarah Hatton.  Also a new color, Strawberry for the Bow Cardigan from an early Studio.

Phew!  I'm done! My kits are ready to go and I'm feeling ORGANIZED!  My "knitting salon" was a total mess for a few days, but now it's neat and tidy again.   For the time being.  

These jumbo 2.5 gal. Hefty bags were perfect for the larger projects
Bye for now and thanks for reading!

Leah's blog, The Yarn Stylist


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  1. I love, love, love this organization idea! I am newbie knitter (well, a year and a half newbie) and the yarn is already getting out of control. :) :) I have it organized by yarn weight, but it would be nice to sit down and actually pick some patterns to go with all the great yarn I have. Thanks for the idea!!!
    ~Amanda from His and Her Hobbies

  2. Great idea....what did we do before zip lock bags ? :)

  3. Fantastic idea -- those jumbo Ziploc bags are GREAT for stash containment! I can't tell you how many times I've wanted to quickly grab a new project to start on the go, but become frustrated because everything is in 4 different places around the house.

    Hope you're having a wonderful time in Holmfirth!

  4. This was such a fun post to read, and your photos of your kits are wonderful! Which kit are you going to start knitting first?

  5. I love this! Also funny to me that we have such similar taste in patterns and right away I spied that Aran weight Scottish Tweed, my most favorite yarn ever! Oh how I wish I would've bought every last ball of it! :) But KSH might be my favorite..
    Have fun with your kits!

  6. Very inspiring! Am going to make my own impressive kits; I love kits!!!

  7. I L-O-V-E great organization, and this is right up there with the best of 'em! I use Ziplocs quite liberally around here for corralling things like napkin rings, name it! The Ziploc bag truly is one of the great inventions of the last century!

    I'm so glad you and Leah both were able to get your kits all made up and that order is once again restored in your workspace! It's tough to get started sometimes, but once you get into it it kind of becomes an obsession to see it through to fruition. And when you're finally done...aah!!!

    I've got to find some of those Hefty 2.5 gallon ones!!! I have never seen them around here, but I'm sure SOMEONE has to carry them! I'm going straight downstairs to put them on my grocery list.

    Great post, Kristen!

  8. I love this idea! I couldn't do this with all my stash ... it would be too overwhelming. But I think I read where someone did this with about 10 of their stash/projects. Actually doing that many might make me realize I need to purge some of my stash as I'm reaching that SABLE - stash acquisition beyond life expectancy level. Thanks for all the pattern ideas too - I've favorite'd several of them now.

  9. Such a great idea! Very inspiring!


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