Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Yarn Stash

I am relatively new to weaving, so I have been buying yarn and using it directly in the projects I am planning. I wonder with time how this will change. I've read a number of blogs about people's stashes of yarn. My house has one closet. I barely know if I have enough room for the looms, so I think occasionally about how to store yarn. We are in the middle of a renovation that could be influenced by those thoughts. Anyway - it's a wondering time. Then I read Theresa's blog Camp Runamuck entry on creative ways to reduce her stash of yarn. She was offering some leftovers of yarn with some rules. Pay her the postage to ship it and then make a donation for what the yarn is worth to me to my favorite charity. She had Noro yarn that I've discovered in my wedge weave class, so I asked for it. It came in this weekend and I already know I've got the yarn bug. This is opposite from my previous yarn adventures where the project comes first and then the yarn. This time I just have yarn with a vague thought of what to do. It's 4 skeins and I'm already dreaming up ways to use it. As far as the charity donation, the local grocer was taking food donations for Easter to be sent to the local food bank. My husband and I shopped around the store with our remote checkout scanner and filled the cart. As we transferred from the cart to the buggy for the food bank, my husband looked up at me and grinned, "This is cool!" We then started all over with our groceries. It was a convenient way to get the job done.

I wasn't completely distracted by the yarn, because I did start a new adventure this weekend. I have a simple piano and on Christmas my husband had bought me the tools to tune it. I was a bit overwhelmed, but with tuning the harp, I began to really think I could do this. So I opened the top and started with middle C. In principle, it's rather simple - take rubber wedges and damp two of the three strings. Tune the remaining string with a chromatic tuner. Remove a wedge and tune by ear the second string to the first. Repeat with the third string. Repeat, repeat, repeat until the first octave is tuned and then tune additional octaves by ear to the first. I tuned another octave to the first, but found that tuning steel strings does take a little more strength than the nylon strings on my harp. So we'll do this in stages. Not to mention I think my ear was beginning to get tired to listening to the subtle differences!
The wedge weave is still growing, but I only completed two wedges this weekend. Even with Friday off, there was still much to be done including spending Sunday with family. One thing that I'm particularly proud of with this weave is that I'm getting the tension consistent in the weaving to keep each wedge flat on top. That took me nearly all week in class and I'm glad to see that it stuck with me!


Life Looms Large said...

That yarn is really pretty!! I'll be interested to see what you do with it. (I think it can be knit into one of those cool scarves that I'm knitting....and you'd still have yarn to spare. Not to distract you from weaving with it!)

It's interesting that as people get more into weaving, they seem to start buying yarn and letting the project come from the yarn....instead of buying yarn for a particular project. I'm sure that's partly because we get linked into new ways to get yarn....so then when we see a yarn we're drawn to we just pounce. And figure out the project later!

I store mine in plastic bins....sorted somewhat by project and fiber - with a bin for incoming yarn that I haven't decided what to do with yet.

One of my very prolific, but blogless, weaving friends keeps her yarn in one shelf of her closet. And when it's too full she doesn't buy more. She's much more disciplined and focused than I am....

Impressive that you can tune your own piano!!


ReluctantDragon said...

What fun to have new yarn to play with!
I just recently made the transition from hunting down materials every time I started weaving something new, to having my own stash. And I have no room for it either - I have a stack of three boxes sitting over in a corner and a pile of several more cones in another corner by my loom. Not the nicest looking method, but... one does what one has to do!

I can handle harp tuning (and I have a concert grand pedal harp - so it has the largest number of string you're going to find on one!) but I'm not so sure about piano tuning! That does sound like an adventure.

Your wedge weave is coming along so nicely!

KaiteM. said...

uh oh, it sounds like you have the beginnings of a terrible virus Jenn, the yarn stash virus!!! The little hallway leading to my sewing room has floor to my height boxes filled with knitting yarn, some that i've had for over 15 years or more, then i have a whole set of drawers, 90cm wide, shoulder height, filled with weaving yarns, then there is all the telstra wire in bundles in the garage. I could go on but i daren't. I love it all dearly and i have no intention of giving it away because 'someday' i just might need the very bit i have given away!!!
If you are doing renovations then make extra room, more than you could imagine, for your stash ;}

J. Austin - said...

AHA! Time to plan LOTS of storage! I have a collection of large plastic jars, left over from my sister's pretzel addiction. I like to keep smallish samples of my yarns in these so I can see them. I also have an old cedar chest full of Paternayan I have collected over the years. And shelves full of cones. And closets full of plastic storage boxes. I almost never buy yarn for a project. I have SOOO much.

charlotte said...

I am really impressed by your piano tuning - for me it's hard enough to tune the violin, especially the small sizes, quarter and eigth violins! This way to donate leftover yarn is a great idea. I like your wedge weave, it looks like it requires a lot of patience!

Jennifer said...

You all are scaring me!!!! Even with the renovation ongoing - ample storage that I can forsee will require adding on! Remember the house only has one closet!!!

I wonder what forcing myself to only use what fils a particular space would do to my creativity - stifle it or widen it!

I do love the idea of having yarn and letting it lead me into what project I do, but I can also see myself in the reverse.

Tuning the piano does take some perseverence, but also some upper body strength - these are are wire strings and the friction on the pins is rather tight - even more than strength is control since it's really a very slight movement to get the one string in tune! We'll see what I think when I finish!

Theresa said...


Thank you for your generous donation! I hope the yarn inspires something wonderful. I have a fair amount of yarn, and some things that work well for storage for me, are chests esp. the cedar ones, the back of the doors with those shoe hangers stuffed with yarn, baskets of course. Hmm, I bet you could fit a lot of yarn in that piano!!! ;-) I'm awed at you trying tuning. I had fits at times tuning my bass and that's only 4 strings.

Jennifer said...

I'm loving hearing about other's instruments - and that they all involve strings - I've been told I must have a string thing, but it looks like I'm not the only one!

KaiteM. said...

Jenn, you'll need at least another closet for the yarns. And the good news is, the pathology is clear, she's doing just fine - woohoo!! Stitches out next Thursday. Thanks for asking. K.