This article is from our newsletter earlier this year, but I thought it was appropriate for the holiday season. I am certainly wishing I had a gift stash on hand!
By Emily H.
I’m a pretty voracious knitter. I like cables, lace, garter, and love knitting everything from shawls to sweaters. I also love little accessory projects, learning something new, and playing with color and texture. Like many long-term knitters, my lifetime output has produced far more than I could actually use. For example, my favorite things to knit are mittens, but I can’t wear more than one pair at a time, much less the 20+ pairs that I’ve knit. I love to knit fancy shawls and shawlettes, but rarely wear them. After gathering a list of knit-worthy people, several years ago I started the practice of stashing my projects.
Some knitters talk about shopping from their stash; when it comes time to give a birthday or winter holiday gift, I shop from my gift stash. This saves me from the pressure of deadlines, as well as worrying about immediately matching pattern and yarn with a recipient. Some of my items have been marinating for several years, but I’m confident that they will find the right person, eventually.
This means that I can indulge my impulsive side when I fall in love with a skein of yarn or a pattern, but am not actually sure that I want to keep it forever. It means I have no guilt if I finish a hat or scarf that I wanted at the time, but decide I don’t love the finished project on me; someone else will get to cherish it. When I immediately finish a particular pattern and want to knit it again, I do. When I want a palate cleanser after a big project, I’ll grab a collection of accessories like 60 Quick Knits and cast on.
Most of my items are relatively small, one-skein projects: a cowl with an interesting pattern, something to show off some handspun, unisex hats, fingerless gloves and mittens in varying designs. Here’s a selection of some of the smaller items currently in my stash:
Clockwise from top left:
Patterns marked with an * are available through the Ravelry in-store download program.
If you’re a process knitter and like the idea of having gifts on hand, consider project stashing. You’ll likely be glad you did!