Using Up My Stash

It took a while but I did finish my first knit out my stash project and then discovered a lovely yarn that I had bought years ago. This yarn, called Qiviuk, comes from the down of a musk ox and combines musk ox down and silk and it the softest and loveliest yarn I think I have ever touched. It comes form Windy Valley Musk ox in Alaska. Of course, it was pricy but I didn’t resist and then I put it away and finally took it out and then looked for a pattern to use with it.

This is where my collection of knitting books really comes in handy. Went to the bookshelf which is organized by topic and I have all of my pattern books together. I looked through the lace-knitting pattern and finally decided one in a wonderful book called Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary by Wendy Bernard. In addition to many wonderful patterns, it is spiral bound which I especially appreciate as it makes copying the pattern for carrying around much easier. I confess, I only learned to do lace knitting last year and feel as if I have mastered the most important parts of it by now. I am definitely not an expert but have gotten far enough to do intermediate patterns and to integrate a pattern into my knitting. In addition, I got some blocking wires which I am sure will make blocking lace patterns much better.

Out came my cable knitting needle set and I was ready to get started. Doing your own designing is often simply a matter of arithmetic that requires that you knit up a swatch of the pattern, measure the stitches and inches and then just multiply to get the desired dimensions.


Having only recently learned to do lace knitting, I couldn’t help but notice the wonderful yarns available but along with that I hadn’t noticed how many yards of yarn are in each hank. When you pick it up, it seems so light, but when knitting it, it seems to go on forever. At a meeting of the Big Apple Knitting Guild, one of the expert knitters brought in a wedding lace shawl that was truly incredible nut even she mentioned that she had to rip it out and start it about four times to get it right. I freely admit that I have often had to “rip out” knitting that I have not gotten right at first. In fact, while knitting this project, I realized that I had made a mistake in copying the pattern as the first row did not “add up”. This is because, after I copy the pattern on my copy machine, I then rewrite it in a format that works for me. That format, emphasizes how the pattern “works” so that I can more easily keep track of where it is going. I then glue it onto stiff paper and throw it into my knitting bag.

I have gotten it about a third done and will take some time to get ready for my next project for which I already have a pattern and yarn. As I am planning to give away these projects, the only question left is, who will get them?

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