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Collection versus Hoard?

by The SpinArtiste on October 30, 2016

Hey There!

I am knitting the Stephen West 2016 Mystery Knit Along right now.  This comes on the heels of recently knitting his Esjan pattern and prior to that, my second Old Forge blanket (over the summer…I knitted my first one last summer — why do I knit blankets in the summer???).  All of this coincides with receiving an Old Forge blanket knitted by Debra Lambert of Picasso’s Moon as a gift! 

I was feeling kind of good about my growing collection until I started really adding things up.  And, I wondered, “Do I have a collection or is this the start of a HOARD?”

I am not sure which of the patterns I knitted first.  I think possibly Iberian Discovery.  I have actually knitted two of these and gave one away as a gift.  I then went on to knit one for myself.


I absolutely adore this shawl.  I used mill ends so the colors were really interesting and I softened them by knitting the mill ends along with a strand of natural, cream colored yarn.  This is my favorite shawl to wear with jeans.

I think next I knit Exploration Station.  I don’t have a picture of it and I literally took it right off of my back and gave it to a friend that was recovering from a serious illness when I went to see her.  It was knitted from stash yarns and huge!  More of a Shlanket, if you know what I mean, but it was warm and snuggly for my friend.  I will knit another one eventually.

Then, with some urging, I decided to tackle Old Forge, the big round blanket — a TON of knitting.  Again, I used stash yarns.  I had acquired a hand dyed skein of yarn that was 1500 yards so in combination with some other interesting hand dyed and hand spun yarns I had accumulated, it all went together and I love it.

The second Old Forge came about when Debra Lambert issued me a challenge.  I had a bunch of skeins that I purchased when I was on vacation in Alaska — totem pole colors from the Pacific Northwest:  Teal, Red, Black and Cream.  I thought it was marvelous…but Debra told me that she could never see that colorway working in something.  So, you know, that was a true challenge!  I combined the tough colorway with cream and I love the blanket. 

Here are all of the Old Forges together:


I have them folded into quarters — the two I knitted are on the right and in the middle.  Obviously, I need a fourth one to fill in the hole, right?

Meanwhile…I got another shawl completed earlier this year:  The Doodler which was the Mystery Knit Along last fall.  I got started late and it seemed like it took me forever, but what a beauty!  Also, again, this was knitted from my stash as well.


My Doodler used all luxury yarns that I had been saving.  And, I can’t wait to wear it this winter!

After I finished the Old Forge at the end of the summer, I rolled quickly into hurry up mode to make a shawl for the fall.  I like to have a new one every year.  I had not yet knit the Esjan pattern and I was dying to try it out.  So, I dug into my stash and put together a collection of all silk yarns.


Now, I am deep into my Building Blocks shawl.  And, yes, the yarns are all from my stash again.  I am about halfway done.  Looking forward to wearing it!


That’s the run down.  I do knit other things too — patterns from other designers and sometimes stuff I throw together.  But, this is what I have done Stephen West-wise.  I would have assessed it as a collection except for having three Old Forges kind of throws it over the edge, especially when there are plans to make another one…

In other news, I’m so pleased to share that over at Fibery Goodness we kicked off our brand new Fiber Artist in Resident Program with our first artist being the amazing talented Bren Boone — read all the details about that here

Thanks for listening to my tale of knitting.  See you soon!  Arlene

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Spiderlady October 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm

These are all so beautiful! I love his designs but too much of a commitment for me to knit..You are dedicated!!


Nancy October 31, 2016 at 10:10 am

Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for the great post.


Miss Dahlia November 2, 2016 at 11:29 am

Dear Ms. Arlene,
Good morning.
What a bounty of loveliness you have created. My position is, “I cast on to create and cast off to send the creation out into the world to make someone smile.” I do find it helpful, as my tastes change, to give away yarns that no longer have the hold on me they once held.
I must say I have become quite intrigued with Stephen West’s unique take on knitting. I so enjoyed watching him in action via Knit Stars and am pondering what pattern to try first. Your opinion is appreciated.

Sincerely from the heart of Texas,
Miss Dahlia


Carol m November 9, 2016 at 10:47 pm

Since I always thought your sock knitting was amazing , seeing these blankets and scarves just freak me out . I can’t imagine having that much yarn in a stash , mine is all raw fleece. Do you use all same weight yarn for SW designs?
Beautiful work !!


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