The ultimate stashbusting challenge

In my stashbusting efforts this fall, I discovered Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport comprises the majority of my remnant stash. While not a fancy or exciting yarn, it is a nice, inexpensive wool that comes in a million colors. I heart Nature Spun. Most recently, I used Nature Spun Sport for Ida’s vest, a DROPS sweater for Beatrix, and my Winter Sunrise hat. It is also the yarn used in the never ending Katharine Hepburn Cardigan, which I will finish sometime in my lifetime. Excepting the two cones I bought from Whitney’s recent destash, it is worth noting that most of the NS in my remnant stash predates my blog. This means it is at least three years old. I must use it up or throw it out. Period.

With small amounts of at least 13 colors, I suppose I could knit hats. Many, many, many hats. However, I noticed nearly everything could be grouped into shades of orange/brown or shades of blue. Starting with the former color grouping, I decided to knit up the biggest stashbusting project ever: a fair isle vest like the Ivy League vest I knit last year, using only what I had. I will buy more of one particular color if I run out. However, I will not buy additional colors to use in the project.

With the ribbing

Using the same 3×1 ribbing as Ida’s vest, I cast on last October.

Ongoing Brown Sheep Nature Spun Stashbuster Vest

The vest grows slowly, in part due to the stitch gauge and in part due to its relegation to secondary project in my knitting basket. Now, several months later, I have reached the V-neck divide.

Ongoing Brown Sheep Nature Spun Stashbuster Vest

I’m still not sure the bright orange and white peeries jive with the darker peeries. I think they look good from a distance but it’s a little jarring from the knitter’s distance. I added them in the first place because the other peeries blended together into one dark blob.

My favorite panel

This is my favorite peerie of them all. I intend to use it in other designs, I like it so much. From some angles, it looks like the standard XOXO; but from other angles, I see orange butterflies. Do you?

I am willing to accept this may turn out to be the ugliest thing I’ve ever knit. After all, orange and brown are not exactly my favorite colors. However, I think it might be a nice fall vest under a jacket. Furthermore, the planning stages alone taught me valuable lessons about stacking and centering peeries, and stranded knitting in general. I remain hopeful.

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29 comments so far

  1. grumperina on

    Your discipline is astounding! And the fact that you have enough leftovers for a project like this tells me that you really like the yarn, and the project is bound to be a winner!

  2. Heather on

    I am really loving this project, keep going! As I wrote on flickr, I also have a ton of this yarn in my stash and am endeavoring to use it all up. Another sign that we are weird separated at birth people: I am also working on a KH cardi and it is taking FOREVER…thanks for reminding me that I even still had it on the go, I had wiped it from my mind!!

  3. Cara on

    I like fall colors, so I really like it. I definitely see the butterflies.

  4. paperdiva on

    see I adore the colors in this! I just don;t have the patience to actually make one!

  5. Kathy on

    I think the color combination is gorgeous and I’m not an orange/brown person. I really like the KH cardigan– somehow I’d missed seeing that one until now.

  6. knittinbrit on

    I think it looks wonderful and such resourcefulnesss. You’re right, it will look perfect in the fall under a jacket, and butterflies are what I saw when first looking at the peerie. In fact, I had to look hard to find the XOXo pattern. So, maybe it could be a fun spring vest also with a t-shirt underneath.

    Great Stashbusting.

  7. Theresa on

    That looks fabulous. When I first started knitting, someone told me that I should pick a single yarn in a category – one worsted weight wool, one cotton, one fingering weight, etc. – so that the leftovers would go together well. Your project is the perfect example of that.

  8. Zarah on

    I think it looks great, but I have a stupid question: What is a peerie?

  9. Kristy on

    It really looks great! I love it that this is made from leftovers, too. I do see the butterflies!

  10. Karen on

    I love the vest with the autumn colours. I am sure it will look lovely on. I can definitely see the butterflies.

  11. Kelly on

    *mouth flops open* ohhhh Elinor the colour combo is the shizzle!!!! *ahem* I mean I love it!!!
    Very Vintage, its going to be awesome! Must learn colourwork must!

  12. Christy / Not Hip on

    Well…you know that I will never judge orange and brown to be ugly.
    V. impressive.
    And yes, I see the butterflies.

  13. mai on

    i think the vest looks great so far and i do see the butterflies! i can’t wait to see the finished product.

  14. alison on

    With you all the way on stash busting. Love the colour combo here.

  15. EtSu on

    Wow that’s gorgeous! Colours are amazing!

  16. yecatsml on

    I really like it – the colors are so warm and autumnal!

  17. Holli on

    OMG! What an incredible piece. I love the colors, and the detail work. You are an expert knitter! I’m impressed.

  18. Lisa on

    That’s a great vest! I think your colors are working very well together and I applaud you for the stashbusting. That’s something I will have to tackle, but not yet.

  19. Danielle on

    I think it looks great! I know what you’re saying about the white, but I think the overall color composition will balance it out at the end of the day.

  20. Vicki on

    I am currently working on a shawl using Noro Kureyon Sock in a colorway that LOOKED interesting, but it is turning out FUUUUG-LY! I am continuing to knit it, though, and think I’m going to give it an overdye dip in some onion-skin water when I’m done to tone it all down and give it a little more cohesion. I’ve seen this work WONDERS! Just a thought if you find, in the future, that you’re not wearing that vest.

  21. Dawn on

    Your vest Rocks! I love your color selections and can’t wait to see the finished piece.

  22. tiennie on

    I actually really like those colors together. You’re right – perfect for a vest to be worn with a jacket! Can’t wait to see it all finish. I’m all about the stashbusting right now.

  23. Angela on

    Love those colors together– the darker bands alone are beautiful, but the white really makes the oranges pop. Now I’m curious to see what blues you have in your stash….

  24. nikki on

    I love the colors! I would look awful in them, given my complexion, but I have a redheaded friend that would be an absolute knockout in it. :)

  25. jennifer on

    I follow our blog regularly and love the sweaters for Beatrix. I did the drop pattern in fine yarn, but would like to make it larger for my gd.She is 2yr. Can you tell me what size you did in the sport yarn? I did the tomten in different yarns but never thought of this one. Love EZ patterns.

  26. lolly on

    Wow, I am super impressed! The colors look so beautiful together! I did a stashbuster Fair Isle, but it only had 6 colors – you have more than double! This is going to be so beautiful, E!

  27. Erica on

    Congratulations on the stashbusting! The vest looks great. I’m not a big fan of orange, usually, but I really like it here. And the peeries do look like butterflies. Or flowers. I hope you like it when you’re done!

  28. gleek on

    i really like this idea! using up all that stash yarn.. yay!

  29. whitney on

    I really like this idea, and the vest looks great! I love the autumn colors.


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