Yarn Stash

A popular 2012 resolution for crocheters seems to be working from their yarn stash. My yarn stash is vast and really needs to be used. When I first started crocheting again, I would buy yarn on sale but I might only buy one skein of a color. Now I know better. I at least buy two so that I can make a scarf or something with it.

Since my stash has gotten so large, I try to use what I have for projects although that doesn’t always work. I may need a certain color and have to buy some yarn only to use half a skein for a project. Now I have half a skein to add to the stash. So my yarn stash goes and also becomes harder to use in projects.

For amigurumi, a half skein works well since you really don’t need a lot of yarn for small toys. Still I have way more yarn than I will use this year. I plan to decide just what I will use and donate the rest. It will feel good to have a small yarn stash and just buy yarn for projects again.

Christmas Yarn

Yesterday was a treat for me. We went to Michael’s. It seems like ages since I have been there. With me working now, I find I shop way less – which is sad since I now have more money. My yarn stash is full – so I made a vow to clean it out before I buy any more.

I did buy two skeins yesterday. One was for an amigurumi for my daughter. I couldn’t believe I didn’t have the color I needed. The other skein was to make apples for teacher Christmas gifts. My daughter’s teacher loved The Carrot Famiy so I hope the she will like an amigurumi apple.

Usually if I am yarn browsing, I prefer Hobby Lobby. Those rows and rows of yarn just lift my spirits. Surprisingly our Michael’s was well stocked with yarn this visit. They had plent of new Christmas yarn – much of it from Martha Stewart. Some didn’t look very yarn-like. I’m sure she has a craft book full of ideas how to use this yarn that didn’t seem it would last a few rounds. There was some pom-pom yarn for Christmas that I would love to try but not so sure about using the Christmas colors. I have so much to do already that I would never finish a Christmas throw – although maybe I will work on it in 2012 for next Christmas.

Still it was fun to look at the new yarn. I may have to sneak in a trip this weekend and marvel at it one more time.

I Love Yarn Day

Today is I Love Yarn Day. I do love yarn, so I have been waiting for this day. Well to me, every day is I Love Yarn Day but today I will make it a point to crochet something – maybe even buy some yarn.

I have slacked up on yarn buying in hopes that I will go through some of my stash. The problem is that I keep finding patterns of interest but I do not have sufficient yarn to do the project.

I do want to organize my yarn, so today would be a perfect day to do that. I want to display my yarn because a) it’s pretty and b) I will remember what I have. Right now I have some yarn in storage – so I completely forget about it. We have very limited space – so I keep wanting to use our walls to display and store yarn. This weekend I may work on starting that project by hanging a few shelves.

Also I Love Yarn Day will be a great day to really start planning those Christmas gifts. I am not going to do a lot of gifts this year but I do plan on making some hats, fingerless gloves, and a few amigurumi toys.

One project I want to make is a small ami wolf. I’m totally engaged in A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin and just started book three – A Storm of Swords. This has been one reason I haven’t been crocheting much lately. I can only do so many things at once. Of course I could get the audio books and listen to them while crocheting – although I’m not sure if I could listen and concentrate on crocheting at the same time – especially if it is a new pattern.

So today is a great day to love yarn. Well for us who love yarn, we would say that every day is a good day! It’s still nice to have a day devoted to yarn.

Crocheting with Feathers

While browsing the craft section a few weeks ago, I picked up a pack of feathers thinking that I could certainly find a use for them. I had thought about the feathers in your hair popular trend but with a crochet twist. Maybe adding flowers to a crocheted barette or something along those lines.

Last night I was working on a chicken for my daughter when I decided to try crochet with feathers to make the wings. I laid the feather across the stitches and then stitched around them. So I was using yarn for the stitches. The idea was that the feathers would stay in place better if done while completing the stitch.

My first attempt did not come out as expected. I should have used feathers on just one round instead of trying it one two or three. Less feathers would definitely had been easier. Also feathers are pretty delicate and working with more than two is difficult. I think I broke all but one trying to get the others shaped on the crocheted piece.

So I’ve learned a few things that I will apply when I try to crochet with feathers again. Of course my daughter commented that yarn wings were fine, so I may not have much motivation.

Yarn Bits and Failed Projects

I have found a great way to recycle yarn. Some projects start out really on track and then just fall off it somehow. So, I’m left with half-finished projects that I can’t bear to throw away and unraveling seems pointless since it is such a small amount of yarn.

Since winter has arrived, I have been worried about our gerbils keeping warm. I tossed a discarded crochet project into their cage and they immediately went to town on it.

They immediately began chewing and unraveling the yarn – making it into a nice, warm den. Now when I clean out their cage, I just toss another discarded project into the cage. They enjoy having something to chew on and to keep them warm. Plus it’s free compared to buying soft bedding at the pet store. I have plenty of small, unfinished projects and plenty of yarn. It is nice to see those projects finally get some use.

Choosing Amigurumi Yarn

One trip down the yarn aisle of your local hobby store will reveal that there are a lot of yarns on the market. A lot of yarns are suitable for amigurumi. Generally you want to stay with a medium worsted weight yarn. Bulky yarn may not produce what you were hoping from your amigurumi. Light weight yarn can be used for amigurumi but the gauge may be smaller; you may have to add extra increasing rounds to get the size you want.

When looking for yarn to make amigurumis, you want to look for good, all-purpose yarn. Acrylic worsted weight makes a great choice for amigurumi yarn. There are many colors and the yarn is durable. Cotton yarn is also a good choice for amigurumi too. You will want to use a medium weight yarn for your amigurumi. This is a great weight to work with when making crocheted dolls and toys.

Before buying yarn, check your stash since you might find your yarn there. Making amigurumi toys doesn’t take a lot of yarn. If you have a some left over from another project, then try using it. Sometimes you may need two or more colors so finding yarn from your stash will save you money. If you are making a toy for a child or baby, then choose an amigurumi yarn that is soft. Using a baby yarn or cotton would both be fine choices.

Bottom line is that you can practically use any yarn for amigurumi. Medium worsted weight works best but others can certainly be used. Homespun or bulky yarn probably would be difficult to work with for small amigurumi. Acrylic or cotton yarn works well but wool and other fibers can be used with good results.