A new year, a new marathon

Oh, yes. I’m doing this again.

For those who have happened across my blog for the first time (thanks for stopping), I’m talking about knitting a marathon.

Now, I don’t run marathons and I don’t knit while running. I don’t run, period, not even after an ice cream truck. No, I knit marathons.

That is, I try to knit marathons. I’ve tried a couple of times now–a full marathon and a half marathon–and I don’t usually finish the necessary length of miles in yarn even when I weave or crochet as well as knit. I’ve also given away, sold, and (much more rarely) thrown away miles of yarn to add to the accumulated yardage. So far, though, I did not complete a full marathon’s 46,145.01 yards when I dilly-dallied for over a year, nor did I manage half that for the half marathon I worked on between July and December last year. (More on that in a bit.)

But I keep setting the goal because I am whittling down my stash in spite of my failures. You see, I don’t use just any yarn to race this kind of marathon. This is a stash-busting marathon. In fact, up until now, I have used only the oldest yarn in my stash, Deep Stash, which I count as yarn I’ve owned for at least five years.

This year, I’m opening up the race to the entirety of my stash. This is considerable yardage, folks, more than 300K by Ravelry’s estimation. My goal in working these contests against myself is to encourage the use of my yarn and eventually confine the stash to a bureau I inherited from my dad. I need to reclaim the space my sprawling stash currently takes up, and I want to have some fun doing it. (Just destashing it all would be boring.)

Now, for some ground rules. Yes, fun AND ground rules can happen together, I’ve discovered. I decided last year I need these rules to keep me going.

  1. Stash is yarn that was acquired by December 31, 2016 (OR later, though not acquired for immediate use).
  2. All projects finished by Dec 31, 2017, using stash yarn, will count toward the yardage goal. (These include projects already underway by January 1, 2017 but finished by the end of the year.)
  3. Yarn(s) held in multiple to create a thicker width are counted as each strand’s yardage toward the goal, as opposed to merely the yardage of the combined thickness.
  4. All yardage is tallied either by what is worked into projects or by what is destashed (yarn sold, given away, or discarded).

I must destash the amount of goal yardage unmet after the end of 2017.

That last line is my consequence for not meeting the goal by the end of the year. I will have to sacrifice yarn and not get to use it, ever. Harsh? It’s a motivator, that’s for sure, yet I’m not imposing this rule on anyone but myself. It will be the second time my stash has lived under this ax. For the half marathon that just ended in December, I completed a little over a quarter marathon. So, the remainder must be surrendered now.

The yardage I didn’t meet in the half marathon is 9,602.4 (approximately 5.5 miles). What I’m giving up for it is a wool blend I’ve had in the stash since 2009 and tried to use a handful of times in a cardigan and blanket, and in swatches when I tested stitch dictionary patterns. I’ve worked the yarn single-stranded and held it triple in a chain ply that spinners often use, but I couldn’t find a suitable knitting project for it. It’s such a wealth of yardage that I never wanted to let it go, but I think it’s time. Maybe a weaver will love it or some other knitter with just the perfect idea. I have shuffled it off to be sold in a local destashing sale this weekend, so I’ll see who snatches it up.

red cones

Behold, 16,398 yards of red laceweight, well over three pounds on three cones by Kenneth Cytron Yarns. That’s 9.3 miles, more than enough to satisfy the half marathon shortfall and a goodly amount to give the new marathon a running start.

I plan to keep track of my progress here. My consistency record for posting updates on my previous blog isn’t stellar, but I’m rearranging my schedule to make them a higher priority.

In the meantime, the tally…



2 thoughts on “A new year, a new marathon

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