August 14, 2006

Book Review: The Yarn Stash Workbook by Laura Militzer Bryant

The Yarn Stash Workbook: Great Ideas and Dozen of Projects by Laura Militzer Bryant

I got this informative and fun book to help me use up the individual skeins of yarn I have in my stash. I was having a hard time figuring out what to do with the mismatch of yarns I had. There are so many colors and textures in my stash that looking at all of them, I just couldn't think of how I could use them or how they might be used together. But after getting Laura's book, I have a much better idea.

The first part of the book has a great section called "In the Beginning: Sorting Your Stash". In this section, Laura explains about the various aspects of yarn including yarn-weight like fine, medium and bulky and construction like piled, boucle', chained, brushed, chenille, woven, nubs/slubs, and component yarns.

But, more importantly and what I found to be the most beneficial, she also talks about another type of yarn weight which has to do with color rather then by the size or construction of yarn. Instead of arranging the yarn by color like blues or reds, she suggests arranging the yarn from light in color to dark in color taking into account the saturation and intensity of the each.

I found this method of categorizing yarn to be very helpful and applied it to my own stash. And in fact it allowed me, for the first time, to get a real sense of what I have in my stash and how I can use the various yarns together. I arranged my stash using this method and was astounded by what I really had and the possibilities of using the yarns together in ways I hadn't imagined before.

The book goes on to using the idea of color weight in projects ranging from scarves and wraps to ponchos and capelets, to hats and purses, to afghans and pillows to shells, sweaters, cardigans, and jackets. Although I didn't like all the combination of colors or projects in the book, I found several I did like including the open work scarf (page 30), the multiyarn wrap (page 34), the almost-enough striped tee (page 94) and the scrap-yarn teddy bear (page 80).

The Yarn Stash Workbook: Great Ideas and Dozen of Projects by Laura Militzer Bryant is a great book to get started on using up your yarn stash. The color weight theory as well as the break down of the yarns by construction gave me a better sense of what yarns could be used in my knitting projects. Also, the projects show the application of these concepts to help inspire anyone with a yarn stash needing to be knit up.

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