I have a few reasons for this. Firstly, a lot of my gift knitting is already done. I know, I've been waiting for this event all year, the whole point of it is gift knitting, but I don't want to have to rush at the last minute. December is busy enough, I want to be able to enjoy the GAL knitting other people's patterns without having to think about it too much so why not treat myself to some of those things?!
Secondly, I am actively trying to stash-down, and thirdly (which is related to "secondly") I set myself a challenge in January to get as much of my "old" stash out as possible. I was defining Old Stash as anything that had been pictured in my January 2014 Flash Your Stash photo on Ravelry. (If you don't know that one, the clue is in the name, you'll find out more in the New Year when I do it again and will post then, but just go with me for now, OK?) Between the photograph itself and the wonders of Ravelry's stash search functions I can see which yarns have been lurking, I mean, relaxing in my stash the longest. There are also one or two for which I have really no further use so I just want them used and gone.
The oldest one overall is that blue-purple cake in the middle of the photograph. I did only cake it up recently as I planned to use it for Lace Anemone and Cowl Anemone but it was just too dark for the lace pattern so back into the stash it went. Now is the time for it to shine. I bought this skein way back in 2011, from a yarn store in Providence, Rhode Island, which isn't even there any more! It has been patiently waiting to fulfil its destiny so I am determined to find something to knit for myself to use this precious and beautiful skein of yarn.
Next up comes the burgundy skein of Wollmeise. I had this one, in colourway Brombeere, in one of my first ever WM grab bags, like the colour very much, but can't wear it myself. It's a lovely warm brown-red which look awful on me! However, I have a sister and a sister-in-law who both suit autumn colours so one of them (I haven't decided which yet) will be finding a matching accessory set under the tree this Christmas. I'll be looking for a hat and mitts or hat and cowl or similar to make.
The orangey-browny-purpley ball right in the front is going to become a hat for my mother-in-law. The skein was originally bought to make her a cowl but it has become a victim of its own yardage. I love Wollmeise Pure for its very generous yardage - the skeins are generally heavier than their marked 150g and it's not uncommon to get a 600 yard skein - but it does mean there's a lot left over if you only need 250 yards for something. I've already made her mitts to go with the cowl and I still have 230-odd yards left!
The purple lace top-right I have definitely cowl plans for, but until the lists of participating GAL designers and patterns go live on Monday, you'll have to wait to hear about them.
The blue in the front left is left over from a skein I bought in Maine, also in 2011, and it is so soft! It's a merino-cashmere sock yarn that came from an LYS in Bar Harbor, most of it went into a pair of very scrummy socks, and I want to do justice to the remainder. With only about 120 yards in stash though I suspect it will be combined with something else.
Finally there's the blue and pink lace ball and that little blue one right at the back. I don't have a clue what to do with them, probably combine them into something, but they're both WM lace so they'll go together just fine. I'll be looking out for two-colour lace shawls on Monday, I think!
And those are my plans so far. Check back again for more pre-GAL news and musings!