Saturday, September 1, 2012

Use It Or Lose It: Stash

I've been keeping track of which of my clothes get worn and which don't. It felt so good to let go of unused clothing that I've decided to apply those same ideas to my stash. That's right. I'm going to clear out most of my yarn! As you can imagine, this was not an easy decision. I love all that yarn...or at least I did when I bought it. When I first plunged into all things knitting, I was a capricious shopper and quickly amassed an assortment of yarns. In time, I became more selective and only bought yarn for specific projects. The problem remained, though, that I could shop more quickly than I could knit. Even though I've used, sold, and given away a lot of it, I still have well over 16 miles of yarn left!

I find that I now mostly knit projects for which I've just bought yarn. That sequence of getting excited about a project, having the thrill of finding just the right yarn, and then quickly casting on--that's what is most likely going to result in a finished product that I like. I'm also more likely to enjoy the process itself because it's what I'm in the mood to knit, whether it's stockinette in the round or complex lace and cables. I've begun to see my stash as more a source of guilt than of inspiration, and that is not how it should be. Therefore, I'm giving myself one year to use it or lose it. This is not a moratorium on purchasing. But if I haven't cared enough about a yarn in my stash to cast on something with it by 8/31/13, I need to find it a better home.

To start things off, I returned 3 balls of Cascade Kid Seta Noir to my LYS today. This is gorgeous yarn! I picked these up with the intention of making a Color Affection, and I still think they'd be great. But the reality is that I've already made one Color Affection and stalled out on a second. The likelihood that I'll start--let alone finish--a third in a year is slim when I've got lots of other ideas swirling around.

Wish me luck, folks!


  1. i know what you mean! had same purchasing habits and now have same unease rather than pleasure with my stash - kind of overwhelming in inspiration, as was my rav Q. I've curated both a bit lately and am feeling a little better about it.
    Good luck!

  2. Destashing seems to be going around! I'm planning on doing one too, this coming week. I actually do knit from my stash quite a bit, but I have some things that I just don't like any more. Time to make room!

    Good luck on yours!

  3. Well, you've inspired me (again)! I can relate to this:

    The problem remained, though, that I could shop more quickly than I could knit


    I find that I now mostly knit projects for which I've just bought yarn

    I'm excited to see your progress! You must be serious if you've already calculated how much yardage (in miles no less) you have.

    1. Ravelry lets you export your stash as a spreadsheet, and you know I like spreadsheets! I saved it to have a snapshot of how my stash looked at the beginning of this endeavor. It was an easy thing to have Excel calculate the yardage (mileage?) for me.

  4. I just recently re-organized my stash and while I'm not quite ready to de-stash, I've come to the same realization as you: I'm more inspired to knit with yarn I've recently purchased for a specific project. My plan is to knit down my stash and then not buy new yarn unless it's for a project. Yeah, let's see how long that lasts!