Thursday, April 23, 2015

My Name is Annabelle and I Have a Stash Problem!

No, she said, I don't have a stash.  The ladies of knit club all chuckled, as if they didn't quite believe her, or at least didn't believe that her statement would continue to hold true.

Oh how the tides have changed!  Slowly over the last five years I have developed quite the stash.  It started simply with the women of knit club cleaning out their stashes, and declaring that it now belonged to me since I needed to build a stash.   Then there were the yarns purchased for a specific project, only to do a gauge swatch and find that the yarn didn't quite work out - so new yarn needed to be purchased while the first purchase went to the stash.  Then there were the projects where I bought the recommended yardage, but still had a skein or two left over when the project was complete.  Lastly, there are the sale yarns - who can resist yarn on sale?

I recently realized that my non-stash of yarn had really turned into an abundant stash.  I decided that I was going to come up with a system to combat this problem.  The first plan of attack was to inventory every single skein or partial skein I owned and file it in my Ravelry stash.  It was a bit of work to gather every single skein and enter the information into Ravelry.  However, now when I start a new project it only takes a few minutes to see if I have anything in my stash that might work.  This is super helpful if I want to continue test knitting, as designers often want to know what yarn you plan to use when you first volunteer.  It's also super helpful as it prevents me from buying more of certain types of yarn (i.e. those yarns that are already taking over my stash, but are hardly ever knit with).

Speaking of certain types of yarn, I noticed that the biggest player in my stash problem is cotton yarn.  When I first really started knitting I decided that cotton was the most delightful type of yarn to knit with.  That is because I made mittens and baby sweaters.  When I actually started to make sweaters for myself and knit with quality wool, I realized that cotton was only ideal for those baby items.  I now have a stash of cotton yarn and not a lot of uses for them.  Ugh!

The second largest contributor to my stash problem is lace yarn.  This was completely unintentional.  I made one sweater out of lace from a vintage pattern that did not give a yardage requirement.  I ended up with nearly four skeins left over - just over three skeins were used in the making of the sweater.  Then I planned to start another lace weight sweater.  I did not like the way my yarn knit up at all, so I bought something else.  Then I got pregnant and did not feel like making a skim fitting sweater from lace yarn . . .

And the stories and excuses add up.  One good thing I did notice is that my stash is mostly made up of older purchases.  What I mean is, in the past two years, nearly all of the yarn that I have bought has been used in a project, even if not the original project it was intended for.  What makes up my stash is mostly yarns purchased three years ago or more.  This is a good sign, because it means the things I am buying now are being used - I'm buying more of the right yarns for my knitting projects and tastes.

What about you, any stash confessions?  Come on, you know you have a problem too ;)  How are you attempting to manage your yarn (or fabric stash)?  I would love to hear what has and hasn't worked.



  1. Oh dear.... Well.... I just went to an estate sale where each ball of yarn was $1 dollar. Needless to say, I have a beefy stash. I really don't mind though since I haven't been to the yarn store for a full year, except to purchase needles. I know that even with some random balls of yarn in my stash it will eventually get used up for mittens or a hat - these single skeins make for really good gift giving projects.

    In short - I love my stash. :)

    1. Oh my goodness, at a dollar for each ball of yarn, I would have stocked up too! I also can't believe you haven't been to the yarn store for a full year - with all of the knitting that you have been doing with Meg and Michelle, you must have had quite the stash to begin with.

  2. LMAO! Me too... and I second that; most of what I buy now i use much more quickly plus I'm much more careful now about my purchases - i know what I like sewing/knitting with and the type of projects I will be most likely to make :) The majority of my fabric and yarn stashes are from when I first started sewing/knitting and didn't know what I was doing ^__^

    I'm sure all that stash will get cleaned out and used up at some point - we just have to keep on making! :D

    1. I'm hoping that I will use up some of my older fabric and yarn stash. Organizing my yarn stash on ravelry has already helped a ton. Now I need to find a system for my fabric. I'm glad I'm not alone in this ;)