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Stash: A Knitter’s Secret

December 28, 2012

The holidays are fading behind us and the start of a new year is looming ever closer. This coming year I have decided to attempted to cycle through my stash (aka stash-busting).

I know the topic of stash is a hot button issue for a lot of people, and I have my own feelings when it comes to the topic. In terms of this post, let’s just say I have a healthy stash, that is actually an odd assortment of fibers, blends and sizes. This is not a complaint, but more a statement of facts. As cyber monday sales kicked off I found myself buying up more and more discounted or discontinued yarns. Some with projects in mind, and some just because it was on sale and I liked the colors or texture or wanted to try something new (I am looking at you, Angora and merino blend.) As the packages started arriving, I started to put it all away (after resisting the urge to pile it on the bed and roll around in it…oh come on, I can’t be the only one) There is no danger of running out of room in my apartment, nor are we going without food or some other basic necessity because I had to pick up a skeins of hand painted merino.

I don’t feel like it’s a problem or anything, but when it comes to knitting lately I find myself only casually browsing my stash, and if I don’t find what I am looking for in the right color, I often simply go out and purchase it, even though I may have something I can use that will work just as well. Digging through my stash I have come to realize I have some pretty awesome yarns in there, and access to more that enough patterns, which is why 2013 is going to be my year of stash cycling.

The Rules

1) I will knit, and weave from stash

2)I will refrain from buying yarn. *

3) I will try to use stash yarn to try new things

4) I will try to spin more yarn, and actually use the hand spun for something other than a pretty decoration

5) I will sort through my stash and determine what I won’t ever use and either sell it or give it away

6) I will attempt to avoid the seduction of yarn sales

* caveat I will purchase yarn if needed to complete a project, or through special request knitting. I have a few long-term projects planned for 2013 so there may be need


How about you? Do you keep a stash? Have you ever gone on a stash busting excursion ? Tips, tricks, pitfalls?



From → Fiber Arts, Knitting

  1. How are you doing with your stash cycling??? The socks I am currently making are from sock yarn in my stash – not my favorite color but I’m hoping the usefulness of them (for my husband) will outweigh the color choice 🙂 I too am trying to clear out some of my stash, if only to make room for more!

    • Everything thus far this year has been from the stash…so a whole two things I know, but despite the inbox full of yarn deals I haven’t caved at least…which is a good sign, only 11 more months to go! I am hoping to bust through a bit more in the coming months with a few new additions to friend’s families arriving over the next 8-9 months. So here’s hoping.

      • Great going! I’ve resolved to begin EACH month this year with a new resolve (rather than trying to stick things out the entire year – I cave so easily :-)) so I may make the stash-busting my Happy New February Resolution! Keep up the good work – I’ll try to join you in earnest in February!!!

  2. I sew, I knit , I spin…so my stash is quite large. But little by little, it is becoming smaller 🙂 mb

  3. I generally like to take bits out of my stash now and then and just luxuriate in them, but since we’re hoping to move in the next couple months I’ve been hoping to knit it down some so I don’t have to pack it all. Doesn’t seem to be working very well so far. 😦 I think I’ll keep checking back here for inspiration!

  4. Oh my … guess what I spent the last two weeks doing? You got it, I was stash sorting, donating, the whole nine. I consolidated 6 bins into 4 (errr … please don’t ask the size of the bins … LOLOL).

    Going through the stash brought me to the same conclusion — I have yarn (both animal fibre and acrylic) that’s awesome! Stuff I didn’t even remember I had! Then I added to that from CM sales, gifts and some slip-ups that I like to call Christmas gifts. *whistling* .

    At this point, personally, my stash is overwhelming me and I didn’t like that feeling. If I don’t use it, all I do is become a collector rather than a crafter. So I’m with you! 2013 is my stash-busting year! I have some minimal exceptions but even those are going to be carefully followed. I’m a go hard or go bust person so my tip to myself for this is to commit totally and plow through. I also included a ticker in my Rav profile that I’ll add to my blog counting down my days to my first cold-sheeping experiment. That ticker has stopped me from making purchases this week and last week because I didn’t want to fall off my stash-sheep so early in the game.

    Good luck to you. 😀 You’ve got company! I’ll post my other tips etc on my blog in a couple of days!

  5. I have from time to time gotten rid of yarn that went unused, usually because I really didn’t like it to begin with. I have also mostly purged my stash of anything not natural. (Yes, I am a yarn snob). I really do prefer natural fibers though. Good luck!

  6. You are certainly NOT alone when it comes to wanting to roll around in your stash. Sometimes I find myself stroking my cheek with a bit of yarn or fabric. Good luck on your stash using plan! I fell into the same black Friday/cyber Monday trap & am trying to use up as much as I can without buying more for now. But, Habu Textiles is having a sale. Oh cashmere yarn! How could I pass on you?

  7. I’m finding with my own stash reduction efforts that some yarns are troublesome. And maybe that’s why they’re still in the stash. I spent three days this week trying to fit a project to a rather ginormous stash from 25 years ago of a thick, teensy bit coarse, single-spun yarn (8 wpi) that I have in 5 colours. Tried crocheting with different sized hooks. Tried some knitting with various sized needles. Not happy. Looks like it might be good for knitting and then felting. But I’m not into bags. And I have a lot of cat blankets already. Sigh.

  8. Not sure I have any tips but I definitely know that stash and the acceptable levels thereof are a very personal thing. I have a friend with two tubs of yarn who thinks she has too much. My mother-in-law, on the other hand has an entire room (plus more in the finished attic) and we joke about how she needs to decide who inherits it. There are a lot of knitters / crocheters in the family and she has seriously good taste in yarn. (We don’t want there to be a riot over the Malabrigo).

    For myself, I go through a period of stash cleansing about once a year. It’s less a matter of getting rid of stash, more an exercise of going through what I have, realizing that my taste has changed or my skills progressed, and finding new homes for things I no longer think I’ll enjoy.

    As for using stash yarn, what I have started doing is picking a yarn with a type of project in mind, and using the Advanced Pattern Search on Ravelry to find the right pattern. I cast on a lovely afghan last night with some wool/llama blend that I picked up at Stitches Midwest. It was originally intended to be a sweater but I think this will be a good use for the yarn and hopefully I’ll enjoy knitting with it.

    Best of luck with your stash-busting. Hopefully you’ll find some little points of serendipity in there as you discover skeins you love but forgot that you had.

  9. Q – Great minds think alike! Last night I posted that 2013 is my stash busting year; athough, not as eloquently as your post! 😎 How do I keep my stash? Hidden. 😎

  10. I love my stash. Knowing its there keeps me happy and relaxed. Enhancing it is fun. I knit from it fairly often. Of course the largest part of my stash is sock yarn which every knitter knows isn’t stash at all, it’s just projects waiting to be knit. I’ve really only recently bought anything in a larger quantity with no particular project in mind which I think has a lot to do with the huge fabric stash I’ve amassed “because” and now I don’t have so much interest in quilting anymore… So I’m trying to be a more disciplined knitter.

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