Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Stash: A Reckoning

I hope you all had a restful holiday weekend, whatever you were celebrating! We had two very big Passover dinners, and thanks to taking yesterday off, I got pretty well caught up on my sleep. This morning did feel a bit crazy -- the Mister was up early to leave for a quick work trip, so I had to get Rainbow to school and then run off to an orthodontist appointment, which then made me run to get to work as quickly as I could -- but it also feels good to get back to the normal routine. I didn't get as much physical activity as I would like over the weekend, too, so my daily walks to and from work have been missed.

I am still working on two active WIPs, a shawl design sample and my afterthought heel socks; the socks are far enough along now that I might even finish them tonight if I can get enough knitting time in.

What I want to talk about today, though, is the state of my stash. Last weekend, I found myself going through just about every bin and bag of yarn and fiber in my stash in search of a skein of yarn I'd spun last summer and put in such a safe place that I'd been unable to locate it again for many months. I did eventually find that skein, but in the process I realized that I've acquired way more yarn and fiber than I really need or could reasonably use. I say this without judgment of the size of anyone else's stash; mine has just gotten to the point where it's causing me anxiety. So I'm taking some steps to help ease that:
  1. Starting today, I am not buying yarn just for the sake of buying it. I won't say I am not buying yarn at all, because sometimes there is a necessity (such as needing an extra skein for a project that's a gift, for instance), but I am not in need of yarn for any planned projects right now and have enough yarn purchased specifically for planned projects that I am not going to buy yarn and cast on for something entirely new on a whim.*
  2. At some point in the near future, I'm going to take some time to go through the entire stash and sort it. Things that do not spark joy will be destashed, either by giving them to Rainbow or a friend or putting them up for sale.
  3. For the foreseeable future, I'll be working exclusively from stash. That means upping my game with charity knitting (a perfect use for all the partial skeins that are making up a large portion of the stash) and working on gift knits, such as items for my nephew.
My long-term goal here is to see more yarn and fiber moving out of the stash than moving into it, at least for the rest of the year. I'm hesitant to go through and catalog everything I have, if only because of the amount of time it would take, but I'm going to keep track of what comes in and what goes out. I will monitor that on a regular basis, and if things don't improve, I might have to take more drastic action. Wish me luck, and if you have any good tips, please feel free to share them in the comments!

*NB: There will still be some fiber and yarn coming in, as I'm a member of several clubs, and there may be yarn coming in for design work, but that amount is small in comparison to what's already in the stash.


  1. I imagined a kind of "Law and Order" sound effect when I read the title of this post! I don't have any good tips, but do admire your efforts to rein in your stash. Not because of the size or amount of yarn you have, but simply because it's causing you anxiety. That's pretty much the state of my stash, too, but it's in NJ. I'm here in MD with only two WIPs and two skeins of yarn, so I'm good as long as I'm in MD!

  2. Good Luck! I wish I had some good tips to share, but the state of my stash tells its own story.

  3. Stash is such a thing. I made a sincere promise to myself some years ago to knit from stash, I did very good for awhile, but I should have gotten rid of yarn that did not spark joy (like what was I thinking ever buying anything with sparkles in it! lol) I wish you luck!

    And, I LOVE those socks! The colors are fabulous!

  4. Liz Thomas2:26 PM

    Sheer determination. Please bring some of that my way!