2016 stash challenge!


Posted on December 8, 2015

I love my yarn stash.

Yarn stash

I’ve got exciting colors. I’ve got cashmere blends and silk blends and nice rustic wools. I’ve got sweater quantities that I can’t wait to see knit up.

Yarn stash
Marrakesh (70% silk, 30% camel); Bonnie’s Bamboo (100% bamboo); Spirit (55% Cormo wool, 45% alpaca. I can’t tell you how wonderfully squishable this yarn is!)

And yet I’ve had some of these things for years. Why haven’t I used them? Certainly not because I don’t love them. I wouldn’t say I’m a crazy yarn hoarder, but somehow I pick up a skein here and a skein there often enough that I’m accumulating (a.k.a. stashing) as much as I’m knitting. So I’ve decided, in 2016, to knit only from my stash.

Cascade Heritage - 5605

I’ve already learned a few things about yarn buying since I started knitting. For one, there will always be more yarn on sale. I used to always fall for sales because it seemed smart to buy yarn preemptively, when it was on sale, instead of later finding that I needed something and having to buy it at full price. But it turns out that my purchases rarely matched up with what I actually wanted at that hypothetical later date; so these days I try not to buy anything without having a specific project in mind for it. The takeaway: buy for projects, not for stash.

This series on stashing less also articulated a lot of my current thoughts about buying yarn (and fabric). She talks a lot about being more mindful and intentional about what one buys and uses, which are skills I’d like to practice. My goal is to favor the experience of knitting over the experience of acquiring, at least for a year. (If I were really strict I would start immediately, but I like the symmetry of starting in the new year. Plus I’m too consumed with Christmas gift knitting.) So for now I’m laying the groundwork:

  • I joined this Stashdown group. They say that having people to hold you accountable is a good way to stick with a goal, right? There are several different stashbusting groups on Ravelry, but I picked this one because I liked the prompts they use (“Q3: Refocus & recommit.” “Q4: Finish strong!”), and the fact that they maintain a spreadsheet where you can track and compare your yardage in vs. yardage out with other stashbusters.
  • I unsubscribed from 14 Ravelry boards that I basically never look at. This isn’t directly related to yarn stashing, but it felt like a way of clearing away old clutter, refocusing on the things that matter to me, and being more intentional about how I spend my time online.
  • I also unsubscribed from the Little Knits email newsletter. They have such good deals that it’s one of the hardest emails to resist; I haven’t bought from them in awhile, but I open every email prepared to see a sale that I can’t say no to. So I decided to remove the temptation. I’ll admit, though, that I’m not yet ready to unsubscribe from the Knit Picks newsletter.  :-\
Knit Picks project bag
I wouldn’t have gotten this cute project bag if I weren’t getting the Knit Picks newsletter…

For the record, here’s my stash as of today. Let’s see how much I can chip away by this time next year!

My yarn stash, as of Dec. 2015




December 21, 2015

I have been gradually unsubscribing from mail lists and even Instagram feeds that are too tempting.



January 12, 2016

I accept your challenge! My stash is embarrassingly large…so time to whittle it down and stick to some limits. Hopefully, I can follow your example.


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