Kittens, I’ve been meaning to do so many things and keep not finding the time to do them. So. I thought I’d work on the Stash post I mentioned in one of my last podcasts.
The contents of my stash, and my feelings about said stash, have had a long time to develop and marinate. I started trying to be more mindful of it and track in 2009, when the Yarn Snobs Ravelry group did the first Stashdown. (It has since moved into a group of its own and become its own thing. It is a beautiful positive group and I whole heartedly encourage anyone interested to go check it out and join.) Since that time, I do not believe that I’ve had a single year where I actually reduced my stash…but I have learned a lot about myself and my stashing habits, which helps me be more mindful. I’m very much a process person, so not meeting the goal isn’t discouraging to me. I’m also a big ol’ nerd and like to collect data…as if that wasn’t already clear from my yardage tallies every month or the Stashdown posts I make. Some day I will compile all of this data into one glorious spread sheet. Color coded. With embellishments. Because that’s how I roll.
For reference, we have a king size bed. (Click for a full size picture.)
I separated my stash into sweater lots (far right), sock yarn (back to mid-left) and then other small categories.
There is a better picture of the sweater quantities side.
As you can see, it’s quite a bit of stash. At the rate I’ve been knitting, I could keep myself busy for several years, at least. My initial feelings were confused. On the one hand, this was better than I had feared it could be, but on the other, it wasn’t as small as I hoped. I mean really, they’re 4 small 13″ * 13″ bins: how could they possibly contain all of that?! I was pleased to discover that while gazing at all of my lovelies laid out on my bed, I did not feel any shame or guilt about the purchases. I’ve come to a place where I really do like all of the yarn I own; it’s more a matter of finding the time to knit it all and to do so faster than I purchase.
I also started reconsidering what my Stashdown goals have been. In the past I’ve thought the goal was to have only so many sweater quantities, skeins of sock, etc, in stash at one time. But in truth, my feelings about my sock stash very rarely change, nor do my plans. I will still make socks: I just may take longer or change my mind about the pattern a few times. On rare occasion, I fall out of love with a yarn, but it doesn’t happen often enough to be an issue. In the end, socks get made. The same can not be said about my sweater quantities and other project yarns. My feelings about color and pattern are constantly changing, which means that often by the time I get to using up a sweater lot of yarn, I’m either out of love with the color or the original pattern I wanted to use…and then I have a difficult time finding another suitable pattern for the yarn. Sweater lots often become Obligation Knits. I feel guilty not working with already existing yarn when I get something new that I want to cast on right away. The same happens with overly-ambitious-gift lots. I have several from Knit Picks that are languishing in stash and I’m finally thinking of ways to use.
So I’ve decided to have a new plan: stash as little as I can manage this year while focusing on knitting up sweater quantities. Hopefully by the end of 2014, I can be down to no sweater lots in stash…then only purchase at the time I want to make a sweater and cast it on right away. It’s a lovely idea; getting there will be the tricky part. I will have to focus to make it happen.
What about you, kittens? Have you been giving much thought to your stashing habits lately? (Yarn, fabric, or otherwise?)