Maybe not the best….
Quarter One of this year’s Stashdown effort ended on such an optimistic note, but I was not able to keep the green going in Quarter Two. It’s understandable, but I am a bit bummed out by this if I’m being fully honest.
So let’s talk about what happened in the last 3 months.
Yarn Stash first. If you follow my Yardage Tally posts, you know a whole lot of knitting happened in Q2, but not a lot of those projects were finished, so they could not count as stash out. Thanks to gifting several skeins of sock yarn to my mother and her efforts to become a regular sock knitter, I did have a fairly high yardage output. It wasn’t enough to combat all of the solid colored yarn I purchased from KnitPicks to go in my sock yarn blanket, however. Those little skeins of fingering weight yarn add up fast. Add some handspun into that equation and I had a pretty high yardage in number. (It’s about 3 times higher than in Q1 when my yardage in was almost entirely handspun, for example.) If I can keep up a steady pace on the blanket, I should be able to negate that number in at a later date towards the end of the year–blow it out of the water, really, as each square seems to be in the upper 400s/nearing 500 for yardage–but it can be frustrating in the present to see that red mark against me. I am still in the green for the year overall, but I will need some pretty big numbers out in Q3 and Q4 if I want to see much change in my yarn stash.
NOTE: I am doing this primarily to get all of my yarn and fiber stashes back into a single storage unit. They currently span two different ones in my craft room, a drawer in my living room, and some totes in our hall storage closet. I’m an hesitant to try and hazard a guess of how much reduction has to happen to get it all to fit into that single space, but I would say I need to use up 3-4 dozen skeins of sock yarn or some heavier yarns of similar volume, plus 4-5 pounds of fiber. So I have quite a ways to go, and the equivalent of 2-3 skeins of sock yarn every 6 months isn’t going to make that happen any time this decade. My original hope was to get this mostly done by the time we move–tentatively the summer of 2018. I have been starting to put more yarn up in my Ravelry destash section in the hopes that I can move a skein every so often and give myself a little push in the right direction.
Now, let’s talk about that Fiber Stash increase. In Q1, I had accomplished an amazing feat: not a single ounce of fiber into the stash. Nothing bought on destashes. Nothing ordered from any updates, despite the fact there is so much out there. I cancelled my fiber clubs last year to slow down in my fiber intake. I had hoped I would continue this trend in Q2, since I’m not spinning at the fastest rate these days and need all of the help I can get. You can see from the chart above that this is not how it played out. 8oz of that fiber was a special 10th Anniversary celebration colorway from Hello Yarn that I could not pass up. (I think it will be a gorgeous yoke and cuff details on a future sweater.) The other 13oz were 3 braids of 3 different colorways that I have been collecting to form sweater quantities. If I have to be honest, I do not feel terrible about this, only about the fact that I could not spin enough to negate it before June was over. I had hoped to end the quarter stash-neutral or as close to it as I could get. My final spin of Q2 could not be finished in June, though, so it’s the first fiber stash out of Q3. It still would not have been enough to get me to stash neutral, but 6oz gain feels a bit less awful than 11oz.
Despite these setbacks, I feel good about Q3. I know that my Yarn Stashdown will be pretty difficult. We’re finally heading into the hotter and muggy months of the year, and I’m not overly keen to be knitting larger projects. I suffer from sweaty hand syndrome and this is not conducive to knitting in the hot weather. It just feels gross. My big strategy here is to avoid any yarn purchases at all and just keep focusing on finishing up my current WIPs. (I do have plans to buy a small SQ of a lovely medium gray yarn to pair with some handspun I finished in Q2, but I will not be ordering it until I’m ready to cast on. Progress!) I am still debating how I want to handle the individual squares on that blanket project, as I am not one to reclaim yarn even if I abandon a project. I may switch to a policy of claiming the yardage as I finish them up, rather than waiting until the end. My Fiber Stash I am not worried about. Tour de Fleece runs through most of July, and I have ambitious plans for the competition. (Which will, of course, wreck my Yarn Stashdown effort, but thus is the nature of the beast.) If all goes well, I should see between 1 and 2 pounds of fiber stash used up the the coming weeks. If I win some fiber prizes from the teams I participate in, I’m not going to sweat it.
So. If you track your stash, how did Q2 go for you? Do you have any strategies or tips to share? I would love to hear from you!