All About That Stash (Part Deux)

In my last post, I discussed my stash and how it came to be the size that it is now. Now to answer the big question: why do I have so much yarn?

My answer is a little complicated, because it's not really an answer. I've seen a lot of other blog posts that work really hard at justifying the massive quantities of yarn fiber artists tend to hoard acquire. They write lists upon lists of reasons why knitters have so much, and those posts tend to bother me for one main reason: I do not believe that I need to justify my hobby or the way I spend my money to anyone. (Okay, maybe to my husband who rolls his eyes at of the amount of Funko Pop!s I have stashed anywhere I find an open space on a shelf.)

I'm not addicted, you're addicted!

And really, no one should have to explain to anyone why they have so many materials for whatever hobby they're into. Sadly though, even knitters judge other knitters. They make comments like "well, I only use yarn that was given to me" or "I would never spend that much on yarn" or "I would never own that much yarn at a time." They may seem like harmless statements that are true for some, but remember kids, tone is everything. I can tell when you're judging me. If you enjoy working with acrylics from big box stores, that's awesome. If you only buy enough for one project at a time, more power to you. If you're like me, and hoard all the yarn you can, fantastic. I'm glad all of you are doing something you love in a way that works for you.

So no justification here, dearest readers, on the size of my yarn stash. Instead, can we agree not to care about how someone else chooses to craft, and just revel in the fact that we all share a love of creating?

And now, for the answer to the bigger question: how exactly do I even plan on knitting through my stash?

1. Knit. That sounds silly, but it's true. I spend more time playing on Ravelry and other social media than I spend actually knitting. My goal is to do the opposite. Instead of browsing patterns, I now watch the live FO (finished objects) feed, because I can watch that while working on the massive pile of WIPs (works in progress) that I need to finish (more on those on a later date.)

2. Give what I will never use away. Now, I know that may sound ridiculous to some people, because the first instinct is to try and sell/destash them on Ravelry. I've tried this. Sure, I've sold a few things, and traded some others, but I find that it's often not worth it to me. If I charge too much (such as actually charging for shipping) no one wants to buy from me. If I charge a slightly discounted price with free shipping, I just get frustrated with how little I'm actually getting back. What's the difference between donating old clothes, electronics, housewares, etc. and yarn? Why do we feel more attached to our yarn than other household items? Sure, I've spent a lot of money on my yarn. But I've also spent a lot of money on all those purses I don't use. There's no logical reason why I'm more willing to donate some things and not others (within reason of course, which I decide in my own illogical way.)

And last, but not least:

3. I've stopped buying yarn without a specific in project in mind. It does take a lot of will-power and self-control to do this. I now use what is basically the OODA loop to help me make better yarn-buying decisions.

Step 1 (Observe): Look at drool over pretty yarn.
Step 2 (Orient): Look in my library for a pattern for said drool-worthy yarn (Note: I don't allow myself to buy a pattern in this step; it has to be one that is free or that I already own.)
Step 3 (Decide): Think about it for at least a full 24 hours. (In the case of destash yarn, if it's gone, oh well, there's always next time.)
Step 4 (Act): If I can't stop thinking about it, I buy it. If I forget about it, then I don't. I usually do the latter. Not on purpose, but I tend to get caught up in other things and it does slip my mind.
Step 5: Repeat steps 1-4.

Hopefully, one of these days I will get my stash to a more manageable level through sticking to my plan. But even if I don't, that's okay. It's my hobby, and I'll buy what I want to. (especially knitting patterns, because they take up way less space!)


  1. I really enjoyed this post. I also don't justify my stash to anyone. Not even my husband. I mostly don't mention it to my husband, make sure he gets nice things out of it and store the yarn all over the place, so he doesn't notice how large it is, though... But really when anyone asks, I just buy yarn because I love it. I collect it in some cases - that would be my not so secret passion, hand-dyed sock yarn. Or I buy something with a project in mind. I actually have a very small non-sock-yarn-stash. Well, in comparison.

    At the moment, I'm trying not to buy any yarn, use up what I have - or at least buy very little because I don't have the money to splurge on it, right now. Having two small kids is expensive. ;) And time consuming, so it takes me a long, long time to finish projects anyway.

    I'm planning to organize my stash in a few weeks (or a month). Are you planning on writing a post about that? I'm always interested to read how other people do that and I'm thinking on doing a post about that as well. When I get to it. :)

    1. I love that you don't justify your yarn stash either. I usually respond similarly when someone asks: a shrug and "because I want to."

      Another skein from one of my favorite indie-dyers is on it's way home to me this week, but it's been over a month since my last purchase, so I've been doing really good with not buying too much. And although I don't have kids, I have lots of nieces and nephews, so I definitely understand that.

      And sure! I'd be happy to do a post on how I organize my stash. It would make me confront the horror that currently is my craft room closet, which is definitely needed lol

      Thanks for reading! Glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Yes, see, that's why I am thinking about doing a post on that as well. I have multiple places where my stash is kept. Mostly in boxes. Large ones. ;) I don't know where anything is. And I've probably forgotten half of what I have already because it has been packed away out of sight. I hate organizing and tidying, so writing about it will be a great motivator to get it done.

    I got a gift coupon for a yarn store for my birthday. At the moment their online shop is kind of empty. I'm thinking of actually going there (it's a local store) and splurging. Just can't decide wether I should do that before or after I organize my stash. Both possibilites have their merits... If I do it earlier, I can do all the organizing at once. If I do it later, I can look out for colors I don't have much of. Or I could (partially) match stash yarn to specific projects and then use the coupon to buy what I didn't have in my stash.

    1. That's one of the reasons I have all of my stash cataloged on Ravelry. It was time consuming the first time I did it, but it's so worth it to be able to see exactly what I have right away, without having to pull it all out. Sometimes I like being able to just touch it and feel it, but other times, especially if I'm buying online, I like being able to just easily scroll through and see if I have anything that will go with it, or if I already have too much in the same color.


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