aswim in knits

Monday, April 10, 2006

aswim in stash

A lot of bloggers participated in the Flash your Stash event earlier this month. After seeing many such posts, I started to feel a little uncomfortable. So many knitters have such a LOT of yarn. At what point does a stash start to become too big? When does a hobby turn into gluttony and/or conspicuous consumption?

Let me make it clear -- I have NO PROBLEM with knitters acquiring a stash. There are many good reasons to stash yarn -- yarn bought on sale, a chance to buy unusual items not available near home, yarn bought or received as a gift, stocking up on discontinued yarns, projects that have not yet been started, etc.

However, on a lot of blogs, knitters seem to have acquired a glut of yarn, like enough for 70 pairs of socks (in addition to whatever else is in the stash). Unless you knit only socks, and whip through a pair every few days, who will ever knit up 70 pairs worth of sock yarns??

On one hand, I can see the value of stashing, and of having a stash -- all of the reasons mentioned above, plus the convenience of "shopping the stash", and the inspiration derived from having a selection of beautiful yarns within easy reach.

On the other hand, I don't want a big stash, for several reasons:
  • It takes up space (2 66-gallon tubs, not to mention whatever WIPs I have going, which are not stored with the stash).
  • It makes me feel wasteful -- I bought things that I am not using.
  • It makes me feel like the money I spent on yarn could have been spent on other more necessary things, or invested.
  • I feel guilty for buying yarn for other projects when I have yarn sitting at home, unknit.
  • I hate not finishing things -- the stashed yarn is reminder of all the things I want(ed) to knit and haven't knit.
  • The stash boxes are a constant reminder that I would rather be knitting, but have to go to work every day!
  • I feel guilty for buying yarn. My stash is a visual reminder that even though I'm not rich (I work in education and have a husband who has been a full-time grad student for the past year), we still are fortunate enough to be able to hoard yarn. If that's the case, why am I not giving more money to charity???

So, I've been trying to reduce the stash over the past six months -- mainly by using up the yarn for projects and then not replacing it with more. In order to address the guilt issues, I've also been using some of the stash for charity knitting.

But, I need more motivation to keep working from the stash, and a better way to record what I already have. I could make a spreadsheet with all my stash items, like some people have done. (And yes, I am certainly anal enough to do that!!) But, I decided to go a different route ... my stash now has its own blog!!

For a photographic tour de stash, visit aswim in stash.

I created the stash blog so that I could have a visual reminder of what I have in the stash, as well as an easy way to add new items and access the stash list from anywhere. Plus, I like the idea that I can add links to pattern ideas, and people can leave me comments about patterns they like. Eventually, I may add details like gauge, yardage, etc.

So, take a peek through the stash and leave me ideas on what to do with it!


  • What a great idea! There are so many things in the stash that I have no idea what to do with. After all, how many scarves does a girl need?

    By Anonymous Kat, at 2:24 PM  

  • FANTASTIC idea!! I couldn't quite get into doing a spreadsheet.... but I do have a problem of forgetting what my newest batch of yarn was bought for. Never mind the old stuff. I'll have to do this also in the next few weekends. Thanks for a great idea.

    By Blogger Rhonda, at 3:10 PM  

  • That's a great idea - I think I get a lot of out of sight, out of mind with my stash. I have big, big closets... At least I'm working on my 9th pair of socks for the year. ;)

    By Blogger Chris, at 3:26 PM  

  • If you have a bunch of small, undecided-what-to-do-with or undesirable yarn, I suggest donating a bag to your local Senior Center also. They can always use a bag of odds & ends for craft items for fund raisers for example. My grandmother lived on only SS payments & was always overjoyed to receive even leftover yarn for knitting items for the Church Fairs too.

    By Blogger Rhonda, at 3:54 PM  

  • What a great idea to keep track of the stash! You have some beautiful yarn- I'm looking forward to seeing what the Big Kureyon decides to become when it growsup. ;-) Take care, Danielle!

    By Blogger candsmom, at 8:53 PM  

  • That's a great idea! I'm with you on the stash feeling suffocating at times.

    By Anonymous Kathy, at 9:01 PM  

  • oooh, spiffy!

    By Blogger Jess, at 9:50 PM  

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