Are you a yarn stasher or project specific purchaser?
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nohrt4me's post on another thread got me thinking I come from a family of yarn stashers - you see a great deal, you buy it, you hope to make something from it later, it's really pretty, there are all those left over skeins from other projects, you're in a thrift store, your friend decided to destash you are the beneficiary, ebay- there are many ways to become a stasher.
Are there any non-stashers out there?
Any confessions about just how much space our yarn is taking up? (Me -two storage boxes and two knitting baskets.)
Has anyone succeed in imposing a yarn buying embargo?
What are your favorite ways to deplete the stash?
I'm a combination stasher/project purchaser -- I always worry that I won't have enough, so I way overbuy for every project. The result is quite a varied stash, but someday I'll use it.
And the best way to use up a stash? Mini Christmas stockings. They knit up quickly and are great stash busters.
I don't stash yarn. Mostly because until a month ago I was living with my partner in a 300-square-foot apartment, and there just wasn't any room. Now that he and I have bought a slightly larger place, I probably *could* start stashing, but I'm definitely more of a project-specific yarn buyer anyway. It's the combination of pattern and yarn that really sparks my imagination, not necessarily the yarn alone.
If (when) I start designing more of my own patterns, I imagine I'll be doing more aimless yarn-buying, and then taking my inspiration partially from the yarn. But other than that, not so much. I do have a small stash of bits & pieces left over from previous projects, but I think of it more as a "mending/darning basket," for repairing projects if they ever develop holes or imperfections.
I am such a stasher! Most of the yarn I have I bought just because I liked it. Sometimes I have a project in mind, but usually not. I'm an unapologetic fiber junkie. (I do knit and weave though, so I use some of it, at least!)
Yesterday I stopped at a yarn shop that was going out of business : ( They had everything at 50% off. I only had a short time to spend there, but found a skein of wonderful Berrocco Optik and bought all 8 skeins they had left. Two people in the store asked what I was going to make with it, and I felt like saying "I have to MAKE something? I can't just OWN it?
I'll be going back to the store next week, probably. I think I can squeeze some more yarn into my storage bins! (If you're anywhere near the Albany, NY area and you want to know where the shop is, please let me know. It's a good little shop, with plenty of great yarn still left.)
I've become a specific project yarn buyer. I do like to buy a skein of this or a skein that to have on hand to try a new a stitch or yarn out to see if I want to use it for something.
I do have a hard time giving yarn up if I bought it even if it's hideous.
I'm worse on patterns. If it's on sale and there are few I might want to do some day I'm likely to buy it.
I was at a yarn sale today and saw some beautiful yarns and now wish I picked up a few skeins to try out but didn't. I did buy 3 Knitting mags ;) 3 for $5.
In terms of intention, I'm more of a project buyer. I'll get a bunch of yarn with the intention of making a sweater, or a vest, or a hat with it... but I'm not the world's fastest knitter, so it tends to pile up and hang out.
There are a few odd balls here and there that I liked well enough to buy but couldn't think of a project for, and some leftover from previous projects, but, really, most of my yarn is spoken for, even if it doesn't look like it.
I would have to say I'm a bit of both. Much like books in general, I'll usually go to the store with something particular in mind (unless it is one of those aimless blustery wandering days, in which I'm known to disappear for hours at a time) and the good intentions of only buying what I came for, but...
There is always something. Something else, some kind of wonderful spark of an idea that grabs my attention and whispers for me to take it home with me.
And who I am to deny the Muse when she sings? *grin*
Definitely a stasher! If there is something on sale, I buy it (lots of it). Then I try to find something to do with it. I know that seems backwards, but I can't help it. I end up having to go buy more yarn when I have a particular project in mind because I rarely find something in my stash suitable. Oh well, yarn (like books), can you ever have enough???
Being a stasher is in my genes. My grandmother stashed fabric for quilts, etc. Well, at least yarn is light weight and can be squished to fit in these clear plastic tubs.
With books and yarn my motto is too much is never enough!
I was mostly a project-specific buyer until a friend who had to move and get rid of a great deal of her stash sold me $250 worth (that's at her discount) of luxury silk, wool, alpaca and other exotic materials (opossum?). Now I've got 2 bins+ and can't keep track of all that I have. But at least I get a feeling like going into a yarn store every time I go through my stash....
I'm so jealous, Theodosia! Sounds like a great deal to me. Do you really have opossum yarn?
I can't resist yarn sales, either, knittingfreak, and I've had to make a conscious effort not to look at yarn on eBay. I can never walk past a yarn clearance bin without examining everything in it, just in case there is some interesting fiber that needs to come home with me. And I typically have to go out and buy yarn for a specific project, but mostly that's just an excuse to get into the yarn shop again.
I'm still mostly a project buyer, but have been making forays into stashing.
Back when I was actively quilting, I stashed fabric easily, but I was comfortable working with the "scrap look" and mixes of lots of fabrics in one piece.
Now for yarn, I still normally only buy in quantity when I have a project in mind. Partly because I've only recently learned how to estimate yarn quantities for garments in the sizes I make. Since I began making socks, I will just buy sock yarn because the quantity is well known. I do watch the sales, and my closest local yarn store opened an outlet store, where it's not expensive to safely buy extra to make sure I have enough.
Advice to recovering stashers short of joining a 12-step program:
Yarn storage for long periods can render yarn unpleasant or useless. If it's wool, it can get eaten by moths. It can also become mildewed in those plastic tubs. If you store it where it can stay aerated, it can get dusty.
You can, of course, knit up fusty yarn and then wash whatever you make from it with fairly good results. But it's not that much fun to knit.
Ways to de-stash without feeling guilty:
Give yarn to day care centers. I gave a huge plastic tub of small leftover balls in bright colors to mine, and they were absolutely thrilled. They made those diamond shaped weavy things with popsicle sticks as decorations for something.
Give yarn to people who knit for church charities by advertising your stash in church bulletins. Fall is your best time to try to unload, as the Church Ladies are busy doing Christmas things.
Buy a nice basket or bag for a friend who keeps meaning to take up knitting again, and throw in some needles and some of your stash.
As a birthday present, open your stash to a friend and offer to knit a scarf out of anything he/she likes. (You still have to do the knitting, but at least it's an incentive to get rid of the stuff.)
Offer yarn to your humane society. They may be able to give it to people who knit up cat mats for the animals.
Excellent de-stashing ideas, nohrt4me! Our local library sometimes has learn-to-knit workshops for kids, and I've given them yarn and needles. I love to support children learning to knit!
Yes, it's certainly true that yarn in storage can get a bit unpleasant. I've recently started keeping a bag of lavender in each of my yarn storage containers. I have several hamper-type covered baskets for my stash (and smaller plastic boxes for needlework yarn), and I find that the baskets allow the yarn to breathe. I worry about moths getting in, but I keep my fingers crossed that the lavender will help keep them out.
Lavender sounds like a good idea. I wonder if "mosquito plant" or mint would also work?
If you have a big freezer and a small stash, you can store it there. Weird, but it works great for expensive wool.
A lot of my inherited stash was musty. I spread an old sheet in the back yard and spread the skeins out on it to let it "bake" in the hot sun for a day, which helped.
Some of the neighbors also came over to see what I was doing and I told them to take whatever they wanted, which also got rid of some of it.
I don't exactly stash, because I'll try (and sometimes fail) to think of some project I could use "that yarn" for before I buy it. However, I'll usually end up with the wrong amount or something accidentally so it becomes glorious stash.
I stash. If I see yarn I like, I buy it. I may keep it for years before I actually use it.
Last time I was in Chattanooga visiting family, I found a store that was having a close out on Opera brand yarn. When I asked about it they told me if I bought it all I'd get 15% off the sale price. Needless to say I bought it. I still haven't used it but I know I'm going to make something beautiful when I do. I have a closet full of yarns just waiting for a project.
My spousal unit is a stasher, big time. In fact, you might risk your life not knowing the correct way to open some of the cupboards here.
Bluetyson, like Kirk and tribbles? The skeins are probably born pregnant, I bet!
I am definately a yarn stasher. I also have great ideas but not enough time. I'm also worried I won't have a project to do when I finish my current project.
Another stasher here. If I'm buying larger quantities, it is generally with a specific pattern in mind, but when it comes to sock yarn, all bets are off. I never know what I might feel like making next so I try to keep a fair range of colors and fibers on hand so that I can dive in no matter who the recipient may be or what my mood.
At the moment, I have some lovely handspun in a gorgeous shade of turquoise that my mother brought back from Ireland, some chocolatey alpaca from my father's animals, enough Cascade 220 (my 'fallback' yarn) to make half a dozen hats or so, and enough sock yarn for about a dozen pair. Should keep me occupied for a while.
I'm a bit of both as many others have mentioned. My stash isn't very large - 5 canvas bins. My stash was helped out when a girlfriend of mine (who doesn't knit) discovered that her downtown $1 store had Moda Dea fun furs/ribbons for $1. She's sent me a few. :D
However, I have been successfully NOT buying yarn since April 25th. My embargo was for 3 full months (plus a couple of days) until August 1st. Let me say, I'm over it and ready to buy some more yarn!
Definitely a stasher. I don't have anywhere near enough time for knitting, since I started carrying a laptop on business trips. (I absolutely never check bags, after one bad year in which bags were lost, shredded, or exploded on three consecutive flights.) The time crunch got even worse after I took up quilting, and is aggravated by the fact that I don't care for bulky yarns.
Still I continue to acquire yarn. I buy yarn when I see something irresistible, or when I find a good sale. I carry a small card that lists safe quantities of yarn for different gauges and types of projects. I plan to retire within the next 5-10 years, and will have a grand time with my books, yarn, and quilt fabric.
All of the new novelty yarns and interesting mosaic patterns are wonderful for those of us who don't buy yarn and pattern together. I usually modify patterns anyway, but if I find the perfect pattern for a yarn in my stash, and I don't have enough, I can always add a few rows of novelty yarn in a mosaic pattern, or use it for trim.
I'm afraid I'm not much of a stasher - I do have extra sock yarn though, and cotton for dishcloths (I sell them). Other than that, all my yarn has been 'assigned' to a specific project. Having the time to complete the projects is a whole different matter. I have a big plastic bin full of projects that need to be started or finished!
I have all my yarn squished in a 55 litre plastic crate. My stashing began the day I took up knitting (a couple of years ago). The nearest LYS was nearly two hours away and I bought six balls of feather wool in all the colours I liked, thinking I'd need that many to knit a scarf on fat needles. Ever since then, the stash has been growing slowly. (It is slow breeding yarn, not like the tribbles.) But, I've decided not to buy any more until I'm down to scraps...or at least until the winter when the new yarns come out...and I've learnt that I only need a couple of balls to make a scarf!
I'm resurrecting an old thread! Hope no one minds. :)
So far, I am not a stasher, but I've only been knitting for a couple years. I also quilt so I do have a stash of quilting fabrics. Perhaps this is why I don't stash yarn -- all my storage space is taken up by quilt fabric.
I just know my downfall will be sales though. I'll tell myself it is cheap now and I'll use it eventually, so might as well!
I stash. I browse yarn stores, I feel yarn. Sometimes it just calls out to me. Can't ignore that. It may sit around for quite a while until it decides what it wants to be, but once it decides I have to start - NOW. This is why I have so many on-going projects. The bigger projects are kept at home, bulky stuff or complicated lace patterns with 3 charts and repeats that require a drawerful of stitch markers. Smaller stuff - scarves, simple lace, socks, etc - I shlep around with me. And there are always new yummy fibers willing to jump into the mix. I haven't destashed in a long time, it's something I really should get around to doing. But it's so much fun to burrow around in and think about possible new projects!
I'm a stasher, especially because I'm also a spinner. I'm always spinning to produce a specific yarn, but usually with no plans before hand for a specific knitting project! So I have a dresser and a bin full of yarns, and a set of shelves and a bin full of spinning fibers. And of course I still frequently buy yarn when I'm actually ready to begin a larger project. When I'm embarking on a smaller project (socks, hats, scarves) I usually choose something from my stash, though.
Since I spin my own, I'm a stasher. After a while I get disgusted with the pile, package it up and it gets given away as presents to my knitting buddies.
I think I do both. I have a huge stash, because I buy yarn for projects and then don't get to them as soon as I'd like to.
I did have a yarn buying embargo for about 8 months! It wasn't as hard as I thought to not buy yarn, but the only way I could do it was to not shop, so the hardest part was not seeing the usual crowd at the yarn store.
I am trying to use up some more of my stash, but we'll see how that goes.
I'm a hardcore stasher. I started knitting when I was 20 and in my Junior year of college as a distraction and a way to give back. My mom bought me knitting looms (I still can't circular knit) and I started making 2 or 3 baby caps a day for charity on the weekends and 1 every other night during the week from November through winter break. By the time I'd finished I had over 50 caps for charity.
I highly recommend this as a way to destash! It's fun to knit small things that go anywhere and it just feels good.
A big part of the reason I'm a stasher is because of budget and I don't just knit! Being on a very tight budget I can only afford yarn when its on sale so I always buy enough for a blanket even it if ends up scarves or hats and because I knit, crochet, and make afghans I prefer different types of yarn for each. I'm also notorious for intentionally overbuying yarns I fall in love with that are part of a project for others.
I've also convinced friends and family to feed my addiction. My friends who are also on tight budgets love to get me yarn for Christmas and my birthday as 2 or 3 skeins isn't that much money especially if found on sale and I get all giddy and happy over yarn. It's also a way for them to ensure that I actually make something for myself once in a while.
I also must admit to indulging when I go on vacation or the fiber arts exhibit comes to the museum. I'll splurge (for me anything over $10 a ball or skein) on wool, alpaca, and other fun fibers just because I don't get to work with them. I never have a project in mind but they almost always end up as fashion scarves or even has wall decorations if beautiful silks.
I currently have a HUGE rubbermaid tub full of homespun, jiffy, thick and quick, caron simply soft, red heart, Joann's sensations, and walmart homestays as part of my standard stashes for impromptu presents and baby hats. In large beach totes and scrapbook totes I have individual projects (currently a scarf and hat set and a blanket (for myself started with yarn that was a Christmas present) and one bag holds my extra special yarns since they can breathe without getting dusty in the cotton tote.
I must say though, as an half excuse, its in the genes. My family is full of book hoarders, fabric hoarders, and most notorious of all, yarn! When my Mom and I packed up and moved 10 or so years ago, there were 24 boxes (sysco food boxes) full of yarn and fabric alone.
I blame my addiction on my mother and its an addiction I rather like.
and yes, I'm new and love to talk so if anyone wants to talk books, yarn, projects, etc... don't hesitate!
Oh, it might also be noted that I have two of those glad storage tubs for the kitchen full of DMC floss ear marked for bracelets and necklaces, I also bead, cross stitch, needlepoint, latch work, and do ceramics.
It's in the blood.
When I first started knitting, I did some sale stash-buying because all the knitters I knew had great tubs of yarn. But since I didn't really know what I was doing, I ended up with yarn I didn't know how to use up. Some I ebayed, some I knit into gifts (and one sweater for me that's too scratchy to wear--darn Webs and their closeout Jo Sharp!), and I try not to stash much anymore, except for leftover yarn balls. When I started knitting socks, though, I did start buying the occasional gorgeous ball of sock yarn for no reason, so I have a decent (but not huge ) sock yarn stash. Mine is in two flat under-bed Rubbermaid containers.
Now I'm trying to knit mostly from my stash, plus my MIL takes me to her LYS when we go out at Thanksgiving and I get to make a Christmas wishlist :) But I either pick sock yarn or enough for a sweater that I want to knit.
I do still reap the benefits of my early stashing--I can almost always find a suitable ball or two of yarn for a gift scarf or hat!
My mother is the one who does most of the knitting in our house, though I am starting too. But she's definitely a stasher. We've got a room on ground level that runs the entire length of our house (we call it the "Ikebana room", because it's where my grandmother used to hold her Ikebana classes. My grandmother has passed on at least 7 years ago, and she hadn't done any classes in there for a while before that. But the name lives stuck. :) ). It's approximately 16 times 4 metres, so 64m². That's where all the wool is. And fabric. And what else I don't know. Oh, and I should forget that my mother has started stashing them in the storage hall/workshop, which is rather huge (like I said, it's a storage hall, a workshop with at least 4 different lathes for woodturning, a circular saw, and many other huge machinery - no we're not professionals, it's all just the hobbies of my mother and I. :P , *and* also where we stash our garden tools as - The point is, there is rather a lot of space down there.). There's boxes of them stacked on top of each other in one corner (it's rather fun to climb back there, because they're right in front of one of the ceiling high shelves).
So yeah, my mother is definitely a stasher. Whenever we go anywhere where she might come across wool or fabrics to tempt her, I will stand beside her and ask "Do you really need it? Won't you just stash it again?". Usually that helps. But then there is ebay, though she's managed to stop ordering fabrics at last. And it is rather useful, to always have fabrics and wool on hand - we have nearly everything we might ever need. (That doesn't really stop at crafting supplies. We have the oddest things, from a professional architect's light tracing table to a functioning miniature electric oven that used to be my mother's, we have everything.).
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Jazhara, that sounds like heaven to me. Make the tool side of it books and I'll be in heaven LoL Correct that, make the wood burners kilns and wheels and add another floor for books LoL I seriously wish I had that kind of space by my stashing is restricted to one half of one shelf in my second closet. Don't ask me why a 7ft by 11ft room has 2 closets, but it does.
You sound like you have an awesome mother!
>34 TheOnlyMe: Do you think Jazhara and her mum would notice if we moved in? With our wool stash and books?
In addition to stashing books, I am also a yarn stasher. I always think I have more time to knit than I actually do, so the yarn for projects stays stashed. Actually, I love all things fiber...so I have stashes of fabric, yarn, and embroidery thread (hand dyed, natural dyed, linen, wool, etc). Organizing it is my life's battle.
Oh the delight! I have just had a 1950's upright store haberdashery (40 drawers in total) delivered for my hobbies room. I though I might be able to fit all my needlework supplies into it, but not a chance! My husband is ecstatic, however, that I have managed to unpack most of the baskets of yarn scattered around the house into said haberdashery. A stashers dream!
Oh my, what a wonderful find! I'm using large, clear, plastic bins... nowhere near as charming as your solution.
I am so jealous, CelesteM! What an elegant solution!
I have yarn all over the house, in covered wicker hampers, hat boxes, Rubbermaid bins. Ditto fabric, embroidery floss, crewel wool, and more craft supplies than I could ever use. I do try to use my stash, but I really have to stay away from yarn stores. About the only thing I like to buy more than yarn is books.
I'm a combination. Usually I buy for a specific project (currently working on a tunic and I have the yarn waiting for a sweater) but then there is sock yarn.
Provided there is enough for one pair, I'll buy it if it's within budget and pretty enough :-)
Currently I have one sock on the needles and the yarn in my teeny tiny stash for another 5 pairs.
I ususally buy for a project. . . but I seem to have developed a mini stash of sock yarn. It started when a friend gave me enough hanks of Lorna Laces Shepherd sock for two pairs of socks. Although I am currently knitting two different pairs of socks I now have yarn for another 4 pairs.
Since taking up knitting again this year, I've become a strict project purchaser (not only that, but the project must be done rather soon, not "someday..."). My stash got too large for my comfort years ago, and now it haunts me. My usual MO is to choose a pattern first, then find a yarn to match. Realistically, the yarn stuffed all over the guest room will never be knit into anything. I can't even remember the projects I originally purchased them for because I wasn't organized then.
If you are a Ravelry member, it's easy to search for projects that work with wool you already have. Unfortunately, it's also far too easy to find new projects that you absolutely want to do right away, ummm, soon, well -- as soon as possible, hmmm, someday and need yarn for now just in case you suddenly decide to cast on tomorrow. So you have to be strong. Not like me.
I created under the bed storage specifically for all my stashed yarn.
Picture if you will, a queen size bed drawer (length x width) that is six inches deep...and it's STILL not enough!!!
I, like so many others, am a combination stasher/project purchaser. I'll buy yarn for specific projects, but I purchase faster than I can knit. Or, I'll buy the yarn, then I won't be in the mood to work on the project I bought it for right at that time.
I do have some yarn in my stash that I bought just because I liked it, and I have yarn that people gave me with no clear project in mind. I've also got at least half a dozen different projects on the needles.
It's safe to say that my knitting is following a similar pattern to my reading...buying faster than I can consume, specific plans all along the way, and endless hours of enjoyment when I do hit a rough spot financially and have to drastically cut back.
>48 shadrach_anki:. I like the comparison of knitting to reading patterns. Very true for me as well.
To help you keep track of your yarns and projects you can join Ravelry, they're at ravelry dot com. You can also add pattern books and magazines. It's an awesome site full of friendly people who can help you with any problems you have with your projects.
Thanks pallaca, many of us are already on Ravelry feel free to look for us there as well. I think there is a thread.
I'm a swap addict, so I receive lots of yarn in swaps that doesn't have a particular project to go with it until I start browsing, or check my rav queue. Sometimes patterns are included in swaps, but not always what I want.
It's a great way to get lots of wonderful yarn I wouldn't otherwise have access to!
>35 muumi: Hehe, if you hid well enough among the already stashed stuff, I think some time would pass before we noticed? ;)
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I'm with kaykwilts - I'm fairly new to knitting and I buy for projects as I go.
BUT... I can see myself stashing in the future. I'm resisting the urge to start as long as possible!
>OT. Moomin Mama, I love your name. Moominmamma is my hero.
You will find your handbag very useful for stashing your knitting. :)
I kind of stash and kind of buy as I go. Basically, I have somewhere around five or six projects lined up for Christmas gifts, so I go and buy all the yarn for the projects I'm planning. But I'm a slow knitter (and a college student so my free time is rare), so I end up not really doing most of my planned projects. But then I plan more projects and go buy yarn for those projects, etc. You get the idea.
Now that I think about it, that's kind of the same mentality that goes into my TBR pile. Buy books, plan to read them, buy more books before I have time to read first books, buy more books, then buy some more just in case.
And I wonder why I'm always broke.
As another LT member said (can't remember who): if you're not living off of ramen, you're not buying enough books. Or yarn, apparently :P
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