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March 18, 2014

So I decided to be brave this past weekend and cross a big thing off of my list of New Year’s “Goals”, I aired and organized my stash. I am even going to be brave and show it here on the blog. Note only one of the stash guardians can be seen here, the other was sulking because I wasn’t willing to give up the BFL hand spun.


Now this picture, while pretty crappy, does show some significant things. One being a large variety of white space available on the bed (I promise it is there under the giant cat.) Considering last year, not everything fit on the bed, I am pretty excited by this progress. A large contributor to the space is the fact that I donated over half of my cotton/acrylic section. Another contributor is the fact that I seem to have broken free of the desire to hold on to yarn for the sake of holding on to it. For a couple of years I had been purchasing things that were limited edition colorways (Knit picks I am looking at you) and because of this I never felt like I could use the yarn because this was all there was, well thankfully I have managed to try out other yarns that (perhaps unsurprisingly) I like better. Which is to say I have come to realize that “one of a kind” yarns doesn’t mean I won’t find something similar, or better. Acknowledging this and accepting it haven’t been the easiest, I am working against a double whammy of hoarding like tendencies from my parents, which makes it hard to part with things, because “you never know when you might need it.”

The second significant thing is that I have a lot of hand spun. I mean I knew there was hand spun. I am a spinner and logic would dictate there would be some hand spun floating around in the stash. I even have a neatly labeled plastic tub for it, but the sheer amount is what surprised me. Luckily one of my goals this year is to knit at least three things with hand spun, so hopefully I can make some progress there.  The big things are figuring out patterns and not falling for the whole “can’t use because it is “one of a kind” thing.”

The last thing is the evolution of the stash. When I first started out as a knitter (again) I thought that I was allergic to wool. I have pretty sensitive skin in general which means I react to a whole mess of things and often find myself armed with some benadryl to knock out the itchiness. When I tried wool I was buying it a big box store, and because I was inexperienced (read cheap) I often would pick up the cheapest and scratchiest wool out there. Attempting to knit with such coarse wool wound up causing me to develop itchiness and I chalked it up to sensitivity/allergies and not to the fact that I was using crappy wool yarn. (Don’t get me wrong I know that it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and I am sure there are far scratchier items out there, those stainless steel scrubby things you can get for dish washing come to mind.) I chanced it when I took off spinning, managing to try out some softer wool and lo and behold the scratchiness wasn’t there. So that was the catalyst for the evolution of the stash. I mainly stuck with acrylic/wool blends, but sock knitting ushered in a new wave of soft wool and a new appreciation for the mystical fiber known as merino.

Now my stash has not only shifted pretty heavily to the wool/wool blend route, it has also changed in terms of weights. Starting out I knit mainly worsted weight. Which was fine, but again thanks to sock knitting, I happened upon fingering weight yarn and suddenly I found my stash yarn weight shrinking. Even now the vast majority seems to be in that lighter stuff range (even most of the remaining cotton/acrylic set is in the fingering to dk weight.)

So there you have it a break down of the yarn that inhabits my stash. How about you? Do you stash, if so do you ever “flash” your stash? Are there yarns you don’t think you can ever knit with? Things you are ever surprised you hold on to? How has your stash changed in the years since you started knitting?


From → Fiber Arts

  1. So. So. Jealous. 😉

  2. shellssells permalink

    I have a rather large stash. But, it is less than it used to be. The problem now is that I rarely knit with commercial yarns. Instead, I end up knitting with handspun repeatedly. I also have a fiber stash. And a fleece stash. And an undyed stash with dyes. And a stash of scrap yarns. And a stash of small dyed fleece bits to put through the drum carder. While it is ridiculous, I also don’t share my home with anyone who can put a stop to it. And I do actively use all of it regularly so I don’t criticize myself very often.

    My yarn stash is in my bedroom, where I look at it regularly for inspiration. I often find yarn pairings for weaving I’d never have thought of without being able to see it all. My fiber stash is in a cabinet in the dining room, so that’s the most visible. Do I flash my stash? Not typically, but if someone comes over and wants to see it, I generally allow it, even if it means also showing off a messy bedroom.

    • I will say the part where you said, “I also don’t share my home with anyone who can put a stop to it.” Definitely made me chuckle.

  3. My progression in yarn tendencies is very similar to yours — I started with primarily acrylic or cotton worsted and hated wool. Now I’ve got a lot more lighter weights (just starting to get into socks), and have found some wools I quite like. I’m a little behind you as I haven’t gotten into spinning or the really fancy wools yet, although I’d like to.

    I’m also finding I love bamboo blend yarns because they are extremely smooth and silky. Fair warning — I find they also tend to be loosely plied and split really easily. For me, this is an acceptable trade off, others may disagree.

  4. I don’t think I have ever flashed my entire stash. I have a small stash I try to keep it small and contained (for now). I have grown so much as a knitter that do have yarns in my stash that i just can’t knit with either due to high or low quality. I think I have developed sorta of a yarn snobbery complex. For example I can’t knit with acrylic or pure cotton just can’t do it… but I can crochet with them…. Do you have yarns you don’t or can’t knit with? Wonderful stash by the way!!!

  5. More wool, sock, hand dyed & fingering yarns that I hold onto and don’t use blaimming time as a excuse.

Care to share? Let me know what you think in the comments section.

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