I don’t really have any friends here who knit. As you know, I get kind of obsessive about buying for whatever I’m involved with so my yarn stash has just . . well, gotten totally out of control. That’s not a bad thing because some day Vince is going to retire and even though I hope we’re not struggling financially during our retirement years, I doubt I’d feel real good about spending lots of money on yarn so it’s nice that I have a good stash.
This week, since I’ve basically sat in the recliner and been in bed about 24/7, I’ve had lots of time to think and I wondered . . what about your stash?
- Do you have sweater quantities of yarn?
- Do you mostly have one skeins of a whole bunch of different yarns . . I guess this would mostly apply to sock yarn?
- Did you buy the yarn with a purpose/project in mind? If so, do you remember what the project was or do you have it all organized so that you do know what yarn was meant for what pattern?
- Do you still like the yarn/patterns even though it’s been a while since you bought them?
- How likely are you to use the yarn that you have before buying more?
In my mind, yarn is a bit different from fabric. I can always piece together odd pieces of fabric to make a backing for a quilt, or make a scrappy quilt but with all the different contents/weights/plies of yarns, I don’t see doing a lot with odd skeins of yarn. If a sweater pattern calls for 1400 yards and I only have 1100 yards, I might can add a second yarn that’s the same weight, same fiber content, same washing instructions and add a stripe or accents but for the most part, I want the exact same yarn from the exact same dye lot and therefore, I find it easier to buy new yarn for new projects and get exactly what I need. Likewise, if I have 1400 yards here and the pattern calls for 1100 yards, I feel like I’m wasting a whole skein by using a lesser amount of the yarn and I end up buying new yarn.
Is this how you feel or do I need intervention? 🙂
Well if I had the funds Id probably have a stash like yours too. But for me knitting is a expensive hobby as I hate the cheap yarn… so I only buy enough for whatever project Im working on and then use it up. so I don’t have a stash. Now fabric is another story, Ive got a reasonable sized stash and the things I really love I have multi yards of. I don’t buy bolts or anything that big, again with more funds Id have more, there is so much beautiful fabric available now and so many new designers. Thank goodness it doesn’t spoil, and I have it all stored in dust proof and out of the light bins so the bits Ive had for 20 years are just as nice as the day I bought them. If I get to retire, Im ready!
Denise ~ justquiltin says
Of course you need intervention! Doesn’t any knitter, quilter or other person deeply immersed in a activity they love? I think it goes with the territory LOL I was just thinking the other day that I’d sort all the sock yarns – because yes there are a lot of singles of those – into groups by whoever the maker is and see if there’s any groups I want to make striped or color blocked sweaters out of. I probably only have sweater quantities for one or two sweaters in the stash because that’s a whole lot of yarn needed for sweater quantity so I’ve been ordering it as I’m ready to start a new one. I stopped buying Ravelry patterns until I know I’m ready to start because there’s always a newer one I might like better.
Interesting questions. My yarn stash is mostly sweater quantities, two matching skeins for socks and lots of little left over balls of not enough to do anything with. I usually buy yarn with a pattern in hand/mind, or I buy at least enough to make a sweater or pair of socks. I have trouble restraining myself at fiber shows, but I tend to avoid yarn stores, I do buy needles and such there. I do buy online from a few sites, but I miss the tactile part of browsing. I generally store my patterns with their intended yarns, or a note about which magazine of book they are in. I use the “like” feature on Ravelry to save a pattern that appeals to me. I also will do a search for a pattern that uses a certain stash yarn. Sometimes if I dig through my stash I find a “what was I thinking” yarn/pattern combo. I like to think I have achieved a balance between buying new and using stash. I’ve almost got myself convinced too.
I have a few sweater quantities of yarn (or what were sweater quantities until a combination of knee injuries and back to back pregnancies upped my sweater size.) I also had sweater quantities for the kids — who have grown themselves.
Mostly, I have sock quantities and shawl quantities. Those feel safer. I can change plans left and right without worrying about whether there’s enough yarn.
Most of it was bought with a purpose in mind and I can usually remember what that purpose was. My purposes tend to be vague, though.
With our current situation, I’ve only bought yarn for one project this year. It’s not the best time for splurging much. It feels GOOD to go up into my sewing room and realize that I don’t have to worry about where material for my next project is going to come from and it’ll be years before I run out.
Amy (Waunaknit) says
When I first started knitting, I bought single skeins of fingering weight yarn figuring I’d be knitting socks. Then I started knitting sweaters so most of the yarn I buy now is sweater quantities for a specific project. Last year I went through the patterns in my favorites and queue. There were some that I decided I didn’t like as much anymore, but many I’d still like to knit….someday. This year I have been putting patterns in my favorites rather than buying right away when it comes out. After a couple weeks/months, I go back and see if I still like it. I’m trying to knit items in my queue, but sometimes a new pattern will jump to the front of the line.
I have way to much yarn. I have bought some that now I don’t care for as much but I figure if I keep it long enough I may like it again. I do things backwards by looking at what yarn I have and then looking for the pattern. I like knitting socks the most so I have a lot of one skein. I buy more bare yarn and dye it the color I want. Right now i am spending more money on fiber. It makes me happy so that is all that matters.
I’ve bought way too much yarn, which I really would like to use up. I’ve seen scarves made with random yarns, in miscellaneous colors, and different weights, and I love them. I’ve made a couple myself, and am planning to make a couple of lap blankets, just garter stitch. The different colors, the more the better, and varied weights look great together, a bit like a woven tweed textile. However, in trying to have a lot of contrast I’m always tempted to buy a new skein of some color to liven up the mix.
I just bought some more baby yarn and a couple of crochet and knitting books. One baby born in the family last week. My DD friend and husband are expecting there first baby. I can’t buy anymore either.
Mary Anne F. says
I don’t make sweaters very often anymore. I’m plus size and it just costs so much for the good stuff that I like. I make socks and shawls so I have sock yarn and laceweight in my stash. Seems less expensive if I don’t think about how ridiculous a $25 pair of socks is. But they do feel so good!
I have a lot of everything. I do buy sweater quantities, and I usually have a pattern in mind. That doesn’t mean I don’t change my mind on the pattern when I get to it though! Sock weight and lace weight are a bit easIer. If a skein of sock yarn has 400 yards I know it will make socks or a shawl. I don’t need to have a pattern in mind. With lace weight it partly depends on the price. 1200 yards will do a good-sized shawl, but there are lots of options for less. I have quite a few leftover skeins, but I seem to find plenty of options for them too–scarves, wrist warmers, striped blankets. My mother always bought yarn one project at a time but had a huge fabric stash. I’m the opposite. I have a huge yarn stash, and I buy fabric one project at a time…funny how that worked out!
Sharon in Michigan says
I buy sock yarn if I see something I like, so I do have a few stashed in the cupboard. I see a pattern and buy exactly what I need for that project. It’s put in a clear box with the pattern and anything else necessary to complete that particular project. Browsing through blogs and pinterest tend to get me in a buying frenzy. I believe if I’m going to spend hours making an item, it should be made with a good yarn and as you know, that get’s expensive. Judy, you don’t need an intervention, you just need less sleep and more knitting time 🙂 I look forward to joining you soon with one of your knitting projects. That was a great idea. Keep buying and keep smiling.
for all the bits of leftover yarn couldn’t you just use them to make a sweater with a chevron pattern?
Judy Laquidara says
You could but with it would be best to use the same weights/contents together and not mix all that up.
Bev Gunn says
For scarves and shawls multiple weights make for an interesting texture and design! I had one yarn that was classified as a “bulky” but in some places was skinny as sock weight and the scarf turned out beautifully! I have friends who will do each row with a different yarn-leaving a 10″ length at each end for a self fringe-good way to use up scrap yarns and make a useful item at the same time (she gives them as prayer shawls at her church!)
Pat in Nebraska says
I think you need to read Nancy’s blog at Wyoming Breezes… she manages to use every bit of yarn in her projects and there’s so many of them. I only discovered her last week (I’ve been reading you for several years now) and have enjoyed her stories nearly as much as I do yours.
Judy Laquidara says
Thanks . . I’ll check out her blog!
I’m a goodly number of years older than you, and I’m trying very hard not to buy more yarn. I have some batches of wool yarn in sweater quantities, but also lots of odds and ends. I have yarn I inherited from my mother, and yarn that friends were getting rid of, and yarn I bought 20 years ago. The only thing I buy new yarn for is to make black wool caps for ShipSupport.
I first started buying yarn for socks – one skein because I loved the colors or the feel of the yarn. I could knit forever before I use all those skeins. Now I try to buy yarn for a specific pattern. Again, more patterns than I can ever hope to finish! I love Ravelry for storing patterns and Knit Companion of reminding me where I left off – heaven forbid that I have only one project going at a time! One of my problems is I see a new pattern and/or yarn and I can’t wait to start the project and see how it’s going to look. Then another one catches my eye before I finish the previous one. It’s a never ending process.
Kathleen S says
I’m being somewhat judicious buying yarn, and I totally get the buy extra so there’s enough concept. I buy one more skein past my size just in case.
However I think you might want to not buy new yarn if you have 1400 but only need 1100. Take the extra and either stash it or see if anyone is looking for leftovers in that weight or make an afghan. They have some cool ideas on Ravelry for leftovers.
Just my .02.
Sue S says
I have way too much yarn too, and although I might need an intervention I don’t WANT one… lol! I started buying yarn to make my children sweaters when they were little, added hats and mittens and scarves along the way. I have every weight and color but mostly in small quantities. I have knitted myself a couple of sweaters, but generally I’m a hit and run knitter, so I like fast things. Now I’m using all those small quantities to make doll clothes — they go fast and the dolls don’t complain! I have made exactly one and a half pairs of socks. I destash every once in a while with odd things and small amounts going to the preschool in my area. Makes room for more purchases!
I’m sorry to say you probably do need an intervention. I don’t think you have ever said exactly how much yarn you have (or fabric for that matter), but I imagine this huge stash that you could never use in your lifetime. That’s too much. However, it’s your money and if it makes you happy, whose business is it?
For me, storage space and budget are big concerns, so I buy yarn as I need it for projects I want to make. I’m not an avid knitter, but I have done lots of scarves, hats, dishcloths, a couple of baby blankets, a large afghan, a baby sweater and one sweater for myself, which I didn’t like once I got it finished.
I keep a small stash of quilting and other fabrics and hang on to scraps so I always have fabric to work with when I feel like making something, usually bags, wallets, coasters, doll quilts, etc., but if there is something larger I want to make like a quilt, I buy fabric for that project. I just bought my first quilt kit for a baby quilt for the grandchild we’re expecting in January, so I’ll see how that works out. It was on sale for half off, so it didn’t cost a lot.
If I had the money, and the storage space, I would probably buy fabric for a larger stash, but I don’t think I would buy yarn. It’s too expensive, and I just can’t justify spending money on something now that I might use far in the future, or not at all.