Over the weekend I had the inspiration and opportunity to engage in a little airing of the stash. I rearrange my yarn from time to time, but I have never gotten it all out at once and admired it wholly.
With a 50% reduction goal in mind, I quickly pulled all of the yarn out and decided if it would stay or go. The pile behind Peaceful Baby is the “Go” pile. It mainly contains gift, trade, and what-was-I-thinking yarn, along with a heap of leftovers. It was crucial to make these decisions quickly and not examine each skein too closely. It’s far too easy to talk yourself into keeping the yarn when you hold it for too long, thinking about all of its potential. If I haven’t used it within a year or two of purchase, chances are I won’t.
I tend to knit with more recent acquisitions, when the thrill of New is strong. Of course, I also enjoy the thrill of being able to use a yarn from my stash when the urge to knit a particular pattern smacks me over the head. There’s nothing like seeing something on Ravelry or in a new knitting magazine and being able to get started knitting right away. Of course, as PDX Knitterati noted in a recent comment, it’s also fun to buy the yarn as you go and not keep a stash.
Seeing all of that yarn out in the open was so much fun! I remembered the plans I had for some skeins, or the doomed projects I had attempted with others. My preference for bright or heavily saturated colors was glaringly obvious, as was a tendency toward merino. I sorted, arranged by color, took photos, and managed my stash online. This stash toss unearthed 12 skeins purchased in the last few months that were not even in my Ravelry stash yet.
Peaceful Baby was very helpful throughout the process. She insisted I keep this merino, even though I’ve had it for two years. There is a hat I’ve been meaning to make with it, after all. I think I may have a budding yarn enthusiast on my hands!
Things are tidy and packed up for the move now. This culling of the stash was a valuable process, one that I think I will be able to apply to other areas of my home: books, clothes, kitchen items, DVDs, etc. In the end, I’m not sure I reduced my yarn collection by an exact 50%, but I was able to fit my entire stash in a Boppy bag. Except for the sock yarn, of course. We all know that doesn’t really count as stash.