All the yarn
Earlier this week Charlie and I reorganized my yarn stash. It really didn’t need it, but it’s one of his favorite things to do. I took it as an opportunity to count up how many skeins and how much yardage I have.
The days where I buy yarn just because it’s pretty are long gone. Like a lot of knitters I know, my stash grew quickly in the first couple years of Ravelry, when I was introduced to handpainted yarn for the first time. Now I shop from my stash a lot more, and if I feel like buying yarn I’ll think on it for a few days before whipping out my debit card. Usually I decide I don’t need it.
We all have to set our own limits, but for me the time to reexamine my stash came when I realized how many single skeins of sock yarn I owned. A few years ago I went through my stash and counted up my totals: 54,000 yards, equaling 189 skeins of yarn, 92 of them fingering weight.
Here’s where I kept all my yarn then. Idaho, May 2009. For an explanation of the numbers, look at the first post I did on my stash.
And here’s now. Texas, August 2012.
It seems like there’s less, right? Three shelves (and a partially filled wicker box I didn’t take a photo of) don’t hold that much. Beforehand I tried to guess what my final total would be. 25,000 yards? Surely 30,000 at most. My yarn buying has slowed way, way down, I’ve destashed quite a bit, and of course all the knitting I’ve done.
Wrong. 47,440 yards. My stash has only shrunk by 6,560 yards.
This is going to sound weird, but I was disappointed. I am not a saver. I don’t like stuff. The way I casually toss things in the trash freaks my husband out, but I find the less possessions I own, the better I feel. It’s not like I’m hoping to have zero stash some day. Being in a house with yarn and books and little else is sort of my dream. But a stash with yarn only for my very favorite projects in my queue – maybe 20 or so patterns – seems like it would be enough.
Here is how my stash breaks down:
Bulky – 3 skeins/1434 yards
Aran – 10 skeins/1444 yards
Worsted – 42 skeins/9138 yards
DK – 24 skeins/3913 yards
Sport – 23 skeins/6345 yards
Fingering – 67 skeins/25,166 yards
Total – 169 skeins/47,440 yards
That’s right. I don’t own any lace. Used it once, and it’s not for me.
What my stash is telling me is that I still have far too many single skeins of sock yarn. And I’ve ended up with a weird stash of worsted weight yarn. It’s because I prefer short sleeved cardigans that call for less yarn. I think I have the stash for two, maybe three full-length, long-sleeved sweaters, and only one of those would be in worsted weight. And there are a lot of single skeins of worsted as well, collected because I love knitting hats and small cowls so much.
Sundara Sock – 25 skeins/8750 yards
Madelinetosh Vintage – 20 skeins/4000 yards
Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Lightweight – 10 skeins/3690 yards
Have You Any Wool Luxe Sport – 11 skeins/2750 yards
Madelinetosh DK – 11 skeins/2475 yards
I’ve been constantly destashing Sundara for a couple years and I still have way too much of it. And as much as I love it, I really need to lay off the Madelinetosh. I wish I had more handspun and BrooklynTweed yarns – both Shelter and Loft. Maybe it’s time to reexamine my sport and dk stashes as well? I have a lot of both of those weights and rarely knit with them.
I feel a destash coming on!