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21 February 2007 1,890 views 17 Comments

I’m only working a few mornings a week right now, so I’ve been trying to walk every day for at least 30 minutes when I get home. I put on the headphones, fire up the ipod and off I go. Yesterday’s listening selection was the first episode of the Stash and Burn podcast. With all the talk on the blogs about stash reduction, these women have begun podcasting about their attempts to get their stash under control. I found it seriously motivational. So much so it was tough to stay out walking for the full 30 minutes. I had to restrain myself from taking a shortcut through the neighbours yard to get home and dig out all my yarn. My pace quickened and as soon as I walked in the door, I dove right in.

I rounded up every scrap of yarn and WIP that I could find and dumped it out in our patio room. We’re in the middle of a painting project and the painter won’t be back until Saturday, so I had 200 square feet to spread it all out and begin evaluating. I am not a huge yarn stasher. I only buy yarn with a project in mind and I try not to let anything linger if I’m not using it. Have you listened to the Pointy Sticks podcast where Christine and Staci have a chat? It seems Staci and I have similar nonstashing ideals. If I buy something and it sits in the yarn bin at home for more than a few months, the guilt starts to build. Earlier this week I’d purged and donated a big bag of acrylic and kitchen cotton, but I knew there were a few other skeins that could go. (Judging by what I pulled out to go, I think I’m done knitting with pink. Bring on the green!)

So this is it*. This is all the yarn I’ve got. I divided it into two plastic filing bins, Active Yarn and Stash Yarn. The Active bin is all the yarn for projects currently on the needles, the Stash bin is, well, stash. Duh. I feel infinitely lighter for getting it all in one place and documenting it all. I have no guilt about anything that I’ve kept. If you’re interested in what each yarn is and what the slated project might be, I’m putting notes on it all over on Flickr. Probably a good thing that I got all this done before the first Rockin’ Sock Club shipment arrives, eh? 

Later this week: the WIP pile and the RIP pile.

*not pictured: 2 bags of 1970’s aran fisherman-cream coloured acrylic donated to me by Mum. It still counts as stash, but it’s not pretty enough for the pics. Destined to be Starsky and Trellis.


  • meg said:

    i admire your ability to refrain. i’ve only been knitting for a little over year so i had this overwhelming urge to buy everything i loved when i started. now not so much. i don’t have THAT large of a stash but still much more than i need!
    all of your yarn looks rad, btw. green for life!

  • Chris said:

    So what are you doing with the yarn you’re purging?
    Serously, that just a tiny little stash. You have no worries or issues!! :)

  • Kristin said:

    I’m so proud of you! very inspirational

  • caro (author) said:

    Thanks! All the purged yarn is going to Interim House thanks to the heads up from Cast-On. ( http://www.cast-on.com/?p=84 )

  • Abbe said:

    Not bad at all, You don’t have much, and what you do have is all quality.

  • africankelli said:

    Man Caro — you are motivating me to get my butt home and do the same!
    Bravo on the walking. You’ve got to enjoy that Austin weather while you’ve got it. Huh?

  • Christine said:

    You call that a stash? Seriously? Ha! Just wait until I post the photos of the sock yarn insanity at my house – and that is only a portion of the stash! It is crazy! I’m in purging mode though, so we will see what survives…
    I need to post the information on the place in Boston that Staci sends her yarn off to – they have been so wonderful and grateful for receiving it. It is really fabulous.

  • boxing octopus said:

    man, even though we’ve never met, i’m bummed you’re moving from austin. and sorry to be the bearer of bad news about the salad spritzers.

  • nicole said:

    I aspire to a stash like yours, Caro! I know it will never be a possibility for me, though. The best I can do is to keep knitting from my stash and keep watch on my purchasing.
    Thanks for the shout out to the podcast!

  • s t a c i said:

    I didn’t know there was anyone else out there like me! I’ve found a stash (not stash really, but leftover yarn) project I’m going to start right away…the Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Gifts. The gal at Dogged Knits has a beauty up on her site right now – http://doggedknits.com/

  • stacey said:

    looks like you are so over pink! what is the stripey looking sock type yarn that you culled? it looks just like a stripey color I’ve been eyeing for a while….

  • Lolly said:

    Ahem… I need to take some lessons from you.

  • kelp! said:

    Wow, your stash really does look just like Staci’s (ie, all leftovers)! I tend to buy yarn when it’s cheap and then find a use for it later, which leads to mass accumulation…

  • Christine said:

    Did you know that your new home has a place that takes yarn & supply donations? Yep, right there at The Yarnery – http://www.yarnery.com/ – which I discovered thanks to reading the Harlot’s booktour page.
    By the way, do you want a houseguest sometime around April 4th? 😉 (I think my relatives would think I was crazy if I went to MN to see a knitting book author!)

  • Leslie said:

    I can’t help but notice that beautiful deep red cascade yarn you have there….. what color is it besides red? dyelot? I have been looking for something just like that.

  • Li_B said:

    I am impressed with your self control. Can you please send some my way?

  • Chris said:

    Pretty! And really, that’s no stash whatsoever. You shouldn’t have any guilt!

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