Another eternal knitting struggle: the yarn stash. Do you need an intervention?
Could you have said any of these in response to “what’s your biggest knitting struggle”?
“Getting rid of the huge stash of yarn, too much yarn, not enough hours in the day to knit it all up.”
“Knitting down my stash.”
“Downsizing my yarn stash! I’m retiring and will be moving to a smaller apartment but take everything with me. I find it hard to say good bye to a skein of yarn or books that I’ve read (I read a LOT!)”
“Using up my stash!”
“Trying to figure out how I can live long enough to use up my yarn stash!! LOL I could donate it, but that would break my heart.”
“Too much stash – I need an intervention!”
“Dealing with my stash. There are so many beautiful yarns out there. I just can’t knit fast enough.”
“Large yarn stash presents storage issues. I see so many possibilities in the stash and charitable opportunities, it’s difficult to choose what to keep and what to donate…and then where to donate so that it will be put to good use.”
It seems almost inevitable: when you get hooked on knitting (or crochet), you also get hooked on yarn. I don’t know a single knitter who doesn’t also have some sort of yarn stash issue.
Where to store the yarn stash?
What to knit with this huge yarn stash?
How the heck does my yarn stash multiply when my back is turned??
(Don’t tell me you’ve never wondered this.)
Where Did All This Yarn Come From?!
Why on earth do we accumulate so much yarn when we become knitters? I see many reasons.
- The honeymoon period. Especially when we become knitters later in life (like I did!), when you get hooked on knitting there are few things in life that give you such an adrenaline rush as buying new yarn. I mean… yarn holds so much possibility for a knitter!
- The donations. My experience has been that the moment people find out I’m a knitter, suddenly a multitude starts giving me yarn. (I suspect these are all former knitters or crocheters who have been just waiting for someone to unload their yarn onto.) And it’s even worse when they know you enjoy knitting for charity!
- The gifts. Of course, another thing that happens when you become a knitter is that your loved ones realize they now have fool-proof gifts for you forever: yarn. Or gift cards so you can buy more yarn. I mean, what are we supposed to do, turn down free yarn?
- The need. What else happens when people find out you knit? They want YOU to knit THEM things, of course. Sometimes (or maybe more often than that!) you find that you need to buy the perfect yarn for that project.
- The leftovers. Finally, this may be one of our biggest issues. How often do you knit every last bit of yarn when you finish a project? Hopefully, not very often. (I know from experience that this can actually be pretty nervewracking!) As often as we can, we try to buy more than enough to keep ourselves from running out of yarn before we’ve finished.
And when you buy more than enough? You get leftovers! And I also know from experience that when you have a bunch of tiny balls of yarn, it can be very challenging to figure out what to do with them.
What Do I Do with All This Yarn?!
Of course, we all know what we can do with all this yarn. That’s a silly question, right?
Obviously, there are three things you can do with all the yarn.
- Knit it.
- Donate it.
- Set up a lovely little apartment for it that so that you will love and cherish it always.
*cough* Sorry, that’s not what I meant… what I meant was…
3. Hang on to it until the Apocalypse.
*cough* Okay so maybe that’s not what I meant either…
Hide Hoard Invest in huge storage unit for Organize it neatly into a reasonable location.
You don’t have to choose just one of these, of course! You’ll probably want to organize it first, figuring out what to donate while you’re organizing, and once you’ve finished organizing, you’ll knit as much as you can.
Really, each of these deserve their own article! I have written about knitting with leftover/stash yarn before; in fact, there’s an entire category of this website for using up leftover yarn! You can peruse these patterns and find great ways to use up yarn.
I’ve written about organizing your yarn stash before as well. So have many others! If you visit these two articles you’ll find my own process for organizing my yarn (true confession: I probably need to do this again *cough*). You’ll also find a collection of great ideas written by far more organized folks than myself.
What I’ve never written about before, though, is donating yarn. And that is a topic I will address in the next “Answers to Your Knitting Struggles” post. Where you can donate your yarn, when you’ve finally decided you’re ready to part with it!