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Yarn Stash Ponderings

It’s difficult to talk about de-stashing without coming off as judgmental, even though I promise you I’m really not. I’m right there in the trenches with you, and if my yarn stash isn’t as big as some people’s, neither is my budget or storage space. That urge – whether you call it stashing, hoarding, or collecting – it’s something I struggle with every day.

the DK stash

I will say that my commitment to de-stashing strengthened immensely when I started thinking about yarn stash as inventory. Inventory is an inefficient use of resources, which is why businesses always strive to keep their inventory to the bare minimum.

Aside from tying up all that liquidity and taking up all that room, yarn is vulnerable. It’s vulnerable to insects, fire, smoke damage, flooding, and to being dropped in the mud when you bring it outside to take a picture.

the DK stash

(No yarn was harmed in the production of this blog post. Thankfully, it landed on a dry spot.)

19 comments to Yarn Stash Ponderings

  • Mich

    Thinking of knitting as a lean production process, hmmm…

    Nope, not likely to help me, at least not till I have to move, though the books will be more an issue than the yarn!

  • So jealous of the Cadbury Egg in your sidebar.

    While a just-in-time model for inventory control is useful, it’s only reasonable if your supply lines are also able to keep up with the ebb and flow of demand and if space is at a premium. Therefore, as long as there is space in the bin and the yarn is not typically available in your supply line (vacation yarn, sale yarn, oooh shiny pretty yarn when you’ve got your tax refund), it is entirely reasonable to stash it. After all, yarn will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no yarn /platitude.

  • Deep thoughts indeed. To which I reply “eep”.

  • But what if there is a world-wide sheep plague and they all go extinct? What then, eh? We will all be glad of our respective stashes when the others are forced to knit…acrylic. And alpaca and quivit and bamboo and silk, but still.

    Damn auto correct on my iPod tried to change “kmkat” to “immature.” Judgmental much, iPod? Just remember who recharges you every night.

  • I prefer to think of it as ‘investment’ rather than inventory. Prices will only go up, after all.

  • I think I’m in love with the Pink/Green in the front corner and now I’m curious what’s it gonna be!

  • Mmmmn, I don’t know. I’ve had enough frustrations with the “just in time” model of business to want to keep my stash ;)

    Also, living an hour’s round trip from the nearest thing resembling a yarn store will do that to you.

  • Ya, I know . . . de-clutter . . . de-stash . . . all very important . . . mmm-hmmm . . . can I have your Jojoland Melody, then??

    (only kidding) I, too, am trying to destash and use. I try to adapt the “seize the day” mentality — what am I saving it all for??

  • Sara

    Yesterday at work was Very Bad. Indie dyer Impulse of Delight was having a sale. Uh-oh.

    Instead of comforting myself with a shiny beauty-full new sock yarn, I forced myself to look over the stash … discovered as many as 15 socky proto-projects already there. (That includes the Cascade 220, earmarked for other things; still! STR, 3 skeins; souvenir yarn, 3 skeins; Koigu, 5 skeins; etc.)

    Stash is good. New yarn is better, of course, but stash is Comforting Enough when you’re trying to not-spend money.

    (I still want Ruth’s AMAZING yarns, and want to support her business … sigh. Maybe NEXT paycheck.)

  • I’ve only been crocheting for a little over two years and knitting for one, and I remember back when I got started with yarn, reading blog entries about the STASH and looking at my measly two skeins of yarn which had very specific projects attached to them and thinking, how do these people end up with so much yarn that they are despairing about the sheer volume? The fact that in only two years I have managed to amass 2 1/2 giant bins full has answered my question…I will admit, I am a sucker for “free shipping” offers online- even if I only need a couple balls, I’ll often end up buying $50 worth of extras just to avoid paying for shipping….it’ll all get used….eventually….

  • I think of it as an investment, not inventory. Would you stop funding your pension plan because it was taking up too much room? I think not.

    Oh, that bad errant ball of yarn! Skein prices tumble? Lambish market?

  • Erika

    Yarn is a pretty bad investment, though… imagine if every time you bought yarn, you had put that cash into a jar instead. Then you can use that cash to buy yarn OR whatever else you want!

    (Not to mention, yarn doesn’t earn interest.)

  • A friend has all sorts of things stashed. She says, this way she won’t have to buy any supplies when she’s retired – she can just make stuff. Not a bad idea.

  • Franz

    Neither does cash in a jar. Just saying…

  • Erika

    I’m going to start my own bank and offer interest-bearing accounts for knitters. Click on the picture of the yarn you want to buy, and the money gets deposited into your account instead!

    Whenever you want, you can withdraw it and buy anything you like. And if you don’t retire, or don’t make it to retirement, or lose the ability to knit, or lose the interest in knitting? It’s money!

  • Kimi

    I am feeling a bit sorry for myself because
    a.) my stash has an awful lot of acrylic – I look at it and go out and buy new yarn
    b.) I have to get rid of it anyway because we don’t have the space. I will just keep a couple of balls to pet.

    Your stash looks so appealing!

  • There is always a charity willing to take the yarn off your hands (I have a friend who knits cat blankets, and another who knits for hospital premies). There are also Random Acts of Kindness which are wonderful things to brighten someone’s day.

    But I admit, I’m a greedy pig, and don’t want to photograph the sock stash these days. Some folks say sock yarn doesn’t count as stash, but without sock yarn, I don’t have a stash, really. And I want to knit everything I have. I do go through and make sure of this often.

  • I hear you on the yarn stash. I have decided only to keep yarn that truly inspires me, right now, and to give the rest away. I have given lots to a few different yarn-y charities, and am now doing a stash giveaway on my blog for the yarn that I think really obsessed knitters like me would love. It feels great to release the yarn into the wild (and to have space for, let’s face it, other yarn). I don’t know that this is making my stash smaller per se, but it is making it more interesting to me, and my various giveaways have connected me with knitting charities and individual knitters, and that is pretty inspiring on its own. Good luck!