"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Yarn Stash - It's Perfectly Normal

I have heard of knitters with a "yarn stash." I've read blog posts about yarn stashes. My sister-in-law showed me some of her stash a while back and it was glorious to behold.

But as I have mentioned in other posts, before the days of discovering the joys of going to a yarn shop and BUYING yarn, (which was just last fall) when I was still a "fiber snob," my only yarn stash was hand spun yarn. And since I usually spun with a PIM (project in mind) (recently invented acronym), my yarn stash was not really a stash at all. There was rarely enough left over from a project to make anything with.

Then after discovering the joy of yarn with all the colors and fibers and textures available, AND after discovering Yarn.com PLUS all the delightful local yarn shops, I'm finding I have one - yarn stash, that is - and soon - very soon - was in need of better storage. Fortunately.... I do have a cabinet in our basement that works quite well for now.

The story of the cabinet: This cabinet is one of the first antiques that my late husband & I bought after he was first out of med school and finally earning a bit of income - albeit, a resident's income. That was in 1978. It is an old "kitchen cabinet," from probably around the late 1800's - early 1900's. It was likely used in the kitchen to store dishes, pots, pans, bowls and utensils. The bottom probably held pies, as there are a few drilled holes on the side, as in a pie safe.

I used that cabinet as a China Cabinet all these years until last summer. You see, I have "a thing" for dishes, which I try to curtail but between too many dishes and a few things I recently inherited, I was needing...errr...wanting something larger to hold more THINGS. It needed to be somewhat shallow in depth as it would sit in a high traffic area in our house, so it wasn't easy finding the right cabinet. Finally I found one, just the perfect size, in an antique store last July, but it cost more than I wanted to pay so I had decided not to get it. Then one day, a few days before my birthday in August, I sent my dear husband to the grocery for me. While he was out, he went to the antique store and bought this wonderful cabinet, saying that it would be difficult to find the right sized one again.

I was thrilled, of course, and quickly filled it up. But I was also sad to retire my kitchen/china cabinet after so many years. I wasn't ready to sell it so down to the [unfinished] basement it went. Sitting idly until I began buying yarn a few months later!!

Now, back to my stash, I try to be careful and not buy too much or too expensive of yarn and always with a PIM (see above acronym explanation) - even if the PIM changes to a NEW PIM.  And even if the PIM doesn't happen for quite some time.

And I always buy extra yarn, as is strongly recommended by all the experts, to make sure there is enough to finish the project with the same dyelot. And, of course, I keep receipts so I can return what's not used. Of course.

But, really, that's never going to happen. As I near the end of any project, I start eyeballing the leftover yarn, calculating how many other balls I have and start figuring what project I can make. Please tell me I'm not the only one who does that!!

And so the stash grows. And, you know, the concept of a yarn stash now makes sense, in a weird, sort of obsessive way.


  1. You are definitely not the only one! I don't have a HUGE yarn stash but I like to think ahead and make sure I have yarn to start a new project the instant the current one (or more likely current 3 or 4!) are finished. I have been caught out - or very nearly caught out - not having enough yarn to finish a project so always make sure I buy plenty now. There are ways to get round using yarn of different dye lots in the same project - sometimes - depends what it is. For example, if you're making a jumper or cardigan you can do the cuffs, bands, collar with a different dye lot from the main body of the garment and it won't be noticed. When crocheting a blanket made up of squares, so long as you don't use both dye lots in the same square, you won't notice the difference. Love both your cabinets. that was so good of your husband to buy the new one for you.

  2. Gillian, Thanks for the tips on dye lots. Except that I need an excuse to buy extra yarn. :D But, as a spinner, I have had very little experience with dye lots. However I did struggle with multiple fleeces in the sweater for my younger son. (I posted about it in http://spinningknitting.blogspot.com/2014/04/knitting-love.html ) That was a challenge. The first time I was able to blend with the original. The last time, not so. But it was on the hood so that helped.

    I'll remember your advice. And, yes, wasn't it soooo nice of my husband. He thought I probably would never find the right size again.

  3. I noticed a theme with your yarn... cough blue cough. Ha!

    Those cabinets are so beautiful. :)

    1. I noticed the same theme, too, Catie. I was just hoping no one else would. :^)

  4. I wish I had something pretty like that to store my stash. My stash hangs out in rubbermaid bins in my yarn closet. All nine of them...plus the three filled with fiber...and the yarn that hasn't made it to the bins yet...and a bin filled with project bags and other "large" notions (sock blockers, extra wheel bobbins, etc.).

    I may or may not have a problem.

    1. But Renee, "....so the stash grows. And, you know, the concept of a yarn stash now makes sense, in a weird, sort of obsessive way." I choose to think you do not have a problem.


Thanks for the encouragement of your comments.