Friday, February 15, 2019

Stash-Down and Stash-Less

I'm still picking away at my stash-down project. It's moving along slowly between my pattern development projects. I haven't got a firm timeline in mind but I have realized that the focus has resulted in a stash-less policy which I didn't specifically put in place. I've not made a single purchase from the yarn vendors who are often at my monthly guild meetings. I've also stopped buying the raffle tickets since the prize is so often yarn. I've been in yarn shops without buying as well. It's funny how one word can have such a big impact on one's strategy. 

At the last guild meeting I sat beside a friend who has been doing both stash-down and stash-less for at least a year. We discussed the problem of all those single skeins we buy from hand dyers which are often not enough for a project. It means buying more to make use of what you have, if there isn't a good companion yarn already in stash.

As you know from a previous post I have two patterns to address the blending of different yarn scenario.

I've just come across a blog series on stash which I would like to share with you. There are 17 extremely insightful posts on the topic here

They are written by Felicia, creator of The Craft Sessions. Her stash includes both yarn and fabric but her journey of discovery applies to all stash or hoarding. I hate to use that word but saying it to myself has had a positive impact on my behaviour. It seems the word stash sounds more innocent to my ears. The series runs from Oct 2014 to Sept 2015 and reflects her changing thinking throughout. I especially liked the post on restrictions and the one on desire. I've read widely in the area of positive psychology. When I first came across the idea that desire is actually a stress it was a light bulb moment for me. Even bigger is accepting that fulfillment of the desire doesn't lead to happiness! Take a look and let me know what you think.

1. Stash Less - A challenge
The original post where I talk about what and why.
2. Stash Less - The details of the challenge
Where I lay down the rules! For me - not for you ;).
3. Stash Less - Why we stash?
The reasons why I (and you??) start stashing.
4. Stash Less - Taking Stock
I took stock of the stash, what was there and how it came about.
5. Stash Less Challenge - Let it go, Let it goooo!
The one where we talk about recycling things that haven't worked.
6. Stash Less - An Update
A post where I talk about the interesting lessons I've learned so far about hoarding and using the things you love.
7. Stash Less - A Realisation
Where I talk about a bit of a shock I had as part of the process and what it means to change a habit.
8. Stash Less - Why Restrictions Rock!
A post about the upsides of Stashing Less - a big shakeup in the creativity department.
9. Stash Less - Selling Discontent
Where we talk about how desire and discontent affect our making and about the journey to move towards slow fashion.
10. Stash Less - A Habitual Practice
Where I looked at how my habits and making have changed since the start of the project and an update on the cash!
11. Stash Less - I May Have Found The Key
I've found out something really interesting about how to reduce my triggers for stashing - the key to freedom from desire?
12. Stash Less - Falling Off The Wagon
How and why I fell.
13. Stash Less - I Got A Gold Star
Where I finally get to the "special" stash.
14. Stash Less - Breaking The Habit
The keys to changing your habits.
15. Stash Less - Creating An Intentional Wardrobe
Details of the journey to "enough".
16. Stash Less - Not Just for the Holidays
About making the choice to continue.
17. Stash Less - Let's Talk about Desire
Talking about how desire influences behaviour.


  1. Robin, thank you for the info. I've felt this way for awhile. I have a spreadsheet where I watch my spending on yarn, etc. I've been averaging @$100 a month and I'm working on reducing that. I like the thoughtful stash, buying when it will work with stash to complete a project. I've also found a Yarn shop that takes donations and gives to teachers to teach kids to knit. Stuff that I bought many, many years ago goes where I know it will be put to good use as I have decided I will never use these yarns.

    1. It's a difficult problem when our stash keeps increasing. On one hand it indicates the abundance in our lives which we should be grateful for, on the other it indicates the negative aspect of acquiring yarn for the sake of acquisition instead of for usefulness.

  2. Robin, this post really hit the mark for me. Although I've been attempting to use some of my leftover yarns for linen stitich scarves, I know I have enough yarn on hand to make about 100 of them. I also know that when I'm about to start a new project, I invariably source new yarn without much of a look at the knitting stash that has now claimed a full room in our house. It is beautifully catalogued, photographed and stored, and yet, it is more of a collection than an actual source of yarn. I plan to look quite closely at each of the links you've provided and see if I can glean even just a few tips to deal with my obsession! Thanks so much!

  3. Jonty It's a really good series and reading it has helped me. I've bought far less yarn in the last 2 years. Most of my purchases were to enable me to use existing yarn or for very specific current only pojects. Right now I'm working on a cardigan from stash yarn I've had for so long I can't date the purchase. My next project will be with yarn I can't even recall where or when I acquired it. When you read the series may I suggest you keep the links and reread them again in the future? I found a periodic review as helped me to stick to my goals.