Every 6-8 months or so, I go into my yarn stash and purge. Much of what I purge is leftover yarn from projects that I keep “just in case”. Once a period of time goes by I feel comfortable to let the leftovers go to a school or senior center that has a fiber group. But there also tends to be several skeins that I may have had sitting in my yarn stash for 2-3 years that I keep telling myself that I am going to use. Then a year or two later that yarn falls out of favor and into the giveaway purge it goes.
I know I am not the only one like that! Many of you have told me about that same scenario. So today I thought I would share some tips that I am going to be using myself as I go forward. 2020 is going to be the year of using most of my yarn stash for projects I have on the calendar. After all, that is why I bought that yarn. Any new yarn coming into the studio is going to have to pass through most if not all of these following 5 tips.
Let’s take a look!
- Have a plan when you buy yarn. If you know what you need yarn for, you will most likely buy only what you need. When you know what you need, you will find that you will have less yarn that sits in your stash waiting to be used up. So before you go shopping, know what you are planning to make in the next 3-6 months, even if you don’t have a pattern quite yet in mind. Hats and other accessories will usually be one-skein projects. Two or three if you are doing colorwork. But if you are planning a sweater or other garment, make sure you know generally how much yarn you will need to make a one and add 10%; usually just an extra skein.
- Give yourself a budget. This is probably the hardest thing for me to do - but I have learned to do it. When going to a fiber event such as Stitches or Vogue, you know that you will see lots and lots of pretty yarn. You know that depending on where it is too - you may not be able to get some of those yarns at your local shop. Set a dollar amount that you are willing to spend on “extra” yarn stash that you don’t have a project for and stick to it. Make the rounds of the vendor floor first and write down what you see that you would like to take home. Make sure to include the price! Then take a look at it and purchase only what you must have and when you reach your budget - you are done!
- Don’t buy just because it is on sale. How many times have you come home with a neon-colored yarn because it was 70% off only to have buyer’s remorse later because you are a neutrals kind of crocheter? That yarn will sit in your stash until you decide to give it away. Sometimes it is better to buy yarn at full price and get what you love to wear and are inspired to work with.
- Remember your signature colors. When you are looking at yarns, are you naturally drawn to the purple colorways? Do your accessories tend to be neutral to go with most of your wardrobe? Those tend to be your happy colors. Mine are all the blues and teals! Don’t force yourself to pick out a color that is out of your comfort zone when another in that same base is the color that makes your heart sing.
- Use your yarn as soon as possible. A modest stash will allow you to use yarn right away. And once you have used up a skein or two, you will feel justified to buy more! In all seriousness though, you don’t want a stash to just sit. If you keep buying and not using, you will soon forget what is in there. Sometimes there is a happy discovery, but most of the time you will find things that may be out of fashion or even a color you don’t love anymore. Plus - you will avoid the moths and other bugs that tend to find your yarn and destroy it. (Ask me how I know!)
The key to keeping your yarn stash in a loveable state is to be authentically conscious of what you are buying. Keep these tips in mind as you shop for yarn. I know that I will be more satisfied and have more of my budget available to buy the yarns that inspire all of the crochet things.
Let me know how this works for you. If you have additional tips, let me know. I would love to share your ideas too. Leave me a comment below or contact me via email with your comments!