I usually don’t feel a lot of guilt about my stash, because it gives me great pleasure and lots of options for providing you with free patterns, and my local yarn shop is closing down and she has some amazing bargains! but it is getting to the point where I don’t have much more space for storing yarn.
Here are 6 tips for getting over any yarn stash guilt you may be feeling.
1. Get something on the needles.
Probably the easiest way to alleviate yarn stash guilt is to start knitting something from the yarn you just bought as soon as possible after walking in the door with your new purchases.
If you need to do a little research before picking a project, do so, but try to have some of your new yarn on the needles before the end of the week, even if it’s just playing around with stitches or making a gauge swatch.
This gets your brain thinking that the yarn you just bought wasn’t to go into your stash at all–you’re actually using it!
2. Practice the one in-one out rule.
This is a really difficult concept for knitters who love to stash, but if you’re running out of space for your treasures, take a rule from the clean closet crowd and vow to always get rid of something when you bring something new into the house.
If you’ve been stashing yarn for long there’s no doubt there’s something in your stash you aren’t proud of or would never use in real life. Post your castoffs on Freecycle (or sell them on eBay), give them to a friend who is learning, or find a knitting charity or community group that will accept your extras. Don’t forget ‘Thoughful Thursday’ here on this blog where I will be featuring charities that would benefit from your knitting.
3. Go on a diet.
Yes, you’ve binged on yarn and you’re feeling bad about it. One interesting way to alleviate the guilt is to stop buying yarn and start working projects only from your stash for a predetermined period of time.
Going on a yarn diet can be a challenge, particularly if you need to knit a gift and don’t have the right yarn in your house. But if you find yourself thinking that you own more yarn than you could possibly ever knit, take some time away from the yarn store and see what you can do with the yarn you already have.
Check in here. Over this next month I will be covering many free patterns for ideas on how to use even small quantities of stash.
4. Try a swap.
If you have friends who knit and who also have large stashes, try a yarn swap. Everybody brings, say, 10 different skeins of yarn they’d be willing to part with, and then all the yarn gets mixed together and people can take what they want.
If you don’t have knitting friends, see if there’s a local knitting group you can get involved in. We knitters need each other!
5. Knit more.
Just like people on real diets need to exercise to see results, people on yarn diets need to work the needles to see a reduction in stash. Try not to just get projects on needles, but to actually finish them as well.
6. Get over it.
It’s a shame to have a lot of yarn that isn’t getting turned into beautiful objects, but if just having the yarn brings you happiness, that’s good, too.
As long as your yarn budget isn’t eating into your food budget and your family members don’t need to fear death by a tidal wave of wool whenever they open a closet door, feel free to stash away.
If you feel guilty about your yarn stash pick up the hilarious knitting book, Knitting Rules!: The Yarn Harlot’s Bag of Knitting Tricks. The chapter “Yarn and How Not to Feel Guilty About It”will make you laugh until the tears come.
Here’s a quote from the book:
When someone says, “You sure have a lot of yarn.” You say, “This? No,no, This is just what I need for the week. The real collection is in my rental storage space.”