Stash is Growing

I have a question for you guys. When I go to my LYS I always end up seeing some great yarn that I just have to buy. I always buy about 6 hanks (600 yards)- but I usually don't have a project in mind - it goes in the stash for a later date. When I finally pull it out I end up making a scarf which uses up most of the 6 hanks. I made so many scarfs last year - I want to start making sweaters this year. Should I be buying a standard amount of yardage for a sweater when I get the urge to splurge on a new and wonderful yarn? How do you guys buy when you don't have a specific project in mind?


scottly's picture

I'm generally a sock and hat maker so my stash is geared toward that. You can buy small amounts of really good stuff for hats or socks. I do ocassionally go for larger projects and my tactic there is to take the pattern to the LYS and have a two hour discussion with whom ever is working and whom ever is shoping in the store culminating in a final decision on the perfect yarn for the project. I can't seem to make these decisions on my own. :-)

Tallguy's picture

I just buy!
But I was a weaver in days past, and the things I made used a variety of yarns in the warp. I didn't want to use only one -- I used thick and thin, textured and smooth, and usually in the same colour range, but often a complimentary was used in the same warp too. So I never really had to worry about running short. I could put in only 3 threads in the warp, if that is all I had, and the last of it was used up, and there was no such thing as a left-over.

I am more selective now when I buy yarn. I don't buy as much as I once did. (I already have most of everything out there, so there is nothing new for me to get) But when I do find something that I really like, I will get it. I spin most of my yarns now, so don't feel the need to buy yarn, but I am a sucker for some really nice fibre! I also don't have any specific project in mind, but something usually comes up... eventually. I also know that for socks I need this much, for a scarf this amount, and for a sweater this much. I don't worry too much about running short either, since I know that I can put in contrast toes and heels, and cuffs and ribbing on sweaters, or put in a few stripes on the body or sleeve of a sweater to extend whatever I do have.

I have used up a lot of my "left-overs" in a blanket of many colours, just knitting whatever I pulled out of a bag, and it turned out to be quite nice too. I can see a sweater made that way too. A scarf can be knit sideways, and you can use any length of yarn you have, and use up all your odds and ends.

If you are one that MUST use the same yarn in one project, then you need to be sure you have enough. Make a list of what you need for a sweater, socks, hats, scarves, vests -- and then get enough for that. If you don't mind being adventurous, then you can just get what attracts you, and find some use for it later.

Is it possible to have too much yarn??

crmartin's picture

I'm a sucker for sock yarns especially indies. I will also buy small quantities of heavier yarns for scarfs and hats. I currently have 2 sweater sized lots that I purchased, but I had a pattern in mind when I purchased them.



NonStopAndrew's picture

I have to stay away from my LYS, I love it there so much. I don't think there is a single time hat I have been there that I have not bought something that I really had neither the time, money nor concept for. I see a yarn and buy it, often not enough of it, and I get this frantic trip to the store when I need more.

Thor's picture

What other wonderful, delightful and pleasurable things are you avoiding in your life, Andy??

NonStopAndrew's picture

Soooooo many things!

VTandPTguy's picture

I carry a copy of Ann Budd's "The Knitter's Handy Guide to Yarn Requirements" from Interweave Press in my backpack. It's a very handy booklet that gives recommended yardage for many types of projects. A quick check of Amazon and Interweave Press suggests that it may be out of stock at the moment. -John

Thor's picture

I am a shameless yarn shopper. I love LYS (all of them) and feel it is my appointed duty to support them (all of them) financially at every turn... especially in this troubled economy. I love taking trips out of town just to find and visit new LYS and visit them and give them my money. Even if it is just a small package of stitch markers - I buy something each and every time. Addiction? Perhaps. But I want to be sure that I am doing my part to ensure the success of the LYS so that I can enjoy each and every one for years to come.

SHOP BROTHER!! It's only money! Earn more... or pick some off your neighbor's money tree!

Shibaguyz's picture

If I find some gem in my lys, I usually get enough for a couple of smaller projects. However... if I KNOW I have some sweaters in mind I want to knit this year, I definitely keep my eyes open for fibers I would want to use for those.

My partner just recently made me a whole storage unit in our library just so I could keep my stash in it... and that's after I did some stash buster projects this winter! No stash is too big!! Just buy what brings you joy and find a use for it later!

talk to you soon...
The Shibaguyz