Last year I published my knitting life list. I plan to reflect on it each November as a way to check in, celebrate what I’ve accomplished, and see what might need to be tweaked.
- Approach knitting like a hobby and not a project that needs to be managed. In other words, keep it fun.Well, knitting St. Brigid was definitely more like a project than a hobby, but I’m really enjoying the end result. This may just be the hardest goal on my list. I’m so used to managing things, making lists and planning out projects that it just comes naturally.
Knit St Brigid or another Starmore aran.Done! When I wrote this list last year, I never dreamed that this would be the item that I’d cross off this year. I think I love St. Brigid now more than ever. Remember a few weeks back when I said I was bittersweet about it, and that there were things I’d do differently. Well, none of that matters now. It’s 30° outside and I’m warm. In my own handknit aran. It doesn’t get much better than that!
- Start off each year with less stash than I did the year before.Not even close. See below for more details on my stash. Oy.
- Knit something special for everyone special in my life. I don’t mean a pair of socks here. I mean something unique and treasured — the perfect thing for everyone who matters in my life. I’ve done very little gift knitting this year.
- Keep the stash organized and catalogued. Done better than I could have imagined. As of this weekend I have everything input into my stash page on Ravelry.
- Knit what I love, and love what I knit. I was faithful to this one, including frogging a few partially-knit project that I knew I’d never finish.
- Don’t forget to let go of the knitting occassionally. A corollary to #1.
- Go to camp.Not yet, but someday
- Knit a colorwork project. I’m not talking a hat here. Something large, but something I’d actually wear. Jade Starmore’s St. Aula (love the hood!), and Kaffe Fassett’s Brocade from Rowan 38 come to mind.I don’t think this will be in the next year. I need to get better with colorwork before tackling a big project like this.
- Share the craft with others. This could be through formal teaching, or helping out a friend, or even tutorials here on the blog. I’ve put together a few technique posts in the past year.
- Publish some patterns. I realized this year how hard this is while having a job that takes a lot of my focus. But I know if I don’t do this, I’ll regret it. It may not happen for a while, but I don’t want to lose site of the fact that I really want to do this.Not this year, but maybe next
I did pretty well with everything except #3 — start off each year with less stash than I did the year before. In some ways I did OK. I haven’t bought much sock yarn in the past year. But, I have bought several sweaters’ worth of yarn, and I only knit one sweater. When I have bought yarn they’ve been (mostly) better purchases that I don’t regret later on. And in the one case when I did regret, I didn’t let my guilt of exchanging it stop me (yes, I’ve kept yarn I decided I didn’t want because I felt guilty returning it).
But, I still have a lot of yarn. After returning from Rhinebeck this year I just couldn’t ignore it any more. I photographed and catologued everything in Ravelry. So, here goes. Here are my stash numbers:
752 balls / 132,278 yards
723 balls / 128,719 yards
I am shocked at how large my stash has gotten. Back in February 2005 I catalogued all my yarn and I had 454 balls. That means I’ve bought approximately 100 balls of yarn per year more than I knit. What have I been thinking?!?
In the past month I’ve been stash swapping and selling on Ravelry, and I think this will be a big help. Firstly, I’ve both sold yarn and swapped yarn for something other than yarn (look at my cute little box bag!). I’ve also swapped yarn I knew I’d never use with things I think I’ll use. So, I have a little extra in my PayPal account and a little less in my stash.
Wanna see what I have up for trade? Go take a look at my trade/sell page.
Does this mean I’m declaring a yarn diet? I don’t think so. I know that may sound ridiculous but hear me out. As soon as I tell myself I can’t buy yarn, I become obsessed with buying yarn. Any yarn. All yarn. Sale yarn. Yellow yarn. Mohair boucle yarn. With sparkles.
Okay, maybe no sparkles, but you get the point. So instead, I’m going to be very mindful of what I’m buying. For example, in my last post, I pictured the start of Roam. Well, I’ve knitted about a third of a hank and have determined that there’s no chance I’ll have enough yarn. Instead of buying 2 more hanks, I’m going to frog the little bit I have knitted and save the yarn for something else (I’m thinking maybe a vest?). I think some of you may be thinking this is a bit extreme, but I have many other lovely yarns that I could use for Roam, and I don’t want to buy more yarn just so I can make it in the berry color. So, Roam will go on the back burner for now, and I’m just fine with that. Instead, I’ll daydream about different vests that I can make with the yarn instead (I’m thinking something with a colorwork band across the upper chest might me nice?).
I really do want to knit through more of my festival stash too (you can see it listed on my sidebar of my home page). Again, I’m improving, but I still have a long way to go.
So, if this year was the year I tackled St. Brigid, this next year will be the year I tackle the stash.
What about you? How do you feel about your stash? Any stash-busting tips you’d like to share?