I have declared a new challenge for myself. By the end of 2018, I would like to knit more skeins from my stash than I buy for myself. I already have 3 finished objects of 2018. I finished an Oracle Shawl, in January. I finished a Chuck Sweater, in February, and last week, I finished a Caprius Shawl. All three of these projects were knit with yarn from my stash.
I think a lot of knitters go through phases where we will knit things from the yarn we already have, and then phases where we Buy All The Things! And add skeins to the stash, telling ourselves that it doesn’t count if we have a project planned for it. There are all kinds of things I tell myself that makes certain skeins “not count” as part of my stash.
- If it’s a leftover, it doesn’t count.
- If it’s only a partial skein, it doesn’t count.
- If it was a gift, it doesn’t count.
- If it’s designated for a specific project, it doesn’t count
- If it’s waiting to be paired up with another skein for a project, it doesn’t count…
Even getting rid of all of those “skeins that don’t count,” I still have a ridiculous amount of yarn in my stash that I haven’t knit with yet. Some of them are “too pretty,” I haven’t found the “right pattern,” or I am just too lazy to wind it into a ball.
Toward the end of 2017, I organized my whole stash on an excel document. I haven’t tried stashing them on Ravelry, yet, but that is the next step. I did this because I actually bought some of one color of yarn from Knit Picks, without realizing I already had two balls of it in stash. I thought it was time to get more organized so that I can prevent that from happening again. I don’t need to spend what is already a limited yarn budget on something I already have.
Which I’m sure everyone can relate to. I wish I had an endless budget for yarn. I want to fill my house with it. I want to put all of it on display and look at it forever. That’s the ultimate goal, anyway… but right now it’s not possible. So I’ll settle for laying it all out on a spreadsheet.
First of all, I made it in Google Drive, because if I keep it there, I can access it on all of my devices, so if I am at home, I can see it, or if I happen to be out and an idea strikes me, I can look at my stash virtually.
Here’s a peek at what it looks like:
The categories I have at the top are: Yarn Brand, Yarn Base/Line Name, Colorway Names, Dye Lot, Weight, Number of Skeins, Meters Per Skein, Approx. Total Meterage, Fiber Content, Purchased/Gifted, Date In, Date Out. It may seem like a lot of categories, but I want to have all of the information in the document so that when I find a pattern on Ravelry, I’ll know if I can knit it from stash or not. I’ll have all of the information in hand.
I have highlighted one line in red in the photo above. When I have finished knitting something, and the yarn has gone out of my stash, for now I’ll have it highlighted. When I have finished using the whole skein, I will delete the line – or perhaps when I start a new year I’ll only copy over the ones that are not used.
I also have set up the excel sheet so that I can sort it by any of these categories. Right now I have it alphabetized by what is written in the “Yarn Brand” column. If I wanted to see which yarn I had the most of, I could sort it by the “Approx. Total Meterage” column, and then it would show that I have at least a sweater quantity of Cascade 220 in my stash.
I think that this excel sheet is the reason I have been able to knit more from stash this year so far, and I’m excited to see how successful my mission is! Are you challenging yourself to do anything with your stash this year? Let me know in the comments!