This is a chapter from my book The Minimalist Knitter's Handbook. Image from Flagel Knitting Files.
You know the yarn – it sits in the far corners of your stash, buried under all the pretty yarn, the squishy yarn, and your favorite yarn. It’s the yarn you picked up because it was on sale, or because your knitting friends promised you’d love it. Maybe it was given to you as a gift or as part of someone’s de-stashing efforts.
No matter how it got into your stash, every knitter has it – the bad idea yarn skein. Not sure which yarns in your stash are Bad Idea Yarn Skeins? I’ve devised a simple test to help you easily figure out the most likely suspects.
- When you look at, think about, or touch the yarn, do you have to resist the urge to bury it at the back of your stash?
- Has it languished in your stash for more than a year for reasons other than sentimentality?
- Have you attempted to pair it up with a project at least three times, and simply given up?
In my case, it was sock yarns and novelty yarns. I picked up knitting steam right around the time novelty yarn scarves were becoming immensely popular, and my mom and I began to knit them to donate to a local oncology ward. As the craze wore thin, I still had plenty of skeins of the stuff in my stash. When sock knitting first became the rage, I decided I wanted to jump on board. After purchasing far too much sock yarn, I learned I hated knitting with the tiny needles needed to make socks what they are.
If you’re honest about your yarn stash, you will admit you’ve got at least one of these types of skeins buried somewhere. Chances are you can pinpoint exactly where they’re hidden, stuffed off to the side so you don’t have to look at them when you search for yarn to pair up with your next project.
These skeins represent the easiest way to jump on board with minimalist knitting. You don’t want them around, and most likely only hold onto them out of knitter’s guilt – the feeling that you really should knit with that skein, even though just the thought of it makes you squeamish.
Let go of the guilt and then let go of those skeins! Organizations around the world are constantly looking for yarn donations for their charity projects – a simple search on Lion Brand’s Charity Connections page will help you find the perfect charity to send your yarn to! Once you’ve rid yourself of your Bad Idea Yarn Skeins, your stash should feel lighter – and so should you!