Aug 10, 2010

Minimalist Yarn Stash Vs. Conscious Consumerism

Since publishing The Minimalist Knitter’s Handbook a few weeks ago, I’ve had the pleasure of e-mails full of questions showing up in my inbox. I love the conversations that have happened, and have noticed a few recurring themes. One such theme is the idea of having a minimalist yarn stash vs. practicing conscious consumerism. From an e-mail:
I have been knitting exclusively for charity for the past decade or so. This purpose dictates probably 90% of my project and materials selections. I have long wanted to work down to a minimalist stash as you have done. At the same time, when I see materials at bargain prices, I often find it difficult to avoid putting the priority for cost effectiveness ahead of the desire for a minimalist stash.
While I responded personally to this person, and got their permission to reprint a portion of her e-mail, I wanted to share some thoughts on the subject here as well as hear what you all have to say in the comments.
My answer to those of you in the same position can be convoluted. It is hard for me to pass up really good bargains on yarn for that same reason! I try to remind myself that "there will always be another sale" and that if I have more yarn in my stash than I’ll be able to knit in a three-month time period, the chances of that yarn ever getting knit are drastically reduced.

In truth, every charity knitter is different in this regard.

For some, they only get yarn when it is on super sale, and have a larger stash. For others, a small stash is key, and yarn is bought as charities express a need for specific garments and yarn needs. The desire to stash away yarn that is on super sale is huge, but for me it’s best to walk away more times than not.

There will always be another sale, and I will always be able to find more yarn to knit with. It is more important to me to be able to knit from a small stash, always know what I’ve got on-hand, and know that I’m using everything I have. What’s your take on this question?

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