Starting over

June 10, 2011

Despite a year of discussing minimalist knitting online, I find myself with more yarn than I had wanted in my life. Yet again I am faced with cataloging, sorting and photographing, and figuring out what to do with it all. This time around I will make no grand plans, no over-arching declarations – I will simply knit, and knit until it is gone.

Yarn 1

I spent much of my weekend clearing and sorting. Packing up boxes of things to be mailed off, photographing skein after skein, and listing every bit of yarn I own into Ravelry. It feels like a never-ending process while it’s happening, one skein leading to the next to the next, and just when you feel like you’ll never hit the end of a stack, you find yourself done. Finally, done.

I loaded all the photos to Flickr, a batch at a time from the camera on my phone. No time or patience for pulling out the larger camera, using my phone allowed me the immediacy of uploading from my phone while adding details to the photos on my laptop sitting next to me.

Boxes and bins of yarn, even a bag or two were entered, first to Flickr and then to Ravelry as I attempted to make sense of what had happened in our home.

In truth, what happened was a tremendous amount of generosity on the part of quite a few knitters. Because I knit for charity almost exclusively, knitters send me yarn they no longer want in their stash. I always take it – helping others de-stash in whatever way I can makes me supremely happy.

Sometimes, times like this past weekend, boxes end up getting mailed out to other folks who have expressed a need for yarn. I grab from my donated stash, knowing the yarn will end up being put to tremendous good.
Other times, folks don’t send along those wishes, and so I knit from what I have, hoping one day I will yet again come close to running out.


Yarn 2

Proof that there is always more yarn to knitters who stockpile the yarn they have, afraid to use it? I have not wanted for yarn in the time I have been working towards minimalist knitting. Not once.

If there ever is a zombie apocalypse, and the first thing to be eaten are all the sheep, you yarn hoarders can laugh at me from your full stashes … for now, I will take the stance that there will always be more yarn.

Yarn 3

It is mid-June. I have no doubt I will still be flush with yarn in three months when our babe gets here, and with less time to knit than I have now. In the next three months, the hottest months of the year, I will continue to grab one skein at a time from my stash and knit items for charity. I will continue to share them on the blog, my thoughts on the patterns I’ve chosen and where I’m sending these finished items.

And I will not panic.

I will not contemplate how long it will take me to knit through my stash. I will not wonder if other folks will send me yarn requests, and what to do about them. I will simply grab a skein or a ball or a hank of yarn and knit until it is gone.


Yarn 5

Will I buy more yarn while I am going through this process? Almost certainly, and yet not at all. I am hoping to find yarn in my extensive stash for anything I want to knit up over the next three to six months, but I also know I will begin thinking of holiday presents soon – if specific yarn is needed, it will be purchased.

The goal is not to cut myself off completely, but to push myself to use what I’ve got before heading to the store. Simply avoiding craft stores for a few months should be enough to get the stash knit through!

Yarn 6

For folks that want to see the stash, you can either head to my Ravelry page or check out the Flickr set that I set up for all these photos.

For folks that want to join in on the journey to knit through their stashes, welcome! I will continue to share my thoughts on knitting more with less over the next few months as I get myself to the ideal place for me with yarn.

That ideal place? One basket in the family room, meant for my yarn and needles and notions. No more, no less.

Until I am there, I will knit one skein at a time, share my thoughts, and invite you to join in with me.

Thankfully, almost every skein can be used for charity knits, which means more and more boxes will be sent from my home in the next few months as I fill them up with charity knits!



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