Last June I saw sock yarn for $2 a skein...I tried talking my daughter into getting it for me before the sale went off...but she didn't want me to break my diet. (You all know the logic I used on her, as I wasn't the one purchasing the yarn ;~) ] Anyway, as I waited for my son's to come back to the apartment so that we could carpool home, I went back to the online store and saw I was still able to get that cool yarn! Not only that, I picked up some yarn for a multidirectional scarf and a pair of socks for my hubby's Christmas present. I am so thrilled I was able to make it through the summer, and I learned I have a lot of great yarn I can use.
Go me! I cant' believe I didn't buy any yarn from Memorial Day to Labor Day!
I think the most shocking part of participating in this event is the fact that not only did I not buy any yarn for three months but the size of my stash hasn't decreased one bit. Yep, I spent the last three months attempting a Saunshine jewel vest which saw little progress and evetually got completely frogged. Then I toyed with idea of making a sock, uh-huh, that's right, just one. But it's not working out either.
Actually I don't think I finished anything in the last three months? Hmmm, we'll blame that on moving and setting up house for the last two of them.
So, I must say that I proud of myself for keeping my commitment. I am also quite happy that at the same time I was participating in this fine event I was also participating in Secret Pal 8, this way I managed to received new yarn every month without spending any on myself!
Well, despite hitting the 50 FO mark, my stash is still huge. I'd really hoped to get it at least level with the top of the tub. (It would have helped if I'd made more sweaters and less hats.) There are improvements. If you check out the pics from my firstentry, you'll see that there is no longer a pile on the floor, and the yarn isn't spilling out of the tub. The FO list-
Well I did make a dent into the stash but unfortunately I added to it as well. I did take back 800grams of yarn that I know I wouldn't use. But here is what I made in the last 10 days:
1 scarf - in browns, libra and aquarius yarns 2 figure eight dishcloths in dark and multi colour yarn 1 baby blue mini cable dish cloth 1 lilac dishcloth - not sure of the name of it 6 (3 orange and 2 in playtime, 1 in creamcicle) trefoil dishcloth. Only need 20/25more.
Mostly bought the orange, playtime and creamcicle yarns for Brownie washcloths/dishcloths. I always like making or doing something special for the girls (sparks, got painted little clay pots and flowers, and their names on ornaments).
Well I have had fun and will try to work on this stash. I am going to do an inventory and see what I have and arrange it by type and weight an such as someone else has set up. Great idea! Thanks for sharing.
I did it - I did it - I did it did it did it! I am so unbelievably freaked out that I made it. And while technically I used both of my exceptions, I don't yet actually have the yarn from exception number 2, so the amount of yarn in the house is definitely less than it was at the beginning of the summer. I have really just stayed out of the yarn stores, and once when I threatened to cave (and even had my daughter's agreement to go along), I managed not to go. And when I said to her, "It's not like I'm going to run out of yarn any time soon", she just laughed her butt off, and agreed. But - both of the large yarn stash containers close much more easily than they did at the beginning of the summer.
I just counted, and other than exception #1, it has been 115 days since my last yarn purchase. These were my goals:
1. Finish at least 4 pair of socks, not including those currently OTN. DONE - 4 pair + 1 baby sock + 1 pair of "half socks" + 2 pair about to be finished. 2. Finish ArtFibers sweater currently OTN. NOT EVEN CLOSE - hasn't been touched in months. 3. Knit tank for OtherMom - promised for Mother's Day - 2/3 DONE - I'm on the plain stockinette top right now. 4. Find a pattern for and start LL sweater. NOT EVEN CLOSE - HAVEN'T EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT IT. 5. Knit at least one purse from stash - either Manos del Uruguay or something else that's laying around! - NOT EVEN CONSIDERED!
I also completed a fair isle hat that was started in March. All in all it's been a great summer, and I'm so glad I participated.
What I've learned: 1. I can live without buying yarn (needles and books don't count, right?). 2. I have enough yarn to last me at least a few years, even if I didn't buy more. 3. I can even live without a trip to the brand new yarn store in town. 4. The people at my other LYS know me well, and tempt me too much! I really didnt' NEED to know that they thought of me when they got new sock yarn in! 5. Even when I don't buy yarn, people will buy it for me! 6. I don't knit nearly as fast as I think I do. 7. I am much less tempted if I ignore the yarn emails I get almost daily. 8. I can look at yarn online without buying, and will not die. I can even look at it in a store (though only somewhere like AC Moore, where I'm not all that tempted). 9. I don't need yarn from the dollar store just because it's so cheap.
I wanted to thank everyone for participating in the Summer of Stash. What began as a simple idea to try to focus more on knitting and less on acquiring more yarn has become a chance to read a lot of new blogs and learn a lot from my fellow knitters.
I have loved reading these last posts where everyone has been sharing their successes, their disappointments and the lessons they learned from taking a break from knitting. I love how each of you have taken away something different from the SoS.
Something that I learned is that things out here in the blogosphere sometimes grow bigger than you expect. I am very new to blogging, having just started my blog in January. I certainly did not expect for this KAL to have over 100 participants, and at no time did I ever encourage others to get on any bandwagon.
I think one thing that we have all learned is to be a little more choosy with our yarn budgets. Many people talked about buying yarn with a purpose, and not just because it was one sale, clearance, or being discontinued.
With that said, I want all of you SoS-KAL-ers to consider supporting an independent yarn producer now that the Summer is over. The 100 or so of us taking the summer off from buying yarn certainly did not hurt the mega-marts, craft centers, large yarn companies, or even the bottom line of your local yarn shop. But please consider the impact that your yarn purchasing dollar has on an independent yarn producer. There are a lot of incredible yarn dyers and spinners out there making a beautiful product.
Here are a few that I could think of, in no particular order. If you have more to add, please post them in the next day or so, and please, support one of these small businesses if you can.
Click the Picture and you can see my Stash on the first day of SOS. It IS smaller, despite a few additions. But, most importanly, I now feel it is much better edited, reflecting projects I really want to finish, yarns I enjoy working with, and the kind of knitting I enjoy.
I have enjoyed SOS so much! I have found many new blogs to read, learned alot about fibers and projects and the risks of becoming SABLE, and discovered a lot about myself in the process.
I'd do an SOS again, especially a Jan. 1st SOS--New Year, No Yarn?
I didn't knit up a lot of things because I'm just not a fast knitter. But I did re-evaluate my stash and found a lot of stuff that I felt I didn't really need to hang onto. So I priced it, put it up on the Destash For Cash blog and made a healthy $50. That's more than enough for some really good yarn. Except I don't have an appetite for yarn at the moment. Stashbusting has also gotten me feeling I really ought to knit up what I have before indulging in fiber lust. Besides, spinning's where it's really at these days. ;)
And as Manda said, I really ought not to buy more than I have pretty immediate plans for, otherwise I'm overwhelmed, like a hungry diner at a large buffet.
So, many thanks for the SOS, it was appreciated. Good luck all on your seasonal knitting, it's starting to cool off out there!
I have had a so-so SOS. I have indeed knit from stash (two bags, two baby sweaters, a hat or two, some socks) but I have also bought yarn (Sizzle from bought yarn; a little shawl from KidSilk Night). Yet, I suspect that less yarn was added than might have happened had I not been trying so very hard NOT to buy yarn. To end SOS on a good note though, I ended August with one last stashbuster: A child-sized long-sleeved OSW knit from stash. She loves it and I love it. There are a few more details on my blog.
I have decided to carry the inspiration of the SOS with me further and have declared September my personal WIP month. This month, I declare that I will knit things that are already cast on without (I promise!) casting on anything else. Which will be tough since I love to cast on.
Thanks for all your inspiration and encouragement. Slowly slowly, the stash will diminish. If only I could resist peeking at that lovely blog: Cash for your Stash.
I have to say that my stash doesn't feel substantially smaller since Memorial Day, but with the exception of that little bit of sock yarn when I visited Maryland in July (and my hostess DRAGGED me to her LYS, what could I do?) I have refrained from buying any yarn since the middle of May. I'm proud of myself about that, even if I haven't ripped through lots of projects of stash yarn throughout the summer. In fact, if anything, my knitting speed feels like it's been particularly slow this summer. But that's not the point. Except for that sock yarn, I've been good, and the only additions to my stash were gifts over which I had no control.
Have I learned anything? Well, I have learned that I certainly don't need to buy yarn all the time. Which is a lesson I knew before, but had lost sight of. I also have a nice selection of yarn already in my closet that really does deserve a chance to get out and be used. I haven't taken an actual inventory, because it's frankly more work than I care to do, pulling all those bins down from the top of the closet, but heaven knows my stash doesn't need to be any bigger than it is!
Am I going to rush right out (or right to a website) to order more yarn on Tuesday? Not necessarily . . . I mean, I'd say "No" straight out, but . . . my next project is going to be a felted bag with some Cascade 220 in my stash, but when I started knitting up a swatch last night, I thought it looked kind of boring. So I was thinking about knitting two colors together instead, and seeing how that looks when it's felted. Except the only other color I have is magenta . . .
Even though my stash has unwittingly grown since this KAL began, Summer of Stash has made an impact on the way I buy yarn. I recognized a lot of myself in Amy's Just because... list, with the addition of Just because it's there.
I live in a small town and don't have a car, so I'm lucky to see any kind of yarn store, even if it's just Michael's or Joann, more than a couple times a year. Online ordering is great, no doubt, but it can be a pain because you don't quite know what you're getting, not to mention the sometimes shocking S&H charges. As a result, I tend to go crazy whenever I see yarn in person. Eyelash yarn at Big Lots, fugly shaggy dog-like stuff at Dollar Tree, the clearance rack at Walmart.. I buy it just because it's cheap and it's there.
But I'm teaching myself to think in terms of quality rather than quantity. This week I finished a pair of socks that were started in January. This is not a typical example of my knitting speed (much procrastination was involved), but I'm not a fast knitter by any means. So I asked myself, what yarn would you rather spend 8 months knitting with: a fairly decent, inexpensive sock yarn (Lion Brand, KnitPicks) or something more spectacular (Regia, Trekking, Socks That Rock)? The answer is obvious. Instead of crowding my stash with "good enough" yarns that I won't get around to knitting for years, I'm learning to think more short term:
Buy less yarn but of higher quality
Keep the stash small
Only buy what I have definite plans for
Don't plan too far ahead, lest I lose interest or forget why I bought it in the first place
I can still substitute yarns and use my bargain hunting abilities to find the best deal possible, but I need to end my habit of settling for the absolute cheapest yarn that might conceivably work. I deserve better. :-)
I wasn't the best SOS'er, not by a mile. However, I have started to exercise my willpower and discipline. I'm not buying yarn just because.
You know, just because...
It's on clearance It's on sale It's being discontinued It's interesting It's pretty It's soft
I've definately noticed a change in my thinking when I go to a yarn store. I don't go to browse anymore, I go with a purpose. I have a project in mind. I still have a lot (most) of my stash to use, but I no longer allow myself to buy without a project already in mind. I still have a way to go, but I'm getting there.
When I joined I had 498 balls of yarn. Today, I have 462, so I have managed to knit or give away 36 balls of yarn. Hence, according to my calculation, if I keep this pace, I'll be done with my stash some time in 2010:
That's four years worth of yarn, is not that bad, right?
Wooo! I made it through the summer without buying yarn just because I wanted it! I -did- buy a few odd-balls of cotton, but they were specifically for projects, one I've finished and one I haven't had time to knit just yet, and that was one of my exceptions, right?
Anyway, I haven't used up a lot of anything, really, but mainly because I got a job and started school sometime between now and when we started, and it's been hard to find time to knit. But I did finish a Booga Bag and almost finished another one, and knitted two skinny scarves to send to my nieces, and made a bunch of dishcloths, and got about hlafway done with the first of several shopping bags, and .. wow. Okay, lemme list this out.
Hooded baby towel & 2 washcloths.
Pink/brown Booga mini.
5 dishcloths for oldest niece gone to college.
2 skinny scarves made with random eyelash yarn.
Blue Booga mini (Just needs a strap and felting)
Knitted shopping bag (almost done .. it's my biggest project yet.)
August Dishcloth KAL.
I'd say that's pretty impressive, if you also consider I work 20 hours a week, plus I'm taking 4 classes for a total of 14 credit hours, and most of my 'off' days in the last month or so have been used up travelling to and fro.
I still want to create an inventory of what I have left, and my needles and such. The other day while I was at my LYS I found they have little business-card sized needle-inventory cards, which is nice to keep with me, but I want something a bit more substantial to put in the journal I'm creating.
No, not really. No repentence here; just preparation. The Summer of Stash ends in what? four days? I think I can hold out until then.
But here's where the preparation part comes in. I have a list. It's a list of yarns I plan to buy at the end of the stashalong. What? You didn't think I was simply not buying the yarn without keeping track, didya? What if I need that yarn I resisted? And then there are all those projects that are languishing, un-done because I don't have the yarn for them (of course, in some instances, I haven't purchased the pattern either). If I don't keep track, I might not buy the yarn! We couldn't have that, now could we.
So, without any further ado, the list: Kidsilk Haze Kidsilk Night Coloumart cashmere Koigu Seasilk Noro Kureyon (for a mulitdirectional diagonal scarf) Socks That Rock colorway "County Clare" Embroidery floss for bracelets Jo Sharpe Silk Road Aran Tweed (for my Ribby Cardi) Yarn for the Dancing Woman socks from Knitty Helen's lace in a solid color for a shawl or stole
As I read it over, I imagined all the yarn arriving within the space of a few days chez Fido, and my getting to luxuriate in it. Ahhh . . . the rapture!
But then a funny thing happened as I started the 'checking it twice' portion of the list-making process:
I don't have any particular use for Kidsilk Haze or Kidsilk night. No projects in mind; nothing I'm likely to get to soon, anyway. Those got crossed off.
Same for the Colourmart cashmere. Yes, it'd be nice just to have it, but really, there's nothing that needs doing. Crossed that one off, too.
Koigu got added to the list just because I read someone saying how much they enjoyed working with it. Plus, it's beautiful. But again, no project in mind. Another strike-through.
The Seasilk . . . I still plan to get that -- if only to pet it; I'm so captivated with the idea of it.
The Noro just got added to the list today (as a Christmas gift for my Brother-in-law).
I think I may still have to get the County Clare colorway sock yarn -- it's beautiful. I'll find something to do with it.
The embroidery floss was for those bracelets up on Knitty. I no longer have any interest in making them. So I'm not going to get it.
I still LOVE the look of the Dancing Woman socks, and will probably make them . . . but I can wait to get the yarn until the project gets closer to the top of the queue; otherwise it could wind up like Samus, languishing in the stash for a year and taunting me with "aren't you EVER going to knit me? you bought me for a specific purpose! What's going on here?"
As for the Helen's Lace . . . not until I find a shawl or stole I cannot resist. I own plenty of lace-weight yarn already. And it takes so long to knit with the stuff that it could be another two years before I go through the lace I already have. So, another item taken off the list.
Just look at the space, time, and money I've saved by waiting (and waiting and waiting) to buy the yarn!
And I've learned something else, too: I should work on de-stashing certain yarns to people who will love them as much as I once did, and who may actually use them to make something useful (or at least nice-looking. or at least fun to make. or something). Even with very little new yarn coming into the house, and even when I went stash-diving to come up with a project, these yarns did not call to me. I have some variegated lace that I just don't think I'll ever use; and some sock yarn that just doesn't grab me the way it once did; and maybe some other stuff as well. I try, in the rest of my life, not to be a hoarding pack rat (I don't always succeed, but at least I try), and it would definitely be a good thing to carry that over to my knitting stash.
So stay tuned . . . there may be a yarn giveaway coming up. But not until after I unpack from vacation, at the earliest. ========================
Editing to add: I just noticed that the seasilk is laceweight, too. For now, I have more than enough of that, so I'm thinking the sea silk purchase will wait for a while.
Thanks to all of the blog moms for starting this up. I am going to continue on this road of not adding to my stash unless I have a specific project in mind that I will start right away. I haven't accomplished as much knitting this summer as I would have liked, but I am starting to make a dent in it now.
Since the weekend plans include no yarn stores, I don't see any issues completing the SOS. And since I still have one exception left, technically, I would still be ok. But there will be no using it - I am too busy trying to figure out how I will be packing and moving what I have! (We're moving to NC at the end of October)
Actually, I have really enjoyed this whole working from stash experience - and have found myself really thinking about what I wanted to knit in the process. More than likely, thru the end of the year I will continue to knit from stash (between packing/moving/unpacking LOL) so thank you for letting me prove to myself I could do this =)
This has been fun! I went in several new yarn shops while exploring this new city that I now live in. I however managed not to buy yarn at them. It was tough, there was temptation. Being part of SOS and being on a tight budget helped from buying yarn. I did buy a couple of books, planned my Christmas knitting, which makes it feel better than buying a bunch of yarn for Christmas and then figure out what I want to do with it. I don't have a massive yarn stash but this was still a great exercise for me to do. Thanks to Liz K., Mo, Anne and Stuntmother for hosting this. Even if we bought yarn this summer, the purging of scraps and yarns that we won't knit with, the finishing of long standing UFO has helped our stash and others (schools etc).
So I was definitely no star in this experiment (I think my stash has grown, but I knit more than I would have otherwise this summer....) I did learn a few things.... Probably the most significant is that the more I knit, the less I buy yarn, and vice versa. So I am trying to get in the habit of picking up my needles instead of the computer mouse when I start to get fidgety fingers.
I did inventory the majority of my yarn stock and made a spread sheet for manufacturer, type, fiber, weight, and the needle size recommendation, stitches per inch and yardage and number of balls. (I was inspired by the postings here.) I though it would be an overwhelming project, but it didn't take as long as expected and gave me a chance to pour through my stash. And it is an EXCELLENT way for me to check my stash when a project comes up.... pattern calls for 450 yards of yarn on size 6 needles with a gauge of 5 stitches per inch. Hmm I could use this, this or this....
Next is the list of projects with much of the same info so that I know if I have yarn, or if I need more of something. (needles, yarn, buttons, etc.)
I have aquired some excellent books - ones that provide very basic patterns so that I can experiment with texture, pattern variation and embellishment. I keep thinking of things I want to make that I can't find patterns for, so I must be working myself up to design something of my own... And after hearing so much about it, I really MUST try socks....
It has been fun to see everyone's work and I am inspired by all the beautiful things I have seen. Thanks for putting this together!