So we started to talk about abolishing the word “stash” from your vocabulary as a description of the yarn in your closet/extra room/storage unit.  I want you to start thinking about your yarn as a “collection”. Just like a hunter/gatherer or a museum curator, you have added beautiful yarns found on your travels to yarn stores, festivals and trunk shows.  

” I need to use my stash before I buy anything!”  I hear this all the time. And when I ask, what are you going to make next, a lot of people are confused and don’t know what they have in that stash.  Is your stash paralyzing your creativity?

When is the last time you visited your collection or part of it?  For me it has been about a year since I pulled out the skeins that I’ve bought and added into my collection.  I want to talk today about spending some meaningful time with your collection.  

First you need to investigate. I’ve heard from many of you that your collection is so large you can’t possibly bring it all out to look at.  OK. You can visit part of your collection, one wing of the museum if you will. 

You will need some supplies as you do this.  You will need some index cards or sticky notes. You will need some gallon ziplock bags and maybe a sweater bag or two. And you will need some place to put the skeins you set aside. This could be a box or a larger trash bag.

You need to visit your skeins and use Marie Kondo’s technique to make sure that this part of your collection is still meaningful to you. Do you know about KonMari? It is a Japanese technique (Click here to see book at Amazon) where you take everything out and hold each item. Does it bring you happiness? Does it spark something inside, like a sense of beauty or creative idea? If you love it, keep it.  If not, set it aside.

Orangizing yarn by color

My collection has been amassed over several years. And while I can remember why I bought certain skeins, there are some that I have definitely outgrown.  Maybe your color sense has evolved. And if there are skeins in there that you no longer love, set them aside.  We’ll talk more about what to do with those in a later post. Maybe you have skeins in your collection that are from times past that no longer excite you.  Maybe you have skeins from when you were knitting for babies and your grandchildren are teens now, or maybe you have skeins from when you were learning to knit and you are now more advanced and you would no longer use those skeins. Set those aside too.  Don’t think yet about “oh the money I spent” or “Oh I could still use that at some time”  Just set those aside.

And what about the skeins you still love?  As you are visiting I also want you to put skeins together that go together in some way. What I’m thinking about here is pairing skeins up that would look great together in a shawl or maybe yarns that would work great in colorwork or brioche.  Put those into a ziplock bag and add a card inside with your current thinking.  Such as “skeins for a Doddler”.  Skeins for colorwork hat, Skeins for a brioche scarf.   

Really Fine Pink!, Resistance Passion, and Really Fine Melon