Throughout January, I had an epiphany. It's not unusual to have this kind of epiphany at this time of year; the start of a new year usually prompts such changes, but I realised I was weighed down with STUFF. So I sheeped out and bought Marie Kondo's best-selling The Life Changing Magic of Tidying. I haven't even got through to the part of how to tidy, but the idea of having objects that 'spark joy' only really struck a chord with me, and so I started with the place that I find is supposed to 'spark joy', and that's my yarn. I've seen bigger stashes than mine, but I felt I just had too much yarn that had no intention of using, that I had gone off, or that was left over from work projects. So I had a big clear out, swapping and selling what I didn't want, or donating it.
Here's what's left of my acrylic:
I also organised my cotton stash, only keeping my very favourites (some Rowan Handknit Cotton, and a collection of Drops Paris) so they fit snugly into a birdcage that my friend gave me some years ago. I've invested in a cheapo yarn winder, and I wound my super chunky collection nicely, and used up the few balls of chunky that I had, making some mittens and using the chunky Natura XL for a work project. My aran collection now consists of just a few balls of leftovers from personal projects, in case repairs or alterations are needed. I organised all my Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino into one of those big organza bags that Wool Warehouse sends, and have another of my favourite DK yarns. My 'Luxury' yarns all got kept,l of course.
Really what has prompted this yarn stash management drive is the wonderful knitting designer, blogger and podcaster Helen Stewart of Curious Handmade. I've been devoted to her podcasts this month on how she's tackling stash management, and how she's learning to love what she's got. So I'm using up some stash- some baby knits (ssshhh! they're a secret for a friend!) and a shawl for me- some selfish, enjoyable makes to make me appreciate what I've got.
Go have a listen to Helen's podcast and see if you can't get inspired to organise your stash, and join in the #uknewyearstashswap over on Instagram to see if you can get the yarn you've been dreaming of. And join me on Ravelry to see what projects I have queued up and the knit- and crochet-alongs I'm joining.