I posted this picture to my Facebook page yesterday. And it has me thinking. How big should a yarn stash be? Obviously, the bigger the better is the most popular answer! But for those of us with limited space, money, and knitting time, what's ideal?
For me, this means: What do I need to keep on hand to allow the creative juices to flow whenever they strike? How much is more than I can find suitable space for? I mean, if I have too much, will I be able to find it when I want it? Will I *gasp* forget about something luscious?!?
My answer to this question has evolved over the years, and while I'm happy with my current answer, the stash is still a bit out of hand. Especially when you add in all the hand-dyed yarn and yarn blanks I have on hand for JL Yarnworks!
However, here's what I currently have:
1) Worsted Wool: Worsted weight wool can be used for sooo much that I always keep an assortment of colors around. I like Patons Classic since I can get it easily at 3 different stores in town, it goes on sale often, and comes in a nice variety of colors. It's good for a quick hat or just about any felting project.
2) Dishcloth Cotton: I have way too much of this stuff. It's cheap, dishcloths are mindless (sometimes needed when using knitting to unwind), and dishcloths are good for lining gift baskets of other handmade gifts like soap or jam. I also end up giving a lot away to knitting or crochet students.
3) Laceweight: Thankfully, I don't believe I've gone overboard in this category. Especially since lace takes so long to complete and I don't knit it nearly often enough. But I like to keep 3 or 4 skeins (or batches) of 800 yards or more in both solid and variegated.
4) Sock Yarn: This is my absolute favorite category. I really don't think you can have too much. :) Sock yarn doesn't count as stash anyway, does it? hehe. I love having a nice variety of socks yarns so that my girls can head right to my stash and pick out the color of their next pair of socks. Needless to say, my assortment of sock yarns is heavy on the pinks and purples. ;)
5) Awaiting their assigned project: This is stuff I bought with a specific purpose. The project they belong to is either in progress or in the queue. Since I currently have 3 afghans in the works, a lot of it is for those. This is a category that is overflowing at the moment. Mostly because I have an INSANE number of UFOs. I really need to get some of them wrapped up!
6) I just loved it too much not to buy it (or I couldn't pass up the sale): This is actually a fairly well-controlled category. Most of it is alpaca/silk. This is my ABSOLUTE favorite fiber. It's so soft and smooshy and I can never pass it up.
7) Soft Acrylic: Yep, I have acrylic. Acrylic has its place. Really! I like it for amigurumi toys, for teaching, and for projects where color selection is really important. Sadly, cottons and wools are often limited in color range. So yes, one of the afghans I'm working on right now is acrylic. Afghans get really expensive quickly! So if you're looking for a good range of color and an affordable price? Acrylic can't be beat.
I think that's just about it. I really think that if I get #5 under control, the rest will fall into place. It's the one that's truly taking over all my knitting space and spilling into other spaces. Guess this needs to be the year to tackle those UFOs and maybe even send some to the frog pond.
Tell me about your stash! What does yours look like? Is it ideal for you? What would you change?
We'll talk about organization some other time. Really. This is NOT the time. *Looks nervously around yarn room.* No, definitely not the time.