Bustin’ makes me feel good
I succumbed to two year-end yarn sales in the last few days. Enamored of two jackets in Custom Knits (a wonderful gift, by the way), I scoured Webs‘ closeouts for bulky yarn and settled on Cascade 109. And because they were cheap, I also picked up some Bollicine Revolution (my initial choice for the sweater) and one precious skein of Ranco.
Then today, when someone posted that Annie Amelia had Malabrigo for $8.50, I pounced — because I needed it for the other CK coat that I covet. I managed to escape from there without “tossing in” any extra skeins, but not without pain (I really wanted to try that Nature Cotton, but none of the projects on Rav spoke to me).
The thought of those big boxes of yarn coming my way made me feel very guilty. What about all the beautiful yarn in my storage cubes, alone and unloved? Even though I did a good job knitting from stash for Christmas (all 10 of my gifts were from stash), there’s still so much of it. How can I justify bringing in new yarn — okay, for a project, sure, but not random impulse buys — when I have miles and miles waiting to be knitted?
So I joined Stash Knit Down 2009 and got several good ideas for using what I have on hand and limiting the influx. I want to do all of these (such is my enthusiasm upon attaching myself to any self-improvement plan), but I’ll be happy if I can do any of these, in some combination.
- The yarn diet. In this case, my beloved (and successful!) No-S Diet, only applied to yarn. In 2009, I won’t buy yarn except on days that begin with S. That wouldn’t be helpful for the average knitter, but since I have no LYS and buy mostly online, it means that my usual browsing will yield only ideas for later purchases, not immediate cart-filling. If I still want it once the S-day rolls around, I’ll buy it. But I’ll wager a cooling-off period will do wonders for me. And since my most reliable sources of temptation, the Herrschner Yarn Sale and Knit Picks weekly e-mails, come on non-S days, cooling off rather than buying now will be the norm. “Special days” (allowed in the No-S diet) would be visits to LYSes on trips.
- Vouchers. Ielith describes a plan to exchange stash projects completed for vouchers to buy yarn for new projects. 3 small projects earns 1 Small Project Voucher. 2 large projects earns 1 Large Project Voucher. That way you can still buy new yarn, but only as a reward for knitting from stash. If I combined that with the No-S yarn diet, then I’d be buying yarn only for projects, and only after due consideration.
- The yarn bank. Toggleknits shares an idea to deposit a dollar (or your denomination of choice) in the yarn fund every time you use a certain amount of yarn from stash (say, a ball). The money that you deposit can be withdrawn for yarn purchases. Others have suggested keeping track by yards and allowing yourself to buy half or a third of the yardage you use. I like this because it might involve keeping a special spreadsheet, which appeals to my geekiness.
It’s not that my stash is out of control — it’s just that it is making me feel guilty. I’m looking forward to trying some of the Stash Down 2009 group’s trips and tricks (keeping track of yardage knit, picking a month to concentrate on the Shrine of Precious Yarns). In combination with the other KALs I’m hoping to join, like Obscuriousity, and the ones I’m already a part of but have let sadly fall by the wayside, like Fingerless Glove Fanatics, I hope that there will be plenty of opportunities to pick out something from stash for nearly everything I might want to knit.