“Destashing” has been quite the buzz word in the online knitting community over the last couple of years. Seems every time I turn around, someone is putting their much-beloved yarn up for sale. There is even a blog
devoted to destashing, as well as a Ravelry group
with the sole purpose of providing knitters and crocheters a forum for selling or trading yarn, tools and books.
Once in a while, when I feel like window-shopping, I stop by the Ravelry group and browse the wares. I always tell myself that if something jumps out at me, I will buy it.
Thing is, nothing ever jumps out at me. I guess I’m more of a tactile yarn buyer. Seeing pictures of yarn is nice, but if I can’t feel the yarn – smell it, rub it against my cheek – then it’s just not real for me. And I always have the sense that pictures on a computer are not color accurate. I can thank my many years at a printing company for that.
So, I look at my stash and realize it’s really not that large. I hear of knitters who have whole rooms devoted to their stash. I imagine shelf-lined walls with cubbies full of all manner of fibers and colors. Such is not the case for me. I have 2 60 gallon plastic bins and 2 flat under-bed storage containers, and a couple of baskets of yarn scattered throughout the house.
When I decided to learn to spin, and picked out the wheel I want to buy, I started looking for ways to raise the money. Selling stuff seemed like the most obvious way to put some cash in the wheel fund, with the added benefit of reducing the clutter that is quickly overcoming my very tiny house. I have some jewelry that the X gave me that I am all too glad to get rid of (and it’s NICE jewelry – the man had expensive taste). There are a crap ton of books in the back of my car waiting to be taken to the used book store. I even sold a Longaberger basket on ebay a few months ago.
But what about the stash? I thought on it, and thought on it, and came up with nothing. Not only is the stash kind of small, but anything that I would want to part with is not yarn that a discerning knitter would want to purchase from me. At least, if I did get a buyer(s), the price I could get would probably not be worth the effort.
I discovered something about my stashing habits: I am a buy-as-I-knit kind of knitter. I don’t buy random skeins of yarn just because they’re pretty, or soft, or, well, “just ‘cuz.” When I decide on a project, I purchase the yarn and cast on. If I have any yarn leftover when the project is finished, it goes into the stash. It is rare that I decide to knit something, go stash diving, and come up with the appropriate yarn for the job. And because I knit so many gifts, I am usually buying the yarn just in time to start the gift knitting so that I can finish it before the gift-giving occasion. Depending on who the recipient is, I will choose a project and yarn based on how much I would spend on a store-bought gift. Since I'm not wealthy, I do a lot of shopping around for the best deals.
There are 2 occasions on which I will "collect" yarn: 1) When I travel. I like to go to yarn shops when I travel and pick up yarns that I cannot get at my LYS. This is souvenir yarn. And, 2) when Yarn Barn has their annual sale. Hey, it's only once a year, so I don't feel too bad for going a little crazy. I must say though that after buying a new couch for Christmas, I didn't even attend the Yarn Barn sale this year (held between Christmas and New Years). I haven't touched most of the haul from 2007's sale, so buying more didn't seem fiscally responsible.
So I guess I fall into the category of people who slowly stash, though not intentionally. That seems to be a popular concept so far this year, "slow stashing." Like completely destashing was too extreme, so instead, many knitters are committing to slowing down their yarn-buying rather than stopping completely.
What kind of stasher are you?