Have I reached a stash acquisition beyond life expectancy?

I recently saw a social media post by a knitter who was on a six hour car ride and had finished her knitting project in the first hour. She posted a picture of herself staring out the car window with her hands in her lap. Her silent screams were palpable as she faced five hours in the car with nothing to knit!

This is my worst nightmare. I never want to be stuck in a situation where I have time to knit and run out of knitting!!! This is one way I justify the amount of stash that I have. I remember a few years back, someone asked me how much yarn I had. I had no idea but I organize my yarn by projects. I don’t typically buy yarn for the sake of buying yarn. Notice I said “typically”. We know there are exceptions to every rule. I decided to count my projects. I had 23 projects, most all of them had been started and were on the needles. Even with 23 projects on the needles, I still had a lot of needles.

These are the needles not currently assigned!

All of this was before the pandemic started. While people were out buying toilet paper, I was frantically buying yarn. I was separated from my stash in a small apartment in the Netherlands. The good news was I had selected the town to live in based on the excellent yarn store (Sticks and Cups in Utrecht). My husband thought we picked the town because it was in a central location. Sticks and Cups delivered.

If you are a dedicated knitter and if knitting helped you through the pandemic, you may guess what happened next. I acquired a new stash which I brought back to the states with me. One entire large suitcase.

When I got home, I knew I needed to organize my yarn, needles and projects. I had no idea what I had in all of my various project bags. It remained an overwhelming task until Eric from Sticks and Twine podcast did an episode on how to organize your knitting. He suggested a spreadsheet.

I painstakingly went through every project bag and took inventory. I have fifty two projects in my queue. This is after I took some things out and put them in the donation bag. I started to do some math and then I stopped. Did I really want to know if I had reached that critical mass of Stash Accumulation beyond Life Expectancy? I did all of this the week before Rhinebeck!!!!!! I know, I know, what was I thinking.

hI made a promise to myself to restrain myself at Rhinebeck and I came back with three skeins of yarn and some weaving equipment that will help me use up extra yarn. This is what I told myself.I have decided to shop my stash. I am going to try to finish 8 projects starting in 2022.

I learned a lot about myself while taking inventory of my stash. I remembered how excited I was about each project when I bought the yarn and casted them onto the needles. I wasn’t as aware of the time commitment when I chose a peplum cabled sweater with over 360 stitches on size 4 needles as I am now. I couldn’t resist the cover sweater on Vogue knitting not realizing it was made out of fingering weight yarn. I’ve discovered I’m a slow knitter. Three weeks into the Stephen West MKAL I have yet to finish section two of clue 1.

I’m going to see how many projects I can tick off my spreadsheet in the next six months. Stay tuned.

Published by Julie Cicora

I'm an Episcopal Priest that loves using knitting as a spiritual discipline.

9 thoughts on “Have I reached a stash acquisition beyond life expectancy?

  1. Hi Julia, I have missed your posts since Advent make along finished.

    Reading about your stash uplifted me as I have several lifetimes worth of fibre to spin and yarns to weave.
    I have begun weaving throws/shawls to plough through it all.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Julia, you bring me joy. I keep trying to organize my stash better. Kids sweaters and hand puppets take care of small amounts of yarn. I haven’t tried to do the life expectancy calculation, but my works in progress you would consider minuscule.


  3. I have many projects lined up to go. I have a tendency to buy patterns and yarn and stick it away. However I only have one project on the go at a time and don’t allow myself to start a new project until I’ve finished what’s on my needles.
    Julie are you planning an Advent knit along this year?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have misssed your posts as well. Made Advent a bit more focused given the COVID stuff going on. Well, I was going to say so many needles, so little yarn….but that does not apply here 🙂 Maybe so much yarn, so few needles….nope, that won’t work either. I look forward to see all you accomplish. It will give us inspiration!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. No matter what type of needlework we do collecting stash and starting projects is part of the process. I only have 4 knitting projects on needles but I have three small bins full of yarn to use. 🤷🏽‍♀️ However, I have 10 needlepoint WIPs and 22 cross stitch WIPs. This year I decided not to start anything new and have finished 8 cross stitch projects and 2 needlepoint projects. I will continue to focus on finishing WIPs of all types over the next couple of years. 🙋🏽‍♀️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I am on my second Comtemplative Knitting project with a couple of others regular projects going. I recently finished and had framed a cross stitch piece I started years ago. My stash is considerable, but is not separated by project. Would love to touch base with all the knitting friends again soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I can really identify with this post. I had a couple of sweaters languishing in bags that just needed sleeves. One done. I’m on the second one now. That frenzied elation of the cast-on, the slog in the middle, and then I realized I needed an anti anxiety cowl in the round of mindless knitting for a week, as I awaited test results (all good) phew! A friend told me “You always finish your gifts. “ and that’s true. But what is this cast-on-itis and not sticking with it to the finish?


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