About that ‘yarn diet’

As you may have gathered, I am on a ‘yarn diet’. This means that over the next few months (at least until the end of the year) I am not going to buy any more yarn. This may sound like imposing unnecessary suffering on myself, but the intention is to encourage me to enjoy the beautiful yarn I already have rather than leaving it languishing in various drawers and cupboards, unappreciated. Many crafters have the habit of accumulating lots of materials (whatever their preference). I do this and, whilst it’s fun to have stuff available to use when inspired, it feels very wasteful to have loads of untouched yarn, plus it does take up a lot of space.

In general I buy yarn for particular projects, but sometimes I never get round to starting them, and by the time I am ready, I have had a change of heart (or even shape!) and so I need to find an alternative. I’m also a bit over-enthusiastic about sock yarn and have ended up with rather a lot of the stuff… more than I need for sock making. As I don’t want to build up an enormous collection of shawls, I have been wondering what else I might do with the sock yarn and inspiration arrived on Saturday. One of the organisers of the 60MT get-together was wearing a beautiful short-sleeved, asymmetrical top, clearly knitted in 4-ply. I asked her about the pattern and now I’ve bought a copy and will use some of my yarn to make Sugar Maple.

Despite the diet, some new yarn has come my way, but I did not buy it. At the event on Saturday, we had a ‘secret Santa’… everyone brought a ball of yarn wrapped up and they all went in a big box, before each person selected a different package to take away. So, I gave a ball of mottled sock yarn (which I entirely failed to photograph), but came home with two balls (yes, there were two balls in the parcel I picked) of Rowan Lima, an interesting aran yarn that looks like it has been crocheted into a chain already:

The two balls add up to the same weight as the donated ball (and, in fact, contain similar colours), so I have made no net gain, and, indeed, a loss, if I consider length of yarn rather than weight.Ā I really am beginning to think like someone on a diet! Not sure what I’m going to use this yarn for – it’s very soft, so maybe a cowl.

As well as working on various existing projects, I’m also trying to restock my etsy shop a bit, as I’ve sold quite a few of the bird roosts. The train journeys over the weekend were split between sock-knitting and bird roost crochet, and I’ve now got several roosts ready to felt:

IMGP4085

three done, one in progress

So, the stash is slowly being used and I’m not feeling deprived because I can’t shop for yarn… it’s a good result so far.

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39 Comments

  1. I hope you have more willpower than me when I went on my ‘fabric fast’. I couldn’t decide whether to do it for six months or a year but went for the year which was a big mistake – I should have known it wouldn’t be achievable. So, I lasted for four months and could possibly have lasted another two but never for another eight. Too ambitious :/

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  2. You could always do yarny swaps as well, to introduce something different into your collection. (Notice I’m not calling it a stash!). It ought to be possible to work out equivalent values to make swaps fair, and you’d get something new to you and so would the other party.

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  3. I’m trying harder and harder to use my ‘stash’, but I do seem to always add something! Good luck with your yarn diet.
    Having said that, it does feel good when you finally find a use for some of that ‘stash’.

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  4. Ha I tried one of those this year and then I got gremlins in my computer and that was it! Good luck. The swap yarn is a pretty colour!

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  5. That worked for me, until my mum got me a massive box of yarn for my birthday! Now I’m trying to use up some of what I’ve got, because I know that I’ll be getting more for Christmas and I’m running out of room!

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  6. Annie

     /  September 18, 2017

    Love that purple wool. šŸ™‚

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  7. Annie

     /  September 18, 2017

    And I am on a fabric fast too.

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  8. I managed my yarn drought fine, but I am afraid I did a bit of binge buying once it was over!
    I like the idea of a yarn swap…..

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  9. I’ve been doing that all year too, most successfully I must add šŸ™‚ (crow) But it’s mainly because I haven’t actually made anything, including finishing the three items in the ufo pile. Instead I went on a stamp and embossing folder buying binge – see, I just swapped out one fetish for another! Now I have just gotten that one under control and am not purchasing anything else for my supplies unless it is a consumable that runs out! I’m curious to see where that decision leads …….

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  10. I LOVE the yarn you got in the exchange. I’m doing the same thing with fabric. I have enough to keep me busy until I’m 108 and have donated a great deal already. I’m buying nothing unless it’s for a custom order. I’ve purchase almost no fabric in the last 6 months, maybe longer. I do get a lot that’s free that I will turn into something soon. I am so looking forward to winter so I can sit and just sew and craft. Hand knit socks could be quite expensive but worth every cent someone would pay. You are fortunate to know how to make them.

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    • It is all too easy to accumulate – but then we miss out on working with the lovely materials that we have. I’m trying to work out if there is yarn I would like to give away or sell, but mostly I’d rather use it myself and sell the products.

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      • I feel much the same way. I looked at it all and it was a love it or lose it moment. If it had possibility, it stayed a bit longer. Making my way through but fortunately for you, yarn takes slightly less room. šŸ™‚

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  11. Have you had birds roosting/nesting in your creations? I had blackbirds nest in my loganberry this year, the nest tilted so badly I wondered if the chicks would survive but I think they did.

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    • I never get to put them out in my garden because they always get sold! The RSPB sell a version that’s woven from grasses and they are supposed to be very useful as winter shelters.

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  12. I find that when I’m limited to using only what I already have I become more creative and experimental and end up with a greater sense of achievement. I do hope you find that too šŸ™‚

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    • I think that’s probably true. As well as the yarn I have lots of other craft supplies and I’m thinking of making a pile of greetings cards based on what I already have – it might be quite inspirational.

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  13. I do not have a problem with my COLLECTIONS of fabric and yarn. They are not fat or overweight, just cuddly, plump, well covered, big boned… Well that’s my excuse and I am sticking to it! But maybe when my ‘moving house’ reaches my studio space I will have to reconsider!

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  14. Despite having had a crochet drought for much of this year, now I have my crojo back I, too, am on a yarn diet, especially after sorting out what I do have in my collection!
    As another commentator said, it’s making me more creative in what I actually do achieve with what I’ve got – and, in the new year sometime, I can look forward to shopping for some replacement yarns, maybe trying out different kinds of yarns to my usual, too šŸ™‚

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  15. That yarn swap is a great idea! Good luck with your diet… I think I finally managed to get my yarn-buying under control, but it’s a different matter entirely when it comes to art materials and fabric!

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  16. I know that feeling of having way too many paper crafts and stamp sets. šŸ˜Š

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    • I am determined not to buy any more crafting supplies until I’ve used a lot of them up… I have stuff for making cards, for embossing, for paper making, for felting (wet and dry), not to mention all the sewing supplies…

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  17. journeytohandmade

     /  December 6, 2017

    I loved reading the post and realizing that Iā€™m not alone in building a fantastic collection! Instead of putting a time limit on myself, Iā€™m going to try to use up the bulk of my yarn and fabric stash before buying more. Perhaps until it can all fit in one closet? At least, that is the plan…I may have to stay off the internet to make that happen. šŸ˜„

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    • I’m getting on quite well. I bought some yarn to complete a project and I’m waiting for some to arrive from a friend’s sheep that I ordered about 9 months ago, but other than that I have been very good. The stash is slowly decreasing and I’m starting to give away some to folks I know will love and use it.

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