Ten Stages of a Knitter

1. “You know, I think it would be fun to learn how to knit a scarf to wear this winter. How hard can it be?”

2. “Isn’t my scarf great? I want to knit another.”

3. “Purling? Oh, no. I just do the regular knit stitch. I don’t want to try purling or anything complicated.”

4. Sigh. “I have 25 scarves and now I’m bored. How many scarves does one person need?”

4a. “I need to find another hobby.” Some people – the people-who-tried-knitting-briefly – choose to exit here.


4b. “Maybe I ought to learn to purl.” (The True Knitters continue on.)

5. “Socks? On those little toothpick needles? Are you kidding me? Absolutely not.”

6. “Socks! I love knitting socks. And aren’t they wonderful to wear? I need a bunch.”

7. “Stash? Oh, I just buy one project ahead, so that I know I’m going to use it. I don’t believe in the stash concept.”

8. “Stash! Everyone has stash. You never know what you’ll want to knit next. Of course I have a container full of stash.”

9. “I have more yarn than I can ever knit in a lifetime. Maybe I better stop finding more.”

10. “Yes, I have a lot of yarn and it’s always fun finding more. I’m a Yarn Collector and Knitter!” 🙂

Sheri I’mtotallya#10howaboutyou?


  1. I think I skipped a few steps. I think we both know I am totally a Yarn Collector. Actually, lately I’ve been trying to re-train myself to not buy everything I see that I love. Especially, now that I have enough sock yarn for probably at least 40 pairs. Which, at my current rate of sock completion, is 20 years of knitting. Only I’m not doing so well at that. I find I’m not believing myself when I say “There will be just as pretty a yarn next “Sneak Up” as a method of trying to stop myself from buying it all. Plus my yarn lust addled brain keeps saying “Besides, you’re gonna get faster at knitting socks soon so it isn’t even 20 years worth.”

  2. I think I’m at about an 8, but the only things that are stopping me from moving up to a 9 or 10 (or more!) are a)my very tiny postdoctoral fellow salary, and b)lack of storage space in my 300 sq. ft. apartment. Someday I will have both a better-paying job and an ENTIRE HOUSE with actual CLOSETS in which to store yarn, and then the real fun will begin! =)

  3. I guess I’m in the minority at a number 8. But that’s only happened in the past 6 months or so.

    I don’t think I could get away with being a 10 or a 15!

  4. Hmm, I didn’t start with scarves. I jumped right in at around #4.5. Right now, I’m probably at around #8. I could probably knit all of it, if I stopped buying now. I do know that I’m in the “I own way too many hand knit socks” territory. But hey, everyone needs warm feet, right…right? 😉

  5. I have gone beyond #10!!! I have enough yarn to last the rest of my life without buying more. It’s pretty sad when you start thinking you don’t have enough years left to knit all the yarn (and roving and fleece…) that is in your house! And I still want MORE!!!!! If only we didn’t have to sleep!!! I could REALLY use all those dreaming hours!!! When’s that next sneak up!!!

  6. Woohoo! #10 for sure! Bring it on! And the next sneak up is when? There is actually one or two square inches of my fiber room that is covered by my stash.

  7. I’m at 11: Yarn Enabler. As in: send BFF gift from Loopy. Encourage her obsession with Loopy. Pressure her (gently) into adding to already formidable stash before that color she is in love with sells out. Both laugh and sympathize when she says she went through every page at Loopy, put every yarn she wanted in her cart and it added up to over $1300, but she managed to restrain herself to *actually* buying one skein and 2 patterns. Complain to each other that we need better jobs so we can have both more money and more knitting time. Discuss why sock yarns don’t count as stash but lace weight does. Sigh with satisfaction that I have pimped successfully. Know that she will call me tomorrow with results of visit to LYS and make me so envious that I will be enabled right back and wonder how I can get to my own LYS even though there is a PARADE down my street and I won’t be able to get anywhere in the neighborhood.

  8. I’m beyond 8, on my way to 9. I just bought a dresser to house the yarn stash (how cute is that?), and itdoesn’tallfit…

  9. Shoot, I’ve hit 10 and I’ve only been knitting for a year. I started with a scarf, made one then decided to knit socks and away I went. 🙂

  10. I think I started knitting on “toothpicks” cause I would knt mostly baby things in the beginning. I loved the little needles and lace, even than. I have only been doing socks for about 16 or 17 months and am doomed to never recover from the infection. Not that the symptoms are unbearable mind you.

    I figure that fiber collecting is the only way I will ever be a 10. I have said for years that when the fiber famine strikes, I will be ready. I will have more than enough to carry myself and several friends thru.

  11. I’m between a 7 and an 8. With two young kids in school, I can’t stash as extensively as I want, but I knew I was crossing a line forever the day I bought an expensive skein of yarn that I knew I would never actually knit just because I couldn’t live without its luscious beautiousness. So, can I be a real-life 7.5 with very strong 11 leanings? 🙂

  12. I am so far past 10…and living in the land of denial! The one happy thing about my College Guy going back to school is that while he is away I fill his closet and dresser with stash. This does create a bit of a challenge when he comes home for breaks, but I just put it in tote bags and pretend that it is out so that I can plan my next project. I am not sure exactly how many times this will work before someone (like my husband) figures it out. But until then…..

  13. The trouble with being a 10 (like all the others!) is that when I was a full-time quilter (which I still do, but not quite at the pace I used to), I was also a 10 in that category! And I collected antique sewing machines, both handcranks and treadles, in order to sew my quilt tops, and I was pretty close to a ten there as well! The positive thing about all the tens is that I have two (count ’em, two!) sewing rooms, one which holds all my quilt and dressmaking fabrics, and about seven of my various machines, and the other one that holds about half my yarns and the remaining machines …. except there is a machine in the living room, and one in the family room, and oh yes, two in the garage awaiting cleaning and refurbishment of their cabinets, and the remaining half of my yarn is in the second big cedar chest in the living room and most of my works in progress ….. so that’s also a down side to being a ten in so many activities. Heaven help me if I decide to take up spinning or weaving, both of which I’ve considered!

  14. I’m a 9 in yarn & cross-stitch, and an 8 in quilting. The last two have been abandoned in the last several years for the yarn. I’m not sure I’ll ever be a 10, because I really do feel overwhelmed by all the yarn I have. It’s in every room in my apartment, not counting the 6 huge tubs I have of it. I stopped buying tubs on the theory that if I didn’t have a place to put it, I wouldn’t buy so much of it. Clearly, that hasn’t worked.

    I wouldn’t mind the “collector” thing so much, except I see where that’s gone in my family. When I was little, my family used to joke that if we had three of anything, we started a collection. Now my grandma has passed on, and my mom has grandma’s house and her own house. And she can’t throw anything away. She’s 78, and she has to hop over piles of things to get to the bathroom and the phone. The health department would shut her down in about 30 seconds if they knew. And all the collections (teacups, stamps, coins, birds, butterflies, pitchers, salt & pepper shakers, roosters, turtles, rabbits, lions, mice, owls, matchbooks, hotel sugars, and who-know-what-I’m forgetting ) are still intact. With all the Other Stuff piled around. I don’t want to live like that, and I’m trying to resist it, but the yarn is so beautiful.

  15. 9.5, all the way. If/when the budget restraints lift, then sign me up for #10. Oh, and le’ts not mention my quilting habit!

    I poked around the site a bit and was wondering if we can “borrow” the TLE buttons for our personal blogs? I know the whole “use your own bandwith” thing, but other than that? Didn’t want to take then ask, but would love to put a button instead of just text (if I can figure out how to do it!) 🙂

  16. Oh I’m way past ten, along with many others. I’ve moved into spinning and dyeing and all that good stuff. I hide everything I buy, including the boxes…lucky for me no one investigates where my stash lives so they’d never know…

  17. I was stuck at 4b for longe than I’m going to admit, but now I’m definitely a 10 and edging towards 11 (thinking seriously about spinning, and not only crowding all the closets with yarn but crowding all the bookshelves with knitting books and patterns)!

  18. I am at a ten. I am also thinking of starting a mini stash in the car. Just a few skeins, patterns and needles so that when I get stopped in traffic I can admire everything and decide what I want to work on while waiting. And no, it isn’t because I have run out of places to put yarn in the house. Cause I’ll have plenty of room once I disassemble the exercise room and set it up as a craft room. ( not even mentioning how much yarn I’ll be able to buy when I sell the exercise equipment, look out Sheri!)

    My husband thinks the fact that I am choosing yarn over an exercise room means I have a yarn problem but I completely disagree. It is very healthy to have a hobby that you enjoy. Right?

  19. Oh, yeah, totally busted, a ten all the way. This morning I was winding and sorting yarn to remind myself that I have enough because I’m going to a “Fiber College” later today just to pet wool (and alpacas and angora bunnies), but I am not, absolutely not, buying sock yarn. Must save $$ for next week’s sneak up! That’s my motivation not to spend elsewhere. Pretty soon it will be between buying groceries and yarn! That’s what you’ve turned me into, Sheri!

  20. It’s nice to know that I’ve followed the natural progression.

    I think I knit cotton dishclothes for 4 or 5 years. Only in garter stitch–who wants to learn how to purl, that looks hard!

    And then one day it happened. I decided to make a scarf! My second scarf actually involved purl stitches. Every teacher in my son’s school received a scarf for Christmas that year. All different patterns and types of yarn. My experiment was starting to get out of control.

    I began to think I could venture past a four pattern row repeat! I had always told myself that if you could memorize the stitch pattern, I could knit without really thinking. Who was I kidding. Following a detailed pattern is addicting. My brain loves the workout.

    I knit everything with size 7 needles and up–fast progression=more knitting projects, right? Need more yarn, I’m making lots of projects.

    Enter felting. Who knew you could hide so many mistakes. Knit faster.

    And then this is the kicker! Enter a little website that is contagious. I’m blaming you Sheri and College guy. Has anyone ever noticed that so many websites are not user friendly? That’s my excuse, because the Loopy Ewe is a joy to surf! I can’t stay away. Enter a whole new kind of stash. AND new needles.

    Right now everything I’m knitting is on a size 4 or less. Who knew that those itty bitty needles were actually fun. Progress is still made! Amazing. The projects I’m currently working on are lace and socks. Who knew that I would come this far.

    We recently built a new house and went from 800 sq ft. to nearly 3,300 sq ft. BIG PROBLEM. Lots of new places for yarn. As long as I’m home before my husband and son–I can raid the mailbox, run inside, unpack the box, discard all evidence, throw new stash into old stash—and then when the coast is clear, pet the yarn and stroke it between my cheek and hand. At this stage, my husband doesn’t realize that stash actually changes and grows, he just rolls his eyes at the site of yarn–he never makes a comment unless he finds the box. However, my 11 year old son–he is a little more observant. I must begin to find ways to trick him as well. Men talk you know.

    I am so a 10+! I also have a stash of knitting books and needles. I lay awake at night wondering if I should SURF in case there is a sneak-up I’m going to miss. There are a lot of YARN HOGS out there ya’know. I WANT MY FAIR SHARE! Back off ladies, the yarn is mine.

    If you couldn’t tell–a few years ago, I was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive behaviors! I take medication daily. Thank goodness the meds don’t reach the YARN brain. I don’t think I could survive that.

    BoyI’mintrouble! Justdon’ttellmyhusband!

  21. Personally, I am an 8. I would probably have more of a personal stash if I didn’t have a yarn business. The fact of the matter is I have 60 – 90 lbs of transitory yarn “stash” that moves through my house on a 4 – 6 week basis….and we refer to the room that holds my tall shelves of yarn, huge boxes of yet to be dyed yarn, power skeiner and two swifts as the “Yarn Hole”. I also have two spinning wheels…..and of course a small fiber stash and a rather large dye stash.

    So, I’m not sure if that qualifies me as being beyond 10 or not. I mean, when UPS shows up with a 19lbs box of yarn and I think “Hey, there’s my small order! Yay!” and you order yarn by the pound to try it out…..I think that maybe indicates 10-ishness?

  22. I am not a 10. I am not a 10. I am not a 10. If I say it long enough, maybe my checkbook balance will increase. Who am I kidding!?

    Of course I’m a 10. Why else would I be logging the computer and checking the bookmark for Wollmeise at the Loopy Ewe at 7:30 on a Saturday morning with a pair of almost finished Wendy’s Cabletini’s and a skein of the Knittery M-C that I just can’t stop touching sitting next to me. Yesteray I bought another under-the-bed storage box to hide my yarn from The Other One In The House Who Doesn’t Knit and Doesn’t Understand The Need For Stash. Optimistically, I got the second largest size, not the largest one. Ooopps. Didn’t all fit. I am not a 10. I am not a 10. I am not a 10.

  23. I have exciting news! (Well, exciting for me, anyway.) This morning I woke up with an idea. Whoever said to sleep on things was right. I decided that if I actually have a collection, I might as well display the collection. (Almost obvious, huh?) I have a large bookshelf in the dining area that was free (how did that happen?), and I totally stocked it with sock yarn. Up to the top, like a yarn store. It’s beautiful. I have darks on one side, brights in the middle, lights on the end. I have a little piece of a yarn store in my home. I also found that fully half of one of my enormous storage bins was taken up with (get this) plastic bags. Some were from yarn stores. Most were zippered or snapped bags that I saved when I purchased sheets & blankets & things like that. I don’t actually like using them for yarn. I have a number of attractive totes that I use. But the plastic bags were Too Good to throw away. Not today! The yarn store bags are going back to the stores, and the zippered plastic bags are in (gasp!) the trash.

    Before I had 6 tubs of yarn, and WIPs and more yarn spilling out over all the rooms looking frumpy and making me feel guilty. Now I have a gorgeous yarn shelf, some totes of WIPs, and, well, 6 tubs of yarn. A huge improvement, and it didn’t even take me very long!

  24. 1-3 went more like this for me:
    1. “OMG! I love that hat, must learn to knit”
    2. “Okay, this pattern requires me to purl, let’s go.”
    3. “You know, I have 50 hats and I never wear them, what else can I knit?”

    I still hate scarves and knit them very rarely.

  25. I’m so an obssessive #10. Knitting has pretty much taken over my life since I successfully completed my first pair of socks.

    Normally, I can resist new sock yarn to an extent. Like, this month, I am *supposed* to be on a yarn diet, ’cause it totally busted my budget last month. However….. I saw new sock yarn come in that matches colours of some of my favorite characters in shows I watch, so, of course, I’m obliged to buy it so I can knit…. Naruto socks!! LOL…. wow…. I’m pretty bad off. ^_^;

  26. I’m another 7.5. I have yarn for 4 projects. And a wishlist of about a dozen in my head. Lord help me, I’m limiting my lattes. 4 lattes equals one pair of socks.
    Latte? Sockyarn? Latte? Sockyarn?

  27. You know you’re a 10+ when you buy a yarn winder and a swift. As my husband said while watching me wind yarn’ “Oh, so it cost $100 to wind your yarn into a ball?” However, he did get into the mechanics of the swift…..

  28. 10 to the 10th power. I can’t even bring myself to get rid of bits of yarn from finished projects. Thank goodness for new yarn ball jars 🙂

  29. I’m most definitely a #10! I’m finally realizing that along with being a knitter, I’m most definitely a collector, so collecting yarn is a logical progression!

  30. Umm? I am not sure! I have knitted for about 40 years having been taught at age 6 by my mother and attending school in England. Yes they taught that to girls back then. I would bye yarn for a sweater and finish it…………..I do have yarn for a few summer sweaters…………..but then I discovered SOCK YARN. But this does not count as Stash. I however do have enough to make around a 150 pair and I have only collected this in the last year. I am constantly making socks and I complete about a pair a week, sometimes two. The ratio of sock completion to aquiring yarn some where got out of balance. I am seeing a therapist about this but I do not think this will work though as I am knitting her a pair of socks now. 🙂

  31. I am in between 7 and 8, and have been knitting just under 2 years. So much to do, so little time. I have yarn for a few projects sitting here, multiple balls of dishcloth yarn, and a smallish container of sock yarn. I also have a few oddball skeins I’ve picked up for hats. I love making hats but don’t wear them much. Could definitely see myself becoming a 9 or 10, but am trying to avoid it. Buying the yarn for a project is half the fun of making it. But it’s hard. It’s all so beautiful. I want it all.

  32. i’m half way between 9 & 10. depends on which part of my stash you’re talking about. my “good” yarn? is definitely a #10. my charity stash? the ack that is insulating my basement? definitely #9.

    what a dilemma, eh?

  33. perfect ten,

    there’s something about #6 that correlates with #10. going from a six to a ten takes 0 time at all. I’m not even sure #7 makes sense. Or maybe it ought to be #5. As in it’s easy not to believe in stash before you get to socks.

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