Stashing and De-Stashing

DSC00347We’ve talked about stashing before. Some of us you do have a yarn stash, some of you don’t. Some of us you wonder how people get along without a stash. Some of you wonder why in the world people want extra yarn sitting around. I went through my stash last weekend and pulled out a bunch of yarn that I no longer want or need in there. (Four big Loopy bags full. Gracie looks horrified by the whole thing, doesn’t she?)

The yarn that came out of the stash typically fell into 3 categories:

1. Yarn that someone gave me from their great aunt’s old stash. (Or their friend’s stash. Or their grandma’s rejects. Etc.)
2. Yarn that I bought on sale because “it was too good a deal to pass up”. (I’ve learned. Last weekend just reinforced that.)
3. Β Yarn that I bought to see if we wanted to carry that line here at Loopy (and then decided against it).

DSC00350I have a lot of sock yarn stash. It used to be THE thing that I loved to knit. Socks. Of course I still love to knit socks, but I have branched out. I really like all of the new shawlette patterns that use 350-450 yds. of fingering weight. It’s a perfect use for some of these colors that I still like, but will (realistically) probably not knit up into socks. Now I’m just as likely to look at a skein of fingering weight yarn as a potential shawl, instead of just as potential socks. Here’s one stash picture just so those of you who buy yarn from us every week, know that I’m just like you. I like having lots of choices and I love having a stash. (No, that’s not all my stash. I also have numerous plastic bins of it. I’m just not sure WH needs to see all of that in my blog. I have it strategically separated in different parts of the house so that one never sees the full extent of it. I think it’s better that way.)

DSC00353Look what I found in my stash – one of the first skeins from Madelinetosh, when Amy was truly an indie dyer, doing this on her own. See – she even handwrote the label! This, I am keeping. Along with plenty of other skeins. And I found something else I like to knit – sweaters. So now I’m starting to stockpile yarn for future sweaters. DSC00354Just this week, I took skeins of this and skeins of this for someday sweaters. (Yes, I realize they are both green. What can I say?) And guess what? I’m going to do a legitimate swatch for both sweaters. See? I did learn my lesson.

So I’m curious. For those of you who do have a stash of one kind or another, what do you figure you have the most of – Laceweight? Fingering weight? Sport? DK? Worsted? I’ll have a related question for you on Friday, along with our Sweater Challenge winners.

Sheri wholikesbeingsurroundedbycolorathomeandwork


  1. I have a lot of sock yarn and lace weight. I think that is 90 percent of my stash. I have maybe 10-20 skeins of worsted weight (two to three sweater patterns worth), and maybe 5-6 of bulkier yarn. Everything else is DK or smaller. I love my fingering weight knitting.

  2. I have mostly fingering weight yarn (aka sock). I’ve been making shawls out of it for the past year but usually have at least three pairs of socks going at any time. I do have a respectable amount of DK weight too, and a bit of worsted but . . .sock yarn is my downfall.

  3. I love looking at pictures of other people’s stash and seeing how they store it. I would love to have a beautiful yarn cabinet like yours to put some of my stash. Right now i just keep it in plastic tubs in my spare room – which is really the book and yarn room. Sock yarn still makes up the majority of my stash, but I have branched out more to other weights and I confess that I have enough for many sweaters in everything from laceweight to bulky. I like fingering weight and sport mostly for sweaters as well, because the climate here does not require heavier knits. That does not stop me from knitting or wanting to knit other kinds of sweaters though and I have plenty of DK and worsted weight in my stash too.

  4. it would be a toss-up between sock yarn and lace yarn. i feel free to buy both just becasue i like the yarn, without having to have a project in mind for it. because socks or shawls generally only take one skein! yay!
    i rarely buy sweater quantities of yarn without a plan for it, however vague the plan might be.

  5. My stash is mostly things from The Loopy Ewe…with a smattering of local yarns and handspun. Most of the yarn is light to heavy fingering, with a good chunk of worsted in there too.

    But yeah, my stash is mostly your fault, Sheri. Thank you. πŸ˜›

  6. OMGosh – what a question – I have quite a stash of sock yarn but don’t knit socks – I probably have the most stash of worsted and live in Florida – go figure ! I do have a fair amount of DK weight and very little chunky – obviously again because I live in FL and I have a fair amount of lace weight too. Let’s just say my play room is referenced as the “wool room” because there is so much yarn and rug hooking wool in there. I have to say – I was impressed with the cupboard full of sock yarn you pictured. YGG – Mel

  7. Most of my stash is sockweight, the rest being mainly worsted with the occasional bulky or mohair. There was once a time when I would only knit with mohair, back when I was a newbie doing scarves by the bucketload.

  8. Definitely sock yarn with some sport weight and a few potential sweater projects. I am looking at a lot of it now as potentional shawlettes as well. I keep trying to put myself on a yarn diet, but so far I haven’t been too successful. πŸ™‚

  9. I primarily have fingering weight yarn. I am sock knitting addicted but also seem to have branched out to shawlettes. I have been organizing/destashing lately but there seems to be no end to some of the yarn I don’t want any longer. I’m going to find good homes for the yarn I loved and bought when I worked in my LYS but no longer want.

  10. I have mostly fingering weight yarns in my stash. I have patterns picked out to go with some of that yarn and some of it is just “free” yarn. Lately, I’ve been thinking of other things to make with it besides socks. I have yarn for three sweaters – a February Lady, Hey Teach! and one which the name escapes me. I want to make more sweaters but I’m trying to hold off until I get some of these others done.

  11. I have only been acquiring a stash for a little over a year, so mine is small (my husband doesn’t think so, however). It’s mostly from Loopy and fairly evenly divided between sock yarn for socks, sock yarn for a sweater, DK for two different sweaters, worsted for a big Girasole if I ever get around to it, and a little lace for an unknown project. I think I bought it with a shawl in mind. Seems like a lot of sock yarn for someone who is only on their 4th pair of socks.

  12. I have mostly fingering and lace weight yarns in my stash. I have some worsted and DK for a few sweaters that I plan to make. My stash is kept in a variety of places also…sock yarn is mostly in under bed boxes in my bedroom, with most of the overflow in plastic tubs with the other yarns. There is some scattered in other places, as well as the stash of fiber for spinning. Like you, I feel that what DH doesn’t know won’t hurt him…suffice it to say if the bed ever broke our fall would be quite cushioned (we might not even notice!). He is quite the enabler, though, so that works out too.

  13. Mostly I have sock yarn in my stash and just like you Sheri, I am beginning to discover those cute shawlette patterns that use fingereing weight yarn. I also recently discovered what to do with all my little left over balls of sock yarn when I am done with a pair of socks: scarves! On a size 7 needle, cast on 25 stitches or so holding two skeins together using garter stitch. I’m going to add some button embellishements when I’m done. I’m planning on giving them to friends for Christmas presents. And even though garter stitch can be boring, I’m having a blast because of all the different color combinations that show up as I’m knitting! πŸ™‚

  14. Most of my stash is fiber, followed closely by a great big whack of sock yarn. I think the common theme between the two is the great array of really fabulous color. I do love me some color!

  15. Stash??? Do I have STASH???? 😎 (Love that picture of Gracie. Paddy feels the same way when I go through mine.)

    I have the most fingering weight, frankly. Or maybe it’s lace weight, though all of that fits in one bin, and the fingering has two. Yardage wise, it’s probably the lace, but bulk wise, fingering. I have one bin that has all the sport weight and heavier in it, two for fingering, and one for lace. Of course, then there’s the two new bins upstairs, plus the bin of things that are actually earmarked for projects and grouped, and the bin of WIPs, along with the auxiliary basket of WIPs in the den. And the yarn that is hiding in my room. (You can ask BFF Liz about my hyper-organization. She helped me sort it.)

    Yep. I have stash. I LOVE stash!!

  16. Fingering. For socks and shawls. Though at this point I think laceweight is running a close second!

    I selected a bunch for de-stash. Now what’s the next step in finding homes for them?

  17. My stash is mostly fingering weight – like you, Sheri, I love shawls and shawlettes. Also I love scarves, lacy little scarves by Anne Hanson are my favorites. Fingering weight seems to fit the bill. I rarely knit socks any more. Although I still love them and will probably go back to them when we are no longer in the hot fires of summer heat. I do like sweater knitting too. But for that I try hard not to stockpile yarn. I usually buy for a particular project rather than stash acquisition.

    Spinning yarn (shiny new hobby) has made me look at yarn in a whole new light. But then I tell the family if they were dependant on my spinning skills for warmth in clothing, they’d have to just wrap themselves in the fiber. I’m a very slow spinner.

    Good for you, Sheri, for going through your stash and voting some of the skeins out. They’ll find homes with people who will love them.

  18. Fingering, fingering, and did I mention fingering? I’m now stockpiling any skinny bugga and bugga but I go through phases of various indie dyers….

  19. Fingering weight. Without a doubt. I could choke a horse with it. And I haven’t knit a sock in over a year. From the looks of your picture (Love Gracie’s expression BTW!), I’m wanting to destash about as much as you – Now, how to go about doing that? The MadTosh skein you showed brought back memories – she’s local, and I have a few of those skeins myself πŸ˜‰ Do hope you get some more of her merino light again soon; I’m dying to knit an Austin Hoodie in Denim.

  20. I have mostly sock yarn. Tons of it! I, too, have it stashed all around the house so DH doesn’t have a heart attack! I buy yarn for the color not the project and I love having it around me so I switch out skeins every so often. I have also taken up weaving to help me with my lack of “stash control”.
    A friend of mine (non-knitter) asked what would happen to all my yarn if something happened to me and I have to admit…it’s a dilemma! No one in my family knits!

  21. I’ve got mostly fingering (97 stashes on Ravelry), next is DK at 58 stashes. Not so many of the other weights, though I think maybe I should double check as I think a couple of them have been destashed recently (and I do mean only 2)

  22. My stash is primarily fingering weight. While I love to knit socks too, I’ve found fingering weight yarns are also great for baby and children patterns, as well as small shawls/scarves. Or you can knit it doubled for something heavier.

  23. Fingering/sock yarn outnumbers all the other skeins in my stash by many fold. I also was a dedicated sock knitter. I still knit socks but also love shawls, fingerless mitts and even try to slog through a sweater sometimes. Sock yarn is what I buy for a souvenir when I’m on vacation or on Mondays when the Loopy Ewe posts its new stock. I know it’s due to a certain lack of self control but it sure make me feel good.

  24. No question – sock yarn. That’s what I buy any time I’m somewhere new and don’t have a project in mind. I know I can buy one skein (or two occasionally) and get something out of it. And then there’s all those sock yarn clubs. Now, I just need to pick up my needles again (and learn to knit 700 times faster than I currently do). :o)

  25. Mostly fingering weight in my stash, but have worsted weight too – but purchased the worsted wt. with specific patterns to knit up for myself. With my first grandchild on the way – am finding patterns for baby hats, sweaters and even found a blanket for baby in fingering weight – so I am going through my stash for washable yarns to knit up. And I can always double up the yarn to make it a different thickness for other patterns I already have for the baby …or me… πŸ™‚

  26. At this point my stash is pretty balanced. I have a lot of everything! I will say it’s predominately wool and maybe a touch more fingering weight yarn than I would like to admit. I periodically look for the holes in weights my stash and try to fill those holes while at wool festivals or knitting conventions. πŸ™‚

  27. I probably have the most worsted weight, but none of it is enough to knit a sweater with. My goal for this year was to only buy worsted if it was enough for a sweater. I’ve had good luck so far, only one minor falling down.

  28. I have mostly fingering weight in my stash but it’s followed very closely by my stash of lace weight. πŸ™‚ I just love knitting with those weights of yarn . . . socks, shawls, scarves, etc. Anytime I try to knit with worsted weight and big needles, I feel like I’m using rope and tree branches LOL!

  29. DEFINITELY fingering weight. I think because it’s SO easy to buy just one ball and know that I can make a project with it and only need the one ball.

    Also, that picture of Gracie cracked me up!!

  30. Most of my stash is worsted and fingering. I had big plans to crochet all of these afghans for people and then realized that they were such a time sink. So my yarn closet (yes I have an entire closet from top to bottom) is mostly filled with this afghan yarn. The fingering is the stuff I love though! I like to just go look at it all and touch it. It makes me feel better knowing I have a choice.

    Eventually I’d like to get some of those skeins worked into projects and then work on what I really want to do and that’s design sweaters in lightweight yarns. Yup. That’s my plan… for within the next 20 years… ish.

  31. Can I give the smart answer and say you already know what I have the most of?

    But honestly, I’d have to say fingering is my largest stash. I really need to finish organizing it. I’ve got it about 1/2 done. You know those XXL ZipLoc bags? I’ve got quite a few of them filled to the brim with yarns I know I want to keep and they are sorted by dyer. I still need to go through the rest and decide how I’m going to destash it or store it or give it to charity.

  32. My stash is overgrowing my house. Every so often I do a destash. It helps keep me honest. I take the good yarn (I know its all good) and donate to a local convent. The sisters knit for the poor and many of us at the lys donate the yarn. Great cause. Then I look at other yarn and have given skeins to friends and family if I know they want it and I have no immediate use for it.

    Lastly in my guest room closet there are several big bins and they are all labeled. Several bins are designated to projects. One entire bin is for afghans. Another for sweaters. Another for large worsted or chunky wraps. Lace has its own bin. and then there is random sock which could comfortably have two bins, but I have combined random into one and those with accompanying pattens into another. Shawls are the same some with designated patterns and the rest is in the random bin. All skeins are in zip lock project bags within the bins. There is a separate stash for my bags. I have a line of Bags I designed when the economy was better.

    Wollmeise is also separate. Itys a big closet.

  33. Hands down, fingering weight. And now that I look at it for projects other than socks, I am starting to accumulate it more quickly!

    I’m also getting quite the handspun stash, which is why I’m giving away all of the handspun I completed during the Tour de Fleece (plus one skein I’m still finishing). Handspun needs to be knitted and not stuffed in a bin in the closet.

  34. That’s a tossup between fingering and worsted. Although there’s a fair amount of lace and a bit of DK. Yes, I have a problem.

  35. Uh! Oh! I read somewhere that sock yarn is not considered stash, so I’ve been going along thinking that I don’t have much stash . . .

  36. Definitely sock or fingering weight yarn. At least that’s what I tend to buy because I like it but without having a specific project for it.

    I do have stashes of other weights that I bought for specific projects. Then I realized that I was somehow trying to buy yarn for all the projects in my ravelry queue. Well, that’s really digging yourself a deep hole because the queue gets longer and longer and the stash gets, well out of control.

  37. I have WAY more sock yarn than anything else, and 90% of that sock yarn is single skeins of a colorway. The laceweight is slowly catching up though…

  38. When I went thru my stash and categorized and seperated…the biggest pile and the most totes filled was fingering wt….followed by worsted.

  39. I love the picture of your stash cupboard. I have to know….was that before or after the de-stashing?
    My stash is definitely fingering-ful. I love to knit socks, scarves and shawls. I have a few skeins of worsted for hats or mittens. I’m also using the worsted for some “placemat” wedding gifts.

  40. Stashing started with sweater quantities of yarn to make sweaters that never came to be. This was back when yarn stores were few and far between, and the internet was in its infancy, or at least nowhere near what it is now. Then came sock yarn, then lace yarn… oh, and yarn for felting projects, too. Yikes.

  41. The majority of my stash, I think (I have never seen it all together in the same room), is fingering because it is so easy to buy 100 gms and know you have enough (for socks anyway) as a souvenir on a trip or just a “taste” if you are on a yarn diet, but my lace is growing the longer that I am on ravelry and TLE’s website. I am only counting a sweater quantity of dk or worsted as one “unit” of stash (are we allowed to count that way?).

  42. Definitely sock yarn! I have a lot (though not as much as you) but I keep looking at and buying more. Oh well…..

  43. the picture of your stash cabinet makes me want to empty my grandmother’s curio cabinet of my daughter’s windstones and other dragons, and just fill it with yarn. so stash yarn… light fingering weight ( a few large containers of Rowan Botany in so many colors), and then the lace yarn I may never get to but do I care? just admiring the yarn is great satisfaction. I’m not including sweater kits that I have in separate containers as I intend to make them some day, while for the light fingering and lace, occasional ideas get in my head for some of them. adding to that, I love Skinny Bugga, I guess my son will have new winter hats this year.

  44. I have tons of sock yarn, and like you, I am loving those single-skein shawlette patterns. But I also have many single skeins of worsted for quicker knit scarves, a bunch of lace weight for bigger shawls and stoles, and a couple of sweaters’ worth of yarn for amorphous sweater plans.

  45. Fingering weight – sock yarn – two dresser drawers full. I love it, it is what I knit the most. Your cabinet inspires me to find something pretty to store my yarn in instead of a dresser – it should be admired.

  46. I’m an equal opportunity”Stasher”. I think my lace, fingering, and sock stash are about the same–low on worsted. HMMM… maybe I should shop??

  47. Like you I love to knit socks and have three tubs of sock yarn. Yes, agan like you I switched and started the small shawlettesand now hooked on stash yarn for these. I love yarn, bottom line…hillis

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