Do You Have a Yarn Will?

The subject of having a Yarn Will came up a few weeks ago and I thought it was an interesting topic.

Of course we all joke that we have reached SABLE (stash acquisition beyond life expectancy) many times over, but if you’re like most people, you continue to see must-have yarn that you want to add to your wonderful stash. So – the stash continues to grow (and we are always happy about that here at Loopy)!

First of all, why continue to grow a stash if you have “enough” yarn?

   (“Enough” being in quotes, because can you ever have enough? I think not.)

  1. New colors and techniques.

    There are different types of yarn, new things pop up all the time, and you want to make sure you have some of each. Striping? Solids? Semi-Solids? Tonals? Speckles? Cashmere? Bamboo? Rustic wool? Soft wool? There is always something fun and new to try out and collect.

  2. New dyers.

    There are a lot of new dyers out there. First of all, be careful to select dyers who have a track record. You want dyers who know what they are doing, and who are making colors that last! It’s fun to try a new line, and with most hand-dyed colors, if you see something you like, get it while you can. It might look completely different the next time it comes out of the dyebath. Most os us like to collect yarn from different dyers and different companies.

  3. New projects to make.

    Are you still knitting the same types of things you were knitting when you first started? I started out knitting scarves out of worsted weight yarn. Then I was all about socks with fingering weight yarn. Soon I added in shawls in fingering weight yarn. Then I wanted to do sweaters in sport or dk. With each new type of thing I learned to knit, I needed different yarn (or different quantities). I found I had a lot of single skeins of yarn that were really only good for socks. I have learned to buy more than a single odd skein here and there, as having more yardage in my stash gives me more options. And of course I buy multiple skeins of the dk, sport or worsted weight yarn that I want to use for sweaters one day.

All that to say, we do end up with a lot of yarn over time. All well loved, and all full of endless possibilities. That’s one of the fun things about being a knitter. That ball or skein of yarn can become almost anything.

But what happens to all of that beautiful yarn when you are gone? 

    You have some really nice yarn and you don’t want it to all end up at Goodwill, right?

    Here are some things to think through when making a Yarn Will.

  • Do you have knitting friends who would love some of your favorites?  

    One friend who likes striping? One who likes Wollmeise? One who likes anything with cashmere? Make a list of people you would like to pass yarn on to (and who would welcome it). Maybe you will leave a few special skeins to a few special friends and the rest can go to your knitting group to sort through. Write that down.

  • Sort your yarn stash into different bins.    

  • Bin A = the really good stuff that will go to your knitting group or knitting friends. Favorite brands, favorite blends, favorite colorways. (Note – this also might be your favorite bin to knit out of. It’s not a bad thing to use up all of the Bin A yarn yourself!) Put a list of your knitting friends or knitting group in that bin.
  • Bin B = Good basics and good quality yarn. This is great yarn to donate to school knitting programs, church knitting groups, and retirement centers. They all should be knitting with good quality yarn, and they will love the donation. Put a list of local schools, churches, and/or retirement centers in that bin.
  • Bin C = The yarn you don’t really like any more, or yarn you bought on sale and now don’t know what to do with. I would like to make a case for donating that yarn to Goodwill right now! Why keep it? But if you still like having it on hand, then this is the bin for your family to donate to Goodwill one day. People are always looking for bargains and someone will no doubt be delighted to come upon that in the aisles. Put a note to donate that bin to Goodwill.
  • What about patterns, books, needles and accessories?

    Needles and accessories would be a great addition to most school knitting programs, as well as churches and retirement centers. Patterns and books are something that your knitting friends at your knitting group might like to look through.

It’s not something we really like to think about – a time when we won’t be around to use our yarn and a need for a Yarn Will. But with a little careful planning, your family will be able to give something special to a lot of people through the things that you purchased with love and great intentions.

Food for thought.

Sheri and The Loopy Ewe Crew

P.S. And then, of course, there is the fabric stash …. 🙂


    1. Well – as someone who definitely has more than three bins – I just mean you’ll have your A bin(s), your B bin(s) and your C bin(s). 😉

  1. This is where one may need a “shovel buddy”. The discreet friend you make a pact with to go in and “take care of” their craft items (calling it a stash makes it sound like you’ve hoarded a bit) so the spouse doesn’t have to. And doesn’t have to see exactly how much you’ve acquired over the years. Just saying.

  2. Hi Sheri – Good topic. As a lawyer, I’d add that in order for your “Yarn Will” to be effective, you should have an actual Will, and you should work with your lawyer to be sure it contains a provision that will ensure that your Executor or Personal Representative (whatever the person is called in your state) will abide by any written instructions you leave (outside of the actual Will, such as the “Yarn Will”). Otherwise, there is no legal requirement for family/Executor or anyone else to abide by the “Yarn Will” after you’re gone. Great idea!!

  3. I’ve told my husband to take all my “fiber stuff” to a specific local yarn shop, where they will be able to help him evaluate it and get it to people who will love it.

  4. I’ve sent a link to this blog to my old guy. He needs to know what to do with my stash. It will also help him to understand why I have so much. I do try to knit from bucket A, but then that new indie dyer comes along…..

  5. WHAT? We can’t take all that gorgeous yarn with us to the afterlife? I know there will be knitting in Heaven!

  6. I have a yarn executrix who will be charged with distributing my yarn. Hadn’t thought about the needles and the books- I guess Jaya will take care of those too! When I got my gall bladder out on emergency surgery few years ago, “Jaya’s in charge of the yarn” was one of the few instructions I gave.

  7. I downsized about a year ago and did some sorting of my yarn stash. SOme yarn was donated and some given away. There ar still ten or twelve bins left but I am realizing that at age 79 there is more yarn than time left. I am making a list of friends and art groups for donating and gifting. This is not a project I enjoy, but it is necessary. Looking at and touching these beautiful fibers is enjoyable so maybe you can consider this a visit with old and new friends of the fiber kind.

  8. My yarn stash is mainly sock yarn and is included in my will and on my homeowener’s insurance. No one else in my family knits or crochets so the yarn has specific executors to handle it and all knitting/crocheting items including hooks, needles and patterns. I have rarely seen yarn at my local Goodwill locations: needles, yarn and books don’t seem to make it to the sale floor (at least when I visit) so the Retails Shop will be getting quite a bit for the Humane Society!

  9. 2 years ago a knitting friend passed unexpectedly. She had a stash that could be labeled A Sable Stash and then some! Her sister-in-law organized a wine and cheese party, invited all of Pat’s friends and we chose and bought yarn. The money was donated to the scholarship fund set up in Pat’s memory. Wonderful memories were shared, and money was raised for a great cause.

  10. Even though I know I will not live forever I have approached this particular thought with some very proactive thinking of how to accommodate this fact into my knitting consciousness.

    A few years ago I figured my rate or yarn usage per year, or sort of a rough idea anyways. Once done that I figured that I would knit at or near that rate each year. Then I went and looked at my stash with a discerning eye and figured at that time that I had enough yarn for 8 years of knitting.

    I am sad to report that I now have about 12 years of yarn to knit. I think I better get busy. Real busy but those new yarns just keep telling me how much they want to come home to me all the time and especially on Monday nights!

  11. I have thought about this topic and instructed my husband and boys what to do. BUT as Jen A says, I better put it in writing and include it with important documents. There are a number of local fiber guilds that would be my choice after family members have had first chance.

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