One thing that unites knitters and crocheters the world over is the stash. Your personal yarn collection might vary in size but we all have them. It maybe that you can’t pass a basket of hand-dyed laceweight or that you love a bargain but there is always room for a little bit more yarn. Plus there is the bag of oddments and half-finished balls that will come in useful some time.
Some people go on yarn diets but these can be a temporary solution. We know of one knitter who recently visited a yarn shop but didn’t acquire any more yarn. She was very proud of this but then admitted that she did come away with recommendations for a number of yarn shops she might come across during an upcoming overseas trip.
So in the spirit of public service, here are a few thoughts on ways to reduce your stash.
Lots of charities look for small knits to raise money, help people or raise awareness of their cause. We regularly feature these in the UKHKA newsletter – for example dementia projects such as Archie the Scarecrow and Twiddlemuffs – and we love to hear about great initiatives we can share with the knitting community. We’ll be adding new projects once we launch the revamped UKHKA webste.
There is even a charity initiative where you can knit for yourself or others and still raise money. P/hop, Pennies per Hours of Pleasure, raises money for the medical humanitarian charity Médecins Sans Frontières and has a range of great stashbusting and one skein projects. Knitters can choose from patterns donated by designers and pay what they think they are worth (ie how much pleasure they’ll gain from knitting the item). There are hats, socks and shawls as well as a gloves and fingerless mitts including the very popular Cranfords which use under 50g of 4-ply.
Toys are a great way to use up oddments and are great for gifts or for selling for a spot on fundraising. Lots of the knitting magazines carry toy patterns and a Ravelry search will bring up loads of options. You can have a lot of fun with colour choices for monsters, dinosaurs, fish etc.
Experiment with colourwork
Look out for small fair isle or other multicolour projects like kid’s hats, coasters and mug cosies. If you are nervous about using more than one colour or trying a new technique like double knitting a small project is a great way to learn before you buy all the yarn for a full sweater.
Check out other people’s recommendations
The great thing about Ravelry and Pinterest is that someone else has already started compiling stashbusting lists and recommendations. For example this Pinterest board from Melodie Dustin is full of colourful stashbusting ideas.
If you have a stashbuster list or Pinterest board please share it with us below. And if you are planning a Stashbust Summer tell us how you get on.