Is it possible to be stashless?

by Hanna Gough

Every knitter or crocheter I have ever spoken to has some form of stash.

Bear in mind that the size of a stash can vary from maker to maker. 

Some people make the act of stashing craft supplies and filling a room a full time hobby (I see you) while others think that things are out of control if one bag for life starts to overflow. 

"How big is your stash?" can come across as quite a personal question. One does not wish to be judged on the size of their woolly collection! There'll be no judging from me, just curiosity!

Some things I'd like to know about your stash: 

1. Does it make you happy? 

When you open the cupboard/room/storage unit to dig out a ball or two, are you overwhelmed by the sight of your stash? Does it fill you with dread/excitement when you think about the yarns still in their original packaging? Is an encounter with your stash like entering the Valley of the Kings in 1922? I really want to know. 

I once had an entire bedroom filled with happy yarn purchases. I had no kids, a steady job and disposable income. Yarn shopping brought me great joy. Although I wasn't using much of it, I felt like I was and was therefore feeling crafty and creative. Collecting brought me joy. Making did not. 

2. Are you using it? 

Are you a collector or a maker? How much are you actually using? Making plans for projects is great and all but... you know where I'm going with this. We all make plans!

3. Have you ever tried to reduce your stash? 

I did a destash on Ebay in November last year. I personally found it liberating to get rid of all the s**t I didn't really want or need any more. Back when I was a beginner I just bought anything that looked interesting. We can talk about why you should stop and think about yarns (splitting, squeaking, pilling, tangling etc) another time. Seeing only a handful of yarns/kits sitting in boxes as opposed to a mountain helped me to focus better. Another plus was that a lot of the people taking the yarn from me actually wanted or needed it for something. Someone was making dog jackets, someone else knitted for the homeless. They needed it more than I did because they were actually going to use it. 

I understand that there are a lot of makers who have bought what they wanted and that's that. It can stay in the stash forever if it makes you happy. I just wondered if anybody had ever tried to lighten the load?

Something I think about when I see estate sales is the sheer amount of yarn sat there. I don't think I'd want to put my family through that. How would they know what the good stuff was? I'd rather they buried me in my favourite handmade clothes, in all honesty. 

These days I have a much more manageable stash. I enjoy it. It is only a couple of bags and a box. It is probably still a large collection to some, but for me it feels like a habit that is under control. Those yarns I want aren't going anywhere, and I have a lot of what I'd need right here. Plus I don't feel so bad about it that I don't make anything. 

4. Do you know anyone that doesn't have a stash? Are you stashless?

I want to know what it's like. Does it give you more focus? Are you more disciplined with seeing things through to the end? Do you only make for a purpose e.g. a new baby in the family? A new Knit Along? 

Is it possible to be stashless? 

I would really love to know! By the way, at no point have I asked how big it is. That is your business!