Stash Busting Journey – 2019 #3

Welcome to my journey to reduce the amount of yarn in my stash this year. Check out my previous posts for background information on how I accumulated so much yarn and how I currently have my stash organized.

And welcome to those of you who are joining me on this journey and want to reduce your stash as well.

Today’s post is the start of my actually using up some of my yarn. As you may have gathered from my previous post, I am GREAT at buying yarn, but NOT SO GREAT at using it up in a timely manner.

Now, a search on GOOGLE can provide lots of suggestions from other fiber artists on how they keep their stashes in check. Some are even so disciplined that they don’t have a stash – they only buy what they need, when they need it. Well, great for them, but not helpful to the rest of us!

My brain has thought of many strategies (yay, shower time!), but my procrastination has prevented me from acting on them.


I have decided on 2 strategies, and am happy to say, I have implemented them both! (Ok, it’s only been 2 weeks, but, hey, that’s a good start, right???  Better than nothing!!)

Strategy #1

Pick one of my bags of sorted yarn (see previous post on how I sorted it) and pick a pattern or 2 and use up most of that bag.

So, the first bag of yarn I picked is this pompom yarn from Bernat called ZAPP (got it at the tent sale in Listowel in 2015).  I had made a couple of kids hats with it years ago. I have 48 balls of it and am going to use it all up making 3 sizes of hats (infant, toddler and child sizes). Any partial balls left over will be used to make striped hats. As of today, I have finished 8 toddler and 4 baby hats, and have used 12 balls up. Not a bad start, right??

Once this bag of yarn is done, I will move on to another.  I’m not necessarily going to use all the yarn up from a particular bag, but at least make a sizable dent in it. However the ZAPP yarn will get all used up – I really never want to work with it again – lol!!  I can see why this yarn was discontinued.

Strategy #2

I call this one – Ball a Day. I have made a goal of using up, on average, at least 1 ball of yarn a day. Size of ball doesn’t matter, so if I am tight on time, using up a ball of Bernat Handicrafter cotton to make a dishcloth counts!!!

Progress so far – I started Ball a Day on my most recent trip to my Northern Studio, aka, the cottage, on July 18. I used 3 balls to finish an afghan, and have used 12 balls of the Zapp yarn, for a grand total of…15 balls in 10 days!!

Now that I am back home, with many more distractions (Facebook, I’m looking at you – lol!), I’m going to have to try to keep focused on these strategies. Feel free to write a comment every so often asking how it’s going.

Do you have stash busting strategies that work for you? Leave a comment below – I would love to read what works for you!

Coming up, I will be publishing the kids hat pattern I designed to use up the Zapp yarn. It can be used for any yarn. Subscribe to my newsletter, so you will be notified as soon as I release it. It will be free and published here on my website.

Until next time,

May all your yarn be knot-free.



Have you ever said to yourself, I have too much yarn? Do you have bags or bins of yarn in every nook and cranny in your house (and garage, under the stairs, in the closet, under the bed, in a storage locker, hanging out at a friend’s house)?

Well, me too.  And this year, I am committed to doing something about taming the stash, so I am putting it in writing, with you all as witnesses, to help me be accountable – lol!!

So come join me on my Stash Busting Journey – 2019. I will be posting regular updates on methods that I will be using (hopefully successfully, but I’ll be honest and post any that don’t work as well). I know I won’t get through all my stash this year – and, frankly, I love having yarn to look at around me, but I have got to tame this beast!!

Ok, let the journey begin!!

Stash Busting Journey – 2019 #1

Ok, some background information for those of you who don’t know me. I started my crochet journey back in the early 1980’s while at university. Up until about 1997, I purchased yarn when I had a project in mind, made the item, and usually used up most of what I purchased. I was also machine knitting (from 1992) and had a few cones of yarn, but not a great stash. I was doing a lot more sewing in the 80’s and 90’s, so I had a larger fabric stash. In 1997, my aunt was ill, and my cousin was helping her sort out her craft supplies. They knew I crocheted, and very generously gifted me with 2 large (garbage sized) bags of yarn. And so the stash began….

Fast forward a few years. Early 2000’s, my focus started to switch from sewing (kids were getting older), to machine knitting. Machine knitters tend to like to use yarn on cones (usually 1-2 lbs each). I joined a club (Burlington Machine Knitters Guild – great group ) and started hearing about sales of cone yarn. So went to one close by, and came home with about 250 cones of yarn!  Then heard about another one, a bit further away. Came home with about 5 large bags of cones.  And so the stash was quickly built. 

This was all new to me – having yarn and not a project planned to make it. And I think this is one of my creative weaknesses – seeing some yarn and not knowing exactly what I will make using it. So the yarn sits and waits for me to be inspired.

So now we are at January 2012, when I decided that I would like to share my knowledge of crochet with others. I became a certified crochet instructor and starting teaching privately and at a local Michaels store. I also started being more active on social media sites, which is great for the wealth of information available.

However, the downfall is that you also get information about great yarn sales! And one of the biggest that is less than a 2 hour drive from me, is the Spinrite sales in Listowel, ON.  So, in August of 2015, I went….and I shopped….and 5 extra large bags later, over 400 balls of yarn later, my stash was now huge.  Also around this time, Coats and Clark were closing their outlet in Mississauga – had some great deals that I couldn’t pass up.

When I taught at Michael’s, frequently it was at a table in the yarn department. I used to joke with my students that I had more yarn by weight than the store did. I may not have been joking-lol!

Yarn also has a way of finding me – I have been gifted yarn from someone moving out of the country, and by a neighbour, whose wife passed away the year before and he was having difficulty finding homes for all her supplies.  Now, I have shared the wealth of a lot of the donated yarn. Members of the Milton Sit and Stitch group had fun in the fall of 2018 selecting yarns they liked. I also donated a couple of large bags to a recent refugee in Canada, as crocheting is helping her with all the stress she is facing in her life as her family is currently in separate countries.

Which now leads us to 2019. I have never denied I have a lot of yarn, but, I think, seeing the difficulty of my neighbour dealing with his wife’s stash, has been a wake-up call for me that it really is too much. So my goal is to use up as much as I realistically can this year. I have lots of ideas – now just to implement some of them.

Need to reduce your stash? Come join me on my journey. Make sure you have signed up to my newsletter list to receive notification of new posts.

Until next time,

May all your yarn be knot-free.