I've been on a self-imposed "yarn diet" since right before Christmas, as I've mentioned a few times before. You might be misled, if you are not a fiber artist, to believe that I have been eating yarn. That is not the case. See, when I left for 'Nam I got rid of almost all of the yarn I had hanging around (I didn't really have a stash, per se) and only in the last few weeks of my time abroad did I really start craving needle arts. Apparently in Hanoi there's a thriving yarn and knitting scene, but not so much down in HCMC. Too hot, I guess. Well, good thing we weren't in Hanoi, because as soon as I touched down in Vermont I started hanging out at the local yarn shop, examining various twists and lengths and buying yarn in tiny little guilty splurges. Then I found the Re-Store (think Goodwill for art supplies) and went on a major, less-guilty-cause-its-so-cheap yarn stashing. I immediately realized the negative long-term effects that having a stash might bring, so I started listening to the Stash and Burn podcast, which is quite fantastic but not so great at helping me want to not buy yarn (there's more oohing and ahhing over various knitting projects and yarn qualities than there are encouraging words to help avoid "stash enhancement").
There are good things about having a supply of yarn available to you in your very own abode: when you want to pick up the needles and try something new, you can. No need to make a trip to the store. Um, it gives you options, too... okay, and it's just fun. Supplies are fun. Craft supplies are double fun. Besides, it's not rampant consumerism: it's handwork. I am choosing not to run into Old Navy and buy a couple cheapo sweaters, because that money could be saved for yarn. So I can make my own sweaters. See, much better.
So, I enhanced my stash a little bit all summer long. Then we moved to Williamsburg and I had a new local yarn store to hang out in and watch for sales. By the time winter was setting in, I realized that I had what could potentially be a problem. I had what was for me a lot of yarn. [I know now that it could be much, much worse]. The problem was/is, that I have not much time for knitting but the raw materials for dozens of projects, taunting me behind my desk and calling for me to pick up and begin yet another handknitted something or other. So in December '07 I started myself on a new regiment: no new yarn. Not yet. Not till, oh, say my birthday in April. A good 4 months away.
I have been cruising along knitting from my stash for almost 4 months now. I have rediscovered some gems in those plastic tubs, and I've also had reason to scratch my head and wonder just what the heck I was thinking when I bought that very pretty but really inappropriately hairy yarn, which is the color of a shiny penny but also sheds its little mohairs all over the place. I'll admit to some pretty hardcore cravings when hanging out in the yarn store, especially now that I am the owner of a hefty gift certificate to said store (my wallet would never even need to come out... But NO! Save it!).
Anyway, the store is having a yarn swap tomorrow, and I woke up thinking about all the things I might bring to try to exchange for something better. Because that is not buying yarn, that is getting rid of yarn. For a few hours. I realized that even though I kind of did it a few months ago, I needed to reorganize the stash. So I snuck out of bed and pulled it out.
I took a good look. I photographed things I hadn't already photographed, and then listed them on my Ravelry stash page. I made a bag full of acrylic junk that I honestly will never knit with and would be more appreciated by my kids at school (so far their yarn obsessions have them concerned mostly with quantity, not fiber content or even color). I took out what I thought I might be able to swap tomorrow at the shop (most odd balls left over from projects, and a few single skeins of things I can't think of a project for). The most fun thing that I did was take my leftover ball of Noro Kureyon Sock yarn (remember the long rainbow fingerless gloves?) and break it into solid bobbins of each color. Since Noro has these long color fades, I also made a little hank of the in-between bits, where the colors are transitioning:
Here are the solid colored bits: