2012 Year in Review: Surmount the Stash

It’s been just over a year since I first learned about Revelations of a Delusional Knitter and her Surmount the Stash challenge.

This has been an interesting year for me in terms of stash.  I started using Ravelry’s features more actively, which helped me track my stash more closely.  I also started working with Galler Yarns, and I received more yarn support for upcoming designs in 2012 than in any previous year.  In spite, or because of all of these things, I’ve actually been able to make a noticeable dent in my yarn stash and am definitely ending 2012 with less yarn than I started with!

In December, I didn’t finish many projects since I’m working on a very large secret project.  I did manage to use up 112 yards on little holiday projects.

I also added 79 yards to my stash in yarn support remnants.  I reorganized my yarn bins so that I could store everything in 5 bins rather than having a box of yarn support on the side.  Overall, not a very significant month in terms of my stash!

During the course of the year, I learned a few things that may be helpful to you if stashbusting is on your list of New Year’s Resolutions.

  • Talking about my stash helped keep me accountable.  I kept track of my stashbusting efforts through my monthly Surmount the Stash updates and I am also active on the Surmount the Stash group on Ravelry.
  • Tracking yardage was more effective for me than tracking skeins.  For my first few updates, I talked about the number of skeins I used up or bought.  Later I learned that I used a lot more yarn in partial skeins (especially for charity projects), so I decided to track by yardage.  I compared the yardage used to skeins of Red Heart Super Saver so I could still have a visual reference.
  • Be thoughtful about purchases.  I approached yarn festivals and yarn crawls with a plan, including a monetary budget or skein limit (or both).
  • Let it go.  While it would be nice to sell every bit of yarn I don’t plan to use, it was often better to take a loss on what was spent on the yarn in exchange for more space and less clutter in my home.  I donated yarn to charity and gave some away.  I sold other skeins at a discount to move them out of my apartment.
  • Don’t forget about trades.  I needed certain colors for a project for a swap over the summer, and I was able to get what I needed by trading and buying partial skeins on Ravelry.  I ended up with just the right amounts and for less money.
  • Remain flexible.  Your priorities may change as your stash shifts.  I wasn’t worried about yarn support when I started my stashbusting efforts but now I plan to track it so I can keep a closer eye on my stash.
For 2013, I’m planning to keep whittling away at my stash to keep it more manageable.

What are your stash plans for 2013?



Giveaway: Artyarns Shawl for All Seasons Kit

Confession time: Before I started working on surmounting my stash, I pretty much entered every yarn giveaway I came along.  It was by winning one such giveaway from Jimmy Beans Wool that the Artyarns Shawl for All Seasons Kit became part of my collection.

This is actually a pretty cool kit in the Purple Velvet colorway.  Apparently, it usually sells for over $60.  It is even available for both knitting and crocheting.

So why am I giving it away? Well, I’ve discovered that I don’t need quite as much bling in my crochet projects as this kit provides.  And since I don’t plan to use it, I’d rather it ends up with someone else who might get a lot of pleasure from it.

This giveaway is open to all readers.  Enter by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Friday, January 4, 2013.

Surmount the Stash – November Review

November was an interesting month, stashwise.  I actually made solid progress on stashbusting.

My accomplishments

  • I finished several gift projects made from stash, including two projects for my friend’s new baby, two holiday gifts for my dad’s siblings, and a gift for my dad’s partner.  I also made two little crochet sweater ornaments that will eventually become gifts, but I’m not sure who will be the recipients yet.
  • I made a wool-eating scarf for charity.
  • I returned an unwound skein of yarn I bought on a whim in October.

All told, this amounted to a destash of 2,382 yards of yarn, or the equivalent of 6.5 skeins of Red Heart Super Saver.

This giant scarf made with two strands of yarn held together used up 900 yards!

On the other hand…

  • I bought two skeins of yarn to finish up my charity scarf (420 yards).

Now, let’s pause for philosophical musings

I spent much of November working on projects for publication where I received yarn support (the yarn that a yarn company or publisher sends you for free when you are commissioned to design a pattern for them).  I don’t consider yarn support to be part of “my stash”  since I can’t use it freely for whatever I want, or give it away.  Some times, the leftovers are even supposed to be returned to the company.  If I considered it part of my stash, then I would have used up another 816 yards, but I also received more than 30 skeins of yarn support this month…  Hopefully, you’ll agree with my theories on yarn support (because otherwise my stash is dangerously out of control!).

While you ponder this, feel free to download the two free patterns from yarn support projects I finished in November.  (Click the photo to link to the pattern download.)

The All Weather Cowl, a Tunisian crochet pattern.


The Givin’ Me Fever Pom Pom Hat, a knitting pattern. (Photo (c) Kollabora.)

The Verdict

Assuming you agree with me, I used 1,962 yards more than I bought in this month, so I consider myself victorious over the stash.

December goals

During December, I don’t expect to get much done in terms of stashbusting since most of my crafting time will be focused on designs for future publication.  But I would like to come up with stash goals for 2013, since I want to continue to reduce my stash.


How are your stashbusting efforts going?

For more Surmount the Stash updates, visit the Ravelry group here.