Stash Enjoyment 2021 – June Update

The top of a china hutch is shown packed full of many skeins of yarn in varying colors

If this is the first post you’re seeing about my goals to work from stash and buy less new yarn for the year of 2021, please check out the Stash Enjoyment 2021 Introductory Post, or search for “Stash Enjoyment” in the search bar of this website.

The photo above is a quick snap of what currently comprises about 20% of my stash. We’ve all acknowledged it’s a tad ridiculous, yes?

How has the year gone so far?
January-February were pretty good, March-April I didn’t track much (at all) since I moved fairly suddenly in the middle of March. I fully admit to stress buying around the time of the move, and went back to my old habits a bit – “hey, that’s pretty! Sold.”

Overall, for the year of 2021 I’m currently at -1,120.5 yds of yardage for the year. Does that mean that’s all I’ve used? No, it just means in general I’m buying slightly less than I’m using.. but only slightly instead of significantly as I’d planned. So far I’ve used about 9,300 yds of yarn this year, which is on par with my expectations. I’ve estimated that I use 15,000-25,000 yds of yarn per year, depending on the year and how good I get at finishing projects.

Does that mean this year is a wash?
Nope! Here’s some tangible progress for you:
1. I finished my oldest WIP a couple days ago!
A neon mint green sock with cabling resembling a beehive is on Ruth's left foot. The cabling wraps around the leg and down the foot.
There’s a second one of these – a more full post is coming; these are Beeswax Socks that I started in May of 2020 and just finished two days ago (June 27, 2021). I’m thrilled that my longest-standing WIP (not counting scrappy projects) is now from August of 2020! I hope that by the end of the year I will have completed all outstanding projects with the exception of the ongoing scrappy blankets I’m working on.

2. I haven’t bought any yarn in 1 month, 1 week, and 1 day as of today. I have a little countdown/up app on my phone and I’m enjoying seeing the number go up! The only exception I’ve made is that I have a standing sock-set subscription to Yarnaceous that I already authorized through the end of 2021. So, while that’s technically about 500 yds in per month, I don’t count it as buying because I’m not impulsively seeing it and buying it on a whim.

3. I’ve been working on my scrappy projects. Since I don’t count yardage until projects are completed, my scrap blankets will have HUGE yardage deficits for me – I just don’t get to count them yet.
4 granny squares lie on a stone background. They vary signifcantly in color
This is my new “Stash Enjoyment” blanket square; each square uses approximately 34g of yarn – whether dk or fingering weight held double. So, with 10 squares I’ve got 335 yds of yarn out so far when this is complete. I think I’m shooting for a 64 square blanket (8×8) or possibly 80 squares (8×10), so I’m somewhere between 10-15% complete with this project. If you want the pattern for this, check out the Stash Enjoyment Pattern Post!

4. I’m trying new things!
A crochet bralette lies on a picnic table. The cups are a variegated pink, orange, red; the band is a light gray in an arrow pattern.
This is my first (and failed) attempt at crocheting a bralette! I thought it would be fun to try my hand at designing (for myself) a comfy cotton bralette for summer. This one took me only 1 day, including lots of frogging, and I know exactly what I did wrong and how I’ll change it for the next one. That’s a win! Plus, it used stash 🙂

Plans for the rest of the year:

  1.  Finish up all active WIPS before the end of the year. Scrap blankets may be an exception if needed. Current active WIPS are (from oldest to newest):
    1. Malthinae Mitts
    2. Socks for my 5 year old (these may get frogged and re-started. I think his feet are already too big for the size I started!)
    3. Alpaca Shawl design (also may be frogged)
    4. Sock Madness Qualifier Socks (1 complete, second one just needs the heel turn and foot)
    5. “Ice Cream for Breakfast” shawl design
    6. Salt & Honey Slouch (I hope to finish this quickly for the end of the Uplift Make Along!)
    7. “Boob Window” by Majestich Designs – Just needs the body completed. Maybe 10″ more of 1×1 ribbing?
    8. Tapestry Crochet Handprint Bag (base is done, body needs to be completed)
    9. Louisette Socks for my mommy! (Just started today, I’m hoping to whip them out quickly)

If I remember to, I want to come back and cross these projects off as I get them finished. I’m also planning on a 2:1 project ratio for the second half of the year, if possible. That means I need to finish or frog 2 projects for each new 1 I want to cast on.

Yarn Buying Plans for the rest of 2021
I’d like to keep it to just the Yarnaceous subscription. With all the projects and designs I have to finish, plus my stash goals, I don’t really see a reason why I would need to buy any yarn. Right now when I see something pretty I ask myself “what would you use it for and how quickly could you actually use it?”
If the answer is not that I would cast it on right away for a necessary project, I move on and remind myself that my non-buying countdown currently has over a month on it and I don’t really want it to start over from zero!

If you’re working from stash this year, how’s it going for you? Are you enjoying the process of creating/buying more thoughtfully, or did you miss the mark a little bit like I did?

Remember that we’re all growing and changing people – don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t hit one of your goals; use that miss as a way to re-assess what a realistic goal is for you. Did you miss one that was attainable by not sticking to your plan, or did you plan something that wasn’t reasonable for you right now?

❤ Ruth

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