(My stash-flash photo from December 2020)
Are you tired of no-buy pledges that happen in the new year? ME TOO!
It's easy to start out with good intentions but no concrete plans, or to set unrealistic goals because "it's a new year!
For 2021 I set a somewhat-vague goal to "enjoy the stash I already have." This worked fairly well in the first half of the year but really fell apart in the second half. (For more details, check out my Stash Enjoyment 2021 Reflection Post)
While my method wasn’t effective, I still have the same feelings about my yarn and fiber stash: I bought this because I like it and it’s pretty, so I want to use it!
I know we joke in the yarn community that buying yarn and using it are two different hobbies, but for my current lifestyle and goals I want them to be the same hobby.
So, I'm changing up my method! I'm attempting to create concrete-but-attainable goals.
**Please note this is just what I'm doing right now. I have no illusions that all of this will happen, but for the way my mind works I find that writing plans helps get at least some of the things done as opposed to none.
- This year I want to end the year with 12,000 yds less than I started with. That's an average of 1,000 yds out per month, though I know it'll likely come in smaller or larger monthly totals. I'm basing this number off the fact that for the past two years I've used an average of 19,000 yds/year, so I know this goal is attainable as long as I don't over-purchase as I have in the past.
- Method: use 3 skeins BEFORE purchasing 1.
- I want to finish all projects started before 2022. My current oldest project is my Solar Kaleidoscope blanket which I started in May of 2020. It's been languishing since I published the pattern (it's scrappy, so it can be extended to the desired size), so I'll be joining the remainder of currently-made hexis and calling it done.
- Method: Start with the oldest project and work my way forward.
- I want to clear my design backlog. I currently have 3 outstanding yarn support designs that will be published this year (designers - if you have yarn support, do your best to meet agreed upon publication dates, or keep the dyer apprised well ahead of time if something happens that would interfere with that).
- Method: Publish the shawl first, the cowl second, the socks third.
Another way I'm going to use up stash is to make and meet some specific project goals:
- Make at least 4 sweaters in 4 different styles. Those styles can refer to construction (raglan, yoke, pullover, cardigan, set-in sleeves, cocoon) design elements (such as texture, cables, lace, etc) or more. The point is to mix it up!
- Make 5 gifts intentionally - not just items that can end up being gifted, but actually make gifts for people because I've thought of them ahead of time.
- Complete 4 blankets (WIPS allowed)
- Make 6 pairs of sock (dk and shorties allowed)
- Make a non-sweater garment like a skirt or pants
- Publish 8 new patterns
Lastly, the fiber stash!
- I want to spin at least 20 oz of fiber this year
- I want to spin a real three-ply
- I want to make at least 3 projects from handspun yarn
Is it possible none of this will happen? Oh yeah! But the journey is part of the fun. There's no penalty for debating from these methods and goals, but I know that when I keep to my plan I achieve my goals.
If you'd like to join me in a zero-pressure enjoyment of your yarn/patterns/fabric/any crafting stash items this year, please use #StashEnjoyment2022 on social media or tag me. I'm @RuthBrasch on IG and TikTok (those are my two most active platforms).