Knitting and Minimalism: Part Two

So, last week I was all fired up with enthusiasm for some selective pruning of my stash and I happily set about reviewing my yarn stash (yes, all of it) and ensuring that it met one of 3 criteria:
a) beautiful
b) useful
c) intended for a purpose

So, how did I do?

Well, I'm pleased to report that my stash has now shrunk in size from 4 large storage crates and an under-bed drawer to 2.5 crates and the aftermentioned drawer. The latter holds my prized sock yarn and whilst none of it will be leaving my possession anytime soon it does need a tidy up and organisation - so that is my job for this week.

Overall I have sent 2 larger carrier bags to the charity shop and the kids play club - mainly acrylic and leftover skeins or part skeins from projects. It really helped to think of yarn in terms of 'Is this something I will enjoy using?' when deciding which category it fell into.

For some reason I had accummulated quite an array of aran weight yarn in shades of brown and grey. Not the most inspiring thing to look at - I must have been having a throwback to my 1970s childhood at some point. So, out it goes - and my stash is a happier, brighter place for it.

The yarn pictured is my 'good' unwanted yarn and so this is waiting to be photographed (if it isn't already) and listed on my Ravelry destash page.

I am undecided but I'm thinking that I might offer it up to anyone willing to make a contribution to my Just Giving fundraising page in aid of Bliss. I would have to make this available to UK people only, regretably, due to postage charges but I'm thinking that it would be a good way to put my unwanted stash to good use and raise some money into the bargain.

Next up, the book collection as my bookcase is officially FULL.

Knitting and the art of minimalism

I have really enjoyed taking part in the Project 333 challenge and after a month I am starting to see the benefits of simplifying my wardrobe. My morning routine is simpler and calmer with less clutter and fewer choices - and I can pull something out of the wardrobe without releasing an avalanche.

In the interests of decluttering, my mind has turned naturally enough, to my other potential avalanche risk - The Stash.

Like any self respecting knitter I am keeper of a goodly sized stash, but, is it too much, I wonder? Does my stash help my knitting life and imbue me with a sense of calm and satisfaction that I am ready for any knitting challenge or does it threaten to overwhelm me and complicate my knitting life. Hands up that woman (me) who had to buy an extra skein of yarn to finish a project, only to find the missing skein months later in a box of 'deep stash'.

I have no desire to cull the stash severely or to impose any sort of frugal 'cold-sheeping' existance - the idea is just to review it (all of it) and to see what serves a purpose, and what does not.

Employing William Morris' principle of "Keep only what you know to be useful or believe to the beautiful" I will be categorising my yarn into the following groups:

Beautiful Yarns
This doesn't have to have a purpose. It is just beautiful, and lifts my heart when I look at it. It is my source of inspiration, of comfort and of joy. I am lucky enough to have some beautiful sock yarn and laceweight yarn in my stash which is lovingly hand-dyed and a source of pure joy.

Yarns with a purpose
Yarns for which I have a definite project in mind. It doesn't matter when I intend to actually make it, but I must have a defined use for it (and linking it to my Ravelry queue wouldn't hurt either)

Useful Yarns
This includes baby yarns (although I must have enough to make an actual garment) and superwash dk/aran suitable for hats and gift giving (ditto regarding the amounts though). I know for a fact that I have many part-skeins in this category which I have saved for some unspecified time in the future.

Everything else
If a yarn doesn't fall into either of these 3 categories then it will end up here and will be destined to leave my house in some form or another (charity shop, gifting, de-stashing etc)

I don't have a huge amount of free time this week so every day I'll take one of my storage crates - I have 4 and work through it, applying these principles.

Next week, I'll let you know how I got on. And if you don't hear from me, I'll be buried under a yarn avalanche somewhere :)