2012 - the year of the Yarn Diet!

Yes, you heard me - a voluntary yarn diet!

I have long since had to admit that I HAVE WAY TOO MUCH YARN !!!  This is not necessarily a bad thing - but I have decided to face up to the reality (standing up and holding my knitting needles aloft) - I am a yarn addict!

So here's what I'm thinking.....(moving the knitting needles to over my heart)...

In 2012, I pledge to....

Buy yarn with more consciousness...by....

Doing a full inventory of my yarn stash.  This will make me fully conscious of what I actually have in my stash.

Shopping my stash first.  When I want to start a new project, have a thorough search of my stash to see what I have on hand that may be suitable for the design.

Swatch, Swatch, Swatch!  When I find something that I even think may work - swatch the design!  Sometimes just doing a swatch satisfies the itch.  I used to do this even when contemplating buying yarn for a design - buy one ball and swatch.  Sometimes you figure out that you don't like the yarn, the stitch the design is done in, or some other detail....and you end up not wanting to knit the project anyway!  So I am going to apply this to shopping the stash first, then swatching with the stash yarn.

Keep an eye out for designs that would work with my stashed yarn.  These days with the joy of instant pdf purchasing on line - well, what a rush eh?  So instead of getting my high by buying yarn willy nilly, I will keep my eyes open for patterns, available via pdf, that are suitable for the yarn I have on hand.  In this way, for a very small expenditure I can get the excitement of the instant pattern purchase, do a swatch with yarn I have on hand, and satisfy my need for gratification.  (And lets face is - pdfs are easier to store than bags of yarn.)

Surrounding myself with supportive knitters.  If you are a knit buddy, help me out eh?  Shop my stash before you go out and buy yarn!  Honestly - I'll be putting yarn that I know I will never knit on my destash page.  These yarns will be going for a song - so that I can tell myself...  "see, you bought that on a whim, and now you are having to find it a new home".  This will reinforce the buy with more consciousness plan.

Knit every day, even just a row or round - focus on the project in hand.  I've been known to jump from one project to another - in the excitement of the new project, the old one gets left behind, unfinished, unwanted and unloved.  THIS MUST STOP!!!!  I can totally see the advantage of having an easy project for travel knitting, a wonderful stranded project for the joy of colour and detail of the pattern, and something in between for when you want a change. Just because you choose to knit on a different project today than the one you knit on yesterday shouldn't mean that you have abandoned yesterday's project. So, to reinforce that.....

Have only 3 projects on the go at one time!  I must finish one project before casting on a new project.  If I find that something just isn't working out for whatever reason, I will frog it and put the yarn back in the stash, or in the "looking for a new home" category.

Admitting that sometimes I just made a mistake!   Sometimes I wonder why I bought a specific yarn - perhaps my taste has changed or I was just caught up in the moment (easy to happen in the midst of a yarn store frenzy).   I have to be honest with myself, don't try and cover it up - put it out there on the destash page and give this yarn the opportunity to find a new and loving home - it's only reasonable - let another lucky knitter enjoy it!

Give myself the occasional treat.  There are times when you HAVE TO BUY THE YARN - like when the new Rowan magazine comes out - you know Rowan - they put out the magazine, featuring lovely designs, and then they discontinue either the shades that the design needs, or even the yarn line itself.  So you MUST buy the yarn for a Rowan design when the magazine comes out - IF you want to knit the item exactly as shown. After all, a Rowan yarn pack is a good investment. To make this work with the Great 2012 Yarn Diet, you must shop with consciousness and restraint.  If the design can be worked up in stash yarn - well, use the stash yarn - but if you want to knit the Rowan design and it just won't be the same without the specified Rowan Yarn - well, sometimes a girl has to treat herself.

Go to the local yarn store ONLY when I have something specific to purchase - don't go just to browse.  My local yarn store is a half-hour drive away - it's definitely worth the drive to Ancaster.....but since it is a bit of a drive, I won't be popping in all the time like I did when there was a yarn store here in town....this will actually be a great advantage to my 2012 Yarn Diet.

PS:  Just because you are on a Yarn Diet doesn't mean you can't buy.....knitting accessories!

A couple of readers have indicated that they will be doing a Yarn Diet themselves this year - and if you'd like to join us (you don't have to follow my yarn diet guide - make up your own) - I'd love to list you here on a "2012 Yarn Dieters" page - just drop me a line or leave a comment and I'll post a link to your page and we can all help each other to stick to our plans for 2012.



  1. I'm in. Seriously. We'll hold each other up.

  2. Me too. I've been thinking about this for a while, and before Christmas started to evaluate some of my yarn. My only problem will be a planned trip to Munich in February. You know, that city not too far from Wollmeise. It will be hard to resist:)

  3. Hello my fellow addict!

    First, I love the above and the fact that you started your list of yarn diet by saying you are going to buy more consciously made me laugh out loud.

    I too am on a diet. This will not surprise you given England/Scotland. I knew I had a lot but when I figured out I have enough for 47 projects and that there will be wool (sometimes a lot) left over, well ... I have set up a "shop" on My Ravelry Stash pages to hopefully keep me focused. Basically it's my inventory.

    I am also addicted to knitting trips now too, so in June I am going to Iceland, where you know I will be buying some lopi and some Love Story, some new lace-weight Icelandic yarn by Helene Magnusson. Helene is leading the trip.

    Good luck ... And lots of support from Peterborough! We need to come uP with a name for our support group (like AA).

  4. I think one project at a time is sane. Put your heart and soul into this one project...get it over with then move on. This advice doesn't need support..just do it.


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