Stashdown

Stashdown 2018: Q3

2018Stashdown

It’s time once again to look at my 2018 Stashdown progress; where has this year gone?!

Let’s start with my yarn stash. My green streak has finally been broken: I bought some yarn for a sweater this quarter that I was not able to knit out of stash (plus during Tour de Fleece, while I did not spin a ton, I did spin in a fair amount of yardage). I did knit quite a bit over the summer, but I didn’t finish quite as many projects as I would have needed to in order to negate it. It happens.  July and August were slow months, and September’s finishes were fairly small. So whatever; I am fine with that number for the quarter.  As long as Q4 is stash neutral or even a little green, I will have had an amazing year for using up and rehoming extra yarn. It would take quite a bit of effort to not beat 2017’s -120 yards of stash.

My fiber stash numbers are still OK. I did spin out 3 braids during TdF, but I also rejoined the Hello Yarn fiber club (Have you seen the new club structure? The first entire year is birds!), so I will have a little bit of fiber coming in every month that I need to push back against. When I am spinning, I love to spin, but if I am not careful I can get consumed by it and not do other crafts. I hope as the weather cools a bit I can dedicate the time to spin at least a few hours a week. I miss being in the habit. And if I’m not careful, that one braid per month is going to seem like it multiplies.

So all in all, not a bad quarter! I am looking forward to seeing what I manage to work on in Q4.

Stashdown 2018: Q2

It’s that time again: another 3 months have come and gone, and we are now half way through 2018.

Thanks to a lot of fingering weight sweater knitting and bordering-on-obscene amounts of knitting mojo, I managed to work many skeins of yarn out of stash this quarter. Not a single yard of that amount was from anything other than knitting this time around. It feels great to turn stash into wearable objects; I am especially loving the sweaters I knit so far this year! I am not expecting to perform quite so well in Quarter 3. My fiber stashdown will get a healthy nudge thanks to Tour de Fleece, but that also means my yarn stash will swell a bit with some delicious handspun. I never feel bad about the handspun– I will work up a fair amount of it in the coming year–but I do get a little sad to see how much I slow down during the hottest part of the year. Other crafts will get some love; knitting, not so much.

Stashdown: 2018 Q1

 

 

Here we are again: another quarter of a year gone; another Stashdown update post.

Already, things are off to a good start. Fiber is slow to work out, after another quarter of not really feeling like spinning. I tend to be a crafter who can only truly focus on one craft at a time. I wish I were able to flit more from craft to craft and make a little headway in each. That 4/10 of an ounce of fiber worked out was leftover singles from a couple of Moonrover spins I completed last year. It felt nice to get them off the toilet paper rolls I use as bobbins to hold leftovers. My first quarter yarn stash out number was a strong effort, and I hope to continue that trend the rest of the year. Much of that yarn was worked out of stash, but just under half was destashed as a gift to a friend who could use some yarny therapy in their life right now. So I was happy to rehome a bunch. If I can keep up working out yarn at this pace and with very little incoming, I should be able to meet my goal of having all yarn fit back into my bins by the end of the year. I feel pretty confident at the moment that this is an attainable goal, and I feel a sense of relief and accomplishment seeing the spaces open up. It is less overwhelming to look into those bins and see most of what I have at a quick glance instead of having to make a big deal out of fully unpacking everything to see what I have, choosing, and then repacking it all up. I am getting to the point in a few of the bins were I can simply move a skein or two around to see what is underneath and decide from there.  Even my partials bin is reaching a point where it easily closes and almost has some breathing room. It has come a long way from where it was in May of last year and the lid bowed badly when it was shut!

We will see where my crafting desires take me in quarter two, but so far the urge to knit is holding firm. I should be seeing the end of a couple large projects in the next few months: I have a poncho on needles which is gulping down sock weight yarn as fast as I can feed it in, and I hope to get my fingering weight blanket finished up for sure. Between those two projects alone, I should see a stash reduction of 5,000+ yards of fingering weight partials and full skeins.

What about you, kitten? Have you worked on much this year so far? Are you doing something with your free time other than crafting? Do you have plans for the next few months before the weather gets hot? I would love to hear what you’re working on.

Stashdown 2017: Q4 + Totals

All in all, a pretty good year!

Hello once again, kittens! I know I’m a few days late on this post, but I could not seem to find the time to get my final graphic made and sit at the computer to type things out.

I am pretty pleased with those numbers! Even though my stash reductions were not quite as amazing as I had hoped…they are still heading in the desired direction. I will take a stash maintenance in the yarn category and a 3.4lb loss in the fiber category any day rather than more increases. So I call that a successful year of more mindful stashing! And I *could* have had some actual stash reduction, but anyone who has followed my monthly yardage tallies knows that I had a serious knitting slump from June through November of this year. Knitting next-to-nothing does not make for great amounts of yarn usage: who could have guessed? So this “small” victory feels much bigger because of that fact.

I started off 2017 with 538.9oz of fiber in stash (a whopping 33.7lbs of fluff!) and ended it with 484.2oz (a more healthy 30.3lb); this is a 10% reduction in size. Sounds good to me! A sizable portion of this year’s reduction did come through destashing rather than spinning; spinning was just not my jam this year. I’m not sure why, as when I was spinning, I very much enjoyed it. Maybe because when I’m spinning I am making more yarn, this didn’t sit as well with me when I wasn’t knitting much of anything? I’m hoping to reach a point where I can spin as much as I desire to and knit at a rate that it doesn’t cause any significant stash growth. I’m currently not there. I hope to continue at least this pace of fiber stash reduction in 2018: it would get me below 450oz of in-stash fiber. (And I think it may be enough to finally contain all of my stash in a single unit, which is my main objective? Possibly not quite, but it should be close!)

Since my yarn stash was basically a wash, there isn’t much to say about that. I brought in a lot of yarn to work on one of my blankets, as well as a sweater quantity during ESK’s BFS. I hope to get both of the projects finished this year, so 2018 might have a more impressive reduction. At this point in time, there is nothing at all I need to purchase yarn for, so I think I’m set to get some serious knitting/crafting in! The weather certainly supports it with how dreadful it is outside.

So how about you, kitten? Did you have any goals about yarn/fiber/craft supply usage? Did you manage to meet it? Or did you learn some interesting lessons and insights about yourself instead? (Which I still count as a win.)

Stashdown 2017: Q3

That’s quite a bit better! Yay for donating and destashing??

 

I have to say: I am quite chuffed at how well Quarter 3 went in terms of my Stashdown efforts. Look at those lovely green numbers!

I had not realized I bought zero ounces of fiber for a second quarter in 2017! It’s amazing how much my purchasing attitude has changed since last year. I seem to have finally reached a place where if I’m not spinning much, there’s no reason to be stashing. Most of that number out was spun during Tour de Fleece, but about 1/3 of it was destashed to a spinning friend who was running low on fiber… and I have so much excess. It felt nice to rehome it. I’m rather hoping Q4 can be another Impossible! quarter, and that I will end the year with quite a bit less fiber stash than I had at the beginning. (On a fun side note, this is the first time since Q4 2015 that I’ve had under 500 oz of fiber in my stash. That feels pretty shameful to admit, as 500 oz is  31.25 pounds. I still have a large 2-3 year old child’s worth of fiber waiting to be spun up. It’s ~ 125 braids of fiber, y’all.  Eeeesh. It took a long time to start getting that number heading back in the right direction, but I’m hoping it’s a trend that continues.)

I did very well on the yarn front as well, despite some big numbers in for blanket solids and handspun made during the Tour. Honestly, I would have been in the red had it not been for a large donation I made to The Lemonade Shop and her program to send fibery donations to those who lost their stashes in the hurricanes this fall. I know yarn seems like a silly thing to donate, but it’s something I have plenty of on-hand, and I know that I find keeping my hands busy with craft work therapeutic. (OMG. Am I secretly Cher donating my impractical sporting equipment to those in need??) Not a single yard out came from finishing a project this quarter; it was all donated, gifted as prizes for the podcast, or rage-binned after disastrous projects. So that part doesn’t feel so amazing. And despite all of this, I still managed to eek out a stash loss equivalent of only 2 skeins of sock yarn–which is very little space made in my bins.

Last quarter I discussed what my big goal is with all of my stashing down efforts over the last 7 or 8 years: I want all of my fiber and yarn stash contained in a single storage unit without satellite stashes throughout the house. My time line is slightly different now–we’re moving summer of 2019, not 2018 as hoped–but I’m still not optimistic that at my current pace this can happen in that time frame without some aggressive destashing. We will see what the end of this year and all of 2018 bring. Here’s hoping to an amazing 4th Quarter!

Are you stash tracking, kitten? How has yours been going? Do you have some other resolutions or goals you’re keeping track of that you would like to share?

Stashdown 2017: Q2

Maybe not the best….

 

Quarter One of this year’s Stashdown effort ended on such an optimistic note, but I was not able to keep the green going in Quarter Two. It’s understandable, but I am a bit bummed out by this if I’m being fully honest.

So let’s talk about what happened in the last 3 months.

Yarn Stash first. If you follow my Yardage Tally posts, you know a whole lot of knitting happened in Q2, but not a lot of those projects were finished,  so they could not count as stash out. Thanks to gifting several skeins of sock yarn to my mother and her efforts to become a regular sock knitter, I did have a fairly high yardage output. It wasn’t enough to combat all of the solid colored yarn I purchased from KnitPicks to go in my sock yarn blanket, however. Those little skeins of fingering weight yarn add up fast. Add some handspun into that equation and I had a pretty high yardage in number. (It’s about 3 times higher than in Q1 when my yardage in was almost entirely handspun, for example.) If I can keep up a steady pace on the blanket, I should be able to negate that number in at a later date towards the end of the year–blow it out of the water, really, as each square seems to be in the upper 400s/nearing 500 for yardage–but it can be frustrating in the present to see that red mark against me. I am still in the green for the year overall, but I will need some pretty big numbers out in Q3 and Q4 if I want to see much change in my yarn stash.

NOTE: I am doing this primarily to get all of my yarn and fiber stashes back into a single storage unit. They currently span two different ones in my craft room, a drawer in my living room, and some totes in our hall storage closet. I’m an hesitant to try and hazard a guess of how much reduction has to happen to get it all to fit into that single space, but I would say I need to use up 3-4 dozen skeins of sock yarn or some heavier yarns of similar volume, plus 4-5 pounds of fiber. So I have quite a ways to go, and the equivalent of 2-3 skeins of sock yarn every 6 months isn’t going to make that happen any time this decade. My original hope was to get this mostly done by the time we move–tentatively the summer of 2018. I have been starting to put more yarn up in my Ravelry destash section in the hopes that I can move a skein every so often and give myself a little push in the right direction.

Now, let’s talk about that Fiber Stash increase. In Q1, I had accomplished an amazing feat: not a single ounce of fiber into the stash. Nothing bought on destashes. Nothing ordered from any updates, despite the fact there is so much out there. I cancelled my fiber clubs last year to slow down in my fiber intake. I had hoped I would continue this trend in Q2, since I’m not spinning at the fastest rate these days and need all of the help I can get. You can see from the chart above that this is not how it played out. 8oz of that fiber was a special 10th Anniversary celebration colorway from Hello Yarn that I could not pass up. (I think it will be a gorgeous yoke and cuff details on a future sweater.) The other 13oz were 3 braids of 3 different colorways that I have been collecting to form sweater quantities. If I have to be honest, I do not feel terrible about this, only about the fact that I could not spin enough to negate it before June was over. I had hoped to end the quarter stash-neutral or as close to it as I could get. My final spin of Q2 could not be finished in June, though, so it’s the first fiber stash out of Q3. It still would not have been enough to get me to stash neutral, but 6oz gain feels a bit less awful than 11oz.

Despite these setbacks, I feel good about Q3. I know that my Yarn Stashdown will be pretty difficult. We’re finally heading into the hotter and muggy months of the year, and I’m not overly keen to be knitting larger projects. I suffer from sweaty hand syndrome and this is not conducive to knitting in the hot weather. It just feels gross. My big strategy here is to avoid any yarn purchases at all and just keep focusing on finishing up my current WIPs. (I do have plans to buy a small SQ of a lovely medium gray yarn to pair with some handspun I finished in Q2, but I will not be ordering it until I’m ready to cast on. Progress!)  I am still debating how I want to handle the individual squares on that blanket project, as I am not one to reclaim yarn even if I abandon a project. I may switch to a policy of claiming the yardage as I finish them up, rather than waiting until the end. My Fiber Stash I am not worried about. Tour de Fleece runs through most of July, and I have ambitious plans for the competition. (Which will, of course, wreck my Yarn Stashdown effort, but thus is the nature of the beast.) If all goes well, I should see between 1 and 2 pounds of fiber stash used up the the coming weeks. If I win some fiber prizes from the teams I participate in, I’m not going to sweat it.

So. If you track your stash, how did Q2 go for you? Do you have any strategies or tips to share? I would love to hear from you!

Stashdown 2017: Q1

2017, Quarter 1 numbers are in!

Well! This is a very positive way to start off the crafting year, if I may say so myself. If I can keep up this momentum the remaining quarters, I should have a healthy-though modest-stash reduction all around! Let’s look at those numbers.

My fiber stashdown effort was very successful this first quarter. My stated goal was the get 8 ounces out of stash per month, and I came pretty close! I managed to reduce my overall fiber stash by 20.3/24 ounces that I had hoped for. AND. For the first time since I started tracking two years ago, not a single ounce of fiber came in. After two solid years of buying, it feels nice to finally have a bit of a rest from it. I still have so much fiber stash to work through, and I’m already eyeing what I hope is my next project. It’s one that I prepped to spin over 6 months ago. I think the time has finally come for it. (To date, I have ~518.6oz of fiber still in stash: this is 32.4 pounds. There’s still a 2 year old hiding in there. By the end of the year, I’m hoping for a smaller toddler to be stashed away. Reverse growth. Or. Something. I’m not sure where I was trying to go with that, kitten. Please pretend I’m funny.)

My yarn stashdown efforts were equally successful! I managed to knit over 2.5yards out for every yard that came in (OK. There was a single skein destashed during this time, and I allowed myself to trash a partial skein from a flash-in-the-pan Indie that fades when washed, but that’s the only non-knitting help I got!), and the yarns I brought in are to work on projects I already have in mind. So I’m quite pleased on that account! Most yarn in was handspun, which isn’t something I can be angry about; why would I be?  The actual numbers themselves were small, but the ratio was excellent!

I hope to stay inspired to be equally green in this second quarter of 2017. Stashing is all well and good, but it’s nice to use some of those lovely yarns too!

What about you, kitten? Are you tracking any numbers? How have you been doing in your efforts towards your goals? Maybe you think it’s silly to track or that it takes the fun out of your hobbies?

1 2 4