Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Balance Sheet

The stash. Is it a monster or a treasure trove?Sometimes I love my stash, sometimes it weighs me down. My ideal stash would be smaller than it is currently (this one drawer is just a drop in the ocean) and with less stuff that I purchased on sale for no higher purpose than it being a bargain. Sub-section a) of the stash - my sock yarn stash - brings me nothing but pleasure because I love all of the yarn in it, looking at it can be inspiring, I can see myself knitting it all and when I want to start a new pair of socks I have something suitable on hand. Simple really.

Within the rest of the stash it's the odd amounts that I'm not too sure what to use them for that weigh me down the most. They're not quite charity shop donations yet (though some of it went that way last year) but they may be in time. (For full disclosure purposes it should be noted that I do not count part used balls, the odds and ends bag does not clamour at me as that yarn has already had a go at fulfilling its destiny and there will always be Innocent smoothie hats or their like to finish it off with.)

With all of this in mind during 2008 I thought I would try and keep track of my yarn purchasing with the aim that I bought in the same or less than went out. Most knitters seem to have a stashing habit so I'm sure you understand that this goal which sounds so simple is actually a tricky one to achieve. I didn't set a regular check point and in fact started to ignore totting it up deliberately as the year went on for fear of what I may find. Not the best management technique was it? Well it's time to check the balance sheet and see whether there was any subliminal effect of knowing there would be a final reckoning.

In:
83 balls - eek that is more than I thought....

Out:
Knitted: 56 balls
Sold/traded/gifted: 22 balls
= 78 balls - well also more than I thought :o)

An addition of five balls overall and probably sock yarn at that so the yardage is definitely up! Still I'm pleased it was close and I'm putting that down to fear of the final reckoning. This year I'll try and build on this. I think monthly or quarterly checks and perhaps measuring the yardage to give a more accurate reflection of usage versus purchasing. It would be nice to use more than I buy this year (though that is not a resolution!) Dreamcatcher is using a knitmeter to keep track of how much she has knit up - I must investigate this.

There has been an entry on the in column of the 2009 balance sheet. 3 skeins of Knitglobal Shetland Flame - yum. Still I am knitting with some of it already, which after all is what yarn is for :o)

14 comments:

Marianne said...

I don't EVEN want to go 'there'.. although really, this past year it wasn't so terribly crazy, still...
I think you did splendidly.
That pink sure is a pretty one.

Charity said...

I think you did great - and since you almost broke even last year, you can do even better this year, right? :o) The new yarn is gorgeous, and now I'm off to check out the yarn meter...

Lin said...

You certainly didn't do badly last year. the only way I monitor mine is if I can't fit it in the baskets!!

T. said...

Eeek. all this talk of in and out makes me nervous.

Rose Red said...

Well, you know how I did in 2008 on the stashing, so I say you've done extremely well!! I'm thinking about using yardage as well, but it's a lot more complicated (for me anyway!). Seems a bit fairer though as it takes a lot longer to knit 1 50g skein of laceweight than 1 50g skein of aran or worsted!

Lynne said...

A worthy goal but all that maths when you could be knitting?

Rachel said...

My stash isn't too bad, but I did organize my Ravelry queue to reflect the yarn I have for actual large projects (not counting socks, hats, scarves etc). It was a wake-up that I really don't need more yarn this year! I'm hoping to stick with the plan to knit just from the stash...I think I'll be able to do it!

knitting sprouts said...

I think you actually did very well. For me it was the year I discovered on line purchasing and added so so much more than I could ever use up. keep up the good work!

Bells said...

the way you describe your feelings towards your stash is so resonant for me - that's exactly how I feel! It's not so much love-hate, is it, more like love - really love!

raining sheep said...

Wow, a sizeable stash for sure. I am on a yarn diet - no buying of yarn for a year.

Gosia, the knitting sensei said...

Oh Dear! The very subject of trying to keep track of my yarn purchases makes me shiver!!! I fear it would confirm that natural fibres disappear my will into nothingness :) It's not for me... BUT I so admire you for taking time to look at your stash in that way. Happy New Year x

modelwidow said...

That's a pretty good in/out ratio, I know what you mean about the stash sometimes weighing you down - but you do have some lovely yarns there, and in this weather we all need a bit of insulation ;0)

Amanda said...

You're very brave doing this Sarah! I'm not joing in! :D

PrincessPea said...

The majority of my stash is single balls, or part-balls, either left over from Fair Isle projects, or when I've bought a bit too much for a project. There are a couple of sweater's worth of yarn bought on sale, and a handfull of luxury sock or lace yarns that I've scored, but most of it just takes up space without much chance of it being used. Not sure what to do with it all, but good luck with the stash-o-meter thingie - sounds like a great idea!

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