After years of following along in the Stash Knit Down group on Ravelry, I decided last November that I’d bite the bullet… I’d go “Cold Sheep” (buy no new yarn) for 1 year. It helped that my dear friend had come to the same conclusion, and we decided to make a friendly wager. The first person who bought yarn would have to buy a skein to give to the “winner”… I love competition, so it was on!
I feel like I should mention that I have a little bit of an advantage… my “stash” also includes 8 adorable, baa-ing pets that happen to make wool. This means that I have a stash that’s constantly renewing itself. I do not need to buy yarn! If I need yarn that bad, I can always spin it up. Sure, it’ll take a lot longer, but I obviously didn’t get into knitting/spinning because I need instant gratification, LOL.
In this past year, I’ve completed 54 projects for a total of 17,131 yards(!!!) but my stash still has a LONG way to go. I have quite a few sweater-quantities of yarn that I want to use up, including one that I spun during Spinzilla this year. (Pictured in the top photo.)
I thought for sure that when I hit the 1-year mark, I’d be ready to go on a buying spree, but the reality is that this year has taught me that I’m really content with my stash. There are so many skeins in my stash that I love, and they’re still waiting for me to get around to them. Knitting from stash has forced me to be more creative with yarn substitutions and patterns. It has taught me that there will always be more yarn, and I don’t need to get sucked into the fear of scarcity just because I see a pretty skein. If I don’t get that one, there will be plenty of others.
This week my friend broke her streak and bought some yarn. She sent me a gorgeous skein of Must Stash Yarn as my prize. I contemplated if I wanted to end my streak too, but I still don’t feel ready. I thought the Black Friday sales would be too much to resist, but they just weren’t that tempting.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll go, but I’d like to get my yarn to at least fit in my small set of IKEA cubes. With the fact that I keep making yarn from my wool, I don’t know if that’s even an attainable goal. I might need to start selling the stuff that I spin (or other yarn from stash) in order to make that happen. The good news is that my stash is 17K yards lighter than it was this time last year, and I feel really happy about reducing my consumerism at least a little.
If you’re thinking about Cold Sheeping in the new year, I say “Go for it!” You might realize that it’s not for you, but I bet you’ll learn some new things about yourself during the process. I definitely did!