It's no secret to anyone that I have a rather large stash. It's not nearly the size of my mom's, but it takes up quite a bit of space on it's own. The past two weeks, I've been attempting to use up as much yarn in the stash as new yarn comes in. Overall, it's been an interesting experience. Mostly because it's caused me to look at me actual stash. My stash reflects the different focuses of emphasis on knitting that I've had since I began. There is of course the crappy Lion Brand stage. I never got much into the fun fur, but I do still have the kind of yarn that is mostly found at Michael's craft stores. Keep in mind, this was before Lion Brand made natural fiber yarn. It is mostly acrylic and I'm trying to keep what I might use for baby stuff and give the rest away to new knitters.
The second stage occurred when I was living in North Carolina. It is filled with nice yarn like Blue Sky, Rowan, and Noro. This is still when I had no concept of how much yarn it took to knit something, so you'll find a lot of single skeins. That's also what I could afford as a first year teacher. It has a lot of sale yarn in it, like some linen that I got on sale in Swickley.
The third phase is when I decided I would like to knit sweaters and was ( and still am) into natural fibers. There's tons of stuff that I got on various vacations, including several trips to Maryland Sheep and Wool. Looking at these yarns is like looking at a scrapbook of every knitting store and fiber festival I've been to. These are the yarns that have been toted in a suitcase across miles before joining the stash and are unique to the area that I bought them in.
The last stage would be the sock knitting stage. Like the stage before, there's a lot of yarn "scrapbooks" but there's also clubs I've joined and yarns with a purpose, like for a knit-along. There's also a ton of indie dyers found on various websites including Etsy and The Loopy Ewe. This is the stash that I am most reluctant to knit or part with. It contains Sweet Georgia and other dyers that I fear will never resume production.
So how am I decreasing the stash? One ball at a time and with little projects like baby hats and Fetching from Knitty.
I barely got through the body of the mitts when I ran out of yarn, so I finished the thumbs off in black. I am planning on having Kathy help me single crochet around the top and bottom in black to give them some continuity and make them a little bit longer. I already found some Noro Silk Garden Lite for my second pair. I'm also thinking of creating a non-cabled pair with some fair-isle on them.