My yarn stash is out of control! But my fibre stash is not!

But what have I done differently to keep my fibre stash under control?

This simple process I have put together, if followed religiously, will help new spinners keep what is very likely to become a new addiction under control.

A few months ago a dear friend loaned me her spinning wheel. As an avid knitter, dyer, and designer, spinning was naturally going to be the next craft for me to partake in. But with such an excitingly large yarn stash already, I could easily see fibre following the same path.

Then an even worse thought entered my head! More fibre and more spinning, leads to even more yarn! Clearly this seemingly traditional and stress reducing craft has a dark side.

In 2014, before spinning, I decided to go cold sheep*. Bear with me here. For the uninitiated, this is where you buy no new yarn for a set period of time. Usually a year. You are allowed to swap yarn, but no newly bought yarn.

I know. It sounds horrific and nightmarishly hard!

Anyway, surprisingly, I survived the year. And I was OK about it. Don’t start building any shrines though. There were moments of weakness where yummy skeins of yarn were added to my cart, but no “Pay Now” buttons were clicked. By saying a 100% no, my self-restraint could cope.

No was no.

This 1 Easy Process to Keep your Stash Under Control by Gradiance Yarns |

This previous experience triggered an idea.

What if I could buy a braid of fibre, spin it AND knit it, all before I buy the next braid of fibre?

This would require a higher level of self-control though. I would be allowing myself to buy fibre, but only under certain conditions.

Would I start trying to justify a purchase to myself? I might start saying “but I need two braids to make the yarn to knit this” or “it might not be here next time”. I’ve been in this situation with yarn and I’ve caved into the little devil sitting on my shoulder before.

A few days passed and I was starting to think that, really, this is still a no means no situation. Which I succeeded at before. Why would this be any different?

So I started. My first spinning was a braid of my own hand dyed fibre. A Polwarth and Merino D’Arles top in the colour Tropics.

I finished spinning, I knitted it up, and I even gifted the item to my dear friend who lent me the wheel.

Whirl Me Away Cowl hand knitting pattern in handspun Tropics Polwarth fibre by Gradiance Yarns |

Then I purchased my next braid from Artist’s Palette Yarns. I spun it, knitted it up, and then went in search for my next braid.

It was working.

Today, I still have no extra fibre in my stash. I am waiting for our excellent post man to deliver my next parcel so that I may again repeat the process that is so far working for me.

As with my year of cold sheep with yarn, fibre has made it into carts during moments of weakness. But no “Pay Now” buttons or credit cards have been handed over whilst I have not completed a braid in progress from fibre to finished item.

If you are new to spinning then maybe this could work for you too! If you are not new to spinning, then perhaps a tweaked version of this would work. Maybe you spin and knit two braids, before you buy the next one?

*I did allow myself one yarn purchase. And this was purely because our holiday that year was in Iceland and I was not going to be leaving the country unless I had some of the famous Icelandic lopi! I left with 4 x 50g balls of natural coloured lace and a pattern book of Icelandic lace shawls. That was it.


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