Scraps & Stash Analysis

It’s been that time of year again here where the heavy textbooks come out and I spend my time either studying or worrying about studying. Thankfully, it’s all finished for now. But in the midst of studying and stress knitting on a scrap blanket, I took some time to stare at my stash and think about how I want it to look in the future.

The scrap blanket is a Cosy Memories Blanket which I must have started in October 2017. It’s wide enough to fit a double bed and is probably about 20% completed. The whole blanket doesn’t fit into the image below, which feels like an achievement from the days when it was two squares in total.

Cosy Memories Blanket in May 2021

It entirely uses scraps from other projects I’ve done. I’m not the type of person who, to date, has ever bought minis. There’s a lot of repetition in the colours row on row but it’s worth it to feel like I’m using up my scraps. The last bit of work has actually seen me coming to the end of some of my scraps, which particularly for some well loved colourways is quiet sad.

Picking it back up again after a period where it literally ended up behind the sofa, helped in other ways than just my stress levels. I went through my scrap stash again to tidy. It doesn’t photograph fabulously, but it is a wonderful feeling to have my yarn scraps tucked away neatly in airlock bags.

The scraps box

I ended up doing a full sort of my stash at a calmer moment one evening. There’s something very soothing about grouping yarn by weight and then into the type of project it’ll turn into. I don’t have a huge amount of stash (or, more on that later) but it’s been a while since I looked at it. Going through it felt a little like browsing a yarn shop catered exactly to my tastes.

I took notes on what I had and this morning, I looked a little closer.

My levels of stash are certainly creeping back up again. I’m at 30,300m again, which is still under the length of a marathon. I’d be curious to benchmark that against someone else’s stash. It’s quite high for me but I do try to keep it on the small size so I imagine it’s likely tiny compared with people who enjoy keeping a large stash.

All of my yarn is from the past decade, with the oldest purchased at EYF in April 2015. About 15,000m (about half the total) of it is yarn bought or gifted to me since 2018. (This does not include the yarn I’ve bought and used up already.) In fact, a third of my stash, or 10,000m, was purchased in the past year and a half. I had gotten worried my stash was getting too low but I think I might have fixed that problem!

My oldest skein of yarn – Hedgehog Fibres EYF 2015

Around 48% of my stash is sock yarn, with the vast majority of it earmarked for future jumper projects. Sock yarn still makes up the highest proportion of my stash but I was surprised it wasn’t over 50%. It’s such a versatile weight of yarn. Living in the UK means that sock weight jumpers are the most useful for the changeable weather and layering up. I think all my planned projects this year are in either sock or sport weight yarn.

La Bien Aimee (Grey) with Phineas Yarns (Blue & Purple)

It’s fun to realise how much I’ve used up of the sock yarn stash I had in 2017/18. I believe only around a quarter of sock yarn I have now is from earlier than that. I get through the stuff quickly it seems! I should probably try to use that quarter sooner rather than later, including the lovely trio of yarns above.

The next largest element of my stash is lace weight yarn, making up over 35% of my stash. Admittedly, over half of this is Wollmeise Lace, which is almost a light fingering. The rest is made up of around six skeins of lace weight which is really just a testament to how much meterage is in a lace weight skein.

I’ve got plans for them, but I bought the yarn before starting my job which has dramatically reduced the amount of lace I’m willing to knit. Unless I fall in love with knitting lace weight jumpers or suddenly have the brain space to knit lace shawls again, I’m probably going to stop buying so much lace weight.

The remaining 17% is in DK and Chunky weight yarn. I’m unsurprised to see the lack of worsted yarn in my stash but I imagine it’s unusual! It tends to make jumpers which are just a tad too heavy for me. I’ve never tried it for shawls or socks either so I just don’t buy it. The DK and Chunky weights are for jumpers and a blanket; the yarn mainly Christmas presents from my Mum. She has impeccable colour taste and the yarn feels special as she picked it out for me.

As a cross-section of my stash, it feels like I’ve got a happy mix. I’m still within my boundaries of my yarn fitting in my three storage boxes and my partner remarked recently that he thought the stash was quite restrained, which I’ll certainly take! I’d like it slimmed to under 30,000m by Christmas which is more than feasible if I actually knit more than I buy.

Err, I’d better get on that.

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