Stash. We all have one. It lurks in your house, full of oddments and extra skeins you didn't bother to return to the store. It is a very personal, but universal, knitter problem. Yet we still buy yarn. I have been on a yarn diet for over a year but it hasn't worked very well. Inevitably I pick a pattern I don't have enough yarn for, or I think I have enough yarn and find out half way through that in fact I don't (after emptying out my stash baskets searching for what I SWEAR is there), so just in case I go to the store and buy two more, just so I don't run out again.
Perhaps the best deterrent to buying more yarn is just to see exactly what you already have. After being gifted with a friend's late grandmother's yarn stash (the winner doesn't get to take it with them, do they?), and my old college roommate stuffing half of hers into my bag last night ("You'll do it more justice than I will, I have no time cuz I'm a music student"), I decided I needed to sort my stash. Yes that's right. Sort the damn thing.
I spread the yarn out on my bed, sorted into the colors, the neutrals, black, white, and those varegated yarns you love but don't fit into any color category. First was my original stash:
The neutrals and variegated got cut off at the bottom but you get the point. Then I added the late grandmother stash, after I weeded out what she had cut for latchhook. I got a wonderful surprise. Four full skeins of virgin wool, some of them the labels yellowed and falling apart. Those were later placed in their own special bag so that they would not be lost. Now I can actually try felting! Should I make a purse, or something useful like coasters? Hrmm.
There now you can see everything. But wait, there's more. My roomie is to blame for this now.
And there, ladies and gentlemen, is my yarn stash. It covers my bed. So what do you do with your stash now that you see it in all it's gory detail? You organize it. You can do yours however you please, but I am a simple girl with little furniture and only a bedroom in which to store all my things. One day I hope to have an entire room devoted to my plethera of hobbies, but not yet. So I used plastic grocery bags for each pile, after pulling out the yarn I'm using for my Rainbow Afghan of Awesome (or Doom. Depends on my mood), and stuffing them back into my baskets. It looks something like this:
It didn't take me that long, and it didn't hurt at all! And now I finally know what the hell I have to work with. Let me know how your Taming goes!
[The only yarn not counted in the stash is the yarn I'm using to make KnitPicks' Abundance Afghan; a wedding gift for a friend. I only bought the 7 balls the pattern called for.]