I have been catching up on old podcasts while travelling in hot trains across the dry countryside in Morocco. One inspiring program was Annie Smith’s Quilting Stash episode 167.
She asked her listeners to send in their tips for reducing their stash of quilting fabric. Many ideas apply to our spinning/ weaving stashes as well:
Take a good look at what you have. Do you need 10 grey fleeces? Will you ever use that fine yarn that you could hardly see when you picked it up 10 years ago? Throw out any cones that have been chewed by moths because it is not worth the time to tie knots.
The best way to do this is to move everything to a new place, rearrange and sort it. Put it where you can see it. Sort your knitting needles and put each size into a loose leaf folder in a binder. Put a lovely pile of carded wool in a basket beside your spinning wheel. Make an inspiring arrangement of coloured cones.
Look hard at them and try to remember why you never finished them. If they are worth finishing make a realistic “to do, by when” list. If they are not worth finishing, get rid of them and the guilt of not having completed them.
Make up gifts of the samples or yardage you have. A new knitter would love enough hand spun to knit a hat. Weave baby blankets or lap rugs for charity.
- Devise projects to use your stash
I knitted all my small balls of hand spun into log cabin blocks which I sewed into a quilt for a grand niece. She loves her new blanket and I used every tiny scrap. Corduroy uses up masses of thrumbs.
- Dye it
Wind skeins or warps and gather a group of friends for a dyeing day. Left over dyes are good for fleece.
- Give it up
One listener shared her guild’s practice of sharing their stashes. At a meeting they have a table where members can dump what they don’t want and, perhaps find just what was missing from their own stash.
Let’s do this at Market Day at the October 2009 meeting. I will make a sign: STASH DUMP. You can leave what you like on the table and take what appeals. At the end of the day, what Isabel doesn’t want for the Yarn Store can go to Wrap with Love or the Tempe Tip.