Yarnplanner's Blog

Blogging to control yarn and fabric urges

The Year Long Challenge – not to buy fabric or yarn (yes you read that right!) August 17, 2012

Filed under: fabric,yarn,Year Long Challenge (YLC) — yarnplanner @ 2:38 pm

Like many crafters I have too much fabric and yarn.  I have more than:

  • I can use in the foreseeable future (but not a lifetime)
  • sits comfortably in the space allotted to it
  • is the limit at which my husband makes disparaging comments about my appearance on ‘Hoarders’ or some other such reality TV program. 

 I have always justified my stash by saying (and these excuses will be familiar to some):

  • The bills and mortgage have always been paid first
  • I don’t spend time on much else except work, looking after the family and contributing ‘sweat equity’ to our house and garden
  • I rarely buy clothes because I can make my own
  • I gain a lot of pleasure from having lovely fabrics and yarn around me.

But I still have to admit it. I have too much. 

So I recently tried to ‘destash’ some of it. I pulled out yarn and fabric that I didn’t really have a project for, it doubled up something else that I already had or I just didn’t really love.

That wasn’t very successful.  Unfortunately, for everything I have bought in the past, I can see what it was going to become which to be honest, is the allure of crafting in the first place.  Whilst I can still see that ‘something’, I found it very hard to move on.  I don’t consider this a character flaw, just the sort of person that I am.  To be fair on myself, there were a few things – fabric suitable for a child younger than mine would ever be again or that I had worked with but didn’t really enjoy anymore.  Yarn that was in too small lots to be anything other than a hat (and I don’t wear hats very often) or in a colour that I knew didn’t work for me.  

 So instead of giving up I started to think about what my aim was (to physically reduce the amount of fabric that I have on hand) and what I can do about it – to use it up (and not buy any more). 

So I have set myself a challenge.  A year without yarn or fabric.  A year to work with all the supplies that I have to make those things that I envisaged and to make space. Well, all the supplies except patterns and notions.  Those things I might need.  I don’t have an extensive pattern stash and I know that some of the things I will want to make, I don’t have a pattern for.  Zips and bias tape are things that I just don’t keep in my drawers, I have always bought them as I needed them. 

There – it is out there – I have to do it now!

It sounds like a long time and it probably is.  But I have cheated a bit. I’ve just had a trial month to see how it feels.  I’ve used that month to pull out those few pieces and skeins that I know I can get rid of and they won’t go back. They will be sold or donated in the next couple of weeks. 

The space I have for fabric and yarn

 I’ve also reorganised some of my space to ensure that my current project is worked on and finished before I can move on to the next and I’ve set my challenge as to how much space I will create by July 16th 2013.  

The space I want to clear by July 2013 – perhaps not by using all this fabric but making space elsewhere to put this away.

I’ve also pulled out some pieces of fabric that I’m excited to use and matched them with patterns that I already own as an added incentive to get stuck in.

my first stashbusting projects

 I hope you will come with me on this journey and follow me as I make things happen.  I aim to give you a weekly update so you can all keep me in check.

 What would your stashbusting tips be to help me through the year?


My Swallowtail May 2, 2012

Filed under: finished objects,yarn — yarnplanner @ 4:43 pm

I finally got around to knitting a Swallowtail, a pattern I have been wanting to try for a while.  I started it while we were on a beach camping holiday between Christmas and New Year.  If it hadn’t ben for the solitude, I’m not sure how far I would have got.  I found the knitting very challenging and had to concentrate on every row.
The yarn is Misti Alpaca lace weight on 3.75mm bamboo needles.



I love it.


Noro Striped Scarf April 17, 2011

Filed under: finished objects,yarn — yarnplanner @ 6:34 pm

This scarf is a really long time coming. I think I started it in May of last year. It was a really long, boring knit. One that made me question, on more than one occassion what possessed me to start it. One that made me beg (the much more level headed) Donna to ‘intervene’ if I ever suggested I would start another such ill-conceived project ever again. Still, I love all 7 foot of it and now it is done, I’m pretty pleased it is mine.
The pattern (such that it is) is on Ravelry and the yarn is Noro Yuzen. 4.5mm bamboo needles.
Noro SS


Baby Hats June 2, 2010

Filed under: finished objects,yarn — yarnplanner @ 8:32 am

Last Wednesday at Knitting Meet Up, Emma was making a really simple but cute baby hat.  With a few baby presents on my horizon, I decided to give it a go.  She used this (Rav link)  pattern but I found this one which works top down instead of bottom up.  Since then, I have made both a couple of times and although the bottom up gives a neater fabric at the top, I like the top down a bit better because  you can increase until you get the right size.  Here is one being modelled by my son.

Because the increase rows create bumps in the fabric, I chose the yarn to make it look like it was supposed to be like that.  I’m pleased with the result, particularly as they only take a couple of hours.  They also look really different when made out of different yarns.  Thanks Em for solving baby gift problems (over the winter months at least!).


More Linen May 25, 2010

Filed under: fabric,yarn,yarn ideas — yarnplanner @ 2:03 pm

Fortunately for my bank balance, not fabric this time.  I went to visit my sister for her birthday on Saturday at Sherwood  and dropped in to Threads and More.  I really could not find one skein or ball of yarn that I liked until I found some of Linen / Cotton / Silk blend.  It is in a sport weight and quite stringy but I can’t wait to crochet some little flowers which I will then sew on to my linen.  I have ordered a couple of Nicky Epstein books from the library to get some inspiration for flowers and edges which I think would also look nice on my linens.

So when will this all end?


More FO’s May 10, 2010

Filed under: bits of life,finished objects,yarn — yarnplanner @ 6:01 pm

I know that my blogging has been less than regular lately but I am trying really.  Part of my problem is that if I can’t easily take and transfer my pictures it all seems too hard.  When I get together with all the very clever bloggers at Sew It Together this weekend, that will be one of the questions I will be asking… How do you blog really regularly?  Anyway.. I have been busy and have been making some lovely things.  Here is a vintage cape that I found through Ravelry.  I love the construction of this and grabbed some BWM 8 ply Rustic in Damson because I had about the right amount in my stash.  It has worked out really nice and quite striking.  Perhaps too striking for wearing to the playground but I could see myself wearing it in the evening as something a bit different.  A big thank you to iKnitt for putting it up on her blog to keep the pattern alive.

I have also been working on Boneyard – a Stephen West design which is really simple but very nice.  I used the Jo Sharp Silkroad Tweed DK that my sister bought me for Christmas and went up a needle size to create a very drapey shawl.  This is the one I put on first thing in the morning to keep my shoulder warm now that the nights are a bit cooler her is Brissy.  I love it.  I decided not to block it but I have been wearing it so much, I think it might need a bit of a wash soon.  Ah well.

Yep that’s me, still in my jammies.  No pride really.


Slack, slack, slack April 16, 2010

Filed under: finished objects,yarn — yarnplanner @ 2:13 pm

I know I have been and there is just no excuse.  I have sooo much to catch up on, I will just have to take it one step at a time.

My daggy jumper is a real hit.

not so daggy really!

Yes, that’s me with wet hair and a messy bedroom.  Still, the jumper is great.  I started out with a yarn crisis when I just couldn’t make my first choice yarn work but this is just fabulous.  I love the yarn (not even sure what it is, I bought it at Wangaratta Mill some time ago), love the colours and love the fit.

The pattern of course is not called the Daggy Jumper, Donna and I just called it that for laughs.  She now has two and hers are lovely too.  We knitted together on this one and again it was really fun. The pattern is really Jo Sharp Loose Textured Sweater (Rav link) knitted on size 9.0mm needles!

Lots going on.  More soon.