I am the first to admit that I am a stash-aholic. I have almost 1000 different kinds of yarn. Way more yarn than I will ever use in this one lifetime.
But, I am a creative spirit. I like to design my own patterns, or change existing ones. I enjoy the freedom of having several different yarns to choose from in my stash when starting a new project. Sometimes, I can "hear" my yarn telling me what it wants to be.
I really love putting all my stash into Ravelry, and watching it grow there. And I can search through all the photos to decide what I want to make next.
For example, I'm wanting to make a shrug for my mother right now. I already have the pattern. Now, I just need to decide which yarn I want to use. So, last night, I looked through my stash in Ravelry, looking at the different colors, then looking at the details of the yarn to see if it will work with the pattern. Next, I looked to see what others have made with the yarn, deciding if the drape of the yarn will be right with my shrug pattern.
I'm still trying to pin down the exact yarn I want, but I'm learning toward a vintage DK yarn I've had for several years. The color is right, and it has a nice sheen to it. I'm doing a gauge swatch right now to see how it looks.
I find yarn on ebay, and at my cousin's yarn shop. I also buy yarn on sale at chain stores, or at Big Lots and Tuesday Morning. I believe that I'll use it eventually. If I don't, I can always sell some of it on eBay or Ravelry later on....or give some of it to charity.