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Old 10-16-2007, 03:05 PM   #1
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How to build a stash...
First off, I will come clean, I am a yarn snob I have only bought yarn at Michaels once, and it was for some play food that I was knitting, and I didn't care too terrible much about quality. I prefer quality over quantity... I guess

So herein lies my problem I think, bcs I have champagne tastes on a beer budget, and I find pretty yarn that I love, but only buy enough to knit it for a specific project. I never buy wool that I love just to buy it bcs someday I might use it, kwim? Bcs then, what if I don't buy enough for a pattern that I someday fall in love with, or too much, then I am left with this one skein that I can't really use for anything else? I do have a few hanks that I bought for their sheer softness and beauty, they will never be knit into anything, so I don't mind so much that yarn just sits around... but I can't keep just buying one hank here and one hank there and never make it into anything, right?

But now I WANT quantity and quality, is it even possible? What is a good way about going building a stash? What are some must haves in your stash?
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:14 PM   #2
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Ok I can sooo relate. Right now I appear to have a stash but it is all truly for Christmas presents that I have patterns for already. The only yarn I have that doesn't have a specific purpose other than to make me happy is the yarn I got in the last swap. I have ideas for it and will begin on it as soon as all of the Christmas stuff is done. I do have a chart that tells how much you might need of a certain yarn to make an item that someone once posted about here. That way if I see a yarn I love and think would make a perfect sweater or shawl or whatever I have an idea of what I will need.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:14 PM   #3
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Troll the internet for sales. Sometimes Webs ( has good closeouts of nice yarns which are being discontinued. Little knits is another good internet store and they have great sales!
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:19 PM   #4
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It's one thing to buy yarn that you feel will knit up beautifully as well as feel good on the skin; however, buying yarn that is ridiculously expensive is never a good way to build a stash. I go by three rules:

1. Texture/Appearance: Will this color or texture look good once it's knitted up? Is it comfortable against my skin? Would it irritate my intended recipient's skin?

2. Practicality: If my forehead sweats, will the edge of this hat turn into a felted, puckered mess? Can I machine wash it? Can I ever wash it?

3. Affordability: Not all affordable yarns are crap. Some actually wear better than the expensive yarns at your LYS.

I have a sizable stash. It's actually scary beyond all reason because I have no idea when I'll ever use half of my yarn. I have an assortment of synthetic yarns to novelty as well as some very luxurious wool and silk yarns. Some yarn must-haves for me?

~Wool. Lots and lots of wool. I love Patons Classic Merino and Lion Wool and have several skeins in my stash in different colors.

~Acrylic, preferably Caron Simply Soft. This is an excellent choice for people who are allergic to animal fibers.

~100% Cotton. Sugar 'n Cream, Sinfonia and Lion Bran Microspun can all be found in my stash. I typically use the Sinfonia as a waste yarn because it is mercerized and very slippery.

~A few hanks of the most luxurious yarns I could get my hands on. I'm saving them for special projects.

It's all about balance. Yes, expensive yarns are nice but they're not a necessity and they're not always practical either. Over time you'll learn what works best and then you can build your stash from there.
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Old 10-16-2007, 03:19 PM   #5
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I might be a yarn snob if I could afford to be.. However, I do a lot of charity projects so it's always nice to have some soft acrylic and cotton for chemo hats and baby sweaters. BTW.. not all acrylic is bad. Some of it is incredibly soft. Same with cottons.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

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Old 10-16-2007, 03:55 PM   #6
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I will say I am no stranger to acrylic-- I have knit several things for my kids in it, I just get it at my lys instead of Michaels--usually Plymouth or Dalegarn, kwim?

I also have done quite a few cotton projects, just with cotton I got from online or my lys.

So I am not necessarily a fiber snob, I guess

And the only truly expensive yarn I have ever bought are the two hanks that I mentioned will never be knit into anything, the rest of it lies btwn the range of 5.99-12.99 a ball/hank.

I will have to take a look again at crafts stores, maybe they are worth a second look
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:05 PM   #7
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I spent about $50 at Knitpicks one day, just buying a ball or two here and there, with no specific project in mind. It was great! I had a little stash and it was all good quaility yarn. As time goes by I do find uses for those guys too. Sure it's not cashmere, but I do love my Knitpicks. My second order was things like Blue Sky, Malibrigo, etc that I found projects for.

You can never go wrong with worsted wool. Get neutrals so they will match whatever it is you do decide to knit. There are plenty of books and online resources that will help you find great uses for them. Or just start a list of projects you want and get the yarn now!

I am a bit of a snob too, but acrylic does have it's place. (Sample swatches, friends who refuse to handwash and are allergic or don't like animal fiber, kids toys, etc.) Cotton is great too. You can get Peaches at Walmart for a buck a ball. I like that Saturday Market Bag in Magknits.
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Old 10-16-2007, 04:31 PM   #8
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I tend to buy in quantities that I know will make certain projects. Or which when added to something I already have will suffice to make a project. (Such as - oooooo, 2 skeins of this with the 4 skeins of that cream cashmerino on the top shelf of my closet will make a great striped shawl)
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:00 PM   #9
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I never know what our how much to buy if I don't have a specific project in mind. However, I got the book "One Skein Wonders", and it has some great patterns in it. So, if I see a yarn that I love but don't have anything in mind for it, I can still get one or two skeins, then find something in the book to make. (Or if I have a skein or two left over from something else.)
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Old 10-16-2007, 05:29 PM   #10
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I never knew how much yarn is out there until I got addicted. Thankfully, I live in a big city, so I get to peruse the classifieds and sales a lot. I've gotten the majority of my stash from Estate sales. Some fantastic at great prices, others not so fantastic but still great prices. If this is an option for you, estate and garage sales are great for yarn. I am also lucky that my LYS lady has a clearance section in her store, and if I buy out a certain item, she gives me an extra 25% off.
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