Let’s Talk About Our Amazing, Awful Yarn Stashes

Recently, I’ve started holding informal conversations in my Instagram stories. We explore ideas related to knitting patterns, yarn, techniques, and more. Last week, we talked about pattern-buying behavior, and I heard from several people that they’re more likely to buy a pattern when they have something in their yarn stashes that’s a good fit.


Out of 252 respondents to my poll, about 49% said that their stash tended to consist of single skeins of special yarn. Another 35% said they stashed several of the same yarn at once. Only 8% said that their stash consisted primarily of leftovers. Fully 78% of respondents said that they tended to stash fingering weight yarn most often. The next most popular was DK weight, with 25 respondents or 12%. Worsted weight stashers were 9% of respondents, and bulky came in dead last at 1%.

Stashing as a Way to Save for Projects

One thing I heard from a few people is that having a yarn stash helps stretch their budgets. When there is a good deal on a yarn that a knitter knows they love and work with often, it can make sense to stock up on that yarn. It means there is more of an up-front expense, of course, but it averages out to less on a monthly or per-project basis. This means knitting projects become more accessible for knitters who are able to build a stash on a budget and then draw from it for projects.

Yarn Stashes can Feel Overwhelming

Several respondents told me that they found the size and variety of their yarn stash pretty overwhelming. Many of them were actively working to reduce the size of their stash because of that. Whether it’s because of space issues or the overwhelming range of choices, a lot of us can find a large stash stressful. That’s okay! What’s important is that you are aware of yourself and your needs. Then, you can tailor your stash to those needs.

People Want More Projects for Leftovers

I heard from some people who said that they really wanted more options for using up their bits of leftover yarn. That’s part of why I love designing fingerless mitts. It’s also helpful to use leftover fingering yarn bits as cuffs, heels, and toes on socks, or to do colorwork with them. Those yarn bits, though, can be hard to organize. It’s especially tricky when you don’t have the labels for them anymore. I like to keep my leftovers sorted into gallon bags with notes written on paper and stashed inside.

Organizing Stashes can be Fun and Therapeutic

I heard from a few of you who keep very careful stash logs, and the consensus among that group was that organizing your stash can feel good. It’s a way to assert some control when other parts of life feel chaotic and to have a pretty collection to enjoy.

Key Takeaways

All this conversation confirmed for me that stashes are as varied as knitters themselves. And the only way to really know what to make of our own yarn stashes is to know ourselves. It helps to check in periodically and ask ourselves a few key questions: 1. What do I want from my stash? 2. Is my stash serving my needs? 3. If my stash isn’t serving my needs, what can I do to change that?

Curious to learn more about knitting or to dig deeper into yarn stashing? Click on through for tutorials, free patterns, technique tips, and more.

White Frame Corner