Buying Yarn is an Expensive Habit

Buying yarn is an expensive habit. Oh yes. It’s so easy to stash up, to buy more at a faster rate than I will ever knit.

I used to be frustrated by my stash. It was a stash composed of lots of single hanks, with the occasional two-hank set. Never enough to make a sweater or other large project. I could be queen of hats and socks. Not a throne I want.

Lately my yarn buying has taken a “practical” turn. Practical is the nice word for it. Somehow an idea wormed its way into my noggin that the solution to my problem was simply to start buying sweater quantities of yarn.

You can see where this is going.

My stash now contains a several sweater quantities of yarn. I have all sorts of plans for that yarn. But these sweater piles are balanced on top of all the stash I had before. Those onesie, twosie hanks didn’t mysteriously go away. And I don’t want them to go away. I love them all.

My craft room, it doth overflow.

I begin to understand the impulse to have a de-stashing sale. It’s like an adoption drive, but for yarn instead of kittens. Soft and cuddly yarn looking for a forever home.

Part of me wants to ask the buyers to write essays. Or perform feats of strength to prove their commitment. Will they love the yarn as much as I do?


  1. Is this the Yarnbuyers Anonymous site? I just came back from the yarn shop. With two times three balls. For hats. For my mum. Who has only one head. But I am unsure which one I should use. So I bought both sets. Obviously. Welcome to my home.
    Your post really reflects my problem, thank you.

  2. I would suggest giving the extra yarn as gifts to people you trust to love it as much as you do. Personally, I have taken the tactic that if I can’t think of a project to make with it, I don’t buy the yarn. Unless I just can’t walk away, or live without it. My strategy doesn’t work all that well either, I’m afraid.

  3. well said, You can try to enter yarn diet, but it is quite difficult, very difficult. I like the part about asking buyers to present a dissertation on their motivations! They should add a very detailled part with the project they want to do with your yarn!

  4. I feel your pain. I let my yarn-sista have some yarn for a particular project. She (correctly) took it as proof of my love and devotion. It has happened once. Only once. But for some reason it is ok to let my daughter at it when she is struck with the urge to knit, I think the reason it is acceptably is two-fold. A. Encouraging daughter to knit! Usually she hates on knitting. B. The yarn remains in the house and well supervised.

    • I gave out some stash yarn to ladies in my knitting group this year. That was l fun. Sadly there’s no one else in my household who knits.

  5. I buy yarn with intent to use it for a project but some times I never get the project done or things change and I use it for something else. There have been times I have bought yarn just because I fell for the color and I keep it til I find something I want to do with it for me. I have a moving box over 1/2 full of yarn that I am still trying to use in one way or another. I am trying not to buy any more right now but It is so hard not to. Some people buy shoes or bags, I buy yarn

  6. Been there, done that!! My current attempt to control my yarn hoarding behavior is to refrain from buying a yarn just because I can’t keep my hand off of it. My general rule is to buy the yarn if and when I decide on a pattern that I love for that particular yarn. Once I have the most awesome yarn that I can’t live without and the perfect pattern that the yarn is telling me to knit, it’s checkout counter time, baby!!

  7. Sometimes you just have to let go, lol. :). I recently did a major destash on eBay and I now feel better knowing I have yarn for the projects I want to make.

  8. I’m currently at the ‘stash full of one-skein lovelys’ and I shall be the queen of hats, shawls, and socks!

    Although I did just buy 15 skeins of the same type of yarn with the intention to make a blanket. So maybe the multi-skein hoarding has already started…

  9. If you are bent on finding a good home for your hanks, see if a local womans shelter, hospital or child drive. If you aren’t looking for charity, ebay, or a craigs list/kijiji or swapnbuy works well. Or, if your like me, make a bunch to sell! That way you are busy but you aren’t having to wear it all!

    • Once I get a little more experience under my belt with spinning in tempted to sell some of the hand spun in my stash.

  10. I am all too familiar with this knitshame. I have a ridiculous amount of Cascade 220 and so does my sister. We dreamed up a yearlong project that will hopefully eat through it, a Geek-A-Long mystery blanket knit along.

      • Agreed. Although, most of ours came from a clearance sale when a local yarn store closed there doors, so we have a lot of the less popular colors.

  11. This is me at the moment – up until autumn last year, I would more often than not buy a skein of sock or lace yarn with no plan in mind but the last 3/4 months, I’ve been on a real sweater kick and have bought sweater quantities of yarn. However, I can’t seem to knit as quickly as I’m buying so they’re sitting there still, along with all those single skeins. I can’t bring myself to part with anything though (yet), I just need to knit quicker (maybe I could sleep less?)

  12. Oh I had that thought about a year ago! It certainly doesn’t save you money or room, but it’s really nice to have sweater yarn on hand when you see the perfect pattern and want to cast on right away!

    • Once you start spinning it just happens. Even if you’re trying not to buy yarn, you forget that fiber also counts…

  13. hahahaha love that…I totally agree with that logic :L) Since I found out about core spinning all those extra skeins have a perfect place in the universe!

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