“How do you get a yarnaholic to not buy so much yarn?”

–Paula F.

Dear Paula,

My very tongue-in-cheek response is to ask, “Have you shown them the credit card bill?”

Of course, I’ll admit that this would have little effect on me. I am a confessed serial yarnaholic. I have never been able to control my yarn buying, no matter how hard I have tried. If I see a project I want to do, I buy the pattern and the yarn – I can’t help myself! I’ll get to it eventually, right? So in an effort to try to curb my yarn hoarding, and to help you do the same, I’ve turned to my fellow yarn crafters and asked them what has worked for them.

An overwhelming number responded about working on your yarn organization. If you know what you have and where to find it, you’ll be more likely to seek out projects that will use your stash rather than forcing you to buy new skeins. By keeping your yarn visible, either physically on shelves or virtually via a cataloging site like Ravelry, you can easily look and see what you have before the intense impulse to buy hits. Taking the time to photograph and upload your yarn collection to a site like Ravelry will also help you truly see how much stash you really have.

Many also hinted that coming to terms with the fact that stashing the yarn and not using it is a waste of not only the yarn but also your money, and admitting that is an important step in curing your yarnaholic ways. Allow yourself to buy yarn ONLY when you truly do not have a suitable solution for the project in your stash and ONLY if it is a project that you are starting right away. If you are going to be putting the yarn on the shelf to work on “soon,” resist the urge to buy.

Speaking of your stash, why not challenge yourself to a stashbuster project? Your bed needs an afghan, right? Big bold stripes, chevrons and granny squares use up plenty of yarn! Don’t forget that there are also whole forums dedicated to “stash challenges” where everyone posts goals and shares project ideas.

If you haven’t already, consider joining a local crochet group. I am in a few different groups and we often have “swap nights” where everyone brings in stashed yarn and comes armed with projects planned for the very immediate future. Chances are high that someone will have a yarn that is perfect for a project you have in mind and will trade with you. If you don’t have a project in mind but still want to swap, be sure to keep in mind what the bulk of your stitch projects tend to be and choose appropriately.

Finally, step away from yarn store. Just don’t go in. Admit to yourself that you go in just to “see what’s new” but then walk out with single skeins because of how pretty they are. Unless that single skein is enough for an immediate project, resist the urge! Trust me, you have enough yarn. Use it!

Happy Crafting,

  • Judith K.

    I like to keep busy, and I have been either crocheting or knitting. I cast on a certain amount of stitches going across and then do a certain amount of rows and then use another color that goes well with the first color and then alternate..I can then use it on my dresser or just put it in a bag. It keeps my hands busy.

  • GrandmaSue10

    Great tips! Also, ask yourself how much time will this project take? (if you have a project in mind) Did I use the last____ (fill in the blank with a number) balls, skeins of yarn I bought. Am I buying it because it’s on sale? It’s no bargain if you never use it. My downfall: “It’s such a beautiful color or it’s so soft.” refer to It’s no bargain if you never use it.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *