Thoughts on minimalism

A friend pointed me to the Minimalist Knitter handbook (free download here) by Robyn Devine of the Minimalist Knitter blog. The ideas in the handbook are:

  1. Knit through the stash until you have 40 skeins or less.
  2. Don’t buy yarn unless you can knit it in 3 months or less.
  3. Pare down the books and tools collection.

I like these ideas, but I’m starting from a yarn stash that fits into one box, and a fibre stash that fits in an identical box. The exception to the stash box is two sweater’s worth of yarn I picked up in the Knitty Couture closing down sale. I have plans for both of these but I know my sweater knitting speed is glacial.

Counting my entire yarn stash, I have 54 different yarns: 9 laceweight, 30 fingering/sock, 6 sport/DK, and 9 worsted. If I counted skeins it would be more, since much of the sock yarn is in two small balls, and I have sweater amounts of worsted. I think this is a reasonable stash amount for me, though I do prune it periodically and get rid of the stuff I no longer see myself using. Handspun yarn is a little different since so much time was put into the making of it. I don’t see myself destashing that and I have no guilt in keeping it, unknit. Knitting with my own handspun gives a wonderful "end to end" feel to a project, I knew this object as fluff, then singles, then plied yarn, then as a knitted object.

Yarn stash January 2011.

There are yarns I will get just to try them out, like Wollmeise, Peace Fleece, and Great Northern Yarns 70%/30% mink/cashmere or 100% yak. The experimental skeins often get used quickly. If they don’t get used, they’ll probably get cleared out of the stash after a couple of semi-annual prunings. Some yarn I attempt to destash, some I give away, the important thing is I get it OUT of my house.

I’m bringing a pile of yarn to knit group on Saturday to destash, hopefully I don’t end up taking much back home with me. I’ll also be bringing my Square, so I can take credit card payments on my phone if people don’t have cash.

3 thoughts on “Thoughts on minimalism”

  1. The beauty of having a reasonable stash is that you can enjoy it while not feeling even remotely guilty. I’ve only once or twice hit the point where my stash felt too large…and each time it took just a little bit of judicious pruning (and a good look at why I felt I had to keep some stuff when I clearly didn’t like it anymore) to get it back under control. My entire stash fits into an old, cheap chest of drawers..which is the perfect amount for me!

    Too bad I’m not just a wee bit closer! I might be tempted to take some yarn off of your hands.

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