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Topic: Give me stash-building tips please!  (Read 2021 times)
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« on: January 12, 2007 10:58:40 PM »

So I really want to build a handsome stash of yarns that I will love and use so when I see some cute project I don't have to agonize for 8 years over yarn choices, I can just say, oh that would be a perfect use for xyz yarn!

I don't want to spend a ton of money, but nor do I want crappy yarns that a) won't feel nice b) won't wear well or c) are just crappy.   I'm sort of overwhelmed with all the choices and would appreciate input from experts.

So any recommendations for specific yarns to buy?  and in what amounts?  I'm a new knitter (experienced crocheter) so I don't see myself doing a sweater anytime soon (takes up too much yarn in crochet!).

thanks in advance for all help and suggestions!
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« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2007 06:07:01 AM »

Online Resources:
Knit Picks

Walk About Shopping
Clearance Bins
Use the 40% coupon you get at places like JoAnns and Micheal's
Thrift Stores
Recycled Sweaters
Recycled Thrift Store Sweaters
Yard Sales

When anyone asks you what you want as a gift say one thing and one thing only......................"yarn"
When anyone asks you what you want as a gift that isn't yarn say these six little words........... "gift certificate to a yarn store"

Aside from the online places, all the other yarns you can touch before you buy. Touch the yarn, sniff the yarn, but don't manhandle the yarn. This way you can tell if you'll at least like touching it.

As far as what yarn brands...... you got me really as most of my stash is Knit Picks yarn, Peaches & Cream cotton, and recycled thrift store sweaters.

How much to buy?.... depends I guess. With the higher priced yarns you may only be able to budget one skein/ball. Recycling sweaters gets you a sweater worth of yarn for $4 (or free if you already own or are just given a sweater.... but the sweater has to be made a certain way, not just any old sweater will work) which may end up to be anywhere around 5 or so balls.

You can also get together with Knitter/Crocheters and do a small stash swap, while your stash may not get bigger it will change a bit and sometimes that's all you need.

Use plastic containers with lids to store your stash. If you ever get inherited yarn (yarn that has been living in someone's basement, etc) air it out before you add it to your stash (I have yet to receive non stinky inherited yarn). Try and keep (for lack of a better word) inventory of what your stash is (like wool, cotton, silk, acrylic) because the wrappers will disappear (I suspect yarn wrapper gnomes).

Its super easy to build a stash.... keeping that stash in check is where you'll need help.  Grin
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007 06:10:03 AM by Conley » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2007 06:32:58 AM »

My favorite all-purpose yarn is Patons Classic Merino.  You can get it at Michael's or Joann and Joann's has it on sale quite often for only $3.99 / 223 yard skein.  It's worsted weight and works beautifully for hats & scarves (it softens up quite a bit after blocking) and it felts like a dream.  And it comes in loads of colors - solids, marled, and variegated.  The possibilities are endless!

edited to add:
<---Hat in picture made with Patons Classic Merino. Wink
« Last Edit: January 13, 2007 12:13:44 PM by Calysa » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2007 11:06:08 AM »

if you're buying natural fibers, you might want to consider stocking up on neutrals.  then you can dye your yarn any color you want

not another knitting blog.  no, seriously, it's just a blog.  that never gets updated.
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2007 11:24:19 AM »

Know how much yarn will make a garment for you.  I wish I'd recieved this advice some time ago. If you know that, it makes your statsh much more orderly.

For example, I need 1100 yards of yarn to get me a full sleeved jumper in stocking stitch, which translates to about 12 balls of 50g yarn (in aran weight).

So, if I want a top with bracelet length sleeves , I know I need about 800-900 yards of yarn. Etc, etc.

This is good to know, so if you stumble a yarn sale, you know how much balls in one colour to buy.

Also, know your colours! Know what looks good on you, know what you like in terms of materials and stick to them. I used to buy oddments of colours in order to 'try' out the yarn, only to end up with colours that I really don't like and now am scratching my head to see how to make it work.

There's always ebay for stuff, so don't feel beholden to buy things in your LYS if you don't want to.

« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007 11:35:11 AM »

Red Heart

This yarn is acrylic, but it's often cheap at places like Michael's/JoAnns, and I've found works well when adding in fun-fur yarns and such.  Such great color variations too.  Not real soft, but, it's cheap.

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« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007 12:02:45 PM »

I find if I go to a yarn store...then I buy stuff.

And thats why I have a huge stash... Undecided

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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007 12:11:22 PM »

i bought most of my yarn at thrift stores, i have a huge stash of acrylic, but nicer yarns do appear once in a while. i always check there and sometimes get pleasantly surprised. other than that, i only buy brand new yarn when i have a certain project i want to do.

*spinswim* my hand-spun yarn and fiber shop!: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5546058
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« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2007 12:13:36 PM »

I built my stash by buying for projects and buying a few extra skeins while I was at it. Usually, when I'm in a yarn store, I'll pick up a few random skeins here and there, different colors and stash them for future use.

I'm a relatively new knitter too but I'm a long time crocheter. Most of my stash was built on acrylic yarn but recently, I've added some wool/wool blends to my stash.

The only advice that I can add to that is, pick colors that you like, add a few contrasting colors (I made the mistake of buying too much blue and I ended up with mostly blue, all shades, in my stash). If you want the 'good stuff', buy a skein or 2 at a time if you can't afford it all at once.

Go by the pattern that you're using for whatever you want to make and get a few extra skeins. You'd be surprised at how fast it'll add up.

Also, I check for sales. If I see something that I like on sale, I'll buy up about 6 skeins and put it away.
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2007 12:15:23 PM »

I find if I go to a yarn store...then I buy stuff.

And thats why I have a huge stash... Undecided

Um... me, too.  Funny how that works!  Wink

Mistake?  No... it's an Unexpected Design Element.  I put it there on purpose.  *ahem*
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