Have you ever considered a complete destash? As in, getting rid of all your stash, totally, and starting again from scratch? Or not starting again? In this episode Jo confesses to having more than a passing consideration for getting rid of all of her painstakingly-assembled-over-nine-years-and-three-continents stash. It’s triggered somewhat of a life audit in other areas (or maybe vice-versa). Jo asks some tough questions as to why this might be happening, and invites you to come along on the ride whilst the stash audit takes place.

Holiday knitting stash

A Full and Complete Destash?

The world is a crazy place outside at the moment, and although Dominic Cummings is providing an amazing amount of mileage (womp womp) in the meme department, it’s still all kinds of weird being locked up. Times like this give you a kick in the slats and prompt a way-to-frequent existential questioning. This week, that’s extended to the stash and possibly becoming a minimalist in this department.

So yes, ladies and gentlemen, I’m here today to confess, to giving more than a passing consideration to a full and complete destash of my yarn.

Which I’m calling a life audit.

Let’s not call it a midlife crisis because as I’ve already said to you before, I’m nowhere near midlife yet I’m going to crack on until I am at least 120. I’m only 37, so currently I’m not barely a quarter of the way there: let’s face it.

So not a midlife crisis. Maybe a mid-Corona crisis, but is it a crisis? This is the big question. Is it a crisis to consider a full and complete destash?

Now I know people who’ve done this before. I remember Amy from KnitSpinCake doing a very aggressive destash a few years ago. She pretty much got rid of everything (by the way, if you used to listen to KnitSpinCake, Amy is back and podcasting again – highly recommend it). Normally, if someone’s moving somewhere, they do a very vigorous destash. Now I move house all the time, so I don’t do that. Some people never get to have a stash. They’re not stash people. They find the pattern, they find the yarn, they knit the thing, they wear it. They don’t keep a stash.

I’ve never wanted to be one of those people. Ever.

I like having stuff around me. I collect things. I’m a collector. I collect yarn. Everybody collects something. It’s a thing. It’s okay. Yarn makes me happy. Having a collection makes me happy. Or, it did.

Bilum Yarns Gradients

How much is too much yarn?

I’ve got a considerable selection of yarn and I love buying yarn. I’ve never been on a yarn diet and I’m never going to go on a yarn diet, because I don’t believe in diets. And when it comes to yarn, And I also believe that the stash is more than the sum of its parts. It’s a pool of potential. It’s not a collection of yarn. It’s not hoard in or anything negative. It is a vessel for creativity and inspiration that is bigger than the sum of its parts. It’s bigger than the individual skeins.

But I’m still considering a destash. I don’t really know why either, because it’s not like I’ve got a ton of stuff in there that I don’t like. And I will use all of it at some stage, for sure. But I just walked up to the cupboard and thought, “I might just a much get rid of all my yarn. I might just scrap it and start again. I like a lot of stuff in there, but there’s so much beautiful yarn in the world.”

There’s enough beautiful yarn for everyone. It doesn’t matter how favourite your favourite skein is. Does it matter how golden your skein is?

There’ll they’ll always be another skein.
There’ll always be another chance.
There’ll always be another favorite.
There’ll always be more.
There is more yarn than any of us would ever need.
There is no shortage of yarn for all of the knitters to have all of the yarn.

But I fully reached this point where I’ve considered getting rid of it all. I am in the middle of a massive, clearcut right now. I think coming back to a house that has stood empty for a year also doesn’t help because you come back and think, well, I don’t need all this stuff.

How Does The Stash Make You Feel?

Does it make you feel warm and happy or does it make you feel a little bit panicky?

Does it make you feel guilty? It should never make you feel guilty, but does it make you feel guilty?
Why did you feel guilty about that?

It’s just yarn, but it’s not just yarn. It’s like a lot is wrapped up in the yarn and the creativity in the making of things. How do they make you feel? Do you feel under pressure to keep up with a knit along? Do you feel like you’re not knitting the best, greatest thing? Do you feel like your knitting is not as good as other people’s?

Another question that came up for me was ‘what are you missing from your knitting life at the moment?’ For me, a lot of the knitting was almost secondary. I mean – like to do it, it makes my mind ordered. I get really great ideas when I knit. I also love being warm. I’m such a reptile.

But – a lot of my knitting life is about the people that I’ve met and that I spend time with. We come from all of these different places, and we all travel to these different events and we all get together. We chat, like it’s been no time at all since we last met, because they are the people who are as crazy about this thing as, as we are. That’s pretty special. The ones who will go that distance, who will travel that far to go to a yarn show and meet up with their friends and do everything that goes along with that. And I’m missing a lot of that at the moment.


I’m also going to take a look at a resource that I was gifted by Kate Carter Evans of Infinite Twist when I met her in February 2019, when I was in Singapore. She’s based in Singapore. She’s a friend of my friend May. She’s put together StashFit: a workbook and guided process for putting together a stash that fits. I’ll be reviewing this in a future episode.


Music for this episode with kind permission of Adam and the Walter Boys, ‘I Need a Drink’ available on iTunes.

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