The evolution of my stash of yarn, fiber and crafting supplies over the years has reflected my life and mood more than I realized until recently. I have always noticed slight changes in taste where color is concerned but I did not see the full scope of change when it comes to amount, organization or spending habits until I ran a more complete audit of how my life has been going and how I feel toward the end of this past year.
When I first started The Red Pansy, my yarn stash consisted of a lot of acrylics from big chain companies with some Malabrigo and Berocco mixed in when I could afford it. Those were considered my luxury brands at the time and I still recommend and buy from these brands today. Instagram was how I first discovered others dying their own yarns at home and I was immediately captivated! Within the first couple of years of starting my own small dyeing business I had amassed a larger stash that now included my own dyed creations as well as work from other indie dyers I admired. While I had been a knitter for years preceding this discovery, hand-dyed yarn opened a new door for me and expanded my fiber world more than I knew possible.
In the early years I was mostly intrigued by variegated colors in fall tones or complementary colors that were hard to create. I thought less about how the finished fabrics would look or wear and more about how the skein looked as an individual work of art, unused. I found myself collecting single skeins of yarn that sat on my shelf untouched for years at a time! When I was inspired to make projects, many of the finished pieces were admired but also not staples in my wardrobe. It wasn't until recently that I discovered the changes I needed to make to my stash and felt the peace that came with making these changes.
Before I started truly working on my healing journey and self-awareness, I liked to collect many pretty things without really analyzing the practical use or intention. Of course I'm not perfect and still do a bit of this now as well, but I really narrowed down how I collect and add to my crafting supplies now. I noticed that in actual use I prefer simple patterns with versatile stitch patterns and tonal solids in colorblock or stripes that can be worn in capsule wardrobe fashion. I sold off about 75% of my stash and narrowed down to solids and few variegated complementary skeins that can be used with these types of patterns and would give me many options to work with over the coming years. I feel much less stress about the amount of yarn I have on hand now, and more motivated to work on projects that I know I will really appreciate wearing or gifting. This isn't to say that having a larger stash is "wrong", just that it was not right for me, personally and the more I learned about myself the more I learned how to fine tune my collections to help me reach a more relaxed state in my down-time.
My collection now contains many simple shades I never would have considered when I first started knitting with hand-dyed yarn. I love to see the changes and growth that my life has reflected in my craft stash. I am excited to see what inspiration comes in the new year as I continue to work on my healing journey as well.