Rationing

Last year, I half-heartedly said I would knit from stash. I did OK with this, but I also added too much to stash. Looking through my archives, there’s a definite pattern: most of the shopping happened during November and December. Is it a pathological need to stock up on woolly goods in preparation for the cold winter?

Anyway! I’ve decided to come up with a “yarn regimen” in part inspired by Knittymama’s Ten Project Challenge. To keep a lid on the impulse shopping, I’ll keep a list of yarns, colorways, or other items to purchase. That way, I’ll have some kind of guidelines in hand when I can shop.

But before I go into details about the yarn regimen, I want to outline some personal knitting goals I would like to accomplish this year.

1) Complete the afghan for my parents 2) Enroll in and complete at least one Level of the TKGA Master Knitter program 3) Join only one sock yarn club (it was hard to choose, but I finally decided on Zen Yarn Garden’s HARMONY Semi-Solid Sock Yarn Club because the colors would all be semi-solid. 4) Knit at least two sweaters 5) Adhere to the Yarn Regimen as listed below.

Here’s the basics of the regimen: in 2008, I must complete certain types of projects before earning a purchase “token” for that type yarn. 1) knit (and completely finish/assemble) at least TWO sweaters or vests before making a new sweater-quantity yarn purchase. 2) knit at least TWO shawls or stoles before making a new laceweight yarn purchase. 3) knit at least SEVEN pairs (complete, as in matched) of socks before buying a new pair’s worth of sock yarn. 4) knit (and completely finish/assemble as needed) at least TEN small projects not included in the above categories before I can purchase any small miscellaneous quantity of yarn (examples: hats, mittens, baby items, or dischloths)

The rules and exceptions: 1) One exception is my birthday; I can treat myself to one skein (or 2 x 50 g equivalent) of sock yarn. 2) The purchase tokens cannot be incremented. In other words, I can’t finish 14 pairs of socks and then buy two pairs worth of yarn. 3) If I visit a LYS while traveling (outside the metro area, or out of state), and have no purchase tokens available, I can buy only one skein of a cotton or cotton-blend yarn to use for state or gift dishcloths. 4) I must do my best to use stash or trade for the Master Knitter’s program supplies. Only after I have exhausted these options may I buy exactly and only what is needed for the project.

Obviously, not only would I like to make a good dent in my stash, but I also want to knit some larger garments that I haven’t gotten around to during the past one or two years. I’ve joined two groups on Ravelry to help me meet my goals. The first is Sock Stash Elimination Campaign (or SSEC), which also has a blog (link is on sidebar). The name is pretty clear, we are to use up our sock yarn stash as much as possible. The second group I joined is Stash Knit Down 2008. I set two goals for myself: 1) reduce total stash yardage to 69,000 yards (ulp!) and 2) reduce the sock potential stashed to 85 pairs. Monthly challenges are planned for this group. The first one starts tomorrow and the goal is to knit one mile of yarn in 6 weeks (1760 yards or 1609 meters). Anything completed during this period can be applied to the challenge, so it is not limited to projects that begin on or after Jan 5. I hope I succeed!

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23 Responses to “Rationing”

  1. Lisa Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 6:35 am

    Wow you have set some lofty goals for yourself. I have also been thinking about stashbusting. I am going to knit as much as possible from the stash and only allow myself to buy yarn for designing or gifts and only if there’s not something in the stash already that will work. Ugh. I hope we can stay strong! Good luck Harriet!

  2. Connie Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 7:21 am

    Wow! Did you make a chart to post in your purse? I can’t wait to see all the wonderful projects that you will be working on.

  3. Christy Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 7:23 am

    good luck! I joined stashdown too – I’m going by grams. (easier for me to weigh a FO and deduct. ;) especially since kitchen cotton & mystery yarn doesn’t always tell you the yardage)

  4. Dave Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Woah, dude, them’s some pretty harsh rules. 7 to 1 on socks? Yikes. Non-incremental? Double yikes. Knowing full well that I should be doing exactly the same but probably won’t, I salute you!!

  5. Guinifer Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I am noodling the same kind of plan for myself, but I am going to be much more generous with the sock yarn (I’m trying to be realistic).

  6. Renee Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 8:42 am

    Wow, that’s a pretty stiff set of rules. I wish you the best! I should probably do something similar, but I know I’d never be able to keep it up. I am going to try to stay within my budget for craft supply purchases, which would be a big enough change.

  7. Chris Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Wow. Very detailed goals there – good luck!

  8. Miss T Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I think I’d need a secretary to keep up with all that. :o)

  9. bellamoden Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Good wishes for you! I know you can do it…

  10. Jeanne Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 2:07 pm

    Those are some very lofty goals. Good luck! I could probably use some goals like that for myself, but I’m weak and I know it wouldn’t work. 8-)

  11. knittymama Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    That is an excelent plan; glad I could inspire!!! I might need to tweak mine a :-)

  12. Becky Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    That’s a pretty strict program! Good luck with it. I love posts like this. It keeps me in line with my buying….well, sometimes. ; )

  13. Jill Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    You put WAY too much thought into this stash thing. It’s a bit scary but – I wish you luch and lots of beautiful new knit items.

  14. lisa Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    After doing such a terrible job meeting last years’ goals, I decided not to make any this! Like you, stashbusting was a goal, like you, I increased more than I used. But a couple of those kals look good… will have to investigate! I didn’t tally up all the yardage I accumulated when lys closed, but it was 47000 yds prior to opening three 30 gallon bags. Hmmmmm….

  15. Opal Says:
    January 4th, 2008 at 10:03 pm

    Incredible goals! I’ll be cheering you on! As for the Zen Garden Semi-Solid Sock Club? I so didn’t need to know about that. Oh my. I’m a sucker for Semi-Solids.

  16. Tanya Says:
    January 5th, 2008 at 6:23 am

    Good for you! Ugh! I need to do the same (set goals). Always good to have goals as long as you don’t get upset that you (I!) don’t meet them. My only goal, right now, is to finish one UFO a month. Shouldn’t be hard with all the half finished socks I have going!

  17. schrodinger Says:
    January 5th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Happy New Year to you!!! Good luck with the goals you set.

  18. Jennifer Says:
    January 5th, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Wow! I like your stash management ideas. I’ll have to keep them in mind, and perhaps use/modify them for myself!

  19. Kelle Says:
    January 5th, 2008 at 9:08 pm

    Sounds like a plan, I’ve been wanting to do the master knitter program as well, I don’t think this will be the year for me. I don’t think the first level will be too difficult for you and you probably can use mostly stash yarn for the projects. One thing you may want to think about is you may want to reduce your number of socks to be completed to 5 rather than 7. Here’s what I’m thinking if you plan to do more larger projects, like sweaters and shawls that you will have less time to knit socks and it may take you longer to knit those seven than you think. The idea is to use up the yarn we have but not make the task too stressful or we’ll start to feel deprived and begin seeking yarn to sooth ourselves. Good Luck!

  20. Sydney Says:
    January 6th, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Good luck with your goals! I should probably do something like this, but I suck at following rules. ;)

  21. Nicole Says:
    January 8th, 2008 at 4:43 pm

    Ambitious! Especially considering a huge chunk of your time might be gone in September… good luck!!

  22. mrspao Says:
    January 14th, 2008 at 12:19 am

    Gosh – that’s quite a plan! Good luck with it!

  23. Rina Says:
    January 18th, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Whoa. That’s pretty constrained rules for you. Good luck.

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