Stash Diet 2014

Happy New Year, sewcialists! If you follow me on Twitter, you know that I’ve been spending a lot of time in my sewing/craft room lately, going through things and just trying to get it neat so I can start 2014 off with a cleaner slate. There’s a lot of stuff that never really got put away after the move, so I’m trying to do it right this time! Though, as of last night (and with a little help from my husband), I have it at “good enough” for now, so now I can start making things again. Woohoo!

I’ve also been doing a lot of tracking of what I have, and have discovered that I have an embarrassing amount of stuff. I’d mentioned in my Hits & Misses post that I didn’t feel like I did such a great job of buying vs. using my stuff. But it’s all useful stuff, and the cheap frugal part of me doesn’t like to get rid of things that are useful. Especially when I still like the fabrics, you know? But hubby and I are also talking about potentially putting our house on the market this year and moving back up north. (Which, in this state, means 20 minutes away from where I am now, and above the canal so we don’t have to keep paying that stupid toll any time either of us go to work.) And that means the more I use, the less I have to pack, right? We’re also going to be attempting to crack down on our budget this year, so me using what I have instead of buying new craft supplies will be a huge help!

Stash Diet Badge

Andrea and Gwen have started a Stash Diet initiative for 2014, and I think it’s just what I need. I’m going to be doing mine for yarn, too, since I also have a lot of that. But I also need some ground rules, so here goes:

The basic rules:

  1. I will allow myself one new piece of fabric for every 4 from the stash that I use up. I will include lining fabrics into “things used up”, since I already added those into my yardage totals, but will not include scraps or muslin. Giving away fabric will also count, since that means it’s out of the stash.

    Side note–since I do have several curtain-type things on hand, I will count home dec fabrics towards the yardage totals, but not for new fabric purchases.

  2. I will allow myself one new yarn purchase for every 3 that I use up, proportional to the size of the project. For instance, I can’t buy enough yarn for a sweater if I only use enough for a hat. (Note to self: need ideas for yarn leftovers, since I frequently end up with about half a ball after knitting something.)
  3. I will allow myself one new pattern purchase for every 4 that I use. For the purposes of this project, reusing the same pattern multiple times in a row will only count as 1, like the Thurlows that I plan to make all at once. Using a previously used pattern for a different view or after a passage of time, like if I make another Tiramisu dress, will still count. (This way, I can still buy the hot new indie patterns that strike my fancy!)


  1. Fabric or yarn that I need to complete a project. For instance, I already know that I’ll need to purchase both Thinsulate and lining for the winter coat I recently purchased fabric for, because the lining that I did order fell through, and I don’t have enough yardage of anything on hand for that.
  2. Same goes for notions–I’ll use what I can where I can, but sometimes you just don’t have the right color zipper or enough buttons.
  3. Materials for gifts, if I don’t have anything I can use. I know of at least one friend who will be having a baby shower this upcoming year, and though I don’t know what I’m making for her yet, I don’t really have much in the way of baby-appropriate options on hand!
  4. Travel exception: If we can swing the vacation we’re hoping for, or if something magical happens and there’s a blogger meetup I can actually attend, I will allow myself up to 3 pieces of fabric/skeins of yarn.
  5. If unforeseen life circumstances happen, I will make an exception as needed. I say this because the last time I tried to do a major stashbusting effort, I ended up needing to buy over 20 yards of fabric for ny wedding dress! So, given my stage in life, although we are not currently trying, it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that I could unexpectedly get pregnant. It’s also not completely out of the realm of possibility that we might decide to start that process sometime over the course of the year. If that happens, I’m sure I would need to buy some fabrics and patterns, because I definitely don’t have enough knits or stretchy fabrics to make a cohesive maternity wardrobe! (But I would try to use what I had as much as possible.)

Stash shelves, end of 2013Here’s where I’m starting at:
Fabric currently in: Approximately 333.5 yards, not counting scraps or muslin
(Edit: Make that about 339.5. I forgot to factor in a Gorgeous Fabrics order that I’d already made before seeing this post. Though, since one is to make a garment out of an otherwise too-small stash piece, one of those pieces does fit my parameters!)

Yarn currently in, according to my Ravelry stash: Approximately  19,928 yards. (Though this isn’t entirely accurate, due to in-progress projects and some secret knitting.)

And this is how the shelves currently look. The 3 blue bins hold yarn, but I still had to leave a few projects’ worth in a separate bag, not counting the bag of knitting projects I’m actually working on at the moment. The rest of it is all of the fabric, minus what’s sitting in the basket in front–those are all of my Thurlow fabrics that I’m hoping to use soon. And there’s also at least 5 pieces of fabric that are bagged in the closet with their corresponding patterns. And everything I’ve bought recently for coats and whatnot, which still hasn’t made it in here from the laundry room. And anything for muslins, and scraps, and the several decent-sized pieces of fabric that had to get left in the scrap bins. Obviously, I need help!

What about you? Are you planning on doing any major stashbusting this year?


    7 thoughts on “Stash Diet 2014

    1. Ah, that gorgeous stash!

      Are you on Ravelry? One of my favorite ways to get rid of those half balls of yarn is to donate them to one of the charity knitting groups there. That way, I know they'll get used for a good purpose, but I don't have them cluttering up my space any more.


    2. That's so smart to keep track of how many yards you start with so that you have a clear number to measure against. I started doing that last year and then gave up… maybe I should try it again and stick with it 🙂


    3. Well, I'm also theoretically back on my fabric-fast until I've worked through a few more things. I'm tentatively saying I need to finish 5 things before I can buy anything new. (minus stuff to finish ongoing work) Maybe I can keep that pattern up for a giant fabric bin or two….


    4. I am on Ravelry, under sunnyb64. I'll have to check and see what their parameters are–I'm allergic to wool, so I have to use a lot of cotton, acrylic blends, things like that. And I know some knitters are super-picky about yarn that isn't wool!


    5. I was tracking it two years ago, but completely lost track with everything I had to buy for the wedding and just life getting busy. So hopefully it will work out better this time. I also changed the format to a spreadsheet from a regular Word doc, so it will do the math for me!


    6. If you want to jump in on the Stash Diet, it's set up so you can set your own parameters. Challenges like this are just more fun when you have other people to encourage you along the way!


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