Right now I have 4900 yards remaining in my stash which, given that I started at 7500 yards (2 months ago) isn't bad. I actually think I might have neglected to add in about 1000 yards initially (because I bought extra yarn for the Decalage scarf and then ripped back the KNUS sweater), but even if I was accurate with my original count, 2600 yards is 2 and half sweaters worth of yarn. I'm making progress.
One of the larger yardages in my stash has been Quince and Co Tern (fingering-weight silk and wool blend) in the Barnacle colourway. I used some of it to knit this cowl shawl in the fall, on my way to my grandmother's funeral as it happens. Even if that experience did undercut my enjoyment of the wool, I never liked the colour. I thought it would be more grey, less green. I have been putting off using it, complaining about how it just doesn't excite me, whereupon one of my work friends suggested that I try to return it.
Um, I bought it, online from Quince, in October 2014. It did not occur to me that a return would be feasible. But the yarn was still in the hanks, with the labels, in perfect condition (having been well-stored). Furthermore, I love Quince yarn (though Tern isn't my fave) and I'd use a credit very easily. So I emailed them and they responded immediately advising that I could indeed send it back. Of course, Quince yarn is so affordable that the credit will be a mere $28.50 US (and I spent 10 bucks to return the yarn). But this means I can put it towards a more practical yarn purchase at some point in the future. The best thing of all is that I'm down 660 yards AND I don't have to knit with a yarn I'm never going to enjoy.
On the topic of stash-busting, I've been thinking a lot about Felicia's stash-less philosophy. One of her emerging perspectives is that, if you make a sweater (for example) that you will NEVER wear (sound like someone you know?), the most sustainable way to manage the issue is to rip it back and restash the yarn. My way, to date, has been to give the sweater away. Then I don't have to deconstruct something that's taken 100 plus hours to make and I get to be generous. But Felicia has a point. It's not the least wasteful methodology. It's also not the cheapest. Scott thinks that this argument is crazy. He likens it to tearing down
your large house to make it smaller when you don't need as much space
On the flip side, it's boring to knit with the same yarn 3-plus times. Ask the yarn-end stash-buster how she knows. There's something to be said for variety - and what it teaches one. How would I know how yarn works if I only knit with the same fiber till I perfected, to my own mind, the end result. Did I mention that ripping that shit out is PAINFUL. Furthermore, way to increase the stash numbers endlessly! Am I really ruining the world by choosing not to unknit what I've made? I mean, if I want to be sustainable (and I do), should I not buy myself a sheep (even if it lives remotely) and make all of my yarn, from scratch?
I'm not being rhetorical here. I really don't know the answer. So I'm looking for feedback.
Do you often unknit the projects you've made to reuse the yarn? Does it totally stress you out? Do you routinely return unused hanks for credit (or do you get complacent and leave it in the stash)? Do you resent knitting 18 hats for puppies when you have miles of 40 yards ends to contend with. Am I overthinking this? Please, let's talk.