Hi Everyone,

green-smoothieNow that we are just a wee bit into the New Year, we are hearing about all kinds of diets, cleanses and detoxes.  And, I confess, after the partying I did over the holidays, I have been whipping up my fair share of green smoothies too.


Besides what we put into our bodies, there are many other parts of our lives that can benefit from some serious house cleaning.  I know this will hit home for some of you, but our fiber-related stuff is one such area.  I am with you.  I have too much, too.  And, I have fallen prey to the same things everyone else does — here’s my own personal list of “reasons” for stash enhancement:

  • It was a great deal
  • I have never seen anything like this before
  • I may never see anything like this again
  • It’s so pretty….
  • I have always wanted to try that
  • It is good to support fellow fiber folk
  • Such-and-such is doing this or has that, so I should too

These seem to be the main thought processes that have led to probably more yarn and fiber than I can possibly use in my lifetime and I don’t even consider my stash all that bad.

I’ve gotten a little better.  My proof is that I no longer buy any old bag of “grandma” yarn that I find for next to nothing at yard sales.  I do keep a little of it around because there are times when I do need junky yarn for something, but gone are the big garbage bags of it.


I also will not buy unwashed fiber if I’m not going to be able to wash it pretty quickly.  And, I have a pretty good stash — ok, bins and bins — of washed fiber.  I can manage to restrain myself pretty well by consoling myself with the idea that the animals are making more all the time so I don’t need to stock pile any further.

I guess about two or three years ago, I cleaned out my unfinished projects that I knew I was not going to ever finish.  Some of them I had finished and some, I threw away.  Now, I ‘m very strict about having no more than one knitting and one weaving project going at the same time.

Even with these restraining thoughts, I still have “issues”.  And, it’s that time of the year which seems best suited to addressing this kind of situation.  I could have titled this post, “The Great Fiber Cleanse” or “Fiber Detox” or something like that, but that’s kind of negative, don’t you think?  Instead, I’m going to frame this initiative as “Sparking Joy” based upon the Marie Kondo approach as described in “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up”. I read this book last year and the concept has been super helpful to me in terms of how to keep down my clutter in the house — especially with clothes that no longer fit.



Now, I’m ready to apply this approach to my fiber world.  The concept is really pretty simple:  when going through your possessions, for each item, you ask yourself, “Does this spark joy?”  And, if it does, then keep it.  If not, clear it out.

I recognize that something that could hold me back is thinking that if I let go of the “thing”, while it is not sparking joy for me, I also do not want it to just get trashed or unappreciated.  Afterall, a lot of the yarns and fiber I have weren’t cheap!  So, to soften that blow, I have done various things ranging from donating to a worthy cause to giving stuff to fiber friends to organizing swaps with fiber friends.  Swaps are probably my favorite way — even if I have to control myself from bringing back as much as I contributed.  In particular, I like swaps for finished items which I really cannot bear to donate.

I’m looking forward to this process.  I find the LESS I have of anything, the more I appreciate it, the more I really come to explore its complexities and nuances instead of being overwhelmed and paralyzed by too many choices.  If you could only spin one fiber type, imagine how well you would know the qualities of the breed.  If you only had one project on your needles or loom, imagine how well you could focus on getting it completed!

So, that’s my pitch.  Will you join me in Sparking Joy with your stash?



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8 thoughts on “Sparking Joy!

  • January 6, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    yes! i’m in!
    I read this book last year and it really started to move my sense of direction around how to deal with stash and other ‘stuff’. though i didn’t really do it like in the book, all at once, i am right now working on my clothing…shoes, jackets and accessories which are an easy hit for me. It is really becoming about appreciating what i want to keep and letting go that which i may still love, but honestly am not using (and will likely not use again unless out of ownership guilt and who needs that!)…
    So, yes, doing this for stash and tools etc, seems quite logical and reasonable. And, it is a good reason to look for new fiber artists to recruit! I have some newbie knitters in my life… and would feel great gifting them some quality yarn to work with. and, some newbie spinners that i would also feel great gifting fiber, tools and whatever else is “on the chopping block” from my pile.
    this is a great task to have support around… so, yes, i am in!

  • January 7, 2016 at 3:36 am

    I followed the book in my closet and part of my kitchen. Time to get back. Thanks for the reminder. There is far too much stuff here.

  • January 7, 2016 at 8:47 am

    I also have this book and have begun I bought her new but hav`nt read it yet/
    Stay tuned Jen

  • January 7, 2016 at 3:12 pm

    No book, just plain old digging through stash..but on a good note, I thought I was out of mohair and was going to buy some and voila, I found it. My issue is organizing what I do have…and that is my goal. I am trying to make my dungeon a more pleasurable place to go down too. I love the Granny yarn…I have none…!!!!

  • January 12, 2016 at 4:00 am

    I can really resonate with this…I get ADD of fiber arts and I have too many choices and instead of making more possibilities it makes me feel stuck and frozen. I did a big purge and gave a whole lot of my yarn to a family who will use it and some fibers to a young spinning student who was thrilled to get it. Another book I have found helpful is Stephanie Vogt Bennet’s book Space Clearing or her newest book : A Year to Clear

  • January 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    When my barn is finished, I will start sorting. If everything has its place, I won’t feel like I have so much. I have more than ten projects going in my dining room. All will get finished. My design process requires that I have multiple things going at once. Ideas spark other ideas and I have to have my stash! I am controlled in the sense that I do not go out adding to my stash from other sources. Since I own animals and have a recurring stash of fleeces, I will use this year to downsize the flock and herd!

  • January 15, 2016 at 11:34 pm

    Clutter is my number one problem. If only I could clean out my clutter, I would have a lighter load to carry, mind, body and soul. I need to read that book.

  • January 21, 2016 at 11:39 am

    decluttering is my new motto….love the good read


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