Come to Terms with Your Spinning Fiber Stash (A Tale in Three Tunes)

Fiber stash has a way of multiplying and becoming unmanageable. Are you plagued by oodles of bumps and braids, or yearning to spin for a larger project? Spread out your stash and survey the abundance. Come to terms with your stash. (Plus, it’s the first step toward fulfilling that New Year’s resolution to spin down your stash.)

“My Precious”—Keep It!

We all have some: the precious “one-of–a-kind,” “too good to use,” fiber. Keep it, knowing we won’t judge. Save it. Display it. Pet it. Admire it. It’s all good.

“You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling”—Let it Go!

Once upon a time, it was true love. A saucy braid of handpainted fiber beckoned from a booth at your local wool festival, and you succumbed to its charms. Then over time, the fondness faded. Release fiber that fails to spark joy. Give it away. Sell it. Trade it. Just let it go. Life is too short to spin fiber you don’t love, and it might just cause someone else’s heart to go pitter-pat.

“A Change Would Do You Good”—Transform It!

Prepare the fiber. Photo by George Boe.

Prepare the fiber. Photo by George Boe.

On the other hand, maybe it’s not too late for that no-longer-beloved braid. (Yes, I can be a fickle spinner.) Break up a batt, braid, or bump by removing an offending hue. Blend colors to make new ones. Combine braids and bumps. Reimagine your stash. In “Coordinating Handpaints,” Debbie Held explains how to make and spin mashups (Spin Off Winter 2017). She successfully blended eight 4-ounce braids and bumps of handpainted fiber for larger projects. Debbie says, “The secret to this cohesive mashup lies in the way you break down the braids and mix up that fiber.” She adds, “As long as you grab a strip of fiber in a color that’s different from the one spun immediately prior, your mashup will spin up cohesively yet informally, right before your eyes.”

Sample swatch and skein. Photo by George Boe.

Sample swatch and skein. Photo by George Boe.

Need de-stashing support? Check out Spin Off’s Ravelry thread to connect with others spinning down their stash in the Combo Spin-along, or check out Instagram #combospinsalkal for inspiration and encouragement. As Jillian Moreno says, “Stash is a reflection of you”—a thought that’s both terrifying and empowering! For more on stash management, watch Jillian’s video Spin Your Stash.

Happy stash-diving!
Elizabeth

Featured Image: by Debbie Held.


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