Revive Your Fiber Stash

Your fiber stash—do you love it or fear it? When you find some neglected batt, long-forgotten roving, or half a bobbin of mystery singles, are you excited and grateful to see your forgotten treasure—or does it feel more like an obligation nagging you to spin it already?

I’m selecting treasures from my fiber stash to spin at a fiber conference. (“Selecting treasures” sounds better than “rummaging through bins like a cartoon raccoon,” doesn’t it?) As I find forgotten fiber, I’ve come up with the following strategies for taming and spinning my secret fiber stash.

fiber stash

A quick trip through the drumcarder can make your stash fresh and exciting. Photo by Joe Coca

1. Use a drumcarder.

If you don’t have your own, borrow one from a friend or guild. It takes some time and practice to learn how to use a drumcarder well, but when you have the hang of it, a drumcarder is a quick and delightful way to breathe new life into your fiber stash. Whether it’s creating your own custom fiber blends, blending a gradient, or just recarding a squashed batt, nothing takes a lot of fiber from depressing to delightful like a carding session.

2. Practice something new.

If you’re not sure what to do with a bit of fiber, try a new technique. My go-to is spinning slubs, which Sarah Anderson explains and demonstrates so beautifully but my fingers still find challenging. Learning something new uses up loads of fiber and gives you incredible dexterity.

fiber stash

Marilyn Wright’s Stash-Buster Afghan took dedication but transformed plenty of fiber and handspun yarn stash into a beautiful project. Photo by Joe Coca

3. Imagine giving it to a friend.

When I think of winnowing down my fiber stash, it hurts to imagine letting go of some of my treasures. When a friend wanted some yarn, though, it was much easier for me to part with something to give to her. After she’d chosen what she wanted, I found that it was too much trouble to put some things away, and I wound up letting them go after all. Jillian Moreno suggests having a party to share and rehome some of your fiber stash.

4. When all else fails, repackage.

After I went through my fiber stash, I put everything away carefully in resealable plastic bags, squashing out the air and nestling them back in the bins. It didn’t use or eliminate any, but it was much smaller, and I felt much better about it.

Anne Merrow

Featured Image: Is your fiber stash full of potential or full of anxiety? Either way, you can put it to good use. Photo by George Boe

What will you do with your fiber stash?

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