My new approach to yarn shopping as exemplified by my KAN stash

The first time I went to Knit August Nights, I saved for a few weeks so I could go a bit mad with buying from all of our amazing indie dyers. I think I still have one or two things in the stash from 2013 that I haven't used yet, which for me gave me some very good perspective about my habits as a knitter, shopper and how they have changed.

This year, I went to KAN with a project in mind. I've been wanting to knit a cropped cardigan that is a bit warmer than the current cardigan on the needles. I wanted to go for a colour that was a bit different to what I normally knit and wear, but would still work with a good chunk of my wardrobe.

The intended pattern is the Netherton Cardigan in the first issue of Pompom Magazine, and I was on the search for the perfect, rich green. I found it at Vintage Purls' stall at the KAN market, and quickly purchased enough to make my cardigan.

I also fell in love with a project bag. I'm not a really big accessories buyer. I have a few bags of different sizes for different sized projects, but what I really loved about this awesome bag from Three Bears Made is that it has a base and stands up. If I didn't have any other bags, I would definitely get more of these. This is just the right size for socks or another small accessory like a hat or mittens, which I knit a lot of. And bike basket friendly! I couldn't resist the print.

The one last treat was a sock yarn from Meraki Studio in the wonderfully named Unicorn Dust. I knit heaps of socks for myself and for gifts, although I think this one might be intended for mitts instead given the silk content.

And once those were purchased, I was done. I did laps of the market to see if there was anything else I might grab because what if it all sold out? These are limited, indie dyes, after all. But without a project in mind, I found it incredibly hard to just pick something.

This is a big change for me, and it's giving me a more meaningful relationship with my craft. Buying for projects that have had some thought given to them is a much better way for me personally. It's going to save me money, stash space, and the end project will be used much more, unlike so many things I've cast on impulsively. 

I know that this isn't the way all crafters do it, but I think we're all on our own journeys, and this one is making me a happier me. I want the yarns I buy to be used and loved, and seen by the world in a finished form of some kind. I don't want my skeins to be too precious to use and hidden away for years because the right project hasn't come along. Those yarns should be for other people who might want to do stuff with them instead!


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