How to create a stash (even a small one)?

Hi everyone,

I need some advice here, as usual! My husband and I are going to Athens next week. I’m pretty excited because we are going to stay over for a few days after his business is completed and just sightsee a little. Of course, the big thing I want to do is hit some yarn stores in the BIG CITY. How obsessed is that, to want to go to [I]yarn stores[/I] while in Athens, Greece? :aww: But the truth is, we live in a smallish town with horrible shopping so I hope to pick up some things while there. And my husband is always so busy we might not get to go back to Athens for months, so I want this trip to count.

I have some patterns on standby, but nothing I’ve absolutely decided to make. I have a sweater on the needles and I have Christmas presents planned, and the yarn for them, but nothing planned past that. So it isn’t like I can say, I need ten skeins of a heathery DK weight wool…etc, whatever.

Anyway! Could you please help me with a preliminary shopping list? Is there a standard list of stuff everyone should have in their stash, like you do with cooking spices? :shrug: (I already know I definitely want to get some cotton yarn, because I can’t get that locally.)

Thanks for reading this far, and finally here’s the question: Let’s say, you have nothing in your stash (like me). What would you want to be available? And if I find something I really like, how do I decide how much to buy if I have no pattern set aside for it?

I think it depends a lot on what you like to knit. If you like to make charity or baby stuff you might want soft cottons and acrylics for easy care. If you do charity for places like Afghans for Afghans then you’d want wool. And felting needs non-superwash wool, too. For sweaters you need quite a bit of yardage so figure that out before you go, too in case you see something that would make a beautiful sweater. This might help;

So what kinds of things do you like to make… sweaters, hats, baby stuff, felted stuff, etc…

Buy yarn and lots of it.


I would say pick out a few patterns you want to get the yarn for, and then just have fun after that. I have lots of stuff in my stash that I just picked up because they were pretty, nothing wrong with that too!:woot:

If my stash were suddenly completely empty, and I had the funds to restock, I would get sock yarn for about 5 pairs of socks (which is less than I have now, but who’s counting?), some dishcloth cotton, some delicious laceweight (enough for a shawl or two), and several balls of worsted weight wool in whatever colours (for armwarmers and other small accessories)

Yup, that would about do me.

That is pretty much what I would do too! Plus, I might plan ahead for one larger project, like a sweater. But I wouldn’t buy yarn for a sweater without a pattern in mind first.

I guess I’m too practical. :shifty: :teehee: But I do like to buy on impulse if I can. :wink:


Here is my plan for increasing my stash. I don’t get to start the increase until I get some of the Christmas stuff finished but I have made a plan. Somewhere I found a something that told me the averages of how much I would need to make things like sweaters and stuff so the plan is this: If I see something I like I will think what would I like to make. If it is sweater for me I will have my chart. Some things I see now I think oh that would make a great scarf and will pick up a couple of skeins. But I would definitely want to have enough for what ever pattern I picked later.

Make sure you report back on the yarn stores there, pretty please? I have a chance to go to Athens in January and I definitely want to shop the LYS in the area but I wouldn’t even know where to start!

Sounds like a great opportunity for yarn buying!

I have a friend who collects dinnerware. He says: whatever you like, buy two of, so you can at least have a friend over for a meal. To apply this to yarn, I say, whatever you like, buy the minimum for what you think the yarn would be good for! If it would make a nice dress scarf, buy at least that amount. A casual, wide and long scarf, buy that amount. If you are ambitious and see the perfect sweater yarn, BUY A LOT! Better to have extra than to have to fly back to Greece to get it (of course that may not be a bad thing either, if you can afford to!).

The site mentioned in an earlier post regarding yarn estimates sounds like a great way to go!

Safe travels.

So cute! That question! Buy buy buy yup that’s the answer.

Buy what you can afford. I mean when you’re in a yarn store if it’s really expensive yarn, you might not be able to get 10 skeins for a sweater (or 3 for a shawl) but you can always afford one right!? I’ve been buying yarn everywhere now for six years and it’s starting to fill up the rooms but I still don’t have enough

because now I want to make sweaters and that takes a lot. But I love having lots and lots of colors of different yarns because then you can like, paint with it, make hats and bags and vests & leg warmers and… with combined colors. And I am making them! (a woman recently asked me to put some stuff in her new store) (Also, always look for the sale basket, I have added so much to my stash with those)

Oh, I just remembered: we went to Greece on our honeymoon and while there I bought a handknit big cardigan in this very natural thick dark gray wool. That was in 1981. That sweater looks brand new I kid you not. Their natural yarn is very strong and beautiful… I hope you get some of that. Have fun!

Thank you all! All right, taking everyone’s advice into account (particularly Bostonbecca’s :mrgreen:), I decided to go with this:

  1. Enough appropriate yarn for a booga bag.
  2. Cotton yarn for face cloths and a couple of bath mitts.
  3. Enough for perhaps 2 scarves. Something really soft.
  4. Enough for 1 pair of socks (which I am still determined to learn but can’t get anything soft locally)
  5. And maybe enough for 1 sweater if I find something I really like and the price is right (I have a couple of patterns in mind)

No joke, but this would probably take me through next spring, leaving out the sweater, especially considering I have the yarn now for 3 scarves for Christmas presents. I’m a slow, slow, slow knitter. :teehee:

I believe you about the sweater. Some of the yarns here are indestructible.

I sure will!

It’s hard to know where to start. While Greece does have big chain stores, it also has a majority of privately-owned shops and boutiques. These can be very hard to find unless you have someone to tell you where to go or you fall over one by accident. They don’t have proper names, but mostly go by the name of the proprietor. Also, we don’t have a proper Yellow Pages so you can’t just look up “Yarn” and find out where to go.

One trick is that different streets will be dedicated, more or less, to one kind of shop. So if you can find the first one, you’ll probably find several more right in that vicinity.

The only one I know of right now is Sakalak, on Kolokotroni St. not far from Omonia Square. I feel confident that I’ll find others in the area.

Thank you! I like your theory! I guess I’m nervous because I’m still a new knitter and have trouble matching yarn to a project unless I have instructions on exactly what type of yarn to get.

I live in Greece, although I’m in a smallish town with limited yarn supplies about a 5-6 hour drive from Athens. That’s why I wanted to take advantage while I’m there, on a business trip with my husband.

I am sure that if the shop owner is nice and you buy something at their shop, they could tell you other good places to go.

Well, we didn’t go after all. :sad: My husband just has stuff keep happening at work and everything that could go wrong, went wrong. So the trip this week is off. :cry: Hopefully we’ll get to go in November.

I’m really disappointed about the yarn store! I typed up a whole list of things to look for. Plus, by the time my husband told me he just couldn’t get away I’d already boarded my kitty and can’t get him back until tomorrow.

Okay, whine mode off. :violin:

I’m sort of in the same boat, I just had great luck finding a bunch of stuff on sale and it’s the start of my stash. I guess if you at least have an idea of what you want to make soon, you might know to look out for so much for a sweater. Keep an eye out for sock yarn and buy enough of a few for a few pairs of socks, etc.

I think when you are face to face with the yarn, you will fall in love with some, and you will take it from there. Say you find some sportweight superwash, perfect for socks, or something.

Have a great trip!