Friday, January 13, 2017

A Fiber Budget

My now more organized yarn stash.

To buy or not to buy that is the question.  This year I am on a fiber budget to help curb my impulse control and overspending.  It was a joint decision between my husband and I that we need to be more aware of our spending.  Surprisingly, so far I'm finding having a budget is comforting.  What?  Yup, I said comforting.  For instance, my local yarn store is closing (the proprietor wants to retire so good for her, sad for me) thus she is liquidating everything in her store.  I could go crazy shopping, but with the budget that has to last the whole year, multiple fiber events and holiday gift making I simply can't if I'm going to keep my sanity.  So, instead of grabbing anything and everything that suits my fancy I actually mapped out a few projects and took stock of the yarn and needles I already have before purchasing.  And you know what?  I only bought what I planned for and no more.  Wow!  That has never happened to me.  I always come away with something I didn't plan on.  It felt really good to be in control, like really good.

I'm also finding myself figuring out how can I add to my budget.  This has me sorting through my yarn stash, needles, project bags and thinning out what I don't really love.  Basically, I guess I'm simply de-cluttering.  Then, I'm selling those items I've culled with the proceeds going back into my yarn budget.  Thus far I have paid for a class and the teachers dinner for my local fiber fair called Yarnover with these proceeds so my budget hasn't even gone down that much.  Now, this probably won't work for next year, but it is helping ease me into budget life with the added benefit of being more organized.

Since I do have enough yarn for years of future knitting projects, ahem, I am thinking I will save most of my budget for classes, events and experiences.  In Minnesota we have Yarnover and Shepard's Harvest in the Spring and the Fall Fiber Festival in Autumn.  They all have classes and lots of local fiber vendors.  I'm hoping to learn more about Fair Isle knitting from Mary Jane Mucklestone in her class Fresh Fair Isle at Yarnover as well as how to use a knitting belt used by the people of the Shetland Isles from June Hemmons Hiatt at the Yarnover teacher's dinner.  Both I think will be money well spent as they are based on key interests of mine.  

Well, it's only January so I'm still feeling pretty optimistic about this whole Fiber Budget idea.  I'll check back in with you on this subject in the coming months to let you know how it's going.  Do you have a fiber budget?  What helps keep you on track?  I'd love to hear from you.


  1. I am so impressed by the way you are sticking to your yarn budget. I agree with spending money on classes and experiences. I put myself on a no-new-yarn plan, which has curbed my purchases -- but not stopped them.

  2. I don't have a fiber budget, but since our household budget has taken a major hit over the past four years...less than a quarter of our former income...I do only buy what I need and then try to get a sale or work with stash.