The Plan and How it worked.

I left Toronto for Rhinebeck with a pretty good plan for wool shopping avoidance. I recognized in myself my susceptibility to become overly excited in the presence of wool (I blame fumes) and my special vulnerability to the ways of other knitters. I’ve got stash issues lately, and I’m trying to reel it in. I’m not stash dieting, because we all know that works with wool about as well as it does with food. (Lose two pounds of merino, gain four of mohair because you felt deprived.) Nope, the only answer to getting a hold of the stash is long term sensible change. These last few months the stash has outgrown it’s space and although I do not feel that it is a problem to use wool decoratively, I have issues with using it structurally, and that’s where we’re headed. (I have considered doing whatever it takes to contain the stash until one of the girls goes off to University and the stash can have its own room, but I think that when Amanda goes she won’t go far, and worse than that I’m starting to realize that explaining to Meg and Sam that they still have to share a room because “Mama’s a little loose with the wool money” isn’t going to get me that Mother of The Year Award that burn for.) Storage issues aside, there’s some really great stuff in the stash and I want to use it. Everything in there is something I adore and deserves to come into the sun a little. Burying it under further acquisition is not doing it justice. Furthermore, (the use of the term “furthermore” signifies that I have given this a great deal of thought) I have come to be convinced that the secret to living a calm, organized, spiritually centred life is possessing less stuff, and purchasing things makes there be more stuff. Therefore (another word indication thoughtfulness) I came up with a Rhinebeck plan and attempted to follow it.

Point: I would not purchase anything that I could get at a local yarn store. I would seek only the excellent and rare, the unique and spectacular. I would only buy things that I loved. Really loved.

Score: Excellent. This rule allowed for a small Morehouse Merino purchase (ONE skein…a personal best) and for a small baggie of naturally coloured baby Camel/silk roving from Fiber Kingdom that literally makes me weak in the knees. There are no camels in Toronto.

Point: I would not purchase anymore of anything that was already in the stash, regardless of other points.

Score. Whoops.


A Grafton Fiber batt. Mea Culpa. (In my defense, that was inevitable, and there is only one.)

Point: I would not purchase anything on the first day. Saturday would be for consideration, contemplation and assessment. I would simply not remove my wallet from my purse on this day, but instead admire the goods and sleep on the possibilities.

Score: Not good, but who really nails a new technique straight out of the gate. The Grafton batt was obtained on the first day, and…err…this.


This is a sock kit from Tongue River Farms. It has a book with the patterns for six really, really beautiful pairs of socks and three skeins of naturally coloured icelandic sock yarn with which one can make all six pairs. Six pairs of socks, six patterns and nearly endless entertainment for $60? I’m only human, and I’m pretty smart. It would have been irresponsible and foolish not to buy it and it looked like they were going fast. This was in my hands within about two seconds of sighting.


Successful delays include this Foxhill Farm Cormo that I “visited” four times before buying. (Four times! You hear that? I’m a tower of strength. If you could feel how soft and cushy this is you would be so impressed. Four times.) I also got this kit from Shelridge Farms, which I have wanted for three years. (Sorry guys, I don’t know what’s wrong with that link. It’s supposed to go to the Border Collie Shirt tail.) I’ve had a long running deal with myself that if it was ever there at the end of a show I would get it…and lo. This time it is mine.

Point: I would not purchase anything that I already own just so that I could use the stuff that I bought before I got home. This point was designed to stop me from buying needles and spindles so that I could cast on/spin stuff just purchased. I’m an “instant gratification takes too long” sort of girl, and have been guilty in the past of buying sock needles to start socks on the way home from the yarn store…even though I have 25 sets of decent sock needles at home.

Score: Nobody’s perfect,


and in my defense, that little spindle is exceptionally good, totally appropriate for the fibre (that’s the camel/silk) very beautiful and was made by my friend and yours, S. Kate. I started spinning that stuff before left the festival. Some things are too good to walk away from.

Point: I would not claim that yarn “doesn’t count” because it was on sale, very beautiful or present in small amounts. (Sock yarn included.)

Score: I did pretty well, with one tiny exception, but we may have to do an intervention with Cassie, since she tried this game with an enormous bag of unprocessed fleece, claiming that it “didn’t count” because it was going to the processors instead of to her home. Right. Is that a receipt in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Point: I would only use cash and I would not use the cash machine at the fair.

Score: Also well done, and to further impress you, I came home with leftover money and didn’t steal any money out of Juno’s purse while she was sleeping.

Point: I would resist peer pressure and not buy something just because everybody else was getting it.



Let’s just let that big bag from Spinners hill speak for itself. Shall we?

That’s it. That’s all I got, well. Except for this.


We’ll talk about that later. It broke a couple of rules, but it’s a sock kit, so it doesn’t count.

160 thoughts on “The Plan and How it worked.

  1. That is quite a haul, but still, I am impressed with your restraint.
    The girls wouldn’t notice the stash so much if you replaced the stuffing in their mattresses with it.

  2. If you do a cost per hour, it is very reasonably priced entertainment — and it approaches free if you include not only your own entertainment but the pleasure all of us get from reading about your entertainment.
    Of course, it just ends up being more expensive for the rest of us, who find out about lots of great fibery goodness we wouldn’t otherwise know about…..

  3. The “buying needles on the way home so that you can start knitting right away” thing totally hit home. I was going to my niece’s soccer game on the way home on Sunday and my LYS is around the corner from the soccer field and I actually went and bought more needles so I could start something! Your purchases look great! I am in love with mine too.

  4. Hooray, I was first!
    OH yeah, and that Shelridge Farms border collie on the border sweater? Completely freaking wonderfully adorable. Why on Earth did you wait three years for that? I hereby grant you permission to buy immediately any kit for any sweater or knitted item that is that cute, or cuter.

  5. i’m really impressed!
    beautiful lovleys you have there…
    it’s okay to have rules & bend them a bit.. these fests don’t happen every day…
    and if you can get over your issues, there really is nothing wrong with using the stash structurally. i have a friend who puts it in her drop ceiling. hey good insulation!

  6. I got the Tongue River Farm sock kit at Stitches Midwest a couple years ago. I love the yarn, and it always surprises me how soft it is. I’ve been trying to resist buying more. You’re weakening my resolve….

  7. Thanks for the tour-I think you showed great restraint, personally. What did you start to knit on the way home?!!

  8. You know, I should probably say thanks. I recently read one of your books (having read only your blog up until now) and enjoyed it very much. I left it lying around while I was reading it, and my (non-knitting) husband also enjoyed it very much. He has also now decided that any stash issues I have could be much, much worse. πŸ˜‰
    Love the sock kit. The Morehouse merino sounds wonderful, too, and…well, all of it, really. πŸ™‚

  9. I shall try to work with the same rules at Baadeck Yarns this weekend. However, doesn’t it sound so very rude to leave a Debbie Bliss event without at least a sweater’s worth of her yarn? I thought you’d think so.

  10. Stephanie, your visit to Rhinebeck sounds delightful. And I must say that you did awfully well with resisting all the wonderful, yummy yarny things you saw. Every purchase was really well justified. Sock kits don’t count, eh? I really like that rule. Wait ’til I tell my hubby!

  11. Everything from Rhinebeck looks great – Sorry I skipped it this year – My calendar is marked and booked for next year πŸ™‚ Only 51 weeks to go

  12. I hide my stash in shoe boxes. My husband just thinks I really like shoes. He doesn’t need to know the truth until we’ve been married for a really long time. The actual time of “a really long time” is to be determined at a later date and is subject to change at my will.

  13. I hope I can muster much the same restraint this weekend — I missed Rhinebeck, but am heading to an angora seminar and open house on Sunday in Maine. It is all I can do to try to resolve myself NOt to bring home a bunny, and hubby has actually givev his blessing. why did he have to do that, when I am trying to be sooooo good?
    Can’t wait to see your new creations! (Maine isn’t too far from Toronto, is it??? lol)

  14. Goodness! Nothing like creating and following a plan (mostly) to make you feel like a million $$, eh?! But I do think you were a little sneaky in only linking to the Sheep-Border Collie-T kit instead of uploading a picture.
    Having said that, I must tell you that it really is a duty of knitbloggers attending festivals everywhere to buy as much as they can, then show us the stuff. After all, if I can’t go to Rhinebeck, then I durn well want to see someone who made good use of her time there! So, thanks Stephanie, from all of us.

  15. …nice haul. You always manage to find the most lovely things! One of these years I’m going to have to find a way to get to Rhinebeck.
    Can’t wait to see what that sock kit turns into!

  16. I got the Tongue River sock kit too – those sample socks were so beautiful and soft and warm…and I tried to stick with the cash-only rule, but too many vendors took credit cards, so it was easy to be tempted by the Dark Side.

  17. I missed Rhinebeck ’cause I’m in Oregon for work this week… but now that I’ve seen your stuff, I feel like I was there (almost)… ok, well, not quite… maybe if I could stop in Toronto on the way home and touch it… yeah, that’s it, I’ll stop by and touch it… maybe we can swatch… between flights… yeah, that’s it, I’ll get a layover in Toronto and you can haul all the stuff to the airport, and I’ll buy the coffee, and we can swatch for a few hours… and then I’ll feel like I was at Rhinebeck… or not… but thanks for sharing the pics, anyway.

  18. It sounds like your new guidelines worked just well enough to keep you happy while still leaving some fiber, yarn, and patterns for the others to enjoy. Congratulations on striking a balance! (What a gorgeous Grafton Fibers batt! Not that everything else wasn’t beautiful as well.)
    Regarding buying duplicate needles at the LYS, I recently filled out two copies of a needle inventory so I can remind myself that I can wait the five minutes to get home (I live around the corner from Herrschners). I keep one in my knitting bag, now if only I will remember to look at it.

  19. S.Kate? I missed S.Kate? S.Kate was there and I MISSED HER? How in the hell did I miss S.Kate? Why did nobody tell me where to find S.Kate? DAMMIT.
    oh, right – the part where this is a blog about you. Nice haul. excellent um, restraint?

  20. btw – you missed Matthew’s first spinning lesson at the SnB last night. He may never let me go without him again. And I now have 33 pictures of Denny on my camera. 34 if you include the one I took on the weekend.

  21. I was close when I guessed you would come home with four batts of fibre.
    Not a bad score over all. I’m impressed with your restraint.

  22. Beautiful yarn/batts/roving. Good photos too- makes you want to pet the monitor in the belief that you would actually feel the yarn (not that I did.)

  23. The fact that you mentioned stealing money out of Juno’s purse means you thought about stealing money out of Juno’s purse. I’m glad to see your steely restraint prevailed.

  24. Love the “stuff the mattress” idea — you could stuff the couch (chesterfield) too, right?
    I find yarn shopping to be a lot like dieting: if you deprive yourself too much, you’ll binge. Looks like you made great choices! Besides, it’s tax deductible, right? (Business expense…)

  25. If it makes you feel better, I left home with instructions NOT TO BUY ANY MORE YARN OR FIBER DAMMIT, and came home with… nothing! Nothing at all!
    (He’ll leave the room eventually. Then I’ll tell you.)

  26. You definitely are a strong woman…I don’t think I would have been able to resist those Grafton batts, and I don’t even spin yet!

  27. I think you did awfully well.
    This year was my first trip to Rhinebeck, and I wasn’t at all sure what to expect. I also brought cash an pledged not to use the credit cards – I brought the plastic out for one planned purchase, and came home with money in my pocket. I’m very pround of my restraint, because wow, there was a lot of great stuff there.
    Congrats on (mostly) following your rules!

  28. The Shelridge Farms kit didn’t pop up so I’m going to hazard a guess that it was one of the shawls. Otherwise, all purchases look beautiful. BTW, a small shed in your backyard would be the perfect addition to your lovely home, don’t you think? Oh, wait, you added a room. Is that full? Already?

  29. I too, am guilty of buying multiple sets of sock needles to cast on mulitple sock yarns that I bought, so that I won’t be bored on the way home. But I have a good excuse… really, I do! It’s a 7 hour drive one way from Toronto to home. That’s a lot of good knitting hours! We only go perhaps twice a year, so it is justifiable, right?
    The only wool that my LYS has is Paton’s Classic Wool and Paton’s Kroy. So you can see how exciting a trip to Toronto can be!
    I really wanted to go to Rhinebeck this year, but spent all my travel funds in Toronto the month before. Next year, next year I will definitely go to Rhinebeck. Some of your self imposed rules seem like sound advice!

  30. I knew it! I knew you could not resist the siren call of the fibers Grafton!! πŸ˜€
    I am impressed with your restraint, though, Steph – I think you did admirably well on your first ‘new rules’ attempt. Nice job on the spindle-spinning too – I’m awful at that, though I’d like to be better so I can be spinning more than one project at a time (without buying a second wheel ). And S. Kate – very pretty spindle!

  31. For the love of Amanda, Megan, Samantha and Joe, please send me some of your “extra” wool. No? Oh. Alright. I guess I will have to buy my own. I really just wanted to say that I am green with envy because of your spinning ability. Green! That camel is beautiful though.

  32. I’m reminded of a word problem that came to me a week or so ago. Remember “word problems,” from 7th-grade math?
    “If Marina buys enough yarn to make a sweater, twice a week, but actually takes a month to knit a sweater, how long will it be before Marina has to rent a warehouse in which to store her yarn?”
    I’ve only been knitting for a year, but the room designated as my “den” is already so full that I can only enter it in order to restack the stash.
    Congrats on your acquisitions. It all looks like great stuff.

  33. This year I struck upon a wonderful tool for the enforcement of moderation: Bring an infant along with you who is very happy as long as you’re constantly moving forward. Yes, of course you can borrow him next time. It really did work wonders.

  34. Those are very good rules. I maybe have to set some rules for myself. I went on a Yarn Crawl with my best friend (our own Private Rhinebeck *L*) and came home with all kinds of goodies. That was me being very good.
    Do you have an itemized inventory list of your yarns/roving/kits or anything? With so much it can be a bit of a hassile to dig through when you want to find something. My stash is tiny compared to your dealy, but I figure if I start now I’ll have a handle on it as it grows. Hmmm must start this soon. *L*
    Love all the goodies you got. Those sock kits look fantastic! The Baby Camel is to die for! πŸ˜€

  35. Oh come on! The whole point of going to someplace like Rhinebeck is to go shopping and buy yarn. Let’s not fool ourselves people. If the goal is to have stash control you don’t go on a shopping expedition.

  36. I’ve tried that “don’t buy more of what you already have” rule, especially when finding another “new” LYS in my area (5 within 30 minutes driving time); unfortunately in the four months I’ve been knitting socks, I’ve also acquired two (count ’em, TWO) large cedar chests that are now filled almost exclusively with sock yarn!!! In my defense, (1) I’m using mostly the Yarn Harlot basic sock pattern; and (2) I’m on pair number 15 so far. Does that count for some restraint on my part, or does it mean I’m totally obsessed with knitting socks and playing with all the gorgeous fibers?!

  37. Yes, we liked Foxhill Farm very much too. She spoke so lovingly of her animals and the poster she had hanging showing her sheep, ducks, and dog looked so cute I took a picture. In all seriousness, you can just feel the love in the Foxhill fibres! Too sweet…

  38. The sock kit was an intelligent purchase, not to mention economical. A spinner requires different spindles for different fibers, so you did well getting that pretty blue one. And the big bag from Spinners is a difficult-to-duplicate color of yellow so I don’t see a problem with that. All in all, you’re to be congratulated.
    I have the same rule about not buying yarn I could get at my LYS, which is why I visited England and didn’t come home with an inch of wool. Next time I’ll go to different yarn stores.

  39. Say, in order to help with your diet, you could flash your stash and blog photos of existing stash. You know, kind of remind yourself of the glorious yarnies you have and flaunt your assets.
    In general, the knitblogger community seems to have been quite restrained this year. No one had to rent their child as a yarn winder to earn extra yarn money.

  40. I admire your restraint – I didn’t come close. But there are far more reasons for buying that big bag of Spinner’s Hill than just because everyone else was (although that’s where we met, so I might just be part of the everyone…). It’s all gorgeous!

  41. Great plan- I had a similar one but it didn’t work very well. My plan started BEFORE Rhinebeck with the rule that I had to use up what I bought last year before buying this year. Worked semi well, most purchases from last year are currently a WIP.
    I also went to a booth (Jager-icelandics) 4 times, twice on Sat and twice on Sun, to fondle a yarn that I loved. A colorway called Christmas paper. The problem was there were only 2 skeins and I needed more to make a shawl. On the second visit on the second day the owner of the booth was present and offered to dye more for me and I could pick it up this Sat. at the Franklin County Fiber Twist in Deerfield Mass. So that didn’t work well as now I am going to yet another fiber event!!!
    Finally I waited til Sunday to shop at Grafton Fibers, yet another mistake as there was not much left when I got there….

  42. That’s about the way I approach festival shopping…
    I love the way the shiny spindle looks on the camel/silk. Nice choices, both.

  43. I’m still reeling from the Not-Quite-Wedding shawl! I just…keep…looking at it!
    I think you did VERY well at Rhinebeck! How awesome that you came home with cash left over? And presumably none of your children has to move out do to said purchases!

  44. I would *tisk* you but I would have been a spending fool had I been given the chance to go. If you had left over money and didn’t buy needles then all is well.

  45. Thank you for buying *my* Tongue River Sock Kit. I oogled and petted them LY, but didn’t buy one because I wasn’t sure I could/would like to do stranded colorwork. I was going to buy one this year, but didn’t see them.
    And you gave me the link so I can order one. Double thank you.

  46. Good lord, woman, I admire your restraint. I don’t spin, so my thought going up there was that temptation would be lessened, since so many of the farms seemed to be aimed at spinning. Nice thought. Lasted to about the second ‘stall’ in the first building.
    In my defense, I was restrained, only bought what I knew I couldn’t get online or at one of my local shops, and I’ve recently destashed. May I recommend my technique? If you haven’t looked at it in 3 years, have no idea what you’d do with it and/or have knit something with a similar yarn and discovered it was a bear to knit with — ebay it. I did. Got lots of lovely cash with which to buy new stuff — most of which I found via Temptation Stephanie. I have, dear god, learned how to knit socks . . .

  47. I forgot to add, you can move to the states with me. I have a “spare” house right now. Lots of room for stash storage and more room for spinning and other crafty stuff. It also has cental AC/heat and a wood stove, lots of room outside for fiber to dry (no little varmits either) Any my mom lives down the road and has room for fiber baring animals!

  48. Normally I would regard an antarsia sweater with knit sheep on it as something too dorky to ever wear in a thousand years, knitting relegated into the domain of grandmothers and very, very ambitious (and a little nuts) new knitters.
    I would wear a border-collie-sneaking-up-on-sheep sweater EVERY DAY. πŸ™‚

  49. Steph – you’re so great! Some of us can’t ever get to such events, and your experiences are next-best to being there. Also – NOW I see why I have 12 sets of #7 DPs….if I carried a set with me I could start that new toque on the way home without buying more. (I won’t say how many sets I have of OTHER sizes, and it’s not just DPs.) But the Badgers have been keeping me so busy, I’m behind on my toque list….

  50. As I’ve been reading the Rhinebeck reviews this week my mind has been boggled because there were people who went and proudly did not buy yarn.
    How is that possible? How can one go to a Fiber Festival and not give in to the the ultimate temptation? (my theory? In possesion of some alien DNA that only kicks in in the face of mountains of yarn. Definitely Not Human.)
    Thanks for showing us your gorgeous purchases and your humanity. (hee!)

  51. Well done! And I’m so thankful for the pictures of the camel/silk fleece–I’ve never seen anything like it. It looks like Rapunzel’s golden locks. Amazing.

  52. hehe steph if your stash is outgrowing your house – you can send some of it my way. i have a room that is the craft room and i would give it a good home and eventually make something loverly out of it:)
    good job at rhinebeck btw i know it must be hard not to spend money when around that much wool and fiber.

  53. If that’s all you got, then you did good! I wanted to go to Rhinebeck, but settled on a vacation to the Smoky Mountains instead :oP Maybe next year, but based on what all you bought, I am in need of a bigger wallet! I love that spindle!

  54. You said, “I came up with a Rhinebeck plan and attempted to follow it”… As I see it, you were doomed from the start. Furthermore, you do realize you went all the way to the States and bought a kit from a Canadian company. Not only that Shelridge Farms is about an hour west of Toronto. Therefore, you broke your first pointβ€¦β€œI would not purchase anything that I could get at a local yarn store.”

  55. I feel warm all over when I see your purchases! Or that could be that I got to spend a bit of time with you. That was great!

  56. I often wonder if you make money writing books, or if it actually puts you in deficit because you now visit yarn stores and festivals all over the continent. Hmmm.

  57. I am more than incredibly impressed at your restraint. I’m absolutely amazed! Really nice haul.
    I must have the sock kit from Tongue River Farms.

  58. The cormo had to be yours. Hell it should be mine too. So. f-ing. soft.
    And the Sock kit was $5 more on Sunday, so you’re rewarded for speed.
    I’m so helpful eh?

  59. That camel/silk especially is just glorious. It all is. But the best part about things like Rhinebeck is getting to see friends and fellow addicts… Hmm, any chance you could make an appearance at Stitches West? (Hey, I figure it won’t happen if I don’t ask, right?)

  60. Steph, think of the spending as a business expense. It is research material πŸ˜‰ Or you could just say that since the girls knit, you are buying the yarn for their dowery since you will be giving them a start up stash when they graduate or get married or whatever……

  61. I admire your restraint! Now that it’s over, I’m glad I could not go. I. have. no. restraint. I would have pillaged and plundered my way into debt. Pheww1 Safe! But I am seriously lusting for the 6-sock kit you bought. I wonder if they have any left…

  62. Ok where was that sock kit and how did I miss it.. the red and black number with the beads.. actually I know how I missed it you can skip over that part…Snarf

  63. 1. I saw you trying out that spindle but I couldn’t get near enough to the others of its kind due to the crowds.
    2. Of course, you only used the money in your pocket. The line to the ATM was over and hour and that was waaaay to long to stand in a boring line. If you had stood in that line, you would not have had time to visit the Fox Hill Farm Cormo four times. Nor would you have gotten the sock kit – someone else would have snared the last one before you got back there from the ATM.

  64. Steph, you show amazing restraint and even forethought. I am lucky enough to be able to sneak all the things I “didn’t buy” home hidden in the bundles & boxes of the booth wreckage, er, I mean equipment.
    I do hope your enjoying the sock kit… kitri that is! It was lovely to meet you, and for everyone who hasn’t met her in person, she is just as eloquent as you would expect πŸ™‚

  65. The kids leaving home may not free up a room, but it does help. They take stuff *with* them. There is that Starmore book of mine that has taken up permanent residence with daughter number 3, the EZ books that are currently residing with daughter number 2, and of course the fact that daughter number 1 has walked off with one of your books. The older ones are now buying their own stash, but daughters 3 and 4 have a strong tendency to walk away with yarn and needles as well. I can only hold on to things if I can name the project it’s intended for. If I just love it, they feel free to pick a project and get started and there the yarn goes. Of course, now that all four daughters have left home I *do* have empty rooms. All my quilting stuff left home too, which does help. (So did all my christmas music – got to do something about that.)

  66. I think you did about as well as could be expected considering the location and your temperment.
    My current stash limiting strategy is to put aside a certain amount every paycheck into a tin. I call it the Rhinebeck tin, because I’m saving that money to spend next year at Rhinebeck. So between now and then, if I see some yarn that I must have, the cash for it will come from the Rhinebeck tin. In other words, the yarn must be truly worthy and desired.
    The only problem I see with this strategy is the sudden stash explosion I can expect at this time next year. πŸ™‚

  67. Fiber Festivals are for Fiber Addicts — why else would there be Fiber Festivals?? I gave up trying to control fiber addiction a long time ago. It’s who I am and what makes me happy. There aren’t many pastimes that are more rewarding or pleasant than this one, so just enjoy it and know that you have a lot of company!

  68. I actually behaved like you, sort of! I only bought things I knew I couldn’t find anywhere else. By the way, you will love working with the Shelridge Farm yarn, if you haven’t already, it’s SO soft and silky and wonderful. I did come home with another wheel, though…

  69. Good job! And, um…is that some sort of beading tool? Are you making beaded socks?
    P.S. I’m starting to feel a contagion coming on–the last few days, for no reason whatsoever, I’ve been reading up on spinning after evincing no prior interest. And your beautiful spindle and camel/silk isn’t helping. Must. Resist.

  70. I nodded at each of your points and admired your scores with, ‘Yes, Yes, Yes! Me too!” resounding in my head…then I went to Shelridge Farms and got the home page πŸ™ I finished your blog and went to the comments to see if I could identify your ‘score’ from Shelridge, and just like a yarn festival, went back to Shelridge Farms and the link worked this time! Now, knowing how it works in the world of Harlot and knowing how knitters are, in general, and keeping in mind that my stash ‘over floeth’ I did what any reasonably intelligent person would do in the same situation…I ordered the kit before everybody else did and it was sold out! (I also ordered 2 patterns and a hat kit) Yarn coming in the mail is F – U – N !!!! Welcome Home.

  71. I think you did fantastically well. These were some of the same rules I used at Stitches in Chicago. Might I add one more? You were saving money by not having to pay shipping and handling! There you go…
    Have fun…from the enabling one…

  72. Nice haul, good restraint. I would have used plastic.
    You might be able to alleviate some of the stash over-flow by compromising with the girls. They each get their own room and you get a floor to ceiling 12 inch deep 2 feet wide shelving unit in each of their rooms. Place shelves 1 foot apart for optimal yarn storage.

  73. One more thing…I tried that ‘cash only’ thing too…BUT NOT WITHOUT THE SECURITY OF MY CREDIT CARD CLOSE AT HAND!!! And I scored very badly…many, many purchases that day! I missed The Creative Needle and Sewing Show this year because I started Chemo the day before the show started; so I’m thinking the Shelridge Farm thing is really nothing compared to the damage that I would’ve done there!!!

  74. I’m surprised that you were not tempted at Foxfire Fiber and Designs (Bldg A…the name similarity caused some confusion) by the batts or the Cormo/silk handpainted yarn there. I was. But, where the HELL was Grafton Fibers? I looked for them for two days! Of course, I also looked for CASSIE for two days with the same result!

  75. That spindle is so pretty, I can see why you ‘needed’ it πŸ™‚ I love those Grafton Fiber Batts, but I don’t think I’ll ever get a chance to buy any!! grrrrr. I may be going to SAFF this weekend but I doubt they will be there. I think all the vendors are probably still sold out from going to Rhinenbeck!!!! πŸ™‚ I’ll just have to find some way to get to NY next year for I guess. Thanks for the links, I really dig the 6 sock kit thing, very cool!!

  76. Well, the point about not buying anything on Saturday explains why, when I saw you at lunchtime on Saturday you were not as burdened down as I expected. (I suspected an unloading trip had already been made back to the car, but obviously I did not realize the extent of your will-power!)
    I told my family I would not bring home yarn this time, and I did pretty well….although I too was seduced by the Tongue River sock kit. Mine was the small kit, though….the one with 2 skeins and only enough yarn for 4 pairs of socks. I gave myself extra credit for being so restrained! And the books were special, and the tea mug had such cute sheep on it, and the beautiful shuttle for weaving was irresistible! (Besides, I’ve only been weaving for a year, so my stock of essentials is still pretty minimal, at least by my knitting standards.)
    But you can’t claim credit for not using the ATM, Stephanie…. there were so many people in line at 1:30, I’m sure it ran out of money long before the vendors ran out of wool! It was a lovely day.

  77. I saw you showing Sandy (?) that six-sock kit and was sorely tempted, I have to tell you! That, at least, I managed to resist. And hey, everything you bought is lovely, and Rhinebeck DOES only come once a year! (We won’t discuss the other fiber festivals. Really, they’re months away, right?)

  78. *sigh* I’ve been hiding two balls of Cherry Tree Hills potluck sock yarn in my travel bag for a combination of those reasons, all of them, right there…

  79. Oh Stephanie! You showed a great amount of restraint, and came home with a bunch of beautiful stuff! Just think, if you’d drunk it away or had another vice, you’d have nothing!
    As for where stash goes, I bet you have a lot of spaces you’re not using… and I’m not even talking about the living room itself! Do you have things hanging behind your drapes or curtains? Put them on a clothes hanger and go for it girl! Do all your side and end tables have floor-length cloths on them so you can put stash under them? You can do this trick with slipcovers too!
    I once heard a lecture by a woman who lives in a tiny apt. in NY City with her husband and daughter and she was the queen of stash. If I see she is lecturing in Toronto, I’ll send you an email. You wouldn’t believe where she put it all or how.

  80. Here’s something that should help. Keep a set of Options Needles with you at all times…that way you won’t be tempted to buy needles. Of course that would mean buying the case and completing the set — including buying matching dpn’s and the circ’s in smaller sizes. Just saying…

  81. I think you did great. I am drooling on my computer – luckily I’m at work and the drool isn’t hurting the new computer. I will mention that I knit some socks out of the Tongue River Farms yarn and the soles felted the first time my husband wore them, but maybe he just has really sweaty feet (which I’m sure he’d appreciate me saying, especially since I don’t know that it’s true).

  82. But if its not here yet (the fleece, that is) then I don’t have to explain it to anyone. And its not taking up any room … yet. And … and …
    Oh, nevermind.

  83. Really, you are looking at this all wrong. Your fibre purchases are not lusciously soft indulgences or even indications of knitterly addiction.
    They are a public service! You are to be congratulated, thanked and revered for your charitable actions towards the Rheinbeck-less knitters of the world!
    Those fibre-fair deprived souls out here (of which I am one) need to shop vicariously through you. And it is vitally important that the purchases which we are privileged to behold are the most divine, precious and extraordinary fibres available in order to raise global consciousness of luxury fibres. We NEED a knitter with good taste to show us the way and show us what she got! (Love that batt, by the way.)
    This is Stash Enhancement as a Charitable Public Service. And given the way the suppliers sell out when you flash your new stash, you are clearly supporting and promoting all those little businesses out there. We NEED you to shop. It would be wrong, nay, CRUEL not to!

  84. You are officially renamed “The Yarn Pirate” in honor of your excellent booty, swag, treasure, whatever! Acquisitive little minx, aren’t we?
    Actually, I was tickeled to death that I’m not the only one who rationalizes yarn purchases on a professional level! πŸ™‚ Enjoy!

  85. I think you did great, especially if you didn’t offend anyone because you preferred shopping to socializing. I lost several internet friends one year at MDS$W because I was in such a feeding frenzy that I didn’t follow through on meeting times etc.

  86. I also am impressed with your restraint. I recently went to Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival with my spouse and cash in hand. The object was to not spend more than we came with to buy a spinning wheel. Well, I bought a couple hanks of mohair ($10 & 400 yards each); one ball Sock Candy (Socks that Rocks’ cotton cousin that you can’t get off the website); and then we put the spinning wheel on the credit card. The wheel was more than the cash we started with anyway. So, we overspent. But I assure you, it’s worth it! My darling husband is making yarn for me!

  87. As I see it, you are approaching a crisis, and you need suggestions. You can start using your stash as house insulation (there must be tons of room behind the drywall, and you could have access panels so you could get at the stash when necessary) or, you move to a bigger house. More rooms means more places for yarn. Try filling pillow cases with yarn for a nice soft place to lay your head. Or think how many skeins could fit inside a duvet cover. Much more humane than what they do to geese to get all those feathers.

  88. Ah, the colors. Winter in Toronto will be less dull this year. That Grafton batt was the top of the slippery slope, wasn’t it. You have a wonderful knack for finding the human element in everything.
    Congratulations on using only cash!

  89. That was a good plan, & a good first attempt at sticking to such a plan.
    I’m particularly impressed with the bringing leftover cash home part of it. That means the plan was a success in my opinion.

  90. Although I just spend 2 full days at Rhinebeck (and enuf money that I am afraid to total the receipts), I still managed to find 4 new yarn stores this week (I was travelling). I hit 3 in 3 hours, a personal best, each in a different state (the stores, not me. I was pretty consistently in a fine state, if I do say so myself). Then I went to my knitting circle and bought…nevermind. It’s too lovely for words.
    Restraint? Fiber is the tie that binds!

  91. Oh, Stephanie, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. You represent my fibre Id, and I adore you for this. Plus… that Tongue River Farms sock kit is going on the gift list. (I am also in the process of de-clutter and will only allow holiday purchases for me to come from a list… ever growing with knit blogging. We really are sick people. I love it!)

  92. It’s just as well that, a/ I don’t drive, b/I’m too busy at work to go out of town, and c/ I don’t have any knitting friends who read blogs as much as I do, and yearn to go to Rhinebeck as much as I do or I’d be really broke right about now!
    Looks like you had a good time.
    One of these years I’ll make it.

  93. ALL of these ENABLERS. YEESH.
    What you need is some serious help, and here I am. I’ll step in and get this problem taken care of. Now first, you must admit you have a problem. THEN, you simply mail me (priority mail me or fed ex if its really this serious) all of your stash.
    I will hold (knit) this for you until you have completed your 12 steps.
    Of course I am speaking out of the goodness of my heart. We will break down these “walls” of yarn.

  94. Admirable restraint, Harlot! Last time we were on a fiber excursion, we discovered that we could fit 14 raw fleeces in my Subaru wagon. There were five of us. I think it’s the fumes from the lanolin. Just can’t resist.

  95. I use to joke that if I could make furniture from my books, I’d be all set. Maybe I was just missing the obvious conclusion–books plus wool? Upholstery, binding, decoration… It’s more useful than a futon!

  96. The problem with noy buying on Saturday rule is that it may get snatched up. If you *really* love it and it’s limited, getting it is the best move.
    I will remember the ‘don’t buy anything you have’ rule at Maryland. As long as koigu is an exception.

  97. Ok, simple question. When you buy all this stuff, do you have something particular in mind? How do you know how much to get?

  98. i love the rationalization and intellectualization you’ve used to justify your yarn and fiber addiction. We’ve all used it. If your daughters have to line their rooms in some wool, think of it as them being surrounded by your love (and wool is insulation, right?)

  99. Check this, in my child’s homework: a roman memorial – “This is the unlovely tomb of a lovely woman. Her parents named her Claudia. She loved her husband with her whole heart. She bore two sons, one of whom she leaves on Earth; the other she has placed beneath the ground. She was charming in conversation, yet her conduct was appropriate. She kept house; she made wool.”

  100. well at least one of us showed restraint…i bought way more than i told myself i would… i (oh the shame of it) still have stuff from last year… carrie, the sherpa/enabler, who when she wasn’t sayin’ mom…you so need to get that, was doing the i’ve got buffamallow roving dance, very cute..we worked so hard at being woolpirates that we needed to occasionally recharge with peanut butter brownie bars… we saw you twice but decided not to spook the wild harlot in her natural habitat…(okay, we were too shy to approach the wonderfulness that is harlot)… the shawl is even more beautiful in person!!!

  101. You need one of those portals like Harry Potter uses, but specifically for your stash. That would solve the problem completely. Mayhaps such a portal exists there in your home, but you have not discovered it yet …
    I believe finding such a portal is more likely than truly curbing your appetite.

  102. Dear Harlot,
    What are you trying to do to me! I used to like you and think you were a funny, nice and very talented woman. Well I still think you’re exceptionally talented (your shawl is simply amazing! If I were you I would bask in that particular glory for a long time!!!)and can be very funny, but I don’t think you’re very nice anymore! Why would I say such a thing you ask? Because you put that sock kit from Tongue River Farms on your blog!!! Now I must have one! Must I say. I was really, really good at Rhinebeck. For the first time ever I came home without any new fiber purchases! All I bought was a new Kauri drop spindle from Bosworths. (I’m just addicted to their spindles. They are amazing and a joy to spin on!) An Orenburg Lace shawl which swept me off my feet with it’s charms and beauty, and a skein of STR yarn (thanks to Sharon and Karen for standing in line for me. They’re the best!) It was our first time at Rhinebeck as vendors (Thank you to our great customers for an amazing weekend!) and to celebrate I splurged on the shawl. Everyone was just amazed at my fortitude. Now, I have to get that sock kit! I HAVE to I say! Why oh why did you have to put it on your blog! I understand why you had to buy it but gosh darn it, did you have to drag the rest of us down with you too!!!! And here I thought you were a nice woman, understanding of the shortcomings of your fellow fiber addicts. SIGH! You have led me down the road of further stash accumulation and the consequences could be dire. I might have to send you sock yarn to retaliate.

  103. The Shelridge kit – the sweater is great. Mabel (the designer) is an amazing knitter and a delightful person. I’m glad to hear you’re supporting her.

  104. Camel and silk …
    How much spinning does one have to have done to warrant some camel and silk? I missed out on Rhinebeck, but perhaps there will be some at SAFF this weekend in Asheville.

  105. Stash is like sex. It’s not satisfying as a spectator sport.
    Instead of “restraint”, I prefer the term “discretion”.
    Pro choice, and wool virgin no more-

  106. Hmmm…6 pairs of sox for $60 US…great deal, but…the site says each skein makes 2 pairs. Plain pairs. And the kits’ patterns are for patterned pairs, more-than-one-colour pairs, calling for 150 gm light and 150 gm dark…hmmmm… πŸ˜‰

  107. “I would not purchase anything that I already own just so that I could use the stuff that I bought before I got home.” That comment made me feel so much better! I do that all the time! I would show my husband your blog so that he can see I’m not the only one who does that, but he’s tired of me dragging him over to the computer to show him knitting stuff. I wonder if anyone else’s husband has that problem.

  108. Oh. My. That sock kit. That’s SO going on my Christmas list.
    I can’t believe you went to Rhinebeck and had $ left over-come on, what was it? 23 cents?

  109. Forgive me but I read this opening line, “I left Toronto for Rhinebeck with a pretty good plan for wool shopping avoidance.”, chuckled and said, “Yeah, right”.
    I myself would have jumped at that sock kit, though. I’m loving the yarn even in a picture.
    Looks like you got some great finds and great buys. Always fun.

  110. Still in love with loom.
    I got it bad.
    I have already saved 30.00$.
    It will take some time.
    Next year you try the”loom”……………………..dare you.

  111. Still in love with loom.
    I got it bad.
    I have already saved 30.00$.
    It will take some time.
    Next year you try the”loom”……………………..dare you.

  112. I didn’t leave with nearly as much but I was only there for one day. Did leave with 3 spindles, fiber, fiber kits, 2 skeins of beautiful handpaints…….and video enough for 2 episodes of our podcast for the next two weeks! So all who missed it can see how others couldn’t maintain their stash diets! Check it out this Sunday on

  113. I bought some Dark Blue-faced Leicester and some med-grey alpaca from Fiber Kingdom. There’s a nor’easter predicted for tomorrow, so I hope to get some serious spinning done.

  114. I think you were quite restrained in your Rhinebeck purchases. Of course you have a bit more access to Really Yummy Stuff there – here we have LOTS of merino, some merino blends. I would lose control there – my credit card would be like an incontinent puppy, leaving puddles of money behind it (but at least I would get lots of good stuff, not just a vague feeling of relief) cos there is all this different stuff. Different stuff is the stuff I go whacko on.

  115. i had some of the same rules, but i actually handed my wallet to my friend who i knew would tackle me to the ground if i tried to reach for it. and i left Rhinebeck with money in my pocket! which i promptly spent on needles. well, at least i stayed in budget.
    i think i bought the same baby camel/silk roving. i haven’t started spinning it yet b/c a) i’m only a beginner and b) i’m not done petting it like it was a kitten. soooooo soft!

  116. The Tongue River stuff? Don’t feel bad. I bought a 2lb fleece from them for 60$ and was so impressed I bought another 2lb one for 75$. Lovely lady and great sheep!

  117. THank you for sharing Rhinebeck with us. You’re a great one to live vicariously through!!I’ve bookmarked all those great sites, too….

  118. I do hope that you have hours of joy knitting the Tongue River Icelandic wool into socks. So that you won’t sigh in frustration, here is a correction to one of the patterns:
    CORRECTION: Fancy Checkerboard Sock, chart-section #5 on Page 5 β€” Hold the book sideways as you would to read the chart information. There are three columns of stitches on the far left of chart-section #5 that should be deleted from the chart.
    There is nothing better for building character than posting my errors for everyone to see.

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