Don’t get me wrong: I love knitting. I knit every day, except when I don’t. But I think about knitting every day, many times a day. It’s become such an important part of who I am. I’ve met great people through knitting. I learned to knit at the start of 2009, and by the end of the year I found a great knitting group, the members of which are the core of my friend group here in New York. People I’ve met at knitting retreats and workshops have become dear friends as well. I owe my hobby a big debt of gratitude for all the great things it’s brought to me.

But, my hobby also brings with it the fostering of my tendency to collect and consume things. Not necessarily Martha-Stewart-visiting-tag-sales kind of collecting, but definitely a retail-therapy-slash-eat-my-feelings kind of consumption.

There’s this thing called de-stashing, where you have yarn you want to get rid of and so you find people who want to buy it from you. Of course, you bought the yarn from someone else in the first place, or at someone else did before giving it to you, and it’s highly unlikely you’re going to re-sell it for more than – or even for the same price as – what you paid originally. So when you de-stash, you’ve basically rented the yarn for a while before finding someone else to hold onto it. I’m tired of renting my yarn.

In 2017 I’m going to stop growing my yarn stash. In fact, I want it to get smaller. This doesn’t mean I’m not going to buy yarn this year, because I’m guaranteed to buy yarn this year. There will be something I want to make that I don’t have the right yarn for yet. There will be some gorgeous yarn I see at Vogue Knitting Live or some sheep and wool festival or a yarn store in a city I’m visiting (souvenir yarn is totally a thing) or in a friend’s stash and I’m going to buy it and it will be beautiful. I may or may not have an idea of what I want to make with it. Hopefully I will, but it’s okay if I don’t. But, for every yard of yarn that finds its way into my stash this year, I’m going to remove two. Elizabeth did this last year, and her success has inspired me. How I remove it is up for grabs: I can make something with it, gift it to someone, de-stash it, donate it, or just plain throw it away.

Deb pointed me toward a knitter on Ravelry, Zarah, who takes a great approach to thinking about the calendar year and what she wants to achieve, yarn-wise and in other parts of her life. A lot of what she has to say about 2017 rings true to me. She’s going to knit from stash, but recognizes she will acquire yarn, so she has a one-in-three-out policy. Zarah’s plans for taking more photographs, cooking and taking care of herself, and just living with fewer, more meaningful things, is also very much where I want to be this year.

In addition to my yarn stash, I want to work on projects I’ve already started. I’m not committing to finishing any number of WIPs this year; I hope to finish those I feel motivated to finish, but I also know I will be inspired by new patterns, or new-to-me patterns, or old-to-me-and-I’ve-been-wanting-to-knit-them patterns, which will take time away. My goal is to work on a WIP at least once a week, for an hour. Some weeks I’ll spend lots more time on WIPs that others – just since Monday, for example, I’ve been knitting almost exclusively on my Loden, and I’m loving every minute of it. I wonder why I put it down almost 18 months ago? The yarn (Swans Island Pure Blends Fingering) is sublime and the pattern is soothing, but with a few fairly complicated rows to keep me thinking. I can’t promise I won’t put it back down before I finish it, but I’m into it for now.

I also have some plans about spinning and weaving more, and about other crafty pursuits but I think I’ll talk about those another time. Here’s a hint to one of the other pursuits:

IMPROMPTU, Emma Thompson, 1991