So, through the month of May I had some big fun stuff going on of late, like deadlines for volunteer projects and job interviews, and projects I have to finish from my last job (I volunteered to finish because I wanted it done right). During that time I have been spending quite a bit of time at my desk, and instead of actually working I have been doing all sorts of useful things, like figuring out how much excess yarn I have, and how much each year since 2009. Not because I'm embarassed, or think I need to buy less yarn, but because I'm crazy and love a good excel table, and I want to know how close my purchases match my use. I managed to destash a bunch of yarn I was never going to use back in February and it felt great and it has put me on a stash kick, because by using up stash I can buy more of it, and much my yarn tastes have changed since I started knitting, so I want to use up what I have so I can get more of what I want!
So it seems that I'm doing really well this year, based on a ratio of yarn in to yarn out, in the form of knitting/crocheting/weaving/destashing (including handspun, which I only count once, as in just the handspun and not the fluff, I did my fluff/yarn calculations separately and based on weight not yardage).
Initially, I did these calculations in May, however I have been diligent in updating them as I have stashed yarn and fluff , and spun and finished projects. As of July 1st, 2012 I have 46,038 yds (26mi) of yarn and 5.248 kg (11.5 lbs) of fluff.
Beyond the simple volume issue, there is the matter of the fact that if I knit a whole bunch I can stash a whole bunch, so the ratio between yarn in and out is more important on the side of things.
Now, it is important to note that a ratio of 1.0 means that I have acquired the exact same amount of yarn that I used. Greater than 1 means I stashed more than I used and less than 1 means that I used more than I stashed. Ideally, I'd like to keep my lifetime ratio to about 1.0, however that would require more destash and knitting than is feasible, so I plow on, being mindful of the ratio as I pick yarns to stash and projects to make.
As of July 1st, 2012, my lifetime ratio for yarn is 2.32 but for 2012 it is 1.37.
This is the lowest year yet with the closest being 1.85, from 2007-2009, when I was just in the early days of my knitting life. The hightest by contrast is 3.93, from 2010 when I discovered first KnitPicks and then Eat.Sleep.Knit and handdyed yarns other than Malabrigo like madelinetosh. I think my low 2012 is due to destashing almost as much yarn as I have knit.
For fluff it is lifetime, 2.64 but for 2012, 0.78.
My fluff is a bit better on the issue of scale but not in ratio, my fluff to handspun ratio is more like 3.26. In late 2010 I started spinning so I bought a bunch of fluff that I didn't really spin much of till I got my wheel at Christmas 2010, so for 2011 I bought a whole bunch and spun a whole bunch, but mostly discovered all the goodies to be had out there, and hit it hard!
So what I am aiming for is for the next year or so, getting that number below 1, because then I am using more than I am buying, but to get the overall number to between 1 and 1.25. Then I can have a nice sustainable yarn stash, full of things I love.