Are All Crocheters Yarn-a-holics?

By A Guest Writer – 53 Comments

A Guest Post by Caren Wilson.

Have you noticed that you or your crochet friends have more yarn than you can possibly use? Do you have closets, shelves, bins, or even rooms of yarn? Do people’s mouths drop when they see your yarn collection?

If you said yes to any of the above questions, then you are a yarn-a-holic! But don’t worry, I’m a yarn-a-holic too. Welcome to the club!

Obviously crocheters need yarn to crochet. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I tend to see serious crocheters (including me) go a bit overboard when it comes to collecting yarn. We get more than we need and we hoard it like hamsters. I remember when I first started crocheting, I only had one grocery bag of yarn at a time. But as time went on and I got more and more skilled at crocheting I collected shelves of yarn. Now, I bet my yarn collect could pass as a yarn store!

Does this happen to all crocheters over time? Are all crocheters yarn-a-holics??

Caren is a life long crocheter and self proclaimed yarn junkie. In her free time she enjoys crocheting items for charity and playing with her two children. Caren wishes to inspire others to crochet more, learn more, and live more.

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  1. Angie says:

    I am definitely a yarn-a-holic! I have two big plastic bins and three smaller bins stuffed with all sorts of yarn. All different colors, textures and thickness. I think the only thing that surpasses my yarn collection is the list of crochet projects I have for them, even when I think I have enough yarn, I never do!

  2. Lynn says:

    I never saw a skein of yarn I didn’t like! LOL! Yes, I’m a yarnaholic. I’m also a fabric collector and I don’t even sew.

    Like Angie above, I also have TONS of crochet patterns that I can never possibly complete, but I still cut them out of magazines and buy books.

  3. Sunny says:

    Yes! I have a storage cabinet thing full to the bursting and I still have 2 little shelves full and I just noticed that I have like 8 of those re-usable JoAnns bags full of yarns as well!

  4. Diane says:

    I’m not only a yarn-oholic, I’m also a thread-aholic! I love to thread crochet and have threads in sizes 10 to 100. It’s challenging to try to crochet with size 50 thread which is just a smidgen thicker than sewing thread.

  5. Panya says:

    I must be the odd one out. I only buy yarn/thread when I’m starting a project. So the only yarn/thread I have is leftovers from finished projects, unfinished projects I’ve set aside, and a couple bagfuls given to me by family members who no longer craft [that’s all icky, scratchy stuff that I’m saving for future yarnbombing].

  6. Angie says:

    Panya – what is yarnbombing?

  7. Anna says:

    I have a stash, but it’s rather smaller than I’d like it to be. Two reasons. 1) lack of space 2) I can’t bring myself to pay some of the prices yarns can come with!! *L* I’ve scored some good finds at a local ReUse Centre (people donate all sorts of things, from scrap fabric and old books, to CD cases and the cardboard cores from paper towels – that would otherwise get thrown out our put in the recycling bin. You can take as much as you want of anything you want for $4), Goodwill and Salvation Army.

    I was just at the ReUse Centre yesterday and brought home a bunch of yarns in colours and textures I’d normally never buy. My older daughter and I are thinking of doing some yarnbombing, too.

    Angie, yarn bombing is knit or crochet grafitti – do a google search, and you’ll find a lot of examples. Sometimes it’s just a small strip of knit or crochet wrapped around a light post. Others cover entire tree trunks and many of the branches. Some dedicated artists have covered entire buses and buildings, though those don’t exactly count as grafitti.

  8. Susan says:

    I have been crocheting since childhood and over the past 10 years I started designing my own patterns and it seems with that came a compulsion to hoard yarn and patterns. I have so much yarn that my family cannot understand my buying more but I am always on the look out for a new color or design. It is a joke at my house that I cannot go shopping without bringing home at least one skein of yarn — and usually I do return with at least one if not more skeins of yarn. I hope to someday to take my passion for yarn and crocheting to a new business venture with either a brick and mortar store front or a cyber store front.

  9. Angie says:

    Thanks Anna! I did Google it and it seems very cool! I’ve never seen it before…maybe I could start something in my town. 🙂

  10. I try to keep my yarn organized in milk-carton like containers, in my bedroom, & closet. Left over yarn from a project is good for throw around afghans & nap robes. My son keeps two in his semi truck.I could also open a small yarn store.

  11. Cathy says:

    I ma a yarnaholich, I always look out for yarn at markets, second hand shops and in the shopping centers too.
    It becomes my food for thought.

  12. Jeanne says:

    Guilty! So has anyone else resorted to sneaking new yarn into the house so your husband doesn’t know you bought MORE? Or hiding it in the trunk of your car so that you can bring it inside when your husband isn’t around?? lol

  13. Amber says:

    I am a total yarn-a-holic and I hope there is never a cure!! 😀 I get yarn all the time and I started the same way as you Rachel! I would get a bag or so and use it then get more. Now, whenever I see it I drool over it and think, hmm….well thats not too bad I’ll get that. My favorite places are thrift stores, good will, and yard sales. Sometimes you can find boat loads at those places for pretty cheap prices. I have a ton. Once, I went to Micheals and this woman stopped me as I looked at yarn and she said she had a bunch she would just give to me! She gave me a big black trashbag and huge box full of partially used and unused skeins of yarn. I have shelves and crates and bags of yarn. 😀

  14. Bookworm says:

    Oh yeah… I started small as well. Just 5 or so skeins of Sugar and Cream yarn. Then it just kind of exploded. I was going to Joanns and Michaels constantly, always seeing some nice color or amazing sale I had to take advantage of. So I bought a 10 gallon bin to put it in, but it was already beyond that. I fit most of it, but some was still scattered here and there. I recently bought a 30 gallon bin (HUGE!!) to try to put it all in, but even that and the 10 gallon bin together are being pushed to their limits. I can’t help myself though, when you find nice yarn you just have to buy it. Like I just bought 22 skeins of Wool Ease Thick & Quick for $2 a skein (normally $6.50 per). Who wouldn’t have taken advantage of that?

  15. joanne says:

    I am definately a yarn-a-holic! lol

  16. Bookworm says:

    I hate you Amber. Free yarn? I want free yarn :'(

  17. Melissa says:

    Oh yeah. We addicts all “start out” small. Just a simple cotton ball. Well, ok, maybe two. They are small, you know. Then – a skein. Just one, because, what could you possibly do with all that yarn!??! Oh!! Look!! It’s a sale!! And hey, isn’t that new color cool? No, I have no idea what I’m gonna make from it, but isn’t it pretty? Yeah, better get a couple. If I want to make something kinda big, I don’t want it to run out. Or worse, not be carried anymore. I’ve got room in the basement. Well, maybe the garage. Do we *really* need to park the cars there? After all, aren’t they already weather-proof? What do you mean, “we need food”? Don’t you understand!?!? I’M OBSSESSING HERE!! I don’t have time for your trival complaints! MICHAELS IS HAVING A SALE!! AAAHHHHH!!!!!

    Ok. You can order the pizza…….

  18. Sybil J. Chialiva says:

    Yep, I have to admit, I’m a yarn-a-holic. Fully one quarter of my craft room is filled with yarn. I store it in clear vinyl zippered blanket bags (buy 100 bags at a time at, and though I promise myself I won’t buy more, someone comes out with something new, and I fold. I think it’s the potential of what the yarn could be that draws me in.
    When I teach someone to crochet, I usually give them a lot of different yarns to play with, to get them inspired, but I would still have to live at least 2 life times to use everything I have at the moment. I pity my poor kids when I die! LOL! 🙂

  19. Bookworm says:

    Lmao Melissa 😀

  20. joanne says:

    Jeanne; omg…………YES!!!!!!!! lol

  21. Sandie says:

    The only thing that holds back my yarn purchases is cash! LOL My family thinks they multiply in the bins. I have a yarn tree, but it is full. I organize it, but then I need to pull some out for this and that and before you know it, the mess is back. 🙂 My son went to college and his room now looks like a yarn store. 🙂 So WHY is it, I want to know, that whenever I want to start a project I never have the yarn I need? This is what always perplexes me. heheheh

  22. Genevieve says:

    I’m such an addict it’s not even funny.. I walk into a yarn shop and go.. well just in case, you never know if you might need it! And now that my favorite yarn shop is closing…everything is on sale.. OMG it’s like yarn-aholic hell…

  23. Darlene says:

    And even if you buy books that say uses for all those scrap yarns they show such pretty color combinations that you would love to have it in that exact color but you don’t have those colors in your scrap pile!

  24. Antonia says:

    Hell ~ My name is Antonia & I am a yarn-a-holic. It’s impossible to pass up on a new skein of yarn. My kids asked why we have so many pieces of furniture that double as storage space & why are they all filled with yarn.

  25. Monique says:

    This is so true. My yarn collection is insanely large and I always want to go get more when I start a new project. Each time I start something new I get more than I need and left over goes into the collection and when next project time comes instead of using what I have I go and get more, too much and so on, now I have a huge collection but really love. I love yarn and love collection it.

  26. deb says:

    lol, definately a yarn acholic I am. It’s so fun buying new yarn, love all the colors, cannot resist them.

  27. Denise says:

    I usually buy yarn for a specific project as opposed to buying yarn just because I love the color, feel, etc. If I bought yarn that way than I’d have a LOT more than I do now. But now I’m left with the extra ball of yarn, half a ball because I’ve finished the project. Now to find a way to used it. I’ll make some weird looking scarf some day – an “ode” to all of my projects!

  28. Bookworm says:

    I will say that is the crocheting and yarn gave me a new appreciation for color. I’m buying and looking at colors that I wouldn’t have touched before, like pink. Pink has been almost a phobia for me for years, and I’m still not a fan of most shades of pink, but I found myself buying an Antique rose skein of Impeccable yarn at Michaels because I loved how it how looked.

  29. Denise says:

    Bookworm – what a great sale! I found Lion Suede at Big Lots dirt cheap a few months ago. A good sale like that is fun! I love different brands’ websites to find projects for a specific kind of yarn. I made a cute purse that used Wool Ease and used a bamboo handle. I love it!

  30. Jeanne says:

    Denise – check into “freeform” crochet! You will be using up those half-balls of yarn in no time! WARNING: If you are prone to yarn addiction already, getting into Freeform will make it worse! I not only have bins of skeins, but also bins that contain tiny leftover scraps rolled into little bitty balls… because I might need it for a freeform project someday!

  31. Barbra says:

    It is a disease and I hope it’s the worst one I ever get. In 2008 I made a new year’s resolution to only work from my stash…I lasted until March 3. In 2009 I did the same thing…bought yarn on Feb. 11. I didn’t bother resolving anything to do with buying yarn in 2010 except buy more and enjoy it and if need be, stash it!

  32. Renee says:

    Yes … a yarnaholic! 🙂 But I buy on sale and it never goes bad … right?! I like the tip to look at Big Lots! Never would have thought to go there. Thanks, Denise!

  33. Denise says:

    Thanks Jeanne! I LOVE crochet websites and looking at new patterns. I receive my weekly “updates” – like from Crochet Spot – and enjoy reading about crocheting. Forget Facebook! I’m addicted to crocheting (and I’m a recipe and crocheting fool! And now to look at freeform… Thanks again!

  34. susanb says:

    I’m a yarn addict but I’m doing better – really I am. I decided in 2009 that I would begin using up ALL my collection. I did a really good job of it too. I’m down to enough yarn to make 2 blankies and then some left over bits and skeins that don’t go with anything. I use that to edge receiving blankets and cloth diaper burpies.

    It takes a strong person to walk into a store like Joann’s or Michaels and NOT walk out with yarn…sometimes I just can’t do it. I mean it isn’t illegal, it is ok to do it in public, I don’t gain weight from it….LOL

  35. Cheryl says:

    I too am a yarnaholic and I have passed my addiction down to my 6 year old daughter. I have a bad habit of buying yarn all of the time even if I don’t know what I am going to do with it, one day we all went shopping me, hubby and 4 kids, and when he was unloading the cart he saw two skeins of yarn in the bottom of the cart and asked me what I had in mind. I didn’t remember putting any yarn in the cart then my 6 year old piped up;’That’s mine daddy, it told me to take it home and make something out of it.” She hasn’t figured out what yet as she keeps vetoing patterns I show her but she’ll decide soon enough.

  36. Cheryl says:

    Yes Jeanne I do sneak it into the ouse not so much becuase of my husband he has given up on me but because of my kids, two of them gripe and groan about the fact that I’ll never use all the yarn I already have. My six year old says what are we making now? and the youngest one who is 4 just says more yarn where we puttin it?

  37. LuAnne says:

    I just did a major remodel job. Tore down walls, re-did kitchen & livingroom. Got rid of 2 itty bitty rooms. Found yarn stashed 10-15 yrs ago I had forgotten about. Problem is I had 2 30 gal totes, 3 20 gal totes, 2 boxes of stuff just bought on-line before starting this project. So I designed a HUGE built in cabinet in livingroom. The top has glass doors & lighting for books & china. The bottom is drawers & doors for my crochet supplies. Yarn-a-holic doesnt even touch it!! I’ve got you all beat. I remodeled a house just to store my stash.

  38. LuAnne says:

    Oh Yeah. Another place to look for cheap, discontinued yarn (esp. Fun Fur type) is a place called Tuesday Morning. They are a chain store that has a lot of household odds & ends. I don’t know how many there are but I do get mailings.

  39. Cheryl B. says:

    I just managed finally to get threes shelves of yarn into a walk-in closet. They are in medium-sized cardboard boxes according to colors. Baby yarns are in a bag. Also have some specialty yarns (the Lion Brand seude yarn) & their ribbon yarn in bags. Usually when Michael’s has a sale I go to buy enough for 2 projects but end of buying enough for 7 projects. Really love eyelash yarn and the specialty yarns. Of course I can’t pass up the clearance rack even if there are just one of each color available (they really come in handy).Not mention there is a clearance type store nearby that sells yarn for $1.99 or .50 cents. I put the small balls of yarn in one of the large pretzel jars. This summer planning to get one of the wire racks with 9 or 12 cubbies and or the shoe shelf cubby that has 15 cubbies but sits low. Onward to in my quest for yarn b/c I haven’t tried the silk or bamboo types yet.

  40. Bookworm says:

    I’m jealous. So many people find such amazing sales readily, that doesn’t happen very often at all here. The only amazing sale I’ve found was the Thick & Quick for $2 :'( I’ve only found one local yarn shop and they sell very small skeins of ‘special’ yarn for between $6 and $20 dollars for only about 40-50 yds. And garage sales in my area tend to focus on clothes and kid’s toys. We have no Reuse Centres and my Michaels and Joann’s rarely have amazing sales and when they do, I ALWAYS miss them, though I often suspect that one person probably bought every last item on the shelf (I live in the city of buyer-resellers, which has truly made me hate them).

    I’m very, very jealous.

  41. Denise says:

    Bookworm – get on Michael’s and Joann’s email list. They’ll send you coupons that are good online. At the Joanns that I go to they said they accept competitor’s coupons and that includes the online coupons. You can also use more than one coupon at the same visit as long as they are different coupons. I’ve gone back several times when I’m trying to buy a bunch of yarn for a project. Also sometimes using the coupon is better than their sale. (Although you can only use the coupon on non-sale items). So sometimes I hope there ISN’T a sale on what I need! : )

  42. Bookworm says:

    I’m on Michaels list, so I’m getting those. But I’m becoming less and less a fan of Michaels as time goes on, maybe it’s just mine here, but they don’t like to honor their agreements and sales. I love Joanns, but I’ve signed up for their mailing list like 6 times already and I’ve only now started to get things every so often. I’m not really sure why it’s not working. But I’m lucky in that a friend who does get the ads mailed to her, but doesn’t use them anymore, gives me her coupons. I’ve had a lot less trouble with Joanns that Michaels down here. If only Michaels didn’t exclusively carry my favorite inexpensive yarn :'(

  43. Bookworm, use your computer to find great sales on yarn! I recently found some lovely Peruvean wool, alpaca and poly mix that regularly sells for around $7 per skein on sale on the Mary Maxim website for $1.98 per skein! I’m making my Peruvean hubby a blanket! Anyway, I frequently browse the Mary Maxim site, and the Herschner’s web site and a few others I’ve discovered via Google. They don’t charge much for postage, and sometimes don’t charge at all for postage. Just another way to appease that old yarn habit!

  44. Bookworm says:

    I’ll have to try that. I usually don’t buy online because I hate waiting for things to arrive, but if I can find good sales, it’ll be worth it. $7 to $2 is really good.

  45. Ellen says:

    I am such a yarnaholic that at this very minute I am waiting for a friend and we’re going to explore a local yarn shop she’s been to but I haven’t. I have bags and bags AND storage containers of yarn. Sometimes it’s helpful, yesterday I wanted some cotton yarn and I just went upstairs to my stash and found lots of it in all different colors. I am also a yarn and crochet web site-a-holic. I get so many crocheting newsletters every day that it takes me forever to catch up on my E-mail. I also get lots of sewing and general craft newsletters, so many that I take my coffee in to the computer and all of a sudden it’s like 29 minutes till I have to be at work and I’m like………t…..I better get off this computer quick! Also I love to crochet with thread and have so much of that …..I have a friend that works at an auction and several times she brought me bags of thread! I try to use it, but there’s no way I can use it all. Want a doily anyone????

  46. Marion says:

    YES! To all of the above questions!! I have a 10×10 room completely full of yarn in bins and boxes,in places stacked to the ceiling(it’s a low ceiling).

    Every yarn is cataloged in a spiral bound notebook.

    The other day I was looking for tangerine fun fur yarn.I looked online at every website I could think of and I even sent Lion Brand an email to see if they had any in their warehouse.Guess where I found some?Yep,in my fun fur box.I still can’t figure out why I didn’t look there first!! lol.

    When I was sorting everything I gave my niece-in-law(who is learning to crochet) three 30 gallon bags of yarn.

    I’ll have to live to be 150 to use all that yarn!!

  47. Marion, you are sooo organized! Geez, I wish I were. I do have my yarn sorted by color in humongous plastic storage bins, but don’t remember what I have till I go and dig through it. I too, will have to live to at least 150 to use all the yarn and make all the patterns I have! I have a humongous bin of patterns and crochet magazines/booklets as well….and still browse the net looking for more! There must be a crochet fanatic gene somewhere in our DNA? Mother crocheted, but I don’t remember her having bags and bags of yarn….however…she did have boxes and old suitcases under all the beds filled with fabric! Close enough, eh?

  48. Karen says:

    I laughed so hard after reading this! Yes, friends mouths drop open, but more importantly, you hit the nail on the head when you discovered my secrete of hoarding it like a hamster! I’m so ashamed!!!! haha… thanks for the laugh 🙂
    I do projects REGULARLY to “unstash” and enjoy every minute. Although i try to stay that i ONLY keep one large bookshelf of yarn, i have to admit that i have a couple other hiding spots around… oh the shame!

  49. Katie says:

    My name is Katie and (whisper) I am a yarnaholic — I have 3 comforter size bags in my small (my whole apartment is 575 square feet) living room, a couple of tubs in my bedroom closet and some at my Mom’s house. I am in Project Linus and to use more yarn I started Katie’s Kaps.

  50. Katie Lind says:

    Bookworm, in order for JoAnn’s to put you on the mailing list for their regular flier, you have to use the coupon from one of the postcards they send you.

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