Friday, April 10, 2015

The Stash!

I have not given up writing!

Okay, got that out of the way.

I work at an LYS (local yarn shop) and occasionally I write something for the blog there. I thought I would share it here. Just for those of you who get high on yarn.


Let's talk stash. Specifically yarn stash.

Maybe you are one of those ultra disciplined people who only buy enough for one project at a time. You finish that project and then head down to the store to buy just enough for your next project.

I admire you. I used to be like you.

But then for some of us, the collection bug hit. We go into a store and see a yarn we love, we go to a sale, we buy a magazine and find several projects we want to do, and before we know it, we have...


We're not talking about a couple of lonely balls of stash, we're talking...


I'll bet that no one has as much as this lady.

The World's Biggest Stash?

That's her private stash. Not store stash. She did an interview later.

The World's Biggest Stash Update and Interview

I'm sure you're all feeling better about your stash, unless you want the Guinness World Record.

Although we call it all stash there's different types of yarn stash.

Leftovers: This is the stash that is unavoidable. It's the leftovers from those projects you made. It may be half a skein. Too much to throw out, but not enough to do something with. If you have a skein or more left over you can make a matching hat, or mitts, or a cowl. But it's the bits and pieces that make up this pile. One day, you will make a crazy scarf out of it all, or an afghan. Or something!

Staples: You know that it's designated for socks but you haven't picked out the pattern. You love lace shawls so you collect beautiful lace and fingering yarns, you just need to pick the pattern. You have a ton of dish cloth cotton and you know you'll make those dishcloths one day. Those skeins of yarn are for scarves. These ones over here are your basic worsted weight that you go back to again and again, and that pile over there is your baby yarn because there's always a new baby on the way. You know where it's going, you just haven't decided on the project. But you are ready for the pattern when you find it.

Ingredients: You know specifically what you're doing with this yarn. You have the pattern, you have the needles, you may have even put it in a special spot. You just haven't got around to making it yet. But you will. You will.

Gourmet: You were in a yarn shop and fell in love with an exquisite skein of cashmere and silk that was way too much money but you bought one ball anyway. You went to a sale that was so fantastic that you walked away with an entire bag of gorgeous alpaca. You have five skeins of that really lovely Debbie Bliss but you don't know what to do with it. One day you will find a use for this yarn but right now, it just sits quietly in your yarn pantry waiting for you. It calls out to you sometimes, and you gaze at it, and you may even go looking for a pattern for it, but the perfect pattern hasn't appeared yet.

Expired: And then there's the stash that you just don't know what to do with. Someone handed you their bag of leftovers. Or you thought at one point that the color was nice but now you don't. You bought up the big box store yarn in your early days of knitting but now you don't want to touch it. There's that skein of yarn that was all the rage but now it's dated. And then there's the project of shame. The yarn that you tried out on a pattern but found out you hated it. Either the yarn or the pattern or both. There's really nothing wrong with any of the yarn. It hasn't gone bad. It's just taking up space. But you spent money on it so it's hard to give away. (Hint: You know that worsted weight acrylic that is looking resentfully at you for not using it and you really don't want to - we'll happily take it and donate it to wonderful volunteer knitters who will make blankets for Canada).

And if you give away stash you are perfectly justified to buy new stash!

It's okay. We all do this - well except for those one project at a time people.

One piece of advice. Never show anyone your stash. They will either think you're crazy and want to send you to therapy, or they'll want it. They will bug you about it. They will ask for it. They will pout if you don't share.

I even heard of a woman who would sneak into her mother-in-law's basement where her stash was kept and take what she wanted without asking, because it was in the basement. We do not approve. We think people should have their own stash collections.

Whatever your stash situation, we understand. At the beginning of the year I thought I would go on a yarn diet. No more new yarn until I made a dent in the yarn I already have.

I work in a yarn shop. Do you know how crazy that resolution is? My boss brings in a beautiful line of tonal alpaca and common sense goes the way of the dodo. She has a 50% off sale and the yarn I've been eyeing for months is now in my studio. Kaffe Fassett does a knit along, and I want to knit along. I found a wonderful pattern and none of my yarn works for it.

So it would help if everyone came down to the store and bought yarn so it would quit yelling at me to take it home.


oekmama said...

Hi Anna Maria! You made me laugh overat Rav, so I decided to come overand take a look. You have a great sense of humour!
I liked your post and will take a look around the rest of your blog.
One tip: when you link other pages, make sure you make em open in a new window/tab. Coz otherwise, your reader is gone! Off surfing without you!

Carmen N said...

Hmm ... you must have peeked at my stash before writing this :D

Anonymous said...

Laughing so hard it is difficult to type. Almost couldn't click on "world's largest stash" for fear it would be smaller than mine. Whew, it was bigger. Give me a few more years though:)

Keep on writing--you are looking right into my knitting world.