Friday, May 22, 2009

How Stash Grows.

I have never been much of a stasher. 

I know!  

Is that blasphemous for a knitblog or what?

I have one five-drawer wire storage-thingy in the cupboard-under-the-stairs and that has been PLENTY for me.  The top drawer is dishcloth cotton, drawer 2 is sock and lace-weight, drawers 3 and 4 are worsted/Aran, mostly wools, and drawer 5, the bottom, is odds and ends, some bulky, some weirdo acrylic, et cetera.

The thing is that non-stashing wasn't a purposeful thing, it just resulted from my lack of funds and my need to keep the hobby on the up-and-up.  (The minute my hobby becomes guilt- or debt-inducing, the minute I need to stop.)

But I think I may have reached my tipping point, and I blame NaKniSweMoDo.

I hit my sweater-knitting stride this winter, starting with my Charcoal Cables sweater, and suddenly yarn purchasing took on a whole new mode:  

I stopped thinking of yarn as a skein- or a ball-at-a-time enterprise, and a new phrase entered my purchasing lexicon:  "A sweater's worth."  Suddenly I didn't come out of endless Webs fantasy shopping sessions with two balls of sock yarn (that I would never knit but at least didn't cost too much and took up very little space)--I ended up with A Sweater's Worth.

I never got this idea until recently, because I hadn't knit many sweaters.  Suddenly, though, I have the yarn for 4 or 5 sweaters in my stash and I Swear I Don't Know How It Got There.  

One minute I'm surfing Ravelry, the next minute I'm buying 1200 yards of heathered aqua Patons Classic plus 1000 yards of Berroco Cuzco plus 900 yards of KnitPicks Shine Sport.  And this all takes up more space than 1 or 2 balls of Peaches and Creme, y'all!  

I never understood how peoples' stashes grow to extreme levels, taking up rooms and closets and small principalities.  (And not in a superior way--it was just as alien to me as collecting modern art or classic cars.  A financial investment I couldn't envision making.)   I really couldn't fathom a day where I would have 45 sweaters' worth of yarn stacked as high as an elephant's eye.   But here is the part I never understood:

It is possible to buy yarn at a pace that is exponentially higher than one can actually knit it up.

I am not a super fast knitter; I produce a 1000-yard sweater in a month or so.  But I can BUY 1000 yards of yarn in the blink of an eye.  And then I can do it the next day.  All in good faith, all with my queue in mind, all without going over my monthly fun money allotment.  (Well, mostly.)

Now I finally get the yarn diet thing, and the spreadsheets, and the endless talking about stash that occurs on the Interwebs.  The question is whether I will be able to pull myself back from the brink of a full-blown, capital-S Stash before it's too late.  

And if I want to.


amy said...

I used to do the same thing with one/two skeins from Webs closeouts, and it took me about a year to realize my small but weird stash was getting me nowhere. I totally relate! You go!

Great post. Made me chuckle.

Clumsy Knitter said...

One of us! One of us!

I was exactly the same way, too. I always thought, "Who ARE these people with ginormous mounds of yarn?!?" Now I get it. My stash isn't huge either, but I get it!

Toni said...

Uh've stumbled into the PROBLEM AREA. If "a sweater's worth" doesn't get you, lace will. Just do yourself a BIG favor & stay away from They are mostly responsible for my stash, because I just couldn't pass up "a sweater's worth" of fabulous yarn for $30 (knowing it would be $100 at full price) or $20....

It's a slippery slope--step back! Step back!!!! I used to have no stash at all.....