I knit. I have an account on Ravelry, a self-described “knit and crochet community”, and I go to a weekly stitch-n-bitch to hang out and chat knitting with other knitters. I design knitted goods and publish the patterns. I am a knitter.
Among knitting circles, a collection of yarn in one’s possession (butnot on one’s person) is known as a “stash”. Until recently, I thought of my stash as like a yarn waiting room. Yarns hang out in the stash,waiting for me to knit them into finished objects (“FOs”).
A stash begins innocently enough. You finish a hat and have a quarter ball left over. It waits in a drawer with your needles,eventually gathering friends from that sweater you bought an extra ball for, the yarn for your mom’s holiday gift, some nice yarn to add stripesto a sweater (but decided you liked better plain), some gorgeous yarn you got on megasale and think might be gloves someday, etc…
Recently, though, I’ve become aware of a more sinister side to the stash.
A yarn stash is more than just a yarn waiting room. A stash is a celebration of consumerism, applied to yarn. The best stashes — like the Yarn Harlot‘s stash — are large. The yarn within, were it converted into knitting time, would exceed the life expectancy of the knitter.
The best stashes have yarn for which no project is intended, but which were too beautiful to pass up. Knitters who sing the praises of a large stash are rhapsodic about the yarns contained therein, not about the projects they intend to make with those yarns. They use consuming metaphors to describe their yarn: yummy hand spun, delicious Noro. A “stash diet” is a sad (though occasionally necessary) occurance. Just like real diets, though, a stash diet isnever intended to permanently reduce the size of the (yarn) body.
The best stashes are large. The Yarn Harlot has tips for hiding yarn behind the books on your bookcase. A woman at my knitting group used to have a separate storage locker for her yarn. Another woman keeps yarn in her car for weeks until bringing it into the house, so that she has plausible deniability to her husband. “New yarn? No, I’ve had this for weeks, honey.” When I knitted my entire stash, my mother-in-law overnighted an emergency stash booster box so that I wouldn’t be bereft.
Of course, stash veneration is not exclusive to knitters. Quilters talk about fabric stashes,readers talk about bookshelves overflowing, and spinners talk about fleeces taking over the living room.
What’s in your stash?
-posted by derepi