Monday, August 06, 2007

Rethinking stashing

I love yarn. I guess that should be fairly obvious to anyone who knows me, but I love yarn. And I like my stash. I like the yarns in my stash. But lately I've been thinking that I need to rethink this whole stashing thing. And as I was brushing my teeth just now, I started to wonder why I felt this way. And I guess there have been a few things that have led me to the point I'm at now.

Living overseas for the past year certainly helped me curb the stashing habit. Not that yarn isn't available in China. It's just that I haven't met any yarn there yet that I crush on the same way that I crush on and covet Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, for example. And I'm reluctant to have things mailed to China (a package full of lovelies that disappeared would break my heart I fear), so the yarny stash in China remained fairly constant.

Then I came back home for my summer vacation. And I came face-to-face with my stash again. And I flipped through everything and I sorted through stuff. And I got sad. Because I have all of this (mostly) lovely yarn. And I love it. But I never touch it because there's simply too much. It truly makes me feel guilty because the alpaca in that corner is wonderful and deserves to be knit up, but so does the Jaggerspun Zephyr in that box, and the merino in the other.

And this got me thinking about everything else in my life. Because of a bad breakup, when I got back to Vancouver, I had boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff in my grandmother's front room. I'm pretty sure she nearly fainted when it all came in. I certainly got an 'oh my god how did you end up accumulating so many things'. So I shrugged and told her that I didn't know. But I do know. I'm a stasher. I look at squirrels and think, "You, buddy, and I have more in common than the fact that we're mammals. We're stashers."

I've cleaned out a little bit, but I still have 7 boxes of books, a box and a bit of CDs and 3 boxes of DVDs. There was a tonne of old clothes, most of which I have finally gotten rid of. And other miscellaneous junk, most of which I have also gotten rid of. And then there was the yarn. And the fibre.

I don't know that I regret my book collection. Or my CD collection. Or my DVD collection. (There were definitely titles in there that I have had to weed out though; I decided that they just weren't worth the space that they were taking up.) Perhaps because it's easier to consume them quickly, and then go back and do it again. But I do regret having the yarn stash. I love it all, but I just don't knit that quickly. And there are things that I will tend to knit more than others. I knit socks and I knit lace, but I simply don't have the motivation to do sweaters as quickly (but I sure envy people like Stefani and Rain, who apparently do). It just makes me sad to see all these things that I had dreams and hopes for and to realise that those hopes and dreams aren't going to come into fruition anytime soon simply because I've got too many of them on my plate.

And so I've made a new resolution. I'm going to be one of those people. One of them that I could never understand before. I'm going to try and buy only for what I'm going to be able to cast on now. I'm going to resist the temptation of a sale, though that is going to be tough; I've always been a sucker for a bargain. And I'm not going to flip out and overdose on something when I hear it's about to be discontinued. Because something WILL come and replace it. There WILL be something just as good out there (though I'm still trying to convince myself that there may be now or in the future a worthy equal to the wonder that is Jaggerspun Zephyr). I'm going to be someone who only buys yarn for the project they're knitting sort of person. Because I think that my yarn deserves to be knit up.

(An update on WIPs when I'm not feeling so philosophical.)



bradyphrenia said...

i think you're making a good choice. there will always be more yarn. i'm trying to only knit with stash myself. i haven't really been tempted to buy in awhile.

i have enough yarn for at least 7 sweaters. that's part of it.

Jo said...

I am proud of you. I'm going to try to follow your example and knit from my stash and pretend I can't buy yarn, period, ever, ever again - at least for awhile.

Stefaneener said...

I have this philosophy growing on me too. Be careful, it can be addictive ; )

What will you do with the stash yarn? I keep trying to give away/sell more of it, but now there's the fiber. . .

It's a great idea, though.

Knitting Bandit said...

I've started feeling the same way myself. I haven't done anything as radical as a yarn diet(I'd always find ways to cheat. What's the point?) I have been reisiting sales and spending more time with my stash. I am still loving my knitting.