So what’s a stash? New knitters ask me this quite a bit…my “stash” is the pile of yarn hidden all over my house that has resulted from my compulsive purchasing of fiber. Whenever I am out of town, I visit every local yarn store (LYS) and buy whatever I like or don’t often see in my LYS. In addition, I hit festivals like Maryland Sheep and Wool and buy thousands of yards of yarn that is less than retail and just “pretty.” My obsession with knitting is really just a fiber addiction.
So then the stuff gets home and a variety of things happen to it. I have:
“crap stash” – the resting place of yarn leftovers, yarn that I no longer desire to knit with and yarn that has been knitted into something, then partially or entirely frogged. I have been known to give away parts of the crap stash and it has basically dwindled down to one zippered plastic comforter bag.
“big stash” – there are two giant tubs inÂ my closet with bags upon bags of yarn. Much of it is sock yarn (sock yarn does not count. You can buy as much of it as you like and never intend to knit with it but it does not count) and a sweater’s worth of yarn in various fibers that I have purchased over the last couple of years. Most of it is the result of my own weakness and inability to leave Knit Happens without spending money. I don’t know why I feel the need to buyÂ yarn for projects that I don’t have time to knit right now, particularly when the yarn is not exactly rare..I have a bag and a half of Debbie Bliss tweed that was purchased a full year ago and is still on the market. why did I need that yarn a year ago?
Anyways.. then there is the three drawer plastic thingy that holds small gobs of very special yarn. This is where I keep scraps of leftover Tili Tomas or bits of Rowan wool cotton (at $10 a ball, I am keeping all those bits!). I often go to this stuff to find yarn for baby hats or baby sweaters..the things that I knit in a night and just need a bit of yarn for. I recently went into this stash to find a small amount of hand dyed cotton for a bath mitt that I paired with hand made soap and sent to my mom for Mother’s Day.
Lastly, there is the “living room stash” which is where I keep yarn for a few days after it is purchased, before it finds it new home in the big stash or on needles. I have become better at adding to this stash without Phillip noticing. The key is to bring the yarn home in your purse and not in the shop bag. Then it can quickly be transferred to the living room basket in the corner and isn’t quite as noticeable. I don’t think he is keeping track of how many balls of Debbie Bliss are in the corner…
So why stash yarn? To a new knitter, this sounds insane and expensive. Hell, most new folks go through that sticker shock when they go out to buy yarn for their first knitting class. Fiber isn’t cheap, unless it is purchased by the Gap in giant lots and then shipped to developing countries to be made into cheap sweaters 🙂
I stash because I have no self control. Other knitters stash because they want to be sure to not pass up a good deal or something rare and amazing.Â Others stash because they might need yarn for a quick gift for a co worker or a birthday present for a friend and what if the yarn store is closed?! OR on days like today (where it doesn’t seem to want to stop raining) I could go home, take out all of the cashmere and alpaca in my stash, throw it all on the bed and curl up and go to sleep in it.
I thought about posting photos of the stash, but I think that might be too scary. To see it all in one place and then posted on the internet would be to show my addiction to the world. What drug addict posts photos of their drugs in their hiding spots?Â If you come visit me, feel free to ask to see the stash. I am pretty likely to give away bits of it as well. Mine is no where near the size of folks who work full time at yarn shops or hand dyers who have access to wholesale accounts. I suppose there is enough yarn in my stash to warrant adding to the home owners policy but doing so would mean admitting and then DOCUMENTING my problem and I can’t do that.
So knitters, some of you started stashing a couple of years ago when I first taught you to knit. What do you estimate you have hidden in the house by now???