Monday, January 22, 2007

Stash Talk

Come Jan 1, lots of 'Stash' reduction knitalongs and resolutions have popped up. Even if you don't participate or don't wish to reduce your stash, it should make you think about exactly WHAT you have hiding away.

I personally advocate frequent stash visits. While my stash isn't as giant as some, it's big enough that it can become unruly after a couple months of my rooting around in it. There are a few other good reasons to visit your stash:

1) Moth check
2) Putting away new acquisitions properly (see #1)
3) Yarn petting
4) Weeding Out
5) Ripping old projects

Real Estate
Number 4 is where I personally think most knitters get into trouble. I think of my stash as Real Estate. My stash all lives under the bed, and If I take up all that space, there isn't really any more room for yarn in the house. So I have a choice. Do I want the space I have to fill up with oddballs, leftovers, or discount fun fur from 2002? Or would I rather have space for something like new colors of Socks that Rock?

I'm not really an oddball knitter. So unless I know I'm going to make a hat out of that one ball of leftover sweater yarn, I get rid of it. Usually I gift it away or swap it on knittyboard. The same with my odds and ends that I can't bear to throw away. I'll label them and send them off for free to a (preferably) new knitter that wants to see what mohair is all about. The yarn gets used, I gain stash Real Estate and get to infect the love of nice yarn to a new knitter. It's all good.

I don't have one true 'unfinished object'. I know I'm the BigFoot of the knitting world, but it's true! We exist! Knitters who have bags of sweaters they love but have been missing a sleeve for 4 years totally perplex me.

So if it marinates on MY needles I honestly am not getting back to it. It's because it Went Wrong someplace and I've given up. Sometimes it takes me a few months but I just tear it out and return the yarn to Stash. Sometimes I've even traded the yarn away. I'm not wasting my Real Estate space on things I don't want to knit. Life is too short.

My Stash Problem
My stash issue is that I'm a project stasher. I see the newest shiny project and I want to make it. NOW. I'll run out and shark around for the perfect yarn, buy the book or pattern. Then it hangs out and waits to be the 'next' on the needles.

Oh, did I mention I also can't stand to have more then around 4 projects going at once? Yes, stare at the mutant knitting freak!

The problem is it hardly ever *is* next. Usually while the newest project yarn waits its turn, two or three other new things have rudely butted in line. Then the yarn hits the stash, for the project to be made 'someday soon'.

The sad thing is when I visit my stash, I still love most of these projects. They are still worthy. I just can't seem to stop the siren song of the 'newest' project and the shopping for it. However, unless I learn to knit with my toes at the same time as I'm using my hands, I'll never have that Inca Alpaca sweater, or those Selbu mittens I'm kusting after.

My Stash Resolution
So all hear this, MY stash resolution is to try, for every other NEW project I buy is to work on one of the 'older' projects I still love. This will reduce the stash and I will get the FO's I have been wanting for a long time. It also doesn't prevent me from buying general 'stash yarn', but it makes me think before I choose a next project, especially long term ones.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger Bezzie said...

Wow, we're a lot alike. I don't like more than three wips at a time and they don't take me more than a year to complete--ever. But I'm an oddball knitter. I've only got enough yarn for maybe two projects in my stash...the rest are "Ooo! That's a cool color/fiber!" acquisitions.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Zonda said...

Well, I'm working on it! I'd love to only have a few WIPS too! So far I'm almost done a purse I started, gosh in April or before? :)

At 8:56 PM, Blogger Dave said...

I like this idea and am considering adopting a similar routine. But ...

"to try, for every other NEW project I buy is to work on one of the 'older' projects I still love."

To try? To work on? What about finishing? Why not, To FINISH one old project for every new project you buy? ;-)

At 10:05 PM, Blogger Sherry W said...

Your right Dave. AS Yoda said, 'There is no try'.

These are older priojects I've never casted on, just to clarify. Once I cast on, I pretty much finish. Or frog out.

At 10:42 PM, Blogger Kit said...

I like this sentiment. It does not encourage the boycotting of yarn stores online or off but encourages the appreciation of what you already have. Nice!

At 7:13 AM, Blogger AR said...

I've been feeling overwhelmed with ufo's at my house. 2006 was the first time I let them get out of control. I'm going to fix it, so I don't lose my mind. LOL
Great post. Hope your new plan works.

At 10:19 AM, Blogger Lisa said...

I get lost if I have too many UFOs hanging around. Lately WIPs are a pair of socks, one piece of charity knitting (stash reduction) and the never ending Kimono Shawl. I am finding the charity part of it really satisfying with some quick easy fun knits and odds and ends used up (the frugle scot in me).

At 3:26 PM, Blogger Ceallach said...

Ditto, I also stash projects....I really admire those who can get a new project and cast on right away....I always have a queue.

But here's a thought. I just got laid off, and due to my stashing, I have sufficient PROJECT to get me through for a long time as well as make me some nice interview clothes.

Thanks be to the stash!


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