I swear. It started innocently enough. I haven’t been to my favorite LYS in at least a month. Actually I haven’t been to any LYS in most of a month. I was starting to feel the slightest bit twitchy. You know… The kind of twitchy that makes you load up your cart at your favorite online yarn shop because it’s 9:00 at night and you can’t get your fix at the real one. Well, I decided since Tuesday is The Knitting Knook’s late night, I would swing through on the way home from work tonight just to get a fix. You know. Grope some merino. Fondle a bit of silk. Snuggle with a bit of sock yarn… Like I said, perfectly innocent.
Then I actually walked into the shop. And it was all over. S.E.X. was going to happen. The fast and dirty kind. For real. Cuz the first thing I did was check out the clearance section. Usually I don’t find anything of significance in the clearance section but I still have to look. It’s a rule, right?
And there it was. A big basket of Cascade 220 Superwash. For 40% off. You NEED to buy Cascade 220 when it’s on the clearance shelves, don’t you? It’s like a knitters rule. Cascade 220 is like your classic #2 pencil. You might not want to use it all the time, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of the fancy mechanicals, but its always there when you need it. And you can use it to do anything. Even better when it’s superwash. It’s 100% wool, but you can machine wash AND dry it. Makes it an excellent choice for hats and mittens. And the clearance basket was full of fun colors. Colors I have no immediate use for, of course, but that I simply HAD to have. No project in mind. No immediate use for the yarn, really not even a lot of room left to stash it. But I had to have it.
This is what makes it S.E.X, by the way. Stash Enhancing eXperience. But you already knew that, right? What? You didn’t? What did you think I meant?!
It turns out stash is a necessary part of any craft. When I was quilting, I built up a rather sizable fabric stash. Still have most of it. Probably won’t part with it either. It’s my stash. I might need it. At the very least it means I’m sure to have plenty when it comes time to retire and I have less disposable income. Yarn’s the same way. You just HAVE to have a stash. You might only need a modest stash, just a few skeins tucked in a basket serving no purpose other than knowing you’re never OUT of something to knit. Your stash might be epic and need it’s own room. If that’s you, I am jealous. My yarn stash shares space with my fabric stash. Soon enough my fiber stash will be moving in, too. So I don’t have a lot of space for stash, but I feel better knowing it’s there. I know that my next project is never more than down the stairs.
But I don’t feel obligated to knit from my stash either. It’s entirely OK to head to the LYS to buy yarn for a project any time I feel inclined. Heck, I can load up my cart at Eat.Sleep.Knit and click buy with no guilt, too. But I don’t have to. If I’m feeling particularly broke or don’t feel like putting on real clothes and heading outdoors, I can shop my stash. Sometimes it’s fun. A good rifle through can uncover a hidden skein I forgot was there. Another might turn up the perfect 2 or 3 color combination for a shawl or a scarf. Sometimes I discover 2 or 3 skeins of the same color Malabrigo purchased at different times. So stash shopping is almost as much fun as real shopping but cheaper.
Oh. But there’s one thing. Not all of my stash is actually stash. In fact most of my stash isn’t actually stash. According to the rules of stash acquisition (a hotly debated topic on Ravelry, I assure you), yarn purchased for a particular project is not stash. It is a project in planning. This means that sock yarn, in all it’s wonderful forms, is not stash. After all, it’s sock yarn. You buy it to knit socks. Therefore it’s a project in planning whether you’ve a particular pattern or even timeframe for knitting the socks in mind.
These rules mean my stash is actually almost nonexistent. The vast majority of my stored yarn is sock yarn. At least 75%, especially in terms of yardage. So it’s not stash. And a good deal of the non-sock yarn tucked away in my fiber room is intended to grow up to become something. There are a few sweaters, a couple of scarves and a shawl for sure. So there again, you’ll clearly see I really have very little stash. So I absolutely HAD to buy those 8 skeins of Cascade 200. How else can I keep myself in the race for the most stash? Time’s a wasting people. I need to get in the game!
Oh. And for the record. Those three gorgeous eggplant colored skeins of MadTosh… Totally not stash. I love my Elphaba so much I decided she needs a sister. So its a project in planning. Definitely NOT stash.