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February 13, 2008

Cat Bullet

Musings on Yarn Acquisition

Filed under: Hobbies and Obsessions,Top 10 Knit Along Winter 08 — Cat @ 10:05 am

Fox Den
Where do foxes store THEIR yarn??

Lately, I’ve been thinking about the philosophy of stash acquisition.

Mainly because I have been sticking to my guns about not buying yarn. No matter the temptation.

Temptations like, say, the Shibui sock yarn and Frog Tree yarns that have suddenly appeared at my local knitting store. Soft, yummy and full of the brilliant primary colors that I love so well. And the Zara merino wool that just cries out to be made into a sweater of some sort.

I will admit publicly that there have been multiple fondling incidents, but no purchasing.

So, since the start of December 1, 2007, I have been knitting out of my stash (except for the odd gift or two which are allowed under the rules of the game).

Have two and a half months of knitting from my stash made any kind of dent?

    Nope. You can’t even tell.

Minor nudges have been made through alternate “destashing” activities like passing yarn along to other people who have a definate plan for it or who will appreciate it more, but seriously. I still have a half a closet full of yarn.

Any space that was freed up by passing along yarn has been filled with fabric. No, I didn’t switch one buying obsession with a new one, because these are all fabrics that I have had for several years now. Ever since I made mom’s fish tote bag for Christmas, I’ve been inspired to work with them, so I’ve been washing and ironing them, gettting them ready to use. I’ve been storing the washed and ironed pieces in the stash closet.

Let’s think about this, shall we? I’ve been buying fabric for years (about 4 or 5 or more) just on the off chance that I will learn to quilt some day. Because I love the colors and the themes (many of my fabrics are fish themed).

What does this mean? I’ve been stash-building for a hobby that I don’t even HAVE yet!!!

    Interesting psychological discussion there.

Let me be clear. I work hard for my money; I save zealously for my retirement and put cash away for emergencies every month. I try to be economical in all aspects of my life; I’m not going into debt to acquire these supplies, nor are they accumulating to the point where they are interfering with the aesthetics or safety or routes of access in my house. I try to knit for charities when I can, so I’m not all selfish.

I’m just wondering what it all means.

Is there any way to strike a balance? I believe that “No Buying Yarn for Four Months” is extreme, and, as has been shown, isn’t really appearing to make much of a difference (volume wise). Maybe a balance of “do one project from stash before buying any new project.”

Maybe I’m just being silly and it isn’t a problem of any kind.

I don’t know. But I am blatantly throwing it out there in order to start a discussion in the comments.

Oh, and more gentle but warm hugs go out to Mom, Nachaele and Nicole. And Mary-Kay.

Edited to add: I just found this picture on “Stuff on my Cat” – made me laugh, given the topic of today’s post…

pitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patterpitter patter


  1. Interesting topic! I imagine there will be many comments. After having cleaned out Grandpa’s house which included 30 years of cool whip cartons, Dad and I have tried to be more selective about stashes. Even with being careful though,it won’t be easy to clean out our house. Some things are hard to throw out because there is always the thought that you might come up with a way to use them.
    I don’t think you are obsessive about your stash of material or yarn. It seems to run in the family.I have switched from needles to paint brushes these days but it is just as easy to stash those materials. You give a lot of pleasure with your knitted gifts and have made wonderful things to wear.I would not worry about having too large of a stash. If you are aware of it, it isn’t a problem. Someone who has a stash and is not aware of a it is the one with a problem.

    Comment by Mom — February 13, 2008 @ 11:02 am
  2. I worry about my stashes sometimes, but mostly I take comfort in them. I regularly pull from them, and do nice things with them. (For example, I just pulled out 3 large skeins of pastel yarn to make a baby afghan for a colleague who just announced that she’s due in July. I was glad I could use from the stash and not have to go shopping!)

    Comment by Anita Craig — February 13, 2008 @ 1:14 pm
  3. I have a stash of dragons, does that count? :-P

    Comment by Dave — February 16, 2008 @ 11:04 am
  4. It sounds like your stash is reasonable and your discipline admirable, I wouldn’t worry to much if I were you.

    Comment by Claudia — February 18, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

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