Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Liz's Summer Knitting, Part 2: the Summer of Stash

Warshrags, anyone?

Dear co-bloggers Ann and Mo,

You two are my dearest friends, and my greatest knitting compatriots. So it is before you that I lay my soul bare and admit that I have problem. My stash.

When I first started knitting, I would go to the LYS, select a pattern, and buy the appropriate amount of yarn to complete the project. When the project was done, I would go back to the yarn shop, pick a different pattern, and buy more yarn. In the life of a very monogamous knitter, stash then was the leftover balls of yarn, since I always bought an extra, just-in-case ball.

I began knitting during Mr. S's and my lean years. When I first quit my job, and Mr. S was going to school and working, and we had our first Rosebud baby. I was very focused on efficient use of limited resources. These oddballs of yarn really bugged me. What in the world was I going to do with these oddballs of yarn?

Mo then mentioned that she actually returned these balls of yarn. So smart! I began doing this too, returning any unused balls to the store. This felt so virtuous, and so efficient. No waste yarn laying about, and the limited resources were being used towards projects being knitted.
Now I realize how dumb I was! How many hats, booties, striped sweaters, or log cabin strips did I return?

I think the stash began exploding as the knitter in me began to develop. Less focus on product, more on process, and love of materials. I became willing to rip out or abandon loser projects, and began to buy yarn at yarn sales without particular projects in mind. I came home with bags of un-designated yarn, bought for cheap, and since I learned general yardage requirements and bought those Ann Budd books, I knew sweaters lurked in those bags of yarn.

Well, since Mr. S made the transition from humble research scientist to full blown Corporate Guy, the yarn stash has exploded. The resources are a bit less limited, and I have had to visit a lot of new yarn shops. That meant a lot of occasions to buy yarn. Especially sock yarn.

Sock yarn is an addiction. There are 14 pairs of socks here.

The stash is now officially BIG ENOUGH. In fact, it may even be too big.

I find it has begun to distract me. The constant new infusion of yarns has detracted from my ability to finish projects. Or even start projects I really want to knit. I am being hampered by too many options, too many ideas.

Thus, I declare this summer my SUMMER OF STASH. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, I will not purchase any more yarn. I will dutifully use what I have, knit the beautiful yarn I have, creating sweaters and other items that I want. I will find ways to creatively reduce my stash.

You will be an Orangina, my precious Rowan

There are two exceptions to this rule:

1. Exception #1 -- there is a sheep farm near where I go down the shore. I have never been there, but plan to visit this summer. Handspun from the sheep farm must be purchased. It is the 11th commandment.

2. Exception #2 -- last week, I signed up for Sundara's Petals Collection Sock Club. Thus, I will be receiving yarn once a month throughout my SoS, although I purchased it before the SoS officially began. Hopefully, this will be my fix through any rough patches.

So, My XRK friends, this Friday, when we have the XRK Summit in Richmond's Yarn Lounge, that will be my final yarn purchase for several months. I am glad that I will have you to share the moment with me.

And if either of you or our readers would like to participate, we can be a support group for each other, giving each other creative ways to use our stash, and to talk us away from the credit cards. Leave a comment and let me know if you are interested in joining the SoS team!

ETA: I have set up a new blog for our SoS. Please go to the Summer of Stash blog for instructions on how to sign up for our project.


Amy said...

I'm in. Seeing as how we just moved and my stash, when put all in one place, is embarrassingly huge, I'm all for this. Not to mention the fact that the sheer numbers of WIP's and UFO's I have makes my head spin. I can probably make all my Christmas presents from what I have at home.

Francesca said...

I am on the team! Go SOS!

I love that it's an SOS. I need all the help I can get.

Maggi said...

OK, me, too. Because I have a good feeling my stash is bigger than Liz's stash. And what time's this summit? Can I pop in for a howdy-do?

Teresa said...

I'll join as well, I don't think my stash is large but it should be reduced. I just purchased some yarn that has not arrived (I figure this will keep me going for most of the summer) and I will need to buy one more hank of hemp for a project that is currently stalled (I haven't been near the yarn store to be able to purchase this in the past two months).

Anonymous said...

I want a stash so I can join in!! Can I spend the summer creating a stash instead?? I could be your vicarious shopper?!

aija said...

Good luck! I can't keep myself on a diet, but will be cheering you on!

Ann said...

I am going to try. I've never, ever been great at self-restraint, but with the kitchen renovation getting more expensive by the day, I'm going to have to do something about the yarn budget.

I'm worried about the little projects (I've got an aran sweater for me in the stash that will take most of the summer). I need to buy sock yarn for our summer trips. My exceptions are going to be a little buying on the Seattle/Vancouver trip and a little on the Vermont trip (I'll attempt to keep it at a little!).

But this will be a good thing, yes, yes ... I can do this. SoS here I come ....

Devorah said...

Count me in. My 11th rule however, is to be allowed to pick up a single sock (pair) worth in each of our tourist destintions this summer -- PA, KY and IN. Is this o.k.?

Mo said...

Count me in. I have plenty even though I still return my extras.

Maggi -- the summit starts at 9:30 a.m. at CanCan and moves down the street to the Yarn Lounge around 11 a.m. Please stop by.

Laurie (Moo!) said...

It sounds very industrious of you and I wish you much luck in your SoS!

Me? I can't pull myself up when I'm just discovering some fairly great yarns.

But I will attempt to knit up as much of my stash as I can. And e-bay a bunch more!

Good thing that sock club is closed! :-D

Kerry said...

I'm so excited for SOS. what a great idea, my husband and his wallet can't thank you enough.

Anonymous said...

I am so in! My wallet and my room can't take anymore yarn! I have so much yarn, WIPs, and UFOs that they are literally collecting dust. We can all go through the 12 steps together, and no one will be left behind. :D

carrie said...

you are a brave, brave woman! i can't restrain myself that way.

Leigh Ann said...

I'm in too! I have a large stash and have been adding to it the last month or so. When its buy one get one free what a girl to do! Enhance the stash even more!